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Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

FULL LIST: APC Elects New Excos In Cross River

Cross River APC elects new State Executive Committee

State Chairman - Barr. Alphonsus Eba

State Deputy Chairman - Eka Williams

State Secretary - Barr. Bassey Offiong Mensah

State Assist. Secretary - Hon. Joseph Ogar

State Legal Adviser - Barr Awah Pius

State Assist. Legal Adviser - Barr. Umoh Etim Effiong

State Treasurer - Godwin Inyang John

State Assist. Treasurer - Dr. Mathew Egong

State Organizing Secretary - Engr. Thomas Aruku

State Assist. Organizing Secretary - Dr Owoh Erim Agbor

State Publicity Secretary - Erasmus Ekpang

State Assist Publicity Secretary - Hon. Emmanuel Edem Inyang

State Financial Secretary - Effiom Bassey Effiong

State Assist. Financial Secretary - Mr Erong Igwe

Stats Women Leader - Dr. Pauline Akor

State Assist Women Leader - Mrs Maria Asumpta Offiong

Zonal Vice Chairman North - Emmanuel Ateb

Zonal Vice Chairman Central - Hon. Abubakar Ibiang

Zonal Vice Chairman South - Mrs Tity Ndofon

State Youth Leader - Emmanuel O. Bassey

State Assist Youth Leader - Elemi Cyril Emmanuel

Senatorial Youth Leader North - Dr. Joseph Idagu Ogar

Senatorial Youth Leader Central - Hon. Samuel Ankwo

Senatorial Youth Leader South - Mr. Cyril Ene

Senatorial Women Leader North - Mrs Inakefe Janet

Senatorial Women Leader Central - Mrs Love Eroma Agbor

Senatorial Women Leader South - Dr. Helen Isamoh Egodo

State Auditor - Mr Charles Iru Iyam

State Assist Auditor - Offum Festus Agbor

State Welfare Secretary - Hon. Okora Ekawu

State Assist Welfare Secretary - Eld. Akiba Ayi Okpok

State Special Leader - Chief Edet Ita Asia

Ex Officio 1 - Mr Joseph Ibia

Ex Officio 2 - David Alui Along

Ex Officio 3 - Lukpata Benedict Ikade

Ex Officio 4 - Chief Enebong Umana

October 16, 2021

Alphonsus Ogar Eba emerges Cross River APC Chairman

Alphonsus Eba


Barrister Alphonsus Ogar Eba Saturday emerged the State party Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State.

Ogar emerged chairman through a consensus voice votes by party stakeholders as he went into the race unopposed. 

In attendance to observe the conduct of the Congress was a 7-man state Congress Committee including Alhaji Abubakar Malami, Barrister Emilia Okonji, Chairman and Secretary respectively.

The new state APC Chairman, while thanking Governor Ayade who is the leader of the party in both the state and the South South Region, elders of the party for the confidence reposed in him, however promised not to betray the trust, even as he called for members to support him so that the party can retain power in the state come 2023.

The Congress which witnessed delegates from the 18 local government areas, also had party chieftains from the three senatorial comprising Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agba, former Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba, former Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Usani Uguru, Senator John Owan Enoh, member representing Abi-Yakurr Federal Constituency, Hon. Alex Egbona, Hon Legor Idagbo, Mike Etaba, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Eteng Jones Williams. 

Addressing party faithful, stakeholders after emerging party chairman, Eba thanked the delegates and the party for the opportunity given to him to serve as Chairman.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

October 09, 2021



Vincent Effiong

[email protected]

The issue of zoning political offices within the respective political parties has generated so much furor in Cross River State recently, that an x-ray into our political journey and peculiarities have become imperative and abundantly necessary.

Aside the component units that make up our political system, ethnic affiliations play major realistic roles in the Nigerian society such that its significance transcends into our individual political culture. This reality has equally necessitated the "Federal Character" principle enshrined in the Nigerian constitution - where every segment of the country must be represented in governance. Accordingly, any individual challenging a zoning/rotation arrangement is effectively opposing the coexistence of the society he finds himself; such would have to establish a constitutional ground that supports his/her subscription to political hegemony. The zoning of political offices has  been upheld in our national politics over the past two decades of democratic era, especially in the legislature and the executive arms, with a reasonable relation between the end sought to be achieved by the regulation and the means used to achieve that end. 

The system of zoning was first introduced into Nigerian politics by the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic. The nexus of this development rested on the heterogeneous nature of the Nigerian State. NPN thought of developing the concept and to assure every member and every segment of Nigeria that the exotic office of the president would one day come to their area or zone. And this is the reason all political conferences that took place after NPN, the idea of zoning kept coming up in such conferences and have been adopted by some conferences as a provision in the Nigerian Constitution. Under (Gen.) Sani Abacha’s constitutional conference, 1994/1995, it was recommended and the military accepted that zoning should be incorporated into the constitution of Nigeria. Since 1999, all the federating units have benefitted from the rotational politics - presidency and principal offices within the National Assembly.


