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APC reduces national chairman’s powers in new constitution

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There are indications the powers of the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress may be drastically whittled down in the new constitution proposed by the Constitution Review Committee of the party.

A new constitution of the All Progressives Congress has been prepared with a number changes including reducing the powers of the party’s national chairman.

Already, a draft copy is billed to be formally presented to the APC caretaker committee after the Ramadan holiday, subject to ratification of the National Convention slated for next month.

Part of the new provisions, it was learnt, included the inauguration of an advisory council to replace the Board of Trustees (BOT) expected to serve as the conscience of the party.

APC Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on March 2, 2021 inaugurated an eight-man CRC headed by Prof Tahir Mamman (SAN) to review the constitution of the party to accommodate the new dynamics of managing a ruling party.

The committee watered down Article 14.1 of the party’s constitution (April 2014 as amended) which enunciates the powers of the national chairman.

The Odigie Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) in 2017 set up the Muniz Banire- Committee that carried out similar exercise but never implemented the committee’s report.

Though details of the powers of the office of national chairman were not made available, a source in the CRC said the decision was “to check the overbearing tendencies exhibited by previous holders of the office.

‘’The committee proposed that the powers of the national chairman be curtailed.”

A new advisory council will be inaugurated by the National Working Committee (NWC) after the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

This council will replace the Board of Trustees (BOT) as provided for in Article 12:2 of the party’s constitution (April 2014 as amended)

It was also gathered the review committee did not tamper with the controversial mode of conducting primary elections of the party in Article 20 of the party’s constitution.

The constitution prescribes the procedure for the nomination and emergence of party candidates for any elective office which can either be by direct or indirect primary elections or through consensus.

Article 20(iii) says, “Nomination of candidates for: (a) local government house council/area council chairman, (b) State House of Assembly; (c) House of Representatives, (d) Senate, (e) Governor, (f) President shall be through direct or indirect primary elections to be conducted at the appropriate level.

“Article 20(ii) (a) also gives room for the emergence of candidates through consensus with a proviso that a vote of yes or no should be called to ensure that it was not an imposition which could breach discontent and crisis.”

A new directorate is to be created for women and youths to bring the number of directorates to seven from the existing Directorates of Organisation, Publicity, Administration, Finance, Research, Planning and Strategy as well as Directorate of Social Welfare.

Under the new draft, more powers are accorded the zonal officers of the party.

The Constitution Review Committee was said to have conducted town-hall meetings in the six geo-political zones of the country; held a five-day retreat in Lagos; received 95 memorandums and consulted widely with critical stakeholders in the party.

The committee also considered the Banire Review Committee report and met with Chief Segun Osoba, who chaired the committee that drafted the current constitution and took input from the Presidency, various interest groups and individuals.

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Obasanjo in Addis Ababa to monitor Ethiopia’s election

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has arrived in Addis Ababa to monitor Ethiopia’s general election scheduled for Monday June 21.
Obasanjo is heading the African Union Elections Observation Mission to the country.
The election was initially slated for August last year but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement by 10 months. And technical hitches forced another weeks’ delay in May.
It was agreed that the poll in the vast country of 110 million should hold at the best of times.
And things are worsened by unrest, conflict and COVID-19.
Campaign for the elections ended on Thursday.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed campaigned in the southern city of Jimma on Wednesday, where he outlined his vision of a peaceful, united and prosperous Ethiopia. It was his final campaign rally.
His upbeat speech came at a time of widespread ethnic unrest and economic difficulties, as well as a conflict in the northern Tigray region where the UN warns 350,000 people face famine.

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Sunday Igboho issues fresh quit notice to killer Fulani in South-West

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A Yoruba Freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a Igboho, has given a fresh quit notice to killer herdsmen in the South-West zone, saying he will ensure they are all smoked out of the forests very soon.

Igboho, in an interview, anchored by his Spokesperson, Mr Oluyomi Koiki in a viral video said he would never give any order without monitoring compliance.

He said the issue of agitation for Yoruba nation is non-negotiable and no Jupiter can stop it.

