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JUST IN: US Expresses Concern Over Tampering Of Votes In Nigeria Elections |RN

Chris-Smith-US

by Matt Hadro

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement on the elections in Nigeria:

“Yesterday, Nigeria voted. Today, votes are being counted. I am very concerned by credible reports that the vote is being tampered with. To avoid any manipulation of the tally, it is critical that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announce without delay actual results — which are certified by party agents and observers — at each polling unit as the vote is tabulated.

“Well-placed sources report that in some states and localities — including Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia — INEC commissioners are receiving enormous pressure to alter poll results. This must not be allowed to happen.

“The eyes of the United States, of Africa, and the world are upon Nigeria and INEC. I also ask Secretary Michael Pompeo to hold accountable anyone who seeks to cheat the Nigerian people — who have waited patiently — of their vote or foments violence.”

 

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Buhari Invites APC Senators To Aso Villa Over Onnoghen’s Suspension |RN

                              President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate to a meeting at the Presidential Villa on Monday (today) over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen was suspended on Friday by President Buhari based on an ex parte order granted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

He is facing six counts of false assets declaration filed against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Buhari’s meeting with the APC governors will take place ahead of the Senate emergency resumption on Tuesday (tomorrow) when decisions are expected to be taken on Onnoghen’s suspension by the President.

The APC senators’ meeting with the President, it was gathered, would take a position to counter the expected condemnation of the CJN’s suspension by the members of the opposition in the Senate on Tuesday.

However, the meeting which is going to hold at the Banquet Hall, is being tagged as a dinner. Invitations to the meeting were signed by the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, who is also the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

A source close to the organisers of the meeting who spoke with one of our correspondents, said the national leadership of the APC would also attend the meeting.

He said apart from the senators and the APC leaders, some APC governors had also been invited to the meeting.

He said, “You know that the Senate leadership belongs to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party. The party on its own has taken a position on this matter.

“Also, the President of the Senate, who is also the Director General of the PDP presidential candidate Council, Bukola Saraki, has taken a position on this matter.

“So, we need to talk to our members in the Senate and impress it on them not to allow Saraki to impose his personal opinion on them.”

APC Reps also to meet

Also, members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives have scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday (today).

The Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, called the meeting, according to a text message circulating among the lawmakers on Sunday.

“Honourable colleagues, there will be a meeting of the APC caucus tomorrow, Monday, at 4pm. Venue is the White House Hearing Room 1.  Thank you. Femi Gbajabiamila,” the message sighted by one of our correspondents read.

Meeting meant to bribe lawmakers, PDP alleges

But the PDP has alleged that certain agents of the Presidency were making moves to bribe the APC senators to protect Buhari from parliamentary sanctions for constitutional breaches.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday stated that intelligence available to the PDP showed that that was the reason the Presidency had summoned all the APC senators to the Presidential Villa to a clandestine meeting on Monday (today’s) night.

Ologbondiyan said, “President Buhari is not only apprehensive that the Senate might sanction him for violating the constitution and usurping its statutory duties regarding the handling of issues related to a CJN, the parliament may also open an inquest into how President Buhari, who parades himself as Mr Integrity, allegedly procured an order from the CCT upon which he announced the illegal suspension of the CJN.

“There are reports that the said order is suspicious and subject to investigations, being not argued or issued in the open court; following which a distressed Buhari Presidency now seeks to corrupt and undermine the Senate.”     (Punch)

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Why I Visited Obasanjo – Bukola Saraki |The Republican News

Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta

 

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has disclosed what he called “the main reason” why he visited ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Monday.

Saraki had held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the latter’s penthouse within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta on Monday.

Saraki, who came in a black Toyota Land Cruiser in company with some security aides, arrived the OOPL around 5.30pm.

He emerged from the meeting at 7.12pm.

Our correspondent gathered that the meeting was earlier scheduled to hold at 4.00pm but it did not start until 5.30pm when Saraki arrived at the venue.

Emerging from the meeting, Saraki told journalists that he was with Obasanjo to make up for his (Saraki’s) absence at the formal inauguration of the Presidential library held last year.

He said, “You know, I missed the official opening of the library and that is why I have decided to come and see the place and, honestly, it is beautiful.

“We are very proud of what he has done here.”

