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2019: APC’s re-election will be easy -Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the 2019 re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government will be very easy.
The minister stated this on Tuesday in Oyo while inspecting the 52-kilometre dualised Oyo-Ogbomosho road project under construction by Reynold Construction Company.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the N47.5 billion project is the section two of the entire Ibadan-Ilorin road dualisation construction project.

Section one of the road construction project,  which is Ibadan-Oyo,  as well as section three which is  Ogbomoso-Ilorin, had been completed.

Addressing newsmen at the construction site, Mohammed said the administration “is so confident of its re-election in 2019 because of what are being delivered in terms of infrastructure and social welfare.

Mohammed said: “The proper and easy ways you can get the electorate to vote for you are by keeping your promises to them, delivering on your promises and embarking on projects which touch their lives.

“Either in term of infrastructure or social interventions, we are working everyday for the people. We are working for the common man in this country.

“As of today, we feed 8.2 million children in public primary schools all over Nigeria.
“In the process, we engaged 7000 cooks and the feeding programme in about 24 states covered 62,000 Primary schools.

“These are what we are doing and that is why we are so confident that our re-election will be easy.”

The minister said the administration would not engage in banters with critics but will continue to showcase its achievements for people to see and make conclusions.
On the road project which the contractor said was 52 per cent completed,  the minister gave an assurance  that funding would no longer be the constraint  to its timely completion.
Mohammed said: “Funding will no longer be a challenge to many of our critical road projects.

“This is because the N191 billion presidential intervention fund has been put in place and critical roads like this will benefit from the funding.”

Mohammed said people were not able to see and appreciate the level of work done on the Oyo-Ogbomosho road project because it was been constructed along Oyo town by-pass
He said: “You need to come here to see the amount of work that is going on.
“I am happy that it is not a paper project; we have been told by the contractor that it is 52 per cent completed.
“I am very confident that we are not going to encounter any funding challenge.”
He said the project was being financed from the N100 billion Sukuk loan secured by the Federal Government
He said: “We took the Sukuk loan of N100billion which was divided into six equal parts each for the geopolitical zones.
“We decided in the south-west zone that the Oyo-Ogbomosho road should benefit from our own part of Sukuk.
“That is why we are able to get the contractor back on site to complete the project.”
Omotayo Awosanya, the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo State, who conducted the minister round the project,  said the road contract was awarded in June 2010.
Awosanya said: “The initial completion period was for 40 months. It was supposed to have been completed by October 2013.
“When it was initially awarded by the previous administration, there was  no proper funding which caused the delay.
“Since the present regime of President Buhari, funding has improved and the project is going on well.
“We are also lucky that this project is benefitting from the Sukuk fund in addition to what the budget can provide.”
Awosanya said the government had so far paid the contractor about N26 billion from the N47.5 billion total contract cost.

On the significance of the road, Awosanya said, “it is a corridor of the extension of Lagos- Ibadan that will accommodate traffic generated in Ibadan and Oyo going towards the North”.
On his part, the Project Manager, Harel Vaknin, who spoke on behalf of Reynolds Construction Company,  said it is the main highway linking the Western and Northern parts  of the country.
He said the four-lane highway consists of 7.30 metre wide roadway in each direction with two interchange bridge construction.

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Kwara PDP guber candidate denies forging NYSC certificate

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state, Barr. Razak Atunwa, has denied as a media report that he forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

An online medium, Premium Times, had reported that Atunwa skipped the mandatory NYSC and forged the certificate of the scheme.

The online medium had said Atunwa, a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, stayed back in the UK after his education rather than present himself for the scheme.

According to the report, “It is not clear if the House of Representatives member presented any NYSC certificate in 2005 when he returned to Nigeria and joined the cabinet of Bukola Saraki, then governor of state.”

But in a swift reaction on Monday, Atunwa said he did not submit any unsupported NYSC certificate as suggested by the online medium.

The PDP gubernatorial candidate added: “I did not submit any unsupported NYSC certificate as suggested by you (Premium Times).

“I strongly advise that you verify each and every assertion you wish to make. You may wish to make formal enquiries/verifications of all institutions concerned.

“You should also be circumspect enough to authenticate the provenance of any document you may be handed if it’s not from a formal and official source.

“An organisation such as yours should not fall short of the required legal and ethical standards.”

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95% of APC govs with me, no gang-up to remove me – Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, on Monday dismissed as untrue the reported gang-up by APC governors against his leadership of the party.

