APC NWC Wades In Kaduna APC Crisis

Members of the National Working Committee, NWC of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have take some decisions on the crisis rocking the Kaduna state chapter of the party.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the party’s spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

He said the NWC agreed that “the unfolding situation in Kaduna State is deeply regrettable and request all parties in the disagreement to maintain utmost decorum and give opportunity for true reconciliation.

“Consequently, the NWC has set up a three-man committee led by the Deputy National Chairman (South), Engr. Segun Oni to embark on a fact-finding mission to Kaduna State with a view to identifying the remote and immediate causes of the disagreement and the circumstance that led to the demolition of the house of Senator Hunkuyi.

“The committee is to report back to the NWC within a week. Other members of the Committee are the National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu and National Woman Leader, Hajia Rahmatu Alliyu.

“In respect of Kogi State, the NWC reaffirms that that Alhaji Haddy Ametuo remains the Chairman of the APC in the state until the appropriate organ of the party decides otherwise in accordance with the party’s constitution.”

The meeting of the NWC with lasted for about seven hours was led by the National Chairman of the Party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and was attended by majority of the NWC members.

Recall that Senator Hunkuyi’s building used by a faction of the APC was demolished on Tuesday by the Kaduna state government 24 hours after it was marked for demolition.

Elections Reorder Undermines INEC’s Independence —Jega

The immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has questioned the power of the National Assembly to alter the sequence of the 2019 elections.

Jega made his position known at an event organised by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Development in Abuja on Thursday.

Speaking at the event with the theme, ‘Is Nigeria’s Democracy Under Threat?’ Jega said the National Assembly’s action undermined the independence of INEC.

He added that several sections of the 1999 Constitution clearly state that the power to organise and set the date for elections remain the exclusive preserve of INEC.

The former INEC boss also stated that the cost of election would be higher if the National Assembly succeeds in changing the election sequence.

Fayose, Obasanjo Make Suprise Appearance At Council Of State Meeting

  • Jonathan, Dogara, IBB Absent

Former Nigerian leaders, Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Babangida, are notably absent at the meeting of the National Council of State holding today at the council chambers of the presidential villa Abuja.

The meeting, which started some minutes after 11 a.m., is being chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo arrived late for the event.

He hurried into the council chamber at about 11:12a.m. after the national anthem and opening prayers were offered by former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and former chief justice of the federation, Mohammed Uwais.

Mr. Obasanjo headed straight to greet Mr. Buhari, forcing journalists who were already leaving the room to rush back and capture the moment.

It would be the second public meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Obasanjo urged President Buhari to quit in 2019, dismissing his government as corrupt and incompetent.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who is also a member of the council is also absent.

An unusual face at the meeting is the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, who is attending a meeting chaired by Mr. Buhari for the first time.

The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, called for a minute of silence in honour of former CJN, Dahiru Musdapher, who died recently.

Among those attending the meeting, apart from the governors and former presidents, are the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar, Mohammed Belgore, Mohammed Uwais and Idris Kutigi.

Many Injured As Suspected PDP Thugs Clash In Ile Ife

By Sodiq Lawal

Many people were injured at Iremo area in Ile Ife On Thursday morning as suspected PDP hoodlums believed to be rival gangs clashed.

Our correspondent learnt that the clash was as a result of a long-standing feud between rival gangs in Akodi and Ogbingbin.

A motorcyclist who craved anonymity, told our correspondent that the clash was as a result of a row which broke out during the distribution of weapons allegedly acquired by the PDP to cause mayhem during the upcoming Governorship election .

He added that fighting among the hoodlums had become a weekly affair since some undisclosed officials of PDP have given the leaders of thug groups money and weapons.

“Immediately the police arrived there, the hoodlums took to their heels. The violence has become rampant now, ” he said.

Our correspondent however learnt that many residents had fled the area until peace was restored.

Decamping  Tsunami Will Strike APC Soon —Secondus

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, says the All Progressives Congress will encounter what he calls “defection tsunami” soon.

He spoke against the decamping members in State like Kogi and Adamawa

For example, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, had on Saturday led 16 other supporters and chieftains members of the PDP to the APC in Adamawa,

Those who left the PDP with him included Chief Felix  Tangwami,  Chief Medan Teneke, Alhaji Saidu Aliyu and Alhaji Yusuf Dan-Umana.

Gulak had claimed that he and his co-defectors left the main opposition party because of alleged impunity in the party.

“It is time for us to formally register as APC members. It is time to formally bury the PDP in Adamawa State,” Gulak said during the defection.

