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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

Ganduje Declared Winner Of Kano Guber Poll

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Kano APC Gubernatorial Candidate and Incumbent governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has won his reelection bid, he was declared winner by Bello Shehu, the returning officer for the Kano governorship election.

The results of a combination of March 9 and 23 elections show All Progressives Congress as garnering 1,033,695, while Abba Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) netted 1,024,713.

Ganduje won with a margin of 8,982.

Declaring the winner of the election, Shehu said the APC candidate garnered 1,033,695, while Abba scored 1,024,713 votes.

He said the APC candidate defeated the PDP candidate with 8,982 votes margin and therefore declared Ganduje the winner, having satisfied the requirements of the law by scoring the highest number of votes.

According to Shehu, the winner was declared after the collation of results from all the affected 28 local government areas where the supplementary elections was conducted on Saturday, March 23.

He said Ganduje polled a total of 45,876, while Kabir of the PDP got 10,239 votes during last Saturday’s supplementary elections in 28 local government areas of the state.

The governorship election was earlier declared inconclusive following the high number of cancellation of votes as a result of violence and over-voting.

According to the collation officer, the total number of votes cancelled during the earlier election which led to the declaration of the poll as inconclusive was beyond the margin between the PDP candidate who was leading with 26,000 votes and that of the APC candidate.

Yusuf had 1,014,474 against Ganduje who garnered 987,819 votes in the March 9 election.

Suleiman Rabiu-Bichi, the state’s PDP chairman, has rejected the entire re-run election, especially that of Gama in Nassarawa local government area.

The PDP chairman described the election processes as “shameful” and called for the immediate cancellation of the exercise.

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POLITICS

Sokoto Guber: INEC Announces Tambuwal of PDP Winner Of Governorship Election

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Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, has been declared winner of the governorship election in the state.

Tambuwal won with a slim margin, after collation of results from 22 Local Governments Areas (LGAs), where supplementary election took place on Saturday.

Fatima Mukhtar, Returning Officer for the election, announced this at the INEC collation center in the state in the state on Sunday.

Governor Tambuwal polled 512,002 votes to defeat Ahmad Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who came close behind with 511,661, losing to his erstwhile principal with just 341votes.

Tambuwal was leading with 489, 558 votes on March 9 when the governorship election was declared inconclusive, while Ahmad Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress, APC came behind with 486,145 votes.

He had led with 3,413 votes with cancellations in 136 polling units across 22 LGAs, which had 75,403 registered voters.

For Kebbe LGA, the last deciding factor for the elections, PDP secured 5,457, while APC polled 7,173 votes.

Official results of 21 LGAs announced so far at the State collation centre, located at the Sultan Maccido Institutes, indicates that Tambuwal was leading his counterpart, Aliyu Ahmad of the APC, with a margin of 161 votes.

However, at the final count, the APC polled 511,661 votes, while the PDP secured 512,002 votes, respectively.

As such, PDP defeated APC with 341 votes.

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POLITICS

BREAKING: Samuel Ortom Of PDP Declared Winner Of Benue Governorship Election

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Governor Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been declared winner of the Benue State governorship election.

Ortom was declared winner on Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, after the supplementary election held in some polling units across the state.

The PDP candidate defeated his main challenger, Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to win his second term ticket.

Announcing the result on Sunday, the Returning Officer, Prof Sebastian Maimako, said Ortom of the PDP polled 434,473 votes to humble APC’s Jime, who came behind with 345,155 votes, thus, winning with 89,318 margin.

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