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Matawalle eyes APC, accuses South-South PDP governors of mischief over Zamfara gold

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Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has lambasted at the South-South governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for allegedly generating bad blood in the party.

Matawalle, currently a PDP governor, may have laid a premise to dump the party, as he expressed disappointment at the governors for sparking the controversy over  Zamfara gold, which he said was based on “deliberate misinformation and outright lies.”

He said he was not therefore surprised by the decision of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to dump the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Matawalle, in a statement in Gusau through his media aide, Zailani Bappa, commended Umahi for his “bold decision rather than condemn him because everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable.”

He warned that if “this trend of generating bad blood amongst us continues unabated, our great party will increasingly be on the receiving end as we move towards the year 2023.”

He said, “I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP governor colleagues, which I still find very puzzling.

“For instance, the South-south governors accusing me in the media are PDP governors, and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.

”Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga.

“As PDP colleagues, I expected the governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media.

”As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, for being supportive of our efforts to organise the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state.

“Today, the Federal Government is issuing licences to deserving companies to operate in the mining sector in the state.

“The biggest company with an investment of billions of naira is owned by a Nigerian from Anambra State. And I wonder where the idea of Zamfara state owning the gold mines emanated from.

“As at now, the state government does not have a hand in any of the mining activities in the state because the constitution does not empower us to do so.”

He asked the South-south governors to “eschew intellectual idleness and support its people to operate modular refineries as provided by the law and lift their people out of fear rather than sit behind and start chasing shadows rather than substance.”

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News of Lawan as annointed presidential candidate shocked Buhari, say El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai says President Muhammadu Buhari was shocked when he was told Senate President Ahmad Lawan was the “anointed” presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said this on Thursday while responding to questions on a programme on TVC.

In June 2022, some hours before voting at the APC presidential primary, Abdullahi Adamu, national chair of the party, had announced Lawan as the consensus candidate for the party.

Speaking on Thursday, El-Rufai said Buhari was very clear about his position on the choice of a presidential candidate for the party.

He said, “The members of the national working committee called us and said that the national chairman had told them that the senate president is the anointed one.

“Again, the northern APC governors asked for a meeting with the President. We went to the President and said ‘Mr. President, this is what we are hearing; this is not what you’ve been telling us in the past two to three years. Is it true?’

“And the President expressed shock and said ‘I’m not part of this’. And right there and then, he summoned Garba Shehu to issue a statement that he has not anointed anyone. And he told us very clearly ‘I have not anointed anyone’.”

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S’Court dismisses PDP suit against Oyetola’s participation in Osun election

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Gboyega Oyetola

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to restore the nullification of the participation of forner Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and his deputy Benedict Alabi in the July 16, 2022 governorship election.

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Centus Nweze held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit and directed the counsel to the PDP Kehinde Ogunwumiju to withdraw it.

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The court held that the PDP could not, under the law,question the process leading to the emergence of Oyetola and Alabi as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

Recall that Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja had in a judgment on September 30, 2022, nullified the participation of Oyetola and Alabi in the governorship election on the grounds that their nomination forms were endorsed by an acting Chairman of APC, who was also a serving governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Justice Nwite’s judgment was set aside by the Court of Appeal, Abuja in a judgment in December last year, a decision the PDP appealed to the Supreme Court.

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No one in Aso Rock working against Tinubu – Lai Mohammed

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  • Says FG funding legacy projects with recovered Abacha loot

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says no official report of anybody in the presidential villa working against the aspiration of the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

He also said President Muhammadu Buhari would not deviate from his commitment towards ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible general elections.

The minister disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

He was responding to a claim by Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, that some persons in the Presidential Villa were working against the electoral success of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the coming presidential election.

He said President Buhari, being the main occupant of the Aso Rock Villa, had stressed times without number that he wanted his administration to deliver a credible exercise.

The minister said that if there were elements within the seat of power working against the victory of the ruling party, it has not been brought officially to his notice.

He said, “One thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is focused, determined to ensure free and fair elections.

“But I think with this administration, the most important person is Mr. President, and I think he has shown by words and by deeds that he is committed to free, fair and credible election. And fair, free, credible elections actually mean not favouring anybody or disadvantaging anybody.

“And everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear even as recently last Friday when he was in Daura, he said the same thing.

“If there’s anybody working against a candidate, we don’t know officially.”

He also responded to the Transparency International’s latest report, which saw Nigeria dropping five places in the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking.

He said, “We are not fighting corruption because we want to impress Transparency International or any organization whatsoever.

“We’re fighting corruption because we believe if we do not fight corruption, there’ll be no growth either in terms of the economy or even political. Therefore, what we do and what we’re putting in place to fight corruption is not because we want to be rated by anybody.

“If, for instance, what we’re doing catches the attention of Transparency International and they improve and give us better marks, so we’ll and go. However, I can assure you that we do not know what template TI is using.

“Whatever template they’re using is clearly oblivious of what this administration is doing, to fight corruption.

“Corruption fighting is not just by how many people have you arrested? How many people have you tried? How many people have you convicted? Of course, even in that respect, we have a very impressive record. Is it the EFCC or is it the ICPC?

“You see, if you look at what we’re doing even to make corrupt practices, almost impossible or difficult…I’ll just give you two examples. For instance, this administration, when funds were returned from the Abacha loot and other funds were recovered from the US, the UK, and Europe, this administration was that rather than pay these funds into the treasury and face the possibility of it being stolen or looted, the administration decided that we will put this money into a separate account and ask the National Sovereign Investment Fund to manage these funds, and we used this money for specific projects.

“And some of our legacy projects today actually are being financed from our money that have been stolen, which were returned and which we have kept. To me, this is one example of how to fight corruption. An example of how to ensure that people do not steal what has been recovered again.

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