Mr Eddy Olafeso, the immediate past National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in South-West on Sunday said ex-Gov Ayodele Fayose remained a critical voice in the party’s affair in the region.
Olafeso made the clarification in Ado-Ekiti during a meeting with the party’s delegates over his Vice Chairmanship aspiration in the coming zonal Congress of the party.
He was specifically addressing the Bisi Kolawole-led faction of the party, predominantly Fayose’s loyalists.
It would be recalled that the party’s State congress held on Aug. 22, had produced two factional chairmen.
Kolawole emerged from former Gov. Ayodele Fayose’s faction while Kehinde Odebunmi was elected from a parallel group loyal to Sen. Abiodun Olujimi.
Fayose was also alleged to have declared Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State persona-non-grata in the state having being endorsed as the PDP leader in the South-West by Olujimi’s faction.
Olafeso said Fayose should be respected for saving the party from total ruin when the ruling party allegedly plotted internal crisis to destroy it.
According to him, Fayose towers above other leaders in the zone judging from his antecedents and contributions to the PDP’s electoral fortunes.
Olafeso described the leadership tussle between Fayose and Gov Makinde of Oyo state as uncalled for and unwarranted, saying ex-Gov Fayose was a pathfinder and leading light of the PDP in the South-West.
“He remains the voice of the PDP in the Southwest.
“You can see that all the immediate past zonal executive members are represented here.
“We are here to thank our leader, Ayodele Fayose for his support.
“He (Fayose) is our leader. We believed in him. While others were panicking and fearful to criticize President Muhammadu Buhari, he was with us.
“He remained the only voice in the wilderness.
“Fayose rescued the PDP from those who wanted to ruin the party when the late Sen. Buruji Kashamu took the party to court.
“It was Fayose as a governor that saved the party from total ruin.
“Let us continue to support Fayose. We are very sure of victory and unity in the end,” Olafeso, a former Commissioner in Ondo State added.
The Zonal Vice Chairmanship aspirant promised to initiate a peace process that would bring all the contending forces together in line with the dream of the PDP’s founding fathers.
“We don’t have a major crisis, what we have is disagreement. Some leaders had even begun underground fence mending mission, but peace is a process.
“We will lead with fairness and justice in partnership with other leaders to ensure that we take our rightful position at the national level,” he said.
Bisi Kolawole, the PDP factional Chairman in Ekiti, in his response, promised that the state chapter of the party would support the return of Olafeso as zonal Vice Chairman.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242
The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .
It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.
Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.
The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.
Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.
“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim
Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.
The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.
Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director, Ruth Ango over the matter.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.
According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.
NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.
The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.
Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.
NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Atiku Support Groups congratulate Obaseki
The All Atiku Support Groups (ASGs), has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group Chairman, Mr Fabiyi Oladimeji, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja said Obaseki’s convincing victory was due to the resilience and steadfastness of the people of Edo State who did not give room for any manipulation by undemocratic forces.
“Nothing can be more dignifying than the stance and resolve of the good people of Edo for what they truly believed in.
“The good people of Edo state have demonstrated dexterity and spoken very loudly against god fatherism, against arrogance in power just as they have voted for progress and prosperity.”
Oladimeji commended the courage of Obaseki, his deputy, the State campaign council under the leadership of Chief Dan Orbih and all leaders of note in Edo State, Oladimeji said.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for maintaining neutrality in the election.
“We understand there cannot be perfection in any electoral process, but INEC by its conduct in the just concluded Edo election has shown that it is possible if we all decided to do what is right.”
Oladimeji said that the group would not take the role played by the security agencies in ensuring the smooth running of the elections for granted.
He said that although there was a full contingent of officers of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies on ground, no recorded cases of intimidation or harassment of voters were recorded during the election.
He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the good people of Edo to have their say and way.
“Democratic process demands that people should be allowed to freely elect their choices, as democracy is all about the people.”
Oladimeji commended the doggedness of the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Gov. Nyesom Wike, his Colleagues, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and all the National campaign council.
He also commended Atiku Abubakar for his timely intervention and support, as well as the Edo State Chapter of ASGs for mobilising voters for Obaseki’s re-election.
Oladimeji appealed to all stakeholders in the PDP to embrace the same strategy adopted and apply same during the upcoming Ondo Governorship election, Lagos senatorial by-election and Anambra governorship election.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Edo 2020: Gov. Wike lauds INEC, Police
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Nigeria Police Force on their conduct during the Edo Governorship Election.
Wike, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council, made the commendation while addressing a large crowd of party supporters at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa on Sunday.
He stated that the conduct of INEC and the Police showed that they were ready to correct the mistakes of the past.
The Governor also commended the people of Edo “for ending godfatherism with the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki’’.
“With the re-election of Governor Obaseki, the entire South-South Region is now completely PDP.
“What this means is that the entire South-South can now speak with one voice on issues concerning us,’’ he said.
Wike thanked the people of Rivers for their prayers, which led to Obaseki’s victory in Edo.
Similarly, at a brief reception by PDP leaders at Government House, Port Hsrcourt, Wike said that with the Edo victory “there is hope’’ for the country’s democracy.
According to him, the neutrality of the electoral body and security agencies will make one to say the election was free and fair.
He thanked the Party Leaders for their solidarity throughout the election period and urged them to maintain the spirit.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Elders Advisory Council of the PDP, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, commended Gov. Wike for leading a successful campaign.
Alabraba said the victory in Edo had proved that Wike “is always committed to any assignment given to him’’.
Edited By: Felix Ajide