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Stories for page 19

Stories for page 19 Nigeria yet to exhibit attribute of a nation- Kwara gov From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has…

Stories for page 19

Nigeria yet to exhibit attribute of a nation- Kwara gov

From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has called on the citizenry to vote responsible people into positions of authority and support them in office.

He equally called for the downplaying of ethnic and other parochial considerations in the overall interest of the nation.

Abdulfatah stated this in Ibadan, Oyo State, delivering a paper at a public lecture, organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Council.

The governor blamed some past leaders of the country for making it impossible for citizens to exhibit the attribute of a nation, adding that some of the present leaders promote ethnic, religious and other anti-Nigerian agenda.

In the lecture entitled: “Nigeria at 55: The Gains, The Pains and the Prospects”, the governor, who was represented by his Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Isiaka Gold, submitted that the present crop of leadership in the country and generality of the citizenry had the onerous duty to examine the basis of Nigerian nationhood, with reference to its peculiar history, and chart the way forward for its overall development.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the NUJ, Oyo State Council, Comrade Gbenga Opadotun, said that the lecture was organised to x-ray the development of the nation at 55 and to chart the way forward.

Mark, Onjeh closes defence at Tribunal

From Hope Abah, Makurdi

Former Senate president, David Mark, and his major challenger from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daniel Onjeh, in the March 28 senatorial election, yesterday, closed their defenses at the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi.

Counsel to Mark, Ken Ikkone, in his submission asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition brought against his client on the grounds that the petitioner failed, woefully, to make out any case against the election of the defendant.

Ikonne argued that the petitioner failed to show that the election was not properly conducted, adding that the burden of proof squarely rested on the petitioner.

In law, “he who alleges must prove,” he said.

He told the tribunal that the petitioner merely dumped some documents on the tribunal without demonstrating them in the open court, stressing that the tribunal was forbidden by the law from perusing in the recess of their chambers.

Mark’s counsel, therefore, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition and award substantial cost to his client.

On the other hand, the petitioner’s counsel prayed the tribunal to expunge the votes from seven, out of nine local government areas, where irregularities were noticed and hold a fresh exercise

But counsel to the APC candidateurged the tribunal to annul Mark’s election and order a fresh one, based on the belief that the petitioner had proven his case beyond reasonable doubts.

Osho averred that where more than half of total votes cast or half of total polling units were vitiated, the tribunal ought to nullify the entire election.

Meanwhile, the counsel to Mark’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chris Alechenu, and his counterpart of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Garba Tetingi, SAN, aligned themselves with Ikonne’s position.

‘Echocho consulting on next political move’

From Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

Governorship aspirant in the just concluded primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kogi State, Jibrin Isa Echocho, is consulting on his next move ahead of the forthcoming governorship poll, his campaign organisation has said.

Echoco was defeated by Kogi State Governor Idris Wada who is seeking for a second term.

However, there were insinuations that Echocho was planning to dump the PDP for another in order to pursue his governorship ambition.

A statement issued by Phrank Shaibu, the directorate of public communication and strategy of the organisation, urged the teeming supporters of Echocho to remain steadfast, saying: “The recently held gubernatorial primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State didn’t come without some misgivings on the final outcome.

“Capt. Idris Wada emerged winner and as true democrats, we accepted the outcome in good faith, regardless. But we are all winners because democracy triumphed.

“Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho wishes to thank his teeming supporters and well-wishers for their orderly conduct throughout the duration of the exercise. No life was lost, neither were properties destroyed.

“Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho will make a pronouncement on the next step as regards the forthcoming elections. This is especially so because consultations are ongoing with various stakeholders in the Echocho project.”

Ogun SIEC urges prayers for credible LG polls

From Kehinde Akinyemi, Abeokuta

Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has stated its readiness to conduct a free, credible and transparent election in all the 20 local government areas of the state.

Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi, the chairperson of the commission, dropped the hint during a prayer session to mark the end of the three-year tenure of the immediate past council chairmen.

She told the staff of the commission to brace up for the challenges ahead, advising them to remain honest, diligent and dedicated in order to achieve successful local government election.

Kazeem Momodu, head of media in the commission, quoted Ogunfemi in a statement saying prayer was necessary for a hitch-free poll in the state.

Tension in Bayelsa APC ahead of governorship primary poll

From Chris Eze, Yenagoa

The postponement of the governorship primary poll of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has heightened tension among stakeholders of the party in the state.

The primary poll was originally scheduled to take place on September 19, but shifted to Tuesday, September 22, 2015.

The postponement, which was announced in Abuja by the deputy publicity secretary of the party, Timi Frank, was said to be at the instance of the chairman of the committee set up by the national secretariat of the party for the primary, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.

When our correspondent visited the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa, members of the party were seen discussing the possible effect of the postponement on the outcome of the primary election.

While some claimed that the postponement might be an alleged plot by some party leaders to manipulate the outcome, others said that the extension would create room for negotiations.

In his reaction, one of the governorship aspirants, Dr. Inuro Kubo, expressed concern over the alleged poaching of delegates by some aspirants, calling on delegates to vote wisely during the election.

On his part, the former governor of the state and an aspirant in the election, Chief Timipre Sylva, called on his supporters to remain steadfast and focused on the goal of winning the December 5 governorship election in the state.

…Patience Jonathan cajole aggrieved groups for Dickson

From Chris Eze, Yenagoa

In a quest to ensure that Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson wins the December 5 gubernatorial election in the state, wife of former president, Dame Patience Jonathan, yesterday, met with former political appointees and aggrieved politicians under the Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP) to strategise for victory.

Our correspondent gathered that the meeting, which held at Otuoke, under the aegis of the PDP Integrity Forum, had in attendance the chairman of the Forum and former commissioner for local government, Deacon James Dugo, the director of publicity, Blessing Kingdom and the director of finance, Timi Gbendu, among others.

Sources said Mrs Jonathan urged members of the group and politicians present at the meeting to support Dickson without any reservation.

Coordinator of the PDP Integrity Group, Hon. Fedison Agada, who confirmed the development in an interview, yesterday, said the meeting held Wednesday at the country home of former president Jonathan.

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