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2019: I’m weighing options between PDP, APC – Uduaghan



Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, a former governor of Delta State, has said he was still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but that he was weighing the options between remaining in the party or joining the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking in an interview in Lagos, Uduaghan – who is seeking to represent Delta South Senatorial District in the National Assembly in 2019 – said while he was desirous of going to the Senate in order to make laws that would benefit his people, the party leadership in the state had been very hostile to him just as opposition parties in the state were reaching out to him.

He said: “As I sit here, I am still a PDP member. I was a governor of Delta State, one of the prominent states in the Niger Delta, for eight years. I was SSG for four years during the administration of Chief James Ibori. The critical thing that my predecessor, Chief Ibori, myself and even the current governor had to deal with was the issue of security.

“In my time as governor, I had a three-point agenda which included peace and security.

“Now, in dealing with that peace and security, through what I called a 12-year period – four years as SSG and eight years as governor – I was exposed mainly to the strategy of engagement – engaging the youths, communities, and those aggrieved either directly myself or using various teams, people, traditional rulers, youth bodies who went and got involved in the engagement process.

“The other engagement process that we tried to do was to ensure that we kept our people busy by ensuring that we properly funded the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission (DESOPADEC).

“That kept people busy for so many years. The first, like I said, was engagement, the second was law and order, which had to do with the Joint Task Force that the Federal Government was bringing, which involved the police, SSS, and others.

“They did their bit but, for them to succeed, we had to put up a team of young people called the Delta Waterways Security Committee that was working with them because the terrain was quite complex.

“You might see a river and you’d think your boat could maneuver anywhere, but there were places that were shallow and some places like roads.

“Sometimes, it took these young people who knew this terrain very well to navigate into the creeks and that was what we did.

“Also, in the process, we noticed that there were lots of damages to the environment, either as a result of equipment by the oil companies, but later more of our own people who were trying to steal crude and also trying to operate illegal refineries.

“So, that was also a challenge. What I am trying to say is that in those my years of getting involved, in analysing those years, I have come to the reality that this Niger Delta crisis would continue if certain things are not done. We will just be having recurrent crisis if certain things are not done.

“I also believe that the things that are to be done have to be legislated upon. The security architecture that we have there now relies almost totally on the Federal Government outfit but I know that without the architecture revolving around the communities and our youths, we would not have solutions to our problems just as we have seen with the herdsmen issue.

“I analysed my future and say is it possible for me to remain in this place? Will I be able to get that platform to influence these things I am talking about?

“The answer I seem to get is that it is not going to be easy. It is not that it is not possible but it might involve bloodshed and other things.

“And when you look at it, you have a platform that is very difficult and you have another one that is not as difficult.

“You just have to weigh the options. So as at today, I am looking at the options because PDP has become too hostile to me, very hostile and it might just be very challenging.

“But I am still in PDP but very soon, a decision will be made. I am also still consulting with the leadership of our political family. That is where we are now.”

Uduaghan also added that while the people of Delta wanted him, the national leadership of the PDP was trying to frustrate his aspirations following reports that owing to its desire to return to power in 2019, it had promised automatic tickets to current members in the National Assembly.

“That is the people. They wanted me but in any political arrangement, there is what you call the leadership.

“PDP is anxious to come back as the ruling party in Nigeria. So, the leadership of PDP is doing a lot of things.

“One of the things we hear that they are doing is that they want to give automatic tickets to those who are currently in the National Assembly, it doesn’t matter to them the number of years you have stayed there.

“If you are coming from another party, maybe APC, to join them, in your constituency, they give you an automatic ticket.

“So, they are planning to give automatic tickets to those in the National Assembly and if that happens, you just find yourself struggling until the last minute and you won’t get the ticket.

“That is a very scary scenario but it can happen especially when the party is manned by those who might not want to be on your side,” he said.

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Osun Decides 2018: APC, INEC creating illegal polling units to rig election – PDP



Addressing a press conference on Friday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, however, said the party would dismantle all the plots of APC.

He said, “We have also alerted Nigerians that the APC in connivance with INEC was creating illegal polling units and delineating illegal wards across the federation.

“It will interest you to know that just as we are preparing for the Osun election, we have been able to burst one of those fictitious electoral wards created for APC to rig election.

