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The helicopter conveying Vice President Yemi Osinbajo from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, reportedly made a forced landing a few seconds after take-off.

Osinbajo had been in the college on Thursday for the graduation ceremony of Senior Division Course 1/2018 participants. The helicopter reportedly conveyed Osinbajo to the graduation ceremony.

Upon take-off after the ceremony, the white chopper with yellow and blue stripes could not ascend beyond the tree level before it started emitting thick fumes and quickly landed on the same spot a few seconds after take-off

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, had already departed from the venue with their respective convoys.

Osinbajo later left the college by road.

Senior Special Assistant, Media to the VP later confirmed the incident.

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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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BIG STORY

Lagos APC: Go Test Your Popularity At The Primaries, GAC Tells Ambode, Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) has urged governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go and test their popularity in the party primary.

Briefing journalists, at the APC state Secretariat, on Acme Road, yesterday, on the official stance of the 22-man GAC, who met last Saturday, Dr. Abayomi Finnih, in company with Professor Tunde Samuel affirmed that the council, unanimously, adopted direct primaries to pick APC candidates, including for the governorship contest.

GAC, the highest decision-making organ of the party, is headed by the APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Finnih assured that there will be level-playing field among the three aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket of the party.

The governorship aspirants are the incumbent, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Managing Director of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and former commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat.

The council had, after last Saturday’s meeting at Tinubu’s Bourdillion, Ikoyi residence, insisted on the direct primary for all governorship aspirants slated for the September, 29 primaries.

The APC leader, who spoke on behalf of the council, assured that all necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure a peaceful, free and fair exercise.

“It is not Tinubu’s affair as it is being peddled around in the social media and some quarters. The GAC has no preferred candidates among the aspirants. It is not about Tinubu, it is a collective decision. We resolved to provide a level-playing ground for the contenders without fair or favour.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, has reached out to the former Lagos State governor and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

Sanwo-Olu is also discussing with the camp of the factional APC chairman in the state, Fuad Oki. He was said to have, in the past, met with the former APC legal adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire and other critical shareholders of the party.

Sanwo-Olu was represented by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Tayo Ayinde, during the meeting with Oki.

Sources close to Sanwo-Olu said: “Our principal’s meeting with Fashola held on the phone, for several minutes, during which the duo expressed mutual understanding particularly as the former worked under the latter as commissioner…”

In a related development, the APC national leadership has, for the fourth time, shifted the presidential primary from Thursday, September 27 to Friday, September 28.

President Muhammadu Buhari is the party’s only known aspirant for the 2019 presidential poll.

The ruling party had initially fixed September 26 as the date to conduct the direct primary but later shifted to September 25, then Thursday, September 27, before the latest date was announced in a statement by acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.

He, however, hinged the reason for the latest postponement on a clash of dates with the Osun governorship election re-run, which holds on Thursday.

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BIG STORY

I’m Ready For APC Primaries, Not Stepping Down For Anyone —- Jide Sanwo-Olu

Peter Okunoren

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Lagos governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, has reacted to reports that he has withdrawn from the race.

The former commissioner has the backing of Mandate Movement, a group loyal to APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.

He had also been endorsed by the 57 chairmen of local government and council development areas, top party chieftains, PSP operators, and most recently all 337 ward chairmen in the state.

In a statement on Monday, by Comrade Sesan Daini, Director of Media, Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), said the claim that the aspirant won’t contest in Saturday’s primaries was false.

“We hereby state unequivocally that the purported press statement did not emanate from our Principal, Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, rather it is the handiwork of jittery members of the opposition to malign our Principal and mislead members of the public.

“For the umpteenth time, Mr. Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu has not and will not withdraw from this race and he is ready for the party primaries slated for Saturday, 29th of September, 2018.

“BOSCO is not oblivious of the fact that these cheap attempts to mislead and hoodwink members of our party and the general public will be made by these disgruntled elements but we will continue to repeal their falsehood with facts.

“Our Principal remains committed to his campaign while still consulting with party leaders and members and would not be distracted by cheap blackmails like this.

“We want to use this opportunity to urge our teeming party faithful to troop out en masse on Saturday, 29th September of 2018 to cast their votes for Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu to be the Flagbearer of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), in the forthcoming general elections in 2019.”

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