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APC State Chairmen pass vote of confidence on Oshiomhole

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Forum of State Chairmen on Thursday in Abuja passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, saying he is the best man to lead the party.

Ben Nwonye, the Secretary of the forum and Chairman, APC Enugu State Chapter, who spoke on behalf of the forum made this known while speaking with journalists at the party’s national secretariat.

He fielded questions after the state chairmen had a closed door meeting with Mr Oshiomhole and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

He added that in spite of recent negative reports on Mr Oshiomhole, he remains the man with a strong will to lead the party at the moment.

“We met with the national chairman of our great party and members of the NWC and we touched on relevant issues on the party.

“We discussed in details on the party’s unity and at the end of the meeting, we were fully informed on the party’s issues and unity.

“Based on the information we have and the readiness of the party and the national chairman to lead the country and the party to the next level, we have unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole and the NWC,” he said.

Mr Nwonye described recent negative reports making the rounds on Oshiomhole as spurious allegations meant to malign not just his person, but President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC as a party.

He added that Oshiomhole remain a strong man and the party’s national chairman, saying that he has all it takes to lead the APC to the next level.

Mr Nwonye said it was regrettable that those that were against Mr Oshiomhole started their campaign against him just as Mr Buhari was to be inaugurated for a second term in office.

On May 28, the APC Deputy National Chairman, North, Lawal Shuaibu, called on Mr Oshiomhole to resign for allegedly failing to add any value to the APC since his election.

Mr Shuaibu, in a six-page letter dated May 27 and addressed to Mr Oshiomhole, accused the chairman of incompetence, high handedness and immaturity in his handling of the affairs of the party.

He noted that the APC had lost control of seven states under Mr Oshiomhole.

“I am a critical stakeholder in the APC project and therefore, have a stake for which I reserve the right to write this letter to you,” Mr Shuaibu had said.

Following the party’s challenges in Zamfara and some other states of the federation, resulting from its mode of primaries ahead of the 2019 general elections, Mr Oshiomhole and John Odigie-Oyegun, the APC immediate past national chairman, had been engaged in blame game.

This particularly followed the upturning of the party’s electoral victory in Zamfara by the Supreme Court, and the losses it suffered in some states it previously controlled.

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Flooding Displaces 40,000 Persons In Borno –UN

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The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has expressed concern over the conditions of more than 40,000 displaced persons affected by flood in Rann under Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno.

In a statement on Saturday, the OCHA said the affected persons including women and children lacked access to food and basic services due to flooding, which submerged Rann on November 7.

OCHA attributed the flood to the release of excess water from Kaalia River in neighbouring Cameroon.

The statement reads, “Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, putting their lives at risks while crossing the river or running for safety.

“More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 kilometres away from the area, according to the International Organisation for Migration, they managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable.

“Humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services, until access is secured for small boats.

“Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services.” 

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Senate president, deputy congratulate APC, Kogi, Bayelsa governors-elect

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates on their victory in the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

Mr Lawan sent his congratulatory wishes Monday through his spokesperson, Ola Awoniyi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) earlier on Monday declared APC’s Yahaya Bello winner of the Kogi governorship election. He polled 406,222 votes to beat PDP’s Musa Wada who polled 189,704 votes.

The APC also won in Bayelsa State with its candidate, David Lyon, recording 352,552 votes while his PDP opponent garnered 143,172 votes.

Observers reported widespread cases of voters inducement and violence in the two elections.

Mr Lawan praised voters who defied all odds to cast their votes. He said this is an indication that Nigerians have endorsed democracy as their preferred system of government

He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari “for ensuring a level playing field that enabled the people to assert their sovereignty and choose their leaders.”

Mr Lawan enjoined winners of the elections to be magnanimous in victory while also urging INEC to “learn from the challenges experienced in the two states with a view to constantly improving its institutional performance and the electoral process.”

He praised security operatives “for their sacrifices for peace and order in the face of great difficulties” and also implore them to “ensure thorough prosecution of electoral offenders in the two states to serve as a deterrence to others.”

On his part, the deputy Senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, through his spokesperson, Yomi Odunuga, commended the state and national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said the victories in Kogi and Bayelsa show that the party’s success at the last general election was not a fluke.

