A prominent chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State and the Koromotiemowei of Ogbe Ijoh Warri Kingdom, Chief Aribogha Johnny, on Wednesday formally dumped the PDP and defected to the All Progressives Congress.
Johnny, alongside his supporters, defected few hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
The former PDP chieftain said in a signed statement that his “decision came not just as a result of the outcome of the just concluded presidential election, but as a result of the level of marginalisation and disregard he has faced in the Peoples Democratic Party for many years.”
According to him, his political allegiance had been with the PDP until the party leadership started treating him like a “low class member” despite his contributions to the successes recorded in the party at the state level in the past years.
“As such, I have decided to move to a party where my efforts in the politics of the state and beyond will be recognised and appreciated,” he stated.
While welcoming Johnny and his supporters, the APC leadership in Delta, led by the Director General of the party’s governorship campaign council, Elder Godsday Orubebe and Chief Bosin Ebikeme, the director of the party’s contact and mobilisation campaign council, expressed joy in receiving the former PDP chieftain, noting that his decision was in the right direction.
They remarked that the Delta APC would regard him as a bonafide member who will also be part of the party’s decision making process.
Sanwo-Olu, deputy test run Lagos red line ahead of commissioning
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, on Saturday, carried out a test run of the Lagos Red Line ahead of next week’s commissioning of the project by President Bola Tinubu.
The Lagos State governor also inspected the tracks and the rail corridors. Some of the comfort facilities inspected by Governor Sanwo-Olu included the train’s cooling system, handrails, cushioned seats, and in-built safety features of the wagons.
Today, I was at the Ikeja Train Station for the pivotal test run of the brand-new trains dedicated to our transformative Red Line Rail Project.
The Red Line Rail Project which I performed the groundbreaking on April 15th, 2021 is a momentous step towards a connected and… pic.twitter.com/CzynLh8759
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) February 24, 2024
“We just completed another inspection of the Red Rail Line facility and corridor; now we are back in Ikeja Mega Station. We all have just used the train to Iju and back. I’m sure our media men can fully report what we all witnessed in the course of the short journey. This rail infrastructure is ready for inauguration, but we still have a few cleaning to do,” Sanwo-Olu said in a statement by his chief press secretary Gboyega Akosile.
“The challenge we have is the pedestrian interference on the rail track and unapproved activities seen along the corridor. We will continue with the enforcement we started against illegal use of the rail corridor. We are in talks with NRC (Nigeria Railway Corporation) to reinforce the train route with physical barriers to limit pedestrian interference.”
He told residents of the state to abide by safety measures in using the rail line, saying, “We have reduced human interference on the track considerably over the last two months, but enforcement continues.
“The stations are ready, the trains are ready and I believe Lagosians are ready to welcome this new infrastructure built for their use and benefit.”
Sanwo-Olu’s deputy Obafemi Hamzat and members of the State cabinet were part of the entourage.
The 37-kilometre rail line built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) will be inaugurated by President Tinubu, along with its stations and other ancillary facilities. The Red Line traverses seven stations from Agbado, a boundary town in Ogun State, to Oyingbo in Lagos Central.
UPDATED: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso — member nations that are ruled by the military.
On Saturday, President Bola Tinubu, chairman of ECOWAS, said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
In a statement, Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, said Tinubu spoke at the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS held in Abuja.
“Everything we did was in hopes of persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance. And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol,” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.
“However, the sanctions that we contemplated might help lead our brothers to the negotiating table have become a harsh stumbling block. In my mind and heart, that which is hurtful yet ineffective serves no good purpose and should be abandoned.
“ECOWAS was established for the unassailable objective of improving the lives of the people of this region through fraternal cooperation among all member states. This edifice was cemented on the strong foundation and apt conviction that, united as one, we can be the true masters of our destiny.”
Tinubu said ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability, democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development through fair opportunity for each and everyone in West Africa.
He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken, adding that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.
In calling for the suspension of sanctions, Tinubu said: “We must take note of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and of Lent.”
“Whether you pray in the mosque or in the church, this represents a time for compassion, hope, and harmony. It is a time that we must not only seek God but also a closer relationship with brother and neighbour,” the president said.
“What I suggest in real and practical terms is that we, my colleagues and fellow heads of state in ECOWAS, indefinitely suspend economic sanctions against Niger, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and against the leadership of the military authorities in those nations.”
The president asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable.
He added that for Nigeria, “this will also mean the prompt resumption of the export of electric power to Niger”.
“In this vein, suspension of sanctions is an important but initial step. What we seek is more than the breaking of the diplomatic logjam. We must use this very moment when things seem tense and progress unavailing, to forge greater cooperation within our community,” he said.
“We not only reach out to our brothers. Today, we say unto them — let us begin to work more earnestly together for the economic development of our people and towards confronting those modern challenges that respect no borders or boundaries.
“As leaders of ECOWAS, we have accepted the honour and duty to draft the history of the region and its people during our tenure in office.
“We have also accepted the honour and duty to reach out to our brothers, letting them know this regional home belongs to us all. I shall do my utmost in this regard. I humbly beseech that you do the same.
“For these reasons, we must suspend sanctions and return to brotherly dialogue. I call on the leadership in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger to embrace the hand extended.”
BREAKING: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, member nations that are ruled by military.
The authorities of ECOWAS on Saturday said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
To invite all four countries to a meeting.
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