The Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Ajayi Borrofice, and his Oyo South counterpart, Rilwan Akanbi, have said it would take a lot of efforts from the incoming National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) end the crisis within the party.
Both lawmakers spoke to Channels Television on Saturday at the Eagles Square in Abuja, before the start of APC’s National Convention.
Despite the friction within the party, the Senators were optimistic that the convention would be a success and former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who is unopposed, would become national chairman.
The outcome of the convention, according to Senator Borrofice, is crucial to the survival of the party.
As for Senator Akanbi, Oshiomhole’s experience as the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) during the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration would come in handy.
“We assume that Oshiomhole would eventually emerge. Looking at his antecedent, he was once a leader of the labour union in this country,” Senator Akanbi said.
“He has managed so many crises and I believe that if he eventually emerges, he has a lot of work to do. He can use his experience to resolve most of these problems.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done. I believe that before we go into the 2019 elections, a lot of aggrieved party parties should have been pacified and we need a united front to win the 2019 general elections.”
The Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the protest staged by the State Governor, Nyesom Wike and supporters of the PDP.
In a meeting with journalists in Port Harcourt the state capital, leaders of the party led by the chairman, Davis Ikanya said the call of the governor for the transfer or redeployment of the said Police officers is as a result of the arrest and parade of suspected criminals by the Force Headquarters, who confessed to working for the Governor and his party during the rerun elections.
According to him, the officers should be given honours for risking their lives to save Rivers people from the hands of blood-thirsty men.
The Coalition of Civil Society and the All Progressives Congress Democratic Vanguard have condemned statements credited to the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Dr John Oyegun, on the Senate Presidency.
The group alleged that Dr. Oyegun had said that the APC would not hesitate to sacrifice the position of the Senate President for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the case of an eventual conviction of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Senator Sarki is facing trial for alleged false declaration of assets.
In a statement by the Coalitions’ convener, Olugbenga Olumegbon and Secretary, Olufemi Akindele, the groups said: “We categorically State that as Politically conscious Nigerians, we are not unmindful of the fact that the entire scenario of the trial of the Senate President is politically motivated judging by the fact that despite being Governor of Kwara State for eight years and Senator from the same state, the Code of Conduct, never deemed it necessary to invite nor investigate facts surrounding the asset declarations by Dr. Saraki until he eventually became the President of the Nigerian Senate against the wishes of some demi-gods and Political Lords in June 2015”.
The statement said that it was disturbing that persons like Dr. Oyegun and some of his co-travellers were in the pull-him-down campaign against Dr. Bukola Saraki, and “going the extra mile to undermine the sacrificial effort of Dr. Saraki and many of his likemind supporters, in dethroning the monsterous PDP, from government at that crucial moment of our National History”.
“May we remind Nigerians, that in as much that we are committed to the anti-corruption effort of the incumbent APC administration in our country, we remained opposed to every attempt to use such as a tool of intimidating perceived political opponents just for the purpose of hijacking political positions,” the statement further read.
The coalitions reminded the APC Chairman of the courage displayed by Senator Saraki in leading the revolution which later became known as the new PDP, and how it eventually aided the victory of the APC at the Presidential election in 2015.
They also reminded “those who have placed their inordinate ambitions above the collective interest of the revolutionary team of the APC and the mass of Nigerian people to remember that we may not have been where we are today, without the zeal, fearlessness and determination of the men and women of noble intention, led by Dr. Bukola Saraki to wrestle power from the then ruling party, PDP”.
They therefore demanded “for a stoppage to the use of institutional authorities for the pursuit of individual political ambitions or primordial interest”.
The yearly performance of pilgrimage is not only the path towards attaining religious heights but should be used to mould the characters of Nigerians.
This is the view of the Director General of the Institute for National Transformation, Professor Vincent Anibogu, who said that grooming Nigerians who partake in pilgrimages is key to attaining attitudinal change in the family and society and large.
He said this at a talk session organized in Israel where about 100 pilgrims from Edo State, South South Nigeria were some of the participants.
The session held after the pilgrims had participated in the primary religious activities which include visitation of remarkable places in Israel, accompanied by songs of worships and prayers.
The training sessions are usually organised for Nigerians who visit the holy land as a way of preparing them to be change agents of their societies.
It also affords Nigerians the opportunity to compare notes in the areas of agriculture, women empowerment and governance
The DG noted that the task ahead of Nigerians is enormous and hoped that some of the skills learned would be used for the development of Nigeria at large.
The Commissioner of Women Affairs in Edo State, Elizabeth Filani as well as the Edo State APC Chairman, Anselm Ojezua, were also part of the training session.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are trading words over a $75 million loan requested from the World Bank by the State government.
Although the State government controlled by the APC is still waiting for the approval from the National Assembly, the PDP is kicking against the loan request.
Speaking to Channels Television on Friday in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikharie, alleged that Governor Adams Oshiomhole would further worsen the state’s debt profile by taking the loan.
They asked the Senate to reject the proposal, claiming that the State government would divert the money for election campaign.
“In this government alone, the local government alone has received 212 billion Naira as at May this year.