The embattled Senate President hurriedly entered his vehicle and it zoomed off when journalists asked him questions about the crisis rocking the National Assembly.

Informed sources, however, said that the meeting was not unconnected with the crisis rocking the National Assembly over the plot to impeach him by the All Progressives Congress senators.  (Punch)

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Defection: APC Slams Saraki Again, Calls Him A Traitor, Betrayer |RN

 National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole

John Alechenu and Olaleye Aluko

 

The All Progressives Congress on Thursday launched a tirade against the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, calling him a traitor, betrayer and a man unfit to hold a public office.

The party’s renewed attack on Saraki was contained in a statement by the acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Yekini Nabena, in Abuja.

According to the ruling party, the position of the Senate President is one of the highest political offices one can attain in every democratic country and it is a position usually reserved for the best, experienced and exemplary politicians who by their character and conduct in public offices, serve as role models for the younger generation.

The statement reads,  “In terms of exemplary personage, the reverse is the case in respect of the current Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who has been a dismal failure and has been involved in one controversy or the other: budget padding, filibustering, legislative rascality, sabotage of matters of national interest, among other criminalities too numerous to mention.

“Having suffered under the 16-year misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Saraki will go down in our country’s history as the worst Senate President Nigeria has had the misfortune to have.

“Since his usurpation of the coveted seat, achieved through a wicked conspiracy with members of the opposition PDP, it has been from one controversy to another: the code of conduct trial for false declaration of assets; conspiracy with his deputy to fraudulently alter the rules of the Senate; and links to the deadly armed robbers who wasted many lives in the Offa robbery attack. It is alleged that some of the robbery suspects were his political thugs used to rig elections. A common adage says, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”

The party argued that all over the world, the leadership of the legislature was provided by the political party with the majority members but Saraki took advantage of the absence of many members of his former party – the All Progressives Congress – to conspire with members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to emerge Senate President and, in the process, traded off the position of the deputy Senate President to the opposition.

The APC described the alleged trade-off as “a political betrayal and treachery even the devil would be envious of.”

The party decried Saraki’s continued occupation of the position of Senate President even after he had dumped the majority party to join the minority.

It said it was not surprised at what it called the Senate President’s greed, selfishness, treachery, disregard for protocol and constituted authority.

The statement further read, “A traitor will always be a traitor, however the time and place. The Senate must do everything possible to put Dr Saraki where he rightly belongs – the back seat. He is definitely not a fit and proper person to preside over the country’s upper and revered legislative house.

“A man who betrayed his father, sister (many times), his party the PDP in 2014, the APC in 2015 by conspiring with the opposition PDP senators to emerge Senate President, APC administration by sabotaging the executive and defecting to the PDP in 2018 has no character, principles, values and integrity.”

It said Saraki would dump the PDP a second time if his interest was not served, alleging that such a man was not interested in the Nigeria of our dreams.

APC hasn’t recovered from failure to subvert democracy –Saraki

When contacted, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said, “We can’t descend into the gutter with these characters. Apparently, they have not recovered from the shock of their Tuesday’s failed attempt to subvert democracy.”

Meanwhile, national chairmen and other leaders of 45 opposition political parties on Thursday raised the alarm over an alleged plot by a government agency to freeze the bank accounts of the Senate and Saraki.

The parties raised the alarm during a solidarity visit to the Senate President in the Senate building in Abuja on Thursday.

The National Chairman of the National Unity Party, Chief Perry Okpara, who led the delegation and spoke on behalf of the group, said they were aware of the plot and warned against it.

Okpara, who did not name the government agency that was behind the plot, said, “We have it on good authority that there are moles in the Senate and there are moves to freeze the accounts of the Senate, Senate President and governors.”

The moves, he said, was aimed at crippling the parliament and forcing a leadership change in the National Assembly.

Okpara said, “We wish to alert Nigerians to a new plot by the same people, whose first shameful attempt to unlawfully overthrow the leadership of the National Assembly failed; an attempt, which brought Nigeria to the bad international limelight.

“We have it on good authority that a fresh plot is being hatched to make another attempt to cripple the parliament in the guise of impeachment, even when they know that there is not the constitutional majority to achieve the sinister move.

“We wish to state that we, the chairmen and leaders of political parties, will not support or standby to watch any unconstitutional impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly.”

