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Saraki To APC: You Cannot Impeach Me |The Republican News

The ruling party kept mum about the senate president’s insistence that they lack the required number to impeach him

• Ruling party keeps mum

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and John Adams, Minna

Senate President and presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said the the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) does not have the required number to impeach him.

The senate president said this in Minna, capital of Niger State, when he met with the state’s PDP members, to solicit for their support for his presidential ambition.

“They know that we are in the majority and whatever they want to do they know they don’t have the number,” he reiterated.

Saraki, however, ruled out the possibility of him stepping down when the senate reconvenes; as being demanded by the ruling party following his defection to the PDP.

“One thing is clear, I will not sacrifice the interest of the country for my personal interest, and, in the last three years, as senate president, I have demonstrated that my interest is second to that of national interest”.

He described as unnecessary, calls for the senate to reconvene from its annual recess.

“We did not adjourn the senate in the dark; there was a procedure where, at the end of the session, there was a vote and it was seconded that we should go on annual recess.

“So, it wasn’t anything done in the secret; everybody was there. It is not that some few people met somewhere and took the decision. “Everybody participated and everybody took the decision that we should adjourn for a normal, annual recess.

“The date that we agreed to resume was the same date we resumed last year and the year before, so, there is nothing abnormal about the senate adjournment.”

Saraki also pointed out that all he wants for the country is a country rooted in the rule of law and a democratic process.

“I am happy that even they that started making the noise have now agreed that they will follow the rule of law and due process.

“What is important to me is to ensure the independence of the three arms of the government, to allow rule of law, to ensure that we respect the democratic process”.

Although the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, had earlier declared that the party will deploy every legal means to impeach Saraki, the ruling party kept mum about the senate president’s insistence that they lack the required number to impeach him.

In earlier comments, Oshiomhole had insisted that Saraki would be impeached.

“He (Saraki) failed to understand that the Nigeria, national project is more complicated and is not that easy.

“He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a senator in his own senatorial zone come 2019.

“Saraki will not be the first to be impeached and I doubt if he is going to be the last but, definitely, he will be impeached according to law and according to the democratic norms.

“The only way senator Saraki can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable, which again leads to the issue of character,” Oshiomhole said then.

Yesterday,, efforts to get Oshiomhole’s reaction to Saraki’s insistence that he cannot be impeached, or the reaction of the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, were unsuccessful.

None agreed to speak on the issue.

While the spokesperson kept promising to react to Saraki’s claims, after several calls and text messages to him, Nabena refused to pick the several calls. He didn’t reply the text messages either.  (The Sun)

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Dogara’s Defection Didn’t Come As A Surprise – APC |The Republican News

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says that the reported defection of the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, did not come to them as a surprise, accusing him of anti-party activities.

Reacting to the reported silent defection, the ruling party quipped that the comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that ‘weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our par, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection.

The statement signed by the Ag National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, read:

“We have received several media requests for a reaction to the purported defection of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Dogara from the APC to one of the opposition political parties, as reported in the media.

“In reacting, a recent comment by President Buhari, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection: “The weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our Party”.

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly where in connivance with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he exploited all available avenues to sabotage and undermine the APC-led executive.

“Dogara’s anti-party activities which enabled one of the opposition party’s sole victory in Bogoro Local Government Area (Dogara’s council) during the recent Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election won by the APC is another pointer, among several others.

“Indeed, all politics is local. As a Party, we empathise with Dogara on his confusion and despair over his bleak political future given the fact that he is not on ground and a political paperweight in his home Bauchi state. In his emergence as Speaker, Dogara was merely used by his political master to achieve their selfish political ends at the time.

“They have since moved on to pursue their individual political aspirations and left Dogara in the cold. We would advise Dogara against his ill-advised decision to re-contest his House of Representatives seat under the opposition party he is linked with because a crushing and humiliating defeat surely awaits him.

