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Defection tsunami hits Cross River APC, as Ita Giwa, APC BoT member, ex-envoy, others formerly join PDP

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Thursday, at the Municipal Council grounds in Calabar, suffered a serious political tsunami as a former senator and two-time Special Adviser to two Nigeria presidents, Princess Florence Ita- Giwa, returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Others who also washed their hands off the APC in the state with about 5000 supporters were the former Ambassador to Mali, Amb. Soni Abang, former APC Board of Trustee member, Barr Tony Odey, as well as the duo of 1992 legislators, Senator Patrick Ani and Hon. Ernest Irek among others.
Ita Giwa, speaking at the event said: “I am back to ensure that the turn by turn policy is followed, as only zoning can sustain democracy without fight while creating opportunities for all to raise their heads.”
Waxing philosophical, Ita-Giwa disclosed: “In over one year I went on that trip to APC, it wasn’t good for my body because a white goat loves no stain or dirt,” adding that “I feel guilty leaving this family as upon my return, so much love was shown to me and I was not shut out or looked down upon.”
She added that the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has performed so much magic which all must collectively return him back to sustain his vision aimed at repositioning Cross River and making it the envy of others.
“I cannot fight Ayade because he made the hitherto abandoned Bakassi Local Government Area to be celebrated among the existing local government areas in the state and indeed Nigeria. I am back to sustain democracy, to join hands with Ayade to win elections, for the sustenance of carnival which is dear to me and for the governor’s industrialization drive,” Ita- Giwa intimated.
On his part, Ambassador Soni Abang expressed happiness that he finally took the decision to return to the PDP.
“My supporters and I are happy to be back home. I had within the past few years withdrawn from active politics because when you marry a wife with a problem, staying in the same house becomes a problem, not to talk of going into the other room.”
According to him, “PDP is a great family and there is no way Uche Secondus will be a national chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku contesting as President and Prof Ben Ayade coming as governor or Senator Imoke urging me to come back to the fold and I will say no,” the former envoy noted.
On his experiences during his stint with the APC, Abang disclosed that “while there, we couldn’t agree even on the party exco, we couldn’t conduct our primaries, the party does not respect court orders and today the same party is trying to cripple our judiciary,” adding that, “the national chairman of PDP today has redefined and remodeled the party as evidenced in the last national convention adjudged as the most transparent in the country.”
Another returnee, Hon Ernest Irek, said “it is only the PDP that has a reward system and anything that has no reward system is not a better option.”
Lauding the programs and policies of Governor Ben Ayade which has endeared him and his team to return to the political family, Irek who was a 1992 House of Representatives member representing old Obubra Federal constituency said: “Your programs are programs of tomorrow, nobody will allow any senatorial district to cheat the other, we are back to our home and the time for business is now and we are going to deliver.”
Former governor, Senator Liyel Imoke said he feels like a “contented old man to see the family gathered today as one. It takes the collectives to get results, as such, these key leaders who have returned to the fold are very fundamental in our struggle for 2019.”
Imoke who applauded Ayade for accommodating the returnees, pointed out that for this to happen, it is a great effort aimed at uniting the political family.
Receiving the returnees in the presence of the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, some members of the national leadership of the party, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, assured them that, “the party is for all, for the entire people, you are all co-owners in this party and everyone is a leader.”
He applauded Ayade for his industrialization drive in the state, maintaining that the vision to decouple Cross River from its dependence on federal allocation while creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths must have endeared the returnees to come back.
While extending hand shakes with the political bigwigs who returned to the PDP, Secondus said: “On behalf of the national leadership of our party, we welcome you back to your home and I can assure you that all your rights and privileges are this day restored unto you.

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PHOTOSNEWS: BUHARI, ATIKU SIGNS NATIONAL PEACE ACCORD

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Election: Lagos Speaker, Agege APC Leaders Take Campaign To Community Leaders, Market Men/Women, Artisans

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As the nation prepares for the general elections starting on Saturday, 16 February, 2019, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and leaders of the All Progressives Congress  (APC) in Agege Federal Constituency have embarked on a campaign tour of all the wards in the Agege Federal Constituency covering Agege Local Government and Orile Agege Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
The tour which kicked off on Friday, 8 February will end on Thursday, 14 February and is meant to sensitise the people on not only voting during the coming election but also voting right.
During the tour so far, the Speaker and other APC leaders have been educating the people on the need to use their middle finger to thumb-print rather than using the thumb.
“The reason for this is simple: there are many political parties now on the ballot paper and the space provided for thumb-printing is very small. If you use your to thumb-print, it may spill over to the next space thereby invalidating your vote. So use your middle finger to vote,” the Speaker told the Ebira community during one of the visits.
Rt. Hon. Obasa and his team has also not forgotten to remind the people on the need to vote for all the candidates of the APC, reminding them that it is the only party that can serve their interest.
“For us in Agege Federal Constituency in particular, we must ensure that we vote for APC candidates. Since the community produced the Speaker in 2015, I can with all sense of modesty claim that the community has witnessed tremendous development in terms of socio-economic development.
“So this is not about the individual called Mudashiru Obasa but about the development and growth of this community called Agege,” he told the youth associations of Wards D and E of Orile Agege LCDA when he met with them Sunday.
As at Monday, the Lagos Speaker and his team have met with leaders of south south community in Agege, the Nupe community in Agege, the Ebira community, various youth and community development associations in the area, the tailor association, the artisans, the tyre dealers association, the hairdressers association and okada riders association.
Apart from Rt. Hon. Obasa, leaders on the entourage inckude: member, representing the Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Taofeek Abiodun Adaranijo; member, representing Agege Constituency 2 in the state House of Assembly, Hon Oluyinka Ogundimu; APC candidate for House of Representatives, Dr Samuel Adejare; former Commissioner for Transport in the state, Comrade Kayode Opeifa; the two council Chairmen: Hon Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, Agege LG; and Hon Johnson Sunday Babatunde, Orile Agege LCDA; and many others.
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We Stand with Ohanaeze, Afenifere NEF, others on Atiku – Groups

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By: Jude Ndukwe

Different groups from major regional blocs in the country have come together under the auspices of Joint Progressive Action Group (JPAG) to declare support for the leading socio-cultural groups which recently met in Abuja and endorsed the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.

JPAG which stated this in a press statement jointly signed by Chief Kola Adepoju for the Yoruba Alliance Group (JAG), Alhaji Abdullahi Shehu for the Arewa Renewal Mandate Group (ARMG), Chief Obioma Okereafor for Southeast Progressive Union (SEPU), Apostle Horyen Pwajok for the Middle Belt Coalition for Progress (MBCP) and James Ekpenyong for the Niger Delta Restoration Forum (NDRF), and released to the media on Tuesday, February 5, said its decision to back the five foremost groups on their endorsement of Atiku was “predicated on the parlous situation which the country has found itself and for which there must be an urgent change of government at the polls on February 16 before the situation becomes totally irredeemable.

“It will be unreasonable for us to ignore the very obvious dangerous signs of a failing nation staring us in the face in the name of ethnicity or religion and watch our nation collapse on us”, it stated.

The Group also went further to say that “Buhari’s deficiencies in governance which have sharply divided our nation along mundane lines cannot be allowed to continue. It is time for every Nigerian of goodwill and good conscience to rise up and do the needful on February 16 to ensure that this charade of a political process is quickly brought to an end.

“It is in view of this that we lend our voices to the recent endorsement of Atiku by the Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Pan Niger Delta Forum. We are very much convinced beyond any iota of doubt that this is the right step to take for the sake of our nation and posterity”, the statement concluded.

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