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Etung political class endorse Ayade for 2019

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator John Owan Enoh’s ambition suffered a major set back yesterday, as his elder brother, Professor Anthony Owan Enoh, as well as his kinsmen unanimously endorsed Governor Ben Ayade for the 2019 governorship election.

Also throwing their weight behind Ayade’s second term bid were top political leaders including former military governor of Kwara State and leader of the delegation Col. Palm Ogar (rtd), traditional rulers, youths and elders from the eight political wards of Etung Local Government Area, where Owan Enoh hails from.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, at the Executive Council Chamber, venue of the endorsement, Col. Ogar said by the sheer number of Etung leaders present in the meeting was a clear indication that the people held the governor in high regards.

Ogar lauded Ayade for he noted were his giant strides in industrial, economic and agricultural revolution, as well as the siting of a project in each council area of the state of the which Etung has a Reference Hospital, and a Cocoa Processing Plant in Ikom which local government will hugely benefit due to proximity.

“Thank you, Your Excellency, for the opportunity to interface with the government, rub mind and share ideas on how to move the state forward. The large number present here, not minding the short notice and communication challenge represents how much you mean to the people of Etung.

“Your industrial, economic, agricultural drive and revolution in the state is legendary as you ensure that every LGA has a major project with Etung having a reference hospital and also stand to benefit from the cocoa processing factory in ikom as result of proximity. To this end, we the people of Etung have every reason and justification to collectively support your re-election this year,” the former Military Administrator lauded.

Also in his remarks, elder brother brother of the APC candidate and Vice Chancellor of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Prof. Anthony Owan Enoh, praised Governor Ayade for the transformation which Cross River State is currently experiencing.

Prof. Enoh, lamented that for too long, Etung was neglected, ignored and the people had been suffering, adding that “today if going with the person I know in order for my people to be liberated I will do so,” noting that Ayade by conducts and actions has proven that he was a real leader with the heart of a gold, a humane heart that feels for all.

The CRUTECH VC, therefore thanked the governor for awarding contract for the rehabilitation of Ikom-Agbokim to Agbokim water falls road, just as he assured him of the total support of Etung people to ensure that he was reelected to continue with his transformational work.

“Today Etung has a name because of Ayade and this is the beginning of Etung’s glory.

Thanks for the rehabilitation of the Ikom Agbokim to Agbokim water falls road which has been a thorn in the flesh of the people for so long.

“The entire Etung people are behind you and will massively vote for you to ensure you continue in the Government House, Diamond Hill, Calabar, beyond May 29, this year.”

Also voicing his unflinching support for Ayade and to his re-election, the first grandson of the Owan Enoh’s family, Obi Steven said the entire people of Etung were so happy with Governor Ayade for giving them a voice in terms of appointments, and location of projects such as the reference hospital and the Ikom Cocoa Processing Plant which is very near to Etung and for which the people will be huge beneficiaries.”

He maintained that “the family and the entire Etung people cannot make the mistake to vote against Ayade because under his leadership, the LGA has witnessed rapid growth and development in both human and material,” assuring that come March 2, this year, they will put their words into action by voting Ayade for his second term.

Speakers after speakers from the eight wards took turns to eulogize Ayade for his giant strides in less than four years in office.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Gabriel Oji, informes the governor that all the outstanding leaders of Etung from all nooks and crannies were represented in the meeting with eight out of 10 Wards of the council leadership present.

The Commissioner particularly thanked Ayade, noting that he was one leader who had done so much for Etung and as such they had every reason to fully support his Re-election for giving them the highest number of appointments, establishment of the Cocoa Processing Plant in Ikom not far from Etung.

He said the APC candidate, Owan Enoh could not have done one tenth of what Ayade has done with three years in office.

“I want to inform the governor that represented in this meeting are all the leaders of the Etung nation and also represented are the eight ward leaders to show you that we support you totally. All the outstanding leaders of the Etung nation are here and l am one person that is known for speaking the truth and the truth is that you are one governor who has done so much for our people.”