Okpara, who didn’t name the agency, warned that political parties would not sit by and watch the country slide into anarchy, where life had become short, brutish and lawless.

He added, “Nigeria is gradually turning into a failed state and all the institutions of state have been compromised and desecrated. This is the time to rise in defence of democratic values and nationhood.”

The parties condemned the use of the police, Department of State Services and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to clamp down on the opposition, the leadership of the National Assembly and also to lay siege to state assemblies.

“Today, our country is facing the challenges of pervasive insecurity, massive joblessness and unemployment, ethnic irredentism and disunity. We enjoin the National Assembly to use its constitutionally guaranteed powers to legislate to arrest the slide; to give the country a new direction and create hope for our countrymen and women,” he pleaded.

Okpara also disassociated the 45 parties from what he called an attempt by the Accord Party to undermine the constitutional powers of the National Assembly.

He said, “We note that the courts have rejected attempts by the Accord Party to undermine the constitutional powers of the National Assembly to undermine the sequence of elections. We, the majority of the political parties, disassociate ourselves from that inglorious attempt.”

In his response, Saraki expressed the hope that those behind the plot to destabilise the National Assembly by forcing an illegitimate leadership change have learnt their lesson from the resistance put up by Nigerians during the invasion of the National Assembly by officials of the DSS.

He said, “I hope that the anti-democratic forces have learnt their lesson in the past few days. We in the National Assembly will continue to follow due process and the rule of law.”

The political parties that attended the meeting were the United Democratic Party; Rebuild Nigeria Party, People for Democratic Change, Peoples Party of Nigeria, Progressives Peoples Party, Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria, Alliance for Democracy, and Young Democratic Party, among others.

No plot to impeach Buhari, senator replies Tinubu

Also on Thursday, The Senator representing (PDP, Bauchi) Isah Misau, debunked claims by the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju  Bola Tinubu, that the National Assembly was planning to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.

Misau made the rebuttal in a statement in Abuja on Thursday. He urged Nigerians to disregard what he described as an empty talk by the APC chieftain.

The senator spoke in response to a claim by Tinubu at Wednesday’s APC rally in Uyo that there was a plot by some senators to impeach Buhari. Tinubu had described what was going on in the nation as “a war between progressives and the conservatives.”

He noted that the comment made by the politician was “mere partisan rhetoric aimed at catching the attention of the crowd” at the rally planned for the declaration of Senator Godswill Akpabio for the party.

Misau said, “I am surprised that a politician of Tinubu’s calibre will be playing politics with a serious issue like the impeachment of the President of the country just because he wanted to catch the attention of a crowd. Politicians at his level should not be engaging in unnecessary sabre-rattling and empty speculation.

“We, members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Senate, have no plan to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari. There is no need for that process and we are not contemplating it.

“Our focus right now is to defend democracy and its institutions, fight for the enthronement of the rule of law, independence of the legislature and the judiciary and ensure good governance.”

He added, “If Tinubu has any concrete, reliable and verifiable evidence to the contrary, he should come forward and prove it. A man like him should not be getting carried away by the crowd and making claims that have no basis.

“We, therefore, urge all Nigerians and members of the international community to ignore that claim. There is no basis for anybody to make such a claim. It is a mere fabrication and a stunt pulled to please the partisan crowd to which it was uttered.”

EU condemns NASS invasion by DSS operatives

Still, on Thursday, the European Union said the 2019 general elections in Nigeria were vital to ensuring stability and prosperity. It demanded that Nigerians must decide the outcome of the elections.

The EU said all stakeholders in Nigeria must play their part so that “voters can make their decision through a free, fair, credible and peaceful election process.”

The union, in a statement, also condemned the siege laid to the National Assembly complex by the operatives of the DSS, noting that law enforcement agencies must remain neutral in the political process.

The EU said the security agencies must ensure that independent institutions such as the National Assembly operated in line with their “constitutional mandates, free from interference and intimidation.”

The union said, “The EU Heads of Missions have noted with concern interference in the democratic process by law enforcement services, the most recent case being the barring of access to the National Assembly on August 7. The EU is fully committed to supporting democracy in Nigeria and it commends the Federal Government’s swift action to protect the independence of the National Assembly as a critical pillar of democracy.