“As a party, we remain united and committed to our progressives ideologies. We urge party faithful to consolidate on our strengths and collectively go into the 2019 general elections as a united and strong political fighting force to sustain the Change Agenda we are implementing for the benefit of Nigerians,” the statement read.   (The Sun)

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Bad Economy: APC Berates The Economist, HSBC For Predicting Buhari’s Defeat |RN

Yekini-Nabena

APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena

Niyi  Odebode, John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko, Ted Odogwu,  Enyioha Opara, Olaleye Aluko and  Godwin Isenyo

 

The All Progressives Congress has rejected what it described as doomsday prophecies by two British-based institutions about Nigeria’s economy and the 2019 presidential election.

The APC position was contained in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement was the APC’s response to reports by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research unit of The Economist, and a multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC.

The Economist had in a report by its EIU predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party would win the 2019 presidential election.

The HSBC also said the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari would stunt the economy of the country.

But Nabena said the reports were nothing but the usual doomsday prophesies about Nigeria, which had serially proved false, deceptive and unreliable.

The statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress urges Nigerians to regard these ‘expert analyses and prophecies’ for what they are and dismiss them accordingly.

“We should remember similar prophesies and analyses about the political situation in Nigeria made some years back by similar Western institutions.

“It was prophesied that Nigeria would collapse in 2015, resulting in some ethnic nationalities going their separate ways.

“Here we are, nearly four years after the doomsday prophecy; the Nigerian federation rather than collapse is waxing stronger with President Buhari administration striving to unite the country and consolidate positively on the strength of our diversity.”

The party wondered why it was only negative reports that The Economist, HSBC and similar institutions had about Nigeria.

It added that the two institutions did not see all the positive impacts that the APC administration was making in relation to ongoing economic reforms, fight against corruption, infrastructure drive and counter-insurgency.

The APC listed some of the recoveries made from officials of the immediate past administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as increases in remittances by public institutions such as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the Federal Inland Revenue Service as evidence of the Buhari-led administration’s success in transparency.

In a veiled reference to the ex-minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the statement read, “A former minister in the immediate-past administration who is resident in the United Kingdom is alleged to control enough corruptly-obtained assets whose value if put to productive use could have employed thousands of Nigerians.

“How much of this loot has the United Kingdom, the base of these experts, returned to Nigeria? Of course, these experts are conveniently oblivious of these and many similar cases.

“Rather than consider the plight of Nigerians and campaign for the return of the stolen funds, these institutions have chosen to dissipate energy spewing doomsday prophecies on Nigeria.

“We advise these economic experts to focus on their pressing domestic issues and ponder, for example, on the important question of the role Britain will play in the world, post Brexit.”

Nigeria is doomed if Buhari is elected –SDP, ADC

The Social Democratic Party and the African Democratic Congress have lambasted the APC for defending Buhari.

The SDP National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said, “The APC is only denying what is obvious. The reports are genuine and we know these things already. Of course, we all know that Nigeria will be doomed if a President, who is not in charge, returns for another four years.”

In his reaction, the ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, said, “I wish I could rewind to four years back when the APC was condemning Nigeria’s economy based on the same foreign reports.

“Are these reports true? Yes. The poverty and unemployment index in the country is obvious. Even in agriculture and healthcare, we are not catching up. Our President still goes to same Britain periodically for medical attention.

“The APC has closed its eyes to the truth and has tried to suppress the opposition by all means. It has now extended this condemnation to the international community.

PDP hails reports

The PDP said the reports confirmed its position that Nigerians had rejected Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP said Buhari’s rejection was predicated on his alleged failure and the deception of the APC in the last three years.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the findings by the two organisations that President Buhari stood no chance in the general elections and that his winning portended grave danger for Nigeria was in tandem with the stance of majority of Nigerians.

He noted that Nigerians were fed up with Buhari due to his alleged incompetence and unprecedented corruption under his watch.

This, he said, had resulted in the ruining of the nation’s once robust economy, “with attendant mass job loss, ravaging hunger, starvation and disease, as well as escalated insecurity.”

“The world knows the reason the Buhari-led APC administration has resorted to harassment and vicious attacks on the opposition, assaults on the judiciary and the National Assembly, as well as unrelenting machination to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the elections.

“This is also the reason President Buhari rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly, which practically checks all APC’s rigging strategies ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan added.