Though Secondus said the PDP regretted the defection of its members, he said it was better to go into election with people who the party was sure would work for its success.

The national chairman of the PDP, who spoke with our correspondent in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday,  insisted that the national leadership and other stakeholders of the party were working hard to make sure that the party would win the 2019 elections.

Pro-Buhari Senator Removed As Chairman Northern Senators Forum

Senators under the umbrella of the Northern Senators Forum have removed Abdullahi Adamu as their chairman.

He was replaced by Aliyu Wammako, a former Sokoto State governor.

The removal was announced in a letter read by the presiding officer, Ike Ekweremadu, shortly before the end of the plenary on Wednesday.

The letter signed by the Public Relations Officer of the forum noted that Mr. Adamu was removed for “financial mismanagement and other related matters.”

“This is to inform the Senate that the majority signatories of members of the Northern Senators Forum. We have removed Sen. Abdullahi Adams as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum for financial mismanagement and misadministration. We announce his replacement with Senator Aliyu Wamakko immediately. Find the attached names and signatories of members,” the letter reads.

The removal is coming a week after Mr. Adamu led nine others to oppose the Senate passage of the amendment to the electoral act.

Mr. Adamu (Nasarawa-APC), questioned the conduct of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in the passage process.

“We are part of the whole body of senators who oppose the process by which the so-called conference report was laid and considered as rushed. I had the opportunity (to speak), I was heard but the Senate President said my observation was being noted,” Mr. Adamu had said.

The lawmaker questioned the Senate’s amendment of the election sequence for 2019. The amendment if signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari would see the National Assembly election coming up first in 2019, followed by state assemblies and governorship, with the presidential election coming last.

It was reported how Mr. Adamu on Monday attacked ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for publicly criticising Mr. Buhari in an open letter.

Already, another of the senators who opposed the passage of the election sequence amendment, Ovie Omo-Agege, is billed to appear before the Senate ethics committee following his comments that the Senate’s action was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

Underage Voting: INEC, SIECs To Meet Today

As part of efforts to curb underage voting, the Independent National Electoral Commission will on Wednesday (today), hold a meeting with the 36 States’ Independent Electoral Commissions.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “You are cordially invited to cover the courtesy visit of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria to INEC headquarters on Wednesday, February 21, at 2pm.”

Although Oyekanmi did not state the purpose of the meeting, INEC had last week claimed that elections in which underage voters allegedly participated were not organised by INEC but states’ electoral bodies.

The local government election in Kano State which was won by the All Progressives Congress by a landslide was said to have been marred by underage voting as pictures were circulated on social media showing children between the ages of eight and 15 voting.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had last week announced that the commission would probe underage voting, adding that a committee would be set up to look into the matter and submit a report.

Sources within the commission told one of our correspondents that a committee headed by a national commissioner had been set up to look into the underage voting.

The source said the terms of reference and the method of investigation were still being worked out.

The source revealed that the committee would also investigate why and how underage voters were being added to the register handed to state electoral bodies by INEC.

The senior INEC official said, “The meeting will centre on underage voting and how the names of child voters can be purged from the register.

“We will also be looking at how INEC and SIEC across the states can cooperate and work better together.”

Electoral bodies at state level have been accused of rigging elections for the party in power in most states.

Kaduna Govt. Reveals Why It Demolished Factional APC Building

The Kaduna State government has justified its demolition of a building belonging to a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The building located at 11b Sambo Road used by a faction of APC was demolished by the state government Monday morning.

The party since 2015 has been enmeshed in crisis in the state which has seen it broken into three factions.

They are: The ‘Restoration APC,’ led by Tijjani Ramallan and Suleiman Hunkuyi, a senator; the ‘APC Akida,’ led by Shehu Sani, also a senator, and the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Hakeem Ahmed; and the ‘APC Government House,’ led by the governor and his deputy.

News of the demolition first filtered in through tweets by the senator representing Kaduna North, Mr. Hunkuyi.

Mr. Hunkuyi, a leader of one of ‘Restoration APC,’ alleged that the demolition was masterminded by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

“In the early hours of today, the @GovKaduna Mallam @elrufai personally drove a bulldozer accompanied by armored tanks to destroy my house at 11B Sambo Road. This is a new low and fighting dirty with such low level of pettiness is indeed unprecedented in Kaduna State,” the account tweeted sharing short videos of the demolition.

But the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KAPSUDA) in a statement signed by its Director-General, Ibrahim Husseini, said the demolition was part of operations the agency was undertaking across Kaduna metropolis in compliance with its mandate.

