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I’m Not Dollars You Can Pocket Recklessly And Sheepishly – Wike Replies Ganduje |The Republican News

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has blasted his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, for threatening to take him to court over the reported demolition of Rainbow Town Central Mosque in Trans-Amadi area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

Wike received serious backlash during the week over reported claims he demolished a mosque. He has since denied the claim.

Ganduje in a statement released today vowed to drag Governor Wike to court over the alleged demolition of the mosque.

Read here.

Reacting to Ganduje’s threat, Governor Wike in a statement released by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the Kano state governor should be reminded that he, Wike, is not a dollar bill Ganduje can pocket” sheepishly and recklessly”.

Ganduje was involved in a bribery scandal last year after footage of him purportedly receiving wads of dollar bills from contractors in his state surfaced online.

Read Governor Wike’s statement below.

It beats my imagination that Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is still in the habit of making irresponsible comments about Rivers State. Up till now, Ganduje is yet to realise that Governor Wike is not dollars that he can pocket recklessly and sheepishly.

I saw a statement released by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. He said that he will sue Governor Wike over the falsehood that a Mosque was demolished in Port Harcourt. For the umpteenth time, no Mosque was demolished by Governor Wike. No Mosque was demolished by the Rivers State Government.

The story was a fabrication by one Alhaji Tobacco. The fabrication was orchestrated by Daily Trust and The Nation Newspapers for obvious mischievous political reasons. These baseless press releases confirm the ugly plot.

Several journalists and civil society groups have visited the disputed land and no traces of any Mosque were found at the location. Governor Wike personally led journalists to the disputed land and the world saw that no Mosque existed there.

On Saturday, the Rivers State Islamic Leader/Vice President General, Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Uhor stated that there was no physical structure of a Mosque at the disputed land at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt. He said the insinuation that any structure was at that location was not true. He also admitted that a Rivers State High Court confirmed that the disputed land belongs to the Rivers State Government.

Suit Number PHC/986/2012 between Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) and the Commissioner, Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning, Rivers State, the Governor of Rivers State and the Attorney General of Rivers State (Defendants) was resolved by Justice G.O. Omereji on Tuesday, 27th November 2018. This matter pre-dated Governor Wike.

Justice Omereji of the Rivers State High Court held that: “The defendants have in Exhibits J, J1 and J2 inclusive of Exhibit K, which is the Certificate of Title, established that the land, the subject matter of this suit, was acquired in 1959 by the Government.

“My humble opinion is that the claimants have not established that they have a better title to the land, the subject matter of this suit and they have not established that at the material time they were in possession and that the defendants do not have a better title to the land”.
The Court further ruled that the claimants had no approval to build on the disputed land.

The entire world is aware of the above facts. Nobody has circulated any photographs or videos of the said Mosque that Ganduje and other APC Chieftains are harping on. They merely want to use a non-existent Mosque story to score ugly political points.

Pray, what redress would Ganduje be seeking in court when he sues Governor Wike? Would Ganduje tell the court to relegate the Rivers State Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning and enthrone its Kano State Counterpart? Would Ganduje be asking the Court to hand over jurisdiction to Kano State High Court?

Under the Land Use Act, the governor is responsible for allocation of land in all urban areas to individuals’ resident in the state or to organizations for residential, agricultural, commercial and other purposes. Perhaps, Ganduje would be telling the Court to deny the Rivers State Governor of such powers, while he retains same powers under the Land Use Act in Kano State.

The Press Statement attributed to Ganduje is a confirmation that this country is at its lowest point. This is the worst form of administrative ignorance.

As a Governor with a bruised ego, Ganduje thinks that this religious falsehood would afford him a backdoor entry into the national good book. Sadly, he has exposed himself as a terribly ignorant leader who basks in baseless claims.

The disputed land is already before the court, as the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) sued the Rivers State Government in 2012. Having lost at the Court of First instance, these trustees have appealed the judgment.


GANDOLLARS MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN

On December 8, 2016, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as Chairman of the Rivers State APC Election Rerun Campaign Committee, threatened violence on Rivers people at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.

