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PDP Will Defeat Akeredolu In Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede Boasts

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ondo State Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) on Thursday promised to lead the party to victory in the October 10 poll.

He told reporters in Akure, the state capital, shortly after picking the ticket, that the days of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) in the Alagbaka Government House were numbered.

Jegede said: “With this outcome, we have served notice on the APC. Their end has come. We will take over the government of Ondo State come October 10, 2020”.

But, Akeredolu, who defeated the PDP standard-bearer in the 2016 election, said there is no vacancy in the State House, adding that Jegede was under an illusion.

Akeredolu, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, maintained that Jegede’s wishful thoughts were illusory permissible in politics.

He added: “This is more so that the euphoria of his victory over certain entrenched principalities was capable of igniting an outburst. But our message to Jegede is that he should beware of the ides of figure 888. It’s symbolic and too dangerous to ignore.”

The ruling and opposition parties confirmed fence-mending within their chapters yesterday as part of preparations for the election.

Akeredolu and Jegede have also commenced consultations on the choice of running mates. Both of them, according to sources may pick their running mates from the South Senatorial District.

According to a source, Jegede is under pressure to pick Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi as his running mate.

Ajayi who dumped APC for the PDP last month came second in the PDP primary. He polled 657 votes, trailing Jegede who polled 888 votes.

Sources said Jegede is yet to open talks with Ajayi, although some PDP chieftains have been mounting pressure on him to pick Ajayi due to his ability to gather such votes within one month of joining the party.

The source said Jegede is putting off the pressure on grounds that he needed a running mate he could trust.

Read Also: Ondo 2020: Jegede under pressure to pick Ajayi as running mate
According to the source, “some PDP national leaders, including a governor from the Northwest have been talking to Jegede on the need to pick Ajayi as his running mate.

“They stressed that apart from the fact that Ajayi is a grassroots mobilizer, Jegede needs a running mate that can match whoever is picked by the APC as Akeredolu’s running mate from the southern senatorial district.

“But Jegede reportedly told them that it would be difficult for him to accept their offer because he does not want someone who would be working behind to oust him from office if he eventually becomes a governor.”

Ajayi and other aspirants have accepted the defeat and promised to work for Jegede’s victory.

Ajayi, in a statement, thanked the people for standing with the PDP ‘in the struggle to liberate the state’.

He said: “We remain undaunted and resolute about our commitment to a people-oriented government against personalized democracy. “We wish the good people of Ondo State and the winner the best as we march on. For us, life goes on.”

Also, Eddy Olafeso who got 175 votes, said he was ready to support Jegede if he (Jegede) was willing to seek his cooperation.

He said: “Our support to Jegede is not going to be blanket support. He will have to tell us what is the need for us. If our candidate is willing to seek our cooperation, then, at a very formal and informal level, we will have to talk. Most of what needed to be done rest with him.”

An APC aspirant, Dr. Nathaniel Adojutelegan has rejected the outcome of the primary that produced Akeredolu.

In his two-page petition to the APC national secretariat, Adojutelegan alleged that the primary fell short of the party’s constitution and the electoral laws.

He said: “The electoral college of delegates that voted in the governorship primary election was not democratically elected by members of the party from their various wards, contrary to the provisions of Article 20 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The electoral college of delegates that voted in the governorship primary election was selected during the 2018 Congresses and not democratically elected by members of the party from their various wards, contrary to the provisions of Article 20 of the.”

The petitioner also referred the appeal committee to a pending suit against the selection of the members of the executive committees at the ward, local government, and state levels.

Adojutelegan also complained that “the mode of the primary was disclosed on Friday, 17 July, few days to the date of the primary, contrary to the guidelines.

“The delegates list was disclosed to the aspirants on 19 July 2020, few hours to the commencement of the governorship primary election contrary to the Guidelines, Rules, and Regulations of the APC.”

He alleged that “there were no polling booths. Tables were placed together, and voters were directed to vote at the same time on the same table. Thereby making them vote under duress and enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.

“The voters were permitted to use their mobile phones to take photographs of the ballot papers enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.

