INEC Insists No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that it will not present a certificate of return to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

INEC’s National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, said this, yesterday.

He said the electoral body took the decision because the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district election said he declared governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress.”

Asked whether the commission investigated the claim and confirmed that it was true, Okoye said “Yes.”

“We’ve made it clear on why we didn’t present any certificate of return to him (Okorocha).

“If you look at our website, we said the declaration and return were made under duress and that we are not going to give any certificate to any person  who procured a return under duress.”

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Suspected Hoodlums Set INEC Office Ablaze In Imo

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) office in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State has been set on fire by suspected hoodlums.

The INEC spokesperson in the state, Emanuella Opara, said she could not confirm the developments because she had been deployed to a local government to function as an electoral officer.

She said: “If I were to be in the headquarters now I would have confirmed the report to you but I am here on the field working.”

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeonkwu, said he would find out what happened and get back to our reporter.

However, a party agent at the local government, who asked not to be named, said no damage was done to the official result already collated.

Armed thugs had on Saturday invaded many polling units in Ngor Okpala LGA and carted away voting materials including ballot papers, ballot boxes and result sheets.

Many INEC ad-hoc staff were also beaten up with their valuables, including mobile phones, wallets and bags lost in the process.

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Okigwe Senatorial Rerun: Umuigbo Progressive Network Urges Okigwe Electorates To Vote APC’s Senator Uwajumogu

A renowned socio-political and ethnic group, Umuigbo Progressive Network (UPN), has urged the people of Imo North Senatorial District to troop out to vote Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu in the re-run election scheduled to hold on Saturday March 9.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Tuesday declared the senatorial election in Imo North National Assembly election in the senatorial district inconclusive due to alleged violence, ballot box snatching and other irregularities.

The group, in a statement signed by the National Co-ordinator, Barr Oscar Obi, KSM, appealed to electorates in Okigwe North Senatorial district to vote Senator Uwajumogu as the fate of an Igbo Senate Presidency is dependent on his re-election.

“This is a special appeal from the entire Igbo region to the good of people of Okigwe to vote Senator Uwajumogu, so as to get the Senate Presidency. We believe the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is ready to make an Igbo man the Senate President, but this cannot happen if we do not re-elect a ranking Senator of the party – Senator Uwajumogu to represent Imo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

“Re-electing Senator Uwajumogu will mean having something more than a governor in our district,” he emphasized.

UmuNne biko gbania n?! Ndewo nu o!

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APC Dissolves State, LG, Ward Excos In Ogun, Imo

The All Progressives Congress has dissolved the executive committees in Imo and Ogun states.

Also dissolved were the local government and ward executives in the two states.

In their place, the NWC would inaugurate caretaker committees that would superintend over the affairs of the party in the two states ahead of the general elections.

Their dissolution formed part of the resolutions reached during the National Working Committee meeting presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and his counterpart in Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, had vowed to work against governorship candidates in their states.

A member of the NWC told Punch newspaper correspondent that the meeting decided to dissolve all the party structures in Ogun and Imo states to stem the conflict of ideas being promoted by the two governors.

He said, “The two governors have sponsored their preferred candidates on the platform of other political parties while they are holding on to the APC’s senatorial tickets.

“We see this as a conflict of interest which could jeopardise the party’s efforts to win the two states.”

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2019: Oshiomole Stole The Mandate Of Imo APC, Okorocha Alleges

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has insisted the crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be irreconcilable considering various steps he had taken to address the situation.

Recall that Chairman of the reconciliatory committee the APC set up to look into the grievances in Imo State, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, had assured that the first task of their mission, which is to ensure Governor Okorocha remained in the party had been completed, emphasising that the second phase of discussion which he said would be indoors would be favourable to APC members in the state.

However, Okorocha, in his response, said: “There shouldn’t have been crisis in the party because of the affinity of the members, we are like one big family. When we came in 2011, it was a miracle, the who is who in Imo politics were against us but we won that election. We moved from APGA to APC because of the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is synonymous with integrity. I am a foundation member of the APC. I suggested the name APC.

“When we started, we were called names, we were made to look like aliens in our state, this is the only state you have elected office holders that are of the APC extraction. Those Oshiomole gave the tickets were not APC members, the worst political injustice in the history of Nigeria happened in Imo.

“The only reason these people are here is because of Buhari, not because they have benefitted. The issue we have is with Adams Oshiomole, he stole the mandate of the people and gave it away for reasons best known to him. The people here are concerned because the name of the person on APC ticket is not the candidate of their choice. The situation at hand has gone beyond what we can manage.”

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2019: Who Flys The Owerri Zone APC Senatorial Flag Better? By Emmanuel Chukwu

Prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primaries in Imo State two names were very dominant for the Imo East senatorial seat, Barr. Chyma Anthony and Engr. Emma Ojinene. Both of them had at one point or the other aspired for political positions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While Ojinere had the ambition of becoming governor, Anthony had the ambition of becoming the Senator representing the zone, but at last both of them did not go through in their respective aspirations.

