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Presidency alleges opposition sponsoring smear campaign against Buhari

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The presidency has alleged that some individuals are planning a smear campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari to portray him as a leader that is not in charge of the country’s affairs.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the alleged plans, to be fully implemented in the days ahead, had already started “from a procured offshore medium.”

The presidency was reacting to the editorial of Financial Times of London, in its December 22 edition, which alleged that Buhari is not in charge of the country, citing overwhelming insecurity involving kidnapping, killings and maiming in virtually all parts of the country.

According to Financial Times, Nigeria’s worsening insecurity indicates that the country is fast becoming a failed state.

But Adesina accused the president’s detractors of spending money to procure stories in the media with unsubstantiated claims and consequently sow seeds of discord in the country.

He urged Nigerians to discern the kind of stories they embrace in the online media, saying Buhari is determined to serve the country to the best of his ability as evident in the provision of infrastructure, fight against insecurity and corruption by the government.

The statement read, “The general public is hereby alerted to a smear campaign in the works against Mr. President and his office, by disgruntled political elements in the country, who have been shopping for pliant online media that will serve as accomplices in their nefarious act.

“The game plan is to launch orchestrated campaign of calumny in the days ahead, in which President Muhammadu Buhari would be portrayed as not being in charge of the country, a narrative already started from a procured offshore medium by the instigators.

“Money and other attractive inducements are being dangled before the online media, and some of them are already complicit, cooking up stories with jejune and unsubstantiated allegations, all to sow seeds of discord and discontent in the country.

“Nigerians are urged to be wary and discerning in what they consume as news and special reports from such online media, as they are in cahoots with agents of destabilisation, seeking ultimate political gains.

“President Buhari remains focused and single-minded in his determination to serve the country to the best of his ability, bringing change to different facets of our national life. This is already evident in infrastructure as seen in roads, rail, bridges, airports, and many other strides round the country. Agriculture is another worthy testimonial.

“The fight against corruption, insecurity, and retooling of the economy also proceed apace, and the Buhari Administration will not be distracted, and will continue to serve with heart and might, irrespective of all shenanigans.”

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Why northern governors opposed Jonathan’s second term bid – Babangida Aliyu

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Former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has said northern governors rose against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because of the perceived threat of his victory to the North.

Aliyu said in Minna on Friday that the northern governors felt at the time that their part of the country stood in a disadvantaged position and would be shortchanged should Jonathan win a re-election.

He claimed that Jonathan had earlier reached an agreement with the north to complete what was left of the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then run for only one term.

He said the ex-president’s insistence on going for another term in 2015 was against the agreement he had with the northern governors.

“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of our great party,” he said.

The ex-governor also said, “All the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election as a sole candidate of our great party.

“However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our earlier agreement.

“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had.

“On that premise, we opposed Jonathan. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”

The former governor said it was wrong for anyone to say that he opposed Goodluck Jonathan.

He added that as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum then, it was his responsibility to tell the people about the stand of the governors.

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Makinde’s candidate, Arapaja, emerges PDP South-West chairman

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Former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Taofeek Arapaja, has been declared the South-West chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was pronounced winner of the hotly contested poll by chairman of the region’s congress and Benue Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu.

Arapaja, backed by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, polled 343 votes to defeat Dr Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330.

Olafeso is of the camp of former Ekiti Governor Ago Fayose.

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743 PDP delegates to vote in today’s South-West congress

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National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has approved 743 delegates to elect the party’s South-West zonal leaders at region’s conference holding in Oshogbo, Osun State today (Monday).

Already, the NWC has also released the list of members of the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee.

A statement containing the delegates’ list signed by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Col Austin Akobundu (retd), showed that Oyo State has a total of 171 delegates, while Ogun State has 114; Osun State, 130; Ekiti State, 115; and Lagos State, 101.

Akobundu named the Benue State governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, as chairman of the election committee, while Senator Sandy Onoh, Ogun Otemabore and Ireruoke Edward will serve as members. Senator Samuel Anyanwu will serve as secretary.

The party also appointed an election appeal committee headed by Chief Okey Ezenwa who will serve as chairman, Mr. Roland Najomoh, secretary, while Clement Okaredir will serve as a member.

Due to the supremacy battle between Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, and a former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose, the venue for the election was changed from Ibadan to Osogbo to ensure fairness and avoid giving any advantage to either of the two leaders of the party in the region.

While Makinde is said to be sponsoring Mr Taofeek Arapaja, a former deputy governor of Oyo State, Fayose is said to be backing Mr Eddy Olafeso, a former governorship aspirant in Ondo State and the immediate past chairman of the party in the zone.

The feud between Makinde and Fayose was responsible for the delay in the conduct of the party’s congress in the South-West zone.

The NWC had intervened severally to ensure a consensus candidate for the chairmanship position to no avail.

Already, Arapaja and Olafeso have been cleared to contest the party’s top post in the region.

Also cleared are Mr Rahman Olokaniron and Mr Jenvo Bunni for the position of zonal secretary.

For the office of zonal treasurer, those cleared are Mr Ogunje Samson and Mr Ojo Michael, while the candidates for the zonal organising secretary are Mr Amuwa Adegbenro and Mr Faisu Adewele.

Those contesting for zonal publicity secretary are Mr Olusanya Adefarari and Mr. Fadaka Ayodele, while Mr Adewoyin Babatunde and Mr Philip Okubode were cleared to contest for the position of zonal financial secretary.

Babatunde Samuel and Muniru Kukouye were cleared to contest for the office of zonal legal adviser, while those cleared for the zonal auditor are Dominic Adegbola, Balogun Ayuba and Adeolu Adewunmi.

For the office of zonal woman leader, Ms Modinat Adedibu and Ms Abimbola Balogun were cleared.

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