Before the emergence of democratic era in 1999, two districts out of the old Cross River had developed a working document known as the  “Calabar-Ogoja Accord of 1980” for an equitable allocation of values across the two Senatorial Districts of Calabar and Ogoja. Much have been said about the application of the Calabar-Ogoja Accord to the present political permutations of the State, both from the supportive and opposing ends. While a few elites from the Southern Senatorial District of the State take bearing from the provisions of the accord, others from the Central Senatorial District question its application, pointing to its obsoleteness, which rests on the fact that “signatories to the accord are dead, so the accord is dead”.

Can we also say the Nigerian Constitution is dead, based on the fact that some of those who drafted the constitution have passed on? Whether we argue for or against, either which, we must recognise the fundamental elements upon which the accord was based and the set of people it was made for:

1. The Accord was made by/for the people of Ogoja-Calabar Senatorial districts.

2. The sharing formula was basically for the two senatorial districts.

3. The territory that consisted the Ogoja-Calabar Districts hasn’t changed - same people formed the present day Cross River State. 


The addition of new extra senatorial district to the existing two districts during the state creation to make the present day Cross River State. Notably, THE NEW SENATORIAL DISTRICT WAS CREATED OUT OF BOTH OGOJA AND CALABAR. Logically, it would not be out of place to conclude that nothing has changed; this, therefore reveals the arrogance and rudeness in referring to the Accord as an obsolete material that should be cast to the bins of history.  Until an alternate document is made, the Calabar Ogoja Accord remains a useful document to reflect on our political history and the imperatives of coexistence.

Fast-forwarding to 2015, it was this same principle of zoning and rotation that saw the emergence of Sen. Ben Ayade of the Northern Senatorial District as the Governor of Cross River State. Why is the arrangement raising dust now that it is the turn of the South to produce the next Governor? Our neighbouring state, that ought to have been learning from us are already ahead in this peaceful arrangement. Equitable rotation of power has become their political culture. From 1999, the zoning arrangement started from the Uyo Senatorial District to Ikot Ekpene, succeeded by Eket; and everyone is already keeping an eye on Uyo Senatorial District to produce the next Governor in Akwa Ibom State, come 2023.

Zoning is not excessively restrictive; it is only a means of ensuring every Senatorial District have a fair share in government. There is no senatorial district in Cross River State bereft of a credible candidate for the governorship seat, why would one think zoning will bury meritocracy? We have coexisted through this path of peace. True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice. And we must tow the path of equity and justice. Opposing this fundamental principle with stream of logicality questions our conscience, and of course, knowledge which is divorced from justice may be called cunning rather than wisdom.

While others are utterly against zoning, some believe the rotation can begin from anywhere, haven gone round the three senatorial districts. From all justifiable moralities, such notion is heresy expressed in the most infelicitous amalgam. Should the next Governor come from the Northern Senatorial District who has just completed two term? Supposed a chorus NO serves the response, what would then make it an open contest if the northern senatorial district is excluded from the race? By 2023, Southern Senatorial District would have been out of power for 16 years – four years away from two decades, while the Central District would have reached 8 years by the same year. The elements of democratic zoning vis-à-vis; peace, equity, unity, political stability and justice have positive and significant effects on the growth of our dear State, we must not sacrifice this for our personal interest. 

Cross River South comprises 7 Local Government Areas – the highest in the State. Aside this, two Local Government Councils serve  as the State’s capital and seat of Government; it will be a gross injustice to deny the senatorial district her turn in the power rotation.

Summarily, the nation at large is going through trying times in our political history, with embarrassing records of unrest glaringly attributed to marginalisation, unjustifiable form of distribution of wealth and income across geo-political strata. It is against this backdrop that all federating components must pursue justice and equity to forestall tensions and deleterious tendencies. The heinous move by some elements to deny the Southern Senatorial District a fair share of the power pie MUST be opposed by every well meaning Cross Riverian. CROSS RIVER STATE IS NOT A THEATRE OF POLITICAL COMBAT, SAD SPECTACLES AND INJUSTICE MUST NOT DEFACE OUR REALITIES: LET THE SOUTH TAKE HER TURN!

Friday, October 8, 2021

October 08, 2021

Fresh Trouble For Governor Ayade, Deputy As PDP Ask Court To Sack Them From Office

Governor Ayade & Deputy


By Aina Ojonugwa 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja,  to sack Senator Ben Ayade and Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu as  Governor  and deputy governor of Cross River State respectively.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC and the deputy governor, Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu were joined as defendants.

The party said the Court action followed the defection of  Ayade and Prof.  Esu to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which did not win the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in Cross River State.