Alongside several APC Governors, Ganduje called on APC thugs to unleash mayhem on Rivers electorate for the purpose of rigging the rerun elections. He claimed that the aim was to ensure that the APC took control of the House of Assembly for the purpose of impeaching Governor Wike.

The APC Federal Government deployed 57,000 security personnel, billions of naira, millions of dollars, Jet Fighters and Gunboats for the rerun elections. Rivers people stood with Governor Wike and the APC was roundly defeated. Rivers people rejected the plot to pocket Governor Wike by the APC rigging machine.


GOVERNOR WIKE IS NOT DOLLARS

Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, a man who enjoys bribery and falsehood, must realise that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is not dollars that he pockets with ridiculous abandon. Governor Wike is a lover of the rule of law, due process, religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. He cannot be intimidated by the illiterate threat of a lawsuit from a man of low moral standing.

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RUGA: Abia State To Scrutinise Land Sales Beyond Five Hectares – State Attorney General

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State Government has said that it has introduced a policy directing relevant agencies to scrutinise and ascertain the purpose behind the sale of any portion land above five hectares in the state.

Mr Uche Ihediwa, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, said this on Wednesday in Umuahia, while briefing newsmen on Abia government’s stance on land-use planning.

He said with the policy, applications for Certificate-of-Occupancy for land above five hectares may be honoured or declined, depending on the purpose the land would be put into.

He said, “With the present dispensation, any request for land will have to be scrutinised.

“The state government’s policy is to scrutinise it and make sure that it is not something that is convertible into Ruga.

“We have gone ahead to sensitise our communities to be sure that nobody sells large quantity of land.

“There is a standing instruction in the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning that sale of any land above five hectares will be scrutinised.’’

Ihediwa said that the Town and Country Planning Law allows the revocation of any piece of land which had not been used for the purpose it was acquired.

He said that there was no truth in the allegations that the state government secretly gave out land for Ruga settlement in Arungwa in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state.

(NAN)

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Proscribe MACBAN, Arrest Miyetti Allah Leaders Now, Ohanaeze, Yoruba, Ijaw Youths Tell Buhari |RN

President Muhammadu Buhari

By Godwin Aliuna

The leadership of three indigenous youth groups from the major geopolitical zones in Southern Nigeria Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately proscribe the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), as well as order the arrest of the MACBAN leadership.

This was contained in a statement signed by Aremo Oladotun Hassan, President, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide; Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide and Barr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, President, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide.

But in the press release made available to DAILY POST, the leadership of the groups said the indigenous youths organisations in the Southwest, South-south and Southeast geo-political zones of Nigeria and in the Diaspora can no longer tolerate the killings and threats from herdsmen in the said zones.

The statement reads: “We have watched keenly most of the controversial activities of MACBAN recently as it have directly and indirectly led to mass murder and Genocidal Ethnic Cleansing against innocent Nigerians through allegedly perceived agents: dreaded militia Herdsmen arm, with attendant daily mass killings in our various communities across the nation, especially the recent wake of crises, killings, kidnapping and community invasion by their armed bandits elements, under the aegis of Fulani Herdsmen terrorist group, despite the allegedly N100 billion Naira recently tangled by the Federal Government to pacify this dreaded group as a frontal measure to win the terrorism war. Unfortunately this singular stride has further increased our woes and agony unabated till date.

“The rude provocative call for Chief Obasanjo’s arrest is a ploy of Myetti Allah to derail Nigeria’s governance system to total anarchy, a semblance of Venezuelan and Rwandan genocidal ethnic cleansing agenda.

“Furthermore, it is an open invitation to put more hardship on the already helpless and suffocated citizenry, plagued in the world headquarters of poverty.

“However, we implore the Federal Government to desist from any attempt to arrest Obasanjo but to show conspicuous appreciation to the former president for courage to speak the truth to power.

“Similarly, the impunity move by the Myetti Allah is aimed at setting the nation ablaze, with attraction of grave consequences not limited thereto: political and economic sanctions from world super powers. We observed with keen interest the concurrent evil bedevilling the Nigerian state as a premeditated agenda to cause war and civil unrest in Nigeria.

