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2019: APC govs on their way to PDP –Secondus

  • Ortom, Lalong, Ahmed, Bello, Al-Makura: It’s a huge joke



National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, disclosed that his party is in talks with some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, especially those in the North-Central geopolitical zone, assuring that they are on their way to the party.

He added that he is talking with APC governors in the North-East. Secondus, who spoke in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, while addressing party members, also declared that no PDP governor has any intention of leaving the party.

“I have talked with APC governors in the North Central and they are on their way to PDP,” he said, adding: “All PDP governors are intact and in agreement with the party. No rumours again. Nigerians are in the mission of recovering the country. Even market women know that APC has collapsed.” The six states of the North Central – Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kwara – were formerly under the control of the PDP until the 2015 elections, when it lost them to the APC. But the six North-Central governors denied Secondus’ claim.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said he is “stuck with the APC in a marriage that cannot be put asunder.” His Niger State colleague, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, told New Telegraph that he is not one of those Secondus had spoken with.

On his part, Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Almakura, said he was not contemplating leaving APC while Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, said he cannot abandon the house he helped build for a strange abode. Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said he already said by bye to PDP, describing Secon-dus’ claim as ‘a grandiose dream’. For Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, this is not time for defection, but that of mourning his people killed by herdsmen. Decrying the state of insecurity across the country, Secondus urged Nigerians to hold the APC responsible for the killing of innocent Nigerians by herdsmen.

“We must blame the APC-led Federal Government for its inability to protect lives and property. All have collapsed, there is no fuel, while herdsmen have been given license to kill,” he said. The PDP National chairman assured party faithful that the PDP is on a rescue mission and will liberate Nigerians from APC’s misrule in the 2019 general elections.

“The PDP is on a rescue mission; APC is divided, they have no mission, they have no vision. They are playing games with hunger, but enough is enough,” Secondus said. He expressed confidence in the government of Okezie Ikpeazu, saying PDP’s elected office holders are working with the fear of God and the support of the people.

But, the governors of Kwara, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Nasarawa and Plateau states, denied holding any discussion with the opposition party. Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Wahab Oba, said: “The governor was not part of such talk. It’s a grandiose dream to expect him to leave a high performing party like the APC for a decimated party that brought Nigeria to this current mess.

“The governor and other stakeholders in the state are comfortable with the APC, which has vigorously pursued the promised change from impunity to the rule of law; from corruption to transparency; from arbitrariness to pragmatism, and from economic stagnation to sustainable development. The APC is the party for today and the future.”

Similarly, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, said defecting to PDP is not on his plan for now. The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, added that he has suspended all political activities for now as he is confronted with security challenges over ongoing killings of Benue people by suspected herdsmen.

“Governor Ortom has suspended political activities because of the security situation in Benue State. He has not yet lifted that suspension and we have no comment about anything politics for now. “We are talking security; we are talking Benue’s future, so we are not commenting about this (defection to PDP) at all,” Akase said. Niger State governor Abubakar Bello, who also declared that he was not among those spoken to by the PDP national chairman, said he has no issues with the APC. Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mallam Jibrin Ndace, told New Telegraph that his principal is a very consistent member of the APC and cannot be one of those moving to the PDP.

“Governor Abubakar Sani Bello cannot be one of them. He is very clear; he is someone who is very consistent and has a very good relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC both at the national and state levels. “He is so much on ground; there are no issues with the party structure both at national and state levels. So, I do not think that the governor is among those the PDP chairman talked to. “If Secondus has spoken to other governors,certainly Governor Bello can’t be one of them.

It is very clear, he can’t be one of them.” Kogi State governor, Bello, on his part, said there is no reason for him to leave the party he helped in building. Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mrs. Petra Akinti, who spoke with our correspondent, said her principal is busy with preparation to host APC governors to a mega rally in Lokoja, the state capital. “My principal is a loyal party man, a strong believer in President Buhari’s ideology and he will rather woo PDP governors to his party and not the other way round.

“It is very funny to think that someone will abandon the house he contributed in building and perch in a strange house that he doesn’t have a stake in. The governor is not going anywhere; his loyalty to the APC is absolute and unshakable.

The PDP might have talked to some APC North Central governors, but not Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” she said. Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-makura, who dismissed Secondus’ claim, said he has no intention whatsoever to defect to the PDP.

His Chief Press Secretary, Musa Elayo, said the governor has never contemplated leaving the APC, not to talk of joining the PDP. “I am not aware of the governor having any discussion with the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, and I am sure that he has no intention whatsoever to defect to PDP,” Elayo said. Also reacting, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State described the PDP chairman’s claim as mere wishful thinking and a figment of his imagination.

The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mark Longyen, said: “The comment credited to the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secundus, is mere wishful thinking. It is a figment of his imagination to think that an incumbent APC governor would contemplate moving away from his party, the ruling party at the national level.

That will be tantamount to nursing a reverse ambition with its attendant reversal of fortunes for any APC governor. “As far as Governor Lalong is concerned, he is stuck with the ruling APC in a marriage that cannot be put asunder, come rain, come shine! The PDP chairman should stop throwing imaginary kites and instead face the arduous task of reinventing his party so as to remain a virile opposition party to the APC in as many foreseeable years to come.”

