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Makinde, APC trade words over N7.6bn loan

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has berated Governor Seyi Makinde and Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin over expressed approval of a fresh N7.6 billion loan aimed at reviving two farm settlements in Ido/Ibarapa East Federal Constituency of the state.

The House of Assembly on Thursday approved the governor’s request to borrow the sum three months after a similar request to obtain a N10b “infrastructural loan” was granted, bringing the total to N17.6b.

The approval was granted amid opposing voices by legislators who wanted the loan to be applied to farm settlements across the state.

The APC, in a statement by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, condemned what it described as the “conspiracy of bad governance” between Makinde and Speaker Ogundoyin over an alleged disrespect for the opinion of majority of his colleagues who had questioned the rationale behind the fresh loan request at the plenary on Thursday.

It reads in part: “The current governor has succeeded in bringing the whole machinery of local government administration to a halt completely and to further demonstrate his resolve to drag Oyo State backward by many years within the shortest period of time, we have again been made to see the need for the concerned citizens to beam their searchlight on the PDP administration of Engr. Seyi Makinde as financial indiscipline is now the order of the day in the business of government.

“As much as we would not even like to dwell much on the futile attempt by Gov. Makinde’s media handlers to change the narratives on the controversial fresh loan, the whole world has realised that the present administration is here to mismanage resources and enmesh the state in an inimical debt crisis. Without a clear cut action plan, the Makinde administration has made itself a good customer to many financial institutions as it gets all forms of loans.

“Unfortunately again, most of these loan transactions are done covertly and to the disadvantage of the good people of the state.

“The latest N7.6 billion loan, as announced, by the state legislature was different from the N10 billion obtained three months ago even as tongues are already wagging on what has become of the whopping over N17b billion which came into the state government treasury in the month of June alone.

“Apart from the statutory payment of salaries to government workers, nothing concrete has been done by the PDP government since May 29, 2019.

“The orchestrated Light-Up Ibadan City project and purchase of 100 security cars have not come to any fruition even when bogus amount of state funds had been expended on them without any due process.

“Oyo has a governor who would always singlehandedly design capital projects and approve funds for their execution without any recourse to State Executive Council.

“As if this was not enough, he has found an ally in the Speaker who overrules his colleagues at will only to dance to the tune of Mr. Governor.”

Reacting, however, Makinde described the loan approval as victory for the people of the state.

He pointed out that the loan was in pursuit of agricultural sustainability and economic emancipation of the Makinde administration.

In a statement through his spokesman Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Governor said the loan was borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for “agricultural equipment” by the immediate past administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

Makinde maintained that contrary to insinuations that he was obtaining an additional N7.6 billion loan after an initial approval for N10 billion loan facility for infrastructure development, the N7.6 billion loan had already been approved by the CBN before he got to office.

He added that the apex bank had begun to deduct money from Oyo State’s Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations from source to repay the loan.

The Governor stated that his administration had only approached the House of Assembly to seek approval to change the purpose of the loan facility so that it could be put to better use in developing farm estates in Eruwa and Akufo farm settlements in a pilot scheme that will be used as a model for the state-wide farm estate initiative of the administration.

Makinde further explained that limiting the scope of the project to Akufo and Eruwa Farm settlements, which were in the same federal constituency, was to allow for effective planning, monitoring, evaluation and coordination for the pilot scheme, adding that the project would extend to other settlements across the state, as his administration will remain fair to all zones in the state.

The statement added: “The farm estates will serve as pilot schemes for our Private Public Development Partnership (PPDP) farm estates and will eventually generate funds to develop the other seven farm settlements in Oyo State. This is a deliberate plan aimed at creating sustainable development in the state.

“The N10 billion is still intact as it has not yet been accessed. The loan is meant for specific infrastructural development projects. Once the Due Process Office is through with the approval process of hiring contractors for the earmarked projects, we will start accessing the loan to fund these projects.

“Our administration will continue to be transparent and accountable to our people about how public funds are utilized in the state. We will ensure our people get value for any project that we execute, and also ensure that infrastructural development projects are tied to our economy.”

No attempt to ‘whittle down’ Osinbajo’s influence – APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has debunked reports of an attempt to “whittle down” the roles of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The reports, mostly on social media, claimed that a cabal in the presidency was trying to render the office of the vice president ineffective and subject the incumbent’s person to humiliation.

President Buhari in his independence anniversary address to Nigerians on Tuesday announced plans to move the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs) to the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The programmes had been domiciled under the office of the vice president since they were created in 2016.

The programmes under the N-SIPs to be moved from the vice president’s office to the new ministry include N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes (GEEP).

However, in a statement by its spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, on Wednesday, APC dismissed the reports attributing the movement to a ‘rift’ between President Buhari and Mr Osinbajo as “one of the many fake news flying around in recent days.”

The party said the “fake news” began after the “setting up of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) comprising some of Nigeria’s most independent-minded economists (some vocally critical of government’s fiscal policies) to advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues, working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.”

The vice president statutorily heads the National Economic Council with members including state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

“Constitutionally, while the power of the Vice President is derived from the President, the conspirators deliberately choose to ignore Section 141 of the Constitution, which spells out the Vice President’s statute membership in the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, Federal Executive Council, and the Chairman of National Economic Council,” the APC said in the statement.

