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2019 Elections: PDP Dares INEC, Vows To Resume Campaigns

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the administrative prohibition of the resumption of political campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contravened the Electoral Law.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that INEC had on Saturday shifted the dates for the General Elections a few hours to the opening of polling units across the country, attributing the development to logistical challenges.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while fielding questions at at a stakeholders meeting to explain the reasons for the postponement of the polls, maintained that the deadline for the collection of PVCs and election campaigns by political parties had passed going by the released timetable.

Yakubu said that there was no more room for political campaigns or collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in spite of the postponement of presidential and National Assembly elections by one week.

“Campaigns closed on Thursday, Feb. 14, and for the period that remains, campaigns remain closed,” Yakubu said.

Ologbondiyan, however, stated that after due consideration of the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP concluded that the INEC directive contravened the provisions of the law.

“PDP, after due consideration of the provisions of the Electoral Act, is set to re-open its open campaigns consequent upon the postponement of Presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC from the earlier scheduled date of Feb. 16 to Feb. 23.

“The party rejects the wrongful administrative prohibition of open campaigns by INEC, holding that such administrative pronouncement was erroneous, directly in conflict with the provision of the Electoral Act and is not backed by any other law in our country.

“Our position is predicated on the clear provision of section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act which stipulated that “for the purposes of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day”.

“The clear import of this provision, in the current situation, is that given the postponement of the election to Feb. 23, the 24 hours requirement for closure of all public campaigning falls at midnight of Feb. 21.

“The PDP reminds INEC that whenever its administrative pronouncement conflicts with the Electoral Act, such administrative pronouncement must bow before the law.”

Ologbondiyan advised INEC to be appropriately guided while directing PDP members to await further directives. (NAN)

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BREAKING : APC Takes Over Imo House of Assembly As Speaker, 7 Other Lawmakers Dump PDP

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At the plenary today in Imo State Assembly, 8 PDP House Members defected to the ruling party APC, thus enabling it to take control of the House leadership.

They are:

1. Hon. Dominic Ezerioha
Oru West State Constituency

2. Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri
Oru East State Constituency

3. Hon. Kanayo Onyemechi
Owerri West State Constituency

4. Hon. Kennedy Ibe
Obowo State Constituency

5. Hon. Uche Ogbuagu
Ikeduru State Constituency

6. Hon. Crown Micheal
Ihitte Uboma State Constituency

7. Hon. Eddy Obinna
Aboh Mbaise State Constituency

8. Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins
Isiala Mbano State Constituency (Speaker, Imo state house of Assembly).

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Bode George Joins 2023 Presidential Race

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Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, has joined the 2023 presidential race.

Freedom Online learned that the former governor of old Ondo State joined the race after three meetings held in Lagos, London in UK and Berlin, Germany.

George, the Director-General (D-G) of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Campaign Organisation in 2006/2007, is still in London “strategizing and meeting some prominent Nigerians on how to actualize the ambition”, said a source.

Although he is still a member of PDP, it is still not clear on which political platform George, the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, will launch the ambition.

Before leaving Nigeria for the London and Berlin meetings, Freedom Online learned that a former President and former Head of State had already endorsed the move to make George succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

This move is based on the partisan calculation that the presidency will move to the South-West.

Some members of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization led by nonagenarian Reuben Fasoranti, are also believed to be backing George’s ambition.

Freedom Online learned that present at the London and Berlin meetings were a former Senate President, a former Chief of Naval Staff, a retired General who had issues with President Muhammadu Buhari when he was Head of State between December 31, 1983, and August 26, 1985, a prominent power broker during the administration of a former president, a former governor of a state in the North-East and two ministers during the Yar’Adua administration.

Freedom Online learned that George, an experienced administrator, orator, and politician, will unveil his presidential plans in the middle of 2020 and “the real fireworks will start in 2021”.

A source disclosed that three committees – Finance, Strategy, and Contact – had already been set up, headed by the former Chief of Naval Staff, a former Minister, and a former South-South governor.

George is a prominent Lagosian, very close to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.

A prominent Lagos Prince, Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu, who also confirmed the development, declared that “people may believe it is a joke now but when reality dawns on them, they will wake up.

The truth is that some prominent Nigerians have resolved to back Chief Bode George in the race for 2023. This is real and authoritative. In fact, a group, The Pathfinder Consortium, is already working underground as a foundation for a bigger and more robust national platform to actualize this presidential ambition.

“We can say 2023 is still far away but at the same time, it is not too far. Many stakeholders want real change in the country, politically and economically. This is not about PDP or APC. This is about Nigeria.

“I only attended the Lagos meeting. I was not part of the ones held outside the country so, I can’t really give you details of what happened there. But, I can only tell you that this is a pan-Nigerian movement”.

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APC Disclaims Suit to Foist Third Term On Buhari

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a suit seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to run for a third term in office, which was filed by one Charles Enya, whom it described as a self-proclaimed member of the party.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday said the party had initially chosen to ignore him but decided to disavow the suit to send a clear message to Enya and other troublemakers like him.

According to him, the president has said history would not be fair to party members if the APC collapses after his second term, stressing that what better proof is required of the president’s resolve to abide by the constitution on term limit than such a statement.

He said at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, Buhari had assured party members that he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took.

“The party is, however, by this statement sending a strong signal to such other busybodies like Charles Enya who may be contemplating testing the resolve of our government on our mission to work for the best for our country to be ready to face the law.

“We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.

“As a party, we would not take kindly to anyone or group causing an unnecessary distraction for this administration through anti-democratic actions. As a country, we are several years behind where we ought to be,” he added.

The party spokesman noted that the Buhari-led administration is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering good governance, revamping moribund infrastructure, growing the economy, fighting corruption, creating the right environment for teeming youths to deploy their creative energies and providing adequate security for all.

“We have tried to find out the status of this character claiming to be a member of our party. If he turns out to be our member, we would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on this matter promptly commence the process of expelling him,” he stated.

Issa-Onilu said APC as a progressive party would not tolerate anti-democratic forces and charlatans.

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