Ayade was elected under the PDP in 2015 and 2019, but defected to the APC on May 20, 2021 along with his deputy, Prof. Esuas

Filing an application at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the  PDP said the mandate given by the Cross River’s electorate in the 2019 governorship election was to the PDP.

It claimed that Ayade, who was the Party’s candidate in the election, cannot transfer the mandate to the APC or any other political party.

The PDP, therefore in the suit filed by five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) led by Emmanuel C. Ukala (SAN), is asking among  others, “a judicial declaration giving the PDP an opportunity to nominate a replacement to the seat of the Governor and the deputy Governor in Cross River State.

“A declaration that in view of the provisions of section 221 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic, 1999 (as amended) and the democratic system of governance operated in Nigeria, votes at the election and elections are won by political parties and not their candidate or the candidates sponsored at the election by the political parties.”

The PDP is also seeking an order directing the1st defendant (INEC) “to immediately receive from the plaintiff (PDP), the name of its candidates to replace the 3rd and 4th defendants (Ayade and Esu) for the purpose of utilizing the lawful votes cast in favour of the plaintiff or in the alternative directing the 1st defendant to hold a gubernatorial election for Cross River State in accordance with Section 177 of the Constitution (excluding the 3rd and 4th defendants who are disqualified from participating in the election by virtue of Section 192 (1) (b) of the Constitution) arising from abandonment of the majority lawful votes and the offices occasioned by the action of the 3rd and 4th defendants by reason of their becoming members of the 2nd defendant who did not win majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.

“An order directing the 1st defendant to immediately declare the persons nominated or to be nominated to it by the plaintiff as Governor and Deputy Governor of Cross River State…an injunction restraining the 1st defendant, its agents, privies, servants and assigns or any person howsoever from recognizing and or continuing to recognize the 3rd and 4th defendants as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively of Cross River State or granting to them any right, benefit or recognition in relation thereto.”

In addition, the Party is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction “restraining the 1st defendant, its agents, privies, servants and assigns or any person howsoever from recognizing and or continuing to recognize the 2nd defendant (APC) as the political party whose members occupy the offices of Governor and Deputy Governor respectively of Cross River State on the strength of the 9th March 2019 election won by the plaintiff. Perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd and 4th defendants forthwith from putting themselves out or parading themselves as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively of Cross River State.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining forthwith the 2nd defendant, its agents, privies, servants and assigns or any person whatsoever from putting themselves out or parading themselves as the political party whose members occupy the offices of Governor and Deputy Governor respectively of Cross River State.”

Christian Ita, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Ayade, said, “given the relevant provisions of the Constitution,  the PDP  are just jokers and jesters who are embarking on mere academic exercise for cheap headlines in the media.” He declined further comment.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

September 16, 2021

Former Minister, Fani-Kayode Dumps PDP For APC, Meets President Buhari

A Former Minister of Aviation during the President Olusegun Obasanjo government, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Chief Fani-Kayode met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday. He was brought to the Villa by the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

September 08, 2021

C'River PDP Assembly Members Drag Speaker, 17 Other APC Lawmakers To Court For Sharing Their Allowances


Rt. Hon. Eteng

ByJoseph Obung

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA), who refused to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dragged the speaker and 17 other members who defected, to court.

Recall that 18 House members had joined Governor Ben Ayade in APC as soon as the governor dumped the umbrella party. Seven member however remained with the PDP.

The suit filed by the seven PDP members came up for hearing in the Vacation Court, situated at Moore Road, Calabar.

The plaintiffs are accusing the speaker and principal officers of deliberately sharing allowances accruing to PDP members.

Spokesman for the plaintiffs and member representing Calabar municipality in the House, Efa Esua, in an interview, said the defendants have filed their defense accordingly.

“They have filed their defense and preliminary objection to the suit and served us a day to hearing, but we are entitled to some days to file our response and so the matter was adjourned to September 14, 2021 for arguments on the motion on preliminary objection.

“We did not take the state government to court as insinuated. We took our colleagues, 18 of them who defected to the APC, to court. Our colleagues, led by the speaker, have constituted a law to themselves.

“When our money comes from the state government, after taking their own, they would sit down and share our own allowances among themselves. That is overhead and local government allowances.

“They have done that for the past three to four months purporting to obey instruction from the higher authority. This is what they have done to seven of us who refused to defect with them to APC.

“We are praying the court to cause them to give our monies, that is, what is due us, to us. The clerk of the assembly is trying to deny it, saying that there is no such thing and that allowances are used in running the affairs of the assembly. But we have documents to show how they shared our money,” he submitted

Sunday, September 5, 2021

September 05, 2021

C'River, Four Others Gets New INEC REC

The Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Cyril Omoregbe has been redeployed to Cross River State, GRASSROOT REPORTERS has learnt.

