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Ondo Poll: APC Aspirants Absent At Meeting With Aiyedatiwa

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The Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Monday, met with the stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in the state, calling on them to promote unity for the progress of the party.

The meeting came barely three weeks after Aiyedatiwa was sworn in as the seventh executive governor of the state following the death of his predecessor and principal, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Monday’s meeting was the first Aiyedatiwa would hold with APC chieftains after he assumed office as governor.

At the moment, activities towards the governorship election in the state coming up later in the year have started gathering momentum.

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The APC had ruled out giving Aiyedatiwa an automatic ticket for the election.

At the Monday meeting, many of the Ondo APC bigwigs eyeing the seat of the governor were absent.

At the meeting held at the International Culture and Event Centre, Akure, only one governorship aspirant, Mrs Oladunni Odu, who is Secretary to the State Government, was present.

Some of the governorship aspirants, who did not attend the meeting, were Chief Olusola Oke, Mr Wake Akinterinwa, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, Mr Gbenga Edema, Jimi Odimayo and Olamide Ohunyeye.

Also, only one member of the National Assembly, Abiola Makinde, attended the meeting.

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The National Vice Chairman (South-West ) of the party, Mr Isaac Kekemeke, the Minister of Interior, Olubumi Tunji-Ojo, and the Minister of State for Youths Development, Ayodele Olawande, were absent from the meeting.

It was gathered that an invitation was not extended to the absentees as the meeting was called at the instance of Governor Aiyedatiwa ahead of the forthcoming primary of the party in April.

Stating the reason for his absence, one of the aspirants, Oke, said, “I received the invitation for that meeting at 2:00 a.m. today (Monday). I saw it on my phone and the meeting is 11:00 a.m. and already, I am in Abuja going to attend an important function.

“I responded to it that the notice came too short and I couldn’t attend, but I had no reason not to attend the meeting. I would have attended if I had been notified earlier. I don’t know if it was sent late deliberately or not.”

Similarly, another aspirant and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, said he was not invited to the meeting and he could not attend such an event.

READ ALSO: SERAP, 20 Others Sue Akpabio, Abbas, Others For Increasing Own Budget By N147bn

“I was not invited to the meeting; my close associates were not invited too,” Akinfolarin stated.

But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, said every stakeholder was invited to the meeting.

They were all invited through their local governments,” the CPS stated.

Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, Aiyedatiwa urged the chieftains of the party to embrace peace and unity ahead of the coming governorship election in the state, appealing to them to forget the past and move the party forward. He also declared that there was no vacancy in the governor’s office currently.

We must all come together as one family to work together for the progress of our party knowing for sure this is an election year, an election to the office of the Governor of Ondo State even though the seat is not vacant currently. Let us work together In oneness and in peace so that our party, the APC, will continue to govern this state,” the governor said.

The state Chairman of the APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, commended the governor for the timely engagement of the party stakeholders, stressing that party leaders must put the past behind them to foster unity ahead of the coming governorship election.

Those present at the meeting included members of the state House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Mr Olamide Oladiji, former deputy governors, Alhaji Ali Olanusi and Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, a former state chairman of the party, Ambassador Sola Iji, former SSG, Sunday Abegunde, member of the House of Representatives, Mr Biola Makinde, Chief Segun Ojo, Chief Jamiu Ekungba, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, among many others.

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PDP Warns Rivers APC Caretaker Chairman Against ‘Baseless Claims’

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The Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State has issued a stern warning to Tony Okocha, Chairman of the seven-man Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.

The PDP emphasized that Okocha should focus on his responsibilities at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated falsehoods about the Rivers State government led by Governor Siminialayi Fubara.

Okocha had claimed that the battle against what he characterized as a “clueless, rudderless, directionless, and visionless” government in Rivers State led by Governor Fubara will be the easiest to win.

In response, the PDP, through its Publicity Secretary Sydney Tambari-Gbara, highlighted the satisfaction of Rivers people with Governor Fubara’s administration.

READ ALSO: Fubara, Rivers APC Clash Over N144bn Allocation Spending

In a statement on Tuesday, Gbara said, “Fubara is a household name in the state due to the commitment he has shown in bringing development, good governance, and happiness to the people.

“In less than six months in office, Governor Siminialayi Fubara has embarked on several people-oriented projects cutting across the length and breadth of the State.

“Among the projects ongoing in the state are the multimillion naira Port Harcourt Ring Road, a major project that will cut through six local government areas, thereby easing movement of commerce and improving economic activities in the State.

“The Elelenwo and Bori Internal roads, the Ogoni- Andoni-Opobo/ Nkoro Unity road, among several others.”

The PDP spokesperson expressed amazement at Okocha’s discontent over Rivers women supporting Governor Fubara through a solidarity walk.

READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Abuja Court Denies Fubara’s Loyalists Bail

Tambari-Gbara clarified that such demonstrations are a global occurrence in politics, citing past instances in 2019 when women protested to protect electoral integrity.

