The Social Democratic Party (SDP) said it had received a Federal High Court judgment directing it to recognise Prof. Jerry Gana as its presidential candidate for 2019 election.
The party’s Deputy National Chairman, Dr Abdul Isiaq, disclosed this when he received Gana who paid a courtesy visit to the party national secretariat on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja had last Friday declared Gana as the rightful Candidate of SDP in the 2019 election.
The party had earlier declared former Governor of Cross River, Mr Donald Duke, as its flag bearer for the 2019 General Elections.
The party declared Duke as winner of its primary election; that he polled 812 votes while Gana had 611.
However, Gana went to court seeking that it should declare him the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.
In his judgement, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed.
He held that the zoning and rotation formula as contained in the party’s constitution stipulated that both the chairman of the party and the flag bearer should not come from the same zone.
Isiaq said that the party would comply with the court directive.
“As a party we have received the judgment from the High Court.
“This party like you know is a very disciplined party and you will not find impunity in the process of our party. By so doing whatever the court say is what the party will comply with.”
The deputy national chairman said that the party would do the needful on Gana’s request to approve his policy document to enable him to launch his campaign.
Gana, speaking earlier, called on the SDP leadership to complete his nomination process with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in line with the recent court order.
“Arising from the court ruling, the INEC has been directed that you ensure that the processes of my nomination are put in place.
“Therefore, they (INEC) have given us the forms, we have completed them, and the forms are supposed to be directed back to INEC through you.
“I like to take this opportunity to say that by the grace of God the candidate of your party will be the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
Gana, who presented his nomination forms to the party, urged the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to endorse his policy document to enable him to commence his nationwide campaign rallies.
“We like to appeal to the party’s leadership to facilitate the processes of our reaching out to the nation because we have lost some times. We are ready to go into campaign.’’
Gana said that details of his five-point agenda coded “SWIFT’’ would be made public once endorsed by the party leadership.
“As soon as you show us the green light we will reach out to the nation. We will run an issue-based campaign.
“We want to present to Nigeria a programme of development that will change the situation of ordinary people of Nigeria regarding the serious issue of security and biting poverty.’’
Gana, who promised to carry everyone along irrespective of what had happened, sought the support of the party leadership and its members.
“All of us must now mobilise because Nigerians are waiting for us. APC and PDP are not the answer, they are waiting for credible alternative, which is SDP.
“We believe in solidarity and in working together so, there will be tremendous reconciliation and accommodation so that we can move together because we want the SDP to win and by the grace of God we will win,” he said.
Asked if he was considering picking Duke as his running mate, Gana said it was a matter for the party leadership to approve.
“I will make proposal to them and they will approve and announce to the nation,” he said.
Military government is better than democratic government in Nigeria – APC’s Senator Adeyemi
On Wednesday, an All Progressives Congress member representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said he preferred military rule to the current democracy being practised in Nigeria.
His submission created direct opposite opinions, describing his statement as anti-democratic.
Adeyemi spoke while contributing to the debate on the bill for the establishment of a National Electoral Offences Commission, sponsored by Senator Abubakar Kyari.
Kyari had said the Independent National Electoral Commission was too overwhelmed to effectively prosecute election offenders, hence the need for a commission specifically for that purpose.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, cautioned Adeyemi and said the opinion of the former National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists was personal and did not represent the position of the Senate.
Other senators like James Manager and George Sekibo, also disagreed with Adeyemi by insisting that democracy was better than military government.
Adeyemi noted with anger that the way democracy was being practised in Nigeria, particularly the electoral process, was nothing but a charade.
He said, “To say without any fear of contradiction, there cannot be democracy in any nation where we do not have a free and fair election.
“There will be a misrepresentation, lousy governance, misappropriation of funds and all the shortcomings that we have witnessed over the years of the democratic rule.
“As a result, people of questionable character find their ways to elective position.
“I think the time has come for us not just to look at the possibility of having an electoral offences tribunal, I think there is a need for a special court for the electoral offences.
“One can be tempted to say that the military government is better than a democratic government.”
Obaseki Demands Oshiomhole’s Arrest, Prosecution
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has written to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to seek the arrest and prosecution of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole.
The Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu, who spoke to journalists in Abuja on Monday, said a copy of the petition would also be sent to the Director, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.
Shuaibu accused the national chairman of fuelling violence in the state by serially going against the state government’s order banning political rally.
He spoke with journalists after the meeting of the Progressive Governors Forum’s Committee on Good Governance in Abuja.
At the meeting, the APC governors agreed to set up a sub-committee to review the report of the Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-Rufai-led APC committee on restructuring to form a policy document.
Shuaibu said, “I have sent a petition to the IG and the Director of DSS to the effect that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole be arrested by the police and be arrested by the DSS for the breakdown of law and order that he has consistently perpetrated in Edo State.
