The ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, has adopted the Senator representing Delta central, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as its candidate for the position of the Deputy Senate President in the ninth assembly.
The National Working Committee, (NWC) of the party also chooses Hon. Muhammed Idris of Bauchi state as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu made this known in a statement in Monday after an emergency meeting of the NWC held in Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 of June.
He said the agreement was reached after a consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari, APC governors and party stake holders.
He said “The party formally adopts Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for the positions of Deputy Senate President and Hon. Muhammed Idris Wase as Deputy Speaker. This is sequel to wide consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari, party stakeholders, including APC governors.
“You would recall that the party had earlier announced the duo of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the party’s candidates for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of House Representatives respectively.
“All elected APC members of the Senate and House of Representatives are hereby directed to fully mobilise as a united force behind the party’s choice.
“Members who have earlier signified interests in these positions are urged to support the party’s decisions as loyal and committed members of APC by working with other members to ensure the emergence of the adopted candidates.”
Chairman of the progressives governors and governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu, who spoke after the meeting said the party have also unanimously agreed to support Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for senate president and Speaker of the House or Representatives respectively.
“We equally use the opportunity to deliberate on our support for the leadership of the National Assembly. The governors of the APC have always been unanimous in supporting the party leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and our party in ensuring that we achieve a common purpose,” he said.
“Towards that extent, we are all unanimous in our support for Senator Ahmed Lawan for the Senate presidency and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and all governors are in agreement and we will work towards that purpose.”
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An FCT High Court has nullified the election of Omar Tata of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Zaki Federal Constituency in Bauchi state.
The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certificate of return to the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jatau Muhammad Auwal, who came second in the elections.
The FCT High Court, presided over by Justice Bello Kawu, declared as null and void the publication of the name of Mr Tata of the APC as winner of the seat in Zaki Federal Constituency.
The court also ruled that the APC “does not have and cannot sponsor any candidate for Zaki Federal Constituency of Bauchi State for 2019 National Assembly Election.”
The judge further declared that the votes scored by Mr Tata in the election was null and void, and consequently ordered INEC to issue Certificate of Return to the candidate that come second in the election.
The court order followed an application filed by the PDP candidate in the election, Mr Auwal, who had challenged the emergence of Mr Tata as the winner of the election.
Mr Auwal had told the court that APC did not conduct any valid primary election through which Mr. Tata’s name was submitted to INEC as the flag-bearer for the party. (Nigerialawyer)
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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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Some Northern elements are planning to pull the rug off the feet of Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila in his speakership bid, when it will be impossible to save his candidacy, Sunday Tribune has reliably learnt. A source close to Aso Rock Presidential Villa disclosed that the plot might not be unconnected with a political storm gathering against the national leader of the ruling party and Gbajabiamila’s main sponsor, Senator Bola Tinubu.
The source said the parliamentary leadership politics appeared to have become so overwhelming for the Lagos strongman that he wasn’t even showing expected interest in the much-discussed ministerial politics regarding the South-West.
Gbajabiamila, the current House Leader, is the front-runner for the speakership seat, but the combination of zoning and godfather apron attachment is reportedly threatening his chances in the North, where two governors on the platform of the ruling party are said to be coordinating the last-minute surprise package, to again, thwart Femi’s ambition.
Both governors are very close to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose support for Gbajabiamila, is perceived by the other camp as being passive.
While one of the governors is allegedly using subterfuge to relate with the Tinubu camp, the other doesn’t plainly care.
They are carrying a candidate who they plan to carry through the contest. Expectedly, their candidate isn’t from the South.
An ally of one of the governors told Sunday Tribune that “the battle is just beginning. You will see what they (Tinubu’s camp) will see in days ahead. We know Femi (Gbajabiamila) is just another instrument in his (Tinubu) hands.
“But we will ensure that he (Tinubu) loses all steam even before 2023. They (Tinubu’s camp) have no strategists. They don’t always know the battle to fight. You will see the real battle soon.”