National news

Police storm Kuku’s house in search of kidnappers



Kingsley Kuku

Men of the Nigerian Police Force stormed the resident of former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Hon. Kingsley Kuku and made away with some undisclosed items.

Led by Sunday Alli, a Supretendent of Police in the IGP Tactical Squad for Armed robbery, gun running and Kidnapping, the men stormed the Arogbo in Ese-Odo Local Government area of Ondo State and shot sporadically into the air to scare away residents.

Kuku had left Nigeria for the United States of America (USA) for what he called medical reasons shortly after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the 2015 elections.

Since then, he has not returned to the country to answer some of the charges prefer against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC)

Sources said armed policemen, numbering over 20 stormed the residence of former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and started shooting sporadically into the air to scare away everybody in the house and neighbourhood.

According to a source in the neighbourhood, who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned in press, said the policeman ” forcefully broke into every room and everywhere in the house claiming to be in search of kidnappers.

“After combing all the rooms in the house in a commando style, they left without anything incriminating nor any kidnapper in the house,”

Another source, a woman in the neighbourhood who also spoke on condition of anonymity said “this is actually a worrisome and a condemnable act exhibited by the Police.

“How can the Police who are supposed to protect the citizens be the source of panic in a peaceful community by storming a private residence without a search warrant, and shoot sporadically to scare away unharmed citizens, claiming to be in search of kidnappers? This shouldn’t be happening in a democratic state.”

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News Around Nigeria

Africans richest woman, Alakija narrates how 3 siblings defrauded her



Folorunso Alakija

A business tycoon and one of the richest women in Africa, Mrs Folorunso Alakija has narrated to an Ikeja High Court how Vincent Ayewah, a staff of her Rose of Sharon Foundation and his two siblings defrauded her of N3million.

Vincent, who works as a clerk and admin officer for the foundation was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his siblings Florence Ayewah and Emmanuel Ayewah and four others; Onuwa David, Okoronkwo Chikadibia, Ehizibolo George and Chinyere Awanah.

The EFCC alleged that Vincent conned Alakija’s foundation of the funds by forging cheques while conniving with his siblings and cohorts to pose to banks as beneficiaries of the foundation.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr M.D Aliyu, Alakija said, “On November 13, 2012, my treasurer Gladys Efiozor called me to say that she received a call from Stanbic IBTC concerning a forgery of a cheque.

“I told her to send me an email of the forged cheque and when I saw it I told her that the signature was not mine, there are three signatories to that account and the forged signature did not match those of the other signatories.

“Florence (Vincent’s sister) was the one caught with the cheque, tge bank called EFCC to investigate and Florence was handed over to the EFCC.

“It was discovered that the bag she was carrying had 12 different Identity cards of beneficiaries of the foundation with her pictures on the identity cards.

“The bag also contained cash collected from other banks from the foundation’s account.”

Alakija further said that she confronted Vincent and seized his mobile phone after he had received a suspicious call and that he had also deleted an incriminating text message from his phone.

“He admitted to the fraud and begged for mercy, he had done other infractions in the past and had begged for mercy anytime he was caught.

“Vincent enjoyed a new lifestyle with proceeds from the scam, buying a new car which he parked far away from the premises of the office to avoid detection.

“A blank cheque and a survey plan of a property was in his car.

“He had committed infractions before, begged for mercy and I forgave him, I thought that with warnings, he will change,” the billionaire said.

During cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Mr Obiora Umeh, she said: “There are widows and orphans that need to be empowered, I have one project manager at a time that Vincent Ayewah was reporting to.

“When he needs to write the cheques he had to handle the cheque book, I knew he was issuing the cheques because it was part of his duty.

“The auditors must have gone through the list of beneficiaries and approve it, I can’t remember now if they were going through the cheque books because our systems have since changed.

“The issue at hand is that the first defendant (Vincent) had taken blank cheques and written the names of the beneficiaries on them.

“Vincent’s siblings had gone to pose in banks to pretend that they were the original beneficiaries.

“Even if it wasn’t a blank cheque he had torn out and he had followed the normal sequence of things, they will still go and pose as beneficiaries,” she said.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until October 25 for a continuation of trial.

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News Around Nigeria

School feeding: Vendors steal 200 crates of eggs, yam, rice in Niger



A desk officer has been caught with 200 crates of eggs stolen from the store of food meant for pupils in the homegrown feeding of primary school pupils in Niger state.

While responding to questions on Thursday at a post Exco briefing, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Barrister Amina Musa disclosed that the person involved has been reported to the State Security Service (SSS) for further action.

Speaking on the implementation of the programme in the state, she said over 560,499 pupils benefited from the programme in the state while 4,929 food vendors have been engaged.

According to her “my ministry has organised stakeholders meeting to ensure elimination of challenges and I have also warned vendors to desist from stealing food and other condiments.

“We also gathered that some tubers of yam and rice were stolen thereby reducing the ration for schools. Luckily, we eventually discovered and recovered the items.”

She added that N392,300,000 was allocated to the state by the presidency for a period of ten days.

Barrister Musa also disclosed that the free feeding programme has led to increases in school enrolment of pupils in the state.

She said that the programme has also boosted the economic empowerment of farmers and women in the state due to the patronage of local food items while several women were engaged as cooks.

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