Akpabio Visits Tinubu In Abuja

 

Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Monday met with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Akpabio paid Tinubu the visit in Abuja, following his visit to the president who is on vacation in the United Kingdom.

The visits come amid speculations that the former governor is set to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

 

The APC had said that it will on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, receive Senator Akpabio who is currently a member of the PDP, into its fold.

Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang, announced this via his twitter handle on Saturday.

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He wrote, ”I’m confirming that the APCNigeria family as earlier indicated will formally receive H.E,@godswill_akpabio on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at an elaborate ceremony in Akwa-Ibom State”.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, had also made a similar announcement.

He said a rally will be held at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, to receive the former governor to the APC.

Aim Of Defectors Is To Stop Buhari’s Re-election – Ndume

 

The senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has taken a swipe at some of his colleagues who defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri on Saturday, he explained that most of them have corruption questions to answer and are therefore doing everything they can to stop the president’s re-election in 2019.

“This is a gang up which is targeted to Buhari by politicians that are afraid.

“The war against corruption is not going to be compromised by President Muhammadu Buhari and people feel that this war is going to get to them if he gets another term.

“So, that’s why you see a conglomeration of people of the same character saying, “let’s get rid of this man first”.

Ndume also mocked the PDP calling it a dead party with 12 people jostling for the presidential ticket in their desperation to oust Buhari.

“There is only one presidential slot in the PDP and right now there are 12 people going for the same presidential ticket. But the strange thing is that they are working together and their objective is to get Buhari out,” he said.

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The senator had in an earlier interview with Channels Television, described the PDP as a “dying party” adding that although some issues may not have been handled properly within the APC, the PDP was not any better.

“Everybody knows that PDP is a dying party, in fact, it is a bad brand and that’s why I think they’re rebranding.

“I heard that they want to even change the name after apologising to Nigerians. So if people are going to that place that is apologising to Nigerians or thinking about changing their name, then so be it”.

He further stated that the defections, even that of key figures like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, would not affect the chances of the APC or President Buhari in the 2019 general elections.

“When you lose even one person, especially a senator or the Senate President, you’re losing a key figure but that is not to say that anybody is indispensable in any way.

“You can’t say Saraki is not important but I’m saying that he cannot do irreparable damage to the APC or the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

Saraki Reserves The Right To Reconvene Senate – Kola Ologbondiyan

 

The Spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Ologbondiyan, has said that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, reserves the right to reconvene the Senate.

He said this on Wednesday in response to comments by the senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, that Saraki had shut down the Senate abruptly and therefore, asked that it be reconvened.

Quoting section 12 of the Senate’s Standing Rule, the PDP spokesperson explained that “It is the responsibility of the Senate President to determine when the Senate will reconvene.

“Senator Ali Ndume was on the floor the day the Senate adjourned the sitting and as such, it is wrong and amounts to a blackmail to say that he shut down the Senate.

“Senator Bukola Saraki did not shut down the Senate,” Ologbondiyan said.

Ndume had accused the Senate President of shutting down the National Assembly over personal issues.

He said he was shocked at the manner with which he (Saraki) acted and therefore, asked that the Senate be reconvened in order for it to resolve some critical national matters.

He said, “What I want to do personally is to call on the Senate President Bukola Saraki, to reconvene the Senate because we have critical matters of urgent national importance before the National Assembly.

“His closure of the National Assembly that day was unbelievable. I was shocked by the way he acted.

“The Senate is not Saraki, he is just a member of the Senate. Saraki is just a presiding officer that anybody can be, so for him to have just shut down the National Assembly because of personal issues, is very unfortunate and uncalled for especially when you have very important matters before the Senate,” he added.

According to Ndume, some of the pending matters include the approval of the FCT budget, budgets for INEC, the appointment of ICPC members among others.

Shehu Sani Reacts To Saraki’s Defection, Advises Presidency

Defections: Shehu Sani Advises Presidency, National Assembly On Way Forward
Senator Shehu Sani (file)

 

The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central district, Senator Shehu Sani, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the National Assembly on the next step to take after the defection of some leaders from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Sani gave his advice in a piece on his Facebook page on Wednesday, one day after Senate President Bukola Saraki and two others announced their exit from the ruling party.

READ ALSO: Why I Defected From APC To PDP – Saraki’s Full Statement

In the write-up titled ‘Defections and The Way Forward’, Senator Sani said, “In view of the current reality, it’s possible to have a harmonious working relationship between the parliament led by the opposition, and the Presidency led by the ruling party, in the remaining lifespan of this political dispensation.”

The lawmaker, however, said such objective could only be achieved if the Presidency and the National Assembly put the interest of the country first.

He added, “The Executive should respect the decision of those who chose to defect, maintain a cordial relationship with them and never attempt to persecute any of them for their individual political decisions.

“The Parliament led by the opposition must not be a stumbling block for government policies and programmes, and the person of the President and his office must be accorded the highest respect it deserves.”

Senator Sani noted that both sides must stop “inflammatory statements and plots”, as well as be committed to working towards addressing the nation’s chronic security challenges and the success of the upcoming general elections.

Senate President Saraki had disclosed in a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday that he was leaving the APC after extensive consultations and efforts to ensure a harmonious existence in the party proved futile.

The other two APC members who defected are Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and Mr Ahmed Ibeto who resigned his position as Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Earlier, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and dozens of lawmakers in the National Assembly had also dumped the APC for the PDP.

13 Benue LG Chairmen Defect From APC To PDP

 

Thirteen out of the 23 local government chairmen in Benue State have defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The chairmen announced their defection to the PDP at the Government House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Friday, two days after Governor Samuel Ortom left the APC for the PDP.

Those who defected include Anthony Shawon of Guma Local Government Area (LGA), Justina Sorka of Buruku LGA, Mwuese Ubebe of Konshisha LGA, Blessing Unogwo of Ado LGA, Virginia Kpindi of Katsina-Ala LGA and George Alli of Otukpo LGA.

Others are Comfort Echeoda of Agatu LGA, Francis Ayaga of Gwer West LGA, Uaah Vitalis of Gwer East LGA, Richard Nyajo of Logo LGA, Ibellogo Tor of Tyokaa- Ukum LGA, Adakole Abutu of Ohimini LGA and Peter Onche of Obi LGA.

 


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The decision of the 13 local government chairmen to follow Governor Ortom to the PDP is the latest in a series of major political decisions in the state over recent weeks.

Seventeen days before defecting to the PDP, on July 8, Governor Ortom dissolved his cabinet, retaining only commissioners believed to be fully loyal to him.

A day before his defection, the Benue State House of Assembly impeached Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, who had been the Speaker since Governor Ortom rose to power.

On Wednesday morning, hours before the governor formally defected, protesting youths barred him from travelling to Abuja to attend an APC reconciliation meeting.

In announcing his defection – to major political players in the state including the local government chairmen and councillors at the Government House – the governor explained that he took the decision after consulting widely.