APC expels Eta, extends caretaker committee tenure by six months – Newstrends
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APC expels Eta, extends caretaker committee tenure by six months

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  • Dissolves party’s structure nationwide

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has announced the expulsion of the former acting national chairman of the party, Hillard Eta, for pressing ahead with his court case against the party.

It also extended the tenure of its National Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee by additional six months.

The committee led by Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, was set up on June 25, 2020, following the dissolution of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).

This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari called on the party stakeholders to return to the era where it respected informal and formal agreements reached before the formation of the APC.

Eta, who was the National Vice Chairman, South-South in the Comrade Oshiomhole’s dissolved NWC of the party, had continued to claim that he remained acting national chairman of the party despite the dissolution of the NWC.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai joined by his Imo and Ondo counterparts, Hope Uzodinma and Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed the party’s decisions.

He explained that the tenure extension was to enable the committee to complete its assignment.

He said the six months period was makeup to the time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NEC has also approved the dissolution of the party organs at the polling units, wards, local government, states and zonal levels as well as the non-NWC component of the NEC.

The highest decision-making body of the ruling party approved their immediate reconstitution and composition of the dissolved Excos to serve in their respective offices in a caretaker committee capacity but excluding the non-NWC members of NEC.

The party granted a blanket waiver for new members and potential members who may wish to contest for any elective position on its platform.

Reading the five-point resolution of the NEC, el-Rufai said, “National Executive Committee of the party approves the extension of the tenure of Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee led by Mai Mala Buni, which expires on December 25, 2020, for another six months period, to terminate on 30th of June, 2021. This is to enable the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee to conclude its assignment as laid before NEC.

“NEC has also donated its powers as enshrined in Articles 13.3 Subsection 5 and 13.3 Subsection 6 of the APC Constitution to the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee.

“The second resolution is that NEC has approved the granting of waivers to persons who have recently joined the party members and those desirous of joining the party in the nearest future. By this, such new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by virtue of their membership of the party. So, they will be able to contest for positions in the party, they will be able to contest elections without any requirement of being members for a number of years or period of time.

“The third resolution, NEC approved the expulsion of Ntufam Hilliard Eta from the party for flaunting the directives of NEC to discontinue all litigation against the party and its members.

“The fourth resolution, NEC approved the immediate dissolution of the party organs at the polling units, wards, local government, states and zonal levels as well as the non-National Working Committee component of the National Executive Committee as well as their immediate reconstitution and composition of the dissolved Excos to serve in their respective offices in a caretaker committee capacity but excluding the non-NWC members of NEC.

“Finally, the NEC condemns in very strong terms, the call by the PDP leadership and some of their cheerleaders for the resignation of Mr President. NEC observes that security challenges though regrettable can only be addressed when all interest, civil and military, governments and opposition, security forces and indeed all citizens collaborate irrespective of party affiliation. This is not the time to politicize security.”

In his opening remarks at the meeting, President Buhari recalled that the APC was used to respecting agreements reached whether formally or informally and urged its members to return to that era.

He said, “I want to appeal to all our party members and leaders at all levels, to try and make the required sacrifices so that we are able to collectively restore our progressive and democratic political party, which can nurture and give expression to our collective dream of building a strong, united and developed Nigeria.

“May I use this opportunity to remind all of us of the need to recreate our negotiation secret of 2012, 2013 under our legacy parties. What guided our success to achieve the merger that produced the APC was the respect we were able to have for each other. In those times, decisions reached both at formal and informal consultations were respected with trusted initiatives taken and believed that they were needed to produce the required political platform that could guarantee electoral victory. Every one of us as leaders ensured that those decisions were respected.

“I have, through consultations of the caretaker committee and other leaders of the party, agree that our challenges in the party require that we take steps to rebuild the party from wards to national levels. The initiative to carry out membership registration revalidation is, therefore, necessary, membership registration revalidation will lay the foundation for reorganizing our membership from ward to local government, state and national levels.”

Chairman of the APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Buni, recalled that at his assumption of office, the APC was like a theatre of war at many levels.

He said, “Conflicts reconciliation within the party: on the assumption of office at the end of June 2020, our party was a theatre of infighting both at the national level and in many states.

“Reconciliation of all the warring factions and individuals was, therefore, an important consideration for us to be able to commence the process of reconstituting the party’s leadership.”

“To achieve that, we set up a reconciliation committee across the country. Issues such as Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Enugu, Zamfara, Edo, Ondo Anambra and Oyo were either referred to one of the committees to handle directly or handled directly by the national caretaker committee.

“Tempers within our party have substantially come down although the works of our various reconciliation committees are yet to be concluded. While progress is being recorded by our respective reconciliation committees, the task of reconciliation should be continuous.”

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PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

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Comrade Philip Shaibu

PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

Former Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has been expelled from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Shaibu’s expulsion was announced on Wednesday by the leadership of the Edo chapter of the party.

The national vice chairman (South-South) of the party, Dan Orbih, was also expelled.

The development is contained in a statement issued in Benin by the party’s state publicity secretary, Ogie Vasco.

According to Vasco, Shaibu and Orbih were expelled for anti-party activities, according to PDP.

Vasco said also expelled for the same reason was Omorgie Ihama, a former House of Representatives member, who represented Oredo Federal Constituency.

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He said the decision was taken on Wednesday at a meeting attended by nine members of the state working committee at the party secretariat.

“The SWC has extensively deliberated on the issue and resolved to expel, with immediate effect, Chief Dan Orbih, National Vice Chairman South South.

“It also decided to expel Phillip Shaibu and upheld the expulsion of Ogbeide-Ihama from Ward 2, Oredo Local Government Area,” he said.

