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There are strong indications that there would be a mass defection from the Lagos state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to another political party ahead of the 2019 elections due the purported endorsement of Governor Akinwumi Ambode and Senator Oluremi Tinubu for another terms in office.

A report by Dailypost says the mass defection is being spearheaded by some aggrieved members of the party over the recent endorsement of Ambode for second term and Remi Tinubu for third term in the Senate.

The aggrieved members, who described the endorsement as, “a unilateral decision,” are mainly from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), which merged with the ACN to form the current APC in the state.

Our correspondent learnt that Prince Tajudeen Olusi (OON) at a meeting of the Lagos Central Senatorial District Leadership Forum held in Victoria Island, endorsed Ambode and Remi Tinubu for another term.

But a chieftain of the party and gubernatorial candidate under the platform of defunct CPC in 2011 elections, Ambassador Abayomi Mumuni, while speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members on Sunday, berated Prince Olusi’s announcement and the unilateral endorsement of Governor Ambode and Senator Tinubu.

Mumuni said, “We are still experiencing the actions of the ACN, not the merger we signed before the election. If not, why would the party take a unilateral decision by endorsing (defunct) ACN candidates alone without considering the interests of other merging parties who also have candidates?

“We may not see a complete APC in Lagos come 2019, as the defunct CPC might consider stepping aside from the merger arrangement except there is an immediate resolution on the interpretation of the merger.”

Mumuni explained that the lopsidedness and maltreatment against his members started after the merger was sealed in 2015.

He said, “Since the merger, I still perceive myself as CPC because the merger wasn’t visible in Lagos. Nothing was offered to us (in CPC) and others (ANPP and part of APGA). We were excluded from the Senate, House of Representatives and State Assembly seats. It was zero patronage by the State Government”.

Mumuni also expressed disappointment that CPC members in the state were also abandoned by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

He wondered why the former presidential flagbearer of the same party (CPC) would abandon his members.

He said, “He (Buhari) forgot his constituency, which is the CPC. He is now surrounded by those who called him and his party unprintable names. These same people are telling us that he (Buhari) has mortgaged us (the Southwest CPC). I told them there is no way I would allow the merger to mortgage my people.

“Whether we were mortgaged or not, we aren’t going to take what happened in 2015 come 2019.”

Mumuni regretted accepting the mandate to contest as the CPC candidate in the Lagos State governorship election, saying he would have defeated Senator Oluremi Tinubu in the 2011 Lagos Central Senatorial election.

He said, “I didn’t have the intention to contest against Fashola. My mandate had always been the Lagos Central Senatorial District, which is my constituency. I am a son of the soil. My first election was against Obanikoro of AD in 2003. I contested against Ade Dosumu in 2007. I would have defeated Asiwaju’s wife in 2011.

“But I changed my intention because there was no governorship candidate for the defunct CPC in the South West, except Barrister Shittu in Oyo State. With me, we were the only two CPC gubernatorial candidates that supported President Buhari’s bid to become Nigeria’s President. My withdrawal from the senatorial election gave Asiwaju’s wife an edge in the election.

“In 2019, with zero patronage, I don’t see the merger happening in Lagos. Actually, we might disengage ourselves from the merger and return to our constituency – the CPC. There are no two ways about that, except there is an immediate resolution and interpretation of the merger.”

BIG STORY

‘You Hate Me, Don’t Expect Me In Your Office Before October 16’ – Fayose Writes EFCC Again

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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has once again written the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), affirming his readiness to make himself available at the commission’s Abuja office after October 16, 2018 at 1pm.

Fayose’s constitutional tenure is expected to elapse on October 16.

He, however, accused the anti-graft agency of demonstrating what he tagged “hate prejudice, persecution and partiality.”

Fayose said should the EFCC be so much in a hurry that its investigation cannot wait till October 16, 2018, “without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the letter written by the EFCC to the Customs and other agencies, directing them to put him on a watch-list and arrest him if he attempted to leave Nigeria before the expiration of his tenure, raised serious questions about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the commission.

He reminded the EFCC that “in 2007, precisely on the 19th day of December, I willingly presented myself for investigation at your Lagos office,” adding that “There is therefore nothing new or strange in my letter of 10th September 2018, which has been received and treated in bad faith and taste. I thought I was assisting due and fair process of law.”

The letter dated September 14, 2018, read; “As a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who currently enjoys immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution, it would amount to a breach of the Constitution which I swore to uphold if I appear in your office on any date earlier than 16th October 2018. If done otherwise, it will set a wrong precedent for the Constitutional Institution that I represent.

“I carefully chose that date (October 16, 2018) being the next day after the expiration of my tenure upon which the immunity I enjoy will lapse to avoid any form of insinuation and was in good faith.

“While drafting my response to your letter of 14th September 2018, my attention was drawn to your widely-publicized letter of September 12, 2018, directing the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service and similar agencies, to watch-list and arrest me on an imagination that I might leave Nigeria to escape investigation.

“It has finally put in context, your Commission’s hurriedly deleted on-line statement via EFCC Nigeria @OfficialEFCC a day after the Ekiti governorship election that: “The parri is over; the clock of immunity turn apart, and the staff broken. Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”

“Your Commission by its actions, no doubt has presumed my ‘quilt’ even prior to the commencement of “investigation”.

“This raises the serious question about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the Commission in the matter. I feel harassed, intimidated and embarrassed by the imputation of crime and the innuendos of criminality underlining your correspondence which has been maliciously circulated widely. This in all implies a case of persecution rather than prosecution.

“While I have handed a copy of your letter to my Solicitors for a careful study and advice, let me state here for the records, that there is nothing about me or my antecedents, as a long-standing public figure to justify the Commission’s action. I have never been a coward or a criminal.

“Notwithstanding, the demonstrated hate and prejudice, I reaffirm my willingness to make myself available to answer questions within my knowledge on the day you may indicate after the expiration of my term of office on the 15th October 2018.

“If for any good reason, your investigation cannot await the date suggested in my earlier letter, without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018 indicated in yours.

“Save as above, I will appreciate any date convenient to you after 15th October 2018, otherwise, expect me on the 16th October 2018 at 1pm as earlier stated.”

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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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