APC’s Problems Are Infinitesimal – Fashakin

Former CPC spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, has said that challenges the newly registered All Progressive’s Congress (APC) is likely to face are ‘infinitesimal’ compared to the hurdles it has had to surmount in its quest to become a registered political group in Nigeria.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he said that what the party means by calling itself an alternative is that it is coming on board “with a view to right the wrong” made by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In a counter response to comments made by Professor Femi Otubanjo, he said the pundit has a ‘compartmentalised view of ideology which tends to “concept of socialism and capitalism”.

“The world has moved away from that,” he said.

Professor Otubanjo had stated that “the APC is not an alternative” but “it’s just a different party” because it is not offering an ‘ideological alternative’ different from that of the ruling PDP.

Mr Fashakin, in his reply said the “PDP’s rule over Nigeria has been a scourge on the Nigerian people”.

“So when we say we are an alternative to PDP, we know what we are talking about,” he said.

Reacting to Professor Otubanjo’s prediction that the APC will soon encounter problems of dissatisfaction by members, Mr Fashakin said that registration is to commence in earnest.

There is no group registration and everybody is coming at ‘equi’ (the same) potential, he said, adding that the bulk of Nigerians that would be in the APC would be enough to push PDP out of power.

There would be challenges of being big but “the impediments that are ahead are too infinitesimal compared to those that we had surmounted in the past, in the course of our coming together as a political party,” he said.

He revealed that a new group called “APC progressive governors”, made up of 11 governors under the umbrella of the merger, has been formed.

 

 

 

APC Will Put PDP On Its Toes – Afegbua

The Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on media and public affairs, Kassim Afegbua has said that the official registration of the All Progressive’s Congress (APC) will empower the merger to keep the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on its toes.

He said this while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Speaking about the merger and its mission to unseat the ruling PDP, Mr Afegbua responded to comments made by a former member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Ebenezer Babatope,  who described the merger ‘a conglomerate of strange bed fellows.’

“What unite them is a common ideology of what they intend to achieve,” he said.

He added that the PDP from formation was an amalgamation of all manners of persons, all shades of opinions coming together with the sole purpose of easing out the military from government.

“So it will be wrong of anybody in the PDP to see another party as being made up of strange bed fellows,” he said.

He said that Nigerians, for the past 14 years, have been under the PDP rulership, so they have seen the limits, (sharps and bends) of the PDP and so to a large extent they are yearning for an alternative

APC will put PDP on its toes.

“If it is not performing, it will now wake up. If it was performing, the agitations and yearning of most Nigerians would not be there in the first place.”

He said a two party system is gradually evolving with PDP and APC as the strongest parties currently dominating the nation’s political system.

A two party system will checkmate the excesses of any ruling party.

He also accused the PDP of not following its manifesto to the letter. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, discarded the manifesto to set up the Presidential Policy Advisory Council headed by former defence minister, TY Danjuma produced another document which jettisoned the original manifesto.

He also said that all ACN turned APC governors are performing better than their PDP counterparts. He added that there are ‘available, verifiable’ facts to prove this.

The former PDP member said he likes to ‘play opposition’ because the ‘ruling party will not give room to ventilate your opinion’.

While defending the APC for having many ‘older generation’ leaders, Mr Afegbua said his former position as acting national chairman of the National Democratic Party revealed that “there was no way you can run political parties without having those individuals who have seen it all”.

“You must tap experiences from people,’ he said.

He called for attitudinal change on the part of the youth.  He said the quality of the mind of the youth is ‘something to worry about’.

Investigation Into Rivers Crisis May Be A Ruse – Nnaji

A public affairs analyst, Chima Nnaji, has described the Rivers Assembly crisis as a ‘cocktail of misdeeds’ on both sides of the divide, pro and anti Amaechi factions, adding that the investigation being carried out by the Inspector general of Police may not be genuine.  

“I’m not too keen about investigations in Nigeria because investigations sometimes are contrived to solve a problem whose outcome is already pre-determined”.

Mr Nnaji disclosed this while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Monday.

He described the political crisis in Rivers state which culminated in a fight in the state house of assembly as a ‘total mess’.

Mr Nnaji said the best approach to take would have been for the majority of the lawmakers to ignore the minority which conducted a session impeaching the Speaker and suspending them.

The impeachment process, which was ‘terribly uncoordinated’ and in a ‘haste’ was also ‘petulant’ and ‘uncouth’, he said.

He called on the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Inspector general of Police to put things in proper perspective.

The IG should investigate the Commissioner of Police and commend him if he was doing his job professionally.

Rivers Assembly Crisis Is ‘Symptomatic’ Of Nigerian Political Scene

A legal practitioner, Kenneth Odidika, on Thursday analysed the Rivers State Assembly crisis, stating that the incident is ‘symptomatic’ of what the Nigerian political system is about.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odidika decried the actions of a lawmaker, Chidi Llyod, who was filmed assaulting a fellow lawmaker with the mace of the State House of Assembly.

Mr Lloyd was subsequently rushed to the Government House clinic where he received treatment for injuries allegedly inflicted on him before he battered his colleague.

Mr Odidika, a former politician with the People’s Democratic Party, claims that any wounds on Mr Lloyd may have been self-inflicted to gather pity as such is typical of the nation’s political class.

Narrating his experience as a former politician, he questioned the credibility of Lloyd’s medical condition, asking how someone who was seen attacking a victim land in the hospital for injuries.

He said that Lloyd must be ‘Mike Tyson’ to have had enough strength to attack someone who allegedly attacked him first.

Politics in Nigeria, he added, is all about personal interest and the saga in Rivers state is the same thing that happens all over the nation, only that the situation reached a ‘boiling point’.

