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Crisis Hits Lagos PDP As Jimi Agbaje Allegedly Sidelines Party

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With about six weeks to the conduct of the governorship elections, crisis is currently rocking the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and the state executive members, led by Dr. Adegbola Dominic, are believed to be working at cross-purposes instead of uniting to forge a common front against the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A chieftain of the party, who spoke with Daily Independent on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said since his emergence as the party’s flag bearer, Agbaje had been running a one-man show, believing that he could do without the leadership of the Lagos PDP or party elders in the state, such as Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party.

He said while Agbaje had been running his governorship campaign with the team he set up without carrying the state PDP along, he also picked his running mate, Mrs. Haleemat Busari, without consulting the party leaders.

According to him, many party leaders who only heard of Busari’s choice in the media were angry and made attempts to kick against the decision but were prevailed upon by the party’s leadership to refrain from doing so in order not to create the impression that the party was disunited.

The source said: “The reality is that there is no unity in Lagos PDP and this may mar our chances in the forthcoming governorship election. Jimi Agbaje and the state exco of the party are not working as a team.

“If you remember, majority of the state exco members are loyalists of Chief Bode George and, as such, they don’t like Agbaje whom they see as a traitor for daring to contest against his benefactor for the national chairmanship of the PDP.

“Agbaje himself has not helped matters. Since becoming the governorship candidate of the party, he has constituted his campaign team and neglected the leadership of the party who are the key drivers of the party.

“Can you imagine Agbaje never consulted the party before picking his running mate, Mrs. Busari? Many of our party members and leaders were shocked when they heard about the news in the media.

“You can imagine the anger of many party members on account of this. The issue would have gone out of hand but for the appeal by the leaders of the party such as Chief Bode George who implored them not to make the issue public so that the APC will not capitalise on it.”

When our correspondent contacted Adegbola Dominic, the state chairman, on the allegations that Jimi Agbaje was not carrying the party along in his campaigns, he said: “That is not exactly correct. It is true that there may be some intra-party differences, but we are resolving that. We are working together and we will achieve victory in 2019.”

Similarly, Agbaje denied the allegations, saying he enjoyed a harmonious working relationship with the Dominic-led executives.

Speaking through Felix Oboagwina, his spokesman, Agbaje said he notified all the party leaders before choosing his running mate but added that what some complained against was that she was not a prominent member of the party who was known to all.

“It is not true that party leaders and state exco have not been carried along. When the deputy governorship candidate, Haleema Busari, was chosen, all stakeholders were carried along.

“Before the announcement was made, everybody who was a chieftain of the party knew about her. All they can complain about is the fact that she is not a frontline member of the party.

“Before her announcement and final selection was made, several names had been bandied and then she was zeroed in upon. Of course, it is normal that it is only one person that will be picked at the end of the day.

“From the day she was picked, she became a product of the entire party. On the issue of party excos and leaders not being carried along, we don’t know where that is coming from.

“There is a structure that the national leadership of the party has put in place in all the states that are holding elections in 2019. The structure is called the Campaign Council and the instruction is that it should be headed by the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state while the state PDP chairman will serve as the vice-chairman.

“In Lagos, the PDP Chairman, Dr. Adegbola Dominic, fills that role and he is doing it very well. He is being carried along and they hold regular meetings.

“There are about 10 people in the Campaign Council in Lagos State and because of the structure that was in place somebody like Rahman Owokoniran, a very close lieutenant and confidant of Jimi Agbaje, who was the last Director-General of the campaign, had to drop from the council to accommodate every other member of the party who are part of the structure.

“According to the structure that PDP is using, the campaign structure is also duplicated at the local government area level where a prominent member of the party in the local government area heads the council in the local government area.

“The same is also replicated at the ward level. At all these levels, the candidates for Senate, House of Reps, and House of Assembly are part of these structures. So, all these talk about disunity is the handiwork of mischief makers who want a divided party before the elections,” he said.

BIG STORY

Nigeria Senate: Tension As 9th Assembly Elects Principal Officers Today

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As the election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.

It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.

Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone.

Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.

What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.

Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.

Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”

He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.

With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.

Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”

The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.

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POLITICS

Kogi Guber 2019: Fresh Crisis Rocks PDP As Ibrahim Idris Imposes Son As Candidate

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A major crisis is brewing in the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as concerned members are mobilizing to protest the moves by ex-governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to impose his son, Abubakar, as the party’s candidate in the state’s governorship election slated for November.

Abubakar Idris, declared his intention to run for the office once occupied by his father  last year but it is the manner in which the party leadership in the state is being forced into adopting the ex-governor’s son that is setting the stage for a major confrontation.

PDP members in the state, still smarting from the mismanagement of the nomination process in the 2019 general elections across the state are raising alarm, warning that any attempt to impose another candidate in the coming governorship election would backfire.

Party stalwarts who spoke with our reporter on condition that they are not named accused the ex-governor of killing the PDP in Kogi State, while in office, pointing out that all the poor foundation he laid contributed to the party’s poor outing in 2015.

Some of them stated that towards the end of his second tenure, Idris popularly called ‘Ibro’ was seen extorting money from those vying to succeed him with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, adding that he has already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

“Ibro as usual, has turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine. The same way he did in 2010 over the governorship slot. Politicians are currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence in their bid to lobby for the number two post. Ibro on the other hand is said to be smiling to the bank on daily basis as those he has approached for the slot are responding with bank alert,” one party stalwart, said.

The stalwarts revealed that one of the ex-governor’s plan to foist his son on the party is in the exorbitant nomination fee, which they said is already driving many good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.

“In the last two weeks, they have asked aspirants to pay the sum of N75 million as nomination form fee without giving any genuine reasons why aspirants are being asked to pay such ridiculous amount,” one aggrieved member told us.

According to them, the strategy is similar to the one used during the NASS/presidential election when high nomination fees were used to push our potentially good candidates in favour of Senator Attai Aidoko was later fielded.

They, however, warned that if Ibro is not checked by the national leadership of the party,  the party will fail woefully in its mandate to produce the next governor of the state, and that the error will also mark the exit of the party from the state polity.

The party stalwarts lamented that fact that a man whose records during his nine years in office can only be described as disastrous, would be allowed to dicate who would be the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming election.

How could Ibro’s son, they queried, with neither the competence, experience, a genuine manifesto, or broad appeal amongst party faithful, be expected to deliver electoral victory in November.

The ex-governor was equally accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, pointing out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, as evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

They queried how any dynasty built by a man who is oblivious of the misery that poor leadership is producing in the state can be good for Kogites, pointing out that it was better for the PDP to realise the error of allowing am like Ibro to select a governorship candidate for the party, in order to save it from obvious defeat in November.

The party men said the way out of the defeat staring PDP in in the face was to allow the party run the selection process according to laid-down rules and regulations, rather than allow an ex-governor, who failed in his time, to impose his son.

‘Ibro’s tenure, it was further pointed out, enjoyed one of the economically healthiest moments of the country, with  the price of oil relatively high, internally-generated revenue in the state receiving  as much as 150 per cent boost, but Kogi under his watch failed miserably to record any meaningful development.’

He was also accused of siphoning Kogi’s funds to build businesses for himself, family and cronies, and that his hotels spread across Abuja, Lagos and Dubai are mostly the proceeds from the crime committed against the state.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: African Action Congress Suspends Omoyele Sowore, 8 Others Over Alleged Corruption, Abuse Of Office

Peter Okunoren

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The African Action Congress, AAC, Monday, declared that it had suspended its national chairman and 2019 presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and nine others over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Sowore’s suspension was conveyed in a communique read by Mazi Okwy, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

The decision of the party, according to the communique, signed by the acting National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa and the Deputy National Secretary, Abayomi Francis Olufemi, was the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the AAC, at its 2nd National Executive Committee meeting, held 27th March, 2019, in Abuja.

The party, according to the communique, accused Mr Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters of “deliberate inability to convene or hold the constitutionally mandated quarterly meetings of the National Executive Committee and other organs of the party.”

Details Later….

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