By political realignment both of them are today in the APC with senatorial ambition. Ojinere had served as a commissioner under the Okorocha administration and Anthony has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the

APC government in ways portraying him as a staunch APC member.
As an international lawyer he made the headlines when he sued the National Assembly on its insistence to reverse order of elections, which the APC said was aimed at short changing the party.

Their antecedents show that they are committed to the APC cause, in different ways, each according to his convictions and capacity.

At the build up to the primaries in the state, there was the speculation whether Engr. Ojinere was still desirous of aspiring for the Senate seat of Owerri zone because of his inability to visit the nine local governments in the in the zone to canvass for support and their votes in the primary election. This situation made it possible for party members in the LGAs to hold the view that Barr. Anthony was the only one in the race each time he visited the LGA party members for consultation and support.

This lacuna may have prompted some youths in the zone to troop to roads in Owerri to call for support for Barr. Anthony as their preferred candidate, based on their conviction that he has the capacity to represent the zone very well at the Senate, having shown consistency commitment and capacity.

To many of the party members in the zone, Engr. Ojinere’s inability to tour the nine local governments to canvass for support and familiarise himself with the party members and their peculiar problems and needs left much to be desired. Denying them the opportunity to interact with him and asses his ability to fly their flag left a big question mark. It made the people to assume that he may have dropped his ambition, while he was still interested.

Barr. Anthony probably because of a clear cut definition of what he wants since 2011 took the necessary step of visiting the people to interact with them as is the rule in intra party democracy for aspirants to visit their party members and potential voters to solicit their support and vote at the primary first and at the election proper, if he or she clinches the party ticket. It is the understanding of party members and voters that visiting party members and electorates prior to primaries and the main election is one valid step that gives credibility to the aspirant and a party candidate, the huge financial involvement and risks notwithstanding. It is practice in tandem with our democracy as elsewhere in the world.

This deficiency may have prompted party members to view the announcement of Ojinere as winner of the senatorial primary with doubt. To Barr. Anthony’s sympathisers, they could not believe how it could be possible for them to have voted for an aspirant that never sought their votes, whose face never registered in their brain. Some are of the view that Engr. Ojinere rested on his oars because of governor Rochas Okorocha’s alleged earlier nod to his aspiration, if this is true he may have misunderstood the dynamic rhythm of politics, where expediency alters status quo ante in some cases. And failing to visit those he intend to represent to seek their support at the primary election, has the incontrovertible ingredient of suspicion that he was no longer interested in his earlier aspiration. At least, on the surface. This may have been the view of such local government party members who did not see him in their local governments prior to the primary election. Stretching the suspicion, they may have also thought that he lacks the capacity to represent them, very well.

Again, if the party had resolved to give its ticket to a particular aspirant or some aspirants in relation to other positions as the case may be, was it not immoral and undemocratic in the first place? If the party or the governor had tipped a particular aspirant, was it not immoral to have allowed other aspirants to purchase nomination forms at outrageously huge amounts of money?
With particular emphasis on the Anthony-Ojinere issue which of them, is with the capacity to win the election proper?

Admitted, they are all gentlemen, but which of them can enjoy public goodwill and which of them has the ability based on prima facia evidence to win victory for the party, considering the fact that one of them was able to tour all the LGAs in the zone to seek their consent. Remember in course of such tours, the party members and voters have the ample opportunity to assess an aspirant’s ability to deliver the dividend of representative democracy.
Barr. Anthony’s consistency in his senatorial aspiration since 2011, gives him out as one conversant with the demands of the office he is aspiring to hold and presenting himself to the zone in course of his LGA tours speaks of preparedness and willingness to handle the office.

Chukwu is a public affairs analyst based in Owerri, Imo State

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Former Imo Gov Ohakim, Others Form New APGA

Ikedi Ohakim, a former Governor of Imo State, has led 13 governorship aspirants to form “New-APGA”.

The formation of the New-APGA came on the back of a protest in Owerri on Thursday over the alleged imposition of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state.

Others who joined Ohakim in the protest include Senator Bright Nwanne, Frank Nneji, Sam Amadi, Uche Onyeagocha and Humphrey Anumudu.

Tens of party stalwarts had addressed the mammoth crowd at the meeting venue on Wednesday where they lambasted the party’s national and state working committees for allegedly fleecing Imo people of their hard earned resources.

Parts of their resolution were the lack of confidence and immediate removal of the party’s national and state working committees , led by Victor Oye and Eze Obi, respectively.

According to them, the party cannot foist a governorship candidate on the members without conducting any primary .

In a communiqué signed by the governorship aspirants , they decried that despite the assurances of the party’ s national and state working committees that primaries would be credible, the party had failed in holding any primary .

“All of us invested our experience, spirit , and hope in APGA . We fought for it, we rebuilt the brand. We spent our fortune to make APGA the party in Igboland in 2019 . We believed that the way forward for APGA would have been transparent and credible primaries .

“Today, Governor Obiano, Oye and a few others, sat together and decided to spite the entire members of the party and bargain away the life of APGA.

