Issues relating to the forth coming National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) billed to hold in Port Harcourt between 5th and 6th October 2018 took a centre stage last week in Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, clarified his position on speculations going round in some quarters that he was secretly harbouring ambition for the Vice President Position in the 2019 election, and that he also influenced choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the PDP National Convention.
Making the clarification, Thursday while speaking with “The Osasu Show” at Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor explained that though some presidential aspirants have offered him such position while consulting with him but that he had always objected to it.
He said the national Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, comes from the same state and geo-political zone, hence it would not be in the interest of Rivers State for him to seek that position.
“Not even in the dream will I seek that position at this point. I am a first term governor and the national chairman of PDP is from my state and the South South “, the governor said, adding that he would not do anything against the interest of Rivers State.
Commenting on the choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the national convention, Wike said the decision was initiated without his knowledge. He said he only attended a meeting where governors and presidential aspirants eventually ratified the resolution.
“But if they want, the national convention can be held at Maiduguri, Yola, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano or any other city. A presidential aspirant that would loose would loose”. He attributed the allegation to those he described as moles amongst the aspirants.
Governor Wike announced some mouth-watering cash prizes to participants and winners of the 2018 edition of the Chief Justice of Nigeria Sports competition during the opening ceremony of the competition, Wednesday, at the Sharks Football Stadium Port Harcourt.
He promised each of the participating teams the sum of N5 million and cash prize of N20 million to best term. To the teams that would emerge second and third, the Governor promised them N15 million and N10 million respectively.
Wike, who lauded the Judiciary for the sports competition, noted that apart from litigations for which the judiciary was known for, there was need for them to get involved in sporting events and other recreational activities.
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onoghen declared that Governor Wike was the best governor in terms of giving support to the Judiciary. The CJN, who was represented at the event by Justice Sidi Bage, while commending the governor, urged other states to emulate what he called “the wonderful example of Rivers State”.
At the opening ceremony, which saw Team Rivers loosing to Supreme Court Team, by a lone goal, the late Attorney-General of Rivers State, Hon Emmanuel Aguma (SAN) was given a posthumous award for outstanding support to National Judiciary Games.
During the week under review, the Brick House hosted the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his Presidential Campaign Organisation on Thursday.
At the meeting, Gov Wike charged the National Assembly to pass the Electoral Act and that if Mr President objects to accenting to the Act, the Lawmakers should not pass the INEC budget. He said: “Once the Electoral Act is passed, if it is not assented to, I urge you people not to pass the INEC budget because INEC budget is based on the Electoral Act. I urged that these things must be taken together.
According to him, as leader of the National Assembly Saraki should do all he could for the Electoral Act to be passed.
Wike also called on PDP delegates from across the country not to elect a disparate person as the party’s presidential aspirant.
APC: C’River LP Disowns Decampees
The Labour Party (LP) has disowned one Mr. Maurice Ekeng, who claimed to be Chairman of the party in Cross River State, and his purported exco who defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC)
The party, in a press statement made available to newsmen, yesterday, described the action of Ekeng and others as “laughable and unfortunate for an old man who parades himself as an elder of the church”.
The statement signed by Comrade Dr. Ofem Lekam, State Publicity Secretary of the party said, “The attention of the leadership of Labour Party in Cross River State led by Ambassador Ogar Osim as Chairman and Comrade Asuquo Etim as State Secretary has been drawn to publications claiming that the State Chairman and members of his executive have decamped to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“Mr Ekeng is an impostor who was never made a State Chairman at any Congress. We challenge him to publish the names of his executive, pictures taken in 2021 extra-ordinary NEC meeting in Benin City where the National Chairman, Julius Abure and the Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim were elected, as well as that of Home Land Hotel Calabar where the National Leadership represented by the Vice Chairman South South, Prince Reuben Nuka inaugurated the current State Caretaker
“The impostor from all available evidences is a member of APC sponsored to create confusion in a peaceful party of idealists who are making sacrifices in travelling round the nooks and crannies of the state to revive the structures of the party at all level in the state which is already making monumental impact in the state ahead of 2023.
“We want to put it on record that, Labour Party is intact, and is not contemplating merging with All Progressive Congress (APC) and any other political party; rather it is a party to beat come 2023.
“We appeal to the general public to disregard any news making the rounds that the LP Chairman and his executive have decamped, it is the imagination of political jobbers and mischief-makers whose occupation is to sacrifice their integrity and ideology just for peanuts.
“It is also instructive to advise Mr. Bassey Ita serving at APC Secretariat at Marian Road Calabar not to allow the temporary excitement of the moment to cloud his sense of reasoning by accepting people claiming a platform without verification.
“It is pathetic that Mr. Bassey Ita is yet to realize that with Governor Prof. Ben Ayade now as leader of APC CRS, the days of kangaroo administration of APC CRS should have been over by now in Cross River State.”
INEC To Deploy 5,346 Personnel For CVR
INEC said on Monday in Abuja that it would deploy 5,346 personnel to 2,673 registration centres for Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) resuming nationwide on June 28.
Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at the presentation of INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) and online registration portal for the exercise at a meeting he held with media executives.
IVED is an Android tablet to be used in place of the existing Data Capturing Machine used for CVR in previous exercises.
Prof. Yakubu said that before now INEC had 1,446 registration centres where it registered 14. 2 million voters between 2017 and 2018.
“Learning from the experience of what happened, we have now almost doubled the number of those centres.
