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The Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) has picked motivational speaker Fela Durotoye as its consensus presidential candidate for 2019 general election.

Durotoye emerged as the alternative candidate at the party’s meeting on Thursday, beating the likes of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor Kingsley Moghalu and Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.

The PACT is a coalition formed by some presidential aspirants for next year’s election.

Before the sudden withdrawal of the ACPN presidential candidate, Oby Ezekwesili and the formation of the coalition against PDP and APC, Fela Durotoye released a statement on the need to step down for a consensus candidate. 

Read below;

From @feladurotoye FelaDUROTOYE
Presidential Candidate
Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN)

Date: Thursday, 24th January 2019
I have always believed that leadership is about service and sacrifice and today, I would like to commend Dr. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili @obyezeks for leading the charge to form a viable coalition to presenting a Consensus Candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections. 
To ensure that an alliance is formed and we present a united front, I AM READY to come into any coalition talks with my brothers Omoyele Sowore @yelesho and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu @moghalukingsleyand to submit myself to any transparent process that will help us arrive at a selection of a Consensus Candidate from amongst us. 
To be clear, if the process produces any other candidate apart from myself, I AM READY to support whoever the Consensus Candidate is and to do all I can to support the coalition to win the 2019 Presidential elections for our generation.
Once again, I implore the frontline candidates in our generation. 
Let us come together and seize this historic window of opportunity for our generation to select one of us to go ahead of us ... so that ALL OF US can come together and speak with one voice at the 2019 General Elections.
Together, we can do the perceived impossible.
Our generation is depending on us.
We must not let them down. ———
Fela Durotoye 
Presidential Candidate 
Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) 

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Candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has dropped shocking news on Nigerians with the announcement of her withdrawal from the 2019 presidential race, few weeks before the election.

The spokesperson of her campaign organization, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He explained that the former Minister of Education stepped down from the race to help build a coalition to prevent the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning the election.

According to the statement, the decision followed extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days.

“I deem it necessary for me to focus on helping to build a veritable coalition to ensure a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the forthcoming elections,” Dr. Ezekwesili was quoted as saying.

“It is my ardent belief that this broad coalition for a viable alternative has now become more than ever before, an urgent mission for and on behalf of Nigerian citizens. I have therefore chosen to lead the way in demonstrating the much needed patriotic sacrifice for our national revival and redirection.

“I wish to state that over the past three months, I have been in private, but extended talks with other candidates to birth a coalition that would allow Nigerians to exercise their choice without feeling helplessly encumbered by the evil twins of #APCPDP.

“While the deliberations continued, I never hesitated for a moment in my willingness and determination to sacrifice my candidacy in order to facilitate the emergence of the envisaged strong and viable alternative that Nigerians could identify within our collective search for a new beginning.

“My commitment to this promising political recalibration has been consistent and in consonance with my agreement, at the request of candidates under the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) arrangement in 2018, when I consented to supervise the internal selection process as an outside observer passionate about building an alternative force.”

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not participate in elections in Rivers State.

INEC Commissioner, Festus Okoye, said the commission is acting based on a court ruling.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission acts on the basis of existing facts.

“The facts on the ground as of today is that the Federal High Court Porthacourt Judicial division, delivered two judgments and said that the APC will not participate in the elections and that the logo of the APC or any of the candidates of the APC will not appear on the ballot papers on election day and INEC has fully complied with this particular directive,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

Okoye also stated that in cases where there are disputes, the commission has abided with court rulings and will only change its position if there is a contrary ruling from a higher court.

Furthermore, he stated that it has no plans to postpone elections in any part of the country, contrary to claims in some quarters.

“If anything arises as we proceed towards the 2019 elections, we will deal with that particular eventuality.

“But as at today, the reality is that the APC will not participate in the elections, the elections will go on and it won’t be postponed.

“The PDP forwarded the name of a candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the political party. INEC accepted the name of that candidate. During the period of substitution, the candidate was not substituted, therefore, the candidate’s name will appear on the ballot on election day.

“The only basis for the removal of any candidate from the list as at today is death”.