“APGA leadership has committed theft and betrayal of historic proportion. The leadership pretends that it was prepared to become an alternative platform for our much-oppressed people who are seeking refuge in a sanitised platform built on integrity and excellence .”

They, thereafter, unveiled a new banner with the inscription,  New APGA.

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Court Declares Impeachment Of Ex-Imo Deputy Governor Illegal

The Imo state High Court sitting in Owerri, on Tuesday, has declared the impeachment of Deputy Governor of the state, Eze Madumere as invalid and of no legal effect.

Justice Benjamin Iheaka in his ruling which lasted for over two hours  justice lashed the Chief Judge of the state, Paschal Nnadi and the Attorney General of the state, Militus Nlemadim for not following  the provisions of section 188(5) of the 1999 constitution as amended in the impeachment of Madumere on July 31,2018.

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Vice President Osinbajo To Launch TraderMoni In Owerri

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), will today launch the TraderMoni scheme in Owerri, Imo State capital.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Mr Laolu Akande says TraderMoni, which is part of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme, is designed to assist petty traders across the country expand their trade through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans from N10,000. The loans are repayable over a period of six months.

He said the micro-credit scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), was first formally launched on August 7 in five markets in Lagos State – Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba areas.

According to mr Akande, Following the Lagos leg, the micro-credit scheme has since been formally launched in eight other states, including Kano, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Osun, Kogi, Oyo, Cross River; and Abuja (Federal Capital Territory).

Under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from N15,000 to N100,000 when they repay N10,000 within the stipulated time period.

Also, through TraderMoni scheme, the Buhari Administration aims to take financial inclusion down to the grassroots, and uplift Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid, considering the contribution of petty traders to economic development. The Federal Government is also aware of the fact that many of the petty traders don’t have what the commercial banks require to grant them loans.

Petty traders from across the states have continued to laud the Buhari administration for helping them in expanding their trade and empowering them economically.

By the end of 2018, the micro-credit scheme would have reached all 36 states of the federation, with an estimated two million petty traders set to become beneficiaries.

 

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You Are Not A Member Of Our Party, APC Tells Senator Uzodinma

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has warned Senator representing Imo West Senatorial Zone, Hope Uzodinma, to desist from using the names of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole for selfish pursuits.

State Chairman of the party, Mr. Daniel Nwafor, in a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, accused Senator Uzodinma of running a parallel APC office in the state.

According to him, Senator Uzodinma is yet to register with the party both at his Ward and Local Government and is also not known by the State Executive Committee of the party.

His words: “In the last few days our party has been inundated with calls over the activities of some persons who are posing as members of the APC. Our party is particularly disturbed that this group of people whose nefarious activities as spearheaded by a Senator from this state, Senator Hope Uzodinma. Senator Uzodinma has been misleading the public about certain issues concerning our party. Sunday, our attention was drawn to a kangaroo meeting that was supposedly held by a faction of this party led by Senator Hope Uzodinma. We want to put it on record that Senator Uzodinma is not a member of the APC; his Omuma Ward Chairman has not informed the party that Senator Uzodinma has joined the party.

“Also Senator Uzodinma has not declared on the floor of the Senate that he has joined the APC, THE Imo State Executive of our party is not aware that he is a member of this party. There has been a lot of statements credited to him inferring that the President Muhammadu Buhari and our Nation Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole have empowered him to determine delegates and aspirants, as well as run this party.

“We want to inform the National Executive Committee of our party that to the best of our knowledge, Senator Hope Uzodinma is not a member of APC. If there are waivers for him, we have not been communicated formerly”.

Nwafor continued that, “before anyone in the Presidency or National Headquarters of our party, deals with Senator Hope Uzodinma, it is pertinent that the person as the question, who is Senator Hope Uzodinma, what are his antecedents. After you have determined these two important questions, who will now know how best to deal with him. APC as a party in this state has just one leader and that is Governor Rochas Okorocha and it is on record that when this party was tagged Boko Haram in this state, Governor Okorocha won elections with the party. There is also one state Chairman that has been affirmed by several Court judgments and that his Daniel Nwafor, my humble self”.

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Just In: Imo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor

The Imo State House of Assembly has impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Eze Madumere.

He was impeached on Monday by 19 out of the 27 member-assembly.

The Speaker of the House, Acho Ihim, said the impeachment followed the outcome of a report of a 7-man panel which was constituted by the Chief Judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct and abandonment of office by the Deputy Governor.

The Head of Service in the State, Mr. Calistus, is to resume as Deputy Governor of the state.

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Imo Police Command Arrests Suspected Killers Of APC Chieftain

The Geoffrey Victor-led Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Imo has arrested the suspected killers of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Amos Akano.

The deceased was reportedly abducted on his way home after a meeting of the party in Owerri, the capital, only to be found dead by the roadside a couple of days later.

The suspects were apprehended while waiting to collect ransom from the late politician’s relations.The Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi, who confirmed the arrest, added that the suspects were held in Ihiala, Anambra State.He named those arrested as Ikenna Nwosu (aka Ezego); Chibuike Martins; Emeka Eke; Chijioke Akukara among others.

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