News of Lawan as annointed presidential candidate shocked Buhari, say El-Rufai – Newstrends
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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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PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

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Comrade Philip Shaibu

PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

Former Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has been expelled from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Shaibu’s expulsion was announced on Wednesday by the leadership of the Edo chapter of the party.

The national vice chairman (South-South) of the party, Dan Orbih, was also expelled.

The development is contained in a statement issued in Benin by the party’s state publicity secretary, Ogie Vasco.

According to Vasco, Shaibu and Orbih were expelled for anti-party activities, according to PDP.

Vasco said also expelled for the same reason was Omorgie Ihama, a former House of Representatives member, who represented Oredo Federal Constituency.

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He said the decision was taken on Wednesday at a meeting attended by nine members of the state working committee at the party secretariat.

“The SWC has extensively deliberated on the issue and resolved to expel, with immediate effect, Chief Dan Orbih, National Vice Chairman South South.

“It also decided to expel Phillip Shaibu and upheld the expulsion of Ogbeide-Ihama from Ward 2, Oredo Local Government Area,” he said.

Reacting, Orbih told journalists that the body is not empowered to suspend a member of the national working committee or expel anybody without following the provision of the party’s constitution.

“When a group of persons sits down to make pronouncement that are unconstitutional it only showed that they are ignorant of the constitution of the party.

“That is all I have to say about that and nothing more,” Mr Orbih told journalists.

PDP expels former Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

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APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

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Former DG of Progressive Governors’ Forum and immediate-past National Vice Chairman, North West, Dr Salihu Lukman

APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

Former Director General of Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF and immediate-past National Vice Chairman, North West, of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Salihu Lukman has ditched the party, saying it has outlived its usefulness and can no longer win elections without rigging.

In a statement, yesterday, Lukman said he found it necessary to write to a few leaders of the party and try to clarify his position regarding the situation both in the party and in the country.

He said: “First, it is a shared concern of most leaders of the party that the situation in the country has deteriorated in the last year since the assumption of office of President Bola Tinubu.

“Given a reality that the party structures have been demobilized and the government is implementing policies that have eroded the value of incomes of citizens, conditions of living are rapidly getting worse by the day. With that, both the APC and the governments it controls are getting more and more unpopular.

“It doesn’t require any investigation, at this rate, there is no way we can win election except through rigging. The popular saying in the country now is that President Tinubu is a one-term President. The hard truth is that the country will be lucky to get to 2027, without witnessing upheavals,” he stated.

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Lukman said given the experiences of Nigerians with both former President Muhammadu Buhari and now President Tinubu, Nigerians must learn the appropriate lessons by ensuring that moving forward, they must prioritise the development of a strong party organisation, which can subordinate the President and all elected representatives under the control of organs of the party.

“Given all this, it is not possible to remain in APC, if at all President Tinubu will allow internal reform in the party to return it to its founding vision, which as it is, is very remote. But my reality now in the party is that my membership has been rendered useless and there is no need for me to continue to impose myself.

“I have, therefore, gone back to the trenches and will try to work with all committed Nigerians, who agree and subscribe to the goal of actively campaigning for the survival and development of democracy in Nigeria. We must grow our democracy to the point whereby elected representatives at all levels are accountable to the party and it is possible for Nigerians represented by various interests to develop strong relationships with political parties and elected governments based on which policies of governments can be made to reflect wider interests of Nigerians.

“Although I pray that God Almighty will touch the heart of President Tinubu to make him recover whatever is left of his democratic credentials, I have lost hope that after one year of planless leadership, not much can be achieved during his tenure.

“It, therefore, behoves on all patriots, democrats and progressives in the country to take up the responsibility of organising and mobilising Nigerians towards rescuing Nigerian democracy. As it is, APC and the government of President Tinubu have been lost to the whirlwind. Just like we campaigned against military rule and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, we must rise to the task of campaigning against the President Asiwaju whirlwind,” he stated.

APC can no longer win elections except through rigging, says ex-party National VC Salihu Lookman

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State said, on Tuesday, that it was studying Monday judgment, which declared the Martin Amaewhule-led 27 members of the state House of Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Rivers APC  Publicity Secretary, Chibuike Ikenga, said the party would take a position after receiving advise from its lawyers.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Ikenga stated, “Well the decision of the court is what it is. Ours is to obey or appeal.

“But as we speak our leadership is looking at it and based on the advice from the legal department of our party we will take a position on it.”

Asked how soon that will happen, he said, “I think the process is on now. We are in stakeholders engagement so we will know the next line of action afterwards.”

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, had, on Monday, declared that the 27 lawmakers loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike are PDP members.

The court ruled that the 27 lawmakers were still valid members of the  Rivers State House of Assembly because there was no proof that they had defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.

The court, in a ruling by Justice Okogbule Gbasam, struck out the suit filed by Hyacinth Amadi and three others, seeking to declare the seats of the 27 lawmakers vacant on the grounds that they defected from the PDP to the APC.

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The 27 lawmakers had last year announced their defection from the PDP to the APC at the height of the crisis between Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his estranged political godfather, Nyesom Wike.

The Assembly also became factionalised following a failed attempt by the pro-Wike lawmakers to impeach Fubara in October last year.

But in his ruling on Monday, Justice Gbasam held that Amadi and others. seeking to declare the seats of the pro-Wike lawmakers vacant, failed to bring any concrete evidence to convince the court that the pro-Wike lawmakers had truly defected and deserved to lose their seats.

The judge ruled that defection cannot be established through newspaper publications, radio announcements or online publications.

According to the court, a defection can only be established through the party membership register, a membership card and such members fulfilling all requirements of their membership in the party.

But the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,  Dagogo Iboroma, (SAN), said the judgment could not be true because, according to him, the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Iboroma said, “As the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the 3rd defendant in the Suit No DHC/20/CS/2024, my attention has been drawn to a recent judgment.

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“This suit did not seek to declare the seat of Martins Amaewhule and 26 others in Rivers State House of Assembly vacant.

“The suit of the claimants was struck out for want of locus standi and jurisdiction and also for being an abuse of court process, which robbed the trial court of jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

“There is misleading news circulating in social media, print and electronic media that Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“As you all know, Martins Amaewhule and 26 others defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th day of December 2023, and stated that much in affidavit evidence deposed to by Martins Amaewhule for himself and on behalf of 26 others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/1681/CS/2023 before Honourable Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

“The Suit is still pending in court. By Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, it is only the Federal High Court that can determine whether Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are still members of the Peoples Democratic Party and also members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This much was held by the trial court.

“However, you will recall that there is a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction in Suit No. PHC/512/CS/2024 restraining Martins Amaewhule and his co-travelers from further parading or presenting themselves as lawmakers in Rivers State pending the determination of the substantive suit, which has not been appealed against to date.

We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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