Reacting, Orbih told journalists that the body is not empowered to suspend a member of the national working committee or expel anybody without following the provision of the party’s constitution.

“When a group of persons sits down to make pronouncement that are unconstitutional it only showed that they are ignorant of the constitution of the party.

“That is all I have to say about that and nothing more,” Mr Orbih told journalists.

PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

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APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

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Former DG of Progressive Governors’ Forum and immediate-past National Vice Chairman, North West, Dr Salihu Lukman

APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

Former Director General of Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF and immediate-past National Vice Chairman, North West, of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Salihu Lukman has ditched the party, saying it has outlived its usefulness and can no longer win elections without rigging.

In a statement, yesterday, Lukman said he found it necessary to write to a few leaders of the party and try to clarify his position regarding the situation both in the party and in the country.

He said: “First, it is a shared concern of most leaders of the party that the situation in the country has deteriorated in the last year since the assumption of office of President Bola Tinubu.

“Given a reality that the party structures have been demobilized and the government is implementing policies that have eroded the value of incomes of citizens, conditions of living are rapidly getting worse by the day. With that, both the APC and the governments it controls are getting more and more unpopular.

“It doesn’t require any investigation, at this rate, there is no way we can win election except through rigging. The popular saying in the country now is that President Tinubu is a one-term President. The hard truth is that the country will be lucky to get to 2027, without witnessing upheavals,” he stated.

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Lukman said given the experiences of Nigerians with both former President Muhammadu Buhari and now President Tinubu, Nigerians must learn the appropriate lessons by ensuring that moving forward, they must prioritise the development of a strong party organisation, which can subordinate the President and all elected representatives under the control of organs of the party.

“Given all this, it is not possible to remain in APC, if at all President Tinubu will allow internal reform in the party to return it to its founding vision, which as it is, is very remote. But my reality now in the party is that my membership has been rendered useless and there is no need for me to continue to impose myself.

“I have, therefore, gone back to the trenches and will try to work with all committed Nigerians, who agree and subscribe to the goal of actively campaigning for the survival and development of democracy in Nigeria. We must grow our democracy to the point whereby elected representatives at all levels are accountable to the party and it is possible for Nigerians represented by various interests to develop strong relationships with political parties and elected governments based on which policies of governments can be made to reflect wider interests of Nigerians.

“Although I pray that God Almighty will touch the heart of President Tinubu to make him recover whatever is left of his democratic credentials, I have lost hope that after one year of planless leadership, not much can be achieved during his tenure.

“It, therefore, behoves on all patriots, democrats and progressives in the country to take up the responsibility of organising and mobilising Nigerians towards rescuing Nigerian democracy. As it is, APC and the government of President Tinubu have been lost to the whirlwind. Just like we campaigned against military rule and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, we must rise to the task of campaigning against the President Asiwaju whirlwind,” he stated.

APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State said, on Tuesday, that it was studying Monday judgment, which declared the Martin Amaewhule-led 27 members of the state House of Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Rivers APC  Publicity Secretary, Chibuike Ikenga, said the party would take a position after receiving advise from its lawyers.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Ikenga stated, “Well the decision of the court is what it is. Ours is to obey or appeal.

“But as we speak our leadership is looking at it and based on the advice from the legal department of our party we will take a position on it.”

Asked how soon that will happen, he said, “I think the process is on now. We are in stakeholders engagement so we will know the next line of action afterwards.”

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, had, on Monday, declared that the 27 lawmakers loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike are PDP members.

The court ruled that the 27 lawmakers were still valid members of the  Rivers State House of Assembly because there was no proof that they had defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.

The court, in a ruling by Justice Okogbule Gbasam, struck out the suit filed by Hyacinth Amadi and three others, seeking to declare the seats of the 27 lawmakers vacant on the grounds that they defected from the PDP to the APC.

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The 27 lawmakers had last year announced their defection from the PDP to the APC at the height of the crisis between Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his estranged political godfather, Nyesom Wike.

The Assembly also became factionalised following a failed attempt by the pro-Wike lawmakers to impeach Fubara in October last year.

But in his ruling on Monday, Justice Gbasam held that Amadi and others. seeking to declare the seats of the pro-Wike lawmakers vacant, failed to bring any concrete evidence to convince the court that the pro-Wike lawmakers had truly defected and deserved to lose their seats.

The judge ruled that defection cannot be established through newspaper publications, radio announcements or online publications.

According to the court, a defection can only be established through the party membership register, a membership card and such members fulfilling all requirements of their membership in the party.

But the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,  Dagogo Iboroma, (SAN), said the judgment could not be true because, according to him, the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Iboroma said, “As the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the 3rd defendant in the Suit No DHC/20/CS/2024, my attention has been drawn to a recent judgment.

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“This suit did not seek to declare the seat of Martins Amaewhule and 26 others in Rivers State House of Assembly vacant.

“The suit of the claimants was struck out for want of locus standi and jurisdiction and also for being an abuse of court process, which robbed the trial court of jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

“There is misleading news circulating in social media, print and electronic media that Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“As you all know, Martins Amaewhule and 26 others defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th day of December 2023, and stated that much in affidavit evidence deposed to by Martins Amaewhule for himself and on behalf of 26 others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/1681/CS/2023 before Honourable Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

“The Suit is still pending in court. By Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, it is only the Federal High Court that can determine whether Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are still members of the Peoples Democratic Party and also members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This much was held by the trial court.

“However, you will recall that there is a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction in Suit No. PHC/512/CS/2024 restraining Martins Amaewhule and his co-travelers from further parading or presenting themselves as lawmakers in Rivers State pending the determination of the substantive suit, which has not been appealed against to date.

We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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