The party said President Buhari’s decision to move the N-SIPs to the new ministry does not portend crisis at the presidency.

“The conspirators are desperately trying to link government decisions on the N-SIPs, which have been under the office of the Vice President since it started in 2016 to support the conspiracies, however mundane.

“In the same October 1 address, the President announced the recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). Was this also to ‘whittle down’ the powers of the OSGF?”

Osinbajo’s ‘frontline role’

The party said the N-SIPs since 2016 has impacted “over 12 million direct beneficiaries and over 30 million indirect beneficiaries.

“The Vice President played a frontline role in the conceptualisation of these policies and programmes and the President, in demonstration of his trust for him, charged him with the responsibility of nurturing the programmes to the current stage.

“Tremendous successes have been recorded under the guardianship of the Vice President. In demonstrating the administration’s commitment to the cause of the poor, these interventionist programmes have been elevated to the Next Level with the creation of the new ministry.”

“The purveyors of the conspiracy theory about the imagined rift in the Presidency have missed the opportunity to see the commendable efforts of this government. Perhaps, if these policies were about the elites, they would have focussed on the positive imports rather than fishing for a crisis that only exists in their fatuous imagination,” he concluded.

“The SIPs are already gaining global and local acclaims across the globe on account of its nationwide social impact, particularly from endorsement by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank, World Economic Forum, Action Aid (Nigeria), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) among others.

“A question we should ask the conspirators and their partisan sponsors is how did they miss the import of the President’s decision to create a whole ministry to superintend the social investment programmes and humanitarian issues?

“How did they not realise that the President’s action is an indication of the importance he attaches to policies that are targeted at the poor?

“Why does it appear that the so-called analysts always do not see things from the point of view of the poor?”

The APC accused the opposition of not being critical enough in assessing government policies. It implored the media and critics of the government to be noble when reviewing public policies.

Efforts to speak with the PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, for his party’s reaction were unsuccessful.

His known telephone lines were unreachable after several attempts. He also did not respond to text messages at the time of this report.

FIRS threatens to sue Timi Frank over N90bn election funding allegation

TIMI FRANK’S TISSUE OF LIES
RE-Osinbajo in trouble over N90billion FIRS election fund – Timi Frank

The attention of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has been
drawn to publication in some online and daily newspapers by a certain
Comrade Timi Frank, the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of
the All Progressives Congress (APC), who claimed that the FIRS
supported the`APC, through the  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with a
phantom N90 billion.

The FIRS wishes to state as follows:

1.      That  the entire allegation being spread by one Frank  Timi  that
the  Federal
Inland Revenue Service spent N90billion to fund the last election is
mendacious, wicked, malicious and a calculated attempt to
smear the image
of the Service and that of his Excellency, the Vice
President, Prof. Yemi
Osinbajo. This campaign of calumny and villifying false claims are
entirely, libellous, unfounded in fact, irresponsible and a
brazen assault
on the integrity of the Service as a responsible and accountable
organisation and demonstrates an abysmal ignorance of the budgetary
and expenditure process of the FIRS.

2.      That in the last four years since Mr. Tunde Fowler has supervised
operations at the FIRS, the agency had not received  up to N100
billion, per annum,  as Cost of Collection from the Federation
Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC. FAAC is a public institution,
whose records are open to the public.
3.      That it is from the remittances from FAAC—which had never grossed
up to N100 billion, PER ANNUM, that FIRS pays the salary and
emoluments and trains it’s over 8000 staff, runs over 150 offices and
provides for other needs of the Service.
4.      That given the above, IT IS NOT PLAUSIBLE nor DOES IT MAKE ANY
SENSE that FIRS will commit its resources to a phantom campaign of N90
billion as suggested by Mr. Timi Frank and FIRS does not fund
political associations.
5.      That FIRS is a creation of statute and its activities are governed
by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and financials
regulations and thus, IT IS NOT PLAUSIBLE, that its funds could be
expended in such a cavalier manner as suggested by Mr. Timi Frank.
6.      That FIRS Budget and expenditure approval processes pass through
the Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance, before such are
presented to the National Assembly for Appropriation into Law. The
National Assembly committees, consisting of all parties and
inclinations exercise oversight function on all agencies of the
Federal Government to ensure agencies keep to the letters of the
Appropriation Act. Thus FIRS’ operations are subjected to
Scrutiny and close monitoring by the National Assembly, the Federation
Accounts Allocation Committee and the Ministry of Finance.

7.      It is therefore unthinkable, malicious and irresponsible for the
said Frank to insinuate or infer that N90 billion or any part thereof
could be spent illegally and without budgetary approval.

8.      It is equally alarming to note that this injurious falsehood and
blackmail could find space in our mass media without proper scrutiny
particularly with the availability of the Freedom of Information Act,
which broadly allows Nigerians access to information on expenditure of
public funds by government agencies. This all goes to show an
orchestrated and invidious decision by paid agents to discredit the
Service in order to achieve their diabolical ends, which is at
variance from the interest of Nigerians.