“The EU reiterates the importance of all law enforcement services staying neutral and ensuring that independent institutions can operate in line with their constitutional mandates, free from interference and intimidation.

“The upcoming general elections in 2019 are vital in ensuring national stability, peace and prosperity for all Nigerians. It is for the Nigerian people to decide the outcome of the elections, and the EU calls upon all stakeholders in Nigeria to play their part so that voters can make their decision through a free, fair, credible and peaceful election process.” (Punch)

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2019 Election: R-APC Perfects MoU With PDP |The Republican News

 GALADIMA-OSHIOMHOLE-SECONDUS

 

**We won’t fall for Buhari’s bait again

**We’re ready to welcome them back -PDP

 

Ismail Omipidan

Members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) have concluded plans to move as a group from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daily Sun has learnt.

Former secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Buba Galadima had last week announced a new faction, the R-APC, in Abuja.

As part of the plans for their eventual exit, the group is already putting the finishing touch to its side of the bargain and it is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the main opposition party soon.

 

A source close to the group told Daily Sun that the PDP was willing to enter into the MoU.

According to the source, the issue of the MoU arose because of what members of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) suffered in the APC.

“It is to ensure that what happened to the majority of our members while in the APC does not repeat itself in the PDP. When we moved to the APC in 2013, there were discussions, but mostly there was no collective bargain. For instance, (President of the Senate, Bukola) Saraki had hinted Asiwaju (Bola

Tinubu) about his senate presidency ambition before the election, Asiwaju did not show any sign of opposition to it. However, after winning the election, they began singing a different tune. So, we want to avoid that kind of scenario.

“Good enough, PDP has so far demonstrated sincerity in all our dealings. All that is remaining is to perfect the details of the MoU and we sign it,” the source added.

Asked what constitute details of the MoU, the source said: “I will be unfair to both our group and the PDP to start discussing that in the open. More so, the opposition could turn it against us and may create a fresh crisis

for us and the party we are moving into. The APC will be doing all they can to want to frustrate this marriage. We won’t give them the opportunity and I think they can never succeed because we are far gone now to look back.”

Reacting to the development, the PDP through the spokesman, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, told Daily Sun, yesterday, that “our party is open to all Nigerians. Our party has been rebranded and repositioned to take in as many Nigerians as we can in our bid to rescue the country’s sinking ship under the APC in next year’s election.

“As a party, we have cast our net into the river, waiting to catch the big fish.”

Asked what the details of the MoU would look like, Ologbondiyan said the party’s Contact and Integration Committee has not reported back to the party.

However, Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said the party was not bothered by what he termed “antics of some of the former members.”

He told newsmen, after a meeting with the House of Representatives caucus, that the APC had opened talks with genuine party leaders and was unbothered about renegades. He also noted that if members of the R-APC choose not to be happy, that was their business

“There is no break-up. If one Galadima is not happy, that is fine. He has a right not to be happy. If he chooses to call himself whatever he wants to call himself, I will not lose my sleep over that. We know those who are in the system. Those who are seeking break-up; that is their problem. We are engaging real stakeholders in the Executive and the two arms of the National Assembly.”   (The Sun)

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APC Crisis Worsens: Seemingly Heading Towards Implosion |The Republican News

By Correspondent

 

  • Party members burn LG secretariat
  • Parallel congresses in states
  • Okorocha battles for survival in Imo
  • Amaechi, senator at loggerheads
  • APC to aggrieved members: Seek redress through appeal panels

The fallout of Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has further deepened the crisis rocking the ruling party. Reports from New Telegraph’s correspondents across the country revealed that the exercise, which was marred by violence and confusion in most states has also polarized the party the more.

It was further gathered that the violence is yet to subside as hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the party in Bauchi State, Saturday evening, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat. Besides Bauchi, other states worst hit by the fallout of the congresses are Kano, Rivers, Ebonyi, Ondo, Kebbi, Kogi, Delta, Kaduna and Katsina.

But, the national leadership of the APC, which hailed the “successful conduct of the ward congresses,” yesterday, called on aggrieved members to seek redress with party’s appeal panels. The panels begin sitting today.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said: “The APC wishes to congratulate all its members for the generally peaceful conduct of the party’s ward congresses, which took place across the country over the weekend. “The party especially commends members who served in the congress committees for their dedication and impartiality.