“We have released the final list for presidential and National Assembly elections and there wouldn’t be any change anymore”.

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The presidential candidate of the people's democratic party has released names of 30 corrupt people working under APC, particularly, Buhari.

Phrank Shaibu, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communications who released a statement on behalf of the Presidential candidate, noted that while most are members of the party, others ran to the party to seek refuge from anti-graft agencies.

The 30 corrupt people working with Buhari according to Atiku include prominent members of the APC like Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the APC; Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari; Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the APC; Abdullahi Adamu, a serving senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State; Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Folarin Coker, Lagos socialite and Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC); Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information.

Also featured in the list are Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff; Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation (Aviation); Aisha Buhari, wife of the president; Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board; Adamu Muazu,  former Governor of Bauchi State; Iyiola Omisore, former Osun State Deputy Governor; Abdulrasheed Maina, former Pensions Board boss; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence, and Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State.

The statement also listed Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State; Senator Godswill Akpabio; Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State; Alhaji Seminu Turaki, a two-term former Governor of Jigawa State; Alhaji Junaid Abdullahi, in-law to President Buhari, who is the Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA); Alhaji Aliyu Wammako, a former governor, who is currently in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State; Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State; Rotimi Amaechi, serving Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, and Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State.

Others are Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Ayodele Oke, the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

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It's less than four weeks to the presidential election that is scheduled to hold on the 16th of February and former President Olusegun Obasanjo has words of caution for those who are rooting for Buhari. While warning that Buhari lacked the mental capacity to run the affairs of the country, he also doubted the neutrality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that could ensure free and fair elections.

Obasanjo alleged that even when figures, facts, and statistics were made clear to Buhari, he kept repeating what is untrue, either because he could not understand or it was for mischief purposes “and that places him on the level of a pathological liar.” Obasanjo noted that a statement by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu in 2003 in which he (Tinubu) described Buhari as an agent of destabilization, ethnic bigot and religious fanatic who, if given the chance, would ensure the disintegration of the country, was prophetic.

The former president, in an open letter yesterday titled: “Point for Concern and Action,” said the Osun State election, which was conclusive was declared inclusive despite all advice to the contrary. He alleged that the Buhari’s refusal to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law is to rig elections, adding that his followers are working with security agencies and election officials to perfect the plan of rigging.Obasanjo described the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, as a ploy to intimidate the judiciary as a whole in preparation for all election cases that would go before them.

To him, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s claim that the presidency was not aware of the trial was not substantial. “If that can happen to the Chief Justice of the Federation, the fifth man in the hierarchy of government, without the knowledge, let alone the approval of the president, then it speaks for the type of government we have, which means the president is not in charge let alone being in control and no Nigerian must take anything for granted. We are all unsafe and insecure under such an administration.”He said Buhari deceived Nigerians to emerge as president, but the people would no longer be fooled to support his second term bid.

Obasanjo noted that Buba Galadima who knew Buhari very well as a confidant and National Secretary of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which was Buhari’s party, had warned that the president could not change his character or attitude.

According to him, Buhari is putting into practice the things he learned from the late former military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, by “attacking the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacking and intimidating the judiciary to cow them to submission.

“Today, another Abacha era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy. EFCC, police, and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticizing him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are an inherent trademark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.”

He urged the international community to give a more serious warning and send more people to the field to observe and work out punitive measures against INEC. He listed these measures to include the withdrawal of visas, freezing of bank accounts and prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of those who frustrate credible elections. Obasanjo also said it was disheartening that the vice president stoops low to be sharing N10, 000 in the name of TraderMoni. He described it as an idiotic programme, saying traders in rural and suburban areas of Nigeria were many more than those in urban areas and much poorer than traders in Lagos, Abuja, and other cities.

The former president said: “They need more attention and greater help. Are they to be confined to the heap of perpetual poverty? What of those who are not traders? They are not entitled to hand-out and they can languish in penury? And what about millions who have lost their jobs in the last three and a half years? The timing is also suspect. Those who criticize the action are called evil but they are not evil as they know what they are doing and saying, and they love Nigeria and Nigerians not less than the likes of Osinbajo.