9.      We ask members of the public to ignore the claims of Mr. Timi
Frank, with the ignominy it deserves as the former  Deputy National
Publicity Secretary of the APC is seeking for cheap popularity and
relevance.

10.     It is in the light of the foregoing observations, the FIRS
demands an unequivocal apology from the said Mr. Timi Frank and a
well
publicised public apology in three major and leading newspapers within
the    next 24 hours. The FIRS shall pursue claims for aggravated
damages in libel and injurious falsehood against the said Mr. Frank if
he fails to meet these conditions in the next 24 hours.

11.      This invidious publication is targeted as  derailing the revenue
generation efforts for  the three  tiers of government in the nation.
This is calculated economic sabotage and hereby referred to the Office
of the Attorney General of the Federation  officially.

12.     We finally wish to assure all Nigerians that the FIRS did not spend and
could not have spent taxpayers money for political ends.
For the avoidance
of doubt, every kobo paid by taxpayers goes straight to the
Federation
Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria and that
the FIRS does not possess the constitutional right to touch the said
account or appropriate any kobo there from to itself.

The FIRS wishes to reassure members of the public that the FIRS is a
PUBLIC TRUST, which the agency operates on behalf of Nigerians.
Taxpayers money-including the operational funds of the Service- are
sacred.  FIRS remains committed to public accountability and
transparency in the sacred mandate of tax collection and public
expenditure.

Why I handed over the treasury to women —Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said placing women in strategic positions of his government, like the financial sector, is to ensure effective management of limited resources available, and promote a stronger sense of inclusiveness.

Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying this in a Press statement on Thursday.

Adesina wrote: President Buhari said he preferred women to oversee the economic and financial hub of the country, Ministry of Finance, as they can readily deploy their experience in aligning resources with the needs of the country, explaining that the nation also had many female technocrats with local and international experiences on economy and finance.

The President gave the insight into his preferred choice for Ministers of Finance while receiving a delegation of National, Zonal, State and FCT Women leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the party Women Leader, Hajiya Salamatu Umaru Baiwa at the State House.

“I am happy that I can defend myself very effectively on this issue. The APC party leader is my witness. Since the coming into power of this administration I have handed over the treasury to women.

“Even at household level, you hand over the money to women to manage. It can be taken to the level of managing the country’s treasury as well. I have consistently given it to women. It is strategic.

“I am conscious of the leadership roles of women in the society and by my action I have justified my belief,’’ President Buhari said.

The President reiterated that his administration will ensure inclusiveness for women and youths, especially in the second term, by providing more access to facilities that will enable spread of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and encourage more interest in agriculture.

President Buhari said the traditional and subsistence style of farming should be replaced with commercialized and business oriented techniques.

“We have to move away from the traditional ways of farming that were practiced in the pre-colonial and colonial era,’’ he added.

The President said he instructed the ministers to work with traditional institutions to encourage interest in farming, with the Central Bank of Nigeria readily providing loans at low interest rates and longer periods of repayment.

“On unemployment, I know there is no able bodied person that went back to the farm in the last three years that regretted the action,’’ he added.

In her remarks, the APC Woman Leader congratulated the President for his victory at the polls and the tribunal, commending the administration for its efforts in managing the affairs of the country, which provided the impetus for the vigorous campaigns.

Baiwa said women were particularly pleased and willing to vote for the President because the government deliberately formulated some policies to favour and empower women, like the social intervention Trader Moni.

She said the APC had many resourceful and loyal women that would contribute to the success of the administration, while commending the President for giving women strategic positions in the government.

“Our prayer is that God will give you the tenacity to overcome all obstacles,’’ the Woman Leader said.

Obaseki fired the only commissioner I nominated – Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, removed the only commissioner he nominated into his cabinet.

In an interview with Channels Television, Oshiomhole said the governor took the action after a reconciliatory meeting between him and his successor.

He said four other governors attended the meeting.

The duo have been in the news in recent times over the crisis in the Edo. The misunderstanding between them led to a split in the Edo house of assembly.

A faction of the assembly is said to be loyal to the governor while the other is on the side of the APC national chairman.

There are reports that both men fell apart as a result of Oshiomhole’s opposition to the governor’s reelection bid but the APC chairman told Channels that he has nothing to gain by opposing the governor’s second term ambition.

“We have no argument over money or appointment… In the meeting we held with four governors, including Governor Bagudu, I asked the governor, how many commissioners did I nominate in your cabinet. He agreed that I only nominated one person out of more than 20 commissioners,” Oshiomhole said.

“Not many Nigerians will believe that because for me I was out of government and I have convinced myself that the day I step out of government, that is it. After that first meeting, the governor decided to remove that one commissioner along with seven others. But that is not my business.

“The governor can never tell you that I have interfered in his choice of projects and so on. The only thing I feel a bit worried about is that some of the projects we started together have been abandoned. There is no way to solve disagreements without talking to the aggrieved parties.

“Let me assure you. This governor is not under threat. It is those who make money from crisis, those I call merchants of confusion, who can tell the governor that he wants to be impeached. What will I gain if Godwin does not run a second term?”

Yahaya Bello picks Edward Onoja as running mate

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has picked Edward Onoja, his chief of staff, as running mate for the November 16 governorship election.

According to a report by The Cable, an aide of the governor, who did not want to be quoted, disclosed this.