Justifying Ayade’s endorsement, Oji said: “The Etung nation has every reason to support and endorse you for a second term. You are one governor who has given the Etung people the highest number of appointments. You have brought the cocoa processing factory to Ikom which is near to us in Etung.

“The APC candidate cannot do one tenth of what you have done. When somebody has not shown charity for his 20 years in the highest representative political position, how can we trust such a person? This gathering consists of 99 percent of the leadership of the Etung people and we would not fail you. Owan Enoh has failed us as a Senator.”

Another leader and political heavyweight from the LGA, and PDP Central senatorial district candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor, while speaking, described Ayade as a man with divine mandate with which the grace of God rest upon, taking into consideration the developmental work across the state.

“Ayade is a man with a divine mandate with which the grace of God rests upon, taking into consideration the monumental developmental work ongoing under the governor.

“Most governors that we consider truly great today were not great in their first four year but Ayade is already great in his four year and would be legendary in the next four years.”

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NAF deploys aircraft, military equipment, personnel in Abuja

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it will deploy aircraft, military equipment and personnel in Abuja during rehearsals for its 55th anniversary celebration.

NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who announced this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the rehearsals would hold between April 22 and April 30.

“The Nigerian Air Force will be celebrating its 55th Anniversary between April 27 and 29 in Abuja.

“As part of activities to mark the event, the NAF will be showcasing its air power capabilities in an Order of Battle (ORBAT) fly past,” he said.

Daramola urged members of the public to go about their normal activities without panic or fear during the activities.

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Court sacks Senator Ogbuorji, orders him to refund salaries, allowances collected after defection

The Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki yesterday sacked the deputy chairman senate committee on appropriation, Senator Sunny Ogbuorji representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District and ordered him to vacate the seat immediately.

The Court, in a decision delivered by Justice Akintola Aluko, held that Ogbuoji by defecting from the party under whose platform he was elected to another party flouted section 68(1)g of the 1999 constitution.

The Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the Senator immediately and to conduct a fresh election immediately to fill the seat.

The court also ordered the lawmaker to refund all monies be it salaries, allowances or any order form of payment he may have received as benefits from the position of Senator from the date of his defection to the coffers of government.

The said section 68(1)g says that “a member of Senate or House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House if being a person whose election to the house was sponsored by another political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that house was elected. Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored”.

In other words, any lawmaker who defects to another political party when the party under whose platform he was elected was not undergoing any form of crisis or was not part of a merger with two or more political parties, should vacate his seat.

Justice Aluko in the 71 page judgement obtained by DAILY POST held that Ogbuoji who defected from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2018 flouted the above section of the constitution.

The judgement was in respect of suit number FHC/AI/CS/44/2018 filed by Evo Ogbonnaya Anegu, Oti Ama Ude, Uche Richard Ajali, Una Sunday Okoro and Simon Ajali Ogbadu for themselves and on behalf of the teaming members of the PDP in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.

They had sued Mr Ogbuoji and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC(2nd Defendant) asking the court to declare Mr Ogbuoji’s seat vacant for defecting to the APC when there was no crisis or division in the PDP.

They also prayed the court to order the 1st defendant (Ogbuoji) to refund all monies that may have been paid to him since January 2018 when he defected from the PDP to the APC.

The plaintiffs in their postulations through their counsel, Barr Roy Umahi expressed worry that Ogbuoji’s conduct if not condemned and upturned would encourage political prostitution and legislative rascality and destroy the reasons for the laws made to regulate defections of National Assembly members by the constitution.

But Ogbuoji, in his defence, claimed that he resigned his membership of the PDP and defected to the APC on January 27, 2017 and not January 2018 as claimed by the Applicants.

He noted that the crisis in the party was finally resolved in July 2017 by the Supreme Court but that before then he had resigned his membership of the party via a letter of resignation he submitted to the PDP Secretary of his Ebunwana Ward, one Ukpo Regina Agwu, in January 27, 2017.

But the Plaintiffs countered by providing evidence that the said Regina Ukpo was not the Secretary of the Ward at the time the said letter was allegedly given to her as she had already been by expelled by the party on 23 January 2017.