We, however, acknowledge there are some issues arising from the conduct of the elections in some states. “With this in view, the party had set up various appeal committees which will begin sitting from Monday, May 7.

We, therefore, call on all party members to remain law-abiding and where there are issues, they should seek redress through the appeal committees in their respective states.” Bauchi: Hoodlums raze LG secretariat In Bauchi, hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the APC in the state, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat.

A source told one of our correspondents that some aggrieved APC members stormed the secretariat at about 6p.m. on Saturday and set it on fire to protest the outcome of the party congresses held in the area.

The source stated that the results of the congresses did not go down well with a faction of the APC in the area. A prominent APC leader in the council was said to have lost out in the exercise as all his candidates failed in the congresses.

Bauchi State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kamal Datti, who confirmed the incident, said: “Some hoodlums went and set fire on part of the Ningi Local Government Secretariat building while the Congress was going on.

“It’s unfortunate this could happen when the whole country is preaching peace. We were able to make one arrest and the suspect is in custody providing useful information.”

He added that the command has commenced an investigation into the incident and gave assurance that those responsible for the arson would be brought to justice. Ganduje, Kwankwaso conduct parallel congresses. While the committee that conducted the ward congresses in Kano State believes that the exercise was without hitches, former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso carried out a parallel congress in the state.

However, a member of the APC Congress committee, Murtala Garo, told New Telegraph that Kwankwaso only carried out his own parallel congress in six wards and that was even not in the legally agreed party offices.

He said the committee allowed an open exercise for everybody to participate provided they met the party’s requirements and that winners have emerged in all the 448 wards of the state.

Garo’s claim was, however, faulted by the chairman of the faction of the party loyal to Kwankwaso, Haruna Doguwa, who said they conducted their own congresses in all wards of the state and will soon take their results to Abuja. Rivers: Amaechi, Abe in claims and counterclaims In Rivers State, it was disagreement between the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe over the outcome of ward congresses.

While Amaechi’s camp said the exercise was free and fair and described those complaining of not being on the ground, Abe’s camp claimed there was a deliberate move by those working for Amaechi to shut out some members of the party.

The senator had, after results were declared, said that there was no congress in the 319 wards of the state, but Amaechi dismissed Abe’s allegation of the hijack of forms for the exercise, explaining that the Congress was based on Option A4, where delegates had to queue up and be counted. A day before the election, some party members had protested at the party secretariat over the non-availability of forms, which they alleged had been hijacked by Amaechi.

The lawmaker representing Ikwerre/Emuoha Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Chidi Wihioka (a member of Abe’s camp) also faulted the exercise, but Rivers APC Woman Leader, Mrs Caroline Nagbor, said that the exercise was peaceful and had the full participation of women who, she said, were mobilized to participate.

Ebonyi: Onu holds sway as faction kicks In Ebonyi State, it was the faction controlled by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu that carried the day.

The party has been polarized into two in the state with a faction loyal to Onu, while the other faction has the support of the party’s governorship candidate in 2015 general elections, Senator Julius Ucha.

The Onu faction has Pastor Eze Nwachukwu as its chairman, while the Ucha faction has Hon. Ben Nwaobasi as its chairman. But, the congress committee set up by the national leadership of the party recognized the minister’s faction.

Nwaobasi had alleged that the seven-man committee was hijacked by the group loyal to Onu. He also expressed disappointment that the committee absconded while the exercise was going on.

But, Nwachukwu dismissed the conduct of parallel congresses during the exercise. Party chieftains kick in Ondo The emergence of candidates of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the 203 political wards in Ondo State has prompted some APC chieftains in the state to fault the conduct of the congresses. In many political wards, parallel congresses were held while violence marred the exercise in some areas.

In Akure South, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Ifedayo Abegunde, was said to have written the list of the party executives in the local government with the exclusion of other top political office holders.

This development made the lawmaker representing Akure South/North federal constituency, Hon. Afe Olowookere, to alleged irregularities in the conduct of the Congress.

Similarly, the lawmaker representing Iferore/Idanre federal constituency, Hon. Bolarinwa also alleged irregularities. In Ondo East and West federal constituency, parallel executives emerged as some leaders who were opposed to the handpicking of ward executives organised their own congress.

