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Former women affairs minister, Aisha Alhassan, joins PDP

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Aisha-Alhassan

Former women affairs minister, Aisha Alhassan, has said that she has completed arrangements to return to the People’s Democratic Party.

Alhassan was the governorship candidate of United Democratic Party in the 2019 Governorship election in Taraba State. She suffered a massive defeat, polling 14, 651 votes in the election.

She joined the UDP on the eve of the polls after she failed to secure the All Progressives Congress ticket, a party she contested under in 2015 and was able to secure 275,966 votes to come second in the governorship polls.

Alhassan was subsequently appointed the minister of women affairs and social development by President Muhammadu Buhari but resigned amid doubts over her political loyalty.

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Alhassan told Journalists on Sunday after a UDP stakeholders’ meeting in Jalingo that majority of her supporters in the 168 wards of Taraba State had encouraged her to shift base to the PDP.

She said that the stakeholders’ meeting, which lasted till midnight on Saturday, drew participation from all those who contested for various political offices under the platform of the UDP, executive members of the party from the ward to state levels and other respected elders.

Alhassan added that more than 80 per cent of respondents in an opinion poll conducted by a committee headed by Alhaji Abdulmumini Vaki, a former PDP chairman in the state, which covered the 16 LGAs, suggested that she should move to PDP.

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The former minister said, based on the outcome of the opinion poll, she had no option than to adhere to the decision of majority of her supporters.

According to the former minister, “I cannot go against the decision of the popular opinions of my supporters”, adding that she was glad that the committee did not suggest the APC as an option.

A communiqué issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Jalingo on Saturday night, recommended that two committees be set up immediately to fast track the defection process.

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According to the communiqué which was signed by the state UDP Chairman, Alhaji Hassan Chul, the first committee is to visit the national leadership of the UDP in Abuja to express the appreciation of supporters of the former minister for providing her the platform to run for the 2019 governorship election.

The communique added that the second committee is to arrange a meeting with PDP leadership in Taraba State to work out modalities for the former minister’s official return to the PDP.

Alhassan contested and won the election for the senatorial seat of Taraba North in 2011 under the PDP before defecting to APC in 2015.

(NAN)

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Edo Assembly invasion an attempted coup d’état, says Obaseki

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Godwin Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has described the failed invasion of the state House of Assembly Complex as an attempted coup d’état that is tantamount to treason and contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.

Obaseki, who said this in a statewide broadcast on Friday, assured that his administration will take all steps necessary to defend the rule of law and democratic ideals.

“Any person or group of persons who set out to test our will in this regard will meet with the full wrath of the law,” the governor warned.

He noted: “These events portend grave danger to the safety and security of our polity. It had all the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’état.

“The people of Edo State rose as one to prevent the desecration of our democracy. It is however worrisome that certain persons are willing to plunge the society into avoidable anarchy and conflict just to satisfy their illegitimate objectives.”

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According to the Governor, “the crisis in the Edo State legislature dates back to June 17th, 2019, when upon my proclamation of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, some members-elect refused to present themselves for inauguration.

“The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in a judgement delivered on the 12th of September, 2019, decided that my proclamation of the House of Assembly was lawful and that the National Assembly could not take over the function of the Edo State House of Assembly as the conditions for doing so did not exist.

“The court judgement affirmed that the Assembly was duly inaugurated and held that the Governor or any other person could not issue another proclamation.”

He explained that “Even after this judgement, the 14 members-elect stayed away from the House and refused to be inaugurated to perform their elected role of representing their constituencies. Having failed to sit for over 180 sitting days, the leadership of the House of Assembly had no option but to declare their seats vacant and requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections to fill the vacancies that had then been created.

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“Following this action by the leadership of the House, the 14 members-elect approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the constitutionality or otherwise of the declaration of their seats vacant. This suit is still pending in the court.”

Obaseki noted that “This unfortunate situation has festered because a former governor of the state is bent on throwing the state into crisis ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections.”

“I want to salute the resolve of all well-meaning Edo people in standing up to thwart the evil plans of these undemocratic elements who are bent on perpetrating an illegal assault on our democracy by the purported inauguration in a private residence.

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“These events portend grave danger to the safety and security of our polity. It had all the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’état. The people of Edo State rose as one to prevent the desecration of our democracy. It is however worrisome that certain persons are willing to plunge the society into avoidable anarchy and conflict just to satisfy their illegitimate objectives.

