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Friday, 2 August 2013

As APC Chieftains Visit Minna: APC’s Emergence A Good Devt – IBB

By: Abu Nmodu, Chibuzo Ukaibe, Mohammed Ismail, GEORGE OKOJIE on August 2, 2013 - 3:49am
Former Military President General Ibrahim BadamasiBabangida has stated that the emergency of All Progressive Congress (APC) will bring about vibrant political activities and give the people an alternatives choose even as he insisted that votes must count in 2015.
Barely 24 hours the APC was registered some of the chieftains yesterday stormed the residence of the former military president where they entered into a closed door meeting that lasted for about two hours.
IBB stated his position on the APC registration yesterday while speaking to journalists in his residence in Minna after receiving the board members of the National Examination Council NECO.
IBB stated that the emergence of APC has further confirmed his strong believe on two parties system which would provide an equally strong avenue for people to make choice.
He said, “I think we have a lot of time now we will see vibrant political activities,  political parties will like to sell their products, perhaps you should keep on insisting the votes should count also and allow the people to vote their choice and should have only one vote”.
When asked whether votes have not been counting in Nigeria in the previous elections he said “No, I never said so I only said that insist that votes should count”.
Babangida stated further that “I have been and I will continue to be a strong believer of two parties system, I told you that, maybe as PDP itself said we now have a strong and vibrant political associations, you have the choice, you either take this or that”.
“I hope that the public will see it as an opportunity, that the party should try to talk to us the ordinary people, what they intend to do for us and for the country”, he added.
Asked on what the emergence of APC portends for the future of PDP, he tactically answered, “you see as a person who God did not give the power to predict the future I wait for God to see,” but when pressed further to draw inferences from previous political development he said, “No, I think it is a good development”.
Meanwhile at about 12:30PM yesterday the Interim Deputy National Chairman of the newly registered APC and Former Speaker AminuMasari as well as Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory and interim Assistant National Secretary Nasir El-Rufai stormed the residence of the Former Military President.
The  duo accompanied by Senator NasirNasif saw  Masari driving into the residence in Dark Toyota Jeep with registration number CV 324 RSH and El-rufai in JJC 99 AJ Lagos Number of a BMW series.
Immediately they arrived they were ushered straight to a conference hall in the right wing of IBB residence where they held a meeting behind closed door for almost two hours but none of them was ready to talk to the press on their mission to the hill top residence of the Former Military President.
A source close to the meeting however told LEADERSHIP that the mission was part of the strategy by the chieftains of the newly registered party whom they considered as political asset in the north into the newly registered APC to strengthen the party in the zone.

2015: We welcome APC but it won’t last- Presidency
But the Senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday applauded the successful registration of the APC saying, however, if President Goodluck Jonathan decides to run for in 2015, the odds are in his favour to win.
Addressing journalists when he visited the PDP headquarters, Okupe also said it would be political suicide for any aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to leave the party just as he accused the aggrieved five northern governors of cashing in on the crisis in Rivers State to carry out their long nursed agenda.
Speaking on the APC registration, Okupe said, “for us it is a good thing, a great development. I don’t know whether the opposition is credible enough, I cannot attest to that, but at least you know, what we have is that we’ve political parties that have been inept previously that have been extremely weaken and of no serious political importance before now have come together under one umbrella with an attempt to challenge the status quo . We will see how far they can go.”
On the prospects of 2015, he said President Jonathan has not decided and has not told anybody, that is the truth. If he decides to run, nobody can beat him, it’s not possible. The calculations are in his favour, the odds are in his favour, the national supports are in his favour, the performance index is in his favour
Reacting to a question on the aggrieved governors of the party especially from he north, he said “It’s becoming obvious to decedents within the PDP that there is nowhere else to go, that is why you hear everybody saying we are not leaving the PDP. There is nowhere else to go. So, is better to fight and fight inside, is better to present your case and let it be sorted inside.
“What you are seeing is clear cut announcements by those who are ….i don’t want to call them decedent, but those who are not very happy with the way situations in the party are. They are telling the world, they are telling people who care to listen that yes our party may have its problems, may have its faults, may have its inadequacies, but there is no alternative than to be inside.
“There are more than enough reasons for people to leave, but you know, you don’t leave a winning platform politically, is politically suicidal. You hear something 20 governors, 40 governors will join us, these are empty boast and things that do not hold water.
“ None of these governors as you can see for yourself is prepare to move. What they are trying to do is to move around and ensure that they are heard and at least maybe some of their demands are met, but nobody is going anywhere, because PDP is still the real party to beat.”