Dr. Omoregbe takes over from Dr Emannuel Alex Hart who has been redeployed to Bayelsa State.

 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)'s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye announced this in a statement issued Sunday in Abuja, where he also announced the redeployment of four other RECS and four directors of the commission. 

In the new postings, the REC, Osun State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has been redeployed to Ogun State, while his counterpart in Ogun State, Prof. AbdulGaniy Olayinka Raji, will take charge as REC, Osun State.


“The REC, Zamfara State, Dr Asmau Sani Maikudi, has also been redeployed to Kaduna State.

“Similarly, the Director (Voter Education and Publicity), Mr. Nick Dazang, has proceeded on terminal leave. Consequently, Mr. Victor Ayodele Aluko has been reassigned from Director (Administration) to Voter Education and Publicity as Director, while Mr. Mikah Thabbal Lakumna is redeployed to Administration from his erstwhile position as Director (Security).


“Mr. Nduh Lebari Samson moves from the office of the Secretary to the Commission to Director (Security). Mr. Yakubu Mohammed Duku, Director in the Electoral Operations Department, proceeds to Niger State as the substantive Administrative Secretary.

“The Handing/Taking Over activities should be completed by Monday 13th September 2021. The redeployments are part of the Commission’s routine administrative postings”, the statement added.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

August 26, 2021

PDP Gets New National Chairman

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed the Deputy National Chairman (South), Yemi Akinwonmi, as its acting National Chairman.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP Spokesman confirmed the development to newsmen on Thursday.

Akinwonmi was affirmed as the National Chairman after the National Working Committee closed door meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

He confirmed the reschedule of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) for Saturday.

Ologbondiyan said “Elder Yemi Akinwonmi was unanimously affirmed as Acting National Chairman.

“We will be holding our caucus and another NWC meeting tomorrow preparatory to holding our National Executive Council meeting at 12 ‘O’clock on Saturday.”

PDP crisis: I’m authentic National Chairman taking over from Secondus – Akinwonmi

The confirmation is coming after a Rivers State High Court ordered the national chairman, Uche Secondus, not to parade himself as the national chairman of the PDP.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

August 14, 2021

Take Governors Ayade, Umahi To Court For Defecting To APC - Wike Tells PDP


Governor Wike

By Tony John

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has advised the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to challenge the defection of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and Cross River Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in court.

He enjoined the PDP to also challenge the defection of former PDP members in the National Assembly and State House of Assembly in both states, to the APC.


Governor Wike made the remarks in Port Harcourt, stressing that the ‘the time has come that the judiciary must have to rise to the occasion to make a final pronouncement of this issue of defection and that will go a long way to strengthen our democracy. Because if we do not take action, you will find a situation where you will have a one-party state and that will not be good for our democracy.

‘And, so, I have encouraged the PDP, they must file a suit against the governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi and the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress without any reason provided in the constitution or any other enabling law.

‘What PDP is looking for is not just that they want to reclaim the seats, but that a pronouncement must be made by the judiciary on this incessant defection without no reasons at all, in order to enhance and strength our democracy.’


Governor Wike said it is unacceptable for governors and federal and state lawmakers, who have been elected on the platform of a particular party to defect to another where there is no division in the party that brought them to power.

‘Let it be on record that the party (PDP) has been able to challenge it and let us await the outcome of the decision of the court, because the court has a role to strengthen our democracy. And part of the role the court must play is to make a final pronouncement on this issue of defection from one party to the other,’ the governor stated.

He described the Court of Appeal reconfirmation of Jarigbe Agom as the senator-elect of Cross River North senatorial district as a victory for democracy and the PDP.

The Rivers governor, who congratulated Agom for his perseverance, also commended the judiciary for standing up to the antics of desperate politicians and some lawyers, who would want to ridicule the judiciary.

‘Surprisingly to us, the candidate of APC and the purported candidate of the PDP, Dr. Stephen Odey had to apply again to the Court of Appeal to review the judgement that the Court of Appeal had already given at the appeal tribunal.’

The governor advised lawyers to desist from filing matters in court on behalf of their clients that are intended to ridicule the judiciary.

According to him, it is obligatory on every lawyer in the country to protect the integrity of the court

August 14, 2021

C'River North: Appeal Court Rejects Odey's Appeal, Affirms Jarigbe As Duly Elected Senator


The Court of Appeal in Abuja has refused to set aside its own judgment which affirmed the declaration of Jarigbe Agom as the duly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Cross River North Senatorial bye-election.

The panel of five-man justices led by the president of the court of appeal, Justice Monica Dongban – Mensem held that the court does not have the power to set aside its own decisions except there are statutory rules to do so, and the appeal the judges say, is a gross abuse of court process.