He said the fear of imminent defeat was the reason Buhari was allegedly against the amendment that checked the use of underage voters, provided for online publication of voter register in addition to instant transmission of results from the polling to collation centres, thus eliminating interferences and planned alteration of results by the APC.

“Nigerians are aware that this APC and INEC have been conniving to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units in remote areas, as well as registration of compromised observers to validate their machinations.

“Now that Mr President is aware that his approval rating among Nigerians and across the world has hit the rocks despite the many choreographed endorsement stunts by his handlers, the PDP urges him to rein in his lackeys, bury the idea of rigging the elections and get ready to accept an inevitable defeat.”

The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, also said the APC would lose the 2019 election as predicted.

He spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday.

Abdulsalam said, “The British groups merely stated what some of us already know, Nigerians are tired of this government and will vote it out in 2019 if we have a free and fair election.”

APC’s change brought hunger – Kwankwaso

In a related development, a PDP presidential aspirant and a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Wednesday said he and others who supported Buhari in 2015 made the “greatest mistake.”

Addressing the Niger State PDP supporters at the party’s secretariat in Minna, the former governor said the much talked about change only brought hunger, killings and unemployment.

He said, “I will not support or remain in that type of change. That is why I am back to the PDP to change the change that has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.”

In Kano State, a former Vice-President and PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar,   promised a turnaround in the “current misfortune of Nigerians.”

He spoke while addressing the PDP chieftains and supporters at the residence the party’s state Chairman in Kano, Ma’sud El-Doguwa.    (Punch)

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Oshiomhole Under Pressure, Working For Floundering Government – Jonathan |RN

              Former President, Dr Goodluck Ebelechukwu Jonathan

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

A former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan,  has said there are indications that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, is under stress.

He explained that the stress could be as a result of workload and that he (Oshiomhole) was also working for what he called a floundering government.

Jonathan said these in a statement in Abuja, on Wednesday, while reacting to a claim by Oshiomhole that vote-buying started under the former president.

The former president, whose statement was signed by his media aide, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, also described Oshiomhole as a man of double identity.

The statement was titled, “Oshiomhole: The burden of blame game and tumultuous leadership.”

Oshiomhole, while being featured on a Channels Television programme, Roadmap, was quoted to have said, “President Jonathan started this massive vote buying in Nigeria and the media must play back and do a proper interview and proper investigation to discover the origin of vote- buying.”

Jonathan said he did not know why Oshiomhole decided to engage in what he described as misleading falsehood.

But he said the former governor could be under pressure.

He said, “We can only guess that Mr Oshiomhole, who is currently operating under tremendous stress in the bid to steady the already floundering ship of his administration as the new leader of his party, may have got himself entangled in a voyage of tactless desperation.

“His recent flip-flops where he praised Governor Samuel Ortom and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso one day only to denounce them the very next day, is enough evidence of his fragile psychological state.

“Not only is he content on squabbling with members of the opposition, we note the self-destructive tendencies of Oshiomhole, who is locked in a feud with members of his own party, including the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, and a host of APC governors.

“It appears that Mr Oshiomhole’s psychological strain may have reached boiling point.”

The statement noted that vote-buying became known during the 2016 governorship election, more than a year after Jonathan left office.

According to the statement, “On the vexatious issue of ‘vote-buying’, which has unfortunately found its way into our election lexicon, this is what we know: It is obvious that the shameful development in our democratic experience became very glaring during the 2016 governorship election in Edo State; an exercise that took place more than one year after President Jonathan had left office.

“It is, therefore, disingenuous for any politician or group to link the former president with the anomaly, no matter how they want to stretch the now-failing blame game.

“While in office as president between 2010 and 2015, Jonathan conducted many elections including the 2011 and 2015 general elections, and many off-season governorship and parliamentary elections in some states like Anambra, Ekiti, Ondo and Edo; and not for once did the issue of vote-buying come up in the assessment of those elections.

“It is instructive that in each case, the former President was given a clean bill, with both local and international observers commending him for having supervised a credible and transparent process.”