“The voters openly displayed their ballot papers enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.

“The voters were assembled closely together in a single line to drop their ballot papers in the ballot boxes enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.

He also alleged that Akeredolu and his agents propagated and spread false information about him on Twitter, Facebook, and Ondo State Radiovision Corporation that he had stepped down.

He said: “This premeditated act affected my fortunes in the election thereby causing the delegates that supported me to vote for the governor.”

The petitioner then prayed the appeal committee to declare the primary of 20 July 2020 Ondo State Governorship null and void, and cancel the result.

But, former Kebbi State Governor Muhammad Adamu Aliero called for unity, urging the Ondo State APC family to work for victory. He said it is important that APC should retain the state.

He spoke with reporters after the Ondo State APC Governorship Reconciliation Committee meeting at the party’s national secretariat on Thursday in Abuja.

The former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, who is a member of the committee, said efforts to pacify aggrieved chieftains will yield positive results.

Aliero said: “The governor has already emerged the winner, what is important is to carry everybody along to ensure victory for our party. We will do whatever that is possible to win the election in Ondo state. It is very critical to us.

“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that we win that election.

“Already, we have gone to Ondo State in our effort for reconciliation and we spent a whole day there talking to aspirants and stakeholders and members of the state assembly.

“We are going to continue with the reconciliation. On Friday (tomorrow), we are going to invite members of the National Assembly representing Ondo to discuss how they will assist to ensure that we will win the election.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Trump Finally Okays Transition As Key US Agency Declares Biden Winner Of Presidential Election

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The General Services Administration has ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the November 3 election.

President Donald Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said Monday that he is directing his team to cooperate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.

The move clears the way for the start of the transition of Trump’s administration and allows Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over January 20.

An official said administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump’s efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Biden’s victory Monday.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official —including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden.

Trump tweeted shortly after her letter was made public: “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good … fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

Earlier Monday, retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who has repeatedly called for the transition to begin, released a new statement saying that Trump should “put the country first” and help Biden’s administration succeed.

“When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do,” Alexander said.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Monday called for the head of the General Services Administration to release the money and staffing needed for the transition. Portman, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also said Biden should receive high-level briefings on national security and the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.

Alexander and Portman, who have both aligned themselves with Trump, joined a growing number of Republican officials who in recent days have urged Trump to begin the transition immediately. Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia also urged a smooth transition, saying in a statement Monday that “at some point, the 2020 election must end.”

Separately, more than 100 Republican former national security officials — including former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte — said in a statement that Trump’s refusal to concede and allow for an orderly transition “constitutes a serious threat” to America’s democratic process. The officials signing the letter worked under four Republican presidents, including Trump.

The statement called on “Republican leaders — especially those in Congress — to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election.”

Among those signing the letter from business leaders were Jon Gray, president of the Blackstone private equity firm; Robert Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Inc.; Henry Kravis, co-chief executive of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., another private equity giant; David Solomon, CEO at Goldman Sachs; and George H. Walker, CEO of the investment firm Neuberger Berman and a second cousin to former President George W. Bush.

AP

 

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Nigerian Government Petitions CNN Over Lekki Shootings Report [Full Letter Attached]

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The Federal Government has berated US-based Cable News Network for its coverage of the #EndSARS protest in the Lekki area of Lagos saying “CNN breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.”

The government also demanded “an immediate and exhaustive investigation from CNN into its ‘investigative’ report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine, among others, its authenticity.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this in his letter to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications) in CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia.

The letter dated November 23 2020 entitled ‘Re: How a bloody night of bullets quashed a young protest movement’, was obtained by PorscheClassy News in Abuja on Monday.

The letter reads, “Our attention has been drawn to an ‘investigation’ by CNN, entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’ and aired on 18 Nov. 2020, in which the international news organization said it had ”uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters” at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, during the #EndSARS protest.

“We write to put on record that the report did not just fall short of journalistic standards, it reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue, it is blatantly irresponsible and it is a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.

