LEADERSHIP EDITORS Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron extended his lead in the polls over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen yesterday, the final day of a tumultuous election campaign that has turned the country’s politics upside down. The election is seen as the most important in France for decades with two diametrically opposed views of Europe and France’s place in the world at stake. The National Front’s Le Pen would close borders and quit the euro currency, while independent Macron, who has never held elected office, wants closer European cooperation and an open economy. The candidates of France’s two mainstream parties were both eliminated in the first round on April 23. According to an Elabe poll for BFM TV and L’Express, Macron will get 62 percent of the votes in the second round compared to 38 percent for Le Pen, an increase of three points for the centrist candidate compared to his...
Hon Abubakar Momoh was a former member of the Nigerian House of Representatives from Edo State and in this interview with RUTH CHOJI, the politician stated that political parties in Nigeria lack ideologies as they are only interested in taking over power. He also spoke on some other issues. Are you still with the PDP? For now, I can’t tell you what the situation is, now everybody is looking for his daily bread. Active politics will start by the end of this year. So if you want to know more about my plans, wait until the end of this year, then you will know if I am still in the PDP or APC   Are you worried about what is happening in the PDP? Generally, I am worried about what is happening in Nigeria today. Coming down to the PDP, I can say I am worried because we need a viable opposition that will...
Hon Enitan Badru Dolapo represents Lagos Island Federal constituency of Lagos State. In this interview with RUTH CHOJI, the lawmaker stated that, recession will soon end because there is light at the end of the tunnel as the federal government is putting things in place. As a member of the committee on INEC, are you contented with the present state of INEC? They have conducted some elections, and since then, they have been improving on every election. The best election they had was the one of Ondo State where the opposition did not complain. They only complained that they were not given enough time to campaign. They didn’t even bother to go to court or tribunal because they knew they were beaten squarely. The APC didn’t see it coming. APC had broken into three factions in the state yet the people on ground voted for who they wanted. Rivers State is...
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Prof. Stephen Ocheni from Kogi and Mr Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State as ministers. The nominees were confirmed after screening by senators at plenary. The confirmation of the nominees followed a request by President Muhammdu Buhari in accordance with Section147 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Buhari had forwarded the names of the ministerial nominees to the Senate as replacements for late Mr James Ocholi (Kogi) and Mrs Amina Mohammed (Gombe). Ocholi, who was Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, died in an auto crash in 2016. Mohammed, Minister of Environment, stepped down to take up the post of Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. In his remarks after announcing the confirmation of the nominees, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, congratulated them for scaling through the screening. He expressed optimism that with their performance during the screening, they would contribute effectively to the development of the nation. “We hope their contribution...
Under fire, the presidency has come out in defence of President Muhammadu Buhari against those who are feasting on his absence from two Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings. JONATHAN NDA - ISAIAH writes on fresh concerns this is generating over the true health status of the president. Before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday last week, all eyes were on the president’s seat at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa. Cabinet members waited for him as usual  to enter into the chamber and take charge of the day’s proceedings. Some minutes after 10:00am one of the protocol officers whispered to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, obviously telling him that the President will not be attending the FEC meeting. Immediately after, Osinbajo called for the opening prayers and the meeting commenced. In an era where fake news fly everywhere like bullets, nothing can be hidden from the...
by MATTHIAS NWOGU, Umuahia The former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor blamed the  failure of  the Peoples  Democratic Party in the  2015   Presidential election  and  the  subsequent crisis  that has  bedeviled it  soon after, to  the  refusal of    former President  Goodluck Jonathan  not to run for the  second  term. Chief Ogbulafor, who  spoke on  recent   happenings in the  country at his country  home  Olokoro in Umuahia south  local  government of Abia state , the  protracted leadership crisis in the party and   the  bail granted to  Mr Nnnamdi Kanu,  said “the crisis in the PDP has lingered so long and has made many stakeholders to defect to that All Progressives Congress.” He said that the party’s failure started when former President Goodluck Jonathan “neglected” his advice not to run for a second tenure but to respect the party’s agreement on zoning and rotation of the presidency. He admitted...
By AGBO-PAUL AUGUSTINE, Abuja The Chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogbadibo, at the forthcoming local government election, Hon. Sunday Onaji, has advised the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC), to do all within its powers, in conducting a credible election, come June 3. This was even as he expressed satisfaction in the process so far undertaken by the election umpire, saying he believed BSIEC would conduct free and fair election. Onaji who addressed the press yesterday, at BSIEC office in Makurdi, while collecting a nomination form ahead of the poll, said the forthcoming election would be a litmus test for the commission, adding that “expectations were high and the people should be happy at the end, that they trusted BSIEC”. He, however, expressed optimism that his party, the PDP, would ride smoothly to victory, if election would be credible. “The poor performance of APC in the state as well as...
BY HEMBADOON ORSAR Makurdi Members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Agatu Local Government Area, Benue yesterday staged a protest rejecting Mrs Comfort Echoda as their candidate in the forthcoming local council elections describing her candidature as an imposition on the people. They protested at the Benue Peoples’ House, Makurdi, stating that the area was volatile owing to the incessant attack on the community by Fulani herdsmen as such it would be very difficult for a woman to pilot the affairs of the area creditably. Leader of the protesters, Mr Abel Omaluwa said that the security situation in the area does  not warrant for a woman to be at the helm of affairs. “There was no primaries in Agatu, for the Councillors and chairman’s position those parading themselves as chairman and councillors were those that their names were written” Omaluwa further said that they were not against Echoda as a person but because she...
Three former Nigerian leaders, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) yesterday met behind closed doors in Minna, the capital of Niger State. LEADERSHIP gathered that the meeting which lasted for over two hours was held at the hilltop home of former military president, IBB. It was learnt that visitors who usually besiege Babangida’s house were streamlined, with some of them stopped from entering the house ahead of the arrival of former President Obasanjo at about 3:00pm yesterday. Before the arrival of Obasanjo, former head of state, General Abubakar was already in IBB’s house waiting. On arrival, Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, recieved Obasanjo at Minna airport and took him to IBB home at hill top without official retinue. Sources told LEADERSHIP that the governor led Obasanjo to the inner chamber where the duo of IBB and Abubakar were waiting. It was learnt that after the usual pleasantries, even...
The Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi yesterday suspended the state controversial contributory pension law in the state that provides for 5% payment by the State government and the 8% for workers which led to the suspension of the embattled Nigeria Labour Congress Chairman, Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor. The State Governor, Chief Umahi who made the pronouncement at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, ordered the relevant authorities to ensure that all deduction made in the last 3 months from workers salaries must be refunded to the civil servants on or before. May 15th 2017. The Nigeria Labour Congress under the leadership of Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor engaged in serious battle over the processes of the law which led to the suspension of Comrade Nwafor and the emergence of Comrade Leo Nkah. Chief Umahi who was visibly happy with the large turnout of workers at the Township Stadium announced the release of N1bn for the payment of gratuities of retired workers in the state adding that the commencement...