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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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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Willie Obiano Will Join APC After Tenure, Says Chris Ngige |RN


Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

Ngige insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to produce the Nigerian president in 2023.

• Gov is APGA, will not go anywhere – Commissioner

From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has disclosed that Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, will join the All Progressives Congress (APC) immediately after his tenure.

The minister, who spoke to newsmen in Awka, said he was sure of the move, as he knows governor Obiano to be a pragmatist and a realist.

“When he finishes serving, he will come. I’m sure. He is a pragmatist, he is a realist. I have tried to let him know that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is good, but it’s a regional party. You can’t use a regional party to go and do election and fight. People have abandoned the idea of regional parties. That’s why AD, AC decided that after many years of staying at the periphery of Federal Government, they decided to coalesce with LPP; CPC and rebel faction of APGA, led by Rochas Okorocha and formed APC.

“So, regional parties are not in vogue and the governor knows. Even his predecessor, Peter Obi, when he was using APGA to canvass and do other things, it dawned on him that he cannot be playing in the region with a regional party. He can’t come to national with a regional party and that is why he unceremoniously defected. In fact, they started the defection you are seeing today. Obi is part of the early defectors.

“So, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but Obiano is a progressive. Any day he will do it, we will sit with him and arrange it in such a way that the Igbo will go to a party that will reckon with them and that party is APC.”

Meanwhile, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba has said nothing will make Governor Obiano leave APGA.

Adinuba said both APC and PDP have failed Nigerians as they had nothing tangible to offer.

“Governor Obiano is what the great Zik of Africa would refer to as the “beautiful bride” wooed by every confident suitor. He is wanted by all the parties because of his record and brand of politics devoid of bitterness and primordial cleavages.

“But, he is not going anywhere. He is an APGA man, through and through. He is strongly backing a candidate who all Nigerians expect to win the presidential election.”

In a related development, Ngige has insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to produce the Nigerian president in 2023.

Ngige said President Buhari and the APC would have the moral grounds and the basis of equity to support a president of South East extraction if the zone gives him and the party full support in 2019 general election.

The minister, who spoke to newsmen in Awka warned the zone against making the mistake he claimed they made in 2015 when, according to him, they put all their eggs in one basket of the PDP against his advice and turned back to cry of marginalisation.

“All I’m saying in effect is that the Igbo of the South-East must do political engineering and the step to take is to support the Buhari presidency for 2019 and vote for it with all their strength. Because by so doing, they will not be left out in the power-sharing that will come thereafter.”   (The Sun)

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252 Aides To Tambuwal Resign From His Cabinet |The Republican News

Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto

Two hundred and fifty-two Special Advisers and Special Assistants appointed under Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s administration have resigned their positions.

The affected aides said their resignations were informed by the recent decision of the Sokoto State Governor to dump the All Progressives Congress, the party which they are bona fide members of in the state.

They stated that their resolve to remain in APC will not allow them to function in their respective positions under Tambuwal’s government.

Addressing journalists on Sunday in Sokoto, the spokesman of the SAs, Hon. Dasuki Haske, also said their decisions were hinged on their loyalty to the party.

“We deem it fit state categorically that we are not ready to join Governor Tambuwal in his new party. That was what informed our decision. We will remain in APC and there is no going back.

“We are members of APC before taking up our appointments as SAs and it was based on the membership values that we were given such positions. Now, we have resigned because the governor has not performed well since inception to justify our support for him.

“We want to assure that we will work for the success of APC in the state come 2019 general election. We will work for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and our state party leader, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko,” Haske said.

Another speaker, Abdullahi Ahmad Sokoto, said all the ex-aides will work for the success of APC in the state.

He added that the party remained the one to beat in any election.

Also speaking, a former Special Assistant, Hajia Rabi Tudunwada, alleged that she and other aides of the governor were called and compelled to swear with Holy Qur’an to secure their promise to defect from APC before they could be paid their August salary.

Hajia Tudunwada disclosed that some of them had refused to be part of the oath, which informed their decision to resign from their respective positions.

She posited that both PDP and Governor Tambuwal will be rejected in the forthcoming general elections by the electorate.

Responding, the state APC chairman, Hon. Isah Achida thanked the affected Special Advisers and Assistants for their loyalty to the party.

He also promised them rewards for their “steadfastness and commitment to the party.”

“We thank you for being loyal to the party and we are assuring you of equal treatment as loyal party members.

“We have taken cognizance of your loyalty and commitment,” Achida state (Punch)

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To Sack Me, Seats Of All Defectors In Senate Must Also Be Declared Vacant – Akpabio

                         Senator Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC-Akwa Ibom) says any move to declare his seat vacant in the Senate will prove abortive.