“Ila Local Government has 11 electoral wards, but ahead of tomorrow’s (today) election, INEC has created an imaginary 12th ward for Ila and allocated over 4,000 votes for that ward, and that ward is called Iperin.

“What they have done is to create two wards in Iperin, instead of one; allocated votes for both wards including the original ward and the fictitious ward.”

The party spokesperson pointed out that PDP would not accept rigging, saying, “as we promised, we will dismantle every rigging‎ plots of APC ahead of the election.”

He added, “It is strange that an electoral body will connive and collude with a political party with the intention of generating votes that will make them win an election.

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Uduaghan: NOC investiture, a big inspiration



Former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has described as a big inspiration his inclusion on the list of prominent personalities to be honoured by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC). Uduaghan was on Wednesday listed as one of the NOC patrons to be honoured for their contributions to the Olympic movement.

Uduaghan, whose tenure as governor in Delta State witnessed massive results in the sports sector, was listed alongside former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Oba S. A Elegushi, Gbong Gwon Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, Sir Mark Wabara, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, Major-General Adamu Dyeri (rtd), M. A. Abubakar and Alhaji Bashari Mohammed Gumel by the NOC for its investiture ceremony for patrons on October 23 in Lagos.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Uduaghan, who is aspiring for Delta South Senatorial ticket under the APC in the 2019 elections, said his inclusion on the list was an indication that the NOC took proper records, and also appreciated the work he did for sports while he was governor of Delta State.

“There is always a reward for anything you do in life, good or bad. While I was Governor of Delta State, some people accused me of paying so much attention to the sports sector. But I refused to back down because sports is one of the avenues to prepare the youths for future challenges. I was an athlete in my youthful days, and I enjoyed every bit of the sector as governor because Team Delta actually got the results we wanted. I will continue to play my role by giving Nigerian youths the motivation they need to excel in national and international competitions,” Uduaghan stated.

As patrons of the Olympic Movement, the honourees will become iconic international sports personalities, carrying the emblem of Nigeria globally.

One bold step Uduaghan took shortly after he assumed office as governor of Delta State in 2007 was the creation of Delta Sports Commission, which gave sports activities a professional and institutional leverage.

Team Delta was able to continue its dominance in the National Sports Festival, winning at KADA 2009, second at Garden City 2011 and champions at Eko 2012.

Uduaghan’s administration also saw Delta winning the National Channel’s Kids Cup in Lagos in 2013, while Warri Wolves qualified for the finals of the 2014 Federation Cup, the first time in thirty years by any male club from the state. His passion for sports led to the revival of secondary school football competition by staging the biggest Governor’s Cup competition ever among public schools in 2013 and 2014.

His cash motivation for athletes gave the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume and Divine Oduduru the backing they needed to excel at various competitions.

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Coalition thumbs up FMBN over workers -friendly policy



A group, The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), has commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for its policy aimed at assisting Nigerians to own houses.
The commendation was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by its President, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele, and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Inuwa Sule.

According to the group, the commendation was “in recognition of the transformational development and giant strides of the FMBN, in its appraisal of the bank’s efforts in carrying out its regulatory roles and functions as enshrined in the Act establishing the bank and in making homeownership affordable, available and less cumbersome to the nation’s workers thereby driving the growth of the economy and its allied sectors.”

It added that the bank, under the leadership of Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, had raised the hope of Nigerians who desired to own houses.

“The World Bank estimated that Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 17 million units and the FMBN has designed the NHF to mobilise funds to provide the citizens with affordable residential houses through accredited PMBs with the lowest rate possible.

The introduction of the zero equity on loans to workers is a novel initiative commenced by the bank for the implementation of a new approved condition for accessing loans from the National Housing Fund (NHF).

“We commend the paradigm shift from the old to the new and applaud the gigantic development strides in the welfare of staff, development of critical infrastructure as well as maintenance culture of infrastructure adopted by the Dangiwa-led management in keeping abreast of the mortgage industry globally,” the statement read in part.
Continuing, it read: “COCMEGG passes a vote of confidence on the hierarchy of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), under Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, for its forthrightness, vision and strategies in ensuring that the average workers, middle income earners and the common man in the streets have a home to lay their heads.”

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