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Okorocha Offered Me $2m To Return His Son-In-Law As Governorship Candidate – Gulak Alleges

Peter Okunoren

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The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress governorship primaries committee for Imo State, Ahmed Gulak, has alleged that Governor Rochas Okorocha offered him a $2 million bribe so he could return his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as the party’s candidate.

Gulak, a former Political Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, made the allegation in Abuja on Saturday in an interview with newsmen.

He said he turned down the offer and submitted the report of what actually transpired during the primaries to the party’s National Working Committee, which appointed him.

The report declared Senator Hope Uzodinma, whose name has since been forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission, as the party’s governorship candidate.

Gulak, who had alleged that he was kidnapped on his arrival for the primaries in Imo State, also claimed that officials of the state government offered to convey him and his team to Owerri from Abuja in a private jet, an offer he claimed to have rejected because he did not want to be compromised.

He said Okorocha’s plan was to turn the state into a family estate with his son-in-law as governor, his son as deputy governor, his wife as a member of the House of Representatives and himself as a senator without considering the fact that it is the people of the state that will be the ultimate decider.

Gulak said: “The NWC approved our appointment.

“Myself as the chairman and returning officer and six other members, including the secretary, making us seven as enshrined in the guideline.

“We went to Imo against all odds.

“We stood our ground, elections held, results collated and the winner announced.

“After the collation, I and few others escaped because the governor himself came to arrest everybody in the hotel.

“But before he arrived, about four of us escaped and he arrested other members, including the secretary.

“He took them to Government House and they read a prepared speech declaring his son-in-law the winner of that exercise.

“But I had already left Owerri for Abuja where I submitted my result.

“As I speak today, there is no single petition against our report and against the result.

“Let us not forget that Rochas’ in-law was not the only aspirant.

“Hope Uzodinma was not the only aspirant.

“There were other seven aspirants, including the Deputy Governor.

“From the nine of them, there is no single petition against the conduct of the election.

“If there were grievances against the conduct of that election, the party has an appeal panel where petitions ought to have been lodged.

“The Appeal Panel will then recommend whether or not a fresh primary will be conducted.

“That did not happen.

“As we speak, in accordance with the constitution and the guidelines, the result submitted by my committee, signed by me, is the authentic unchallenged report and the NWC had no option but to uphold that report.

“I feel vindicated, the members of my committee feel vindicated.

“The issue of Governor Rochas going round blackmailing the party, threatening the party, is not the best for a governor.

“He is supposed to be a statesman.

“This is his party.

“I understand very well that he is the senatorial candidate of his party in Orlu, so he should not weaken the party from within.

“He should call everybody.

“All hands must be on the deck to ensure that the party retains the state.”

Gulak said though there is nothing wrong in Okorocha wanting his son in-law to be governor, his lack of consultation with critical stakeholders in the state and his attempt to transform the state into a family dynasty is an insult on the people.

He said: “I know that whoever Governor Rochas wants to push forward, decency demands that he should do so in consultation with the stakeholders of that state.

“Even if he wants to put his son in-law, his daughter or his wife, he ought to have consulted the stakeholders.

“No one man can do this game of politics.

“Everybody must be carried along.

“But I feel he did not consult the stakeholders before pushing his son-in-law as the person to succeed him.

“Naturally, people will revolt and if he had his way and imposed his son-in-law on the party, what of the general election, can he impose him?

“At the end of the day, the people of Imo State will decide who they will vote as governor and don’t forget it is not a one party system.

“I know that if you impose your son-in-law as successor, don’t forget that it is the Imo people who will decide who the governor will be.

“I have it on good authority that immediately they learnt that the NWC had upheld the result of the Imo primaries, the other candidates subsumed their ambition in the interest of Imo State to support Hope Uzodinma.

“As party men, we should all be happy about that too.

“That is politics without selfishness.

“Rochas has spent eight years as governor of Imo State and you want your son-in-law to succeed you, you want to come to the Senate as a senator, you want your wife to be a House of Reps member, you want your younger brother to be running mate, you want your son-in-law to be governor.

“That in itself is indecent, it is immoral and the people of Imo State may not take it lightly.

“They are not slaves.

“You cannot enslave them by making it a personal family dynasty.

“This is a well-educated state, a well-enlightened state where we have professors in almost every family.

“We have businessmen, industrialists.

“These people have a stake in Imo State.

“So I know they will not lie low when Rochas begins to enslave them.

“He has gone on air every day to abuse and malign me and I have decided to keep calm because it is an internal family matter.

“Abusing me every day on television and in newspapers will not help him.

“He should go and work for the victory of his party and leave me alone.”

Speaking in his experience in Imo State, Gulak said: “Even before I went to Imo State, I was offered a private jet to take me there by the Government House and their proxies, but I refused because I didn’t want to be compromised.

“I refused the private jet and even the tempting offer made to me, very tempting.

“We are talking about $2 million, which I refused, and tried to persuade them that I was going to do what was needful: free and fair primaries and that every stakeholder must be involved.

“Immediately we landed at the airport, that was where the problem started.

“They wanted to kidnap every member and only God knows where they wanted to take us to.

“I pity the Imo people, but they have to take their destiny in their own hands and elect who they feel will represent them better.

“I am not from Imo State, but I am a Nigerian.

“There is equality and there is equity.

“Some of our governors take state resources as their personal resources and we know that power is transient.

