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Ambode, Bankole, Dogara named members of APC strategy committee

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A former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, have named as part of a 61-member high-powered strategy committee raised by the ruling All Progressives Congress aimed at rebuilding the party.

John Akpanudoehede, national secretary of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee (CECPC), in a statement issued on Monday, said the committee had been constituted as part of efforts to rebuild and reposition the party.

While Daniel and Bankole recently defected, Ambode renewed his membership of the party in February. The former Lagos governor was denied the APC’s ticket for reelection in 2018.

Akpanudoehede said the committee would be inaugurated on Tuesday.

The committee is made up of 12 serving APC governors, senators, house of representatives members, and other party chieftains, while Mohammed  Abubakar, governor of Jigawa state, will serve as chairman.

Other members of the committee are Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the House of Representatives; Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, and Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo.

Also on the committee are Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, 11 governors, former and serving members of the National Assembly, members of the Federal Executive Council and some party chieftains.

Daniel and Bankole have given reasons for their defection to the ruling APC.

They spoke after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the State House in Abuja.

Buni and Governors Mohammed Badaru (Jigawa) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) accompanied the duo to the Presidential Villa for the meeting.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Buni said he was at the State House to present the new party members to the President.

The Yobe State governor said President Buhari was happy with the defectors.

Explaining why he joined the ruling party, Daniel said, “Why APC? There are too many options in the party. One thing is sure: we are going through health and economic challenges. We must do less of political contestations and give support.

“One thing that is for sure is that the entire world is going through challenges that are global, economic and health-related. When you are in a situation like this, as I usually opine, we should do less of partisan contestation. All of us must come together to support whoever is in power.

“What we have decided to do is to come and give our support to the President so that, jointly, we can continuously navigate the country. That is what is relevant.”

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Governors have limited power to tackle insecurity, says Lalong

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Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, says there are limits to what state governors can do about insecurity in the country.

He lamented that governors don’t have full authority over the security operatives in their states.

Lalong spoke on Friday during the Good Morning Nigeria programme on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

He said even though the constitution makes the governors the chief security officers of their states, there is a limit to the orders they can give security personnel.

Lalong called on the national assembly to intervene, adding that the federal lawmakers have a role to play in ensuring that governors are empowered to tackle insecurity.

“We have also cried and said the constitution provides that we (the governors) are chief security officers in our state,” he said.

“But there are limits to what we can do, the command that we do. If I am the general officer commanding, I should be the general officer commanding. Not the general officer that will command, and the person you command will say I need to get command from somewhere. All these are very important.”

Lalong said it is time for the federal government to address security issues and to implement all the security reports that have been drafted and submitted.

“We can’t be talking unless we address these issues. Let us be addressing these issues, not only talk-shop, because by the time we continue to talk without coming back to implement, we will still be talking of the same issue,” he added.

 

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Buhari meets Chad’s interim leader, promises support

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President Muhammadu Buhari has held a meeting with President of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, General Mahamat Idriss Deby, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari at the Friday meeting made his visitor a promise that he would help Chad to stabilize and return to a democratic government.
A statement issued by a presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, recalled that Marshal Idriss Deby  President of the country, had died in a battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya.
“The country set up the transitional council, headed by the son of the deceased, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months,” the statement added.
The President, while speaking to his visitor, said: “We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can.
“Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration,” said the president.
Buhari said Chad should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary as the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria.”
The President, who said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), added, “We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”
Lt. Gen. Itno, who thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noted that the main objective of the Transitional Military Council “is the security and cohesion of our country.”
He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling President Buhari: “You were very close to Marshal Itno. I’m here to reaffirm that relationship, and for you to support our transition. We rely on our brother country Nigeria, as we have shared history, culture and geography. We are ready to be guided by you in our journey to constitutional rule.”

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I’ll always be mayor for all Londoners, says Sadiq Khan

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Newly elected London major, Sadiq Khan has said he is humbled by his election for a second term, promising to always remain a mayor for all Londoners.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan won the election by beating Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.

He won 55.2% of the popular vote, after entering a run-off with Mr Bailey when neither managed to secure a majority in the first round of voting.

The former MP became the first Muslim mayor of an EU capital city when he was elected to the role in 2016.

He spoke at the City Hall, pledging “to strain every sinew to help build a better, brighter future for London”.

The Green Party’s Sian Berry came third, while the Liberal Democrats’ Luisa Porritt was fourth.

The Lib Dems lost their deposit, as Ms Porritt failed to win more than 5% of the vote.

Elsewhere on Saturday evening, Labour lost overall control of Durham County Council while the Tories continued to make inroads in their traditional heartlands.

Sadiq Khan: ‘I never wanted to be a culture war poster boy’

Mr Khan was seen as the favourite throughout the campaign, with some pollsters predicting he would win more than half of the first-round votes.

The 51-year-old failed to reach his record-setting vote total of 2016, but won with a 228,000-vote majority.

Khan’s closest rival was Mr Bailey, who received 44.8% of the first and second-round votes, and increased the Conservative vote share by 1.6%.

Speaking after the results were announced, Mr Khan said, “I will always be a mayor for all Londoners, working to improve the lives of every single person in this city.

“The results of the elections around the UK show our country, and even our city, remains deeply divided.

“The scars of Brexit have yet to heal. A crude culture war is pushing us further apart.”

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