Imo: Okorocha battles for survival. The outcome of the ward congresses in Imo State is still clouded by uncertainty. While Governor Rochas Okorocha and members of his faction insist there was no congress in the state and that a new date would be announced for the rescheduled congress, the state chairman of the party, Dr Hilary Eke, at a press conference yesterday, maintained that the Congress held on Saturday has not been cancelled.

If the results of the congresses were upheld, then it means that Okorocha has lost the party structures. Okorocha is contending with a massive alliance of APC leaders across the 27 council areas of the state led by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Ben Uwajumogu, Senator Osita Izunaso and the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere and Okorocha’s former chief of Staff and SSG, Sir Jude Ejiogu.

Others are Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba of TETFund, Jasper Azuatalam, business mogul, Tony Chukwu, and several other former aides of the governor. Kebbi: Party faction rejects exercise A faction of the APC in Kebbi State, yesterday, kicked against the outcome of the ward congresses held in the 21 local government areas of the state.

Addressing newsmen at the state party secretariat, the leader of the faction, Hon. Abdulhai Arugungu, said there were no congresses in the state. He further accused the state government, party officials in the state and members of the congress committee of bias. Kogi: Confusion over parallel congresses It was confusion in Kogi State as the Audu/Faleke and Governor Yahaya Bello’s factions of the party held separate congresses.

While the Audu/Faleke camp held its congresses under the supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that of Bello’s camp was held at the Government House, Lokoja.

The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, described the action of the governor to hold the ward congresses at the government house as absurd and exercise in futility. According to Ametuo, Governor Bello’s action to run a parallel congress against the decision of the national leadership party underscores his penchant for killing the party in the state.

Kaduna: El-Rufai, Sani disagree While Governor Nasir el-Rufai said the Congress was orderly and an impressive exercise in democracy at the local level, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, insisted the exercise did not take place in the state.

“I am receiving reports from all the 255 wards showing that the new APC leadership in the wards is emerging in a peaceful and orderly manner. It is an impressive exercise in democracy at the local level.

There are no adverse reports from any part of the state. The reports indicate that things are going well. All the stakeholders are working together to bring about a strong leadership for the party at the ward level,” the governor said in a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan. But Sani, who dismissed the governor’s position, said: “Our political, legal and media team were on the ground in all the 23 local governments in the state.

Any ‘list’ written and presented or any form of ‘affirmation’ will suffer legitimacy, legal and credibility setbacks. Make no mistake about it. Whatever is built on the sand will end in the sand. We can’t claim change and end up shortchanging.

We have cases of elected people removed from their seats as a result of faulty congresses.” Katsina: Aspirants reject result A group of APC Concerned Candidates in Katsina have rejected the outcome of the exercise in the state.

The group, in a statement signed by its leader, Malam Hassanu Isah, expressed shock and dismay over what it described as the hijack of the Congress officials from Abuja by officials of the state government.

“We reject the purported release of the result as an outcome of the ward congress. We advise the national headquarters of the party to set up a high powered committee to investigate the illegality masterminded by the state government,” the group said.

Adamawa: Complaints about poor logistics It was complaints of poor logistics in Adamawa State yesterday when the APC ward congresses held. The exercise, slated for Saturday, was shifted to yesterday due to protest by some stakeholders who felt sidelined.

Our correspondent, who visited some of the wards, reports that though there was a large turnout of party delegates, some members of the party protested over the delay in some wards as a result of the late arrival of voting materials. Lagos: Members protest at party’s secretariat, call for cancellation Some chieftains and members of the Lagos APC, yesterday, expressed their displeasure over the outcome of the party’s ward congress as they stormed the party secretariat to express their grievances.

The APC chieftains comprising some council chairmen, state lawmakers and political appointees, who stormed the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, an alleged imposition of candidates during the ward congress.

They also accused some leaders of the party of tampering with the consensus list of ward executives and delegates as agreed. Vice- Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Faud Oki, said that the ward congress was not in line with the party’s constitution and its rules, stating that the exercise should be cancelled.

Addressing newsmen, Oki, who is also a leader of Broom Movement of Nigeria (BMN), accused the organising committee of side-tracking the State Congress Committee sent by the party’s national headquarters from Abuja and committing a lot of shenanigans to ensure that their preferred candidates were elected into office.

