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21 Jan

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun says the party does not have an anointed candidate for the 2016 Edo governorship election.

Odigie-Oyegun made the disclosure yesterday during a meeting with APC governoship aspirants for the Edo governoship seat at the party's headquarters in Abuja.

"Once I open my mouth to support any candidate, it hampers my ability to be objective and fair in the process. The minute you begin to tell anybody why dont you step down, the next question is what is in for me?

"The APC has recorded credible primaries with examples being the presidential primaries and primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa state. Even in the case of Bayelsa state where there were issues, the party cancelled the first primaries an odered a fresh exercise -- all in a bid to achieve credible primaries.

"The party assures of credible primaries for the Edo state governorship when the time comes and may the best candidate with the right credentials and capacity emerge." the APC National Chairman said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, an aspirant Arc. Ilenre Austin Emuan said: "All aspirants were invited for a meeting with the National leadership of the APC to come and have a chat as far as the campaigns for the Edo State gubernatorial elections are concerned and it was a very fruitful meeting.

"As we know, the political climate in the state (Edo) is getting warmer hence the party felt we had to meet so that we could be reminded of the party manifesto, ideology and the fact that everyone should embrace the rule of fair play and above all, to assure everyone of us that all the aspirants will be given a level playing field.

"Of course there are a lot of insinuations going around that there is an anointed candidate but today, all that has been laid to rest. I can say that many of us left with so much confidence about the APC and in the process of the forthcoming primaries in Edo State." he stressed.

Aspirants present at the meeting were: Arc. Ilenre Austin Emuan; Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki; Sen (Prof) Oserheimen Osunbor; Kenneth Imasuagbon; Omon-Irabor Casely; Chris Iyare; Chris Ogiemwonyi; Gen Charles Airhiavbere; Prof. Ebegue Amadasun and Blessing Agbomhere.

EDEGBE ODEMWINGIE
Assistant Director (Publicity)
All Progressives Congress

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20 Jan

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said corrections had been made to the details of the budget as presented on Dec. 22, 2015 before the National Assembly.

This is contained in a letter to the House of Representatives as read by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara in Abuja.

The President's letter reads in part: “It will be recalled that on Tuesday,
22 December, 2015, I presented my 2016 budget proposals to the joint sitting of the National Assembly.

"I submitted a draft bill accompanied by a schedule of details.
“At the time of submission, we indicated that because the details had just been produced, we would have to check to ensure that there were no errors in the detailed breakdown contained in the schedule.
That has since been completed and I understand that the corrections have been submitted.

“The National Assembly would therefore have the details as submitted on the 22nd and a copy containing the corrections submitted last week. It appears that this has led to some confusion.

“In this regard, please find attached the corrected version.
“This is the version the National Assembly should work with as my 2016 budget estimates.
The draft bill remains the same and there are no changes in any of the figures."
Shortly before the letter was read, Rep. Leo Ogor (Delta-PDP), the Minority Leader of the House, raised a constitutional point of order citing Sections 81 and 84 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Ogor said that the provisions of the law did not give the president powers to amend budget, adding that such powers lie with the legislature.

He consequently called on the House to disregard Buhari's letter.

However, Dogara rose in defence of the president submitting that there was nowhere in the letter that Buhari said the budget was amended,
He said that it is only the president that has powers to make corrections to the budget if he observes any error.

Dogara’s explanation, however, drew the ire of PDP lawmakers, who started chanting "no, no!" preventing the Speaker from making his point for some minutes.

The Speaker said that the president did not mention the word ‘amendment’, rather he used the word correction "which the president alone can correct."

(NAN)

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