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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. 

BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Nullifies Suspension Of Fayemi, Ojudu, Others

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has nullified the suspension of Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, presidential aide Senator Femi Ojudu and others.

Fayemi and the Paul Omotosho-led State Executives Council were suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the State Executives Committee (SEC) on Friday.

The development came barely 24 hours after the Omotosho-led executives suspended Ojudu and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them.

But in a statement on Friday by Deputy National Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, APC said the suspensions were a “nullity.”

The party said: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a purported and widely-reported “suspension” of the Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Kayode Fayemi as well as an earlier reported, “indefinite suspension” of some other party members in the state.

“The actions are a nullity as the Party’s National Secretariat is yet to receive communication from the state chapter on the purported “suspensions”. We strongly advise all members to adhere to our Party constitution.

“Governor Kayode Fayemi remains the leader of the party in Ekiti State.

“In line with the mandate of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee and the President’s admonition to party members to ensure and support ongoing amicable and rancour-free settlement of internal party disputes, we call on our esteemed party members and leaders in Ekiti State to be duly guided.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Architect Paul Omotosho-chaired APC Ekiti State Working Committee is the authentic, valid, and duly recognized Executive as no factions or divisions exist in the State Chapter.”




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BIG STORY

I’m Not Under Any Pressure To Accept Defeat —– Ize-Iyamu

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the recently conducted Edo governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has debunked speculations that he is under pressure from party leaders to accept defeat.

Ize-Iyamu said this in response to media reports on the subject, even as he urged the media to desist from speculative reporting.

He stated this in a statement signed by his Director of Communication and Media, Mr. John Mayaki, in Benin, on Thursday.

He said, “I was shocked this morning when I saw reports saying I begged Obaseki to return to APC after the election.

“While immediately responding to it, another one emerged. I will restate that I never begged him to return after the election. I deliberately did not reply when I saw all that rumour on social media with people tagging me in them.

“Now, I saw another report in the media stating that APC leaders are mounting pressure on me to accept defeat. In all fairness to the national leadership of my party, they never mounted any pressure on me.

“So, I wonder where their source got information from. The public repossesses a lot of trust in the media for authentic information. What happens when this trust is betrayed?”

Ize-Iyamu also reiterated his earlier position that he had yet to make up his mind on his next step.

According to him, “I already tweeted that I am studying the result and consulting widely on my next line of action. Speculative reporting must be condemned.

“When I make up my mind, I will let my supporters know. For now, patience is what I implore, not violence; not anger will help us now. Dignity will manifest in how we bounce back from this minor setback.”

In a related statement, Mayaki said, “We warned several times that the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP camp, but they did not listen.

“That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate appealed to Obaseki to come back to APC.

“The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election, but doctored by Governor Obaseki media handlers to seek undue legitimacy.”




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BIG STORY

It’s A Lie, I Didn’t Beg Obaseki To Return To APC, I Have Not Addressed The Press After Election —– Ize-Iyamu

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The Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation has called on the traditional media to perform due diligence in reporting events arising from Edo State, as unprofessionalism would render them as tools for PDP.

This was in a statement by the Director of Communication and Media of the Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, Mr John Mayaki, who reacted to claims that APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu appealed to Governor Godwin Obaseki to return to APC yesterday at a press conference in Abuja.

Mayaki, who noted that nothing of such happened, explained that the media has once again lent itself to the fabrications of Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP, as they did throughout the election.

“We warned several times that the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP camp, but they did not listen. That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate appealed to Obaseki to come back to APC. The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election but doctored by Governor Obaseki media handlers to seek undue legitimacy”, he disclosed.

He also wondered if the media was being sponsored by Governor Obaseki and the PDP, as it seemed implausible that they actually believed the story. This is even more so when reporters in Benin city would report Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who is currently in Abuja where the various media organizations are also domiciled – this is to tell you the suspicion inherent in the viral video.

“Pastor Ize-Iyamu was reported in the stories as speaking from Abuja, but it was the Benin reporters that covered the story. Were the reporters transported to Abuja? Do these media agencies actually believe the stories they carry? Obaseki and the PDP have a way of leaking false news to the media and the media has to be sensitive and professional in receiving this news.”

Meanwhile, Mayaki also warned that there is a fake Twitter account purporting to belong to Pastor Ize-Iyamu, which has been disseminating false information. He warned the media to avoid it like a plague and verify all their information before passing them on.

He said, “I only wish the media had been more professional during the elections; they were not and what is done is done. They don’t know how violent and anti-democratic it was in several parts of Edo State, including Egor in Benin City, and so they reported that the elections were free and fair. At least, going forward, let them verify all news before passing it on. It is the basic ethic of the profession”.

 




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