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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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Gov Ortom, deputy, 22 LG chairmen shun Atiku’s Benue PDP rally

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Samuel Ortom and Atiku Abubakar

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, his deputy, Benson Abounu, commissioners, aides, and the state’s 22 local government chairmen were all absent from the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign rally in the state.

Benue is controlled by the PDP, where the national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, is from the state

Former governor of the state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former president of the Senate, David Mark, and the three senators representing Zones A, B, and C, Suswam, Orker Jev, and Abba Moro, were, however, in attendance.

The rally was also attended by the party’s governorship candidate and his deputy, Titus Uba and John Ngbede, as well as some state working committee members.

Speaking at the rally, Ayu urged Ortom, who had not supported Atiku, to join forces with the party in order to save the country.

Ayu stated that he met with one of the G-5 governors, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, two days ago and urged him to work with them.

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SaharaReporters had in January reported that Ortom insisted that the five aggrieved governors would not work for Atiku Abubakar in the February 25 election.

“We read a fictitious, online report which claimed that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his colleagues in the G-5 have resolved to work for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to win the 2023 elections.

“The report is not only false but also mischievous as it is targeted at embarrassing the five governors who have chosen the path of justice, fairness and equity.

“Manufacturers of the said report were apparently on a desperate mission to score a cheap political point. The report could not mention the place and date of the said meeting of G-5 Governors. The writers only sought to take advantage of the crisis within the PDP for their selfish purposes. Governor Ortom and other members of the G-5 have not endorsed the said presidential candidate.

“When the Governor met with the expanded state caucus of PDP yesterday, January 9, 2023, at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, his message to them was crystal clear that the national leadership of PDP has failed to utilise its internal conflict resolution mechanism, which has led to the crisis rocking the party,” a statement had partly read.

SR

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Anti-June 12 elements behind naira shortage, court injunction – Ganduje 

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday raised the alarm that  ” anti-June 12 elements” were bent on scuttling the nation’s democracy.

He said the elements were “regrouping and dangerously masquerading” in the prevailing crisis generated by the new cash policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve their goal.

Ganduje alleged that the elements consisted of “unknown political parties” working in consort with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor was reacting to an interim injunction by a Federal High Court in Abuja stopping the CBN from extending the 10-day deadline for swapping old naira notes for new ones. The extension ends on Friday.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government blamed its failure to end the impasse generated by the naira redesign on ”some opposition political parties.”

Ganduje had in a statement in Kano alleged that open support for the naira redesign by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, showed collaboration between the opposition and the CBN to weaken the masses through harsh policies and thwart democracy.

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The statement by Kano State Commissioner for Information   Muhammad Garba reads in part: “The group’s latest attempt is camouflaging in unknown political parties through the use of a legal instrument to further impose unfeasible cash policy that is taking its toll on the masses.

“The unknown political parties are also allegedly colluding with the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to execute this fiendish scheme.

“It is unfortunate that the CBN and its collaborators are insisting unnecessarily on the imposition of an unreasonable time frame for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, in total refutation of the obvious national dearth in the necessary technological infrastructure for the process.

“The rigid insistence on the implementation of these harsh, inhuman and insensitive cash policies to a point of neglecting their widespread rejection by the vast majority of Nigerians, including the National Assembly and all state governors, is an ominous agenda for the undermining of the nation and consequent scurrying of a smooth transition to a freely and fairly elected successive administration.”

In Abuja, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed also took a swipe at the opposition parties for rushing to court for the order that restrained   President Muhammadu Buhari and Emefiele from extending Friday’s deadline for the naira swap.

He accused the “unscrupulous” parties of playing a political game with the redesigning of the naira and working against efforts that could have reduced the pains being experienced by Nigerians.

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Mohammed, who spoke at the 23rd Buhari administration’s scorecard series in Abuja, however, assured Nigerians that the naira redesign brouhaha would end soon.

His words: “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is mindful of the inconveniences currently being endured by citizens as a result of fuel supply disruptions and the recent redesigning of naira notes.

“The government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians.

“Recall that after his meeting with progressives governors on Friday,  President Buhari urged citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.

“Unfortunately, on Monday (yesterday), some opposition political parties ran to the court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.

“The court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general election if the deadline was extended.”

The minister said the move by the parties amounted to legally hamstringing the President.

The Nation

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2023 Presidential Election: Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) declares support for Atiku!

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A socio-cultural group of Yoruba leaders under the aegis of the Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) has declared support for the former two terms Vice President of the federal Republic of Nigeria during the General Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007 – His Excellency Abubaka Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – during the forthcoming 2023 general election. This decision was taken at their meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, 7th of February, 2023.

Prof. Muhammad Omolaja, the president of the union, said that YEU considered all the presidential candidates from various political parties using, inter alia, criteria such as competence, experience, health, and general acceptability of the candidates. Alhaji (Prince) Muhammad Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku stands clear among his presidential candidate colleagues as regards competence and health.

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In terms of the experience at the presidency level, the Yoruba leaders found that only Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has it among the candidates having served as the Vice President for eight years, and therefore, it will be easier for him to take off upon his election than for a new person who will have to spend about 6 months or more to study the situation in the office before taking off! The challenges in Nigeria now would not allow that to ameliorate the prevailing suffering of the Nigerian masses. As regards acceptability, the Yoruba leaders also agreed that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most widely accepted across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Abubakar Atiku has been building his network of politics and business for over 40 years! Hence, he is well known in the north, south, west and east of the country.

At the human relations level, Prof. Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most detribalized among all the candidates. He relates well with people from different parts of the country. He married from the southwest (Yoruba), Southeast (Igbo) and from the north(Hausa/Fulani), and he doesn’t discriminate on religious affairs. His choice of a Muslim/Christian ticket makes him superb in that respect!

The group therefore urges all well meaning Nigerians especially Yoruba sons and daughters to forget about all sentiments and come out en masse to cast their votes for H. E. Abubakar Atiku of the PDP during the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

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