Eze said one of those who gave the former President a clean bill of health was Oshiomhole.

According to him,  Oshiomhole was quoted to have said on July 16, 2012, that “What the Edo election has confirmed is that when the President and Commander-in-Chief puts the country first and he conducts himself as a statesman not just as a party leader, credible elections are possible.”

He said when the above statement is juxtaposed with Oshiomhole’s current statement, “it becomes obvious that the APC chairman is suffering from multiple personality syndrome and has Jekyll and Hyde schizophrenia.”

Eze added that the wave of commendation for Jonathan’s electoral conduct had continued, long after he had left office.

For example, he said in November 2017, a United Nations delegation led by Ambassador Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, had commended Jonathan for the positive outcome of the electoral reforms he initiated during his tenure, and prayed that the institutions he had built and the high standards he had set in organising credible and peaceful elections were maintained and sustained by his successors.  (Punch)

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House Speaker, Dogara Dumps APC, Picks PDP Forms |The Republican News

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, may have finally defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday night that the embattled speaker had picked the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms to return to the House in 2019.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity,  said that the speaker had picked the forms.

“Yes, he had picked our forms, but don’t quote me, he has joined us,” the source said last night.

Dogara had two days ago expressed his desire to return to the National Assembly in 2019 when members of his constituents visited him in Abuja.

However, he refused to state the political party that he would use to facilitate his ambition.

The Speaker had been having running battles with the leadership of the APC in both his state, Bauchi and at the national level.

Just like the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who had defected to the PDP from the APC,  Dogara had also absent from the activities of the ruling party.

Our correspondent gathered that the decision by Dogara was necessitated by the fear that his party no longer had faith in him.

With this decision, it is expected that he would announce his defection to his colleagues in the House when the National Assembly resumes after the political parties’ primaries. (Punch)

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No Rift Between Me And Tinubu, Says Ambode |The Republican News

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday played down speculations of a rift with a national leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, saying reports to such effect were untrue.

Both the social and traditional media have been flooded with news of a major rift between Tinubu and Ambode over an alleged disagreement on the second term bid of the governor.

Addressing party faithful in Epe during the election of delegates for the presidential primary election and national convention of the party, Ambode said the reports indicating a fight between him and Tinubu were out of place and that there was no fight anywhere.

“I want you to know that there is no fight anywhere. The National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and my good self, we are not in any fight, we are not in any controversy.

“We are praying to God that the best is yet to come and the best will be what Lagos State deserves and I want you to just continue with your prayers that at this time, God will show His hand and make sure that everything that is of blessing to Lagos State and also blessing of Epe will come to pass,” Ambode said.

He specifically commended all the leaders and party faithful who contributed to the success of the delegates’ election in Epe, saying APC remained the party to beat in Lagos and Nigeria.

“We have just concluded our Delegates’ Election in Epe Local Government and by consensus, we have picked our three delegates that will be going to the National Convention come October 6 for the Presidential direct primaries and the convention for all other people.

“I want to say a very big thank you to all our delegates that are present here; I want to say a big thank you to all our leaders that have also supported us to make sure that this event has come and is done very successfully.

“I want to reiterate once again that our party, All Progressives Congress (APC) remains the party to beat; we are the party at the national level and we are going to remain the party in the State,” the governor said.  (Punch)

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2019: Tinubu Dumps Ambode, Backs Sanwoolu For Lagos Governor |The Republican News

Jide-Sanwoolu

Jide Sanwoolu

All the leaders who spoke at the meeting, especially Odunmbaku and Olusanya, confirmed they were instructed by Tinubu to back Sanwoolu in the race.

Ade Alade

In a dramatic twist, barely 24 hours after Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode formally declared to run for a second term, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party’s structure may have been withdrawn.

Ambode had, on Monday morning, flown to Abuja to obtain his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms from the APC national headquarters, following what he interpreted to be greenlight from the National Leader of the party and godfather of Lagos politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

And, within hours, he was back to Lagos, to meet his cabinet members and some party leaders at a brief ceremony where he reeled off his achievements and the assurance of a second term.

