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Buhari, governors agree on Adamu as consensus chair

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Senator Abdullahi Adamu

•Sen. Nnamani (South), Sen. Kyari (North) endorsed as deputy chairmen on Unity List

•No election at convention •Other chair aspirants to get refund of nomination fee

To ensure a hitch-free convention on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket agreed on a unity list based on consensus.

At a meeting held at the Presidential Villa with 16 governors in attendance, Buhari expressed his preference for a former Nasarawa State Governor Senator Abdullahi Adamu as national chairman.

The governors agreed with his choice.

A former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani, was picked by consensus as Deputy National Chairman (South). Abubakar Kyari is the consensus candidate for Deputy National Chairman (North).

A governor said: “Deputy National Chairman (North) has been zoned to the Northeast and we have nominated Abubakar Kyari for the position.

“We are currently holding a meeting to firm up our position.”

It was learnt that an agreement was also reached at the meeting that all chairmanship aspirants who lost out would get a refund of their N20million nomination fee.

Another source added: “The President invited the chairmanship aspirants to a meeting to seek their understanding on his choice of ex-Nasarawa State governor as the party’s chairman.

“He pleaded with them to avoid recourse to crisis and litigations over the party’s choice.”

None of the aspirants was willing to speak last night after the meeting.

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With the list, the APC National Convention might only be a mere coronation as there were indications that there might not be an outright election.

Before the President’s meeting with the governors, seven chairmanship aspirants were screened by Governor Aminu Masari-led committee.

These are Saliu Mustapha, Sani Musa, Tanko Al-Makura, Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, Abdulaziz Yari and Mohammed Etsu.

Also screened for other positions are Deputy Chair North – Sunny S. Moniedafe, Abubakar Girei, Yakubu Dogara, Isa Yuguda and Abubakar Kyari; Deputy Chair South – Ken Nammani and Emmanuel Joseph; and National Secretary – Iyiola Omisore, Adebayo Shittu and Ifeolu Oyedele.

The Northeast zone was locked in a meeting last night to firm up its list of nominees.

Those at the meeting were ex- Governor M.A.Abubakar, Senator Haliru Jika (Bauchi), Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Senator Alkali and Hon.Ustaz Yamaltu-Deba (Gombe).

Others were Governor Babagana Zulum (Borno), Senator Kashim Shettima and Muktari Betara (Borno); Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), Senator Yusuf A.Yusuf, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Danjuma Shidi and a minister from Taraba State.

The representatives from Adamawa State include ex-Governor Muhammad Bindo Jibrilla, Senator Cliff Ishaku Aboh and Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani.

We will back President, say governors

Governors will support the consensus arrangement as proposed by President Buhari to fill the APC National Working Committee (NWC) positions.

Chairman of Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, stated this after a meeting of the governors with the President in Abuja yesterday.

“The governors are united. The governors are unanimous in support of Mr. President,” he said.

However, he said those who choose to contest the election would not be stopped.

The APC convention is billed for Eagles Square on Saturday.

President Buhari last night met with chairmanship aspirants.

He is believed to have a preference for Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

Speaking on the meeting with the President, attended by 16 governors, Bagudu said: “We briefed Mr President on what the governors have been doing in preparation for the March 26, National Convention.

“Some of you may recall that last week there was a letter that was widely circulated in the media, addressed to me as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and copied to a number of others, including the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, the acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and indeed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“That letter led to a series of actions, including meetings between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Acting Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, as he was then, and myself.

“We all restated our commitment to working together to ensure that the convention takes place on March 26, 2022, and then we agreed to support all the decisions that were taken by the Caretaker Committee, both acting as a working committee and acting with the donated powers given to it by the National Executive Committee.

“Indeed, the Chairman of the Caretaker, upon his return, also appreciated what the Caretaker Committee did and the decisions that were taken in his absence.

“Today (yesterday) we all briefed Mr. President on that, including on the issue of distributing political party offices to the respective zones and our support for Mr. President’s endorsement of the candidate for the National Chairman of the party.

“The various geo-political zones took turns to brief Mr. President on what they have been doing to generate consensus in their respective zones.

“Most of the zones have been allocated National Working Committee positions that are fewer than the number of states, but there are zonal executive committees from which the zones are working to produce a consensus list.

