I did not defect to APC - Senator Akpabio  - Naijaray
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 I did not defect to APC – Senator Akpabio 

Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has clarified that he did not defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC, but only moved to the party.

Akpabio said he was surprised that the same people who founded the ruling party were the ones pulling it down.

The former Governor, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West at the National Assembly, told Vanguard that the same people were determined to ruin the party to bring down the government of President Muhammadu Buhari just because of their selfish interests.

Asked why he defected to the APC, Akpabio sais, “I did not defect, I moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the national interest especially if you look at what is happening at the national level.

“I was surprised that people who founded the APC were the same people determined to ruin that party, to bring down the government of President Buhari just because election is approaching, so that they could go and contest under another platform.

“I felt there is need for us to have a country before we talk about elections. People say statesmen think about the next generation while politicians think of the next election.

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“I saw a trend where a lot of us are now becoming politicians thinking only of the next election without thinking of the next generation.

“I moved in the national interest, to stabilize the polity and in order to support the current administration.

“And I thin that, to a large extent, my intention was achieved and so it was referred to as ‘uncommon defection’ because it was one defection that stopped a lot of defections.

“I was not thinking whether I will win election in 2019 when I was moving because, at that time, my state was totally PDP; when I moved, people were shocked but today, less than two months after, the entire state, 98%, has turned APC.”

Speaking further on the forthcoming general election, the former governor said there will be no war in the country and added that only people who want war will see war.

He said, “There will be no war in Nigeria in 2019, people should not think of election as war. Election should not be war.

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“I appreciate that question because recently I made a statement which I love to make.

“I said, ‘Warsaw saw war’ because the political leadership in PDP in Akwa Ibom had said that the current administration should recruit people and prepare for war, that 2019 will be war and that only the fittest would survive.

“So, the youths and some elders of the APC met me to say that people are calling for war.

“And I told them that people calling for war have never seen war and that, in those days, even when the worst enemies of mankind, Hitler, went to Poland which capital is Warsaw to wage war, he thought it was going to be a cheap thing but it wasn’t.”

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Politics

 Ojukwu’s widow shuns APGA presidential campaign flag-off 

Bianca Ojukwu, widow of the founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Thursday shunned the presidential and national assembly campaigns flagoff of the party in protest.

Aside Bianca, her rival for the senatorial ticket of the party, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil and Gas, who was disqualified before the primary election for not obtaining waiver, also stayed away.

Bianca has been locked in a running battle with the leadership of the party since she failed to clinch the ticket, and has severally called on the party’s national chairman, Chief Victor Oye to resign.

A source said that her absence was deliberate, and was done in protest to embarrass the party because of Oye’s refusal to resign.

Former national chairman of the party, and the senator representing Anambra central, Chief Victor Umeh, however called for calm, while also begging the widow of the late leader of the party to put behind her all grievances and work for the success of her late husband’s legacy.

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Umeh assured that, “APGA is here to accommodate all Nigerians in governance and all their interests.

“We promise Nigerians that all they need to succeed will be made available in APGA. We urge you all to put your eyes on the ball, and the ball is victory for APGA in all the elections. We know people are aggrieved about the past, but we urge them to put it behind and put the party and her survival first.

“There is no way everyone will be happy, but having come this far, we should put our grievances in the past. Our opponents did not fair better in the last primaries, so let our own not be different.

“We must reach out to wife of our late leader Bianca, who has made noble contributions to the party, let us cling together and make better commitment to the party.”

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Presidential candidate of the party, General John Gbor (retd), was presented with the party’s flag, alongside his vice presidential candidate, governorship, senatorial and house of representatives candidates across the country.

Addressing the crowd, Gbor said the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have all failed the country and cannot offer good leadership.

He called on Nigerians to join hands with his party, APGA to make a change in the country.

“I call on the Nigerian armed forces, my fellow retired generals, the youths, Nigerian students and all to join hands with us to make a change in this country,” he said.

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Politics

Buhari group attacks Atiku over policy document, says ‘not people-friendly’ 

The Buhari Campaign Organisation, BCO, has lambasted the policy plan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

BCO said the former Vice President’s policy plan lacked remorse and was not people-friendly.

The Economy and Strategy Team of BCO was reacting to Atiku’s presidential candidate’s speech in Sokoto where he flagged off his 2019 campaign.

Abubakar had claimed that he will run a people-friendly government.

Reacting, the group stressed that his policy plan said otherwise when viewed in detail.

