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We won’t follow Umahi to APC – Ebonyi lawmakers

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Ebonyi lawmakers in the national assembly have said they do not have intention to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

They were reacting to the defection of the state governor, David Umahi, who formally joined the APC from the PDP.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, senator representing Ebonyi North, Sam Egwu, said no member of the National Assembly from the state would defect to the APC.

All the members of the Ebonyi caucus in the national assembly are members of the PDP. They are three senators and five House of Representatives members

Umahi confirmed his defection to the APC from the PDP on Tuesday.

The governor said he left the PDP because of “injustice”, alleging that the party had refused to zone the 2023 presidency to the South-East.

Egwu, who is a former governor of Ebonyi, said, “Not a single member of the PDP Ebonyi caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the APC.”

“The three senators and five House of Representatives members remain proud card-carrying members of the PDP, the platform under which we contested and won elections in 2019,” he added.

The senator said the reason Umahi gave for defecting to the APC was “indecent”.

Egwu specifically said, “The major reason given by Chief Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the public domain which is that the PDP has not been fair to the people of South-East on the issue of zoning for the presidency and vice-presidency.

“While we support that it is the turn of the South-East to fly the presidential flag of any of the major political parties come 2023, yet we consider it impolite, indecent and unwise to give ultimatum and conditionality in a bid to secure zoning.

“If there is any Ebonyi person who should remain eternally grateful to the PDP, that individual ought to be the governor, David Umahi, a man who was appointed the Ebonyi State chairman of the PDP, made deputy governor of the PDP administration and was elected on two terms under the banner of the PDP as governor.

“As democrats, we concede Umahi’s rights to join any association of his choice. However, as federal Lawmakers, we are not unaware of the Supreme Court’s decision that candidates are a product of the political parties.

“What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another particularly when there is no division in their party.”

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APC may sanction Amosun, Aregbesola, Shekarau, others over parallel congresses

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Prominent chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that promoted parallel congresses in last Saturday’s state congress of the party organised to elect members of the State Working Committees may be sanctioned.

Already, Daily Trust reports that intense pressure is being mounted on Chairman of the national caretaker committee of the and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, to punish Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed (Kwara) and minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) that reportedly organised parallel congresses in their respective states.

Sources in the party told Daily Trust that governors of states where parallel congresses were held had been reaching out to the national caretaker committee to wield the big stick on those who sponsored the exercise.

Parallel congresses were organised in 12 states such as Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Osun, Plateau, Niger, Akwa Ibom and Enugu.

The development has further polarised the ruling party ahead of the national convention. Also, contrary to the warning of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, the camp of Aregbesola has dragged the party to court over the congresses.

A party source said the committee was under pressure to sanction them to serve as deterrent to others and forestall a repeat of the scenario during the forthcoming national convention.

“Governors are pushing that they should be punished but the committee is in a tight corner because the promoters of the parallel congresses are bigwigs that cannot be easily reprimanded,” the source said.

Another source at the party’s secretariat said members of the congress committee who sided with the promoters of the parallel congresses would be sanctioned.

“Yes, pressure is being mounted on the national secretariat on this matter but the first thing that will be done is the sanctioning of members of the congress committee who attended the parallel congresses. They aided it.

“Our constitution is very clear. The leaders of the party in states are governors. Congress committees are supposed to be with the governors, not parallel committees. The members of the Kano committee that went to parallel congress are going to be punished,” a party leader at the national secretariat said.

It was also gathered that the issue would first be presented to the appeal committee of the congress and the Senator Abdullahi Adamu reconciliation committee before it would go to the national caretaker committee for a final decision on the matter.

A chieftain of the party and former presidential candidate, Chief Chekwas Okorie, said the party should match its words with action by applying some disciplinary measures against those who conducted parallel congresses.

Secretary of the APC caretaker committee Senator John James Akpan Udo-Edehe had described the ‘parallel’ congresses as futile activities, saying the party will not hesitate to wield the big stick on perpetrators.

But media aide to Governor Buni, Mamman Mohammed, denied that the governor was under some pressure.

“We are not aware of any pressure. The party under his leadership will meticulously follow due process in the administration of the party,” he said.

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has however said moves are on to reconcile with members of the party led by a former governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, who parted ways with his (Ganduje) leadership of the APC in the state.

The governor, according to a statement by Abba Anwar, his chief press secretary, said this on Wednesday before the commencement of the State Executive Council meeting.

The statement said Ganduje noted that “Politics is all about this kind (reconciliation) of development, anyway.”

Recall that former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau, had led a group now called the G-7, comprising of Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano North), four House of Representatives members and a party stalwart, to challenge Ganduje’s leadership of the party.