The Villa-connected source had earlier revealed that Lagos technically producing Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and trying to grab the speaker seat would not sail through both at home and elsewhere.
“Are we the only one in the South-West trying to corner everything. VP is from you, your wife is bidding for something in the Senate. Your boy wants to be Speaker. Is it only Lagos that is doing APC and is it only oga that is playing politics,” the source sarcastically queried.
Another source introduced a different dimension into the alleged one-man power-grabbing agenda when he went rhetorically: “How much did he (Tinubu) even contribute to the election?
“There was even no account rendered for the money we contributed. The time is almost here for the whole truth to be told the world. What was their (Tinubu’s camp) contribution that they want to corner everything?”
It was learnt that Gbajabiamila is attracting more enemies because his aspiration is being seen as just a stepping stone for his godfather to build a nationwide network for his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023, when political power is expected to return to the Southern part of the country.
Though Tinubu is yet to declare such an ambition, his close allies have confirmed they talked him into giving the presidency a shot when Buhari’s constitutionally allowed two terms are done.
Tinubu is allegedly supporting Gbajabiamila and by extension, Ahmed Lawan for Senate presidency seat to deploy supporters of the duo in the National Assembly as coordinators for his presidential project, in their constituency and senatorial domains.
Those from the lower chamber, allegedly to be known as constituency coordinators, are said to be of greater factor to the success of the project, hence the utmost importance of ramming Gbajabiamila into the speakership seat.
Meanwhile, more facts are emerging on why loyalists of Tinubu and his erstwhile honcho, former National Legal adviser of APC, Muiz Banire are side-stepping the armistice entered into, in the course of the last general election to resume hostilities.
Following the perceived attack on Tinubu by the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai recently in Lagos, Sunday Tribune learnt that Tinubu’s camp has since been unloading on Banire over his perceived support for the rumoured presidential project of the governor.
A source close to Banire, however, dispelled such a notion, saying that those who want to make more enemies for Tinubu are behind the conjecture, adding that “they (Tinubu’s camp) are now saying Muiz (Banire) is coordinating for el-Rufai in the South-West.
“You can see the way these our people think. Instead of seeking one house ahead of their oga’s 2023 campaign, they are busy scattering everywhere. The Arisekola fellow writing against Muiz is not even a factor. They were the ones who sought cooperation before the election, see what they are doing now.”
Banire, in a post on Thursday, promised to come after his traducers soon, threatening an exposé, complete with documents on hitherto yet-to-be-made-public secrets.
Quoting him, “For now, my admonition to them if they love their sponsor, is to note that he who lives in glass house must not throw stone. Our maturity seems to be challenged these days and hopefully we won’t lose it. In my subsequent interviews, I shall address all their lies appropriately. For now, let me remind the latter-day workers of The Nation and TVC that some of us are custodians of the origin of these establishments and at the right time, they will learn more with documentation”.
Aside Banire, another personality being reportedly caught in the 2023 presidential drama, is the embattled chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Babatunde Fowler.
His current travails at the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged official corruption are being linked to his perceived sway in lending support to a particular camp.
Fowler, seen by many as a nominee of Tinubu, is actually a long-standing friend of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was said to be instrumental in his emergence as the chairman of Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), the job he was holding before his “promotion” to Abuja.
A deep source in Lagos APC politics disclosed that Fowler was “helpful” in the 2019 election and the fears that his support in 2023 may be crucial in favour of a perceived presidential aspirant, reportedly ramped up the move against him.
The public official who is being tipped to enjoy crucial help from Fowler, if the latter retained his money-spinning job till 2023, is yet to make any move to show he is interested in succeeding Buhari.
But there is a widespread notion that Buhari may prefer him to others, if the North is conceding to the Southern part of the country in the next four years.
While the intendment is said not to oust Fowler using the current EFCC probe, Sunday Tribune learnt those behind his travails would shake him so much, to show where the real power lies in the current political equation.