Friday, August 6, 2021

August 06, 2021

Why I Annulled June 12 Election - Babangida Finally Gives Reason For His Action



Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has explained why his junta annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

The election was adjuged by most Nigerians as the freest and fairest in the nation’s democratic experience.

It was contested between Chief Moshood Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC).

Babangida, while speaking with Arise TV during an interview on Friday, explained if he had not annulled the election, a violent coup d’etat would have happened.

He said: “If it materialised, there would’ve been a coup d’etat — which could have been violent. That’s all I can confirm.

“It didn’t happen thanks to the engineering and the ‘maradonic’ way we handled you guys in the society. But that could’ve given room for more instability in the country.”

Babangida said there was pressure on his junta within and outside the military to nullify the election for that reason.

“Both. The military can do it because they have the weapons to do it, and others (civil society groups) can use agitation,” he added

Friday, July 16, 2021

July 16, 2021

Senator Odey, 51 Others Votes Against Electronic Transfer Of Result, Gershom Bassey, Sandy Onor Absent At Plenary

Cross River Senators

The senator representing Cross River North in the National Assembly, Senator Stephen Odey was the only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator that voted against the electronic transmission of results by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Senators Sandy Onor (Cross River Central) and Gershom Bassey were conspicuously missing at plenary on Friday when the matter came up for voting.

The Senate however ruled out the possibility of having results transmitted electronically when it voted that the Nigerian Communications Commission, with National Assembly approval, would determine whether the Independent National Electoral Commission could transmit results electronically or not.

A report by the Punch said those who voted against electronic transfer of results hinged their decision on the fact that the NCC had said only 43 per cent of Nigeria had internet network.

The Senate, however, on Thursday, finally passed the long-awaited Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after division among its members on electronic transmission of results.

The approval came following an amendment to Clause 52(3) by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North) during consideration of a report by the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The amendment was seconded by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).

The Committee in its recommendation initially prescribed that, “The Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”

This, however, was amended by the Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi to read, “The Commission may consider electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”

At the end of the physical voting, which lasted for about 40 minutes, a total of 80 Senators voted, out of which 52 voted for the amendment made by Abdullahi and 28 voted for original provision of the clause.

As announced by the Clerk, 28 Senators were absent during the division and voting session.

While all the 52 Senators who voted for the amendment belonged to the APC, 26 out of the 28 Senators who voted against the amendment belonged to the PDP, indicating party lines of voting.

Ironically , the Chairman of Senate Committee on INEC , Senator Kabiru Gaya who presented the report with original provision of clause 52(3), voted against it by saying no to Senator Albert Bassey’s call for its retention.

Those who voted against recommendation

At plenary, two Lagos Senators – Oluremi Tinubu and Solomon Adeola, – voted against the original recommendation of the committee, which called for adoption of electronic transfer of results. Senator Tokunbo Abiru was however absent.

Other APC Southern senators who voted against it included Senators Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North); Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central), Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North), Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) and Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central); Degi Eremienyo (Bayelsa East); Robert Boroffice (Ondo North), Basiru Ajibola (Osun Central), Frank Ibezim (Imo North), and Adelere Oriolowo (Osun West).

Others APC senators are Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa West), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa North), Akwashiki Godiya (Nasarawa South), Mohammed Sani (Niger East), Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi (Niger North), Bima Enagi ( Niger South); Dimka Ayuba (Plateau Central), Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East) Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba Central), Isa Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North) Bomai Ibrahim Mohammed (Yobe South), Sahabi Ya’u (Zamfara North) and Lawali Hassan Anka (Zamfara West).

Ishaku Elisha (Adamawa North), Dahiru Aishatu Binani (Adamawa Central), Jika Daudu Haliru (Bauchi Central), Bukachuwa Adamu Muhammad (Bauchi North), Abubakar Kyari (Borno North), Shettima Kashim (Borno Central), Ali Ndume (Borno South) also voted against the recommendation of the committee.

Also in the above category are Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), Amos Bulus (Gombe South), Alkali Saidu (Gombe North), Hadeija Hassan Ibrahim (Jigawa North East), Abdul-Kwari Suleiman (Kaduna North), Uba Sani (Kaduna Central), Kabiru Gaya (Kano South), Ahmad Babba Kaita (Katsina North), Mundiya Bello (Katsina South), Abdullahi Barkiya (Katsina Central); Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), Abdullahi Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), Oseni Yakubu (Kogi Central), Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), Isah Jibrin (Kogi East), Lola Ashiru (Kwara South) and Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central).

Those who voted for electronic transfer of results were mostly PDP members. They are Adenugba Fadahunsi(Sun East), Clifford Ordia (Edo South) Matthew Urhoghide (Edo Central), Kola Balogun (Oyo South), Gyang Istifanus (Plateau North), George Sekibo (Rivers), Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti) South, Mpigi Barinada, Betty Apiafi, (Rivers) Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto) and Philip Aduda (FCT).