“We are in shock. It is unbelievable that this government wants to collect more money and bequeath the debt legacy. We reject it and we beg the Senate and the President of Nigeria to reject it,” Mr Nehikharie said.
He asked the Edo State government to provide indices that would prove that the first trench of the loan was successfully utilised, as claimed.
In reaction, the APC Chairman in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua, said the loan was a testimony to the good works of the State government.
“Ordinarily, because they don’t give out gifts, that is why they called this a loan. It attracts one per cent interest, a moratorium period of 10 years and the State government has 40 years to pay.
“How does this compare with the loans the PDP takes?” he questioned.
The British government has promised to work together with the Nigerian Senate in areas of capacity building, economic management and security.
The British High Commissioner, Dr Andrew Poccok, made this commitment when he met with the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki in the National Assembly.
The High Commissioner, who also used the opportunity to congratulate Bukola Saraki on his emergence as the Senate President, said his country will continue to work harmoniously with the Nigerian Senate.
Britain is the first nation to pledge support for the Senate since Saraki’s emergence as the leader.
Senator Saraki was elected unopposed as the President of Nigeria’s 8th Senate with 57 lawmakers present, while 51 were absent.
There have been issues surrounding the emergence of Saraki as the leader in the absence of up to 51 lawmakers.
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has said that his party has come to live with the reality that Senator Bukola Saraki is now the Senate President.
The APC Chairman, who was at the Defence House for the submission of the transition committee report told State House correspondents that his party would pass through the challenges of this time and come out stronger.
According to him, consultations are still going on and everything will soon be put in proper shape for the party to forge ahead.
“People said they were going to court which is their constitutional right, but as a party we are taking a broad look at everything and I assure you, we are coming out stronger,” he said.
Asked if the party has accepted Saraki as the President, he replied, “Of course, he has been duly elected by his colleagues, end of story. We have a reality and we must live with that reality.
“Nothing went wrong, there was just a lot of consultation to do. You can’t be in two places at the same time and so it was not possible for us to meet but we have been talking.”
The political tension in Rivers State has continued to rise several degrees higher.
For the second time in two weeks, the All Progressives Congress in the state has again cried out against what the party called a deliberate attempt by the Independent National Electoral Commission in connivance with the PDP in Rivers to frustrate its efforts to obtain all relevant documents to pursue its petition at the election tribunal that is yet to be set up.
The APC Chairman in Rivers State, Davis Ikanya, told journalists at the party secretariat in Port Harcourt, the state capital, that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gesila Khan, is hand in gloves with the opposition to ensure the party fails to get six sensitive materials including the voters’ register used for the exercise.
Although several attempts to get the REC to comment on the issue has not been successful, a source at INEC hinted that the APC has been given access to all available documents for their petition.
PDP Insist APC’s Alarm Is False
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has, however, refuted the claims of the APC that the party is working hand in hand with INEC in the state to frustrate attempts to obtain sensitive materials from the electoral body.
The man accused of leading the plot in the PDP, one Samuel Nwonosike, told journalists in Port Harcourt that he is being falsely accused, insisting that it is his party that has been denied access to sensitive materials to defend their case at the tribunal.
A Federal High Court will on March 19 hear all applications, challenging the eligibility of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, to contest in the forthcoming presidential election.
At the resumed hearing on Monday of two earlier suits filed by Chukwunweike Okafor and Donald Daunamigba, counsel to the plaintiff, Mike Ozekhome, told the court that he was willing to continue with the argument, noting that he had not been served with all processes.
After his observation, he was served with the process, but he asked the court for a short date to enable him study the process.
He further requested for accelerated hearing, pointing out that that the outcome of the case would have effect on the forthcoming elections.
But the Defence Counsel, Akin Olujimi and Lateef Fagbemi, were quick to respond that the outcome of the case could not be a condition precedent on the conduct of the election, reminding the court that there was an application requesting that the court should set aside the totality of the summon on Buhari, which had not been respond to.
The Federal High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, adjourned the case till March 19 to enable the court hear all the applications including those seeking for joinder.
There are 13 suits instituted against the APC’s presidential candidate, General Buhari, challenging his eligibility to contest in the March 28 presidential election.
The plaintiffs in the suits also argued that failure of Buhari to accompany his form CF001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with his certificates of academic qualifications, rendered him ineligible to participate in the poll.
They stressed that failure to submit the said certificate, would mean had failed to comply with the provisions of sections 131 and 318 of the Nigerian Constitution and section 31 (3) of the Electoral Act.
Desperation Of Disinformation
Responding to the certificate controversy, the APC had dismissed claims that General Buhari was not qualified to contest in the elections.
Government College, formerly Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, which General Buhari graduated from in 1961, had released his Secondary School Certificate Examination results.
Before the certificate was released, General Buhari had described the claims as ‘desperation of disinformation’.
“I have contested elections three times and that’s the same rule by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where there is basic education qualification that you have and I was allowed to contest all these election because my certificate was in order.
“There are even individuals that wrote to the United States War College and the College answered them and its published in some of your papers .
“Really, this desperation of disinformation that is being passed around will do nobody any good because our minds are being taken away from the serial issues of corruption and incompetence by the PDP, ” the former military president said.