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APC NEC’s Decision Splits Party …As Governors, Lawmakers Threaten Mass Defection

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There are strong indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may be heading for a crash as the leadership has now been split along ideological lines.
This followed decisions by the National Executive Committee (NEC) as regards the mode of the party’s primary elections.
The NEC had decided that: “primary elections into all elective offices shall be by the direct and indirect election or by consensus. The use of the direct and indirect primaries shall, however, depend on the peculiarity and need of a given State.
“The adopted mode shall now be applied to all categories of the party’s primary elections, i.e. state Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives and for the governorship elections”.
But many chieftains, elected officials and members of the party have cried foul.
According to them, subjecting some states and positions to indirect primaries was to enable certain persons to call the shot and determine who gets what.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari is believed to have, yesterday morning, read the riot act to party chieftains bent on stoking crisis in the APC over the use of direct primary in the selection of the party’s candidates for elections.
The president’s rebuke of those orchestrating the destabilization plot came as the APC, yesterday morning, warned those being used to stoke the crisis to step off warning that stern disciplinary action would be taken against them.
The group reportedly being egged on by a few governors with a two term southern governor in charge had scheduled to hold a meeting for Sunday afternoon at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The principal aim of the meeting is to call for the dissolution of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).
The southern governor who is championing to have his son in law as his successor, according to sources, was mobilizing to truncate the party’s decision on the use of direct primary as it could jeopardize his succession agenda and also truncate the governor’s own plan of proceeding to the Senate.
Members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) who do not belong to the NWC, it was gathered, were those being mobilized to canvass for the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led NWC.
“The president has stepped in and warned them to clear off,” a senior party source said, yesterday morning in response to the brewing crisis in the ruling party.
The president who is travelling in China was believed to have given the directive by phone to some of those pinpointed as being involved.
A number of governors are said to be unhappy over Oshiomhole’s insistence on the use of direct primary as they allege that it would jeopardize their efforts to plant their associates.
Governors who normally have the control of the party structures are able to through the delegates that are loyal to them able to foist their choices as candidates in elections.
A statement by APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, yesterday, confirmed that the NEC decisions have triggered internal crisis.
He said: “The attention of the National Working Committee (NWC) has been drawn to an illegal meeting scheduled to hold on Sunday (yesterday) at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja by some members of our party organs, with a view to fault the decisions made by the NWC followed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) as regards the mode of the party’s primary elections.
“We want to state clearly that the meeting which has been fixed for 2pm is illegal and an attempt to puncture the sincere efforts being made by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC to reposition our party ahead the 2019 General Elections and to ensure unity, equity and justice in the party.
“The outcome of such meeting which is already known will be a nullity and we admonish our members to disregard such meetings in the interest of the party. It is illegal to call such meetings outside the purview of the constituted authority.
“The identities of those plotting such meetings have been identified and unless they desist from such they will be dealt with in line with the party’s Constitution at the appropriate time.
“The NWC will resist any attempt to disrupt the current peace and harmony prevailing in our great party after the exit of some members of our party.
“We urge any member who is not satisfied with the decisions of the party to utillize channels provided by the party’s constitution to air their views.
“We remain focused in delivering good governance to Nigerians and above all ensuring the victory for our party come 2019, and we will not be intimidated by the antics of a few in ensuring success for our party”.
Meanwhile the National Working Committee of the APC has reviewed the nomination forms upward to the tune of N55million. While the Presidential Nomination form goes for N50million, the Expression of Interest Form costs N5million.
Also reviewed upward are the cost of nomination forms for the governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly forms.
When contacted, a governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, urged the NWC of the APC to review downward the fee payable for the governorship nomination form.
He noted that as a progressive political party, the elective positions should not be for politicians with deep pockets.
He said, “As a progressive party, the APC should not deprive those who have something meaningful to contribute to the party and the society at large.”
A House of Representatives aspirant in Osun State, Hon Olalekan Badmus, described the nomination fee as too expensive.
He said he was confident that the party would review it downward.
Badmus said, “It is outrageous when compared to the PDP’s fees for the House of Representative which is N1.5million. The PDP did that with the intention of encouraging the younger politicians.”
The APC’s National Working Committee had proposed N55million as the cost of the nomination and expression of interest forms for the office of President, which is way higher than the N12million being charged by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Those seeking the party’s nod to contest the state houses of assembly elections are asked to be prepared to part with N1.1million as against PDP’s N600,000, while for the House of Representatives, APC aspirants should are asked to pay N3.8million. The PDP is asking its aspirants to pay 1.5million to contest the tickets.
For the Senate, APC aspirants will pay N8.5million as against the N3.5million the PDP is asking from its aspirants for the same position.
Governorship aspirants of the ruling party are asked to pay N22.5million each to contest the ticket as against the N6million to be paid by their counterparts in the PDP.

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2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence

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The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.

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Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC

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The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.

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Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death

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The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.

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