“In the first instance, the report did not live up to the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness. According to the website www.ethics.journalists.org, ”balance and fairness are classic buzzwords of journalism ethics: In objective journalism, stories must be balanced in the sense of attempting to present all sides of a story. Fairness means that a journalist should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story so a reader draws the reporter’s desired conclusion.”

Read the full letter below:

 

23 Nov. 2020

Mr. Jonathan Hawkins

VP, Communications

CNN Centre

Atlanta, Georgia

U.S,

RE: HOW A BLOODY NIGHT OF BULLETS QUASHED A YOUNG PROTEST MOVEMENT

Our attention has been drawn to an ‘investigation’ by CNN, entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’ and aired on 18 Nov. 2020, in which the international news organization said it had ”uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters” at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, during the #EndSARS protest.

We write to put on record that the report did not just fall short of journalistic standards, it reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue, it is blatantly irresponsible and it is a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.

In the first instance, the report did not live up to the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness. According to the website www.ethics.journalists.org, ”balance and fairness are classic buzzwords of journalism ethics: In objective journalism, stories must be balanced in the sense of attempting to present all sides of a story. Fairness means that a journalist should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story so a reader draws the reporter’s desired conclusion.”

Rushing to air such a momentous story without presenting the government’s side is inexcusable and indefensible. CNN said it contacted over 100 protesters and family members, but did not speak to one official of Nigeria’s federal government. While CNN said there was no response from the army and that officials of Lagos State would not speak in view of the Judicial Panel that is investigating the matter, it did not say what effort it made to speak with any official of the federal government.

The truth is that CNN did not even attempt to reach the federal government. Nima Elbagir, who presented the report and most probably led the investigation, is conversant with the Minister of Information and Culture, who is also the Spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, yet did not say that she even tried to reach the Minister. It is therefore strange, to say the least, that she would rush to air such an important ‘investigation’ report without getting the government’s side. In other words, Nima, and by extension CNN, breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.

Another serious breach by CNN, in its ‘investigation’, is that the network relied heavily on unverified footage it harvested from social media.

CNN was not present at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of the incident. Neither its reporter nor cameraman was there, but it relied on eyewitnesses. Well, this is fraught with danger. While experts say eyewitness testimony is a potent form of evidence, it is also subject to unconscious memory distortions and biases, Unlike CNN, a reporter from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Pidgin Service, Damilola Banjo, was at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night in question, and was quoted as saying soldiers shot sporadically into the air and not at the protesters – a direct contradiction of the position taken by CNN who relied on second and third-hand information.

In airing its ‘investigative’ report, CNN conveniently forgot that on Oct. 23rd, 2020, it emphatically tweeted, from its verified Twitter handle, that the military killed 38 people when it opened fire on

peaceful protesters on Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 2020. Almost a month later, the same CNN – after a supposedly exhaustive investigation – is now reporting only one death from what the world was made to believe was a massacre. Is CNN not embarrassed by this sharp climb down? Has CNN owned up to this and apologized for its faux Paz?

It is also interesting that while CNN obtained footage showing when the vehicles carrying soldiers left their barracks and arrived at the Lekki Toll Gate, it could not obtain any footage showing the bodies of those supposedly killed in the ‘massacre’. After all, forensic ballistic experts will most likely testify that firing military-grade weapons into a crowd will not leave anyone needing a microscope to look for blood or bodies at the scene.

CNN has said it stands by its story, and that ”our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched”, This is baffling, considering that the story lacks fairness and balance, as we have pointed out, and that the organization relied heavily on manipulated social media videos. This resort to an escapist cliche seems more like a face-saving measure by an otherwise respectable news network caught in the blinding glare of ‘fake news and disinformation’ headlamps. Or how else does one explain the arrogant defense of an international news network that would not even respect the most basic principle of journalism?