He said though he had yet to hear about it, if his seat must be declared vacant, the seats of those who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party should also be declared vacant.

Akpabio made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, if the excuse of those calling for his seat to be declared vacant is that there is no rancour in PDP to warrant his defection, they should also know that there is no rancour in APC.

“Any defection from APC to PDP, we will like to declare those seats vacant.

“As you are looking at me, do I look perturbed? I have not heard the report.

“I think that is a rumour because, at the moment, there is no division in the APC. The APC is one family.

“If you hear about R-APC that was not really a political party, that was not a division.

“It has since been consumed in what they call Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

On the threat by APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to get the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki impeached, Akpabio said he was not aware of that.

“I just came in from Ikot-Ekpene, where I decided with my people to join APC. I’m yet to be briefed on any of those items. I have not heard anything.

“Why don’t you wait for me to formally talk to you? I believe that when the National Assembly resumes, you will hear from me directly. So, exercise patience,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akpabio, while defecting from PDP to APC, also tendered his resignation as the Senate Minority Leader.


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BREAKING: Akpabio Meets Buhari In London |The Republican News

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The  Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London. The meeting came at a time there are reports that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor will be defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress this week.

The Head of Digital Communication of the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi, confirmed the meeting between the President and Akpabio in London on Sunday on his Tweeter handle, @toluogunlesi.

Ogunlesi tweeted: “Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West District, and Senate Minority Leader, today in London met with PMB.”

He attached photographs of the meeting between the two leaders.


President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hand with Senator Godswill Akpabio 

Buhari is currently on a 10-working day vacation. Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, had issued a statement that Buhari would be in London, United Kingdom, throughout the vacation period.   (Punch)

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Palace Coup In Senate As PDP Becomes Majority With 56 Seats, APC 48 |RN



• PDP now 56, APC 48, ADC two, APGA one
• How Saraki, loyalists foiled alleged leadership change

Fred Itua Romanus Ugwu, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The high wired intrigues and acrimonious power play between the two dominant political parties took a dramatic turn, yesterday, as 35 lawmakers defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to give the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) majority in the Senate.

At plenary, 12 lawmakers in the fold of the ruling party announced their defection to the PDP while two cross-carpeted to the African Democratic Congress (ADC). With the development, PDP has 56, APC 48, ADC two and APGA one.

The gale of defection also spread to the House of Representatives where APC lost 37 members: 32 to the PDP, four to the ADC and one to the United Progressive Party (UPP).

Following the notices of defection read by Speaker Yakubu Dogara at plenary, the APC now has 186 members, PDP 160, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) five; ADC, four while Accord Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the United Progressive Party (UPP) have one each. The seat of the late former deputy House Leader, Buba Jibril is still vacant, while Orker-Jev is yet to announce his new political party. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read out names of the 15 senators, predominantly from the South West, North Central, North East and North West.

Those who announced their defection included Lanre Tejuoso, Shaaba Lafiagi, Barnabas Gemade, Dino Melaye, Mohammed Ubali Shittu, Rafiu Ibrahim, Shitu Ubali, Isa Misau, Sulaimon Hunkuyi, Monsurat Sunmonu (ADC), Mohammed Danbaba, Usman Bayero Nafada, Suleiman Nazif, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Abdulazeez Murtala-Nyako (ADC). APGA) has Senator Victor Umeh (Anambra Central) while seats of two lawmakers from Bauchi and Katsina states, who died earlier in the year are yet to filled by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC).

The defection did not come without any protest, as Ahmad Lawan, Leader of the Senate begged Saraki to step down the list containing names of defectors noting that the crisis rocking the APC will soon be resolved. He was jeered by senators, who kept yelling ‘point of order.’

Saraki, who had been rumoured as one of those to defect was silent on his next move. He predicted that more people would defect in the coming days and lampooned the ruling APC and the Federal Government for muzzling the opposition.

Siege to Saraki, Ekweremadu’s houses

As soon as 7am, police operatives had laid siege to the homes of Saraki located in Maitama District of Abuja and that of his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu in Apo area.

A source in the media office of the Senate president told Daily Sun that Saraki got wind of the police invasion about 30 minutes before time. One of the senators who attended the meeting of BSG had reportedly alerted Saraki of plans to barricade his house.

The police in the early hours had barricaded the street leading to the residents in Maitama, preventing his motorcade from leaving the vicinity.

But a source close to Saraki said that unknown to the Police, the Senate president had left his home as early as 5am.

Unlike his usual long convoy, Saraki arrived at the National Assembly at about 6.45am through the back gate in a saloon Mercedes and made for his office, where he stayed until the session started at 10.40am.

While the Police were still holding down his motorcade, Saraki appeared in the red chambers.