Unknown to the governor, while his declaration ceremony was still ongoing, owners of the party structure he was relying on to realise his ambition had pulled off the rug under his feet.

By the time the ceremony ended, the party leaders present, including the 57 local government chairmen in the state were asked to return, yesterday morning, to endorse the governor’s forms.

But, the political tide turned against Ambode.

An Army of Tinubu’s political Generals, under the banner of Mandate Group, had been assembled at Watercrest Hotel, off Obafemi Awolowo way, Ikeja, where a former commissioner in the state and current Managing Director, Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC) Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, was handed over to them as Ambode’s replacement in the 2019 governorship race.

The facility where the meeting was held is owned by a former chief security detail to Tinubu, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, who was equally present at the meeting.

A leader of the party and veteran coordinator of Tinubu’s political machinery, Dr James Omolaja Odunmbaku led the meeting. Others included Dr. Tola Kasali and Mr. Kaoli Olusanya, who were commissioners in Tinubu’s administration and Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus; among several others.

All the leaders who spoke at the meeting, especially Odunmbaku and Olusanya, confirmed they were instructed by Tinubu to back Sanwoolu in the race.

In a dramatic twist, as soon as the meeting at Watercrest Hotel leaked, all the local council chairmen and party leaders who were supposed to gather at the governor’s office in Alausa, yesterday morning, to endorse the governor’s nomination form, simply changed route.

Instead, they joined the meeting at the hotel where, one after the other, they endorsed Sanwoolu’s nomination form and pledged their loyalty to the party and its leader, Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu.

One of the council chairmen told Daily Sun at the venue that, “Up till 7.30pm on Monday, when we were still with the governor, we didn’t hear anything; until this morning.

“By the time I got to Alausa yesterday),to join my colleagues to endorse the governor, the atmosphere had changed and the place deserted. That was when I knew there was a problem before I got information that there was a new direction.”

Party leaders who were taken unawares by the development, who could not attend the meeting began to call Odunmbaku, to pledge their loyalty and support for Sanwoolu’s candidacy.

Daily Sun further gathered that by yesterday evening, the team proceeded to Abuja, along with their candidate, to submit his forms at the APC national headquarters.

They are expected back in Lagos this afternoon when they will lead Sanwoolu to the Bourdillion Ikoyi home of Tinubu, who is expected to openly anoint the candidate as the party’s choice for the Lagos governorship race in 2019.

Governor Ambode may have found himself in a tight corner due what the party leaders regard as his many sins.

The last straw, it was gathered, may have been the petition from a former managing director of Alpha Beta Consulting, a tax collection firm with suspected links to the leadership of the party in the state, Mr. Dapo Apara who accused the firm of tax fraud and money laundering.

Apara’s sudden move, almost a year after he had left the company, is believed in Tinubu’s inner circle to be Ambode’s arm-twisting game of forcing the party leader to endorse him for a second term.

But, before now, the governor had been detached from the party and its leaders who consistently complained to Tinubu.

One of the party leaders told Daily Sun, yesterday, that, “the governor had, on three occasions, asked some of the party leaders to meet him in the office for interaction.

“On each occasion we spent a minimum of five hours waiting to meet him and at the end of the day, his aides would tell us the governor had gone out for other official engagements.

“Aside that, he promised the state party executive official vehicles. After a long wait, he then said he was going to give each N2.5 million to buy used cars; we accepted and till today, there has been no word from him.”

The governor is also believed to have lost the needed support due to some of his unpopular policies.
One of such is increment in taxes, especially the Land Use Charge by over 400 percent, a decision which impacted negatively on the image of the APC in the state.

Another is the sacking of private operators of the waste management sector.

Tinubu introduced the waste system in 1999; to address the problem of waste management in the state and also, empower party leaders and operatives who had been controlling the sector from inception.

The governor simply handed over waste management to a private firm, Visionscape, which has reportedly proven incapable of tackling the refuse problem in the state.

Several attempts by this newspaper, through telephone calls and text messages, to get Ambode’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan and the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, to respond to Sanwoolu’s endorsement by the state’s APC, up till 9:30 p.m., yesterday, went unanswered.    (The Sun)

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