The aide said the governor submitted Onoja’s name to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during his trip to Abuja earlier in the week.

“The chief of staff is the running mate of His Excellency in the forthcoming election. An official announcement would be made soon,” the governor’s aide said.

“Mr Onoja’s name was submitted to the national working committee of the party when His Excellency visited the party headquarters on Thursday.”

Onoja neither responded to calls nor text messages when TheCable tried reaching him on Sunday evening.

Kingsley Fanwo, spokesman of the governor, was evasive when contacted.

“The party will confirm that at the appropriate time,” he said via text message.

An ally of Bello, Onoja is the most influential member of the governor’s cabinet. Their relationship predates the emergence of the governor in 2016.

Aged 49, the indigene of Emonyoku Ogugu in Olamaboro local government area of Kogi, is a Geologist.

He sought the ticket of the former All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) for a house of assembly seat in 2011.

He was the chief strategist of “Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization” in 2015 and the state director of the Kogi Youth Arise Group, which worked for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari, still in 2015.

APC disqualifies ex-REC who joined Bayelsa guber race

Dr Frankland Briyai, former resident electoral commissioner (REC) of Cross River state, has been disqualified from participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in Bayelsa state.

The APC screening committee said Briyai was disqualified for not meeting specific criteria for participating in the primary election.

In its report forwarded to the party’s leadership, the committee said the former REC was not a card-carrying member of the party for a period of one year.

On August 8, Briyai resigned as Cross River REC to join politics.

He said he would contest the Bayelsa governorship poll — coming up in November — under the platform of the APC.

But the committee headed by Isa Song said the party’s guidelines requires governorship aspirants to be active party members for not less than one year.

“Each aspirant was asked questions relating to qualifications and conduct in line with both party constitution and election guidelines to contest for the Governorship Primary election under the platform of the APC”, the committee said in the report.

“We also asked them to produce evidence of membership of the party, voters card and payment of the prescribed fees as well as the original copy of their credentials for sighting. The screening committee was empowered to screen aspirants for the governorship election for Bayelsa’

“Therefore, Dr. Briyai Frankland was not cleared and disqualified on the ground of Section 3 paragraph ‘L’ of the guideline for nomination of candidates”.

It listed cleared aspirants to include Preys Aganaba, Heineken Lokpobiri, Ebitimi Amgbare, Diseye Poweigha, Lyon David, and Ongoebi Etebu.

INEC had earlier faulted the resignation of Briyari, saying it did not follow due process.

Ambode: CACOL cautions EFCC against selective investigation

 

The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to allow themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe.

Adeniran spoke on Thursday during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.

Recall that on Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption allegations leveled against him, but could not find anything incriminating.

“That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government and that because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode that he should not be investigated or brought before justice.

“The reason why we have to believe that you have to connect with it is that, that is the only corruption allegation that has been leveled against the former governor. And we don’t have anything against that if on reasonable ground that have reasons to believe that maybe the cash is starched in that house just like that found in Osborne’s house, Falomo, Ikoyi or shopping complex. They could raid the place and they can break it down if they refuse to open the place. But then you have to have reasonable reasons to do that. Unfortunately, Epe youths might be too zealous to protect one of their own, that might be the reason.

“But we were told that they actually penetrated the premises and did the search and even going by the account of the young lawyers they said that they insisted that they needed to witness the search. And they actually search the searchers before they started the operation. At the end of the day, they never found anything incriminating in that house except for a stark of files. And those stark of files we wouldn’t know if they suspected that it contains documents, but they could have checked it to find out the contents of those files so that if the files contain secret documents they could have easily tell the world what they have found in the house.

But since there is no incident, it means it’s only normal that people would think it was maliciously done. We believe that EFCC as an anti-corruption agency shouldn’t have allowed itself to be used. Of course, they need to investigate all petitions that have been sent to them,” Adeniran explained.

 

APC reacts to EFCC raid on Ambode’s home

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the search conducted by the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) at the Epe home of a former governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Ambode left office on May 29 after serving a single four-year term and is believed to be under investigation for alleged corruption.

The former governor’s residence in his hometown, Epe was searched around 9:35 a.m.

The residence of his former chief of staff was also searched in the same Epe town of Lagos State.

Two weeks earlier, multiple bank accounts holding billions of naira and linked to Ambode were frozen as part of the probe.

While Ambode has denied links to both the accounts and any allegations of corruption while in office, the EFCC said whatever it was doing with regards to the investigation “is in line with its mandate and the rule of law.”

Reacting to this development, the APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said “there are no sacred cows”

He said this in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“It is about time we knew that the APC government is not joking with its commitment to fight corruption in whatever form it is. This government has demonstrated that there are no sacred cows”, he said.

“The naysayer can continue to say what they like but they must be ashamed of themselves by now, knowing that on daily basis, the anti-corruption agencies are proving them wrong,” Mr Issa-Onilu said.

When asked if the party was in support of the move against Mr Ambode, he said: “We are not specific about any issue. The fight against corruption is our own policy and there are no sacred cows. We just hope that the allegation against former governor Ambode is not true. If true, this APC government will not bend the rule for any personalities.”

