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PDP Asks INEC To Declare Tambuwal Sokoto Gov-Elect

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Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to save its time and resources by declaring Aminu Tambuwal winner of the election held on March 9.

The party, which stated this while reacting to claim by the umpire that it was under pressure to declare the governor winner of the polls, said given the margin of victory recorded on the first ballot, there was no reason not to declare Tambuwal duly elected.

Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Our position has not changed and we insist that His Excellency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal should be declared winner of the governorship election in Sokoto State.

“If we go by the figure of votes collated so far, the governor has satisfied the provisions of the law because he won clearly in almost all the local governments of the states.

“What are they waiting for to declare him duly elected? We are a party that has respect for the laws of the land. So, we advise our members and supporters to remain calm because at the end of the day, victory is ours.”

Meanwhile, barely a week to the March 23 date for the supplementary governorship election in some states, pressure continues to mount on INEC to declare Governor Aminu Tambuwal the winner of the March 9 guber poll in Sokoto State.

There were indications over the weekend that the tension in the seat of the Caliphate may worsen if the incumbent governor who was enjoying a clear lead in the poll is denied victory.

A top politician from Sokoto who spoke on condition of anonymity, said tension was building up in the state over fears of plans to undemocratically stop Tambuwal for another term in office.

Our source alleged that though the governor appears to be the popular choice of his people as shown in the collated result of the guber poll, the power brokers of All Progressives Congress, APC, were bent on taking the state which they consider strategic to the party’s future political plans.

The source said: “The powers that be should declare Tambuwal as the authentic winner of the March 9 governorship election in Sokoto State. The collated result showed that he won the election by the simple majority, which is what the constitution provides. They should not set the seat of the Caliphate on fire.

“Remember that even President Muhammadu Buhari won his election by the same simple majority. He was declared winner, even when elections were yet to be conducted in areas where the exercise could not hold because of one reason or the other.

“A common man on the street of Sokoto knows that Tambuwal won the election. There were so many hurdles the APC which controls the centre put before him ahead of the election but he surmounted them all.

So, what they could not get democratically, they want by all means through the back door in collaboration with INEC.”

Over the weekend, this newspaper gathered that there were fears in the PDP, of a plan by the ruling party and INEC to repeat what happened in the Osun governorship election where the PDP lost to the APC under controversial circumstances.

A video recording between the INEC Admin Secretary in Sokoto and a collation officer which trended over the weekend further escalated fears of interference in the coming supplementary election.

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APC Adopts Gbajabiamila As Speaker, Zones Deputy To North Central

Peter Okunoren

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The leadership of All Progressives Congress has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Ninth Assembly.

The agreement was reached after extensive deliberation at a dinner held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday night.

The position of the Deputy Speaker was zoned to the North Central.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed the development.

Issa-Onilu said the agreement was reached at the dinner between President Muhammadu Buhari and the House members-elect.

The statement said: “The APC has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.

“This position was reached after an intensive deliberation with the APC’s House of Representatives members-elect at a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa.

“The Deputy Speaker position has been zoned to the North Central.”

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Ex-Governors Mount Pressure On Danjuma Goje To Accept Buhari’s Candidate, Lawan, For Senate President

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Some former governors are mounting pressure on their former colleague, Senator Danjuma Goje, to accept President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Ahmad Lawan for Senate president, The Nation reports.

The President is believed to have met Goje on the matter.

According to reports, Lawan, who is the Senate Leader, is forging ahead. He met yesterday with some senators-elect and pleaded with them to give him a chance.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) former governors, including some of them who are senators, have opted to back Buhari’s decision on Lawan.

Some of the former governors include Ahmed Sani Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Abdullahi Adamu, Aliyu Wammako, George Akume, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Kabiru Gaya and Godswill Akpabio.

It was gathered that the ex-governors appreciated the “cautious approach adopted by Goje to his aspiration without ruffling feathers but they felt he should defer to the President”.

The ex-governors have sent a delegation to Goje to reconsider his position.

Although two of them were with Goje on Saturday for what was termed “ a social gathering”, it was unclear whether they were the ones who spoke on behalf of their colleagues.

A former governor, who pleaded not to be named, said: “It is true we are trying to avoid cracks in APC over the Ninth Senate President and some of us have met on the President’s choice and how to prevail on Goje to sacrifice his aspiration.

“I can tell you that some of us have opened talks with him. We are talking to him; we are mounting pressure. We also decided to send a delegation to him.

“As a matter of right, Goje is qualified to lead the Senate but we do not really want him to disagree with the President. And he is not a leader who believes in confrontation.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Our intervention is just a follow-up to the audience between the President and Goje.”

“The former governor of Gombe State is yet to make any categorical statement on his ambition.”

Goje, it was learnt, told Buhari, who persuaded him to support Lawan, that he would “get back to him”.

“Goje has not returned to the President on what he intends to do,” a source in the Presidency said.

The Lawan Group is, however, waiting for Goje’s response before arranging a meeting between the two leaders.

Another source said: “Since a presidential intervention is already involved, we have deliberately asked Lawan to leave the initiative to President Buhari. The truth is that the President’s meeting with Goje underscored the enormous respect he has for the ex-governor.

“Lawan is ready to meet with Goje but after the elders and the ex-governors have brokered a deal.”

Lawan and members of his campaign team last night met with some senators-elect in Abuja on his aspiration.

The senators-elect are in the second batch of those to benefit from the induction course which was packaged by the National Assembly management.

A source at the session quoted Lawan as saying: “Give me a chance, I will provide quality leadership, I will carry every Senator along in whatever I do.”

A Senator-elect said: “The campaign team of the Senate Leader reached out to some of us across party lines. I am new, but I am impressed by his experience on legislative business. Let us see how it goes.”

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Ifeanyi Ubah Dumps YPP For APC

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Ifeanyi Ubah, Anambra South Senator-elect, of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) has dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ubah’s defection was made known by the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Monday.

Oshiohmole informed the APC National Working Committee members, returning/newly-elected senators at the Presidential Villa, on Monday, that Ubah was now with the ruling party, NAN reports.

Describing Ubah as a ‘smart politician Oshiomhole in his opening remark, said the “YPP Senator-elect from Anambra South has decided to pitch tent with the ruling party because he felt more comfortable with the winning team.”

He, however, added that other issues related to Ubah’s defection would be perfected on a later date.

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