In Lagos, Mrs. Beatrice Omotayo Tugbobo, who emerged as chairman from the parallel congress conducted by the group affiliated to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos, insisted that her group has the real APC members.

Members of the group under the aegis of Akinwunmi Ambode Campaign Organisation (AMCO) stormed the Baptist Academy, Obakoro, venue to conduct the exercise.

About four parallel congresses were conducted in the state.

But Tugbobo, in a statement, admitted that there are factions in Lagos APC and that the exercise was conducted in line with the party’s constitution.

She said, “According to the constitution of APC, you can conduct your congresses whether by consensus or by voting and the agreement from the national headquarters of APC constitutionally is that we hold our congresses in a consensus manner.

“Other factions can be holding their congresses elsewhere, yet we are holding our own here, which is AMCO, the group belonging to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.”

In Abeokuta, Ogun State, there was outrage on Wednesday following the arrest of six loyalists of a former governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, over the violent Saturday’s parallel congresses of the party.

Hoodlums had disrupted a parallel congress organised by Amosun’s faction at Ake palace, leading to shootings.

The two major factions battling for the soul of the state’s APC are led by Amosun and Governor Dapo Abiodun.

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Ifeanyi Uba seeks court permission to visit Nnamdi Kanu in DSS facility

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The senator representing Anambra South, ifeanyi Uba, has sought an order of a Federal High Court, Abuja to visit leader of the prosecribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, at the Department of State Service (DSS) detention.

Uba, who is also the candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the Nov. 6 Governorship Election, said he filed the application so that an order of the court could be obtained to direct the DSS allow him access to the detainee.

The lawmaker, in a motion on notice with suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 dated and filed on Oct. 15 by his counsel, Agugoesi Ikem, sought three orders.

 

He said as a senator from the zone, he took it upon himself to carry out his oversight legislative functions to visit the Kanu at the detention facility to ascertain from him “if he is involved in any way in what is happening in the South East.

 

“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting Leave to Sen. IfeanyiUba to visit thé Defendant, NnamdiKanu, as part of his oversight legislative function.

 

“AN ORDER of this Honourable court directing the Complainant and/or the Department of State Services(DSS) to allow the said Senator Dr. IfeanyiUba access to their detention facility for purposes of visiting the Defendant, NnamdiKanu.

 

“AND OTHER ORDERS OR FURTHER ORDERS as the Honourable court may deein fit to make in the circ mstances of the case,” it read.

 

In the affidavit in support of the motion, Uba said that as a lawmaker from the South East Geopolitical Zone, he was bound by the oath he took to ensure peace and security not only in the region but the entire Nigeria.

 

It reads in part: “That I state that as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is one of my responsibilities to ensure the promotion of the Constitution of Nigeria and other laws of Nigeria.

 

“That I know that the Defendant in this matter was arrested and brought into Nigeria by the Department of State Services(DSS) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and since he was brought into Nigeria, he had been detained at the detention facility of the DSS pending his trial.

 

“That I know that by the Constitution of Nigeria every citizen, including the Defendant, that is charged with an offence is presumed innocent until the charge is proven.

 

“That I know that the Defendant was charged with several offence and the DSS had only produced him on one occasion in court.

 

“That there is an allegation that criminalities are being championed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra under the leadership of the detained Defendant; an allegation which has been denied severally; yet the situation continues to worsen.

 

“That I visited and intend to visit the Defendant in my capacity as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for purposes of attempting to ameliorate and fashion a meeting point or create a discussion table aimed at reducing tension and quelling the agitation and killings in the South East,” Uba said.

 

However, no date has been fixed to hear the application.

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Kogi Govt Approves Mathew Opaluwa As Attah Igala

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The Kogi State Executive Council has approved the appointment of Prince Mathew Alhaji Opaluwa as the Attah of Igala Kingdom.

 

The council made the approval during the 6th meeting held at the Council Hall of the Government House in Lokoja on Monday.

Opaluwa is the ninth of the 16 and the fourth of the six surviving males of the late Chief Opaluwa of the Aju Ameacho ruling dynasty of the Igala kingdom.

 

The Attah designate started his early education at St Boniface Primary School, Idah in 1975 and proceeded to St Peter’s College, Idah where he obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC), in 1980.

 

He attended the School of Basic Studies, Ugbokolo in Benue State in 1981 and proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in the same year and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Business Administration in 1986.

 

He acquired his Master’s (MBA) degree in Business Administration in 1997.

 

Before his appointment, he had worked at the Independent National Electoral Commission in 1988 as an administrative officer and rose through the ranks to become a deputy director.

 

He has served in many local government areas of Kogi, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory as an electoral officer but while in Katsina State, he was in charge of the Research and Documentation Unit of the electoral body.

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