According to him, Obi believes in ‘One Nigeria’ and is irreversibly committed to the One Nigeria dream and to making Nigeria a successful nation.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Air force, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, has accused the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, of introducing mandatory direct primary clause into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill “to favour someone”.
Na’Allah, representing Kebbi South Senatorial District, explained that the Speaker’s idea of direct primary was to favour someone, whom he failed to name.
President Muhammadu Buhari had withheld his assent on the controversial bill over inclusion mandatory Direct primary among other reasons.
Former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega and Members of the Civil Society had mounted pressure on the National Assembly to withdraw the controversial clause and transmit the bill back to Buhari for his assent.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Apata, particularly said the bill “is too good” to be thrown away because of the Direct primary clause.
On Wednesday, the National Assembly bowed to the pressure, removed the clause that makes direct primary mandatory for the election of candidates in political parties from the electoral act amendment bill and equally passed it into law.
Speaking on Thursday when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Na’Allah pointed accusing fingers at Gbajabiamila over the controversial clause.
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He also said that during the discussions at the committee level, the issue of direct primaries was never brought up.
“We are hearing that that law (direct primary) was intended for an individual. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know but I must say and maintain that the process was not painstaking enough,” the Senator said.
Na’Allah said “The issue of direct primary came at the dying minute on the floor of the House of Representatives when they were considering the report of the committee of electoral matters. What it means is that it was never discussed or adopted by the committee of the House but that it came as an amendment allegedly because I don’t have the records, by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
Na’Allah said the second argument by Gbajabiamila that the direct primary had become necessary in order to protect federal lawmakers from overbearing governors, showed that the proposed law was done for personal reasons.
“And I have seen the Speaker doing whatever was humanly possible to defend that position. But what would prove me right is that in one breath, I heard the Speaker saying that because of the rate of return at the National Assembly, there was the need to protect the members of the National Assembly from the influence of governors, therefore the resort to direct primaries.
“Now, the catch there is that personal interest was allowed in the process. That is the catch because he particularly said the turnover of members is very disturbing and that there is the need to protect members of the National Assembly from the governors.
“In the first place, that argument will fall flat because it means that decision was taken to promote personal interest against the oath of office that we have taken as members of the National Assembly.”
Speaking at the plenary on Thursday, Gbajabiamila gave a vague reaction to Na’Allah’s position.
He said, “Honourable colleagues, I am constrained to say at this point that I watched with dismay this morning, some members of this National Assembly exercising their freedom of expression and speech, and that is well within their right. But when you exercise such freedom, be careful not to mislead the public; be careful not to malign, unjustifiably, this institution.
“This leadership has allowed people to express their opinions at all times; I have no problem with that. But when you begin to call the institution which you are a part of names, unwittingly maligning even yourself, we need to draw a line especially when you are peddling untruths. And I just thought it was important that we mention this so (that) in future we will be guided both by the freedom of expression and by the truth.
“It was a show of disgrace as far as I’m concerned – I don’t care what anybody says – the things that were uttered by members of this National Assembly. A show of disgrace! (I am) extremely disappointed.”
Miyetti Allah rejects Obi, says ex-gov represents Biafra
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, also known as Miyetti Allah, has said it has instructed every Fulani in the country not to vote for the presidential standard bearer of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
According to the group, Obi is a ‘tribal bigot’ and represents ‘the Biafran interest’, which would not ‘favour the Fulani nation in Nigeria’.
The National Secretary-General of the Fulani socio-cultural group, Mr Saleh Ahassan, in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, noted that as far as Miyetti Allah was concerned, Obi was out of the options of persons to be voted for in the forthcoming elections.
“As far as we are concerned, we know those we cannot vote for. You see that they call Obi or OBIdient, any Fulani man who votes for him must be questioned because he may not be a true son of the soil.
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“Obi represents the Biafran interest. So, we know those we cannot vote for and those that cannot be president of Nigeria. He is a tribal bigot,” he stressed.
