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Page 20 No apology fielding Jonathan as presidential candidate – Metuh By Saawua Terzungwe The national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief…

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No apology fielding Jonathan as presidential candidate – Metuh

By Saawua Terzungwe

The national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has countered Chief Raymond Dokpesi, saying the party has no apology fielding former President Goodluck Jonathan as its Presidential candidate in the March/April general elections.

Chief Dokpesi, who is the chairman of PDP National Conference Organising Committee had on Tuesday at the committee’s maiden briefing in Abuja, said that the PDP had apologised to the North and other Nigerians for its mistakes while in power in the last 16 years.

But Metuh, in a statement yesterday, said Dokpesi’s statement was not the official position of the PDP but his own personal opinion.

“That statement made by Chief Raymond Dokpesi is his personal opinion and does not represent in any way an official position of the PDP. In the first place, Dokpesi is not a member of the national executive of the PDP and he can only speak in his personal capacity and his opinion remains personal and does not represent that of the party.

“The decision to field former President Jonathan in the 2015 presidential race was approved by the National Working Committee (NWC), the National Executive Council (NEC) and the party’s national caucus. In addition, the constitution of party allows a sitting president chance to exercise his personal right to run for a second term if he so desires.

“This is not the time for buck passing or blame game. We are repositioning our party. What we should do is to join hands to reposition PDP based on the report of the Senator Ike Ekweremadu report to reclaim the party’s lost glory. This is what is expected of us all at this time.

“How can you regret a decision taken when everyone was there, the NWC, NEC and the national caucus? What are we talking about? Everybody was conscious of the decision, nobody was coerced into supporting the position,” he said.

Police ready for Bayelsa election – IG

By Adelanwa Bamgboye

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Solomon Arase has said that the Nigeria Police is fully ready for the December 5 governorship elections in Bayelsa State.

The IGP stated this yesterday at the civil society dialogue on Bayelsa governorship elections organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) which took place in Abuja.

Those present at the dialogue include Clement Nwankwo, Executive Director PLAC, Mr. Baritor Kpagih INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Bayelsa State European Union team and civil society groups.

The IGP, who spoke through a Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, called on all political parties participating in the Bayelsa election to eschew violence and hate speeches.

He noted that preparation and readiness for the election by the police would amount to nothing if other stakeholders did not build and sustain the necessary working synergy to accomplish the assignment.

“Let me assure you of our neutrality, transparency and impartiality. Should anyone have any misgivings about our actions or inaction either as an organisation or individually at any point in time in this journey, please do not hesitate to bring such to our attention,” he said.

Buhari, El-Rufai team shuts office, share campaign booty

From Dickson S. Adama, Kaduna

Having concluded its assignment of ensuring the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, the Buhari/El-Rufai Support Team (The BEST) has closed all campaigns and shared vehicles to some of its outstanding members.

Speaking at the presentation of the vehicles in Kaduna yesterday, chairman of the group, retired Col Usman Umar, thanked the sponsor, Alhaji Sama’ila Barau Maigoro (Falke), for his contribution towards the success of both President Buhari and Governor El-Rufai at the 2015 general elections.

“Today, the sponsor of BEST has asked this organisation to share cars to three individuals in the three zones. They are Alhaji Umar Sambo (Goga) from Kaduna North, Barau Emmanuel from Kaduna Central and Murtala Shuaib from Kaduna South.

“This is for their outstanding contributions towards the activities of the group from inception till date,” he said.

In his remarks, Falke said having achieved their aim, the organisation would now move onto another stage which is ensuring that the masses get the dividends of democracy from the leaders they voted into power.

Adamawa Assembly dissolves c’tee over utterance

From Kabiru R. Anwar, Yola

The Adamawa State House of Assembly has dissolved its Committee on Finance, Budget and Appropriation over controversy surrounding the approval of N 11 billion virement in the 2015 budget.

The speaker, Kabiru Mijinyawa, announced the dissolution of the committee at plenary, Tuesday after the chairman of the finance committee, Abdurrahman Abubakar criticised the assembly for approving the executive request for virement “without recourse to due process.”

Abubakar had faulted the approval which was given on Monday on the grounds that his committee was yet to submit its report on the matter when the approval was hurriedly made.

The chairman House Committee on Information, Hassan Barguma, told Daily Trust that the dissolution was as a result of a press interview granted by the committee chairman in which he disclosed some official matters and criticised the House.

He noted that the standing rules empower the speaker to dissolve any committee when there is need, adding that virement is allowed so long as it does not exceed the budget.

“Majority of members voted for the virement of N11 billion. His excellency is allowed to seek approval to take monies from projects in Mubi or Madagali to fund projects in Yola. There is nothing wrong in that but the chairman of the committee went ahead to criticise the House in the media,” he said.

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