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Insecurity: Buhari scheduled to appear before Reps next Thursday

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 The House of Representatives has scheduled next Thursday December 10  for President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to brief them on what his administration is doing on the worsening insecurity situation in the country.

The lower chamber also gave an indication that the President could choose to come on December 15 if December is not convenient for him.

Spokesperson for the House, Ben Kalu, gave the dates on Thursday when he spoke to newsmen on the issue in Abuja.

He said although the date was not definite yet, the President might appear next Thursday (December 10) or the upcoming Tuesday (December 15).

According to him, the President is coming to meet minds with the lawmakers and proffer solutions to the insecurity challenges in the country.

The House had on Tuesday invited the president to come and discuss with the lawmakers, steps being taken by his administration to arrest the worsening insecurity.

It reached the decision after debating a motion moved on behalf of 10 other Borno State lawmakers by Hon. Satomi Ahmed.

The motion came on the heels of Saturday’s killing of over 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari village of Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.

The lawmakers, among other things, had prayed that the president should declare a state of emergency on security matters and for the House to cause Buhari to appear before it to brief lawmakers on what his administration is doing to combat insecurity.

House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, led a delegation to the State House to meet the President, after which he told reporters that Buhari had agreed to honour the invitation.

He, however, declined to say when the president would appear before the lawmakers.

But Kalu, while addressing journalists, clarified that the president was never summoned by the House, but was only invited so that they could meet minds and seek better ways of tackling the insecurity in the country.

He said, “As the speaker said yesterday (Wednesday), it will be out of place since we were not summoning, when you summon, you give date and time, but this is back channel diplomacy, legislative diplomacy. We are not compelling, we are inviting, and when you invite, you rub (sic) minds to find out the availability of the person you’re inviting. That was what the leadership did yesterday (Wednesday). They engaged with Mr. President and instead of mandating him to appear on a particular day, they rubbed (sic) minds on when it will be convenient for him to appear and he accepted.

“We have an estimate of when we think it’s going to be. In every matter of urgent public importance, time is of the essence and based on that, and in the wisdom of the president, he’s not delaying but prioritising it. So, security is topmost on his agenda at the moment and that’s why in the course of next week since we just finished today, I’m sure he will be able to adjust his programmes. I know Tuesday may not be feasible because we have NEC meeting. So, we are looking at Thursday or upper Tuesday, the date is not yet definite.”

Asked why the House was still demanding the sacking of service chiefs since the president has refused to sack them, Kalu explained that the call for the sacking of the service chiefs would be one of the issues that the House would discuss with the President.

He said, “The (sacking of the) service chiefs will be one of the issues the House will discuss with the president. We are looking for solutions. It’s not about the visit of the president; it’s about solution-seeking mechanism. We are looking for strategies that will help us find solutions. The visit of the president happens to be one of them.

“What we want from him is to do a SWOT analysis of the security sector. Mr. President, what are your strengths so far, your weaknesses? We think these are your weaknesses.

“If we believe that not changing the service chiefs is a weakness, we will mention it as well. Mr. President, what are your threats? How can we help with this your threats, to covert them to opportunities? For example, declaring a state of emergency on security. We will lay everything on the table for him to see so that he will know what we think based on what they informed us at our constituents. It’s going to be a discussion.”

He explained that the House is still engaging the service chiefs because they are still serving the nation and the legislative arm can’t boycott them.

According to him, if the House refuses to engage them, it means it is doing a disservice to the nation and to the citizens.

He said the right thing was to keep engaging them and keep asking the president to explain why keeping them is the best strategy to curb the security problems in the country.

Politics

APC postpones presidential campaign to adjust team list

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has postponed the commencement of its campaign scheduled for Wednesday September 28.

In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the Director-General Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, announced the postponement, saying the decision was to create room for inclusion of more party chieftains into the council.

The statement is titled, “Adjustment of timetable of activities earmarked to commence campaign by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.

Part of the statement read, “Recall that we had earlier earmarked a peace walk and prayers for Wednesday, September 28, 2022, to officially kick-off our campaigns for the 2023 presidential elections.

“We had also announced that the members of the Campaign Council report at the Campaign Headquarters on that day to collect their letters of appointments.

“However, due to the expansion of the list to accommodate more stakeholders and interests within the APC family, we have decided to adjust the time-table of these activities in order to ensure everyone is on board before activities officially commence.

“Consequently, the activities earlier announced for the 28th of September will no longer hold

“As the ruling and most attractive party in Nigeria, we understand the sacrifices and understanding of our teeming members who are more than willing to volunteer themselves for this great task ahead. It also shows the enormous love that the party members have for our candidates.

“A new date and time-table of events will be announced soon.”

Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Bayo Onanuga, had in a statement on Monday said the council would commence official campaign on Wednesday with a prayer session and peace walk in Abuja, in line with the 2023 timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Orton dumps Wike, backs Ayu as PDP chairman

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has beaten a retreat in calling for the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ortom had earlier sided with Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies in insisting that the PDP should replace Ayu with someone from the South-West since Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate comes from the North like Ayu.

Since the emergence of Atiku as the standard-bearer of the party in May, the Wike group has insisted that Ayu must resign as a condition for supporting the PDP presidential candidate.

But Ortom in a statement issued by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press secretary, said he had confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general election.

The governor was reacting to the allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.

He said he worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected “as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds”.

The statement read in part, “The governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office.

“Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the northern caucus of the party and got elected as the national chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.

“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?

“This amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, which has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom, who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.

“Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is fact, because he has done more for Jemgbagh, both in terms of appointments and projects executed as well as patronage in the area, than even one of the Jemgbagh sons, who was governor. Besides, Governor Ortom has consistently worked for the unity of Benue State and will never stand in the way of any of her citizens, either here in the state or in the diaspora.

“For those, who claimed to be leaders of this Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, we urge them to be truly developmental in their drive to build cohesion among the people and attract real development to their area rather than engaging in mischief or blackmail.”

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Atiku Snubs Wike, Gives Fresh Appointment To Saraki, Anyim, Shekarau, Secondus, Others

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Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has approved the appointment of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and others as Special Advisers.

Naija News reports that this was made known in a statement on Monday by Atiku Abubakar’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe.

According to the statement, Atiku also appointed former presidential aspirant, Anyim Pius Anyim.

Ibrahim Shekarau who recently joined the PDP from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was also appointed as an Adviser.

The statement reads, “Ahead of the commencement of the 2023 election campaign on Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has made key appointments of Special Advisers aimed at strengthening his presidential campaign team.

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“The appointees are former Senate Presidents, Dr. Bukola Saraki as Special Envoy to the presidential candidate and Senator Pius Anyim, as Special Adviser.

“Also appointed as Special Advisers to the candidate are former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Ehigie Uzamere.

“Former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus was also appointed as Technical Adviser to the presidential candidate.

“The appointments are to take immediate effect.”

Atiku Abubakar charged the appointees to use their vast political experiences in ensuring that the PDP presidential campaign records resounding success in the 2023 election.

Naija News reports that there is no place for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State among the new appointees.

Wike and Atiku have been at loggerheads over the refusal of the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.

Wike and his loyalists had last week Wednesday pulled out of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation.

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