“After four or eight years. I am happy that the party has vindicated me and I know it is the best decision for the people of Imo State.”

POLITICS

Tinubu To APC Members: Deliver Three Million Votes For Buhari, Sanwo-Olu In Lagos

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday called on party members to work hard to ensure victory for the party in 2019 general elections.

Tinubu made the call in Ikeja while addressing members at the party’s secretariat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, his Deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, APC governorship candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his running-mate, Dr Obafemi Hamzat attended the meeting.

Tinubu urged members to immediately begin to reach out to residents on the need to sustain the development strides in the state and at the federal level by voting for APC.

The APC chieftain condemning the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes the 16 years of the adminstration as years of failures and monumental corruption, saying the opposition should never be allowed to return.

Tinubu further appealed to APC members to at least, deliver three million votes for Buhari, Sanwo-Olu and other APC candidates, to further the progress of the state and country.

”We must maintain a strong outing for APC; the party of progress, the party of development, the party of the economy in 2019.

”We must differentiate between a development economy from a container economy of the PDP.

”We must educate our people that, we will not accept or allow Nigeria to be corrupt again, never!

”We have seen the 16 years of their failures and empty promises. We should never allow a return to that era.

”There are six million solid votes in the state. I challenge all of you; your target must be 50 per cent of that votes, three million votes.

”Or the entire six million votes for APC, for Buhari, Osinbajo, for Sanwo-Olu,for senators and other candidates in the state,” he said.

Tinubu commended members for putting the differences of the primaries behind them, urging them to carry the spirit of unity into the elections.

The APC chieftain said the party had not officially inauguratef campaigns because it was awaiting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish final list of candidates.

According to Tinubu, as soon as the list is released, campaigns would begin in earnest.

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POLITICS

Sack Tambuwal From Office, APC Begs Supreme Court

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) has asked the Supreme Court to sack Governor Waziri Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on the ground of irregularities in the primary election that produced him as the party’s candidate in 2014.

The party, in a change of gear, directed its counsel Abduganiyu Arobo to concede to the appeal filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru to get judgment entered in favour of the appellant.

To pave way for the actualization of its new position, the APC de-briefed its lead counsel Mr Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), who stood for the party at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal where he got favourable judgments for the party.

At yesterday’s hearing, a new counsel, Abdulganiyu Arobo announced his appearance for APC shortly after the senior lawyer made the same appearance.

Okutepa in response admitted receiving a letter but insisted that his legal fee payment issue has to be resolved before he will step aside.

Justice Dattijo who demanded a copy of the letter drew the attention of the senior counsel to a portion of the letter that he was engaged for the party by governor Tambuwal and that he should approach Tambuwal for his legal fees paid.

At this point, Okutepa announced his withdrawal from the appeal.

He, however, told the apex court that he ran into stormy waters with the party when he declined to agree to reverse the positions canvassed by APC at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal.

He said he declined to agree because in law, parties must be consistent with their position and that APC was no longer ready to be consistent with its earlier position in two previous courts.

Okutepa further said that the new position of APC came about because of the defection of Governor Tambuwal from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adding that since he is not a politician but a minister in the temple of justice, he could not join them in the new position.

However, the appeal could not be heard as the court informed parties to wait till January 25, 2019, for its decision in the preliminary objection against hearing of the suit filed by Tambuwal.

Justice Dattijo subsequently fixed March 5, 2019, for the hearing of the appeal.

Dahiru also of APC had challenged the nomination of Tambuwal on the ground that the list of delegates who ought to vote at the 2014 primary election of the party was fraudulently swapped to favour governor Tambuwal.

He urged the court to nullify the primary election or in the alternative, declare him as the rightful candidate of the party for the 2015 governorship election.

The appellant lost at the high court and court of appeal prompting him to approach the Supreme Court for a final decision.

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POLITICS

PDP To Kashamu: You Are A Clown, You’re On A Journey To Nowhere

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The Peoples Democratic Party has said it has only but pity for the Independent National Electoral Commission/court-recognised governorship candidate for Ogun State, Senator Buruji Kashamu Buruji.

The party in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondian, spoke against the backdrop of the presentation of governorship flag to Kashamu and his running mate, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Monday.

The party said Kashamu has finally turned himself into a clown in his desperate bid to destabilize the PDP as part of his pact with the Buhari Presidency.

It said this followed the threat of imminent extradition of Kashamu from Nigeria over alleged international fraud.

The party described as the height of ridicule, Kashamu’s purported presentation of himself as Ogun State governorship candidate of the PDP, for which he had to organize his own sham campaign rally, rented an audience and presented a fake PDP flag to himself, after the authentic flag had been handed to the PDP candidate, Ladi Adebutu, by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

The statement added: “Senator Buruji, in his forced hallucination, has failed to realize that Nigerians, particularly the voters in Ogun State, have seen through his antics; they know that he is not the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state; they know that he has a pact with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to destabilize the PDP; they also know that he is a clown on a journey to no where.

“Nigerians are aware that Senator Buruji never purchased PDP nomination form; never participated in our governorship primary or in any process related to nomination of governorship candidate of our party or any position whatsoever.

“Those using Senator Buruji as their agent have turned him into object of public ridicule, particularly in his charade of organizing a rally to hand a fake flag to himself.

“The PDP therefore urges the people of Ogun state to completely disregard Senator Buruji as a clown and continue in their support for the PDP governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu, who is already coasting to victory.”

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