“What an act by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, number two man in the executive hierarchy; and what is more, a pastor of one of the Christian movements led by a revered, respected and upright church leader, Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Osinbajo must have gone for ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. A great pity indeed and which makes people ask the questions.

“I personally have serious doubt about the present INEC’s integrity, impartiality and competence to conduct a fair, free and credible election. And if the INEC is willing, will the ruling party and government allow it? From what we saw and knew about Osun State gubernatorial election, what was conclusive was declared inconclusive despite all advice to the contrary. The unnecessary rerun, if viewed as a test-run for a larger general election, would lead people to expect incidences of deliberately contrived, broken or non-working voting machines or card readers, confusion of voters as to their voting stations, inadequate supply of voting materials to designated places, long line to discourage voters and turning blind eyes to favour the blue-eye political party of INEC because the commission’s hands will be tied to enable hatchet men and women to perform their unwholesome assignment.

“The transmission and collation of results are subject to interference, manipulation, and meddling. If the INEC’s favorite political party wins with all the above infractions, the result will be conclusively declared and if not, there will be a ‘rerun’, the result of which is known before it is carried out. I know that I am not alone in being skeptical about the integrity of INEC and its ability to act creditably and above board. But we are open to being convinced otherwise.

“The joke about INEC would seem real. The INEC was asked if it was ready for the election and if it expected the election to be free, fair and credible. The INEC man was reported to have said in response: ‘We are ready with everything including the results!’ God save Nigeria! It is up to Nigerians to ensure that the red line is not crossed in safeguarding our fledgling democracy. And if crossed, appropriate action must be taken not to allow our democracy to be derailed.

“A friend of mine who is more credulous and who claims to be close to the Chair of INEC keeps telling me that INEC will retrieve its image and reputation by conducting the coming elections with utmost integrity and impartiality. I am not sure as I believe more in action than in words and in the past record than in promise. The track record of the present INEC is fairly sordid and all men and women of goodwill and believers in a democracy must be prepared for the worst from INEC and their encouragers and how to get Nigeria out of the electoral morass into which the commission is driving us.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed. A battle long forewarned does not embroil the cripple nor catch him unawares. A word is sufficient for the wise. The labor of Nigerian democracy heroes must not be in vain. Some men of God would hold President Buhari to his word on free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. I am a realist and I reiterate that I go by track record. Therefore, I am not persuaded by a track record of hollow words, impunity, insensitivity, and ‘I-could not-care- less’ attitude, or by the sanctimonious claims of any candidate and his campaign staff. I will only believe what I see.

“This is a time for vigilance to fight to safeguard our votes and defend our democracy. The price of liberty and sustenance of our democracy is eternal vigilance and appropriate reaction to ward off iniquities. We must all be ready to pay that price and not relying on hollow words of callousness. The derailment of Nigerian democracy will be a monumental disaster comparable to the disaster of the Nigerian first military coup.

“While Nigerians must not allow such a disaster to happen nor take such an affront lying low, the international community who played an admirable role in warning INEC, of course, to no avail on the Osun State gubernatorial election and who have been warning all political parties must on this occasion give more serious warning, send more people to the field to observe and work out punitive measures against INEC and security officials especially the police and politicians who stand to gain from INEC’s misconduct, which is obviously encouraged by the executive arm of government and who must be held responsible for the violence that will follow.”

Obasanjo considered the appointment of Zakari as the head of the collation center as an indication of INEC’s lack of impartiality because she has been embroiled in controversies since Buhari became president. They began with an attempt by Buhari to make her the chairman of the commission after the exit of its former boss Prof. Attahiru Jega. It was only public outrage that forced Buhari to relieve her of that position and appoint Prof Mammod Yakubu as the substantive chairman of the electoral body.

