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Professors Endorse Senator Laah’s Second Term Bid

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Senator Danjuma Laah’s bid for a second term received a massive boost yesterday with Professors from his Kaduna South Constituency endorsing him for a fresh tenure.
The professors’ endorsement was contained in a statement signed by Prof. John Gambo, Chairman, Forum of Southern Kaduna Professors (FOSKAP), and made available to The Tide source, in Jos.
Gambo, Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies, Kaduna State University, in the statement, regretted that the senatorial zone had never returned a senator, and urged the voters to break that jinx.
The professors, who premised their stance on Laah’s “credible performance in the senate”, expressed concern that the PDP state executive council were reportedly backing Rep. Adam Jagaba, who recently defected from the APC, to succeed him.
They alleged that facts were being distorted to achieve the “infamous feat” of not returning a senator, and wondered why Laah was being sacrificed to “please some forces”.
The statement said that Laah had shown an “uncommon courage” by standing up for his people when many communities came under attack by invaders that killed many people.
“Incidentally, people seeking to displace Laah disappeared into thin air during those dark moments. They did not have the courage to stand up for the people. Only Laah took the risk to do that,” it said.
It expressed surprise that people spearheading the struggle against Laah were being led by a member of the House of Representatives seeking a third term.
“The member wants a third tenure because he argues that he can do more as a ranking member, but does not want the area to have a ranking senator. This is puzzling,” it said.
The professors expressed shock that Laah was being accused of concentrating projects – a Police boarding school, primary school, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and the Federal University of Technology, – in two local governments.
“It is at least gratifying to note that Laah has projects; so far, no one has told us the projects initiated by Jagaba in his 12 years in the House of Representatives for which he should be rewarded with the senate seat.
“Professors and other Southern Kaduna Academics will be glad to know the achievements of Jagaba in the years he has spent there. We want to be enlightened.”
They, however, said that they were not against anyone seeking a higher elective office.
“We are only insisting that Laah has performed and is still performing creditably well to deserve a second shot at the senate.
“Aside the state government, Laah is the major employer of labour in the zone and has amply demonstrated that he has the interest of Southern Kaduna people at heart,” they argued.
The professors cautioned PDP delegates against “subverting the will of the people” during the primary elections, and urged voters to “stand firm against the agents of darkness”.
They wondered why critics would concern themselves with the location of a federal university in an area where youths travel to Lagos, Zaria, Sokoto and Maiduguri in search of university education.
“When the university is established, people from all directions will benefit in the areas of admission, employment and other multiplier effects.
“The boarding school is over 60 per cent completed. A Commandant and Deputy Commandant have been appointed and classes will soon start. Everybody will benefit from the project,” it said.
The professors revealed that Laah had built a secondary school and a hospital with staff quarters in his village which he donated to the state government, long before he became a senator.
“It is in Sen. Laah to strive for the betterment of his people. A bird does not change its feathers because the weather is hot,” the professors said.

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Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy

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The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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…Vows To Take Over Anambra

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.

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