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No more govt funding for political parties, says Gbajabiamila

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said it is no longer fashionable to expect the government to fund political parties at this critical period of Nigeria’s democratic advancement.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, he stated that using government’s money to run the parties was an indirect invitation for it to assume control of the political parties by dictating choices and policies that might be in conflict with the tenets of democracy.

Gbajabiamila argued that the international best practice was for parties to be self-funded and that using government’s money would also lead to the proliferation of political parties.

Gbajabiamila said this while receiving a delegation of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the National Assembly in Abuja.

He noted that people would simply abuse the process by registering hundreds of political parties in the hope of cashing out on free government money.

He said, “I am not sure how many countries fund their political parties; we will have to do research and to be sure that it’s international best practice. Government is an interested party, if it will be providing the funds, that will also mean they can compromise the system.

“There is also proliferation (of parties) that will become a problem if the government begins to fund the parties, since there will be free money.”

Reacting to requests for fresh amendments to the Electoral Act 2022, the speaker said it was not advisable to do so a few months before the general election, because making new amendments to the law this period could disorganise election planning, create unnecessary tension in the polity and raise credibility questions.

According to him, the safest route would be to further amend the Act after the elections if a need arose, or in the alternative, aggrieved persons could approach the judiciary to seek an interpretation of any contentious provisions.

He, therefore, called for patience, urging parties to seize the opportunity of the upcoming polls to fully test the Act and determine the success of innovations such as electronic transmission of results, the deployment of the BIVAS, among others.

He added that upon a successful poll, other innovations such as electronic collation of results and Diaspora voting could also be considered.

On his part, National Chairman of IPAC, Yabagi Sani, told the Speaker that the purpose of the visit was to seek synergy and a good working relationship between IPAC and the National Assembly.

Among the issues he tabled were the alleged flouting of Section 31 of the Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the funding of political parties, the urgency to establish the Electoral Offences Commission, electronic collation of election results, in addition to the electronic transmission of results, and the call for a change in the process of appointing the chairman of INEC.

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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