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Ex-Ondo deputy gov, Ajayi wins PDP governorship primary

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By Akintunde Jacobs, Akure

The former deputy governor of Ondo state, Agboola Ajayi, has emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming November 16, governorship election in the state.

Ajayi was declared winner of the governorship primary election which took place on Thursday by the Chairman of the PDP Primary Election Committee and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, at the International Culture and Event Centre, The Dome, in Akure, the Ondo state capital.

Ewhrudjakpo, while announcing Ajayi as winner, said he scored 264 votes to beat other 6 aspirants.

The aspirants, who were cleared by the Senator Sam Egwu Screening Committee and participated in the primary election included; former deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi; former Secretary General of Yoruba Social Political Organisation, Afenifere, Olusola Ebiseni; a former member of the House of Representatives, Kolade Akinjo; Adeolu Akinwunmi, John Ola Mafo, Bamidele Akingboye and Bosun Arebuwa.

He said the other aspirants score is as follows: Bamidele Akingboye; 24, Kolade Akinjo; 157, Adeolu Akinwunmi; 64, Bosun Arebuwa; 2, Olusola Ebiseni; 99, John Ola-Mafo; 9.

While Ewhrudjakpo said that the total number of accredited voters was 621, that is three delegates from each ward, total of accredited voters 621, void votes 2, valid votes 619.

According to Ewhrudjakpo, who was flanked by other members of the committee, “Seven aspirants participated in the exercise, nobody stood down for anybody and by virtues of the result, Agboola Ajayi having scored the highest number of votes cast in the indirect primary election, is hereby declared the winner of this primary and hereby declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 2024 governorship election in Ondo state and he is hereby returned as the candidate.”

In his acceptance speech, Ajayi said; “Let me give glory to Almighty God for a day like this, the victory goes to all PDP members, and it is a victory for democracy.

“I want to first commend my brother, our leader, the chairman of the committee, for a transparent and very credible process. I’m sure everybody in Ondo State is happy with the result. You can’t compare it with the direct or fraudulent primary of APC.

“Let me also commend the national leadership of our party for putting in place a transparent process. That is the difference between the PDP and other political parties in Nigeria.

“To all our party members; no victor, no vanquish, we are all winners, and it is a victory for democracy.”

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Politics

Edo Assembly recalls suspended lawmaker, Iyamu

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Edo House of Assembly on Monday announced the recall of one of the three suspended lawmakers, Mr Bright Iyamu.

Iyamu (PDP-Orhionmwon South) was suspended on May 6, alongside two others over alleged plot to impeach the speaker and other principal officers of the assembly.

The two lawmakers, who are still on suspension, are Donald Okogbe (PDP-Akoko-Edo II) and Adeh Isibor (APC-Esan North-East I).

Announcing the lifting of the suspension during plenary in Benin, the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, said that the house had found Iyamu to be remorseful.

Shortly after Iyamu’s recall, other lawmakers took turns to appeal to the speaker to consider lifting the suspension of the two remaining lawmakers.

The speaker, in his reaction, however, said that Isibor had taken the matter to court.

One of the lawmakers, Nicholas Asonsere (PDP-Ikpoba-Okha), thereafter, passed a vote of confidence in the speaker and an unalloyed support of the assembly to him.

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Former Rivers LG chairmen defy police order, stage protests

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The former chairmen of 21 out of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State staged a protest on Monday at their various council areas.

The former council bosses loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, protested in their local councils despite an advisory against protests issued by the state Police Command.

In Buguma, the council headquarters of the Asari-Toru LGA, former Chairman Onengiyeofori George, alongside his supporters, marched through the streets of the town as they gyrated to songs in Wike’s solidarity.

They waved placards with inscriptions asking the police to continue occupying the council headquarters. Some of the inscriptions read, “Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He Likes” and “There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council”.

According to Channels Television, at Asari-Toru LGA, the protest almost turned violent when some men believed to be operatives of Asari Dokubo’s private military company, known as Amama soldiers, attempted to attack the protesters.

The Amama soldiers were swiftly restrained by policemen who were very alert. The demonstrators later presented a protest letter to the police.

Also, in Abonnema, the Akuku-Toru LGA council headquarters, some persons staged a protest, backing the continued closure of council premises by the police.

Recall that the police took over the 23 LGA council secretariats of the oil-rich South-South last Tuesday following the crisis that erupted over the three-year tenure expiration of the former LGA chairmen. Three deaths were recorded in the wake of the crisis.

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Rivers political crisis: You’re not the Reps caucus leader — Abiante tells Deekor

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The political crisis rocking Rivers State has taken a new dimension, as Federal lawmakers of the State in the Lower House of the National Assembly have taken sides and started exchanging words as to who is the caucus leader and otherwise.

This stems from utterances attributed to member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Dumnamene Deekor over his attack on Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, over the Rivers State political crisis.

In a statement issued by the member representing Andoni, Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Caucus Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon Awaji-Inombek Abiante  in Port Harcourt, he stated clearly that Deekor as a two term lawmaker is not qualified to assume the leadership of the Caucus of the Green Chamber when other senior members are there.

He said Deekor is not competent to challenge the Coordinator of the G-60 lawmakers and Imo State legislator for his comment on Rivers State political crisis of democracy in general.

“For the records, Deekor was properly elected in 2019 having lost his seat in 2015 at the Court of Appeal, which barred him from being a member of the 8th Assembly.

“He was recently re-elected in 2023 to serve his second term in the House. This alone disqualifies him to jostle for the leadership of the Rivers State Caucus.

“We call on the general public to discountance Dum Deekor’s statement as vituperations of a gord being,” Abiante said.

He told Deekor to note that the House of Representatives is not a village council meeting where anybody can assume any position and contribute to issues, noting that Hon Ugochinyere has the right as a responsible Nigerian to air his views on any national issue, including that of Rivers State.

“The National Assembly is not guided by Village Council’s rules and as such everyone reserves the right to make contributions in line with his innate conviction. Hon. Ugochinyere has in the estimation of right thinking Nigerians proven himself in the act of quality representation,” Hon. Abiante reiterated.

He therefore advised Deekor to hold his ‘self-serving stands’ to himself as he has never been elected as the Caucus Leader in Rivers State.

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