PDP shops for consensus candidate ahead of 2019

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**The board of trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is preparing to meet with all presidential aspirants of the party to discuss the possibility of picking a consensus candidate for 2019.

Walid jibrin, chairman of the BoT, disclosed this at a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Jibrin said if the aspirants do not agree on  a consensus candidate, the party will be left with no choice than to conduct a primary.
He promised that the board would do its best to carry out its function by “remaining the conscience of the party”.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa state, Ahmed Makarfi, ex-chairman of the PDP, are among the presidential aspirants of the party.


*. PDP has charged President Buhari to immediately order the unfreezing of the official accounts of Akwa-Ibom and Benue states ‘illegally’ blocked by the EFCC as such is a direct attack on innocent Nigerians in those states.  
The PDP in a statement condemned the freezing as illegal, unconstitutional, overtly wicked and cannot be justified under any guise within the clear dictates and contemplation of our laws and practice as a nation.

*. Ahamad Lawan, senate majority leader, says the defection of Godswill Akpabio from PDP to APC has “swallowed” the recent defections from the ruling party. He said the former governor of Akwa Ibom state is an “uncommon senator” who enjoys support all over the country. Lawan spoke at the APC rally organised in Akwa Ibom on Wednesday to receive Akpabio into the ruling party. The ruling party recently lost 14 of its senators including Senate President Bukola Saraki to the PDP.


A former assistant to the sacked director general of State Security Service, Lawal Daura, has accused his former principal of extensive corruption, and has portrayed him as a man who serially betrayed his boss, President Buhari, for money. The assistant, Abdulwahab Abdulrahman, a retired senior SSS official, said he left the agency because of the scale of corruption and abuse there. “I didn’t want my children to see news of my eventual arrest on TV,” he said. Mr Daura, who led Nigeria’s domestic spy agency since 2015, was abruptly fired on Tuesday by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Strong indications have emerged today that the National Assembly will reconvene next week to consider and pass the proposed budget for the 2019 elections by INEC. The National Assembly will call off the break to consider the letter of President Buhari on the proposed sum of N164 billion to be provided for through virement or supplementary of the 2018 budget as well as look into the not less than N242 billion that would be required for the conduct of 2019 general elections. The decision to reconvene was arrived at after a closed door meeting between the Principal officers of the National Assembly and the Chairman of INEC.

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday arrived Minna, capital of Niger State, to hold a private meeting with the former military President, Ibrahim Babangida. The meeting is taking place at the Hilltop residence of the former military ruler.
NAN reports that Mr Saraki landed at Minna International Airport at about 4.10 p.m. and drove straight to the home of the reclusive former leader. It was not clear whether Mr Saraki came to discuss his presidential ambition with Babangida.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has cautioned the federal government against treating the 2019 elections as an emergency. He gave the advice during a meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, on Wednesday in Abuja. Mr Yakubu was meeting the leaders of the National Assembly to facilitate quick appropriation of funds for the election, which he noted was just “exactly 91 days away.”

APC stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu alleged yesterday attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo for campaigning against President Buhari’s re-election. He said Obasanjo was part of PDP that ran Nigeria for 16 years without result. Tinubu spoke yesterday in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State where Senator Godswill Akpabio formally joined the APC. He also spoke of plots by some members of the National Assembly to impeach Buhari. But the former Lagos State governor warned the plotters to drop their sinister move because it is not “possible for a lizard to race with an antelope’’.

Yesterday during his welcome rally in Akwa Ibom state, Senator Godswill Akpabio revealed that he has no intention to be the Senate President but he has the intention of becoming what God wants him to be. The former Senate Minority Leader in an interview on Channels Television explained further the reasons behind his defection from PDP to the ruling APC. “I don’t have any intention of becoming Senate President today. But I have the intention of becoming whatever God wants me to be. My name is Godswill and I believe in the will of God”, he said

7. #2019 ELECTION:
A former Chairman, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has urged the federal government to proffer stiffer laws against declaration of fake election results. Mr Jega made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at an international conference with “Democracy and Disinformation: How Fake News Threatens our Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria’’ as theme. He said the issue of fake news had become a threat to Nigeria’s democracy and should be immediately curbed.
He said, “The declaration of results and fake news on the social media is being done with impunity in our country.

A senator, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday, officially defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). At a reception organised for him at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, by the APC, Mr Akpabio criticised the PDP as not being fair to him and others who he said worked faithfully and loyally to build the party. The senator’s wife, Unoma, accompanied him to the event. The PDP, according to Mr Akpabio, was rather quick to celebrate and reward those he said abandoned and betrayed the party during the 2015 general elections

A national leader of APC Bola Tinubu, has alleged that some members of the National Assembly were planning to remove President Muhammadu Buhari. But he warned the plotters to drop their sinister move because it is not “possible for a lizard to wrestle an antelope’’. Mr Tinubu spoke on Wednesday at the formal defection of ex-Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, at a packed full Ikot Ekpene township stadium in Akwa Ibom. He described what is happening in the country now as a war between progressives and the conservatives.

Chelsea has completed the signing of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for a world-record fee of £72million. The 23-year-old has put pen to paper on a seven-year deal at the Blues and will be the club’s No 1 following the departure of Thibaut Courtois, who has sealed a £35million move to Real Madrid on a six-year deal. Kepa’s deal now makes him the most expensive goalkeeper in the World, followed by Brazil’s Alisson whoLiverpool paid £66.8m for last month.

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