Others are Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu) Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba, Francis Onyewuchi , Danjuma La’ah (Kaduna South) Patrick Akinyelure (Ondo Central) and Enyinnaya Abaribe

All the three Senators from Anambra and Ogun states , were absent from the start of the physical voting. Also, two out of the three senators from Oyo State were not in the chamber before the commencement of voting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

BREAKING: Senate Rejects Buhari's Aide, Lauretta Onochie As INEC Commissioner

Lauretta Onochie

By Henry Umoru

THE Senate on Tuesday bowed to pressure from Civil Society Organisations, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and other Nigerians and refused to confirm the Special Assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie from Delta as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The refusal was based on Federal Character Principle and to adhere strictly to the Act, just as the Senate said that she is from Delta and the state has May Agbamuche who is the Chairman, Legal Services, INEC.

The resolution of the Senate was sequel to the consideration of the Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South led Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

Anambra: INEC Insist APGA Will Not Take Part In Guber Election


For violating the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the rulling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has been ruled out of the November 6, 2021 governorship poll in Anambra State.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which dropped the hint, yesterday, in Abuja, APGA’s disqualification followed the party’s failure to comply with Section 85 of the Electoral Act.

The commission disclosed that APGA did not notify it when it purportedly held its ad hoc congress to elect delegates for the party’s governorship primary.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, in a statement, insisted that parties must act within the confines of the law in the conduct of their congresses and primaries if they are to avoid issues and challenges that may complicate the conduct of elections.

INEC’s clarification came on the heels of the declaration of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, as the winner of the factional primary organised by the Chief Victor Oye-led faction of the party.

As of the time of filing the report, exit polls indicated the former CBN governor and frontline aspirant was cruising home to victory, even as reports indicated that a rival faction of the party announced the suspension of the economist-turned politician.

The Chief Jude Okeke-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party said Soludo was suspended from APGA for anti-party activities, saying that the NWC arrived at the decision after its meeting on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

The acting National Publicity Secretary of the faction, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, said the party leadership applauded the peaceful and successful “Special Delegate Ward Congresses, where three-member Ward Delegates were elected for the July 1, governorship primaries of the party.”

Journalists were barred at the venue of the accreditation and voting. The state secretary of the party, Tony Ifeanya, however denied knowledge of any order by the leadership of the party to bar reporters from witnessing the event, which was beamed live by dedicated television stations and the SoludoTV Facebook app

Ifeanya said journalists in the state were not accredited because they did not apply to the party for permission to cover the primary election.

“Maybe you people can wait around. When the process is over, the leadership of the party would speak to you about the outcome of the exercise,” he said.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

18 LG Chairmen In C'River Threatens To Leave PDP With Ayade, Demands Fresh PDP Congress, Submits Petition To NWC

18 LG Chairmen from CRS during a visit to PDP's NWC


Local government chairmen and councillors in Cross River have threatened to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside Governor Ben Ayade if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fails to do the needful.

This threat was handed to the PDP on Tuesday when the Chairmen met with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP in Abuja, GRASSROOT REPORTERS has learnt.

The leader of the delegation and Chairman of Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Bassey who handed over the petition to the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Agbo, called for immediate conduct of transparent congresses at all levels in the state.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Chairman of Calabar Municipal Council, Hon. Effiong Nta Eke demanded a fresh state congress to guarantee the return of party structures to the governor.

Hon. Eke said: “The governor is the leader of the party in the state. He should be given control of the party structures and this can only be done with a fresh congress.

“We are demanding a fresh congress. If not, where the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, goes, we will go with him. He is the leader of the party in the state.”

Commenting also, the leader of the delegation, Hon. Emmanuel Bassey said: “We are chairmen of the 18 local government councils in Cross River State. We came to meet the national chairman and we have met him, and he was ably represented by the Deputy National Secretary in the person of Dr. Emmanuel Agbo.

“We came for the purpose of our state; the state of affair of the party in our state; we met him and we presented to him what we came with and he has honourably taken care of it and has assured us that he is going to make sure that what we presented to the party and what we came with, will be given immediate and urgent attention.”

When he was asked to reveal the content of the petition presented, he said: “You guys must have known that the state congress has not been held, and we did ask that it be done urgently. And he has assured us that that will be considered urgently.

“For God’s sake, Prof. Ben Ayade is the party leader in Cross River State; he is the one that leads, just like every other governor in any PDP state. So, let us give him his due respect. Let it be given to him.

"Whatever equation he must have taken, I think is to a great extent it is for the goodness and betterment of the party.

“Let me state here categorically that we are the pillars of the party in Cross River State and these pillars were erected by Prof. Ben Ayade; so, if he goes, we go with him.”

The governor had lost the party's structure to the National Assembly Members from the state. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021

Governor Ayade's Absence At PDP Meeting Fuels Defection Plan


By Obio Monday

Barring any last minute change, the Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade appears set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that efforts to reconcile the governor and some National Assembly members from the state and the Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has hit a brickwall, as all warring parties has refused to shift ground.