“With this development and the actualisation of the Next Level Agenda of the APC-led administration, it is certain that our party will clinch more states in the South-South geo-political zone in future elections.

“Like I have always said, it is possible for the APC to rule in the South-South beyond Edo State. And I have been proven right with the final results from Bayelsa State.

“This goes to show that with determination and tenacity of purpose, we can overcome what seems insurmountable.”

He, therefore, thanked the people of the states for trusting the party with mandates, assuring that they will not be disappointed.

He tasked winners of the elections to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorate while also advising “aggrieved contestants to seek redress in court rather than resort to violence.”

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Governor-elect Lyon, Oshiomhole, Sylva speak on Bayelsa election victory

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with Bayelsa Governor-elect, David Lyon, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor-elect was accompanied on the visit by the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiohmole, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State as well as Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

Mr Lyon, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the November 16 election in Bayelsa, was declared winner after polling 352,552 votes.

Mr Lyon defeated his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 143,172 votes.

Despite reports of violence, Mr Oshiomhole said the election in Bayelsa was the most peaceful in the state since 1999.

Read a transcript of what the politicians said after the meeting with President Buhari on Monday.

Oshiomhole

Thank you very much. We want to congratulate you member of the media here in the seat of power, you are one of the first to meet with our brand new governor-elect Governor David Lyon.

We went to present the governor-elect, governor David Lyon to President Muhammadu Buhari. As the President and our father, he has a brand new baby boy who will be sworn- in on Valentine Day February 14, 2020, as governor of Bayelsa State. We thanked the president for his fatherly role and he insisted that we must ensure that while we are determined to win the election that we must play by the rule and ensure that the process is transparent and above all the president has always been concern about peaceful election and we were proud to inform him that besides very isolated cases of ballot box snatching, the election in Bayelsa can be described as the most peaceful. I believe since 1999, you as very seasoned journalists who have covered elections in Bayelsa in the past, you will agree that this is the only time we can say the election is truly transparent and peaceful. Again, our candidate attracts support across the political divide when you see territories and communities where his victory was being celebrated you will agree that not only did he had the support of the APC family, he had support beyond the APC family.

And of course, the president was very happy that we had a peaceful election in Bayelsa state. But of course, we also know that there was an election in Kogi but that is a matter for another day when we present the governor are-elected.
But we do realize that all the 16 senators who decamped along with Senator Bukola Saraki from APC to PDP, hard as they have tried to come back the Nigerian people in their respective constituencies, have insisted on punishing them for being disloyal and transferring it monetizing their mandates. I think the only that is still struggling now is Dino Melaye but as you can see from the result so car, Senator Smart Adeyemi is leading by over 20,000 votes even though INEC insists we must have a re-run for the remaining areas we are confident that there is no way he can make up for 20,000 vote deficit.

I think the lesson for us to be learned as a party is rather clear that when politicians go to the polls to collect mandate on a particular political platform and then they dumped the party for another party, the electorate will always be waiting for them. Over time we are likely to see people out of fear for the electorate, not monetizing their mandate after they are elected. But overall, we are grateful to Almighty God for making this election successful, we appreciate the people of Bayelsa State who have reposed confidence in our party and on our candidate. We also want to appreciate the very warm reception that the former president accorded our candidate who in line with his character of humane, simplicity and commitment, in company of our chairman of APC governorship campaign for Bayelsa state, Jigawa state governor Abubakar Baduru and governor Bagudu who is the Chairman of APC governors forum and co-chair of the Bayelsa election.

We are also very appreciative of the Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipreye Sylva who has had to manage a very difficult tight schedule – playing his role as minister of state petroleum which entails engaging with international engagements and at the same time making out time to ensure that he provides leadership for our party in Bayelsa, for us as APC, we are very grateful. We are grateful to the two governors who had to stay 72 hours to ensure the success of the election..

For the governor, this is a call to selfless service, the more support you get the more the expectations. As they say, to whom much is given, much is expected.
When he takes over the office in February Bayelsans will see the difference between his government and that of outgoing governor Serieke Dickson.

Lyon

Today, is one of the greatest days of my life. A great day because the great people of Bayelsa have spoken their minds by taking the time to vote for our great party, APC.