“These acts are tantamount to treason, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.

“Be assured, dear people of Edo State, that this government will take all steps necessary to defend the rule of law and democratic ideals. Any person or group of persons who set out to test our will in this regard will meet with the full wrath of the law,” he said.

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Calm down and you’ll see Buhari’s achievements, Adesina tells Nigerians

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Femi Adesina

In a new article shared on Friday titled, ‘Why We Need to Calm Down’ Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says Nigerians will only see the achievements of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) if they “calm down.”

The President’s spokesman made several references to a viral video showing a little boy Oreofeoluwa Babalola, pleading with his mum not to beat him but rather calm down.

He said like the little boy pleaded in the video, Nigerians need to calm down and stop being so grouchy and angry about the problems plaguing the nation.

Adesina wrote:

“But if the truth the told, that message from the boy is for the entire country. We need to calm down. We are too uptight, nervy, edgy. We grumble, murmur too much, call the government a lot of names, try to demonise those serving the nation, when it could be ‘our last chance; last chance in the world’ to really fix things.

“If you listen to some people; angry youths, religious leaders, political analysts, newspaper columnists, news reviewers, so-called activists, then nothing positive is happening in the country. It is all about insurgency, banditry, killings, joblessness, corruption, lack and deprivation. True? False!”

The President’s aide said the things many complain about are not peculiar to Nigeria.

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He said Nigerians would only see good things if they calmed down.

Adesina wrote:

“Those things are there, as they are also in many countries of the world. But they are not the only things happening in Nigeria. Only that we would not see the positive things except we calmed down. We would never enjoy the rainfall, if we expect rainstorm to carry away our rooftop at any moment. Calm down. I’m just telling you to be ‘calming’ down.”

He said Nigerians love to murmur, curse and cavil.

The President’s spokesman said Nigerians rail against God, against man, against government, even against themselves and also indulge in hate speech, concoct and spread fake news.

“And it blinds our eyes. It blocks the light from our eyes, and we cannot see. We never see good even when it surrounds us. We focus only on negative narratives,” Adesina stated.

He said last Sunday, a retired Group Captain, Sadeeq Garba (Retd), said the killings in the country were sad and regrettable, but things were not as completely negative as some people and interest groups would want to make them seem.

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Quoting what he called reliable statistics from the Centre for Research in the United States, the retired officer gave these figures of the evil development from 2011, in number of total killings as thus: 2011 (1096 deaths), 2012 (3761), 2013 (7167), 2014-(15,600) 2016 (4618), 2017 (5763), 2018 (6565), 2019 (8350) and 2020 was 6195 deaths as of June.

Adesina said the figures showed that killings under the current government were less than the previous one.

“But why do some people want to make it appear as if we hadn’t passed through worse times in this country? Forget about who was in power as President. It is not about individuals now, it is about the descent of a country into the Hobbesian state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short,” he said.

“Killings dropped from 15,600 in 2014 to 4,618 in 2016 but not one positive word simply because their eyes are blinded by negative thoughts and sentiments. And they now need to calm down. Rather than upbraid, our security agencies should be challenged and encouraged to rediscover what they did in 2016,” Adesina added.

He said if Nigerians called down, they would we see massive infrastructural developments like roads, rail, airports and bridges.

“We will see the things that pertain to the peace of our country if we would just calm down. As the young boy said, “this is my last chance; last chance in the world,” Adesina said.

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Happenings in Edo threat to constitutional order – Atiku

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says the unfolding political developments in Edo are a threat to constitutional order.

Abubakar, in his verified tweeter handle on Thursday, urged the forces behind the developments to reign in their proxies, and abide by the rule of law to allow the people elect who they wanted to govern them.

“Nigeria has been on the edge due to the brinkmanship of those charged with the constitutional leadership.

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“We must, as a nation, not escalate the already tense atmosphere in our polity.

“What is happening in Edo is a threat to constitutional order nationwide.

“I strongly urge belligerent forces to reign in their proxies, and abide by the rule of law.

“As I have previously said, without the rule of law, there will be no rule at all.

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The current goings-on portend grave danger, not only to law and order in that state, but to the coming Edo elections.

“The people of Edo should be allowed to choose who they wish to govern them, and that choice is to be made on Sept. 19.

“Pending then, everything legally possible must be done to preserve the status quo,” Atiku said
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