Multiple sources told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that the rally organized on Thursday for the governor by the 18 local government chairmen and their councillors as well as all the governor's appointees was to assure the governor that they were ready to defect with him should he decide to jump ship, and to send a message to the PDP that the governor is in control in the 18 LGAs.

The governor had lost control of the party structure to the National Assembly members. This did not go down well with the governor and his loyalists. The governor's camp had inaugurated a parallel Ward and Chapter executive, which the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP immediately discredited, recognizing the National Assembly members backed Exco.

While receiving the Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed in Government House, Calabar, last month, Governor Ayade threatened to leave the PDP if the injustice meted to him is not corrected. 

He said:

“I cannot blind myself to the challenges of PDP and decide not to know what to do at the right time for the Cross River people sake.

“I know you (Bala) are somebody that doesn’t take injustice. One single injustice they will see a new Cross River state.”

The governor threatened that one single injustice against him and his followers, he'll take a big decision “... and I say it as a warning because it does appears that your party seems to celebrate people who threaten and stress them.”

“All councillors in the state are PDP, council chairmen are PDP, all House of Assembly members are PDP, all commissioners are PDP, and all the National Assembly members except one are PDP: all of them are under my leadership”.

“So today I am seated and dancing on the fence. Indeed that’s true.

“And so I speak with righteous anger for the continuous annoyance and nuisance orchestrated on our innocent by external factors. But I just hope this ends today

“While I believe in ecclesiastics of peace, I believe in the catechism of good faith but I also believe in respect for the supremacy of an office.

“So if you take a catalytic combination of all I have said, it tells you that there is the need for a guided caution and at some persons going forward as a people, as a party.

“I think the time has come when all of us will gather and say enough is enough.”

Ayade, Deputy Absent At PDP Governors' Meeting

The governor's absence yesterday at the meeting of the PDP governors in Makurdi, Benue State, has further fuelled his defection moves.

The PDP governors rose from the meeting to demand the devolution of power and restructuring of the country.

The meeting had in attendance, the PDP Governors of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Bello Mattawalle (Zamfara).

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State was represented by his deputy, Baba Tela.

The Cross River State governor was the only PDP governor missing at the meeting. He was neither represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu.

When GRASSROOT REPORTERS contacted the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor, Mr. Christian Ita for comment, he said:

"Was he the only governor that was absent? Go and ask Wike (Rivers State governor) why he was absent. It is only when it is Ayade that you put a spin to it. I asked a simple question, was he the only governor that was absent? No!

"So what's the big deal about it. The one they did the last time, didn't he attend in Abuja? He did. So if exigencies of office did not allow him to attend this time around, I don't think we should give any spin to it".

On moves by the governor to defect to the APC, Mr. Ita said:

" Are you hearing about that one today? They've been saying he'll defect since 2015, has he defected? We've responded to this overtime and we are tired of responding".

Saturday, April 3, 2021

April 03, 2021

Zamfara Governor Set To Dump PDP


Barring last minute change, the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has concluded arrangements to defect from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

According to DAILY NIGERIAN, arrangements have been concluded for the formal defection of the governor, who will be introduced to President Muhammadu Buhari by the chairman of the ruling party’s convention committee, Mai Mala Buni.

The deal, according to sources, may be sealed on Tuesday when the federal government delegation visits Zamfara to sympathize with the governor over the recent market fire incident in the state.

Sources said the governor has been in talks with at least two governors of the APC for several months.

Aside from the serving governors, a former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima, is among the top politicians courting Mr Matawalle into APC in order to whittle down the influence of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari in the party.

Mr Yari, a former political godson of Mr Yarima, has taken over the control of the party in the state, deciding who gets what in the APC political equation.

In a February interview, Mr Yarima first broke the news of Mr Matawalle’s planned defection, saying “I think we have gone very far” in the arrangements.

But sources told said that Mr Yari had vowed not to remain in the APC as soon as the party transfers control of the structure to the governor. “Abdulaziz Yari vowed to leave the APC the day Matawalle defects to the party,” said a source.

The reasons for Mr Matawalle’s defection are not far-fetched as the governor himself once lamented that the PDP did not show solidarity to its governors.

In November last year, the governor lamented about the manner with which the PDP governors showed lack of solidarity for him when he needed them most.

“I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP Governor colleagues which I still find very puzzling. For instance, the South-South Governors accusing me in the media are PDP Governors and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.

“Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga. As PDP colleagues, I expected the Governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media.

“As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of our efforts to organize the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state,” the governor said.

Inside sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that the governor’s defection was not for personal interest but the general interest of the people of Zamfara State.