A party chieftain who works closely with the public official being rumoured of having Buhari’s back for the top-job in 2023, told Sunday Tribune that when enquiries were made at the appropriate quarters on Fowler’s case, a top-dog of the intel community, told them that it was an inside job and both sides in the Fowler saga, should please not drag him, into it.
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Agroup under the auspices of Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF) has on Saturday kicked against the decision of the All Progressives Congress to adopt the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the 9th National Assembly speakership.
In a statement signed by the group’s Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General – Mohammed Sani-Kabir, Salisu Abdurrahaman and Ben Alege, also said the endorsement was against the collective interest of the north ahead of 2023 presidency.
Recall that, the APC had on Tuesday adopted Gbajabiamila when President Muhammadu Buhari hosted members-elect to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The northern group supported House of Representative members-elect that were opposed to party’s candidate, saying that Gbajabiamila was not the best option for northern interest.
The statement accused the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole of scheming for the 2023 presidency.
They said they were alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive manners in which the party foisted the leadership on the two Chambers of the National Assembly.
The group urged the party leadership to allow members-elect to freely choose their principal leaders for the 9th National Assembly.
According to the group, the plot is railroading the National Assembly towards having a leadership that will benefit the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu for the 2023 Presidency.
The group said:”We are alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive plot by the APC leadership for foisting leadership on the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“We are also concern by the fact that northern interests are being compromised with great implication for the future of the region.
“We also note with grave concern, the undemocratic posture of some party leadership which is already structuring a game plan for the APC’s 2023 presidential primaries and we note with delight the quiet but firm resistance of APC members who will not concede to being used for such game plans under the façade of party interests.
“We also urged lawmakers of northern extractions to resist any attempt by the party leadership to use them against the overall interest of the north.
They also warned that party leadership against disregarding the Nigeria’s Constitution by forcing particular members on the National Assembly, calling on the party to allow members to choose their leaders rather than “Tinubu and Oshiomohle forcing Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on the National Assembly.”
“It is risky for President Buhari, the North and the entire federation for one man to be in control of the Vice President, ruling party chairman, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives,” the group added.
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The House of Representatives on Tuesday adjourned its plenary session until Feb. 19.
The adjournment was sequel to a motion moved by the Deputy House Leader, Rep. Idriss Wase (APC-Plateau), at the plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the lawmakers on Jan. 16 resumed for the 2019 legislative duty after the Christmas and New Year break.
Moving the motion, Wase, who represents Wase Federal Constituency of Plateau, said that the adjournment became imperative because of preparations toward the forthcoming general elections.
He said that the postponement of plenary sittings would allow members vying for one position or the other to focus on electioneering and other political activities of their political parties.
The Speaker, therefore, put the motion to vote and it was unanimously supported by the members.
NAN reports that the legislators after passing the Minimum Wage Bill did not deliberate on the 2019 Appropriation Bill, which still before the House, before moving for the adjournment.
Earlier at the plenary, Speaker Dogara, Reps Ahmed Yerima and Edward Pwajok formally announced their defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While Pwajok represents Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency of Plateau in the House, Yerima represents Missau/Dambam Federal Constituency of Bauchi State.
The legislators announced their resignations from APC in separate letters to the House of Representatives, which were read on the floor of the House by the speaker.
Dogara, who represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, said that they resigned their membership of the APC due to irreconcilable differences.
The legislators said that they defected to the PDP after due consultations with their constituents.
NAN reports that a gale of defections has continued to affect the lower chamber in the aftermath of the party primaries, in which several members failed to secure their parties’ tickets for the 2019 elections. (The Sun)
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency, Edo State, has alleged that some members are collating signatures with the aim of impeaching Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Agbonayinma made the allegation while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
The lawmaker said, “Some political gladiators and media houses” were sponsoring fake news against Osinbajo.
“The reason is because of the NEMA investigation,” he said.
Agbonayinma, however, failed to name those behind the campaign against the Vice-President, saying they include disgruntled members of the All Progressives Congress.
The House had probed the activities of the National Emergency Management Agency in the North-East, during which it indicted Osinbajo and the Director-General of the agency. (Punch)