APC NWC meets as PDP picks presidential candidate

…Lamido, Damkwabo obtain PDP nomination forms Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole met on Tuesday in preparation for the forthcoming polls. But the party, which seems to be grappling with the challenge on how it will conduct peaceful primaries for thousands of its aspirants, refused to brief the media on the outcome of its meeting. The development came just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed October for the emergence of its presidential candidate for the 2019 election. The APC NWC meeting, which might not be unconnected with the approval and release of the party primaries timetable which letter was earlier sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja with all the national executive officers in attendance. The party is also expected to hold its caucus meeting at the Presidential Villa in preparation for the National Executive Committee (NEC) slated for Thursday in Abuja. But a source who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue, told our correspondent that the party’s focus is how to win the 2019 general elections at all levels. The source said, “We are strategizing and not taking any opportunity for granted. The election is so vital to the party that is why we have moved into action immediately, so as to put our house in order, bringing all warring parties together.” But the PDP on Tuesday kick-started activities towards the 2019 general elections with the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for all categories of elective posts. Two presidential aspirants; former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Damkwabo picked their presidential nomination forms while Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu also picked a reelection form. Lamido, a former Foreign Affairs minister sent a representative to pick form on his behalf at the Wadata Plaza secretariat of the party while Damkwabo personally picked his forms at the Lagacy House, Maitama office of the PDP. Governor Ikpeazu while speaking with journalists after picking his form on Tuesday, said the good people of the state impressed upon him to seek a second term. According to him, the people of Abia State gave him the go ahead to have another short at the Government House to enable him complete the many laudable projects he embarked upon and to further deliver dividends of democracy to his people. At its Wadata Plaza secretariat, 22 officials of the party were seen attending to aspirants coming to pick forms. The Daily Times gathered that many of the aspirants for House of Representatives and State assemblies seats sent representatives to pick forms on their behalf. Each presidential aspirant is to pay a total N12 million (N2 million for Expression of Interest and N10 million for Nomination forms), governorship aspirants to pay N6million (N1 million for expression of interest and N5 million for nomination forms), senatorial aspirants to pay N3.5million (N500,000 for expression of interest and N3 million for nomination forms), House of Representatives aspirants to pay N1.5 million (N500,000 for expression of interest and N1 million for nomination forms) and State House of Assembly aspirants to pay N600,000 (N100,000 for expression of interest and N500,000 for nomination forms). But the PDP has exempted female aspirants from payment for purchase of nomination forms for all offices. PDP sets agenda for May on visit to Nigeria Meanwhile, the PDP has urged the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, to use her state visit to Nigeria to uncover the dismal state of the nation by resisting a choreographed plan by the Buhari Presidency to hoodwink her for an endorsement stunt. The party also called on the British leader not to allow the Buhari Presidency to confine her to the palours of the Presidential Villa, but to insist on visiting other parts of the nation to enable her directly appreciate the level of lies and false performance indices the Federal Government has been dishing out to the world. The party in a statement on Tuesday said it was aware of plans by the Federal Government to use the visit to dish out more lies to the international community in an effort to cover its failures in governance in the last three years, for which Nigerians are clamouring for a new president under the PDP. The PDP further urged the British Prime Minister, as a parliamentarian, to take the Buhari Presidency to task on its unabated interferences and violent attacks on the institution of the National Assembly, including threats to forcefully remove the elected presiding officers of the Senate, as well as the recent invasion and blockade of the National Assembly by Presidency-controlled security forces. “The PDP also wants the British leader to task President Buhari on his widely condemned stand against the supremacy of the rule of law in addition to records of violation of human rights in Nigeria, including government’s disobedience to court orders, reported extra-judicial killings, torture, unlawful political arrests and detention, restriction of free speech and media freedom and lack of government’s accountability as detailed in report by various international bodies, including Transparency International (TI), Amnesty International (AI) and US Department of States. “The British leader should also elicit discussions with the President on the recent report by Price Waterhouse Cooper showing humongous corruption in his administration, including the circumstances surrounding the N4 trillion unremitted oil money in agencies under his direct supervision as minister”, said Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s national publicity secretary.

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