Since Zakari’s appointment as the chairperson of the collation center, there has been condemnation by the public, especially the opposition parties which accused Buhari of planning to rig the election. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the concerns raised by Obasanjo, detailing Buhari’s alleged scheme “to use apparatus of state power to subjugate Nigerians, undermine our democratic system, subvert the electoral process and perpetuate himself in office” have further vindicated its stand that the president is out for a self-succession plot.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP declared that “Obasanjo’s submission has also reinforced our position that President Buhari, and his party, having realized that there is no way they can win in a free and fair election, are now besieging all democratic institutions, including the judiciary, the legislature, INEC, while engaging in acts that threaten the unity, peace and corporate existence of our dear nation”

According to the opposition party, “The whole world can see how President Buhari and APC’s desperation for power is putting the lives of over 200 million Nigerian citizens at great risk as their actions stoke violence and push our dear nation to the precipice.”The party said Obasanjo’s concern was a clarion call to all compatriots, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations to rise in defense of democracy. In a swift reaction, APC faulted the claim by Obasanjo that the Buhari-led administration was plotting to rig the poll.

The Spokesman of the party, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who addressed a press conference in Abuja yesterday assured Nigerians that the APC administration would not interfere with the conduct of free and fair elections. The ruling party said Obasanjo’s position should not be seen as a surprising development in view of the controversy that trailed the 2007 and 2011 polls when he was at the helm of affairs of the country.

“When you are adept at a particular thing, that means it is something that you know how to do very well. For eight years of President Obasanjo, all the elections held, in fact, government policies, were determined by whatever mood he found himself. All the institutions of government were brought under his whims. And what he did for those eight years is what is haunting him.

“He cannot imagine that it is possible for a government to allow INEC the statutory independence that it has. We have had about 93 or more elections since APC came to power and you can be sure that all those elections were conducted without any interference from this government. In fact, if there is anything you want to credit this government for, one of the major works is the fact that institutions were allowed to fulfill their mandate without anybody interfering.

“So for us in APC, votes would count. We are going to have a free, fair and credible election. We have no reason to want to rig election. Our achievements speak for us. President Obasanjo should adjust himself to the reality of the imminent defeat as it is starring him in the face. He has carried himself about as the dispenser of our destiny and God is showing him clearly that he has just only been lucky and the favor that God has done to him he has considered them as the things that are coming from himself.”

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Adams Oshiomhole has revealed his power to forgive sins of politicians who join the ruling party, APC. According to him, 'sins are forgiven when politicians join the ruling party'.

He made this statement on Thursday while welcoming new members to the party, at the APC presidential campaign in Benin.

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has come under serious attack from Nigerians for describing the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during their live interview on NTA last night, as “amazing.”

The former Labour leader was fervently attacked by Twitter users after he posted

“Amazing performance from both Mr. President Buhari and VP Osinbajo. The team we trust to take us to the #NextLevel. #NgTheCandidates.”

President Buhari and Osinbajo’s performance at the interview aired on NTA had received a wide range of criticism and some Twitter users wondered why the former Edo State Governor would think otherwise.

Here are some reactions:

@_DeCommissioner, "This town hall meeting has identified  as authentic dull. Not to talk of Nigeria, Buhari is not good enough to be a class monitor, unless if the students are Amaechi, lie Muhammed, Oshiomhole, Ganduje or Ibrahim Idris oga transmission"- 

@Goddyiro, “With due respect, check that response on why the President said he wanted another 4 years. Just because the party nominated him and not cos he loves Nigeria or has a second term agenda. This calls for sober reflection, not blind support.”

@Jiokeoyeka, “My simple response to pres. Buhari’s response is that he is not in charge, & he doesn't give orders as d CIC. Cabals have taken over d running of the country.”

@Ikorahl, “You Evil A.p.C allowed the Vice presidential debate to hold and denying 180million Nigerians to watch the debate of presidential aspirants…when a man Marr ys with wives then, he knows the good one…A.P.C is a bad wife 180million Nigerians Married…No good Objective s…noting.”

@davoe005, “Amazing indeed.Amazing kee u there Osho Baba. They both debated against Thin Air and their prepaid audience, struggled and failed. If this is Amazing to Osho Baba, I dare say NO to Mediocrity, sycophancy in this failed Leadership. We can always get better beyond this present team as a Nation.”

