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Goodluck Jonathan Calls For Peace, Urges Voters To Resist Vote-Buying

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Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan on Monday called on Nigerians to embrace peace and shun violence ahead the shifted general elections.

Jonathan was in Bayelsa his home state at the weekend for the polls earlier scheduled for Feb. 16 and March 2 and shifter by one week to Feb 23 and March 9 and called on Nigerians to remain peaceful.

Jonathan who made the call during a meeting with Niger Delta Youth Leaders also urged the electorate to shun vote buying and vote according to their conscience.

“Use of money to induce voters has become very prevalent in Nigeria.

“It is more pronounced here than many African countries I have been to monitor elections and it is unhealthy for our development and my NGO is working on advocacy against it.

“Politics should be about the people and anyone who wants to make quick money should go into business and quit politics which is all about service to the people.

“People should vote according to the dictates of their conscience and not be induced by money.

“I have said it repeatedly that no one’s ambition should be worth the spilling of the blood of any Nigerian, peace is fundamental to economic development and the reports of insecurity and violence scares away investors.

“Anytime someone is killed either by security agencies or by any other exra-judicial means it affects the reputation of the country adversely and that is why peace building is very essential especially with the youths.

“Our youths are critical in our democracy because the future belongs to them so my advice is that we should be patient and shun violence in the coming elections,” Jonathan said.

Earlier, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, a Niger Delta Youth leader, said that representatives of Niger Delta youths from across the region were in Bayelsa to applaud the former President for his efforts at peace building.

He said that the exemplary leadership style of politics without violence and bitterness was an inspiration to Niger Delta youths.

West, who is also a Senior Special Adviser on Niger Delta Youth matters to Bayelsa Governor, noted the Jonathan’s influence on the youths of the region was responsible for the prevailing peace in the region.

He said that youths from the region were in Bayelsa to seek counsel from the former president following the shift in election date.

Mr Peretubo Oweilaemi, President of Ijaw Youth Council, said that youths from the Niger Delta region remain proud of the former President who relinquished power in the interest of peace and development of Nigeria.

“The emphasis of our amiable leader, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on peace and peace building is very commendable despite his political persuasion he has chosen to always advocate peace and we the youths are learning from him.

“We have seen the region which is very crucial to the country’s economy grow in peace because you advocate and preach peace all the time since you left office as President,” Oweilaemi said.

Leaders of Non Violent Youth groups including Niger Delta Youths Coalition for Peace and Progress, Ex-Militant Leaders who embraced the Presidential Amnesty programme, amongst others, were at the meeting. 

POLITICS

Bayelsa Guber: PDP Flags Off Campaign, As Diri Seeks Bayelsans Support

Peter Okunoren

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Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri has called on members of the party and all Bayelsans to support the party and ensure it emerges victorious.

Senator Diri assured the people of Bayelsa State that his government will be committed to industrialization and open several frontiers through which youths of the state can be gainfully employed.

Speaking during the flag-off of PDP gubernatorial campaign ahead of the November 16 governorship election at the Yenagoa Boat Club and OxBow Lake Grand Pavilion, which was witnessed by a mammoth crowd of party faithful across the eight local government area of the state, Senator Diri decried the antics of some other parties to threaten and intimidate those who have decided to willfully support the PDP, and urged all Bayelsans to remain undaunted in the face of such threats

The PDP candidate also lauded the efforts of Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson for transforming Yenagoa from an underdeveloped city to one which has several monumental projects that have improved the quality of the lives of Bayelsans.

His words: “Get ready because that Brass LNG must work so that our youths will have employment so that Bayelsa will be a safe haven for investment, it will attract more investment to Bayelsa.

“I want to thank you all my party members, supporters and very industrious people of the Peoples Democratic Party, the only thing we owe ourselves and the generation yet unborn is to ensure that Bayelsa State develops.

“Those of us from the old Yenagoa local government area, we know that Yenagoa is no longer what it was. Yenagoa has moved from being a monologue road local government headquarters to being a brawling and developing city.

“There are monumental projects that our children will come and clap hands for you and me. One of them is the airport, it will outlive this government. We will no longer go to neighboring states to look for a plane to travel out of Bayelsa. We will remain here in Bayelsa and travel out of this place.

“So I want to thank all of you and believe that the numbers you have come out with, that you will come the same way on November 16 2019.”

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APC May No Longer Exist In 2023 After Buhari’s Tenure —- Rochas Okorocha

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Senator representing Imo West District in the National Assembly, Rochas Okorocha, has expressed fears that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may cease to exist when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

The Senator, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also lamented that his sacrifices to expand the membership base of the APC in the South-East was repaid by the party with evil.

He said, “I have never thought of leaving the party but what happens next will be determined by time.

“My only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari if the ongoing injustices are not addressed.

“Unlike other governors from the North that rode on the name Muhammadu Buhari to power, the name Buhari had a negative effect on my campaign for the second term.

“But I was determined to overcome that because I knew what we stood to gain.

“If anything, the party repaid me evil for good. There was no challenge I did not face or bad name I was not called in my state.

“They brought in people who fought me when I was building the party at state level to fight me over the control of the party. I don’t want to talk about it but my party did not treat me well.”

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APC Rejects Senator Kalu’s Sack By Abia Tribunal

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The Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the judgement of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, which nullified the election of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday.

Recall that the National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia had nullified the election of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, for Abia North Senatorial District.

Delivering its judgment on Monday, a member of the three-member tribunal, Justice I.P.C Igwe, said that the petitioner, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, successfully proved his allegation of substantial non-compliance with the electoral guidelines.

Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Kalu, who contested the Feb. 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioner told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

However, Comrade Benedict Godson, Publicity Secretary of APC in Abia, in an interview with newsmen, Monday in Umuahia, the state capital, said the party leadership vehemently reject the decision of the tribunal.

He urged all Abians, APC supporters and ever dedicated followers of Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu’s political history to remain calm as every legal procedure will be followed to appeal the judgement.

Godson, “We reject the judgement of the tribunal completely. We call on everyone, Abians, party supporters and the ever dedicated followers of OUK political history to remain calm as every necessary legal means will be applied to appeal this judgement”.

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