He maintained that corruption fight is the “cardinal principle of the APC.”

INEC has no power to sack me, says ex-Cross River REC

The immediate past Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Frankland Briyia, on Wednesday, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacked powers to unilaterally sack him.

Briyia said his preliminary investigations revealed that the report that he was sacked by the commission was fake saying that he only resigned his appointment to join partisan politics and participate in the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Speaking at the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yenagoa, Briyia said he was at the party office to inform the officials that he was a registered member of the party and intended to contest the forthcoming poll.

There were reports that INEC sacked the former REC for using its premises in Cross River to declare his membership of the APC.

But Briyia said: “No, INEC did not say so. INEC never meant to say so. I officially and legally resigned my appointment and INEC will attest to that. Let me state this. The REC is nominated by the President and the President sends the nominees to the Senate.

“The Senate screens them and if they’re found worthy confirms them and sends them to the President and the President eventually gives them appointments. The moment the appointment is given to the REC and the REC does anything wrong, INEC will investigate and sends its reports and makes its recommendation of what will happen to the REC whether he will be disciplined or not to the President.

“If the President and his team actually investigate and if he sees that what the REC has done actually contravenes the code of conduct, he will send the report to the Senate. The Senate will debate it, if the two-third majority of the Senate finds what the REC wrong, the Senate will rectify it and send it back to the President.

“It thereafter the President only, can sanction the REC. I have contacted INEC headquarters and the news about my sack is fake news. INEC said they didn’t say a thing like that. I’m sure you have watched or maybe read INEC publication, you won’t find anything like sack because I resigned officially.

“My departure created a vacuum and in INEC tradition the moment there’s no REC the administrative secretary takes over, that was what INEC meant. INEC doesn’t mean that I was sacked. So, don’t misquote INEC”.

Briyia said he had mapped out robust programmes for Bayelsa adding that if he became the governor of the state he would focus on human capacity and infrastructural development.

He said the people of the state were generally unemployed lamenting that most of them could no longer go to school.

The aspirant observed that civil servants were not re Irving their full salaries while most pensioners were languishing without their pensions.

He said: “I came because the good people of Bayelsa state called me to come and contest the gubernatorial election. We have insecurity in this state and insecurity has so many factors that cause them.

“When we identify those factors, we intend that God helping us after the gubernatorial election, we are going to turn this state around for the betterment of everybody that’s living in this state, whether you are indigenes or non-indigenes.

“Some of you have traveled out of this state. Ebonyi state and some of them were created the same time with Bayelsa. if you travel to Ebonyi state you will see infrastructural development. I was in Ebonyi state in January last year and I passed through some of those states that were created the same time with Bayelsa state.

“As a matter of fact, Bayelsa state is the list developed, in terms of human capacity and infrastructural development. Bayelsa state is the smallest and wealthiest of these states. That was the reason they asked me to come and contest because they found worthy and capable of turning this state around”.

APC, Lawan urge Nigerians to be steadfast in nation building

Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged Nigerians to be steadfast in the process of nation-building, as they join the rest of the world to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.

Lawan in his Sallah message enjoined Nigerians to always remember their shared heritage and destiny of national greatness and be guided by the Nigerian spirit of firm confidence as they tackle the contemporary challenges of nation-building He also congratulated Muslims from Nigeria who joined their brothers and sisters in participating in the rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Muslims, he stressed, should remember the purpose of the celebration, which is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.

“I urge all to take inspiration from the exemplary virtues demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority.”

The Senate president is currently in the Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage.

Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked Nigerians to shun disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.

The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said that in the spirit of the Sallah celebration, Nigerians should learn to exhibit the pan Nigerian spirit anywhere they find themselves.

“As we celebrate the Sallah feast with family, friends and loved ones, Muslim faithful and indeed all Nigerians are implored to show love to neighbours and cater for the less privileged around us,” he said.

He added: “In our national life, Eid ul-Adha is a reminder for us to make our individual and collective sacrifices for the well-being, unity, peace and development of our dear country, Nigeria.

“We must therefore shun the disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.

“In our private capacity, official duties, wherever we find ourselves, we must all exhibit the pan-Nigerian spirit. We should embrace our country’s diversity and harness it for good. We must see every Nigerian as a brother. We should take advantage of his strength, help him with his weakness. That is the only way we can grow as a country.”

APC fabricated lies to discredit Jonathan – Timi Frank

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Timi Frank Saturday disclosed how the leaders of the party fabricated lies in 2015 to sabotage the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

With the rising incidence of killing, violence and insecurity nationwide, Frank disclosed that Jonathan managed security challenges in the country better than the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He made the disclosure in a statement he issued Saturday, claiming that many lies were fabricated against Jonathan that made his re-election impossible.

Frank made the call in a statement he issued yesterday, claiming that many lies were fabricated against Jonathan that made his re-election impossible.

He said unless Nigerians preferred to continue in pretence, Jonathan managed security challenge in the country well compared to what is being witnessed now under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He acknowledged that all Nigerians made a wrong choice of electing Buhari, though there were things the Jonathan administration should have done better.

