Senate fails to confirm Buhari’s aide for INEC job – Newstrends
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Senate fails to confirm Buhari’s aide for INEC job

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The hope of President Muhammadu Buhari to have his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, to take up a new assignment as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission has been dashed as the Senate has stepped down her confirmation.

The Senate in turning down the request asked the Presidency to replace Onochie.

Onochie’s fate is delaying the confirmation of three others on the list submitted to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other three nominees are Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (National, from Katsina State); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti) and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC (Jigawa).

Buhari, in the letter, had said, “Pursuant to Paragraph 14 of Part I (F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the following four Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

The Senate committee screening the nominees stated that Onochie is “greatly partisan based on her conviction that All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari are the best for Nigeria”.

Apart from the protest by the opposition, some APC senators also agreed that she is “positively partisan” in her devotion to work.

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Odili declares Fubara political leader of Rivers State

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Odili declares Fubara political leader of Rivers State

Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has pronounced the current governor, Siminalayi Fubara, as the political leader of the state.

He therefore said the people of the state had mandated him to tell the governor not to look back as they were prepared to support and follow him.

Odili, who was the governor between 1999 and 2007, spoke on Thursday at the inauguration of a healthcare facility in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, which he donated to the state government.

The ex-governor said, “Thanks for standing up to defend the interest of all Rivers people.

“We are proud of you. Politics is over. It is now time for governance. You have hit the ground running.

“Your government is aligning correctly with President Tinubu’s government, especially in the area of education, agriculture and now the health sector.

“Our people said I should tell you to stand with the President and align with his positive policies and link the people of Rivers State with the centre.

“They have asked me to tell you that you are the political leader of Rivers State. Rivers people say where you go, they will go with you.

“Where you stand, they will stand with you. Don’t look back, stay focused, knowing that your people are behind you.”

Odili’s speech came following the strained relationship between Fubara and Nyesom Wike, his successor and minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

Wike and Fubara are entangled in a struggle for the control of Rivers’ political structure.

The political crisis led to the defection of 27 state House of Assembly members, said to be loyal to Wike, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmakers are still threatening the governor with impeachment.

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BREAKING: NLC sacks Peter Obi ally, Abure’s NWC

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Julius Abure

BREAKING: NLC sacks Peter Obi ally, Abure’s NWC

The Nigeria Labour Congress, on Monday, voided the national convention that returned the National Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure, and his National Working Committee back to office

To fill the vacuum, the stakeholders said the congress will set up a transition committee to oversee the affairs of the party pending when new officers will be elected in three months.

In attendance at the gathering were representative of the Chairman of NLC Political Commission, Prof Theophilus Ndubuaku ; former President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwahed Omar; Chairman, LP Board of Trustees, Sylvester Ejiofor; Coordinator of Obidient Movement, Dr. Moses Paul and LP Plateau Governorship Candidate, Chief Yohana Margif.

Others are Coordinator of Labour Party Patriotic Members Congress, Dr. Kingsley Okundaye; Kaduna LP Governorship Candidate, Jonathan Asake and representative of Persons with Disability in Labour Party, Ihekwoaba Paul.

The resolution taken by the unionists on Monday also raised concerns on the need to conduct a forensic audit of LP in line with the demand of its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, following allegations of corruption, forgery and fraud levelled against the leadership of the party.

These were contained in the communique released after the NLC stakeholders meeting.

The communique partly read, “”Owing to the current vacuum in the leadership of the Labour Party, the NLC Political Commission consequent on its status in the Constitution of the Labour Party as a registered trustee of the Labour Party, a status that was further buttressed by a Federal High Court consent judgment delivered on March 20, 2018 by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, moved for an immediate constitution of a transition committee with a mandate to set up structures at national, state, local government and ward level for the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive national convention of the Labour Party.

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“The stakeholders meeting passed a vote of no-confidence on the purported Labour Party national convention held in Nnewi, Anambra State and regards as inconsequential the leadership that claims to have emerged from the illegal Nnewi Convention. INEC and all relevant security organisations are hereby notified and should be officially written immediately to recognise the transition committee as the interim leadership of LP pending the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive national convention.

“The committee once constituted should fully take over the secretariats of the Labour Party all over Nigeria and shall immediately set up an assets recovery process of all the properties of the Labour Party. The committee shall also ensure that all the cases of fraud, impersonation and forgery of government documents pending against a few discredited former officers of the Labour Party are forensically audited and culprits are diligently prosecuted as demanded by leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi. It is unfortunate that the actions of these few dishonourable characters have splashed mud on the white satin of Labour Party.

“Pursuant to the foregoing, the committee shall within three months of its constitution ensure the conduct of an inclusive national convention of the party starting from ward congresses to local government congresses to state congresses culminating in an all-inclusive and expansive national convention in Abuja. Finally, we reiterate that the Labour Party is a Party for all Nigerians regardless of ethnic, religious, regional, social and economic orientation or status.”

When called for reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, said the NWC cannot be intimidated by the NLC stakeholders and their ‘co-travellers.’

He said, “We are not interested in whatever they do and LP won’t give credence to any statement they issue. You can imagine the level of impunity with which these people are acting. They have no power to do anything.”

The vote of no confidence passed on Abure and his NWC comes few hours after scores of LP supporters took to the streets of Abuja to protest harassment and continuous interference in the affairs of the party.

The protesters, who went carrying placards with various inscriptions that read “If you are not for Abure, go and seek another political party” and “Abure is our chairman”, vowed to resist any attempt to take over control of the party.

Solidarity songs of ‘We want Abure’ rent the air as the protest march took off from the new Federal Capital Territory chapter of the party secretariat to the Gudu venue of the NLC stakeholders meeting.

They were, however, prevented by security operatives from gaining access to the premises.

BREAKING: NLC sacks Peter Obi ally, Abure’s NWC

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You’re free to dump Labour Party, NLC tells Peter Obi

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Peter Obi

You’re free to dump Labour Party, NLC tells Peter Obi

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has told the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, that he is free to leave the opposition party.

The spokesman of NLC, Benson Upah disclosed this in an interview with Punch on Sunday.

Upah said the issue of whether Obi should stay or leave the party should not be debated, saying the former governor was free to determine his destiny.

According to him, the NLC cannot stand in the way of the presidential candidate should he decide to defect to another political platform.

Upah described Obi as an asset, saying the congress would not stand in his way if he chose to leave.

“The right of choice is available to Mr Obi. If he chooses to leave the party, that is his preference. We can’t sit in judgment over him on that. But if he chooses to remain, of course, Peter Obi is an asset any day. I rest my case on that,” he said.

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Recall that the leadership of the NLC vowed not to rest until it unseat Julius Abure as national chairman of the Labour Party.

Upah said despite the ‘illegal’ national convention that returned Abure to office, the union would never confer legitimacy or give recognition to his leadership.

He said, “Our position on this matter is clear and has not changed. Abure remains unknown to us. It is not a question of removal. As far as we know, he does not exist.”

Obi has been at loggerheads with the leadership of the LP over the manner it conducted the convention in Nnewi, Anambra State, despite his plea for wider consultation.

The former Anambra governor, in an X Space session last Friday, expressed his frustrations.

Obi said he didn’t attend the national convention that got Julius Abure re-elected as the party’s national chairman because the party’s leadership failed to heed his appeal for wider consultation with relevant stakeholders before the exercise.

His comment has further fuelled earlier speculations that the LP presidential candidate may have started shopping for a new platform despite being guaranteed the 2027 ticket at the convention.

You’re free to dump Labour Party, NLC tells Peter Obi

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