APC to embark on massive membership drive - Duhu
Also the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded plans to embark on massive membership drive and enlightenment, Alhaji Umar Duhu, the National Vice Chairman, North East, has said.
Duhu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Yola that the party, ``which is the much awaited platform and alternative for selfless service, wants its presence to be felt at all levels’’.
``You know, Nigerians were so enthusiastic about APC being registered; so we have to match our words with actions by reaching out to them.
``We want to establish structures across the country beyond ward level. We want to be the first party to have structures at unit level,” Duhu said.
Duhu, a former State Chairman of defunct ANPP in Adamawa, said that ANPP recently received about 300,000 new members in the state, ``who are now automatic members of APC’’.
He said the party was confident of its chances in the 2015 general elections.
Duhu said that the party was in talks with some governors, who are interested in becoming members of the APC.
``As at today, many governors are in talks with us. From the number I have now, we have at least 23 governors coming to APC.
``I am assuring the party members, particularly those that are just coming in, of equal opportunities,’’ Duhu said.

APC to wage war on corruption – Scribe
Also the National Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), AlhajiTijaniTumsah, said the party would fight corruption with a view to eliminating it from the polity.
Tumsah made the promise during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
He said the transformation of the country could not be realised without an uncompromised decision to eradicate corruption.
The national secretary said the APC had the required human resource to take Nigeria to a greater height.
``APC has the human resource to turn Nigeria’s economy around through provision of regular power supply, creation of jobs, promotion of investment and industrialisation.’’
According to him, APC is going to put the country back on track for effective utilisation of resources.
Tumsah, who decried insecurity and level of poverty in the country, said the party was determined to put smiles on the faces of the downtrodden.
He called on Nigerians to support the party’s programmes for a united and prosperous country.
He said there was no other country Nigerians could call their own hence the need for collective responsibility to transforme it
Tumsah commended INEC for living up to its responsibilities by registering APC, and promised that the party would abide by the Electoral Act.

‘23 PDP Governors will soon defect TO APC’
In a related development, the National Vice Chairman North East of the newly registered All
 Progressive Congress, (APC) Alhaji Umar Duhu has confirmed that 23 PDP  Governors are on their way to join APC.
 He said the party has gone into high level discussion with the 23  Governors who are dissatisfied with the leadership style of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Duhu said following the frustrations expressed by 5 PDP Governors the  President call them to a meeting where they told him point blank that they are in talks with an alternative political platform because of the fact that they have lost confidence in the way President Goodluck Jonathan is steering the ship of the Nation which is responsible for the drift we are seeing in Nigeria. “The aggrieved Governors have told  President Goodluck Jonathan point blank that they are rooting for an
alternative political platform through which they can continue their political pursuits since it is becoming crystal clear by the day that they will not get a fair deal in the PDP”.
He said with the current development, the victory of the Party, has become a fait accompli come 2015 as people were fed up with the PDP whom in the past 14 years only promote a reign of impunity and anarchy in the country. “The victory of the PDP is a forgone issue as both its
members who are treated badly and the masses are fed up with the reign of impunity it has wrought on the polity which is responsible for the sorry state that the country has found itself into since the advent of our democracy 14 years ago”.
Duhu disclosed that over 300,000 members of the PDP in Adamawa State have joined the ANPP and all of them will be accommodated into the fold of the newly registered party without any form of discrimination which is aimed at entrenching confidence within the party fold. “I can tell you that we have received so many decampees from the PDP fold into ANPP and we shall soon join the APC in block. The interesting thing is that we are not placing any condition on anybody who decided  to be with us”.
He said unlike other political parties whose structures stops at the ward level; APC is going further into establishing structures at the polling units which will encourage massive participation of the local people into politics so as to carry everybody along in the democratization process. “We are going to ensure the entrenchment of our structures as far as the polling units which will ensure massive participation of our people at the grass root in other to make them genuine stakeholders of our democratization process.
“With the development, the issue of zero votes at the polling units will be forgone because you can’t have party executives at the polling unit and still record zero votes, the approach will also checkmate the rigging machine of the PDP at those levels”, he said.
 He debunked insinuations by Mr. Daniel Richard which says that the party is slanted in favor of identified sentiments saying that Richard is a spent force in the party as he has never made his intention to contest for any part position in ANPP but only to promote primordial sentiments.