It is indeed a welcome development because at our campaigns we promised that when elected and sworn in, security and development will be our key agenda and with the support of Bayelsans they have made this possible.
Today, on behalf of my APC leaders, I promise Bayelsans that, we will serve them and not them to serve us. We also promise to respect leadership which is key for us. Today their vote has been counted and the people of Bayelsa will be respected.

I am sincerely grateful and to our father, the president of this country, for his fatherly advice this afternoon, as one of his sons in APC, we want to say we Bayelsans will not disappoint APC. We will consult with our leaders, traditional rulers and I believe there will be a serious positive change in Bayelsa State.
This incoming administration will make Bayelsans see positive developments and that is key to us. Thank you so much for having me here today as governor-elect of Bayelsa state

Badaru

We want to thank Baylesans, they are remarkable. They know what they want, they know when they are frustrated how to act and they have acted right.
I want to thank the leader of our party in Bayelsa State, the Minister of State of Petroleum, who digging out the right candidate. So the success of this election is in our being able to come up with the man of the people.

I have been there, I have seen where he lives, I have seen the crowd that comes to him and I have seen how he engages with them. He is a technical man of the people and that is why he has been rewarded with so much heavy votes. He is a man that is always with his community and he is a man that always supports his community, and that made the job of the election very easy and simple.

We were on the ground there, like the chairman said earlier, we have a history of elections in Bayelsa what it used to be and you have seen what happens there.

For the three days of voting and counting, not a single soul to my knowledge was killed. Of course, there were pockets of violence, ballot box snatching which results in a council but when you look at the magnitude, there are so few compared to what use to happen in Bayelsa. I will credit this also to the right choice of the candidate, which means most of the people are with him and hence no need to create any trouble. And that translated to the vote that we got. Because it shows the number of people that came out to vote for him indicated that, the opposition cannot even try to make trouble and that was why we had a very peaceful, transparent election.

Of course, I thank Baba Buhari for his guide, support and for his concern for elections being peaceful, free and fair.

We had a court order disqualifying our candidate, one on Tuesday, second one Thursday but because this is what the PDP saw and wanted to take advantage of the court to run away with what the people want, but God willing we got to stay in the two judgements and run for the election and showed them what Bayelsans actually want.

Sylva

It’s been a very hectic week but I will like to bring in this Eritrean proverb, that if you marry a wife very well, you will be blessed with another wife. Governor Dickson, unfortunately, made our job very easy because he married the wife very badly. Of course, this proverb pre-supposes that if you marry a wife badly, you will not get another wife. So he did not marry the state very well, so the state roundly rejected him.

Like it’s been said earlier, we had a good candidate and when you have a good product it’s very easy to sell it. So we went round and sold this good to Bayelsans and the result was an overwhelming success.

We are happy with this victory because for us it is very significant. This gives our party a footprint in the Niger Delta, which is very key to us. It gives us more of a national outlook, we have always been a national party but this gives us even a bigger national outlook.

I have always said that if our party doesn’t have this much of a footprint in the breadbasket of the country, it was not too good for us. But now we have it and I want to assure you that from a small seed, the biggest tree will grow. From here we will gradually grow the party in the south-south and the southeast. APC is a good product just like our governor and we intend to sell that good product in the whole of the south-south and the southeast.

Baguda

We are privileged to present to Mr. President, the governor-elect, David Lyon, whose quality had been described by other speakers.

Many people worked hard in making this happen, most importantly, Mr. President, who has always shown the party that wins or loses we should aim for free, transparent and fair elections. Because, that is what will guarantee peace, confer legitimacy and support for elected persons to proudly execute the mandate that they are given. And in Bayelsa we have seen a demonstration of that.

Everyone is talking about how free, transparent and fair the elections were. We were in Bayelsa for over 72 hours we didn’t see a tyre burning, we didn’t see people running, we didn’t hear a gunshot, everyone was celebrating in all the areas we passed, which shows the acceptance of our candidate, our party and the process itself.

It is equally noteworthy that Bayelsa is a home of a former president of Nigeria and this election won by a party different from the one he belongs, has been accepted by all including around him and so far, from what we hear and what we are, he also is happy with the outcome irrespective of the difference in the party, which is an indication of the transparency of the process.

This is a victory for Nigeria because it shows that parts of the country that has been under another political party, can in a free, fair election make their democratic choice and vote for another party with the right candidate.

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