“We are completely worried and compelled to react against the MACBAN for not calling for arrest of bandits and armed Herdsmen in the North, having continuously unleashed terror from Benue, Taraba, Osun, Enugu,Oyo, Ebonyi Ogun, Abia,Ekiti, Anambra and Ondo States without no fundamental arrest, not until recently on the Late Funke Olakunri’s killers arrest of suspects, though information is discreet and shoddy.

“However, we shall hold MACBAN accountable for this crimes, precipitating our move to equally file a legal action and petition against them both to our National Courts and the United Nations for championing ethnic cleansing agenda.

“Hence, precipitating the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, other South South Youth leaders under the Southern Nigeria Assembly to urgently call for a National (Youth)Dialogue Summit of selected youth leaders from all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and other critical stakeholders, and the process of delegates invitation is on ahead of 30th September to 1st October, 2019 slated for Lagos, details will be out soon.

“Based on this premise, the National Dialogue shall serve as a means of urgently nipping in the bud and proffering immediate panacea to the hydra headed monsters called Armed Bandits/Killer Herdsmen on our various death points: intra-city and interstates highways, as well as addressing and setting the tone for a robust dialogue on other needful necessities; restructuring and new people’s constitution, economic integration and development, infrastructures, education, food security, youth and women empowerments, peace and security to mention a few,” they stated. (Daily Post)

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Patriots In INEC Tell Me What INEC Boss Eats For Lunch, Perfumes He Wears, What Happened To The Server – Reno Omokri

INEC Boss, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood

By Ike A. Offor

The former Media Aide to the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Reno Omokri has in his latest taunt revealed a lot about the happenings inside INEC. He confidently said that he has been told that there is severe panic within INEC headquarters in Abuja. He also bragged about how much details he receives from patriotic Nigerians inside INEC headquarters.

In his update on his Facebook wall, he had this to say.

Dear Nigerians,

I have been reliably informed by my MOLES within INEC that there is severe PANIC at their Abuja HQ. They are trying to get the company to remove all traces of their connection with INEC. But it is TOO LATE. We already have the EVIDENCE! Let me assure the Chairman of INEC that I know when he arrives at the office. I know which visitors he receives. I know what he has for lunch. I know the colour of his handkerchief. He uses perfume. I know the brand. There are PATRIOTS there who tell me what he plans in his bed chamber!

#IdentityOfCompanyBehindInecServer

Earlier on, The Republican News published what he revealed about the identity of the man and his wife who owns the company that did the job of deleting the server for INEC.

Realted post: https://therepublicannews.net/2019/07/15/meet-the-man-taiwo-who-helped-inec-to-delete-their-server-the-republican-news/

Omokri gave details on how the company did their dirty job for INEC to help them wipe out the server and was later asked by INEC to destroy any trace of their job on their server, which he said was too late because by then they have obtained details of the server.

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Meet The Man, Taiwo Who Helped INEC To Delete Their Server |The Republican News

Mr Femi Taiwo (The man who allegedly helped INEC to delete the presidential election result server)

By Ike A. Offor

Meet Femi Taiwo the man who according to the former media aide to the immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri was behind the job of helping INEC to delete its server, to which all the presidential election results were electronically transmitted.

Omokri was very sure that he has asked Nigerians and foreign journalists to interview Mr Femi Taiwo and If he denies being behind the evil, then he will provide more evidence to shame and nail him.

In another taunt to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, Omokri confidently said that Nigerian patriots in INEC give him details of happenings in INEC. He even said that he knows what INEC Chairman eats for lunch and the perfume he wears to work.

Related post: https://therepublicannews.net/2019/07/15/patriots-in-inec-tell-me-what-inec-boss-ats-for-lunch-perfumes-he-wears-what-happened-to-the-server-reno-omokri/

He further gave the phone number of Mr Taiwo with which to reach him for interviews 08034544165 or info@initsnf.com, his email address. He also attached the details of the investigative correspondence that revealed a lot about the INEC’s clandestine actions with Initsnf.com owned by Mr Femi Taiwo.

#IdentityOfCompanyBehindInecServer -Twitter

He further dropped some vital information on Mr Taiwo’s company’s identity which he used to work with INEC in deleting the server.

