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Whether Atiku Holds Meetings In Dubai Or Jungle, We Are Not Afraid —- Tinubu Boasts

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said he and other chieftains of the party are not afraid of where the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, holds his meetings ahead of the 2019 elections.

Tinubu said this when he spoke with State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

He said: “We don’t fear, whether he (Atiku) is meeting in the jungle, in Dubai or in Abu Dhabi.

“People are free to meet and strategise in any way they feel, but we are not going back to the illusion of the PDP.

“It is not possible.

“Nigerians will not do that.

“They say slow and steady wins the race.

“We inherited that from our forefathers and knowledgeable people.

“We can’t go back to the pit that we inherited for 16 years.

“They can strategise from anywhere, but a leopard cannot change its skin.”

Tinubu also dismissed the call for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, saying party supremacy must be respected.

According to the APC National Leader, Oshiohmole has so far not violated APC\s constitution or engaged in any anti-party activity that will warrant his resignation or removal from office.

He said: “We all have to respect the party supremacy.

“You were all here when we had the Congress, we elected the new executives, we had the convention, the NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power, we surrendered our rights, all rights to the National Working Committee headed by Adams Oshiomohole.

“That the National Working Committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections.

“We signed off for it.

“So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it.

“We gave three options: consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level.

“The next level is the stakeholders’ delegates (system) and you have to be supervised by the National Working Committee of the party, national election committee of the party.

“That shows party supremacy or the freest option, the less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number 1,2,3.

“If you win, you win and if you fail, go home.”

Tinubu further explained that an appeal committee was set up by the party to look into grievances arising from the conduct of the party’s primaries.

He said the committee, which served as internal mechanism for conflict resolution, had performed its duties diligently.

He said: “It was there (appeal committee), you cannot turn round against that, and you cannot turn against all of that.

“No.

“Party is supreme, party must be respected, abuses will not do it and anger will not do it.

“It is party politics.

“Somebody will win and somebody will lose.

“Too bad.”

It would be recalled that Oshiohmole had on October 21 in a statement by his press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, alleged that conservatives within the party are ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him.

He said in the statement that his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

The APC chairman added that he was not surprised by the gang up as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy one.

POLITICS

INEC Releases Guidelines For Conduct Of 2019 General Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday released the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the general elections.

The 33 pages document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Smart Card Readers (SCRs) and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be used for the forthcoming elections.

It reads, “Voting shall be in accordance with the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.

“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”

It added that each voter shall cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

It also stated that separate queue shall be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.

It added that Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).

According Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.

“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”

Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to voting cubicle.

Also section 11(c) stated that “where a voter’s PVC is read but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit”.

Section 11(d) also states that: “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’

Subsection (e) added that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:

“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;

“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and

“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.

“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.

“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.”

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POLITICS

Suspected APC Thugs Attack Saraki’s Ilorin Family Residence, Injure 11, Damage 50 Vehicles

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For the second time in four days, political thugs allegedly loyal to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State on Sunday attacked the Agbaji Ilorin family residence of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The rampaging APC thugs opened fire on residents of the area, wounding at least 11 persons in the process, a statement by Saraki’s media team alleged on Sunday.

They also destroyed about 50 cars parked at various locations within Agbaji Quarters.
It would be recalled that the alleged APC thugs had on Thursday unleashed violence on the people of Agbaji, Adewole and Pakata areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Four members of the Peoples Democratic Party were injured during Thursday’s mayhem.

The development eventuated a press conference that was addressed by the Senate President in Abuja, where he raised an alarm about threat to his life and those of his family and supporters.

Sunday’s incident, according to residents of the area, started at about 11:30am when fully armed thugs stormed their area and shot sporadically into the air to scare people away.

According to the President of Agbaji Development Association, Alhaji Musa Olanrewaju Yusuf, the rampaging thugs were allegedly led by Yahaya Seriki and Musbau Esinrogunjo.

Yusuf said 11 people, who sustained injuries from gunshots, were taken to General Hospital, Ilorin and a private medical facility for treatment.

He said: “The APC thugs came around 11:30am and shot sporadically into the air. In fact, they were provided cover by the DPO Adewole Division of Police.

“At least, 11 people received injuries from gunshots while about 50 cars including that of Imam Aliagan were destroyed.

“The thugs also carted away four motorbikes and stole money and jewelry from shops deserted by their owners.”

The statement said the APC thugs spread the violence to Ajikobi and Omoda areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Commenting on the development, the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council in the state, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar, said the orgy of violence was being perpetrated by the APC leaders in the state to instill fears in the minds of residence ahead of the coming general elections, having discovered that Kwarans have rejected them.

Prof. Abubakar called on security agencies in the state to within 48 hours arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of both Sunday’s and Thursday’s violence in Ilorin.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, said Sunday’s incident had validated the alarm raised by the Senate President on threat to his life and those of his family and supporters, “which the police made futile efforts to debunk”.

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POLITICS

Sanwo-Olu, Agbaje, Badamosi Slug It Out At Lagos Governorship Debate

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos Gubernatorial debate put together by The Platform has ended with four governorship aspirants airing their varied opinions on how to move the state forward.

Partaking of the governorship election were Mr Bababatunde Badamosi (Action Democratic Party), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (All Progressives Congress), Mr Jimi Agbaje (Peoples Democratic Party) and Owolabi Salis (Alliance for Democracy).

The debate, on Sunday, had the aspirants speaking on issues ranging from gridlocks in the Lagos metropolis to power, down to the educational sector and to health.

While the candidates differed on the methods with which they will take Lagos to a higher echelon, they agreed that technology will play a key role in driving the process of transformation in the metropolis.

As regards gridlocks, Mr Badamosi said the traffic nightmare that Lagosians have contended with for years can be solved by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers.

The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about the devolution of power.”

On his part, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Agbaje said the key is to “get the local governments working again” adding that the grassroots play a great role in making state function optimally.

Agbaje said planning ahead is crucial if Lagos must overcome its problem with traffic jam.

He said town planning is very important in addressing the issue of gridlocks in Lagos.

“The idea is to have even development across Lagos state so that you are having less of movement from one end of Lagos to the other,” the pharmacist said.

Sanwo-Olu on his part promised to tackle the problem of traffic jams if elected into office.

The APC candidate vowed to make the gridlock in the Apapa axis of the state a thing of the past in less than four months.

“First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during ‘The Platform’s debate which held on Sunday in Lagos.

Also speaking on the traffic congestion in the state, Mr Owolabi Salis said he will revive the train system which has been “abandoned for 15years by the FG” adding that the government is not paying the necessary attention.

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