He, therefore, called Nigerians “to beg former President Goodluck Jonathan for wrongly voting him out and sabotaging his government. I must confess that as an APC figure in 2015, we fabricated many lies against Jonathan.
“However, I have publicly apologised to him. Other Nigerians, especially the pastors, Imams, traditional rulers and other opinion leaders should beg for forgiveness too.

“It is obvious now that insecurity in our Nation has gone out of hand. The challenge was limited to a zone under Goodluck Jonathan but presently no state, including Buhari’s home state is secured.

“Under Jonathan, Fulani herdsmen were using stick. But they now carry AK 47. Under Jonathan, lives of Nigerians were more important despite the challenges but under Buhari, cows are more important than lives.

“There was democracy and rule of law under Jonathan. But it is now rule of force and impunity. Under Jonathan, National Assembly were active and working, but it is now a rubber stamp.

“Under Jonathan, Nigerians abroad were relocating back home but under Buhari Nigerians are running away. Under Jonathan Nigerians are respected all over the world but that has since gone under Buhari.

“Under Jonathan, Nigerians were crying in tears. But now Nigerians are crying in blood. Under Jonathan, there was freedom of speech, but that has long gone under the APC administration.

“Under Jonathan, poverty, hunger and unemployment were not as bad as it is today. Under Jonathan Nigeria was a United Nation but sentiments have taken over now. As it is now, all the institutions of government that were working well under Jonathan have all been blackmailed and politicised.”

On these grounds, Frank called on all Nigerians, who betrayed Jonathan to come out publicly and apologise to him, thereby appealing to Jonathan on behalf of Nigerians “to forgive Nigerians and bless the nation against the evils that have pervaded the land.”

He, also, urged all religious leaders, traditional rulers and all Nigerians who directly or indirectly worked against Jonathan’s government to ask for forgiveness before it is too late.

He added that Nigerians should ask the APC administration what happened to the $1 Billion ECA money removed to fight insecurity in Nigeria.

He equally charged all Nigerians “to support a peaceful revolution to take back Nigeria to the good old days from the hands “evil men in power.”

Kano APC suspends Jibrin, recommends his expulsion

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bewaji local government area of Kano state has suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin, a member of house of representatives.

According to a statement signed by Suleiman Gwarmai, chairman of the APC in Bebeji, the lawmaker representing Bebeji/Kiru federal constituency, Jibrin was suspended over alleged anti-party activities.

Gwarmai said the decision was arrived at following a recommendation by a seven-man committee which was constituted after the party received a petition against Jibrin.

“Upon a petition received by the APC executive committee of Bebeji Local Government, a seven-man committee was inaugurated to investigate all the issues raised by the petitioner, the statement read in part,” he said.

“After a thorough investigation, the committee submitted its report and recommendations to the Local Government executive which subsequently met and adopt as follows: That having confirmed various anti-party activities by Hon. Abdulmuminu Jibrin Kofa which was found contrary to some provisions of the party’s constitution, ranging from article 21, paragraph A (ii) (V).

“And (Vii) the executive committee adopted the report and hereby suspended Hon. Kofa with immediate effect for 12 months.

“That the executive committee also adopted the committee’s recommendation urging the state Executive committee to recommend to the national executive the immediate expulsion of Hon. Abdulmuminu Jibrin Kofa from the party for various offenses.”

APC warns Atiku against posing as shadow president

The All Progressives Congress has accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of making public statements on issues constitutionally reserved for the duly elected head of government or his designees.

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said Atiku as a former Vice President ought to understand the workings of the government.

Likening his action to felony, the party warned him against making such utterances in the future, saying security agencies would not be prevented from doing their work irrespective of the class of anyone that committed the act.

The statement said, “As a Party, we would have thought that Alh Atiku, who in the past occupied such high office as the country’s vice president, would clearly understand the workings of government, particularly as it bothers on national security, foreign policy and our international engagement.

“We have noted Alh Atiku’s incessant habits of releasing statements on public issues as if he were an alternative President of this country and with a clear intention to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led government.

“In recent times, Alh Atiku has demonstrated lack of regard for the sovereignty of the office of the President and Nigerian government through condescending statements. He has made several of such statements regarding the activities of the Nigerian military, issues of national security, and international relations.

“The latest of such statements is the one he made on the emergence of Mr. Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Britain even when our duly elected President, who has the responsibility of making an official statement on such matter, has made the position of our country known.

“We note with serious concern that Alh. Atiku has been throwing himself around as a shadow President of Nigeria. We would like to state clearly that such position could only be found under the parliamentary system; it does not exist under the Presidential system of government that we practice in Nigeria.”

The APC advised Atiku to note that being a candidate for an elective office, including that of the President, did not confer on him a sovereign status.

“Alh. Atiku’s continuous portrayal of himself as a shadow President under our system borders on felony and makes him a patent impostor.

“There can only be one democratically elected and legitimate government at a time in this country. That clearly is the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is important to remind Alh. Atiku that issues of national security, foreign policy and international engagements are not matters to be exploited to achieve mischievous political ends

Supreme Court sacks Adamawa APC Rep for skipping NYSC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sacked Mustapha Usman, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member of the House of Representatives, representing Yola South/Yola North/Girei Federal Constituency of Adamawa State, for forging documents and not participating in all processes leading to the election.