“Our hope is that unlike 14.2 million we registered in the previous exercise, we are targeting a minimum of 20 million registrants this time. It will take the number of registered voters to about 100 million,’’ Yakubu said.
He said that majority of the 5,346 personnel to be deployed would be INEC officials, while ad-hoc staff would be used where the Commission lacked the required number of personnel.
He said that the Commission was working with stakeholders for the security of personnel and equipment to be deployed.
Yakubu disclosed that the design for both the online portal and IVED were done by INEC engineers, taking into consideration Nigeria’s peculiarity, including weather, for its durability.
He said registrants would be able to know where machines for registration are located via the portal.
He also noted that the Commission was working on ensuring that Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for internally-displaced persons were reproduced for them so as not to be disenfranchised.
Many would have lost their cards while under siege, he said.
Prof. Yakubu also said that PVCs for newly-registered voters would be produced on quarterly basis after the registration, noting that the list of the registrants would be displayed at the registration units for claims and objections.
Presenting the online portal and IVED, INEC’s Director of ICT, Mr Chidi Nwafor, said that the online portal was designed to serve various needs of eligible Nigerians for the registration.
These, according to Nwafor, include new registration, review of registration, and review of personal details or voting centres, PVCs replacement or collection.
“As a new voter, you can pre-register online, or as a registered voter, you can revalidate your voter registration, request to update your information or transfer your voter registration to another polling unit, Nwafor said.
He said that registrants could register their details online before going to the nearest registration centre selected by them for photographs and finger prints capturing to complete the exercise.
Nwafor said that the portal was designed in a way that once an intending voter completed the online registration, an appointment for physical registration would be generated by the portal for the registrant.
He added that any registrant who could not meet up with the appointed date and time could reschedule the appointment via the same portal.
He said that the portal also made provision for people to contact the Commission in the event of challenges during online registration.
He noted that a registrant had 14 days to complete the online pre-registration and a year to complete the whole process.
He advised registered voters to make use of the portal to identify polling units or centres nearest to them.
Nwafor also assured that the Commission was putting adequate security in place to protect the device and the portal against hacks or cybercrime.
He also said that concerns about underage voter registration would be taken care of as those that registered online would still visit the registration centre before the process could be completed.
The media executives in a communiqué issued after the meeting suggested that the CVR be devolved to INEC LGA Council offices based on thorough appraisal of security situations and related factors.
They also recommended that the CVR be gradually devolved to other designated registration centres nationwide after assessments of security situations and other factors relating to safety of personnel and materials.
They tasked relevant stakeholders, especially political parties, traditional institutions, religious leaders and Civil Society Organisations to mobilise all eligible registrants to participate in the CVR.
PDP NWC Harps On Unity Over Anambra Guber Poll
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) has called for unity among stakeholders in Anambra state, ahead the June 26 primaries for the state governorship election.
The party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, made the call during the NWC meeting with the party aspirants, leaders and other stakeholders from Anambra, held in Abuja on Monday.
Secondus said the meeting was called to enable the NWC to interact with stakeholders, as elections held off season were always very stormy and tough.
“We are here basically for us to make sure first and foremost that all our leaders and all our aspirants are in unity. It is very important for this trying period and you know the period, we are in,”he said.
Secondus said that unity was key, especially now that the country was passing through challenges including insecurity that must not be taken for granted.
He said the only way to get out of that was to make sure that things were done properly.
“Let there be fairness, equity and justice, which is in deficit in our country; and that is what the PDP stands for.
“We stand for fairness, equity and justice under the rule of law. This is a party that believes that all Nigerians are one. We must live together as brothers and sisters,” he said.
The party chairman said that Anambra was key to the mission of rescuing Nigeria and uniting the country.
“Anambra is the economic key of our country and we must conduct our affairs to show the world that PDP is different and ready to rescue this country.
“That is why we are to interact with leaders of our party, and at the end of this meeting, I think we will go home happy that on Saturday it will be the freest congresses ever that are conducted.
“So, Anambra, we want to advise, we want to call our people, the time to put down ourselves is now.
“This is the time to look at each other. We must not allow both Anambra and our country to fail. We must show that good example.
“You have been leading in several areas, you must lead politically now. Our leaders must be statesmen. They must look beyond an individual and narrow interest.
“It is time for us to look at Nigeria. If we get it wrong, the consequences will be great. It will reflect on other parts of the country,” Secondus said.
Also, PDP National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu, said the meeting was customary anytime PDP had major contests.
Akobundu said the meeting was called to ensure everybody was carried along in the primary to ensure peaceful outcome.
“It is for this reason that the NWC directed to meet with all stakeholders in Anambra.
“This is just a cross section of our quality stakeholders in Anambra that were invited to attend this meeting.
“It is simply to rub minds, have an interactive session and discuss ways and means that we can employ to have hitch-free primary with everybody on board.”
- Sports3 days ago
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
- Featured3 days ago
APC’s Ploy To Ban, Regulate Social Media, Hypocritical, Wike Affirms
- Politics1 day ago
APC: C’River LP Disowns Decampees
- Oil & Energy3 days ago
Buhari Thumbs Up For NLNG As NNPC Reviews Activities
- Oil & Energy3 days ago
Total Nigeria Advocates Petroleum Subsidy Removal
- Sports1 day ago
CAF Mulls Super League Idea
- Politics3 days ago
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession
- Editorial3 days ago
As New Rivers LG Chairmen Assume Office…