“In partnership with sister agencies, KASUPDA is clearing illegal structures, tackling street hawking and restoring order across Kaduna.

“This morning, a building on 11B Sambo Close was removed for flagrant violations of land use and non-payment of ground rent since 2010. This illegal violation of use had begun to distress neighbours who were being forced to endure an influx of thugs and blockage of the road,” the statement read.

The agency said it duly served the occupants of the building a notice of revocation which they did not yield to.

“The Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) issued a revocation notice of statutory right of occupancy No. KD. 16712, that covers 11b Sambo Close in the Ungwan Rimi area. The appropriate notice of revocation was delivered at 28 Inuwa Wada Road, the registered address of the company that held the title to the property. The notice was also delivered to the building in question, and sent by post to the registered address of the previous title holder.”

KASUPDA said the land will be turned into a public park.

“The land has now been allocated to KASUPDA for the purpose of developing and maintaining a public park that will provide a green area and a serene place for recreation in that residential neighbourhood.”

The demolition is coming almost a year after a building belonging to the North West Vice Chairman of APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, was demolished by the state government.

Mr. Abdulkadir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the governor had sometimes back threatened to take such action against him.

“I am not surprised by his action, it is a political vendetta. But I will not make further comment because the case is already in court,” he said reacting to the demolition.

Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said the demolition was masterminded by Mr. El-Rufai.

Speaking on the floor of the senate, he said that the governor was acting on the goodwill of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I stand to formally and officially report that this morning as early as 4:30am, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir-El-rufai, led a team of soldiers and policemen to Sambo road 11 where he personally supervised a demolition of our new APC office which happened to be the property belonging to Distinguished Sen. Suleiman Hukunyi.

“This comes a year after the same governor demolished the past residence of Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, the National Vice Chairman North-west of the APC. This is a series of arbitrariness of tyranny perpetuated by the governor against dissenting opposition voices in the state.

“It is of concern that the Governor of the state is in the habit of name dropping the name of Mr. President. There are reports and claims that the Governor has been saying and has been acting with the authority and on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That his action has the official stamp and go ahead of the president to eradicate and dislodge and at the same time being an end to opposing and dissenting voices within the party.

“My constituency office was attacked by violent thugs more than 11 times and it has also even been very clear that armed military police men have been consistently used by the governor to intimidate and harass people who don’t agree with him.

“It is of concern that after 20 years of military that a man with such a rapid ambition and arrogance of power can appropriate for himself and power to act outside of the law. How can a democratically-elected governor demolish a house without notice? Simply for the fact that we have set up office different form the one he has personalized himself as a so-called party man.”

He called on President Buhari to caution Mr. El-Rufai.

“It is of concern to us that these actions by the governor have been done in the name of Mr. President who he believed that he is his son that he so much loves. Governor Nasir El-Rufai is an affliction to the people of Kaduna State and a curse to us.

“We will use this opportunity to call on Mr. President to caution his beloved son who has unleashed a reign of terror and has behaved in the most despicable and irresponsible way.”

Cross River Assembly Passes Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

The Cross River House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the Not-Too-Young-to-Run Bill and the Bill to strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice.

The House also passed the Bill for the funding of Houses of Assembly directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and Bill to change the name of the Nigerian Police Force to `Nigeria Police’.

It, however, voted against Independent Candidacy as canvassed in ongoing process to amend the 1999 Constitution.

At the plenary, the lawmakers considered 13 out of the 15 Bills transmitted to assembly by the National Assembly for the amendment of the Constitution.

The Bill for Local Government Autonomy and Bill to strengthen Local Government Administration in Nigeria were deferred to another plenary.

Speaker of the assembly, Mr John Gaul-Lebo, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the plenary that the House organised a public hearing where the 25 constituencies in the state made presentations on the amendments.

“The Cross River House of Assembly voted for 13 alterations out of the 15 transmitted to us by the National Assembly for our concurrent resolutions and transmission back to them.

“We deferred the Bill for Local Government Autonomy and the Bill to strengthen Local Government Administration in Nigeria to another legislative day. This is to help us do more consultations on the two bills.

“After the public hearing, we got memorandum from some groups and we felt we should give them fair hearing as it concerns primary school teachers’ salaries, primary healthcare and other local government issues.

“We voted overwhelmingly for 12 items while the Bill for Independent Candidacy was voted against. In all, we got 12 resolutions in support and one against.

“The Not-Too-Young-to-Run Bill will afford the young ones the opportunity to seek election in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Gaul-Lebo stated that the older generation had remained in power for too long, adding that the Bill sought to position the youths for future political leadership.