They also argued with incontrovertible evidence that Ogbuoji who claimed to have defected from the PDP to APC in January 2017 took active participation in the non elective and elective congresses of the PDP which held on August and December 2017 as a delegate.

The Court, in its findings, said there were discrepancies in the evidences provided by Ogbuoji which rendered them unreliable and doubtful.

For example, the court noted that some of the documentary exhibits presented by the defence like signatures of Ukpo Regina Agwu, the erstwhile Ebunwana Ward Secretary, were found to be materially different in the various documents provided to the court .

“There is no basis to attach any probative or evidential value to the said exhibits

What that means is that the defendant’s claim of resignation ( on January 2017) is shrouded in inconsistency, contradiction and suspicion,” the judge said.

The Court agreed with the Plaintiff’s claims that most of the documents provided by the 1st Defendant were concocted for the purpose of the suit only.

The Court, in conclusion, said that it has been tremendously and sufficiently established by credible evidence that Ogbuoji defected to the APC in January 2018 and not January 2017 as he claimed in his defence.

It also said that at the time of his defection there was no division or faction in the PDP to warrant such defection as permitted by section 68 (1)g of the constitution.

“By the evidence before me, I find that the 1st defendant is guilty of unholy political flirtation and coquetry which the makers and drafters of the constitution resolved to outlaw by the enactment of section 68(1)g of the constitution,” Justice Aluko declared.

The Judge further held that having defected to another party when there was no crisis in his original party, Mr Ogbuoji ought to have vacated his seat.

Having failed to vacate his seat in the Senate following his unconstitutional defection in a manner that suggests that he ate his cake and still wanted to have it, he is liable to be forced out and made to refund to the National Assembly all monies in form of salaries, allowances, or whatsoever paid to him by virtue of his unconstitutional holding on to the position as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria beginning from the date of his unconstitutional defection till date,” he stated.

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Easter: Buhari felicitates with Christians, talks tough against kidnappings, killings

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday vowed that his administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate security agents to deal with the menace of kidnapping, killings and violence in Nigeria.

Buhari issued the remark while felicitating with Christians ahead of the Easter celebration this weekend.

He urged Christians to emulate Jesus Christ and his virtues of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, humility, courage and endurance.

In his Easter message to Nigerians, Buhari expressed optimism that his administration would overcome terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.

The message personally signed by him, and forwarded to DAILY POST reads: “I rejoice with all Nigerians, especially our Christian brethren on the glorious occasion of the celebration of Easter 2019.

“Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar and represents God’s redemptive mission over humanity, the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair and good over evil.

“The Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a time to emulate the virtues of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, humility, courage and endurance, which Christ embodied and remarkably demonstrated during His earthly ministry.

“Let us use this auspicious season to show love to our neighbours, and cater to the needs of the less-privileged in our midst.

“Our nation is currently gripped with gloom over unfortunate killings, kidnappings and violence, as seen in the recent tragic incidents in some states of the federation.

“This should not be. We must reinforce the bond of brotherhood and good neighbourliness that citizens of a cohesive country must share. We must not allow the few bad elements in our communities to put asunder our communal tendencies and chords of unity.

“I know from my regular interactions with security chiefs, state governors, victims and members of communities caught up in the unfortunate cycle of violence, that Nigerians are united against the evil minority.

“This administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate our armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to enable them successfully confront these security challenges. We will not allow merchants of evil and death to overwhelm the nation. Under my watch, the nation will triumph over them – terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the like.

“On this holy occasion, I enjoin all Nigerians to intensify prayers for peace and security to return to all parts of the country. I also urge you not to lose hope of a brighter and greater future for the country when we do the right things in love. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

“I do not take the import of my re-election for granted, especially the expectations of majority of Nigerians towards providing adequate security, fixing the economy and fighting corruption.

“The obligation of this administration as we prepare to take governance to the Next Level, is to continue to provide dedicated and honest leadership, where every citizen irrespective of religion or ethnic origin, feels secure to live, invest and prosper; where public office holders are accountable; and law breakers are brought to justice.

“Once more, I wish all our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a Happy Easter.”

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