The popular Yoruba man also insisted that no governor can say Yoruba nation rally must not hold in his state noting if any governor says that, it will not be obeyed because Yoruba land belongs to all Yoruba indigenes.

He further warned criminal elements hibernating in the forests to leave because henceforth, there must not be any issue of kidnapping again in the zone.

Chief Adeyemo who spoke in Yoruba said, “how can six million people be commanding about 250 million of other Nigerians. Marriage is not by force. We can’t live with you again. Yoruba nation is a vehicle of salvation and I want all Yoruba to board the vehicle and have their seats.”

On the agitation struggle, he stressed that there is no going back.
“How can we go back when we are almost in our destination. Those who have not joined us should do so now because there’s no election come 2023. Yoruba will go.”

He appealed to all youths not to insult elders in Yoruba land including the traditional rulers.

“Please, don’t insult our elders again. I don’t want anyone to cast aspersions to our traditional rulers that they have collected money. No, don’t do that. Even, if they were given money, it’s part of common wealth that was stolen.”

“Don’t fight the police or any security agents. Let’s do our rally peacefully.Tell President Buhari, if he doesn’t understand Yoruba, tell him in English Language that we don’t want bandits in our zone again. Work has begun already and as from Monday, I will begin combing all forests in Yoruba land.”

“I want all Fulani on Yoruba land to leave. I, myself will monitor compliance to the eviction notice. I don’t issue an order without ensuring compliance. As from Monday, we don’t want to hear of any kidnapping in Yorubaland again. I will show them the stuff Yoruba people are made of.”

“We will tell them there is clear distinction between Yoruba and Fulani. All these weapons they are brandishing, we will collect them with ease. We will blow ‘wind’ into all the forests in Yoruba land. If we don’t prove to these people who we are now, they will be encroaching on our lands when we achieve our Yoruba nation.”

He dared anyone who claimed to have given him money on the agitation to come forward and say it out now.

“If you know you have given me money that I should shelve Yoruba nation struggle, come out and say it now. No amount of money can stop me from going ahead with this struggle. You can’t kill me. Kill who? Throw bomb at me? If you throw bomb, I, too, will send thunder”.

On his rumoured kidnap, he dismissed it saying “no one can kidnap me. I know you Yoruba people love me. I’m not missing. We are almost there. All those who go out with me to rallies, you are safe. No policeman can arrest you. We are asking for our rights. No one can intimidate us on our father land. No governor can say we must not have rally in his state.”

“We are in Yoruba land. It will be okay if Britain or United Nations come to our aid to help us actualize it, if not we will never back down. It’s possible some political hangers-on will align with politicians because of benefits they get from them, don’t mind them; they are too minute to stop us”, he said.

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INEC creates additional 56,872 polling units — total now 176,846

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has announced the creation of additional polling units.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said in Abuja on Wednesday that the commission converted a total of 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements into polling units.
With this, Nigeria now has a total of 176,846 polling units.
This is said to be part of the preparations for the 2023 general elections, which is less than two years away.
Yakubu said the location and number of polling units in the country has been a source of concern for the commission as it hopes to improve voter participation.
“Before 2010, the commission operated on a round figure of approximately 120,000 polling units. However, a census undertaken by the Commission before the 2011 general election arrived at the precise figure of 119,973 polling units,” he said.
“Following several unsuccessful attempts to create additional polling units despite the obvious pressure from the increased number of registered voters, the commission established voting points and voting point settlements across the states and the federal capital territory as a pragmatic response to necessity.
“The voting points were tied to the existing polling units and voting point settlements. The number of registered voters in a polling unit and the voting point settlement in the FCT, was used to determine their voting points, based on the upper and lower thresholds of 500 and 750 voters respectively.
“These were also the limits used for the 2019 general election. The number of new polling units in a state is the number of voting points aggregated from those polling units having voting points.”
He said with that and other necessary adjustments, the actual number of approved polling units came to 119,974, with the 56,872 voting points across the country also converted to polling units.

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