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edited pg 43 Leadership crisis good omen for PDP – Lamido From Aliyu M. Hamagam, Dutse A former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, yesterday said…

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Leadership crisis good omen for PDP – Lamido

From Aliyu M. Hamagam, Dutse

A former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, yesterday said the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a sign of good omen.

Lamido, who said this while fielding questions from newsmen in his country home, Bamaina, in Jigawa State, argued that, six months ago, nobody talked about the party and its leadership.

He said PDP members were afraid to identify themselves with the party shortly after the last general elections, stressing that with what is happening now, things were changing for the better in the party.

The former governor also disagreed with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for saying that PDP’s sins were responsible for the present economic crunch in the country.

He argued that if that was the case, “the APC was also a combination of sinners because it was formed largely by former PDP members.”

He said the APC won the 2015 general elections with the support of PDP members who defected few months to the polls, stating that most of them were serving governors and ministers.

“If the PDP committed sins in its 16 years in power, then it means that people like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wamakko, Rotimi Amaechi, Aminu Tambuwal, Umar Ganduje, Atiku Abubakar and a host of many others who claimed to be APC members today are all sinners because they were in the PDP before joining the APC,” said Lamido.

Speaking on why he has not advised government on ways to tackle the present problem of insecurity in the troubled Niger Delta region, Lamido said the APC government had already politicized the matter which should have been an issue of national concern for everybody.

“The government of the APC has already accused the PDP as the brain behind the problem of insecurity in Niger Delta.

“It is most unfortunate that the federal government has already given the problem a political undertone by pointing an accusing finger to the PDP,” said Lamido.

Why we borrowed N53.5bn – Benue gov

From Hope Abah, Makurdi

The Benue State government borrowed N53.5 billion to pilot the affairs of the state since the new administration came on board in May last year, Governor Samuel Ortom has said.

The estimate of the monies include N10 billion for take-off, N28 billion bail-out fund, N10 billion used to offset four months’ state workers salaries and N5.5 billion loan for counterpart funding.

Ortom, who spoke on the funds at Katsina-Ala, Gboko, Adikpo and Vandeikya during his town hall meetings with stakeholders across the state, said it was necessary to make the disclosure to debunk reports that he had borrowed over N100 billion within one year.

He said all the loans were obtained in the interest of the state, stressing that he inherited a deficit treasury.

The governor stated that the payment of counterpart funds enabled the state to access N2.4 billion for conditional grant projects of the Millennium Development Goals, MDG/SDG in the social services and economic sectors across the state.

He said 16 water projects were being executed through the Benue State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (BERWASSA) in four council areas.

‘Persecution led to creation of Atiku media office’

By Abdullateef Salau

The political travails of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar cannot be isolated from the circumstances that led to the creation of his media office, Mazi Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to the Turakin Adamawa and Head, Atiku Media Office (AMO), has said.

Ibe, who said this at an occasion to mark the 10th year anniversary of the AMO in Abuja, stated that the former vice president became a target of political persecution and media smear propaganda since he declared his opposition to the 2006 third term agenda, which attempted to remove constitutional term limits.

Ibe said he was cast as “corrupt and unreliable” because he joined other Nigerians to oppose the third term ambition, recalling that he was “indicted and found guilty as charged and sacked as vice president by an administrative panel, which was packed with Atiku’s opponents and loyalists of his persecutor.”

He said the law courts later declared the actions illegal.

“Under these difficult circumstances, Atiku needed to tell his own story by countering the false narratives put out by his political opponents that cast him in the image of the most corrupt politician. No smart politician can afford to under-estimate the influence of the media.

“Faced by this reality, Atiku had no choice but to establish his own media outfit to respond to the stories told against him by his political opponents,” said Ibe.

Kogi: NOA advises INEC on rerun poll

From Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to examine its weaknesses in the last rerun election in Kogi East to ensure a hitch-free outing in the forthcoming repeat poll.

The acting state director of the agency, Malam Mohammed Othman Abdullahi, gave the advice at the weekend when the newly deployed INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Samuel Madaki, paid him a courtesy call in Lokoja.

Abdullahi urged INEC to mobilise staff and resources to a centrally located place in the senatorial district for effective operations and monitoring of the re-run election.

He added that those who breached the peace accord earlier signed should be prosecuted.

He also said INEC should give adequate training to ad hoc staff and provide sufficient smart card readers with back-ups to ensure smooth exercise.

The INEC’s REC, Mr Madaki said he was at the agency to seek its support for the success of the rerun election scheduled to hold in Kogi East senatorial district next month.

Rep expects improved budget implementation

From Haruna Gimba Yaya, Gombe

With N3 trillion in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and N2 trillion recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), there is an assurance of 70 to 80 per cent budget implementation, a member representing Yamaltu Deba Federal Constituency of Gombe State in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Yunus Abubakar, has said.

He said this in Gombe during the distribution of foodstuff donated by the wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari.

Rep Abubakar also said since the president had signed the 2016 budget, all the zonal intervention projects proposed by the federal lawmakers would be executed.

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