We can’t afford to disappoint Nigerians – Gov Shettima
Amidst celebrations over the registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has reminded leaders and members that Nigerians have very high expectations from the newly formed party and as such the party must strive exceptionally hard to show that it has a difference that will quickly convince Nigerians that quality of governance will be greatly improved to better the lives of all Nigerians regardless of their ethno-religious and socio-political affiliations.                       
   Speaking through Isa Gusau, his special adviser on communications, in a congratulatory statement issued yesterday, Governor Shettima noted that with the calibre of credible political leaders, highly respected technocrats, academics, successful captains of industry, rights activists and policy gurus associated with the APC, Nigerians expect an immediate indication that the party is coming up with something new to turn the fortunes of the country for the good of all Nigerians and as such, leaders and members must now begin to think critically ahead of the formal interactions with Nigerians.                            
  “I am very optimistic that our party has very patriotic, credible and competent Nigerians who are selflessly ready to work for the quick re-invention of Nigeria for all Nigerians, we have highly respectable people and this is why Nigerians have very high expectations from the APC, we must then get to work immediately as a family, to think out of the box, to bring something new and concrete that is capable of making the difference. Nigerians have so much demands but the demands are just about basic things that are very achievable, we do not need rocket science to provide things as basic as portable water, sound education, quality healthcare, jobs, security, roads, electricity and other very basic essentials of human existence that are no longer in the demand lists of other countries with less our human and material resources. Nigerians have confidence in us and we just cannot afford to let them down and indeed let ourselves down.
The registration of the APC is therefore both a thing of joy and a challenge to us as progressives because we have now gotten a major tool to use in championing the course that we have regularly advocated for as individuals and as a group, Nigerians will definitely scrutinise what we will on the table to look out for fresh dimensions to problems solving. I join in congratulating all Nigerians especially the leaders, members and supporters of our great party, the APC who worked tirelessly to create an alternative platform to deepen our democratic process; I congratulate the INEC for once again, earning the confidence of Nigerians and reaffirming our abiding fate in the electoral process, I congratulate all progressives who share that desperate crave for a better Nigeria through legitimate means that the APC provides.
I also importantly join in thanking the media for very fair but deserved publicity accorded to the APC and for regularly monitoring every step of the way, leading to the party’s registration as lawfully desired by the party’s actors and promoters. I pray that peace returns to every part of Nigeria in no distant time and I do solemnly pray that Nigeria recovers and grows steadily to become the real giant that we so wish for us, the African continent and indeed the world,” Shettima said as quoted by Gusau.

Fashola hoists APC flag in Lagos
Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola yesterdayhoisted the flag of the newly registered APC at the state party secretariat located in the Ogba area of the state.
The governor, who was at the secretariat with his deputy and State Executive members to rejoice with other party leaders over Wednesday’s registration of APC by INEC, called for sacrifice to ensure the success of the party.
Fashola described the registration of APC as historic, adding that the party would ensure progressive transformation of the country.
He explained that the country is heading towards a two-party state at the centre with other registered parties playing a supporting role at the state and local government levels.
According to him, the day of impunity in government is gradually coming to an end, saying that performance would be the major determinant in the next election.
The governor had earlier flagged off the Keep Our Environment Campaign Award with a charge to residents of the state to take ownership of infrastructure provided by the government.
Fashola at the event organized by the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP) urged those living in blighted areas to transformed them through the agency. He said the awards were instituted to encourage cleanliness in their areas.
The governor assured that the 1008 housing units being built by the state government at Ijora Badia will be occupied by the original dwellers of the slum settlement.
He said cleanliness of the environment is the first defence against falling ill and premature death, adding that the advocacy is geared towards keeping people away from the hospitals.


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