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A former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, has expressed confidence that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led convention organising committee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, will conduct a rancour free and acceptable convention.

Babangida spoke on Wednesday when Mr. Okowa, accompanied by the chairman of the caretaker committee of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, and top officials of the party met him at his (IBB’s) country home at Minna, Niger State.

“I have here, the chairman of the caretaker committee, former chairman of Kaduna State, the Chairman of convention planning committee, the Governor of Delta State with the officials for the convention, I am glad they are working hard and I have seen that they want to make sure that the convention of the PDP is rancour free, transparent and everybody will be given a level playing ground,” he said.

The former Head of State who was in his elements, throwing banters with the PDP leaders and journalists who witnessed the event, emphatically said, “PDP will see one of the best convention like never before.”

He also talked about the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar return to the PDP, saying “he is a Nigerian, he is allowed to go to any party and our constitution allows it, so, it is not new and there is nothing wrong for politician to move from one party to another.”

Mr. Makarfi disclosed that the visit was in line with the tradition of the PDP where elders and leaders of the party are consulted for the right decisions to be taken.

“In the PDP, we respect leaders, General Babangida has always been with us and it is the tradition of the party to be consulting with our leaders that is why we are here today to brief him (IBB) on the arrangement we have made and take whatever advice he gives for conducting a credible and transparent convention. The success story so far is a confirmation of series of interaction with leaders and founding members of the party,” Mr. Makarfi said.

Mr. Okowa assured the convention will be successful, stating, “A lot has been put on ground for a successful Convention to be held. We thank the Caretaker Committee of our party because they have done a lot ahead of the inauguration on Monday and since then, we have held several meetings.”

“As at today, we are confident that we are on course; in terms of trying to provide all that has to be done on Saturday, we are going to have exciting convention, there is no doubt about that, everything concerning the electoral process have been put in place, the accreditation team by today (yesterday, 06/12/17) will get the last list of the statutory delegates from Osun and Anambra States,” he said.

The governor continued, “We obviously will not allow everybody to come into the venue, it is going to be restrictive convention because, it is an elective convention and I think our party will accept that, it is in the interest of the party and in terms of fairness, we are right on course.”

BIG STORY

I Have ‘Medicine To Defeat Godfather Terrorizing Lagos’ —- Saraki Boasts

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The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has promised to ensure that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, produces the next governor of Lagos State.

Speaking during his meeting with PDP delegates at the party’s secretariat yesterday, Saraki said he has “the medicine of the man who regards himself as godfather terrorising Lagos State.”

Saraki, a PDP presidential aspirant, said, “What you have been fighting for many years, you will have it during the coming election because you now have somebody that has intention and charisma to deal with those disturbing you.

“I have a medicine of the man who regards himself as godfather terrorising Lagos State. We have their formula, come next year, PDP will take over Lagos.”

The Senate President also warned Nigerians to be mindful of presidential aspirants promising to restructure Nigeria, if elected president.

He said: “Many aspirants will tell you that they will restructure Nigeria, but don’t let them deceive you because restructuring is not something only a president can do because certain laws also need to change.

“So you need a president that has the political sagacity to carry people along. But there are very few aspirants today that possess such charisma. Once I assume office, I will devolve more powers to the state.’’

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BIG STORY

PHOTOS: Osinbajo, Tinubu, Ambode, Captains of Industries Attend Jim Ovia’s Book Launch

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It was indeed the gathering of captains of industries and other top dignitaries at Zenith Bank’s Chairman/Founder Jim Ovia’s book launch ‘AFRICA, ARISE and SHINE’ on Monday in Lagos.

The book, launched at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, is essentially about the story of how Zenith Bank commenced operation in the 80s in a rented 4-bedroom duplex with N0.00 and now worth $16billion.

The event which had in attendance great Nigerians such as VP Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Gov Ambode, CBN Governor Emefiele, Several state governors and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode highlighted the contributions of the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia to the accountancy and banking professions, calling on leading entrepreneurs in Africa to take time to expose the younger generations to their inspiring story with the view to showing them how to become successful business owners.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the public presentation of Africa Arise and Shine, a book written by Ovia, said it was important for successful entrepreneurs like the author of the book to tell the story of how they were able to navigate the business climate to inspire others who look forward to being like them.

According to the Governor: “There is nobody that will read this kind of book and will not be inspired and I want to recommend it to everyone.

“It is always very good when people who have been successful in their careers or profession decide to say something about how they really toiled to get to where they are.

“Some people just think people get to be successful without knowing that they actually toiled to become successful and this kind of book inspires our younger ones to become more resourceful and then more inspiring,” Governor Ambode said.

Here are faces from the event:

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BIG STORY

I Can’t Be Impeached, They Don’t Have The Number —- Saraki Boasts

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Following the call for his resignation by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, the President of the Senate and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Sunday said those calling for such don’t have the number to impeach him.

Saraki also said the decision of the upper chamber of the National Assembly to go on recess was unanimously agreed and in accordance to the rule of law.

While responding to questions from journalists at the PDP secretariat in Minna, Niger State, Saraki said those who are being emotional don’t have ‎the number.

According to him: “Those who are accusing us of an undue process in the adjournment are unaware that we are in the majority.

“They know they don’t have the ‘locus standi’.

“It is important to note that when we adjourned, it is with the total support of everyone, not that we stayed in a corner or in the dark because there is a due procedure where at the end of the session, they will vote for that.

“It was proposed and seconded.

“We took minutes and we also even waited and went through the rules and proceedings of the Senate.

“It was not anything done out of mischief.”

The Senate president, however, said that the adjournment is not an issue, adding: “The most important thing is that at any time I will never sacrifice the interest of this country for my own personal interest.

“In the last three years, my interest is always secondary to the interest of the country.

“The people that are speaking now against it are speaking out of emotions because everyone was there when the decision was taken.

“It was not that a few of us met somewhere and took a decision.

“Everybody was there and we all took a decision to adjourn in our normal annual recess.

“Check the dates we resumed last year and the year before.

“There was nothing abnormal about it.

“Those people who are talking against it are just playing politics with it.

“When it is time for us to resume, we will resume.

“And all we just want to do now is to see that this country is run properly according to the rule of law and due process.

“I have always aligned myself with what the constitution says and the tenets of the three arms of government to ensure that we allow the rule of law, the respect the democratic process.”

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