A statement signed by the group said Abubakar’s policy document would “blow the ruling APC out of the water because its ideas are already out there and because the candidate had amassed enough resources to enable him employ pawns and foot soldiers that could run an effective media blitz.”

The statement reads, “In the end, it was a non-event. To use a colloquialism it was ‘a damp squib’. If one wants to be kind, the best that can be said about the Atiku Policy Document is that it was rushed out to create a policy platform to mask the real intentions which is to regain power to continue business as usual.

“Let us be candid, it is a wishy-washy, unimaginative and internally inconsistent document. In short it is ‘Disatikulated’.

“Given the relative although unlikely chances of the PDP of becoming the official opposition in 2019, it is important to quickly deconstruct its ideas and to do so by way of general comments and some more specific comments.”

The group insisted that the “document was not original and borrows liberally from other people’s policy documents from within and outside Nigeria.”

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BCO said, “As such, it is bland and unimaginative and does not specify how the things it hopes to achieve can be done in terms of resources and bureaucratic capacity of the country.

“It is alright to propose implementing ‘pro-poor policies that will enhance their participation in economic activities and improve household incomes’ Anyone can say that. The issue is how? After all, we in the APC have shown what is possible with our ground breaking Social Investment Programme.”

The group explained that one of the most striking things about the Atiku Policy Document was that it was mostly bereft of people-oriented policies.

“In its haste to pander to big business, our blinkered friends in the PDP completely relegate the issues around investing in the Nigerian people to talking about poverty alleviation.”

“Apart from showing ignorance about the latest thinking around the positive impact that tackling multi-dimensional poverty has on growth, for the Atiku people to be talking about mere poverty alleviation shows that they are completely insensitive to the needs of ordinary Nigerians.

“In case what we are saying is not clear, let us put it in other words. Nobody in serious international development discourse these days talks about poverty alleviation. The reversion to poverty eradication later on in the document does not help their case. It only underscores the sloppy preparation of the document.

READ ALSO  APC spokesperson resigns, calls Oshiomole-led ruling party a cult 

“Another great drawback of the Atiku Policy Document is that it pretends as if the past never happened. It makes no atonement for past looting and misgovernance and goes on as if there was nothing untoward in its past.

“How can Atiku Abubakar talk about privatisation with a straight face? How can any PDP person fail to explain why huge funds were voted year after year for projects with no results to show? It is only here in Nigeria that a party boasts about projects it started but ‘Did Not Finish (DNF)’ which is the result given to failed athletes.

The group said it carried out a thorough analysis of the Atiku document and that it talks about increasing debt with a straight face.

“How about the huge debts left for the incoming APC government that were hidden away? These include the $6.8bn on unsettled JV cash calls or indeed the up to N2.2 trillion owed to States, contractors, pensioners, exporters etc. that created a huge debt overhang in the economy but were excluded from official debt figures? Even religions that offer forgiveness do so on the basis of repentance for past misdeeds,” the group said.

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Politics

APC spokesperson resigns, calls Oshiomole-led ruling party a cult 

The Publicity Secretary of the Imo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Jones Onwuasoanya has resigned.

Onwuasoanya, who described APC as a cult and not a political party, accused the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of destroying the platform.

He said, “The Chairman left no one in doubt that he was not, from the onset, prepared for the task of serving the interest of members of the Party and upholding the provisions of its constitution, but to institute a most dangerous brand of feudalistic idealism and corrupted form of communism, where the whims of a few override the interest of the majority.”

The statement reads, “After a careful and sober review of events within our political Party, especially, in the last two months, I have come to the conscientious conclusion that our party, which before now was touted as the beacon of integrity, democracy and fairness, has dangerously veered off from its own Constitution, philosophies and ideological inspirations.

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“Our Party has ceased to, in my own considered opinion, be a political party, but a cult, where some well-positioned members have formed themselves into a cabal of capons, with a dangerous end in mind for our dear country and its fledgeling democracy.

“I am pricked in my conscience anytime I sign off as the state publicity secretary of this party, remembering that this is a party that has woefully failed to manage its internal electoral processes in a manner that may raise hope for our democracy. Conversely, this Party has exhibited a most reckless rapaciousness against our democracy and a careless disregard for the sanctity of the ballot.

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“I can no longer muster the moral verve to market a political Party, who has left no one in doubt, that its 2019 electoral plans are wholly centred on manipulation of the electoral processes and imposition of unpopular candidates on the people with the full cooperation of the electoral umpire and maybe, security agencies. I choose to delink myself from a well-orchestrated plan to institute a most ridiculous form of incompetent hegemony in Imo State and other parts of Nigeria”.

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