“The average Nigerian politician is very devious” he said, stating that this could be an initiative of either the pro-Amaechi faction or the anti-Amaechi faction.

“The characters that have the appellation leader or leaders in Nigeria will not, from what I’m seeing or from what I’m observing, take Nigeria anywhere, except downhill.”

He called on Nigerians to “rise and take back their country.”

Nigeria Cannot Lead Africa With Bad Politics – Oshiomole

The Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomole has said that for Nigeria to take his place as a leader in Africa, she must get her politics right.

To this effect, he disclosed that the African People’s Congress (APC) was formed to give Nigerians a robust platform for informed choice.

Governor Oshiomhole said this while addressing the Igbo Community in Edo State during a courtesy call at the State House.

He said if a democracy is not capable of bringing about change of parties that form government at all levels “that democracy is not on course”.

Using Ghana as a case stydy, Governor Oshiomhole said that the experience in the sister nation has shown that it is possible for the government to recognize the right of the people to determine who governs them.

“Nigeria cannot continue to play leadership of the African Continent if we don’t get her politics right,” he said.

The Edo State Governor while addressing the Ibos in the State said that his administration does not regard anyone or tribe as “settlers”. He added that the government has also decided to abolish all discriminatory policies in the State.

The Chairman of the Ibo Community, Chief Luke Abbas commended the governor for employing Ibos and accused his Abia State counterpart, Governor Theodore Orji of chasing non indigenes from the state.

FG Wants Boko Haram Insurgency To Continue – El Rufai

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Federal Government  of wanting the Boko Haram insurgency to continue for selfish reasons.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement suggesting that members of the Boko Haram group are ghosts.

He said, “over a thousand Boko Haram operatives are in the custody of the SSS here in Abuja,” hence the Government cannot claim to not know who the terrorists are. He added that he knows the government has a lot of information about the Islamist group.

“What is lacking is the will to address this issue. I think the government just wants this to continue because it is profitable for the security agencies to have huge budgets, most of which is stolen.” He said.

The former minister also said that the government which has over time requested the help of people such as himself, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno Elder’s Council, in talking to the extremist group has also accused them of being ‘Boko Haram Sympathisers.’

Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr El-Rufai

APGA Appoints Obi As Deputy National Leader

The Chairmen’s forum of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in its first ever National Executive Meeting which held in Awka, Anambra state, endorsed Mr. Peter Obi, the Governor of Anambra state, as its Deputy National Leader.

In the same meeting, chairmen of the party unanimously appointed Dr. Isa Arzuka Jega as the interim National Chairman.

The major objective of the forum was to discuss the process of restructuring and moving the party forward and it had all its 36 chairmen from all states of the federation in attendance.

In a communiqué issued by the forum, the executives of the party commended the leadership role of Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and endorsing his position as its Deputy National Leader.

The communiqué also disclosed that the party’s National Convention will be held in Enugu in April.

In Februray 2012, chieftains of the party disassociated themselves from the merger talks with some opposition political parties in the country.

While addressing the chairmen for the first time, Mr. Obi took them down memory lane once again on the principles and ideals of the party, and on how he single-handedly financed the party, fought and won the 2003 governorship election, secured the second mandate 2010 and ensured that APGA is not dead and forgotten.

“My present concern and preoccupation would be to ensure the survival of the party through the conduct of a convention to usher in new party National Executive.” He stated.

Some of the members expressed satisfaction over the new dimension the party is taking.

The forum also resolved to readmit without pre-conditions all former members who express the desire to return to the party as well as grant clemency to all previously sanctioned members of the party.

Otedola denies releasing audio tape to media house

A member of the House of Rresentatives Ethics and Privileges Committee,  Ibrahim Bello said that Oil magnate,  Femi Otedola has denied releasing the audio tape of his purported telephone conversation with the suspended Chairman of the ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk Lawan to the media.

Mr Bello, who disclosed this to journalists said “when the committee asked Otedola how the media station got the audio tape,  he told us to … summon the media house and demand how they came about the tape.

“He denied the audio clip. All he said at the meeting was that Farouk Lawan lied four times and that’s all. What I am saying is on record and we have it.”

Mr Bello, however, said rules are meant to be followed, irrespective of status, which is responsible for the insistence of the Committee  to hold its sessions behind closed-doors

He said: “Nobody can come and bend our rules. We don’t have any business with Otedola.  I said it before his lawyer, who  told him not to talk with us and answer our questions. He was only a witness before us and we told him categorically. We have ten lawyers in the ethics and privileges committe

“But he came with a Senior Advocate who sat beside him and told him not to answer our questions. He didn’t know that Otedola was only a witness before us and we told him categorically

“But the position of the Nigerian law as at today is that he who gives graft and he who receives are both culprits. You are not a member of the parliament and you were alleged to have given one of us something which is illicit, then, you are the best person to come before the Committee and tell us the true position of what transpired before you and him”.

The lawmaker said the importance of the case would not give room for laxity as the integrity of the House as an institution is at stake.

“This particular issue is a unique case. As a committee, our business is the conduct of affairs of our members. But this matter is unique because it involves somebody who gave and somebody who took. The allegation is that somebody who is not a parliamentarian gave to a parliamentarian.

“And we in the parliament want to ascertain the veracity of the claim. Are we going to import a demon to come and find out what transpired between Otedola and Lawan?”

“It’s a matter whereby the onus is on Otedola to come before us and give us justification testifying to the fact that truly he gave Lawan graft because he is an accused person too by virtue of our laws. So, can you see the fallacy in this country? We don’t know who is protecting the accused person here.

“He (Lawan) came and we interrogated him for almost four hours after giving his testimony he left, with the arrangement that whenever we need his presence he will come back. Now he (Otedola)is insisting that we should go into a public hearing”.