2019 election: Oshiomhole speaks after meeting with Buhari

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council says it will cover all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) within the stipulated campaign period.

The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said this when he fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of the maiden meeting of the Council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Thursday.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council says it will cover all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) within the stipulated campaign period.

The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said this when he fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of the maiden meeting of the Council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the meeting reviewed the programme of activities and calendar of campaigns for the presidential campaign.

According to him, the APC intends to campaign across the length and breadth of the country, to canvass for votes for the party at all levels.

Oshiohmole added that the campaign train would continue to remind Nigerians that the Buhari administration had done a lot for the country, having inherited a battered economy from previous administration.

“The key issue was to go through the programme of activities, calendar of campaigns, various interest groups within the country, the business community, the youth, women, people with disabilities and various special interest groups.

The whole country is Mr President’s constituencies. So, he will have to visit each of the 36 states with appropriate message.

“You know in the country today, given the challenges of survival tends to forget where we are coming from; they just look at where we are.

“There is a saying that except you know and remember where you are coming from, you cannot appreciate where you are.

“Even in the life of a man, those who look at those in their front will never thank God enough but when you look at your back and see those behind then you will appreciate that you have made a lot of progress.

“So, you need to constantly remind Nigerians of what happened in the last 16 years and what has changed over the past three and half years, and what will change even more over the next four years, if given the mandate to continue and consolidate,’’ he said.

2019 budget: What Ambode must do – Lagos Assembly

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday insisted that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode must appear before it and properly present the 2019 Appropriation Bill in line with legislative procedure and constitution.

This resolution followed observations raised at its sitting, after the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, read a correspondence from Ambode on the presentation of the Year 2019 Budget.

Sanni said that Ambode’s letter on presentation of Year 2019 Appropriation Bill, dated Dec. 17, 2018, was received on Dec. 28, 2018.

Raising an observation on the correspondence, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, said that Ambode had not properly presented the budget.

Ogundimu, who noted that the House delayed its December break to receive the budget, said that the procedure of Ambode’s presentation of budget totally deviated from the norms of the House.

According to him, the House’s intention was to receive the budget before the short break.

He urged the House to address the issue.

“It is in the habit of this house to always go on break in December, which we purposely delayed for a while before we went on that short time break.

“Our intention was to really receive the budget and go on a short break and come back to treat the budget, but the budget was never received from the governor until we went on holidays.

“The letter came on Dec. 28, about three days to the New Year; there was nothing this House could do.

“This is a new dimension to receive correspondence of this nature at this time.

“We have a tradition that the Governor will come around and lay the budget before that House.

“We look at that whole process and it deviates from the norms and procedure of the House,’’ Ogundimu said.

He said that his observation as Chairman, House Committee on Finance became necessary to address the confusion surrounding the 2019 budget presentation.

“We are not the one delaying the budget. The normal thing is for the governor to present the budget,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr Lanre Ogunyemi, the Chairman, House Committee on Education, said that the correspondence of the governor could not be considered as budget presentation.

Ogunyemi said that the House sacrificed the six-week recess for two weeks to receive the budget which never came till the House went on break.

“Now, the constitution is very clear that the budget must be laid before the House, and let nobody embrace the impression that this House is not alive to its responsibilities; we have always been very committed.

“Even if the governor brought it on Dec. 28, the second reading cannot come until January, if it is assumed that the governor’s presentation was the first reading.

“If the governor has not come, there is nothing the House can do. The House has always been responsible and alive to all its responsibilities,’’ he said.

Other lawmakers took turns to say that the governor had deviated from the tradition of the state, reiterating that the House had not abdicated its responsibilities.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the constitution mandated the governor to lay the budget before the House before the end of the financial year.

“It should be laid before the House of Assembly; it is a document that the governor should speak to. So, this procedure must commence.

“Budget of the state must be laid properly in line with the legislative procedure and constitution –Section 121. The House is ready to work anytime.

“It is clear that we were ready to work on the budget before the Christmas break, but we could not work on it because we did not get it in time,’’ he said.

