The national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has inaugurated a new committee in preparation of the 2019 general elections.
The committee, which is headed by a former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke, will also explore the possibility of coining a new name for the prty.
Some key stakeholders, particularly prominent chieftains of the PDP that defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, are said to have insisted on a change of name, as one of the conditions to rejoin the PDP.
Prominent among among the APC chieftains being wooed by the leadership of PDP include the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former Kono State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wamakko; and former Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje. Incidentally, all of them are prime members of the Senate.
Overtures are also being made to woo the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. Tambuwal had defected from PDP to the APC at the tail end of his tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Many serving APC members in the two chambers of the National Assembly are also said to be waiting in the wings, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Findings further revealed that the high profile politicians are being wooed with tickets for choice offices, including the presidential slot.
But the heavy baggage of corruption trailing the PDP has made it difficult for prospective defectors to cross over from the APC and other political parties.
A prominent chieftain of the PDP confided in our correspondent on Friday that indeed, the major task of the committee is to make wide consultations regarding the propriety or otherwise of name change.
The source, who did not want to be named said, “Yes, we are seriously concerned about the issue of name change, as being demand by some of the intending returnees.
“But I must let you know that not all of them are assisting on name change because they can see through the veil of deception in the APC government’s anti-corruption campaign”.
While inaugurating the committee on Friday, the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus said the party would do everything within the confines of the law to regain power in 2019.
Secondus said the past three years of President Buhari’s administration had convinced Nigerians of the need for a credible alternative in 2019.
The party chair tasked members of the committee to reach out to Nigerians and groups on the need to forge a common front for what he described as the “political salvation” of the country.
Secondus said, “Your committee and your nomination into it is a well-articulated decision of the party leadership to bring our open door policy to fruition.
“Just as your name connotes, you are to deploy your well versed network to help open the space and allow into our party, all those whose union with us can help in rescuing this country.
“Like we always say in this party, this umbrella is big enough to accommodate all people of patriotic ideals”.
The committee chairman Imoke promised to work tirelessly to deliver on the mandate, stating that the situation in the country has become too dangerous for well-meaning Nigerians to fold their hands in resignation.
Other members of the committee include former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido; his Niger State counterpart, Babangida Aliyu; and former Benue Governor, Gabriel Suswam (Benue).
Others a former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii; former Aviation Minister, Kema Chikwe; and a former national chairman of the PDP, Bello Haliru Mohammed among others, The Nation reports.
Court Repeals Sen. Kashamu’s Appeal To Stop His Arrest, Extradition to U.S
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday, May 4, upturned the verdict of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which perpetually restrained the arrest and extradition of Sen. Buruji Kashamu to the U.S. and ruled that the coast is clear for security agencies to pick him up.
The Appellate court held that the senator, representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, was bound by the provisions of the law, and therefore, could be “arrested in deserving circumstances.”
Delivering the lead judgment on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Yargata Nimpar, reversed the 2015 lower court’s ruling handed down by Justice Okon Abang.
Newsmen report that in his fundamental rights application before the lower court, Kashamu, had sought for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining his arrest by the security agencies in Nigeria.
He had argued that his personal liberty was under threat “based on false defamatory content of an alleged politically-motivated petition.”
The senator had consequently asked the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the law enforcement agencies from arresting and transporting him to the United States over alleged drug offences.
Abang had granted the application and consequently, issued the restraining orders sought.
Dissatisfied with the lower court’s verdict, the Attorney General of the Federation (AG) had appealed the ruling of Justice Abang.
The appellate court in its judgment on Friday dismissed the preliminary objection filed by Kashamu against the substantive appeals as lacking in merits.
The Appeal Court held that the appeal filed by the Attorney-General against the ruling of the lower court was not statute barred as contended and was meritorious.
The court also set aside the orders of perpetual injunction granted in favour of Kashamu against the Nigerian government, the AG, the State Security Service, the Inspector-General of Police and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The court held that the oral statements of threat of abduction and attempted transfer of Kashamu to the United States was not backed by concrete evidence and the grounds were insufficient.
It ruled that the AG as the chief law officer of the country and the chief law officer of the
cause of justice has the constitutional and legal powers to enforce the provisions of the law, NAN reports.
Specifically, the appellate court faulted the lower court for granting the said injunction sought by the respondent, holding that same were based on mere speculation of abduction and kidnapping.
MTN Posts Strong Q1 Results with 73.2% Revenue Jump
MTN Nigeria has announced impressive first quarter results, showing constant currency (organic) service revenue growth of 14.4% and data revenue leap of 73.2% year-on-year. Also, subscribers increased by 4.3% quarter on quarter (QoQ) to 54.5 million.
Commenting on the results, Ferdi Moolman, CEO of MTN Nigeria said, “MTN Nigeria delivered a strong performance for the first quarter of 2018, supported by growth in data revenue and increased scale. We also maintained positive momentum in growing our subscriber base and maintaining our network leadership position.”
MTN Nigeria continued with the positive momentum of 2017, increasing service revenue by 14.4% YoY, supported by a 73.2% increase in data revenue and 15.2% growth in voice revenue.
In the first quarter of 2018 the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) margin expanded to 41.8% given well controlled expenses and a stable naira.
The company reported net additions in the quarter of 2.3 million following on from the 2.0 million net additions in Q4 2017, which was supported by the increase in the SIM registration footprint.
During the period the business rolled out 298 3G and 174 4G sites with the 4G rollout remaining centred on the top 10 cities across the country.
A statement from the company said the full financial results will be released on Monday.