Oshiomhole had on Sunday in a statement by his press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, alleged that conservatives within the party are ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence in him.

He said in the statement that his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

He added that he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy one.

But, Oshiohmole, who fielded questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, said only one or two out of the 23 state governors under the platform of the APC were vehemently opposed to his leadership style.

He said: “Maybe there is one or two governors who have issues and those issues can only be resolved democratically within the spirit, the letter and all the relevant positions of the APC constitution, the APC Election guidelines and of course the Electoral Act.

“The Electoral Act is completely blind and our party’s rules also are completely blind to power but it’s sensitive to procedures; it is sensitive processes.

“The good news is that overwhelming majority (of the governors), we have about 23 governors, I think maybe one or two may have some situations they would like to see differently.

“But that is the way the world is, but we should uphold the rules. But, it is not correct to suggest that there is a move to remove me.

“Yes, one governor has publicly said he would ensure that I’m removed – that is fine. The beauty of democracy is anyone or two could say something but the majority is what matters.

“But even those two when they have deeper reflection would recognize that what I have done is to stubbornly insist that the rules are obeyed, nothing more nothing less.’’

Oshiohmole, who described the ongoing political outcry in some quarters as his finest moment, said he would continue to support the interest of the ordinary members of the party against those of the powerful elements or political bigwigs.

He said he was very encouraged by the level of participation of members of the party in the political processes including the just concluded party’s primaries across the country.

Oshiohmole however declined comment on the Monday’s Supreme Court ruling which set aside an interim order of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, which gave the APC, the go ahead to conduct its Ward, Local Government and State Congresses in Rivers State.

He said he needed lawyers’ interpretation of the ruling before passing any comment.

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Court didn’t bar APC from sending Delta candidates’ list to INEC – Party

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State has denied reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, has restrained the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party from submitting the list of party candidates for the 2019 election from Delta State to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement made available to newsmen in Asaba on Wednesday by the legal adviser of the APC in Delta State, E.V. Onojeghuo Esq, the party described the report as false and lies cooked to deceive party faithful and cause disaffection in the party and amongst members of the public.

 

Read the full statement below:

The attention of the All Progressives Congress, Delta State has been drawn to the above-mentioned subject currently being circulated in various social media platforms and news outlets.

This case was instituted by one Chief Cyril Ogodo who participated and lost the congresses to elect a new executive committee. In his claims before the honourable court, he is seeking amongst other things a declaration as the authentic State Chairman of the Party and order restraining defendants from submitting names of candidates to INEC.

On 16th October 2018, when the case came up, the defendants informed the Court of their inability to file responses to the Claimants application for injunction. After much argument, the case adjourned to today the 17th of October for hearing.

In today’s proceedings, Counsel George Onaho Esq for the 1st and 2nd defendants (APC and the National Chairman) served their Counter affidavit and the Notice of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the Court. The counsel for the Claimants O.J. Oghenejakpor asked for a stand down to react to the preliminary objection which was granted.

On resumption, counsel to the Claimants served his reply to the preliminary objection on the counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants whereupon the counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants applied for an adjournment to file a reply on points of law which was opposed to by O.J. Oghenejakpor who insisted on going on with the motion for interlocutory injunction.

At this point, the honourable court informed O.J. Oghenejakpor the counsel to the Claimants that the motion for interlocutory injunction cannot be taken as the prayers in the motion are substantially the same as the main reliefs in the substantive suit. The court thereafter adjourned the matter to 1st and 2nd of November 2018 for accelerated hearing of the substantive case and preliminary objection to be taken together and the parties to maintain status quo.

The implications of today’s proceedings are:

  1. No Order restraining the defendants was made by the honourable court.
  2. The status quo to be maintained simply means that the State Executive Committee under the chairmanship of Prophet Jones Ode Erue remains the authentic structures in the State.
  3. It stands logic on the head to assume that the Court has technically restrained the defendants by asking parties to maintain status quo when the honourable court has rightly observed that the motion for interlocutory injunction carries the same reliefs as the substantive suit and even refused to entertain the said motion.
  4. The defendants are therefore at liberty to carry out their constitutional duties as there are no legal restraints imposed by the honourable court.

In the light of the above, we appeal to all faithful members of our great Party to remain calm and not be sway by social media pranks as the records of the Court are sacrosanct.

 

Signed

E.V. Onojeghuo Esq

APC State Legal Adviser

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