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“So, this afternoon, the respective zones briefed the President: Governor Abubakar Bello (Niger) on behalf of the Northcentral; Governor Babagana Zulum, on behalf of the Northeast; Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State on behalf of Northwest; Governor Dave Umahi, on behalf of Southeast, Governor Kayode Fayemi on behalf of the Southwest and I (Bagudu) on behalf of Southsouth.”

Bagudu presented the Southsouth’s position because Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River was absent.

He added: “Mr. President pointed out that aspirants that are against consensus option are free to run at the Saturday convention, saying APC as a democratic party will not bar anybody from exercising their rights.

“Our party is a democratic party, we will always urge consensus, we’ll urge respect for the decisions of the party because the distribution of political party offices here has been approved by the highest organ of the party, which is the National Caretaker Committee because they were acting in their capacity as the National Executive Committee of the party, but where people still choose to go against the grain – whatever the party constitution allows them – we wouldn’t do anything on undemocratic.

“Mr. President has always urged consensus for all positions because consensus is in accordance with the democratic tenets and once you have leaders who are established, who are working towards the same goal, yes, we might have our individual differences, like was once carefully explained by Governor El-Rufa’i, but on the principle of ensuring that we get leadership that will hit the ground running, we are united, and to that extent, who will support any process that will lead to consensus and the emergence of leaders without the need for election.”

“Naturally, there will be hiccups one day, but we have overcome them and we are a human organisation, which is bound sometimes to generate emotions and anxiety, but we are united and unanimous and by God’s grace, we’ll have a very successful and peaceful National Convention.”

THE NATION

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Kebbi rep rejoins APC four months after defecting to PDP

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A member of the House of Representatives from Kebbi State, Bello Yakubu, has returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC) about four months after leaving the party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The lawmaker representing Birnin Kebbi/Kalgo/Bunza federal constituency said he rejoined the APC following calls by his supporters to do so.

He lost his bid for re-election into the lower chamber of the National Assembly under the PDP in May this year.

Speaking with journalists on Monday in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi capital, the lawmaker said, “APC has been my party, and I came to realise that politics in our dear state is all about development.

“People have been calling me, pleading with me to rejoin the party to continue with the development we have started witnessing in the state, hence my decision to rejoin the party.”

The legislator described Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, as “a humble person and a leader who deserves to be supported by all and at all times.”

He said, “In 2019, if you could recall, all the political bigwigs in the state were in APC because of his charisma and manner in dealing with people,” he added.

In May, Bello lost his bid to seek re-election into the House of Representatives after Mohammed Abba-Bello, son of Bello Mohammed-Haliru, a former PDP national chairman, won the PDP ticket.

The lawmaker, who was elected on the platform of the APC in 2019, defected to the PDP in March after a disagreement with some members of the APC in the state.

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Obi won’t win half of any Nasarawa council – Adeyanju

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Deji Adeyanju

Human rights activist Deji Adeyanju has reacted to the one-million-man march by Nasarawa residents in support of the Labour Party (LP) flag bearer, Peter Obi.

On Saturday, August 7, a coalition of 56 support groups across the 13 Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State organised a one-million-man march to support Obi.

The group carried several inscriptions which indicated their love and support for the former Anambra Governor and marched from the College of Agriculture junction along Jos Road to the U-turn linking Lafia main market along Makurdi Road.

Reacting to the march, the ‘convener of Concerned Nigerians’ noted despite the ‘mammoth’ crowd who trooped out for Obi, he would still not win half of any local government in Nasarawa in the 2023 general election.

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Adeyanju also alleged the one-million-man crowd was hired

“Sorry to break your hearts guys but Peter Obi won’t still win even half of an LGA in Nasarawa after the rally yesterday.

“You will be shocked that 90% of those who came out to protest yesterday did so because someone paid them and they won’t vote him. Vawulence dropped, bye”, he tweeted.

Responding to his tweet, one Kelechi Chukwu noted: “Funny enough, when Obi eventually wins in 2023, this guy will say he was doing all he did to push Obi-dients to do more and not to relent in their efforts! He will definitely change the narrative!”

Adeyanju, who retweeted Chukwu’s reaction, added: “Obi will only win here on social media. And I mean all the online polls.”

The Nation

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Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7

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A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.

The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.

Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.

“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.

Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.

The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.

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