“Matawalle is a person who can sacrifice his life to get peace in Zamfara. So if he can sacrifice his life to this cause, then he can sacrifice his political interest for people to live in peace.

“Zamfara State will have a good synergy with federal government and get more support towards fight against banditry if the governor is in APC. Although President Muhammadu Buhari respects and gives Governor Matawalle audience anytime he requested, a lot can be easily achieved, just as support and cooperation of the Presidency can be easily secured through the Progressive Governors’ Forum.

“Let me give you another example, Governor Matawalle last year ordered security vehicles to donate to security forces fighting insurgency in Zamfara State, but the Customs rejected to give duty waivers to Zamfara State. But at almost the same time, Lagos being an APC state, gets waiver for the importation of commercial vehicles.

“Look at the recent fire incident in Zamfara market. None of the PDP governors came to sympathize with us, but APC ministers have come. The federal government delegation is also on its way next week,” said a source close to the governor.

With Mr Matawalle’s imminent defection, Zamfara APC crisis may yet be over as other political actors like Senator Kabiru Marafa, Dauda Lawan, among others may remain in the party to fight for supremacy.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

March 27, 2021

Prof. Ogban Rigged The Election For PDP, Not Me - Akpabio Reacts To Judgement

From L-R: Prof. Peter Ogban, Senator Godswill Akpabio


By Obio Monday

Minster of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, has denied claims that the jailed University of Calabar lecturer, Professor Peter Ogban, rigged the 2019 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial election in his favour.

The former Senator said, rather, the elections was manipulated in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Recall that a High Court in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, on Thursday, sentenced Prof. Ogban to three years imprisonment for altering and announcing false election results in favour of Akpabio and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.

Prof. Ogban, a professor of soil science, who was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the election, was found guilty on Thursday by the trial court. He however vowed to appeal the judgment.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Aniete Ekong, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, twisted the judgment by claiming that Ogban rigged the poll in his favour.

“In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion.

“Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District held on February 23 2019.

“Professor Ogban was the Returning Officer who in a bizarre twist to manipulate the election and rig Senator Akpabio out, hijacked the electoral results of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from Ikot Ekpene, the Senatorial District headquarters to Uyo where it was announced after cancellations of lawfully collated votes and against the dictates of the Electoral Act.

“The question is: who was the beneficiary of the electoral fraud and manipulation in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District?

“Certainly, not Senator Akpabio, which was why he challenged the outcome of the election up to the Court of Appeal which upheld his appeal and ordered a rerun election with very strong condemnation of the activities of the Returning Officer and INEC. How then could the same man whose actions Senator Akpabio was dissatisfied with and challenged in Court be said to have rigged the election for Senator Akpabio?

He added that:

“For the avoidance of doubt Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election.”

The Minister stressed that Ogban “cancelled lawful votes” and announced his opponent as the “winner of the manipulated election.”

Saturday, March 13, 2021

March 13, 2021

C'River PDP Chairmanship Tussle: Appeal Court Upholds Disqualification Of Ikem, Upturn High Court Judgement

Barr. Venatius Ikem

By Edem  Edem (Daily Post)

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on Friday, upturned a Port Harcourt High Court judgement on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cross River State chapter chairmanship tussle.

The Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal Calabar, Justice M S Owoade, who delivered the judgement in suit CA/C/386/2020, between Venatius Ikem and others versus PDP and Alphonsus Eba, held that the PDP rules and guidelines on election of its officials override whatever interferes with the election process.“Section 147 of the PDP Constitution has explicitly spelt out the qualification for anyone to contest for any position in the party and any one seeking office should abide by the terms contained in the Constitution,” Justice Owoade held.

He said the Appeal Court finds the appeal by the Cross River PDP competent as the lower court which earlier delivered judgement failed to take into cognisance salient issues raised by the appellant during initial hearing of the matter before delivering its judgement.

He held that a political party has vested authority to insist on imposing the rules contained in its constitution without restrictions and such rules are sacrosanct.

The judgement brings to an end the contention over the disqualification of Mr Venatius Ikem former National Publicity Secretary of the Party for not meeting the terms to participate in the chairmanship election and clearance of Barrister Alphonsus Eba as the sole candidate for the electionReacting to the judgement, Mr Alphonsus Eba, the appellant said the litigation which has held the conduct of State Congress of the PDP has ended and called on all party members to come together so that a State Congress can be conducted for the party to forge ahead.

“With today’s judgement, I have been confirmed as the sole chairmanship candidate of the party and my hands are wide open to receive everyone including those who have opposed and even abused me in the past.”He said many members would have been won into the party in the last one year but for the litigation which has held the state congress from holding

With the judgement, reprieve may have come the way of Governor Ben Ayade as the pronouncement of the court in relying on the recent Supreme Court judgment of Aguma V APC clearly stated that the respondent has no locus to challenge the internal affairs of the party.