Agunbaide urged the House to handle the situation “in a usual family way and relate appropriately to make sure that the executive gets the procedure’’.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, commended the lawmakers for being mature in their reactions to the development.

“This is not the time for resentment, acrimony and agitation.

“We must have at the back of our minds that we have a stake that is beyond May 29.

“We must do everything possible to sustain and to hold in high esteem what is called government, party and people of Lagos, though those who have a very short stake can afford to do anything they like, even in the name of budget presentation.

“You have all shed light on the issue in a mature manner,” he said

The speaker said that the house went on break on Dec. 18, 2018 and thee first call he received on the budget was on Dec. 24.

This, he said, was on the willingness of the executive to present the budget on Dec. 24, while the lawmakers had proceeded on short break.

“We normally go on break for six weeks, but we went on break for two weeks in recognition of the fact that there might be need to receive the budget,’’ he emphasised.

According to him, there is no reason to shift the blame on the House that it refused to receive the budget.

“People were already in the mood of New Year celebration when the letter came on Dec. 28.

“We are always ready and there is no reason for us to reject the budget when it is done properly and when the executive is ready to present it.

“The essence of coming here is to do this job and we are representing the interest of our people, and we will always do that.

“So, there is no fault at the doorstep of the Assembly.

“We have a huge stake and we must protect that. We have no resentment, we have no bad blood. We are ready to receive that budget when the executive is ready.

“The head of the executive must be ready to come and perform his constitutional responsibility and we are also ready to receive him,’’ Obasa said.

He said that nobody else could present the budget according to section 121 of the constitution except the governor.

2019: Opposition parties join forces to stop APC from fielding candidates in Zamfara

As Nigerians await the fate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Zamfara State ahead of the 2019 general elections, there are feelers that the party may completely lose out of the race.

This is just as opposition parties were said to have been mounting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to allow the APC participate in the polls.

INEC in the memo explained that APC failed to meet the October 7 deadline for conducting primaries to elect candidates for the elections.

DAILY POST gathered that all the major political parties in the state were said to be joining forces to thwart all the efforts being made by the party to field its candidates in the election.

Our reporter observed that first person to send a red signal was the governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Saidu Muhammad Dansadau, who noted that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulated that any party that does not produce its candidates must not allowed participate any election.

He explained that the case has not been decided by the court with less than 40 days to the polls, saying that the development has automatically disqualified the party from participating in the forthcoming general elections in the state.

In the same vein, the governorship candidate of People Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, supported the assertion, saying that he seeks redress in the court of competent jurisdiction to challenge INEC constitutionally.

It could be recalled that things fell apart within the fold of the APC after the Governor Abdulaziz Yari was alleged to have hijacked the structure of the party, which led to the formation of a group known as G8 comprising eight governorship aspirants in the party.

However, most of the APC supporters in the state were said to be decamping in their thousands on daily basis, believing that the party would not participate in the general elections since the constitutional 60 days had elapsed and the party has no candidates in the state.

Plateau guber election: Lalong, APC afraid of Jang’s shadow – Yiljap

Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Gubernatorial Campaign Council of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, Abraham Yiljap, on Thursday said the immediate past Governor of the State and Senator representing Plateau North, Jonah Jang, appears to be the nightmare of Governor Simon Lalong and the ruling APC in the State.

Governor Simon Lalong had through the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, described the administration of his predecessor as the worst in the history of the state.

Speaking with newsmen in Jos, the State capital, Yiljap said, “They are restless anytime they see or hear Jang.

It is impressive that for all the crowd gathered in Mangu for the flag off of the campaign, and all the speeches delivered by scores of great Plateau personalities, only Jang’s utterances will unsettle and tickle Dati and Lalong and APC. That’s nice, really.

He said, “It shows that even when Lalong sees Jang’s shadow anywhere he will panic and call out his attack dogs to howl.

He said, “It shows that even when Lalong sees Jang’s shadow anywhere he will panic and call out his attack dogs to howl.