One of CNN’s star eyewitnesses in its ‘investigative’ reporting is DJ Switch. Unknown to CNN, DJ Switch’s story on the Lekki Toll Gate shooting has changed several times. From claiming she counted 78 bodies of protesters who were supposedly killed by soldiers on the night of the Lekki Toll Gate incident, she has twice, at least, changed the casualty figure from 78 to 15 and then to 7, without a shred of evidence. CNN cannot pretend not to know that for anyone to act as a witness, his or her credibility must be unimpeachable. DJ Switch’s credibility does not meet that threshold.

In one of the social media videos of DJ Switch that was used by CNN (see attached link 1), the lady (DJ Switch) claimed she and some unnamed persons carried dead bodies and dropped them at the feet of the soldiers. She also claimed she spoke to their Commander before the soldiers threw the bodies into the vans. Curiously, for someone who was streaming live on Instagram during the Lekki Toll Gate incident, there was not a single video or picture of the dead bodies. Not even Godson (Uyi), another CNN star witness whose video was also used by the network, or any of the hundreds of protesters, all armed with smartphones, at the scene recorded a video or shot a picture of dead bodies being carried away by soldiers.

Talking of Godson, despite claiming to have analyzed hours of footage, it is curious that CNN conveniently left out key parts of Godson’s 57-minute, 5-second video (see attached link 2). For example, 13 minutes, 40 seconds into the video, there were voices, in street lingo, in the background telling Godson that the gunshots were not from the soldiers (na boys dey shoot, that na local gun sound….it’s boys, meaning touts and hoodlums, who are shooting.

That’s a local gun). Some 20 minutes,14 seconds into the video, Godson confirmed that the boys had brought out their guns and were shooting (local okay, he called it). Some 23 minutes, 14 seconds into the video, Godson said ‘wait, all these boys dey shoot’ (meaning gunshots rang out from the touts/hoodlums). CNN, in its rush to nail soldiers and tell a ‘radically different story’, conveniently left out these parts of the Godson video, which could have shown that armed hoodlums invaded the Lekki Toll Gate that night, and could have hit any of the protesters as they shot sporadically. This is clearly a ploy by the CNN reporter/presenter to manipulate viewers of its ‘investigative’ report and force them to draw the reporter’s desired conclusion! Another video showing an armed protester at the Lekki Toll Gate (see attached link 3) was apparently not among the footage reviewed by CNN!

It is shocking that all through its ‘investigation’, CNN did not for once mention the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed during the #EndSARS crisis, which also left 196 policemen injured, not to talk of the monumental destruction of government and private properties across the country. Instead, the network is fixated on the massacre that never happened. Are security agents not human beings too? Are they not entitled to the protection of their human rights?

For the record, this is not the first time that CNN has carried an inaccurate or hoax story about Nigeria. In February 2007, Nigeria accused CNN of staging one of its reports from the country’s Niger Delta region, showing gunmen holding 24 Filipinos hostage. Of course, CNN and it’s then Africa Correspondent Jeff Koinange flatly denied the charge, saying the network did not pay for any part of the report. Later, in an email reportedly sent to a friend, Mr. Koinange was quoted as saying: “Of course we had to pay certain people to get the story… You do not get such a story without bribing.” So much for denials!

As a form of remediation, Nigeria’s Federal Government demands an immediate and exhaustive investigation from CNN into its ‘investigative’ report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine, among others, its authenticity, whether or not it met the basic standards of journalism and also the selective use of unverified social media videos to manipulate public opinion. While it is up to CNN to accede or not, please note that the Federal Government reserves the right to take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from aggravating the #EndSARS crisis with unprofessional, irresponsible, one-sided, inciting, and sensational reporting that is capable of pitching Nigerians against themselves and setting the country on fire.

 

Lai Mohammed

Hon. Minister

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BREAKING: Gunmen Kidnap Nigerian Minister’s Brother In Kano

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Babawuro Tofai, the younger brother of Sabo Nanono, minister of agriculture, has been abducted in Kano.

Gunmen had whisked the victim away from his family house in Gabasawa local government area of the state on Monday morning.

One of the aides of the minister confirmed the abduction, saying the gunmen struck around 10 am on Monday.

Abdullahi Haruna, police public relations officer in Kano, also confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

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