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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has stated that the Federal Government cannot stop states from implementing the anti-open grazing law. The Minister of Defense, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd), had on Tuesday called for the suspension of the law in Benue, Taraba and Ekiti State.

Reacting on Wednesday, the governor said its the right of the State Houses of Assembly of the federating units to make laws for the smooth running of their states.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said there was no going back on the implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Ekiti State.

He said: “The President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government is acting as if there is more to its opposition to the ban on open grazing by some States than it is telling Nigerians.

“Those who are genuinely interested in peace and unity of Nigeria know that anti-grazing law is not responsible for killings across the country by herdsmen because herdsmen have killed more people even in States where the law is not in existence.

“Rather, it is the federal government’s refusal to act decisively on pure security issues that has emboldened the killer herdsmen to even go about attacking military formations and police stations.

“It is also interesting that this same federal government told Nigerians last year that most of the herdsmen carrying out attacks across Nigeria are foreigners. Is the Minister of Defense telling states to suspend their laws in the interest of foreigners that are killing Nigerians?”

“In January, this same Minister of Defense blamed the passage of anti-open grazing law in some states as the cause of the recent killings by herdsmen in some of the states. Yesterday again after a security meeting with President Buhari, the Defense Minister was still singing the same song. Is there something to this old system of nomadic cattle rearing that they are not telling Nigerians?”

POLITICS

Ogun 2019: Adebutu Emerges Sole Governorship Aspirant Of PDP

Peter Okunoren

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The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rural Development, Honourable Oladipupo Adebutu has emerged the sole governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ogun State.

Adebutu, who represents Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North Federal Constituency, was screened with other governorship aspirants from the South-West zone in Ibadan last weekend by the Honourable Austin Opara-led screening committee.

The scion of the billionaire business tycoon, Sir Kensington Adebutu had been the leading contender for the governorship seat in the state in the last three years and a major financier of the party.

Signposting the development as a sign on unity in Ogun PDP, he said “this is a phase in the journey to making life meaningful to our people in Ogun State, a journey that will lead to good governance of our dear state”

The screening exercise also had aspirants from Lagos and Oyo states in attendance, including the PDP candidate in the 2015 election in Lagos, Chief Jimi Agbaje and Chief Deji Doherty; Senator Ayo Adeseun and Seyi Makinde who are aspirants from Oyo State.

The PDP primary is scheduled to hold on Friday, 28th September, across the states of the federation.

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BIG STORY

Osun 2019: Omisore ‘Agrees’ To Work With PDP, Adeleke

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senate President and the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chairman, campaign council for the Osun State governorship election, Bukola Saraki has disclosed that the 2018 Osun governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore has agreed to work with the PDP and its governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke in the rerun election billed for Thursday, 27th September 2018.

Saraki disclosed this after he met with Omisore in Ile-Ife.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the governorship election in Osun state “inconclusive” after a thin margin between scores for two main contenders.

Rerun elections slated for September 27 in Osun are to hold in seven polling unit across four local government areas.

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POLITICS

2019 Presidency: PDP Set To Drop Aspirants With Corruption Cases; Screens Saraki, Atiku, Tambuwal, Others

Peter Okunoren

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There are indications that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would bar some of its presidential aspirants, who have graft cases from participating in the primary scheduled for October 5-6.

According to The Sun, some top shots in the PDP are strongly canvassing that anyone with graft case or any criminal charge should not be allowed to fly the PDP presidential flag in 2019.

A former member of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, reiterated the party is desirous of fielding a candidate without blemish in 2019.

“There are some of these aspirants who have cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and other anti-corruption agencies.

“Some cases bordering on graft, embezzlement, money laundering and all of that. We want a presidential candidate from the PDP that will be as white as snow so that the issue of blackmail and all of that will not arise.

“So, we should be looking at someone who has credibility, integrity and the rest of that because the APC government is out to run down anybody that has a skeleton in its cupboards. We must try to avoid those pitfalls.”

Similarly, another leader of the PDP in Adamawa State, who also declined to be named, told Daily Sun that it is in the interest of the opposition party not to field any candidate with any encumbrances in 2019.

“The PDP should stop anybody who has a charge against him. Either corruption or any criminal matter. PDP should not field him for two reasons. One, because of image. The image the public has of the PDP today is that it is a corrupt party. If we field people who are standing trial for corruption, then, we are going ahead to admit or indicate to the Nigerian people that our party that we are not ready to change.

“Yes, the Constitution says until you are found guilty, you are innocent. We understand. But, the fact that you have a corruption case, and you have been charged in a court of law, and you pleaded not guilty; there is a possibility that you can be convicted.

“There is a moral burden on the party to prove that it is not what people think it is. We, therefore, said we must make sure that it does not field anybody with corruption charge. PDP must secure its participation in the election. If you field somebody standing trial in court, you finish nomination in October, finish substitution in November; you still have November, December, January and February before the presidential election.

“Supposing he is convicted within these three months, that means the PDP will not contest the election. There is no point going into an election if you cannot guarantee your participation. And, the fact that you are fielding a person with exuberance, there is a possibility of him being convicted. So, we must, under no circumstances, field anybody that is standing criminal charges.”

When contacted for his reaction, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party will not choose its candidate on the basis of whether or not they have graft cases.

Ologbondiyan also said no member can canvass for the opposition party to drop aspirants with corruption cases, and that the party would be guided by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as well as its rules in screening presidential aspirants.

He said the Supreme Court had ruled in the past that anyone who has not been convicted in the court cannot be barred from participating in an election.

“Please, don’t bring that to us, it is not in our party. Nobody in our party told you that. Once you are a member of our party and you have satisfied the provisions of the constitution, and you have complied with the provisions of our own constitution, as well as our guidelines, you are free to contest (the presidential primary),” Ologbondiyan noted.

This was against the backdrop of commencement of screening of presidential aspirants.

The PDP Presidential Screening Committee has screened some aspirants who obtained the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms for the presidential primary.

Among those who appeared before the screening panel, headed by former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, yesterday, were former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former Senate President, David Mark and former national chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Others were former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; former minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki; former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang and founder of Baze University, Abuja, senator Datti Baba-Ahmed.

Supporters of former Kano governor, senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and those of former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido were seen around the Legacy House, Abuja, venue of the exercise.

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and Stanley Osifo, who also obtained the PDP presidential nomination forms were not at the screening venue, yesterday.

Most of the aspirants described the screening process as transparent and noted that they would work together, irrespective of who clinches the PDP presidential ticket.

Jang insisted “the process was beautiful. Absolutely I stand a chance to win the ticket. I am optimistic because I believe in God and I believe that God is going to give it to me. I am also impressed that there is no bitterness in the ongoing campaign by the presidential aspirants.”

On his part, Turaki reiterated that “we must work together. There must be a synergy to ensure that PDP saves Nigeria from imminent collapse. Only one person can be president at a given time and whosoever gets it, by the special grace of God, we have agreed to support that person.

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