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End Of The Road For Ambode As Oshiomhole Backs Lagos Primary; Overrides Ebri Panel, Orders Official Declaration Of Results

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It was the end of the road for Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) upheld the governorship primary election held in the state, reports Thisday Newspaper.

There had been confusion on the status of the exercise held in the 245 wards spread across the 20 local governments of the state, following its cancellation by the Chief Clement Ebri-led electoral panel set up by NWC to supervise the poll in which the Managing Director of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was his sole challenger.

Ebri had told a press conference in Lagos yesterday that his committee was unaware of the primary conducted by the State Working Committee (SWC) because it did not follow the committee’s guidelines.

He, therefore, cancelled it and ordered a fresh exercise for today.

But the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, overruled the Ebri committee and ordered it to collate the results of the poll and declare it immediately.

Oshiomhole was quoted by Thisday as saying last night that it was wrong for the committee to annul an election that had been held, saying the proper thing to do was for the results to be declared, and whoever was dissatisfied should complain.

“The election has been held, anyone who is aggrieved should complain after the declaration of results,” the APC Chairman was quoted as saying, adding that the committee clearly overreached its brief.

According to the national chairman, the committee’s brief was to supervise and not conduct the election, explaining that it was practically impossible for a panel of seven or so to conduct and micromanage an election held in 245 wards of 20 local government areas of the state.

Saying the will of the people must be respected, Oshiomhole directed Ebri to collate and release the results of the poll without fail.

Thisday reports that the NWC was unhappy that the Ebri panel used its name to annul the primary when in fact it was in a meeting when the primary was going on.

As far as most members were concerned, said a source, the NWC was of the view that the election had held and its results must be declared.

Following this development, the Newspaper report that the Ebri Committee would adopt the results announced last night by the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Babatunde Balogun.

Balogun had announced Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the primary at the state party secretariat, Ogba, declaring that he polled 970,851 votes to defeat Ambode, who polled 72,901 votes.

After declaring the result, Balogun commended the party members for coming out in good number “to participate in the primary, saying that their participation reflected their belief in democracy, Thisday reports.

He said, “I am aware that conflicting information has been circulating on our primary election, but I must tell you that the election was held and it was free and fair. It would be very painful to disenfranchise the over 1.5 million members who voted across the 245 wards in the state.

“At the end of the exercise, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu polled 970,851 votes and Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode scored 72,901 votes. With this, Mr Babajide is declared winner. I thank party members for participating in the election and their dedication to democracy.”

Ebri and his fellow panellists, including Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel (Secretary), Mr. Nze Chidi Duru, Chief Clever Egbeji, Senator Clever Ikisikpo and Mr. Jerry Ugokwe, are expected to declare the results today.

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Ex-Gov. Abubakar Spent N2.3bn To Buy Burial Materials, Bauchi Governor Alleges

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As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.

The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.

Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.

According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.

The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books.

How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?

“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.

When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.

“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.

“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody.

“It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.

“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.

Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.

“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money.

“We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.

When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.

“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.

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Presidents of Rwanda, Senegal And DRC To Speak At The Largest Annual Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s champion of entrepreneurship, has announced the line-up of speakers and activities for the 5th Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.



For the Forum’s Presidential Dialogue, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H.E Félix Tshisekedi will join previously announced President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, in an interactive, charged plenary session that opens Day 2 of the Forum. The Presidential Dialogue will be moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and will feature all three presidents engaging directly with an audience of 5,000, comprising of entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and business leaders, with thousands of people interacting live online, through TEFConnect.

The Forum presents the largest single annual opportunity for entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact directly and all sessions at the Forum have private sector and public sector leaders anchor panel discussions, masterclasses, and a dynamic pitching competition that will engage an audience of start-up entrepreneurs, development institutions, and policymakers.



The speakers expected for this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK); Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB); Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Founder, Avon Medical; Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO, UBA Group Plc; Mrs. Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady, Guinea; amongst other notable global business leaders. 

Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation hosts the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location. This year’s Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. The Forum will also include the UBA Marketplace, where UBA, Africa’s global bank, brings together businesses from across the continent.  

At the 2018 forum, TEFConnect, the largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs was launched to connect entrepreneurs to the opportunities they need for business success. TEFConnect will take centre stage at this year’s Forum as global debates move to technology as a key driver of economic development in Africa.

For more information: https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/forum2019

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Jim Ovia Advocates For Disruptive Technology To Scale Businesses In Africa

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According to Zenith Bank Founder/Chairman, Jim Ovia, businesses stand a chance to triple growth rate and earnings through innovation and technology.

The options are to “innovate and transform or die”, he said. It is the technology age and businesses operating out of Africa should continually adopt technology to experience exponential scale in their business development.

He made this statement while chairing the launch of the PwC Experience Centre. Mr. Ovia added that the Experience Centre is a forward-thinking way to disrupt the over $1tn consultancy service industry yet to be digitized.

Therefore, the Experience Centre is an effective move towards expanding PwC’s innovative solution services across West Africa.

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