Other than its barrage of press statements and attempts at propaganda calling out the Buhari administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over their missteps, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), since its December convention that threw up a new leadership for the party, has been eerily quiet. With just nine months to go before the 2019 election, no clear picture has emerged as to who the party will field as its presidential candidate. The uncertainty in the camp of the PDP has given President Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent and presumptive candidate of the APC, a clear edge, enabling him to sprint away from the starting blocks while the PDP looks on in utter helplessness.
The air of uncertainty pervading the PDP stems from obvious reasons: Unlike the APC in 2014 which was almost decided on who would fly the flag of the party in the 2015 presidential election, the PDP has a divided field of candidates, some of whom are still not even in its camp. While the likes of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Sule Lamido, former Jigawa governor, have made their intentions known to vie for the presidential ticket of the PDP, the likes of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, are yet to decide on whether to dump the ruling APC and pitch their tents with the PDP, or to remain with the APC. The indecision, naturally, stems from the horse-trading taking place behind the scenes and what guarantees they can secure from the PDP before taking the giant step of leaving the APC.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, on the other hand, remains mute on a presidential run as he weighs his options and tests the waters in the hope that he can emerge the “anointed candidate” without as much as lifting a finger. After all, it happened in 2007, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo ignored a large field of PDP presidential hopefuls seeking to succeed him and handpicked the late Umaru Muhammad Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan as presidential candidate and running mate of the then ruling PDP, respectively.
Buhari’s Cutting Edge
BUY OR SELL OLD AND NEW CARS, PARTS, CAR MATERIALS AS CAR MART NG LAUNCH IN NIGERIA
Given Buhari’s early start in the 2019 presidential contest, he remains the candidate to beat. His cult-like following among the masses of the core Northern states, particularly in the large population centres of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Sokoto and Jigawa, remains intact and has grown from the numbers he mustered in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections to unprecedented proportions. In particular, the agriculture policies pursued by the administration has seen the emergence of thousands of small-hold famers in the North that have been empowered through the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and owe their new found affluence to Buhari. These along with his APC loyalists/governors in the South-west controlled states of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and to some extent Lagos, make him the favourite in a field of hopefuls yet to secure the ticket of their part(ies).
The incumbency factor is another factor that puts Buhari in good stead to win the presidential contest in 2019. The federal government’s move, in particular, to enforce the anti-money laundering laws among banks and the morbid fear of the anti-graft agencies breathing down their necks will render it more difficult for the opposition to move funds through banking channels to execute its campaign in 2019. By starving the opposition of funds, this will give Buhari’s team the advantage it needs to deploy the war chest that it already has at its disposal to sway the electorate, especially in the swing North-central states where the president’s popularity has waned.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has condemned the recent attack by armed hoodlums on a High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, warning that the act, if not checked, could endanger the nation’s democracy.
Read All Newspapers in one Place - Download our App for free. DOWNLOAD
Onnoghen also called on the public to condemn the act and preserve the judiciary, which he said remains the last hope of the citizens.
His condemnation came just as the River State House of Assembly resolved to write to the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth of Nations to save the people of the state from the hands of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government.
The reactions came after the attack and closure of the High Court complex last Friday by armed thugs believed to be members of a faction of the Rivers APC while the police looked on.
The thugs were alleged to have attacked the High Court to stop it from making a pronouncement on a suit filed by another faction of the APC led by Senator Magnus Abe, which sought to stop the APC local government congresses in the state.
Despite the attack on the court premises, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu of the High Court granted an interlocutory injunction stopping the APC from going ahead with the local government congresses, but the faction led by former Rivers State governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, ignored the order of the court and went ahead with the congresses last Saturday.
Speaking on the attack on the High Court yesterday, the CJN, in a statement by his media aide, Awassam Bassey, described the attack as disturbing.
He wondered if such level of violence could be unleashed on the judiciary over intra-party elections, what would happen during the 2019 general election.
The statement read: The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has been informed of an attack on the Port Harcourt High Court complex on Friday, 11th May, 2018.
“According to the reports, this attack took place as judges, magistrates, staff and lawyers reported for duty at the said Rivers State High Court complex in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
“Judicial and non-judicial staff were denied access to the complex as all the gates had been padlocked and the buildings surrounded by hoodlums.
“These hoodlums, who were said to be heavily armed, reportedly inflicted bodily harm to judicial officers and other staff of the judiciary going about their lawful duties and destroyed some properties belonging to the judiciary.
“This action was aimed at stopping the court from sitting and delivering a ruling in an intra-party dispute of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in respect of the local government congresses of the party in the state.
“This latest act of intimidation of the judiciary and the unwarranted violence against a peaceful institution of an arm of government is quite disturbing. More importantly, such show of shame ought not to be encouraged by right-thinking members of the Nigerian public.
Members of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have broken apart with a faction loyal to the ruling party and President Muhammadu Buhari distancing themselves from the one-week ultimatum issued by its chairman, Alhaji Kawu Baraje.