Yiljap, who was Commissioner for Information and Communication during Jang’s second tenure in office, maintained that, “Senator Jang appears to be the APC’s real nightmare in Plateau. He is Lalong’s big, unhealed headache.

“And by Jang’s name, Dati will keep eating from Lalong’s table! He needs the good meal – just for four more months.

According to him, “Lalong has every reason to hunt Jang. I have often said it is terribly unfair to compare Lalong with Jang. You can only contrast them. They are absolutely apart in basic orientation, philosophical convictions and development outlook. Lalong is so very unlike Jang. And his time is already up.

“He works in the office Jang built. He drives on the roads that Jang constructed. Even in his native Shendam, he is confronted only by the Jang projects. And Dati thinks he can hack down this social engineer? Come off it Dati”, he maintained.

Lalong is seeking relevance in his ‘legacy projects’; Jang didn’t have to start ‘Me-also-I-was-here’ projects. Jang simply poured his heart out – and Plateau is the better for it. This is what Plateau people cherish and appreciate everywhere they see Jang”.

He further stated that, “And Lalong’s disastrous outing; his pledge of misplaced allegiance to a Buhari who is clearly anti-Plateau heritage and Dati’s disrespectful reference to Jang as ‘rude’ will continue to haunt Lalong while he desperately but fruitlessly continues to hunt Jang. They don’t get it.

Yiljap further disclosed that, “All through my tenure as Commissioner of Information, I never insulted any elder or leader of Plateau- even when we had fierce attacks from some of them. I find no justification in Dati insulting any past leader. Check my utterances and Press statements.

“The job of a Commissioner of Information is to speak for the people of Plateau, to inspire confidence in them; to unite the people; to explain and persuade people on government policies and to take feedback into the system,” he stressed.

Dogara blasts northern leaders, elites for not criticizing Buhari like Jonathan

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has challenged northern Nigerian elders to raise their voices against the endemic insecurity in the region just as they did during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking in Lafia, Nasarawa State at the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday, Dogara noted that their silence on insecurity in the region could be taken as enabling the poor management of security in the country, especially in the north, a situation that continues to threaten our democracy and the very foundations of the country.

He condemned sycophants, who elevate some public office holders to the status of God, saying that by so doing, they bring destruction upon the country and called on all Nigerians to rise up and rescue the country from the clutches of insecurity.

“Just like my last speech to Nigerians that were gathered in a rally like this in Gombe, I said that the 2019 general elections is not about President Muhammadu Buhari, it’s not about Atiku Abubakar, but I said it is about you who are gathered here and it will be a referendum on insecurity and hunger in this land.

“On the issue of insecurity, all of us know what is happening in Borno and, unfortunately too, between Abuja and Kaduna, as well as in Zamfara, Katsina, Nassarawa, Benue, Plateau and even Sokoto States. “Now, I cannot even mention all because it is a general problem in the county, but I was highlighting the states where the problem is more endemic as of now. The issue is this, when this thing was going on under Jonathan, we had Borno elders always speaking.

“Where are the Borno elders now? Where are the leaders of Northern Nigeria now that this problem has become endemic? What are they saying now? Are we not guilty of what we allow? Are we nit reaponsible for the killings by our enabkith to say that enough is enough and demand aa of right that President Buhari puts and end to this or leave if he cant?

“The truth is that if we don’t rise up to the endemic challenges now, sooner than later, if things continue this way, we are not going to have a country. So it is our responsibility to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of insecurity. Without security; we would not have a meaningful democracy.

“The sad reality in Nigeria is that by our silence we have condoned those who have been unable to effectively tackle the insecurity in the nation. We have have wittingly become enablers of evil. You know what enablers do? Enablers don’t build a country only courageous people do.

“What enablers do is that they instigate the worship of individuals and the office they occupy, they Will confuse such an individual with accolades. You know none of us was built to receive worship, anyone who attempts to receive worship will meet destruction in his wake.

“So that is why we are witnessing destruction in Nigeria, because we have elevated some human beings to the status of God. We now need to rise up and rescue our country from the clutches of insecurity.”

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