Here are further details:

The firm behind the now deleted INEC SERVER is INITS Nigeria Limited, located at 16 Majaro Street, Onike, Yaba, 100001, Lagos, Nigeria. Femi and Ronke Taiwo are the individuals behind the firm. 

Contact details: 08034544165, info@initsng.co

Further reseasrch by The Republican News on Initsng.com revealed that they listed INEC as one of their clients whom they have worked for in the past.

Here is the findings by The Republican News on this company.

No photo description available.

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Tribunal: Buhari, APC, INEC Reject Atiku, PDP’s Move To Play Video Showing How Election Was Rigged

APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have objected to the move by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to play a video before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).

The Nation reports that their lawyers objected when the petitioners’ lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) invited Atiku’s Media Aide, Segun Showunmi, through whom Uche intended to play the video recordings and tender about 48 documents.

But, Alex. Izinyon (SAN), for Buhari; Adeniyi Akintola (SAN); and Yunus Usman (SAN), for INEC kicked on the grounds that the petitioners did not front-load the items as required under the Electoral Act.

Tribunal Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, then stood down proceedings to consider arguments by parties and rule on whether or not to allow the document and video recordings. (The Nation)

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Nigeria On The Verge Of Bankruptcy, Says Emir Sanusi |The Republican News

Emir Mohammad Sanusi II

by Kolade Adeyemi

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11 on Tuesday declared that Nigeria is on the threshold of bankruptcy following unfavourable economic policies such as subsidizing petroleum products and electricity tariffs. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who spoke during the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding in Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to cancel subsidy in petroleum subsidy and electricity tariffs if the economy must stabilize.

According to him, “the country is Bankrupt and we are heading to bankruptcy. What happened is that the Federal Government do pay petroleum subsidy, pay electricity tariff subsidy, and if there is rise in interest rates, Federal Government pays.

“What is more life-threatening than subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum.“If truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime which is fraudulent.”

He insisted that Buhari must tell Nigerians the fact about the economic situation and also act quickly on it because the nation is already bankrupt.
According to him, “since I have decided to come here, you have to accept what I have said here. And please, if you do not want to here the truth, never invite me.

“So let us talk about the state of public finance in Nigeria. We have a number of very difficult decisions that we must make, and we should face the reality. His Excellency, the President said in his inaugural speech that his government would like to lift 100 million people out of poverty, it was a speech that was well received not only in this country, but the world-wide.

“The number of people living with poverty in Nigeria are frightening. By 2050, 85 percent of those living in extreme poverty in the world will be from the Africa continent. And Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the lead.

“Two days ago, I read that the percentage of government revenue going to debt services has risen to 70 percent.
These numbers are not lying. They are public numbers. I read them in the newspapers. When you are spending 70 percent of your revenue on debt services, then you are managing 30 percent.

“And then, you continue subsidizing petroleum products; and spending N1.5 trillion per annum on petroleum subsidy! And then we are subsidizing electricity tariff. And maybe, you have to borrow from the capital market or the Central Bank of Nigeria to service the shortfall in the electricity tariff, where is the money to pay salaries, where is the money for education, where other government projects.

The Royal Father lamented that for 30 years, successive governments have had this project called petroleum subsidy, insisting that this is the right time to stop it so as to save the nation’s economy.

Speaking during the workshop, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris noted that, “the overall objective of the workshop is to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management architecture.

“It is expected that participants should appreciate that accountability and transparency remain major watchwords for prudent financial management practices and are, therefore, major prerequisite for economic growth and development.”

He charged participants to strive towards identifying the challenges to accountability and transparency the management of public funds, improving independent revenue base and profile of government, as well as proffering revenue diversification for governments at all levels so as to cut down the cost of governance.

In his address, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu identified corruption as the bane of the country’s economic woes.

He warned public and private office holders to desist from corrupt practices, stating that his office has zero tolerance to corruption.
According to him, “transparency and accountability are twin sisters of good governance. They are the tools to tackle corruption. It is true that we can leave a good legacy.”

Magu, however, called on the Federal and state Accountant-Generals to take the lead in the fight against corruption, adding that they must insist the right thing must be done in their offices.