Alhassan also stated that when Obi was the governor of Anambra State, he “destroyed the businesses of northerners and chased plenty Hausa and Fulani people from entering Anambra”.
Reacting, the spokesperson for Peter Obi Support Network, Mr Jones Onwuasoanya, said Obi was a nationalist whose interest was only with Nigerians.
Atiku/Wike peace talks run into fresh hitch
Adamawa gov: We’re making progress
Rivers gov’s camp: Nothing concrete yet
The latest emissary of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on moves to resolve their differences may have departed Port Harcourt empty handed, The Nation can now reveal.
Mr.Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Atiku’s home state of Adamawa, arrived at the Rivers State capital on Thursday at the behest of the former vice president to pacify Wike.
Fintiri left Port Harcourt on Friday morning and told reporters in Yola,the Adamawa State capital yesterday that progress was being made in the reconciliation process.
“I’ve just returned from Rivers State where I met with my brother Governor Wike and I can assure you that we’ve started talking and very soon we’ll be crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” Fintiri said.
He added: “Politics is all about discussions, meetings, give and take; and I can assure you that the reconciliation process is going well and PDP will come out of it successfully.
“We are focused and the reconciliation is up and progressing. I am the chairman of the reconciliation committee between Atiku and Wike on Atiku’s side, and I can assure you that we will get over it very soon.”
He said he was in a good position to help resolve the disagreement between Atiku and Wike because “I am an embodiment of both men.”
He spoke of ‘encouraging signs’ from the Port Harcourt meeting but also conceded that the task was a difficult one.
Wike, according to him, has contributed enormously to the growth of the PDP and wondered whether the Rivers State governor would allow all his contribution to the party go down the drain if he failed to support Atiku for the 2023 polls or dump the PDP for APC .
“Who are his friends in the APC? Are you telling me those who are now romancing with Wike love him? “ he asked.
“Even Wike knows he has been by far the biggest investor in the party. Can he now walk away from all of his investment?
“We recognise he loves his people and I can assure you that he will have a fair deal if it comes to that, just to put the crisis behind us.”
However, political sources told The Nation in Port Harcourt yesterday that Fintiri may have exaggerated the success of his mission to Rivers State.
One of the sources confirmed that Fintiri was indeed in Port Harcourt on Thursday and met behind closed doors with Wike.
The source said the meeting did not achieve much because while it was ongoing some anti-Wike forces in Atiku’s camp scripted a report that the governor had removed all PDP flags in the Government House.
Said the source:”Fintiri is Wike’s friend. Atiku sent him on Thursday to talk to the governor. They met behind closed doors. But you know that day something happened:the same anti-Wike forces in Atiku’s camp sponsored a post on social media that the governor ordered his CSO to pull down all PDP flags in Government House.
“I don’t think the meeting achieved its desired results and that was why the governor spoke out on Friday. Fintiri left the state on Friday morning. So, everyday people behind Atiku are widening the crack and these people are very close to Atiku.”
The source said it was the same complaint the governor made to Atiku when both of them met recently in the Abuja home of a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana.
“But I believe that soon they will find common ground to resolve their differences. Atiku should do more in calling his attack dogs to order,”` he said.
Another source said: “The crisis is not unusual in any party. But I have the confidence that it would be resolved and the party members will move on in peace. It is not a matter of Atiku paying a visit to Wike.
“This is a matter of the ability of the elders of the party and leaders of the party to do the right thing. If the party could survive the Sheriff’s era, it can resolve any issue that comes.
“I believe that the governor and the other leaders of the party especially the presidential candidate will be able to find a common ground and many party members believe that too. Both aggrieved parties have good intentions for the survival of the PDP.”
Yet another source drew attention to the statement made by Wike about Atiku on Friday during the inauguration of the Rivers State House of Assembly Quarters.
According to the source, the tone of the governor on that day did not suggest in any way that both camps had made up.
Among other things, Wike said: “I have kept quiet and busy delivering dividends of democracy for my party to win election; people are busy plotting how they will win election, but others are busy trying to see how they will lose election.