The statement from the PDP urged Okocha to recognize the recurrent nature of such protests and reiterated the party’s confidence in the people of Rivers State to stand firmly with Governor Fubara, acknowledging his demonstrated capacity and competence in providing purposeful leadership.

“To boost food production in the State, Sir Fubara had paid an inspection visit to the abandoned Songai farm in Tai LGA, the Buguma fish farm in Asalga LGA, the Garri processing factory in Oyigbo LGA, with the view to revamp and put them to use to ensure food sufficiency.

“Governor Fubara also revived the Rivers State Micro Finance Agency, releasing the sum of N4Bn to the agency as loans to Rivers people interested in pursuing micro, small and medium scale businesses in the state.

“What about the payment of one hundred thousand naira to each civil servant, the promotion of civil servants who were not promoted for the last 8 years by the previous administration and other largesse to Rivers people during the Christmas celebration, the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage to Local Government staffs plus the ongoing employment into the Rivers State Civil Service.”

He said Rivers State representative on the NDDC Board should concentrate on his job and always cross-check facts before coming out to the media.

 

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Journalist Joins Ondo Guber Race, Promises Socio-economic Development

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A veteran journalist and publisher, Adeleke Collins Olagundoye has declared his intention to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

Olagundoye, said he would be contesting under the platform of the rulling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He’s state coordinator of both the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) and the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Ondo State.

The aspirant, whos from Okitipupa council area of the state, said he is passionate about the development of the state.

Olagundoye assured the people of the state that he has the blueprint to harness the potential of the state for socio-economic development.

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According to him  “my desire to throw my hat into the ring to contest the April primary election of the APC was borne out my commitment to build on the legacies of the APC government in both the state and the federal level in the interest of the masses.”

Olagundoye said he has conceptualised a policy framework tagged Ondo SMART project, which includes Socio-Economic Mobility, Modernization, Autonomy, Agriculture, Resources, and Technology

“This is not merely a political agenda but a comprehensive plan—a promise to deliver good governance and prosperity to our state.

“The Ondo SMART project of my administration is a testament to our commitment to building a Smart Sunshine State that stands as a model of progress and inclusivity.

” That is why in my pursuit of a vibrant and resourceful governance, I pledge to steer the ship of Ondo State towards socio-economic growth, reducing unemployment and poverty to nearly zero point.

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“Imagine an Ondo State where insecurity, healthcare concerns, poverty, and food shortages are mere relics of the past—where our elderly revel in the security of a well organised social security system.

” I draw inspiration from the resilience of the All Progressives Congress, echoing the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that count.

” We stand on the shoulders of incredible achievements at both the Federal and State levels, and I commit to building upon this legacy and support.

” So let us embrace the change we seek, for it is through change that we forge a brighter tomorrow. I cannot achieve this change alone.

” I humbly ask you to join me in this noble and historic mission and together, let us script a new chapter in the history of Ondo State—a chapter defined by progress, inclusivity, and the unwavering spirit of the Sunshine people.”

Olagundoye said that “Together, we can make Ondo State the envy of all. Together, we can make Ondo State the home we all want it to be.”

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PDP Shuns Shaibu, Presents Certificate Of Return To Ighodalo Tuesday

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The Peoples Democratic Party will on Tuesday present Certificate of Return to its Edo State governorship candidate, Dr Asuerinme Ighodalo, on Tuesday.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled “PDP presents Certificate of Return to its Edo State Governorship Election Candidate, Dr. Asuerinme Ighodalo.”

The statement is, however, silent about the fate of the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, who also reportedly emerged candidate in a parallel primary held on the same day.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Ighodalo Wins Edo PDP Primary

The statement read, “Following the successful completion of the Edo State governorship primary election and the ratification of the exercise by the appeal panel, the National Working Committee of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, hereby announces the presentation of the Certificate of Return to Dr Asuerinme Ighodalo, the elected candidate of our party for the September 21, 2024 governorship election in Edo State.

“The Certificate Presentation ceremony is scheduled as follows: Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2024; Venue: National Executive Committee (NEC) Hall, Wadata Plaza, PDP National Secretariat, Abuja; Time: 12 noon.

“The national leadership of the PDP commends all leaders, critical stakeholders, and members of our party in Edo State for the peaceful and successful conduct of our governorship primary election in the state.

READ ALSO: [UPDATED] Edo Guber: Ighodalo Emerges PDP Candidate, Promises To Lead Edo On Path Of Prosperity

“The NWC charges all members to be guided by the above-stated date and time and continue to work together to ensure victory for our party and candidate in the forthcoming election.”

Ighodalo, a former chairman of Sterling Bank, emerged as the winner of the PDP primary election in the state.

Ighodalo was elected at the delegate election of the party held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

But Shaibu held a parallel primary elsewhere and was declared the parallel winner.

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