On Independent Candidacy, he said that Nigeria was not yet ripe for it as the nation lacked the institutional framework to manage the process.

2019: Blood Flows As Supporters Of Okorocha’s Son-In-Law, Deputy Fight Dirty

Many people were injured on Monday when the supporters of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, and those of the son-in-law to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Uche Nwosu, had a violent altercation at a political meeting.

The clash happened at the council hall of the Mbaitoli Local Government Area, at Nworubi, where the supporters of Okorocha’s son-in-law had allegedly gone to endorse him to run for the 2019 governorship election.

Mbaitoli LGA is where the deputy governor, Madumere, hails from.

Both Madumere and Nwosu are angling to succeed Okorocha in office, but the governor had, last week, publicly announced that he would support his son-in-law who is currently his chief of staff should he declare interest to contest.

Sources at the meeting told our correspondent that a political structure known as “I believe Movement,” which is pro Nwosu; and supporters of the deputy governor attacked one another immediately the mission of the visitors was announced.

According to an indigene of the LGA who was at the meeting, the visitors had sent them a text message, inviting members of the public to a gathering without stating the agenda.

The indigenes, according to the source, became enraged when the visitors announced that the essence of the political gathering was to endorse the governor’s son-in-law for governor.

“Members of ‘I believe Movement’ took us for granted. They came to our Local Government Area to endorse the governor’s son-in-law, as against our son who is the deputy governor of the state.

“They want to use us to score a political point against the deputy governor, who is our son.

“The annoying aspect is that they didn’t inform us why they invited us.

“Immediately we realised what their plan was, we told them categorically that we were supporting our son, who is the deputy governor, for the governorship election.

“They started shouting ‘I believe Movement in support of Uche Nwosu;’ and we started shouting ‘Madumere.’

“They picked offence and started fighting us,” the source explained.

According to the source, the indigenes had to call for reinforcement, which led to alleged bloody clash.

“Our people regrouped and came to the hall to save us. They started using stones, bottles and other weapons on us.”

Our correspondent learnt that the free for all and exchange of punches led to many of those involved sustaining injuries.

Some members of I Believe Movement, our correspondent learnt, ran home half Unclad when the indigenes overpowered them, as it took the intervention of security men to bring the situation under control.

See photos below  ..

 

 

 

Osun Guber Race: OAPYF Coordinator Promises To Integrate Warring Members

The Coordinator, Osun All Progressives Youth Forum (OAPYF) Comrade Olateju Olorungbebe Adunni has affirmed that the forum will bridge the gap between political appointees and warring youths within the party.

Comrade Adunni gave the affirmation in Ilesa at a town hall meeting organized by the forum and aimed at resolving perceived differences within the party and pacify any aggrieved member

Adunni who said the party is ready to listen to all grievances from the youths also assured the party that measures have been put in place to make the programme a huge success.

Adunni explained that necessary mechanisms are in place to make the programme a huge success and bring members to an amicable stance.

According to him, “this town hall meeting is an opportunity for all the Osun APC Youths to interact intimately with political appointees and party leaders elected on the platform of APC in our locality, to assemble and discuss our basic interests”.

“We are also exploring the interactions to proffer solution to internal tensions threatening our cohesion and bond irrespective of political interests, and swing into actions to solidify our political family the more as a vibrant segment of the party”.

“It is pertinent for us to take the present challenges confronting our party as opportunity to make a difference and work hard as good ambassadors of this party to sustain and promote the good will of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola”, he stressed.

Also speaking, Leader, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola on water project his administration embarked upon in Ilesa.

He said that Governor knows that health is wealth and that is the reason why Aregbesola embarked on the Ilesa water project which he said has been abandoned since 1981.

According to him, “It is clear that the over seven years experience of dynamic leadership of APC in the state has exposed the corruption-ridden administration of opposition party in the past, hence, the need to prevent them from coming back to the saddle.

Hon. Owoeye urged the youths to be persistent in their resolve to take the present challenges confronting the party as opportunity to make a difference and work hard as good ambassadors of the party in other to sustain and promote the good will of Governor Aregbesola.

Meanwhile, the Osun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Kolapo Alimi in his remarks charged the youths to reintegrate the unstable members of the party.

Alimi urged the youths to visit their compounds and polling units before the election and give help to the needy so as to promote good governance as institutionalised by Aregbesola’s style of administration.

Corroborating Hon Alimi, the Commissioner for Science, Innovation and Technology, Hon. Remi Omowaiye appealed to the youths to let go of their grievances and embrace peace.

He thereafter urged all members of the party to work together as a team in the forthcoming election in the state.