“If they lose election nobody should call my name. I have told the candidate, you will lose this election and you will win this election because of people around you. Anybody who knows me knows that if I was going to court, I would have gone to court within two weeks after the primaries because it is a pre-election matter and after two weeks you can’t go to the court.
“The legal adviser of the party called me and I told him you know there is mischief going on; you know me very well if I am going to court it is not those kind of lawyers I would have used and I don’t even know the lawyers. I want to tell the candidate (Atiku) that it is his group that are doing all these things. Let the world hear.
“They are the ones plotting all these things thinking that they would spoil my name. You cannot. The other day they said I removed all PDP flags in Government House. We are supposed to be talking about how you will win election, not about these people. They are not doing him any favour, rather they are trying to make him not to win election.But if that is what they want, I wish them good luck.
“But after my commissioning of projects nobody should say Wike has started. When I start, I have been on my own, they are looking for my trouble. Allow peace to reign. If you say your mother will not sleep, you too you will not sleep at the appropriate time.
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“I told Atiku the other day, all these governors you think are good with you what happened in 2019? Nobody wants to say the truth. Today instead of plotting how to win an election, they are talking about Wike. Wike is not important, why are you worried? Allow Wike to rest.”
Asked last month in a television interview to confirm claims by Atiku that he had reached out to him, Wike said: “When people tell lies, it is most unfortunate. Some senators called me and said Atiku Abubakar said he sent Saraki to me. That is unfair. It is not correct.
“I was in Spain, Bukola came to me and said ‘my brother how do we settle this problem?’. I asked, ‘were you sent by Atiku Abubakar’?, he said no. I said okay, ‘what do you want me to do? Look at the issues’. He said he didn’t know this and that. He said the matter was serious”.
He recalled that prior to the primaries, Atiku visited him in Port Harcourt to solicit his support, and wondered whether Atiku no longer knew the road to his house after winning the ticket.
Wike said: “Abubakar has never reached out to me.Forget about sending scavengers.Some of them will call my friends and say tell your guy to support us. It has reduced to that level. Some of them, I don’t know, would call me and be begging me not to leave the party. Who is talking about leaving the party?
“Atiku Abubakar came to my house and asked me to support him. So he doesn’t know my house again? Now, people I don’t even know are calling me to support him. They are trivialising issues. No way. I will not accept that. Atiku Abubakar cannot say he has sent somebody to me. Let one person say he was sent to me by Atiku Abubakar.
“Every day I read on newspaper you sent a committee to come and see me. I love this party and I have remained committed and I have been able to build this party. I am not one of those who are running around the presidential candidate. They are all scavengers looking for how they will survive.”
Atiku and Wike’s disagreement stemmed from the former vice president’s choice of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate in preference to the Rivers State governor.
Kano Gov’ship: Declare Me PDP Candidate, Abacha Tells INEC, PDP
Mohammed Abacha has asked a Federal High Court in Kano to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop his substitution as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State.
Abacha, in his counter affidavit, has also challenged the submission of Jafar Sani Bello, who came second in the primary, that he was not a member of the party because he was duly issued with a waiver and screened as a member of the political party.
The originating summons brought by his lawyers, J.Y. Musa (SAN) and Reuben Atabo (SAN), also has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Sadiq Aminu Wali, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and Alhaji Shehu Wada Sagagi as defendants.
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Abacha contends that he won the PDP primary which was held on May 25 and was monitored by INEC by polling 736 votes against the 710 scored by Ja’afar Sani Bello before his name was substituted with that of Wali.
He wants the court to restrain the PDP and its state chairman Sagagi from parading Wali as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.
He argued that INEC was precluded from “recognizing and publishing the name of the 2nd defendant (Wali) as the gubernatorial candidate of the 3rd defendant (PDP) having issued to the plaintiff (Abacha) the certified true copies of the list of winners of the primary election of the 3rd defendant (PDP) in Kano which is monitored and which contains the name of the plaintiff as the governorship candidate of the 3rd defendant in Kano State.”
The case has been adjourned to September 12 for the hearing.
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