A Northern youth group known as Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF) has 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 on Saturday, signed by the group’s Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General – Mohammed Sani-Kabir, Salisu Abdurrahaman and Ben Alege, respectively, they said the endorsement was against the collective interest of the North ahead of 2023 presidency.
The northern group supported House of Representatives members-elect that were opposed to the party’s candidate, saying that Gbajabiamila was not the best option for the 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 the 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.
Edo Muslims Group Condemns Endorsement Of Candidates
The Chairman, Edo State Council for Islamic Affairs (EDSCIA), Alhaji Abdulazeez Nosakhare Igbinidu, has said that those who went about endorsing political candidates for the state’s governorship election did so at their peril and did not reflect the stand of the Islamic Community.
Alhaji Igbinidu disclosed this while reacting to the news in some quarters that the body has endorsed political candidates ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.
He said, “the body is neutral and doesn’t dabble into politics though it doesn’t also forbid any Muslim from aligning with any political
parties or candidates of his or her choice.
“EDSCIA is not a political organisation. However, we are aware that some of our members belong to those organisations where they are striving to actualise their political aspirations.
“We are not against any of their legitimate actions to perfect their political interest through their various political parties and associations.
“That Edo State Council for Islamic Affairs headed by Alhaji Abdulazeez Nosakhare Igbinidu is the only body that has the power to speak on behalf of Muslim Community in Edo State and that this body did not authorise or direct any individual or group of Muslims to act on behalf of Edo State chapter for Islamic Affairs or any other name to endorse any politicians.
Muslims to act on behalf of Edo State chapter for Islamic Affairs or any other name to endorse any politicians.
“That we condemn in its entirety the purported endorsement of a particular politician using the name of Edo State chapter for Islamic Affairs or any other name as they do not have such rights to speak on behalf of Edo Muslims”, he said.
Senator Kalu Preaches Nigeria’s Unity
Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu says he would continue to preach the unity of the nation.
Kalu, who said this in an interview with our source in Umuahia yesterday, reiterated his resolve to ensure a stronger nation.
“My duty is to continue preaching about the unity of the nation. My duty is to continue pleading with our people about religious tolerance and to continue preaching that Nigeria should be a strong one,” he said.
The two-term former governor of Abia State said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would take over the state in 2023.
He vowed to use his position as the chairman of the party’s caucus in the Senate to wrest power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He said that the party was already doing well under the leadership of Governor Hope Uzodinma in Imo State.
Kalu said that the party would employ a new strategy to penetrate the remaining South East states in 2023.
Kalu, while reacting to his rousing reception in Aba on Monday, during a Requiem Mass in honour of his late friend, Chief Anthony because the people believed in his leadership.Enukeme (Tonimas), said it was because the people believed in his leadership.
He said, “Forget about the newspaper propaganda, the people believed in what I had done for them.
“They had free education, their pensions, salaries and leave allowances were paid.
“The people believe that whoever I will bring will do a better job.”
According to him, when you see all those boys that are following me, they know that their future is guaranteed under the leadership of any political party I belong”.
Kalu, who was being likened to a Biblical Joseph following his recent incarceration said he had simply remained as “Orji Uzor Kalu that is ready to give leadership of justice and fairness.”
Kalu had returned to the Senate in June, after spending six months in jail upon conviction on corruption charges.
Kalu, who had been serving a 12-year sentence, was released from jail on June 2, 2020, following an order by the Federal High court.
He was convicted for embezzling N7.65 billion belonging to the Abia government.
The Supreme Court however, ordered a retrial after it nullified his conviction.
Impeachment Saga: Kaduna Assembly Suspends Former Deputy Speaker, Others
The Kaduna State House of Assembly has suspended three of its members from all activities of the House for nine months.
The Assembly also reprimanded five other members, who were directed to apologise to the assembly in writing and publish the apology in a national daily within a week.
Our source reports that the Assembly took the decision at plenary yesterday after adoption of the report of the committee that investigated the fracas that occurred during its sitting on June 11.
The committee, headed by Alhaji Shehu Yunusa, recommended the suspension and reprimand of the affected members in accordance with the Assembly’s Code of Conduct.
Those suspended were Mukhtar Isa-Hazo, a former Deputy Speaker representing Basawa Constituency, Mr Nuhu Goroh-Shadalafiya of Kagarko Constituency and Alhaji Yusuf Liman-Dahiru, Kakuri/Makera constituency.
They were suspended for allegedly causing disaffection among members and denigrating the office of the Deputy Speaker.
The five members reprimanded include Salisu Isa (Magajin Gari), former Speaker, Aminu Abdullahi-Shagali (Sabon Gari), AbdulWahab Idris (Ikara), Yusuf Salihu (Kawo) and Nasiru Usman (Tudun Wada).
The sitting was presided by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Isaac Auta-Zankai.
Meanwhile, A bill for a law to amend the Kaduna State Penal Code 2017, scaled through second reading during the sitting.
The bill seeks to amend Section 258 of the principal law to provide more effective sanctions to protect women and children against sexual abuse and violence.
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