The five-man panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro, ‎held that Usman did not participate in all the stages of the election.

He therefore ordered that the person who came second in the election and met the constitutional requirements, should be issued certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Supreme Court held that, besides the fact that Usman forged his credentials, he also did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.

Election Tribunal: Galadima testifies against Buhari, insists he’s still an APC member

Buba Galadima, a spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, says he is still a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He made this statement while speaking at the presidential tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had, on Monday, presented Buba Galadima, as its witness.

During cross-examination, Wole Olanipekun, the APC’s counsel, asked Galadima why he was no longer on good terms with the president.

In response, he said he supported Buhari’s presidential ambition in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 because he believed Buhari as qualified to lead the country.

He said bad governance has made him change his mind about Buhari’s competence.

“I’m still a member of APC. I have not been sacked. We are in court. I don’t want to be subjudice,” he said, adding he is the chairman of the Reformed APC, even though it is not a registered party.

“I’m not a member of PDP, but we have a memorandum of understanding with the PDP to produce God-fearing, good and educated leader.”

PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are challenging the February 23 election in which Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared winner.

Galadima was formerly an ally in the Buhari camp and was one of the nine signatories that signed the merger agreement to form the All Progressives Congress.

He was called to the witness stand at the proceedings, after Livy Uzoukwu, PDP’s lawyers, tendered some result sheets from four local government areas of Kano state.

Adams Oshiomole, the APC chairman, also attended the sitting for the first time since the sitting began on June 10.

Before now, Uche Secondus, the PDP chairman and Peter Obi, the party’s vice-presidential candidate, had attended proceedings at different times.

Atiku had tendered 26,175 exhibits against the election.

In a statement through Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku had said the exhibits include result sheets from polling units, wards and local governments in eight states namely Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Jigawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna and partly Kano.

He claims that the results show that he won the election.

Buhari held hostage as infighting rocks APC leaders – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says there is infighting within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidency.

In a statement on Saturday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, alleged that the infighting is about positions.

Ologbondiyan described the APC as a sanctuary of “power mongers and looters.”

“The bitter fighting and hostilities in the presidency is as a result of the confusion that had enveloped the APC and the Buhari Presidency over the brazen stealing of the presidential mandate that Nigerians freely gave to the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the February 23, presidential election,” he said.

“The vicious fight for positions as ‘booty’ of a stolen mandate further exposes the APC and the cabal in the Buhari Presidency as power mongers who are only interested in power grabbing, treasury looting and plundering of our national patrimony and not in the welfare of Nigerians.

“Nigerians watched as a faction within the power-grabbing APC, in a loud protest in our nation’s seat of power, Abuja, earlier in the week, listed the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Mr. President’s cousin, Mamman Daura and his long-standing friend, Isa Funtua as members of the said cabal that have appropriated the Presidency and held President Buhari hostage.

“In a counter-protest, the supporters of the cabal had also accused a prominent APC governor of a north-west state and his ‘brother’, who is a prominent former minister and former governor of a south-south state, as those fanning the embers of discord in the presidential villa to achieve their desperate ambition for power in 2023.”

The PDP spokesman said the alleged infighting is a confirmation of Buhari’s “incompetence and leadership failure.”

“The harsh reality is that, with the situation at hand, there is no hope in sight for our nation under the APC and the Buhari presidency,” he said.

“Nevertheless, while the PDP stands with millions of Nigerians in the determination to retrieve our stolen mandate at the appropriate judicial panels, our party finds it ludicrous that in the face of herculean challenges confronting us as a nation, the concern of the APC and Buhari Presidency is the sharing of ill-gotten electoral booty.”

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, has not commented on the claims as at of the time of filing this report.

Botched appointment: How APC chieftains moved against Adedayo

The sack of Dr. Festus Adedayo as special adviser, media and publicity to the President of the Senate came after prominent loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari and especially the Office of Vice President Osinbajo and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) moved against him, PRNigeria has reported.

According to the quasi-government information clearing platform, the agitation for Adedayo’s removal was spearheaded by a horde of pro-APC loyalists on various social media platforms.

They cited the columnist’s history of anti-government rhetoric, pointing out that it was inconsistent with the ideals of the ruling party.

Recall that a group known as APC stakeholders, on Thursday morning, had accused the Senate President of rewarding President Buhari’s enemies, after Lawan retained some aides of the immediate-past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

At a protest march, Abu Andrew, spokesperson of the group, noted that the appointments were “glaring” reward to people who have insulted Buhari.

He said: “No doubt, the appointments are glaring reward for people who have not only insulted the person of President Muhammadu Buhari, but also severally maligned the integrity of the office he occupies.”

However, it was uthoritatively gathered that the massive pressure mounted by some influential APC South West politicians, and powerful individuals in the Presidency compelled Sen. Lawan to immediately reverse the appointment of Mr. Adedayo.

A credible source in the Presidency, who observed how the high-wire intrigue played out, said that even some elected legislators of Yoruba extraction vehemently kicked against the appointment.

The source said the pressure mounted on the Senate President since Tuesday afternoon when the news of Adedayo’s appointment broke, till yesterday afternoon, was quite immense.