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to solve the issue of trailers in Lagos. He also vowed to solve the traffic gridlock in Apapa in the first 100 days of his administration if elected governor of the state in March.

He made this known on Sunday during a governorship debate organized by ‘The Platform’ and broadcast live on Channels TV.

What will I do in my first 100 days as Governor of Lagos?

From the removal of trailers from our roads to fixing of potholes to driving enrollment in the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme to teacher training needs assesments.

Some Twitter users may have seen this as a promising opportunity to tell the governorship candidate exactly what he may need to add to his 100 days bucket list.

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Mr. Darlington Chimezie, Action Alliance (AA) candidate for the Imo State House of Assembly has started drumming support for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chimezie, a Real Estate mogul and philanthropist turned politician, is vying for the Ikeduru State Constituency in the House of Assembly.

He told NAN in Abuja that Buhari’s integrity and character are unequaled.

He called on his constituents not to be deceived by any politician for selfish reasons.

The Ikeduru-born politician urged his people to demonstrate their love for him by voting for Buhari as president and Uche Nwosu as governor.

“I have told my people to show their love for me by supporting Buhari and Nwosu irrespective of party affiliations.

“We are no longer following party but individuals, therefore, we have confidence in Buhari and Nwosu,” he said.

Chimezie, who promised his people better lives if elected, said that only a chain of the Buhari, Nwosu and himself would re-position the economy of Nigeria, Imo and Ikeduru.

He restated his determination to change the narrative of politics, which was no longer the trend, saying that it was time to put a smile on the faces of his constituents.

Chimezie said that his ambition was born out of his love and sincere commitment to the development of his people, whom, he had contributed immensely to their progress even as a non-politician.

According to him, only tested and trusted persons like Buhari, Uche Nwosu and himself can deliver on their promises.

He described as deceit what he called the “falsehood of some politicians” whose duty was not to serve the people, adding that time had come for inclusive governance.
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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  Atiku Abubakar, has once again come down hard on President Muhammadu Buhari. He accused the President and All Progressives Congress, APC, of flagrant violations of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 through the unbridled deployment of state resources and apparatuses for this year’s presidential campaign.

 Atiku also, yesterday, distanced himself from what he described as a video he claimed was concocted by the Buhari campaign to the effect that he planned to hand over a portion of Borno State to Boko Haram in a peace deal. In a statement issued on his behalf by his media adviser, Mr. Paul Ibe, Atiku recalled injunctions against the use of state resources for political campaigns as given by the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. In the statement, he said: 

“We wish to remind President Buhari and the APC that the use of state videos released by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is illegal under the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

“The media is awash with advertisements with the hashtag #PMBDIDIT and signed by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and referencing so-called achievements of the APC administration in the states of Abia, Kwara, Lagos, Ebonyi, Delta, and Kano, among others.

‘’These are without doubt 2019 presidential campaign materials produced by the Ministry of Information and Culture using state resources and apparatuses to benefit President Buhari. 

“This appalling conduct, which is clearly in violation of Section 100 of the Electoral Act, is even more shocking when it is recalled that the state resources being used to the illegal advantage of President Buhari are being drawn from agencies, which, for over three years prior to this election, failed to perform their duties to the benefit of Nigerian citizens. The Ministry of Information and Culture must stop this illegality immediately.

“We demand that INEC issues an immediate cease and desist order to both the Ministry of Information and Culture and to the broadcast channels running it.

“We also insist that INEC register the media spend behind it as part of the APC’s total N1 billion campaign spend limit".

Meanwhile, the PDP has called for an urgent meeting with INEC to discuss issues arising from reports on PVC buying.

 In its reaction, INEC said it does not have the power to compel any federal agency to stop the production of campaign jingles for any political party.

Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi who was responding to concerns raised to that effect by Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, told Vanguard, yesterday night, that it was within the constitutional rights of parties aggrieved in the circumstance to approach the relevant authorities for remedial actions. The commission also welcomed the interest of PDP in advocating a stakeholders’ meeting towards finding a practical solution to the menace of trading of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs

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