Ekweremadu, on the other hand, was stopped from leaving his Apo residence by a combined team of police, EFCC and Department of State Service (DSS), who barricaded the street leading to his residence.

Confirming the siege, his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu, in a telephone conversation said: “I can tell you this is true. The house of Ekweremadu is presently surrounded by DSS and EFCC operatives.”

A plot to oust Saraki, others failed

According to informed sources, the siege was part of a grand plot allegedly masterminded by members of the Parliamentary Support Group for President Muhammadu Buhari, to effect a leadership change.

Key loyalists to Buhari and Saraki arrived at the Senate chamber as early as 7am. Oluremi Tinubu, Lawan, Abdullahi Adamu, Ovie Omo-Agege and others, were among the early callers.

On Saraki’s side, Dino Melaye, Samuel Anyanwu, Ben Murray Bruce, Aita Aidoko, Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim and others, also arrived at the chamber as early as 7am.

According to multiple sources familiar with what transpired, Buhari’s loyalists had planned to impeach Saraki and Ekweremandu as president and deputy president of the Senate respectively.

With the absence of Saraki (if he had honoured police invitation) and Ekweremadu’s arrest by the EFCC, a senator from North Central, who served as governor, would have been appointed as Senate President pro tempo to act, supervise and effect the leadership change.

The principal officer from the north who was reportedly anointed to succeed Saraki was among the early arrivers at the chamber. Daily Sun gathered that at a meeting held last night by members of Buhari Parliamentary Support Group at the residence of a ranking senator plans were allegedly hatched on how to execute the plot to oust Saraki and Ekweremadu.

However, Saraki’s unexpected emergence in the chamber changed the permutations and rubbished the plot.

Saraki was meant to report to the police on account of an invitation to answer to alleged involvement in a robbery case in Offa, Kwara State some months ago.

He said there would not have been plenary if he had gone to the police headquarters, given the fact that Ekweremadu was prevented from leaving his home.

Meanwhile, the Senate has proceeded on its annual vacation and adjourned plenary till September 26.


Bukola Saraki enters the Senate at the surprise of the members after police tried to stop him

No cause for alarm – APC, Oshiomhole

The ruling party and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole have dismissed the mass defection with a wave of the hand as a non-issue.

National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said in a statement that the APC remains in firm control of 25 states of the 36 states of the federation and maintains a clear majority in the House of Representatives and state assemblies.

It urged its members to remain calm as it continued to work hard to position the party strongly for the 2019 general elections.

“We assure members and supporters that our great party will continue to consolidate on our majority status in the leadup to the 2019 general elections, even as our government continues to work hard to deliver on our promises to Nigerians.”

In his reaction, Oshiomhole maintained that he would not lose sleep over the mass defection.

He described them as big masquerades with no electoral value who will soon be disgraced in the 2019 elections.

Oshiomhole who spoke after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja said the defectors were men and women with no honour.

“I am committed to listening to very legitimate grievances and engaging all those who are aggrieved that we can see through their grievances. But I insist that I will not miss a sleep one minute over mercenary activities.

“I had said and I want to repeat, this business of governance must be driven by men and women of honour. If the only motivation is personal interest, what is in it for me, if that is the basis, the earlier those in this business of personal gains returned to where they belong, the better.

“This party that I am privileged to the chair is not worried at all, we are not disturbed, I am not going to miss my sleep and we will go into the campaign. Check the electoral results, you will find that a lot claimed to have decamped. On a good day, the vote they got that made them members of the Senate, our president got much more in their constituency. So, we are not fooled at all….I am not a poor student of struggle, I am not a professor of struggle, I am a product of struggle, I know what I am talking about. Very soon Nigerians will go to the polls and we will see who will deliver what in his constituency.”

Asked if the Senate adjourning till September did not have implication for the party, he said no.

“The business of the Senate or the National Assembly is not to legislate for the good governance of APC, it is to legislate for the good governance of Nigeria. If people have chosen that it is more politically convenient to suspend the process of legislation ahead of time because it is not convenient for their political interests and choose to insubordinate the Nigerian national interest for that purpose, it is their choice. If there are implications it is for the Nigerian nation not for APC.”

I’m not surprised – Balarabe Musa

The former governor of old Kaduna State and National leader of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa has said the siege on the Abuja residence of Saraki and the mass defection did not surprise him.

“In short, the NASS is under siege by the presidency. The president taking on the NASS this way should not be a surprise anybody because since the beginning of this administration the relationship has not been good between the Executive and the Legislature.

“With this recent development, it amounts to a fight to finish between this two arms of government.

“It took President Buhari so long to form a cabinet, and the appointment came from all sources. So I am not surprised at what is happening with the president.

“Now that the NASS has adjourned plenary for almost two months, they are leaving the president to perform alone.  (The Sun)

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