In his address, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano state was the first to establish the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in its bid to fight corruption and block leakages.

According to him, the state also put in place, the Anti Corruption and Public Complaint Commission to checkmate corrupt practices of public servants in the state.

(thenation)

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25,794 Killed In Violent Crisis During Buhari’s First Term, Benue Tops The List – Report |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari; his wife, Aisha Buhari and acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, during the swearing-in of Buhari in Abuja…on Wednesday

Samson Folarin

No fewer than 25, 794 Nigerians may have died in violent crises in the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The figure was released by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit think tank specialising in United States foreign policy and international affairs.

The number represents those killed by different insurgent groups and Boko Haram in the North, herdsmen, and people who died in extrajudicial activities of the military.

From June 2015 to May 2019, our correspondent observed that Borno suffered the highest casualties, recording 9,303 deaths. The state was followed by Zamfara (1,963) and Adamawa (1,529).

Others captured in the map are Kaduna (1,488), Plateau (771), Taraba (649), Benue (1,642), Niger (252) Rivers (730), Cross River (467), Ogun (301), among others.

Graphical illustration revealed that the highest casualties were recorded in July 2015 (1,299) and January 2019 (1,077).

Within the four years timeline, Boko Haram  was  responsible for 5,598 deaths, while sectarian violence, including the herdsmen-farmers crisis led to 4,917 deaths.

State actors alone, including the military, were said to have killed 4,068 people.

During the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan (June 2011 to May 2015), a total of 34,884 people were reportedly killed across the country.

The highest record of casualties was in March 2014, when 3,456 Nigerians were killed.

Boko Haram and the military were together responsible for 12,765 deaths.

The Council on Foreign Relations, while explaining the methodology behind the data, said it relied on media reports.

The report said, “The Nigeria Security Tracker tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.

“The data start with May 29, 2011, the date of Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration as president. It was an event that highlighted the increasing bifurcation of the country on regional and religious lines. The NST is updated weekly.

“Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of media. Given these limitations, the NST makes every effort to collect information from multiple sources. Nevertheless, NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive.”

The Presidency did not react when contacted.

 Calls made to Presidential spokesmen, Mr Femi Adesina, and Mr Garba Shehu, were not returned.

Text messages forwarded to  them were  also not responded to as of 9.03pm.

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Ogun Chieftaincy Crisis Gets Messier As Olota Accuses Alake |The Republican News

Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege

***Olota not under Alake, says Obalanlege

Adewale Banjo    

Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, has put a lie to a statement credited to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ota people in Ogun State and their monarch are under his (Alake’s) authority.

There has been dispute between Olota and Alake over who reigns over the Awori. Olota-in-Council recently addressed a press conference during which it alleged among other things, through their spokesperson, Chief Olanrewaju Bashorun, that the Alake had illegally installed kings and chiefs in towns where the Olota of Ota reigns.

Obalanlege told Alake: “Though, I am presently on an official assignment in Switzerland, I need to remind Alake of Egbaland that in Ogun State, the settlement of Awori people preceded the establishment of Abeokuta as an Egba Kingdom in 1830.

“Ota, the foremost Awori town within the present Ogun State and which is the industrial nerve centre, for instance has been existing since the 15th century. The first Olota, Oba Ikoriku Toribo, was crowned in 1621, while the first Alake, in Abeokuta, Sagbua Okukenu, was crowned on August 8, 1854.

“It goes without saying that putting an Olota under an Alake is both a traditional misnomer and historic fallacy. The Ife palace, where the crowns came from knows better. Never in history has Ota been captured by the Egba, rather we rescued them from Oyo invasion”

Oba Gbadebo had declared that the areas geographically and historically known as Gbalefa Peninsula; comprising Atan, Iju, Adekoyeni and surrounding communities as well as Sango, Ijoko and Itori fall within his domain. He said on the strength of that, he would continue to install Obas, Baales and community leaders in those areas as they are within his jurisdiction and not that of Olota. He added that Oba Obalanlege and residents of Ota are under his (Alake) prescribed authority.

