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The controversial Ondo State politician, Jimoh Ibrahim, said on Saturday that he remained the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, even as he campaigned for the APC candidate.

Mr. Ibrahim urged Ondo residents to vote en-masse for Rotimi Akeredolu, who is currently locked in a keenly-contested three-way race with Eyitayo Jegede and Olusola Oke.

Mr. Jegede was confirmed as the authentic bearer of the PDP’s campaign flag in the state earlier this week by both the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court, following weeks of intense political and legal faceoff with Mr. Ibrahim.

Speaking with reporters shortly after casting his ballot, presumably for Mr. Akeredolu, on Saturday, Mr. Ibrahim said he was unaware of his defeat at the court.

“There is nowhere the court gave any order that my name should be removed, so I remain the candidate,” Mr. Ibrahim said after voting at his unit in Igbotako in Irele Local Government Area.

Mr. Ibrahim aligns with the Ali Sheriff faction of the PDP while Mr. Jegede is of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction.

Earlier in a press statement on Saturday, Mr. Ibrahim said voters should give their mandate to the APC.

“Having considered all the candidates asking for the job of Governor of Ondo State, I have come to the conclusion that only Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) of the APC possess (sic) the right mentality, competence, readiness and moral amplitude to lead Ondo State.

“I am therefore directing all our PDP party leaders, ward evangelists and unit canvassers, supporters as well as all the non-politician society leaders who are working with us, including Kabiyesis, civil servants, workers union, religious leaders to work hard for and mobilise votes for our brother and friend Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) of APC,” he said.

Mr. Jegede and his faction of the PDP had accused Mr. Ibrahim of being an agent of the APC who is meant to destabilise their party’s campaign.

Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, a national coalition of over 150 Civil Society groups across Nigeria’s six geo- political zones, that campaigns for citizens benefit from their natural resources, and transparent and accountability in the extractive sector has held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Rockview Hotels, Owerri on the 21st and 22nd November 2016.

At the AGM, a new leadership of the coalition was elected and inaugurated. Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, Executive Director, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights emerged the new National Coordinator, while other steering committee members are Northwest Coordinator – Haruna Hadeja, South-South Coordinator – Patrick Chiekwe, Northeast Coordinator – Dr. Mrs. Danladi Erisa, Southwest Coordinator – Peter Egbule, North Central Coordinator – Taiwo Otitolaye.

At the inauguration ceremony, Miss Faith Nwadishi, the outgoing National Coordinator, urged the new leadership and the CSOS working in the extractive sector to be steadfast in their duties and have a strong voice for extractive sector justice.

At the event, over seventy participants from sixty member organizations, media, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), development partners and Representatives of Publish What You Pay International were present.

Activities of the PWYP in all the geo-political zones and the National Secretariat were reviewed at the event.

Also, the importance of prioritizing governance framework and strategic plan to reposition PWYP Campaign to be mainstreamed with current government’s anti-corruption and transparency crusade was a dominant discourse at the event.

Participants at the event agreed that there is the need to intensify efforts at connecting citizens’ voices to demand transparency in the extractive sector, especially now that there is a plan by the government to diversify its economic base with solid minerals and agriculture taking the lead.

PWYP global vision 2020 was unveiled at the event, while a new engagement approach which includes seeking the extractive players and government to improve on its transparency projects was adopted.

The new National Coordinator and other Steering Committee members elected and inaugurated have resumed duty, while the old leadership was dissolved.

Sincerely 

Audu Liberty Oseni

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS FRED AGBAJE

President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the family, friends and professional colleagues of erudite human rights lawyer, Fred Agbaje, who passed on Saturday.

The President, who received the news of the sad development with shock, described the constitutional lawyer as “an ardent advocate against corruption and canvasser for internal democracy in political parties, who also believed strongly in the sanctity of the ballot box.”

President Buhari commends the fearlessness of the late lawyer in calling for the cleansing of bad eggs in the judiciary and standing up for his beliefs as he fought for the rights of the less-privileged in the society.

He notes that the country has lost a principled man as he enjoins Agbaje’s admirers to keep the flag flying.

The President prays that God Almighty consoles the Agbaje family and all those who mourned the deceased legal practitioner.

 

FEMI ADESINA

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

November 26, 2016

 

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