The opposing group led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State, stormed the APC national secretariat in Abuja yesterday to present a letter to the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urging him to call the bluff of the Baraje-led group whom he accused of fronting for Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Adamu, who briefed reporters after presenting the letter, expressed the support of the group for the Buhari-led administration and accused Saraki of being the brain behind threats by the Baraje faction of the nPDP.
The nPDP, in a letter signed by Baraje and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who last week decamped from the APC, had given the leadership of the ruling party and the president a seven-day ultimatum to address their charges of marginalisation and oppression against its members.
In the four-page letter dated April 27, 2018, they had alleged that despite their contributions to the success of the APC in the 2015 elections, their members had been relegated to the background in the scheme of things in the party and in government.
The letter said the only seat that went to members of the nPDP in the Federal Executive Council was given to a member whose state contributed virtually no vote to the APC in the 2015 presidential election.
They also enumerated the contributions of the nPDP to the 2015 electoral victory of the APC.
But while dismissing the ultimatum issued by the Baraje-led group, Adamu said yesterday that his group, which was part of nPDP that broke away from the main PDP right from the beginning, was never consulted nor carried along before the letter of complaint was tendered.
He said all the allegations raised in the letter submitted by Baraje’s group were false.
In the letter submitted by the Adamu-led faction titled, ‘Unfounded and Unjustified Grounds for Confrontation with our Party, the APC, and Government by Some Members of the Defunct nPDP,’ dated May 14, 2018, and addressed to the APC national chairman, the group described Baraje’s letter as “misleading”.
The letter jointly signed by Adamu (chairman), Chief Theodore Geogewill (deputy chairman) and Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin as secretary of the group said Baraje’s letter “was full of contradictions, false assertions, misrepresentations, a distortion of history and facts and in many instances outright lies”.
“We as initiators and founding members of the defunct nPDP, therefore, wish to condemn and disassociate ourselves from the letter and apologise for the obvious embarrassment the letter has caused our party and government.
“We wish to reaffirm our support and confidence in the party and Mr. President and we do not in any way feel marginalised or maltreated as we are clearly in the league of the biggest beneficiaries of the party.
Ejiofor Alike The federal government and oil firms operating in the western Niger Delta are losing roughly 250,000 barrels of oil per day (b/d) owing to the closure of the Trans-Forcados Pipeline, following a leakage discovered on the facility, THISDAY has learnt. The Trans-Forcados pipeline is the major trunk line in the Forcados Pipeline System The post FG, Oil Firms Lose 250,000bpd of Crude Oil to Closure of Trans-Forcados Pipeline appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
Two persons die as Shiite, police clash in Abuja ‘Buratai gives army three weeks to clear Birnin-Gwari of bandits Olawale Ajimotokan , Senator Iroegbu in Abuja and Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja Some suspected Fulani herdsmen early hours of on Monday attacked two communities in Kogi west, killing 10 persons. THISDAY reliably gathered that the The post 10 Killed as Suspected Herdsmen Attack Two Communities in Kogi appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
Ejiofor Alike with agency reports The trial of top executives from oil majors, Eni and Shell, over alleged corruption in Nigeria, which kicked off yesterday with a brief procedural hearing has been re-adjourned till next month. At the next hearing, set for June 20, the Milan court said it would assess requests from third parties, The post Shell, Eni Trial on Malabu Oil Deal Re-adjourned to June appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
Bassey Inyang in Calabar Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has disclosed that if elected president of Nigeria in 2019, he will run a lean government, a policy he said would be part of the restructuring of the country. Atiku stated this yesterday in Cross River State Government House, Calabar when he paid a courtesy The post 2019: Atiku Promises to Run Lean Government appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
Adjourns sitting till June Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano The Kano State House of Assembly was Monday sealed up by the police following moves to impeach the Speaker, Abdullahi Yusuf Ata, by some of its members. However, sources close to the assembly confided in THISDAY that as at last night, 21 lawmakers had duly supported The post Kano Assembly Shut over Plan to Impeach Speaker appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
A group of Oando shareholders have called on the company’s management to resolve its dispute with Ansbury Investments Incorporated. In a statement released yesterday, the shareholders,who referred to themselves as Concerned Oando Shareholders, said the prolonged war and bickering is not in the best interest of the shareholders or the company. In September 2017, Ansbury The post Oando Shareholders Want Management to Resolve Dispute with Ansbury appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja with agency report The Senate last night said it would not stop the senator representing Delta Central, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from resuming today. It said having been briefed by its lawyers on last Thursday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja nullifying its suspension of Omo-Agege, it had resolved not The post Senate to Obey Court Order on Omo-Agege’s Reinstatement appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Dutse, Jigawa State, said his administration was delivering on its promises with clear-cut targets, prudent management of resources and a deliberate policy to plug wastage and pilfering of government resources. Speaking at the palace of the Emir of Dutse, Nuhu Muhammadu Sanusi, during a two-day visit, President Buhari said the The post Buhari: We’ve Achieved More than PDP appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.