He added that Senator Lawan was summoned to Presidential Villa to explain why he should offer such a delicate job to someone who is known to be an irrepressible critic of Buhari and APC.

“Several forces conspired to oust Mr. Adedayo, due to his style and writing antecedent. They were not just pleased that someone who ‘mercilessly’ vilify Mr. President will be invited to come and work for a distinguished politician in the APC central government,” he said.

The source, however, said the ‘Number Three’ citizen did not consider trivial factors such as ethnicity, religion or even party affiliation before picking Adedayo.

“He (Senator Lawan) had first conducted an interview among celebrated Nigerian journalists. He did not just wake up and appoint Mr. Adedayo. One thing those who kicked against Adedayo’s nomination failed to understand is that the Senate President finally settled for Adedayo because of his track record of performance as a one-time media aide to three former governors under PDP and APC in South-East and South-West respectively.

The Senate President took into cognizance the much-espoused criteria of competence, merit and diligence to work, before picking Adedayo, an erudite journalist,” the source added.

PRNigeria

APC committee recommends expulsion of Ex-Zamfara gov, national deputy chairman from party

The five-member Disciplinary Committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) has received a report and evidence of alleged anti party activities against its Deputy National Chairman (North) Lawal Shuaibu.

The Zamfara State Executive Committee of the APC submitted the report to the committee on Tuesday in Abuja.

The committee also received report against the former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, on his alleged role in the 2019 electoral misfortune of the APC in the state.

The Zamfara APC Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Bakyasuwa, who led other officials of the party to the APC National Secretariat to submit the reports, made it available to journalists.

According to the report, the duo allegedly breached Article 21(a) 2014 of the APC Constitution as amended.

“We are going to prove that we are not just bragging, and we mean it, we have drawn the battle line with Yari’s group.

“We have realised that the two men were behind the misfortunes of the party, and we need to expel them to prepare for the challenges ahead,” he said.

The APC Zamfara Chairman, Surajo Garba, blamed the party’s misfortune on the action of the two men.

“By this letter and for the above reason, we the executive council of the APC in Zamfara have firmly resolved to expel Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Yari and the Deputy National Chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, from the party.

“The attitude and conduct of the personalities have brought APC in Zamfara to a state of disrepute and a clear flagrant disobedience to party,”he said.

NAN further reports that the five-member panel of the Supreme Court justices, in a unanimous judgement on May 25, declared that APC in Zamfara had no candidates in the 2019 general elections.

This, it explained, was because the party failed to conduct recognised primaries in accordance with party rules.

In the lead judgment by Justice Paul Galinji, the court held that all votes cast for the APC during the general elections in Zamfara were “wasted votes”.

He, therefore, declared that all political parties with the second highest votes in the elections and with the required spread, were elected to various elective positions in the state.

The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole, however, stressed that the Supreme Court declaration amounted to imposing total strangers on the people of Zamfara.

He said the right thing the court should have done was to call for a repeat of the elections if the party fell short of electoral laws.

(NAN)

We have no reason not to deliver , says Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the ruling party has no reason not to deliver on its electoral promises.

Oshiomhole was speaking on Tuesday following the emergence of the party’s preferred candidates as winners of the national assembly leadership poll.

The candidates anointed by the party and President Muhammadu Buhari swept the polls which held on June 11, at the national assembly.

Ahmad Lawan, erstwhile majority leader, emerged senate president, after polling 79 votes to defeat Ali Ndume, who got 28 votes — both men are from the APC.

For the deputy senate president position, Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-central senator, polled 68 votes to defeat Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and immediate past occupier of the position, who had 37 votes.

In the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila beat Umaru Bago, both of the APC, to emerge speaker while Idris Wase of the ruling party was elected deputy speaker of the house — unopposed.

The APC had wanted Lawan as the third citizen in 2015 but ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki manoeuvered his way and emerged as senate president.

Like Lawan, Gbajabiamila was the preferred candidate of the APC in 2015 but Yakubu Dogara, who was then of the APC, had teamed up with the PDP to defeat him.

The executive and legislative arms had a severed relationship in the 8th assembly with the presidency blaming the legislature for some of its failures.

Speaking after the polls, Oshiomhole said the party will now have no excuse not to deliver on its three cardinal promises — security, anti-corruption and improved economy.

According to him, now, “we can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament”.

He said it was the “mischief” of 2015 the party was trying to correct, “and I am happy that it has been settled.”

“Nigerians with their eyes open gave the APC the executive, they also gave us overwhelming majority in the two arms of the National Assembly,” Oshiomhole said.

“And I think in doing that they also expect that this time around, APC would have no excuse not to deliver.

“We can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament; parliament is ours and those who don’t believe in change cannot be entrusted with the challenge of managing the change.

“And that is why I said we must give the position of responsibility to those who believe in our change agenda. So today, that has been translated.

“We now have no excuse not to deliver on security, not to deliver on the economy and not to deliver on prosperity because that is what the ordinary man voted for and they are our constituents.

“You can just imagine how I feel like a mother who has been carry babies and now, we are on the verge of delivering twins in the two chambers of National Assembly.

“So we must exercise our rights with a sense of responsibility and the ultimate objective must be to what extent does these actions impact on the welfare of the Nigerian people.”