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2023: Group Wants All Presidential Candidates To Prioritise Restructuring While Campaigning

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A pro-restructuring organisation, The Core Federalists, has called on 2023 Presidential candidates to put the restructuring of the country atop their priorities as the campaign for the general elections draws closer.
While reiterating the need to urgently restructure the country, the group insisted that all presidential candidates must make the issue a fundamental objective of their campaigns to assure Nigerians that the next president will restructure Nigeria in a way beneficial to all zones of the country.
This, the group, which was founded by the late Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin and a few others, believes will go a long way to ensure equity, justice, peace and the elusive development in Nigeria.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, signed by Ambassador Humphrey Orjiako, Chief Handel Okoli and Comrade Mark Adebayo, the Core Federalists stated that, “As the 2023 general elections knock on our doors, the Core Federalists as an organisation, has noticed with serious concern that the issue of restructuring Nigeria has not gotten the kind of attention it deserves in the conversations around the elections.
“We, in the CF, believe that there is no issue more important and urgent than restructuring in present-day Nigeria due to the fact that almost all the challenges the country is battling with – insecurity, underdevelopment, economic backwardness, massive corruption and inter-ethnic distrust, religious violence and allied crises – are not unconnected with the warped structure of the country that is not only unsustainable but also unworkable. Obviously, it has not worked for us judging by Nigeria’s recent and not-so-recent history.
“We like to remind Nigerians in general, those in power today and those who aspire to be in power in a short while that Nigeria’s only golden era was the period it ran a system of true federalism from 1958 to 1966 before military putsch truncated the first republic and the federal structure that sustained it up to that point. Nigeria functioned far better under real federalism than it has under a unitary system that has drawn it backwards by several decades and rendered it incapable of competing with the same league of nations like Singapore, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and others”.
“Restructuring Nigeria to make it function optimally as a country of a multiplicity of language, culture and religion is an urgent imperative. We believe strongly that development and peace will continue to elude Nigeria if the federating units – geopolitical zones, states and local government areas – are considered mere appendages to the so-called Federal Government to which the former must kowtow for monthly handouts without the capacity to determine the direction they want their communities to proceed and the development templates they wish to apply as relevant to their environments. There is no gainsaying the fact that this type of system discourages productivity and kills creativity and consequently stifles development.
“It is even worse that the federating units are denied the authority and plans of how they can effectively defend themselves against internal aggressors that terrorise their communities. Nigeria is today at war with itself, yet the federating units are denied the authority to protect themselves by a Federal Government that has woefully failed to secure the territorial integrity of the country.
“One reality that we cannot run away from is that, considering the current state of the country’s insecurity, even the seat of government at the center is threatened by terrorists and that Nigeria is a rapidly failing country that must be urgently rescued. The recent easy access and attack on the Kuje prison protected by the military, the Police and other security agencies points exactly to that reality.
“We demand that each of the presidential candidates running for office in the 2023 presidential election make public their restructuring plans for Nigeria.
“This is informed by the indubitable fact that there is no manifesto or leadership capacity, no matter how good on paper and in practice, that can deliver the required results in a unitary system that currently subsists in Nigeria. A perfect policy thrust will be frustrated by a faulty, badly engineered structure that Nigeria currently operates.
“More than promises, we demand assurances from the presidential candidates that whoever wins will make restructuring Nigeria a distinct priority. We call on all Nigerians to see restructuring as the irreducible minimum agenda that we require to save the country and should make it a point of critical action to support and vote for a presidential candidate who is unequivocally committed to restructuring Nigeria. That is our saving grace that must be embraced by all,” the statement read.

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Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC

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The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.

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Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman

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The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as  Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared  for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”

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There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri

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Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.

 

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