“We banned rallies, the IG in a letter also suspended demonstrations. He disobeyed the orders of the state government; he violated the orders of the IG and feels that he is above the law. For us, we have officially come now to drop our petition with the IG to the effect that Oshiomhole is not above the law.
“He should be arrested for violating the state government’s order. He was a governor before, and he knows that nobody broke his orders as governor, because it is not about him, it is about the state.
“And that is why we are saying that the IG and the DG of DSS should arrest him and interrogate him for breaching the peace and disobeying government and security’s orders for rallies.
Shuaibu denied that Obaseki was fighting Oshiomhole to prepare for his exit from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party.
“To where? Why are we leaving the APC? I can categorically tell you that the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and I are in the APC, and we are not leaving the APC.”
Recall that the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Daisy Danjuma, recently endorsed Obaseki for a second term.
Shuaibu said, “That is a sign that even other parties are accepting and agreeing to the fact that the governor of Edo State is working and he should be emulated, and that is why he has the endorsements. This is the first time the APC and non-APC people are endorsing the governor, and I think it should be a pride to everybody. So, when you talk about leaving the party, it is just one of those guys trying to create a problem.”
The deputy governor also debunked insinuations that he betrayed Oshiomhole whom many have described as his godfather.
He said, “The issue of betrayal is relative. Oshiomhole remains my father, and I remain his son although presently, we are on different path politically, and it is bound to happen.”
When contacted, Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, declined comment.
Imo PDP Chairman Quits Party
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State, Charles Ezekwem, has resigned as a member of the PDP in the state.
His resignation was contained in a letter dated January 25 and cited by our correspondent in Owerri on Monday which he addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus.
The two-paragraph letter read, “Given the prevailing circumstances within my party vis-à-vis my present standing as the state chairman of the PDP in Imo State and after due consultation with my family, and with the approval of my supporters, I hereby tender my resignation as the PDP chairman, Imo State, also as a member of the party in my ward in the Okigwe LGA which has been duly communicated to the ward chairman.
“I thank the teeming population of the PDP in Imo State who thoughtfully elected me as their state chairman. I sincerely regret all the inconveniences the party faced. I thank party members for the support they gave me and the opportunity to serve in that capacity.”
Speculations are rife in the state that Ezekwem resigned to join the All Progressives Congress.
Others said he resigned to safeguard his job as the board chairman of state government-owned Heartland FC of Owerri.
Ezekwem did not respond to the speculations as he did not answer several phone calls made to his telephone line by our correspondent.
One man’s opinion about my regime doesn’t matter — Buhari
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has dismissed the claim by a former Minister of Defence, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma (retd.), that Nigeria under his watch is in a big hole.
Danjuma had, at a recent event in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, scored Buhari low in governance and anti-corruption war, claiming that Nigeria under the retired general’s watch “is in a big hole.”
He had said that most Nigerians would be seriously disturbed if he declared what he knew about what was going on in Buhari’s government.
While speaking at the University of Ibadan, during a book launch, Danjuma was quoted by to have said, “In Yorubaland, everybody seems to have lost their voice, scared. And people appear not to care about what is happening. If I tell you what I know is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep.
“So, Chief Ayo Adebanjo’s warning and advice are very timely. If you want details, I will give it to you privately.
“We are in a big hole as a nation. And people who put us in this hole have continued today. So, we’ve to wake up. Only we can save ourselves.”
But Buhari in an interview he granted the current edition of The Interview Magazine, said he cared less about Danjuma’s comment, noting that the ex-minister’s comment was a one-man opinion, compared to the majority of people whose votes he garnered to return as President for a second term in 2019.
Buhari said, “And what is the vote of confidence of Nigerians in me, as expressed in the polls last year? That is what matters more, not the opinion of one man.”
Buhari, in the interview, also said the relationship between him and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo “is perfect” despite the perception in certain quarters that there may be a cold war between the two.
He also denied the existence of a ‘cabal’ in his regime, said to be dictating the pace of governance in the country.
Asked about his relationship with Osinbajo, he replied, “Perfect. Or has he complained to you? Thank you very much.”
On the alleged existence of a cabal, Buhari said, “I addressed this matter before. I was the one who went around the country on campaigns, and I was the one voted into office as President twice.
“No one else did, and no one else took the oath of office, and can exercise the powers of a President.”
When asked whether some of the actions of his regime were not in direct opposition to his claim of being a “reformed democrat,” Buhari said he did not expect critics to praise him.
According to him, his satisfaction is that Nigerians have confidence in him, as expressed during the last polls.
“You called them critics. If they are critics, you would hardly expect them to garland me. Rather, they would look for things to try and de-market me.
“But, I am glad that as they do that, millions of Nigerians know who their President truly is, and they have made it clear in 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. All countries, including the old democracies, must maintain law and order. If you look around the world, our policing operations are as restrained as any,” he added.
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