However, Olota-in-Council vowed to resist any attempt by Oba Gbadebo to install monarchs and village heads in some Awori towns. Its spokesperson who is also the Seriki of Ota, Chief Olanrewaju Bashorun, advised Alake to shelve his plans or face stiff resistance from the Awori people. He said it was historical fact that “the Olota is the only prescribed traditional authority over all land, towns and villages with the suffix ‘Ota.’ Activities of Alake were tantamount to tampering with the consenting power of Olota.”

He pointed out that Aworiland had endured enough marginalization: “Awori people will not allow any further subjugation.”

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NASS Election Delay Meant To See The Exit of Oshiomhole |The Republican News

APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole

John Alechenu

The desire of the All Progressives Congress to go into the elections of a new leadership of the National Assembly as a united house has put on hold threats to the position of Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the ruling party, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

It was learnt that party leaders across geopolitical zones were reaching out to one another on the need to get aggrieved party members to “sheath their swords” in order not to give the opposition room to spring a surprise on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

A highly placed member of the party leadership, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “We are talking to ourselves.”
The party leader further stated, “We all agree that mistakes were made during the primaries leading up to the recently concluded 2019 general elections.

“We also agree that there is a need for us to come together and forge a way forward and that the letter, recently written by one of us, spoke the minds of some and angered some others because it was leaked to the press.

“However, we have National Assembly leadership elections in a little over one week and as a party, we cannot afford to lose these elections. In order to succeed, we must work as a team and present a common front.”

The source added, “The predominant view at the moment is that we cannot afford a distraction which a struggle for a change in the party’s leadership will certainly bring at this time.

“I cannot predict what may follow after the National Assembly leadership election matter is settled because whether you like it or not, we have lost three APC votes from Zamfara in the Senate.”

In a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, on Saturday, however, the APC National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, said Oshiomhole’s position as national chairman was not under threat.

He said, “Our National Chairman’s position is not under threat. The letter written by our deputy national chairman (North) was a personal opinion which he, like every member of our party, is entitled to. If there was any decision we took as members of the National Working Committee which he was not comfortable with, the best thing for him to have done was to have resigned.

“After he resigns, then he can stand on a sound moral ground to call for another person’s resignation; this will make Nigerians take him seriously.”

In a related development, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, has said his open endorsement by a Peoples Democratic Party Senator-elect, Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North), is a sign of greater things to come.

Lawan, who is the APC’s preferred candidate for the position of Senate President, said this while speaking to reporters in Abuja on Saturday.

While expressing appreciation for the endorsement, he said his campaign team would, within the next couple of days, hold further engagements with the PDP caucus among Senators-elect with a view to reaching an understanding.

He said, “We are expecting the PDP Senators-elect, all of them, to have an understanding with us and endorse me as a caucus.

“Let me pay tribute, first, to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Yes Peoples Party. He identified with our aspirations the first day the idea of running for this office was muted and he has been with us. We have been campaigning together; sometimes he goes along to campaign to spread our vision for the 9th National Assembly.”

Speaking specifically about Nwaoboshi’s endorsement, he described it as a move borne out of a patriotic heart.

He said, “Nigerians don’t care about what platform you represent in the Senate. What they care about will be what the 9th Senate is able to do to better their lives. What Nigerians care for is an improvement in the security of their lives and property.

“What Nigerians care for is how the economy will be improved and revitalised so that it is an all-inclusive economy; an economy that will work for those at the lowest level of the ladder and those at the highest level, those who will create the business and those who need to be employed.”

The Senate Leader further explained that at various times, as a member of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, he had cause to support and campaign for Aminu Masari (now Katsina State governor) to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senator David Mark for Senate President.

This, he said, was not without prejudice to the fact that both men were members of the PDP.

He said, “In 2007 when I came to the Senate, I campaigned for Senator David Mark even though I was not in the PDP, (but) because I saw him as a distinguished man that will give us the kind of leadership we needed at that time.

“That would give us a sense of purpose, a direction and a focus as a Senate to perform; we did that again in 2011. Of course, then he was unopposed. It was in 2007 that there were rigorous campaigns and the elections were held transparently for everyone to see.” (Punch)

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