The party chieftain, who described the Lagos exercise as a travesty of justice that must be fought and redressed, said that appointment of senatorial electoral officers and local government electoral officers to serve as returning officers instead of the State Congress Committee was against the Nigerian Constitution and that of APC as well as its rule.           (New Telegraph)

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Embattled DNC Asks All Staffers For Resignation Letters

 

by ALEX SEITZ-WALD
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez speaks at a protest against President Donald Trump's new travel ban order in Lafayette Square outside the White House, Monday, March 6, 2017, in Washington.© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez speaks at a protest against President Donald Trump’s new travel ban order in Lafayette Square outside the White House, Monday, March 6, 2017, in…  

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has launched a major reshuffling of the party’s organization that has been stung by recent crisis — and the DNC has requested the resignation letters of all current staffers be submitted by next month.

Party staff routinely see major turnover with a new boss and staffers were alerted earlier to expect such a move. However, the mass resignation letters will give Perez a chance to completely remake the DNC’s headquarters from scratch. Staffing had already reached unusual lows following a round of layoffs in December.

Immediately after Perez’ election in late February, an adviser to outgoing DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, asked every employee to submit a letter of resignation dated April 15, according to multiple sources familiar with the party’s internal working.

A committee advising Perez on his transition is now interviewing staff and others as part of a top-to-bottom review process to help decide not only who will stay and who will go, but how the party should be structured in the future.

Major staffing and structure changes will be announced in coming weeks, one aide said.

The DNC declined to comment for this story.

Perez is the party’s third leader in the past year, which was one of its most difficult on record.

It began with accusations of favoritism leveled by two presidential candidates, continued with the wrenching exposure of hacked emails and abrupt resignation of former chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then concluded with the shocking defeat of its presidential nominee and a divisive race for the new chairman.

The DNC was also hit with charges that it favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary while it was supposed to remain neutral in the contest.

The experience, which followed years in which Democrats felt the Obama White House ignored the party, has left the DNC with a crisis of confidence and competence at a time Americans are turning away from political parties in general.

Now Perez, who spent most of his career in government and not politics, has to rebuild the party, take on President Donald Trump, tap into a unique moment of grassroots activism, and run and fund a partisan bureaucracy all at once.

“I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” California Gov. Jerry Brown told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I was the Democratic Party chairman in California — it’s a miserable job. So, Tom, too bad.”

Perez has spent his first weeks on the job in “active listening mode,” hearing from Democrats in Washington and in small group meetings across the country before making any big moves.

“What we’re trying to do is culture change,” he told NBC News between stops of a listening tour in Michigan Friday. “We’re repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can’t land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice.”

“If your goal is you have to please everyone then you end up pleasing no one,” he added.

It’s a whirlwind job that took Perez from being feted at a donor conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington Thursday night to playing Solitaire on his iPhone in row 31 on a Delta flight to Detroit shortly after dawn the next morning.

The DNC will embark on a national search to fill key positions, overseen by the 30-odd members Transition Advisory Committee, which could take some time to fill.

The committee, whose members were told they are not eligible for DNC jobs, is also reviewing the DNC’s contracts with vendors and consultants, a source of complaints from many Democrats.

Progressives criticized the committee’s initial makeup, leading the DNC add several more members from their ranks.

The DNC also needs to sort out roles for its five vice chairs, with whom Perez spent a Friday retreat white-boarding, and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, Perez’ rival-cum-partner.

Earlier this month, Perez held a meeting to discuss the issue with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sanders, both of whom supported Ellison in the DNC chair race, along with Ellison, Sanders aides Jeff Weaver and Larry Cohen, and others.

Schumer, pointing to Ellison and Sanders, told Perez, “If he’s happy, and if he’s happy, then I’m happy,” according to two sources.

Perez has included Ellison in many of the DNC’s public event so far, but the party’s charter makes no provision for a deputy chair, so Ellison does not actually have vote on the DNC. That could be fixed by naming the Minnesota congressman to one of the 75 slots the chairman gets to appoint to the national committee.

Ellison’s political director has also been helping to oversee staffing decisions in some key departments in the DNC, according to several sources.                                                                        (NBC News)

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