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PDP to establish shadow cabinet

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it will soon form a shadow cabinet to pilot the ”party’s roadmap towards national economic recovery.”

A shadow cabinet is a group of politicians who hold a political post with their party, but whose party are not in government (that is, an opposition party). A member of the shadow cabinet is a ‘shadow minister’. The leader of a shadow cabinet is called the Leader of the Opposition.

The party said this will lead to good governance, ”in line with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians, ahead of the 2019 general elections”.

The party in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, on Friday said this was one of the resolutions of the party’s emergency NEC meeting held on Thursday.

The party also promised to deploy ”the instrument of its democratic structures at all levels across the country to legitimately and urgently rally all Nigerians to vote out the APC in 2019”.

“Finally, the NEC directs that the National Working Committee commences action towards the establishment of a shadow cabinet to pilot PDP’s roadmap towards national economic recovery and good governance, in line with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“That the PDP leads a strong conversation and discussion towards a formal coalition of democratic forces to guarantee Nigerians the much desired all-inclusive platform ahead of 2019 general elections.

“That the PDP deploys the instrument of its democratic structures at all levels across the country to legitimately and urgently rally all Nigerians to vote out the APC and return the nation to the path of national cohesion, stability and prosperity for the good of all,” the statement said.

I was never arrested, says Omo-Agege

Ovie Omo-Agege, senator representing Delta central, says he was not arrested by the police.

On Wednesday, the police led him away from the national assembly after he allegedly led some suspected thugs to seize the mace of the upper legislative chamber.

The action disrupted plenary for some minutes until a “spare mace” was brought to enable the senators reconvene sitting.

Omo-Agege later joined his colleagues at plenary before the police led him away.

In a tweet, the suspended lawmaker said he “merely” left with the police who wanted to hear his perspective on the matter.

The suspended lawmaker said after he was heard, he “immediately” left the police.

“FOR THE RECORD; I was never arrested!!! I merely left with the police who wanted to hear my perspective on the matter. Told them my perspective and left immediately after,” Omo-Agege who posted a picture of himself smiling, tweeted.

Some media had reported that Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), came under pressure to release the senator.

Last week, Senate President Bukola Saraki announced that he had been suspended for 90-legislative days.

Ohanaeze crisis: Nwodo sacked, replaced with Ozobu

 

The crisis rocking the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has reached its peak following the reported sack of its President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.

Nwodo has been in a running battle with the leaderships of both the Youth and Women wings of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization.

He was earlier suspended by the two wings, a development he brushed aside then.

It could also be recalled that the group had earlier shortlisted three names as his possible replacement.

However, in a statement obtained on Wednesday, the Ohanaeze Youth Council said he has been replaced with Prince Richard Ozobu.

The statement was signed by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President, Ohanaeze Youth Wing, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, Secretary-General and Comrade Achuonye Obinna, Vice President.

It read in part: “We, the leadership of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing, OYW, have the mandate of the respectable Igbo elders, leaders of thought, captains of industries and intelligentsias that recently met at Enugu, to brief the Igbo nation and general public that another expanded meeting of SAVE OHANAEZE GROUP meeting held today at Enugu and after series of consultations and meeting, it unanimously sacked the suspended President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo for playing games with the Igbo Nation and been anti-social with Igbo’s socio-political and economic interests.

“It is open to the watching public that Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has with the kind of Chief Nnia Nwodo’s leadership, seen Igbos missing in the political radar of Nigeria and losing grips of Igbo citizens and as well, plummeted to the lowest ebb, seeing Ohanaeze Ndigbo becoming an appendage of political platform to politicians, to the extent that Nwodo has decided on 2019 presidential election without any negotiation.

“It could be recalled that last Enugu meeting agreed to not only sanitize but constitute a National Steering Committee, Ohanaeze Ndigbo before the end of the week. Three persons shortlisted for Nnia Nwodo’s replacement are Prince Richard Ozobu, Sir OAU Onyema and Prof Eche Ugwu, who are verily tested products of tradition.

“In another follow up meeting held at Enugu today, the SAVE OHANAEZE meeting has also asked Ohanaeze Youth Wing to brief the press – especially announcing a change in Ohanaeze Ndigbo Leadership.

“The meeting attended by Igbo Leaders, Save Ohanaeze Group, Ohanaeze Youths and Women, screened all the 3 shortlisted candidates for Nwodo’s replacement, namely Prince Richard Ozobu, Sir OAU Onyema and Prof Ugwu, after which Prince Ozobu emerged new President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and he will be sworn-in on 21st April, 3018 at Owerri, Imo state.

“The meeting also plead swith the Igbo nation, Southeast Governors, Igbo Leaders of Thought, intelligentsias and captains of industries, Ohanaeze Youths and Women to support the new President General, Prince Richard Ozobu and his team to be announced later.

“As a consequence, Nwodo has been banned from carrying any action and or political hobnobbing with Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s sacred identity; and he is banned from entering Ohanaeze Ndigbo Secretariat and if seen there, he will have himself to be blamed.

“The meeting also observed that Nnia Nwodo had also alienated the Ohanaeze Youths and Women Wings to the level of calling for elective convention on both wings, just to rival and silence the Igbo youths and women who are watchful and opposed to his preference for recycling another politician of the old brigade, as President Buhari’s alternative.

“The meeting observes also that the Ohanaeze youth and women wings were merely victims of Nwodo’s political brigandages because they after reviewing the Nwodo’s political gambit and permutation and commended the youth and women for their resiliency and protection of Igbo identity. It said also that Igbo youths, women and politicians may dash to politics but not using Ohanaeze Ndigbo platform to serve a political clearing house.

“The meeting went further to caution the Igbo nation on presidential election and drew the attention of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo/Igbo Elders led by Pa. Mbazulike Amaechis, Dozie Ikedifes, Ben Nwabuezes, Ralph Obioha on the pre-2015 adoption of a presidential candidate.

“In view of the foregoing, the save Ohanaeze meeting, also said that there is no need deciding in a hurry against the incumbent – President Muhammadu Buhari and there must be a thorough negotiation without hurting anyone or region.

“It would not be business as usual and South-East Governors and Leaders (political and traditional) and especially Ime Obi, must be involved.”

BREAKING: Ekweremadu meets Osinbajo inside Aso Rock

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu is currently meeting behind closed doors with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting which is coming a few hours after the invasion of the Senate chambers by suspected thugs is holding inside Osinbajo’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in London on official visit while the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, is also in Washington.

I came to discuss Nigeria’s affairs with Obasanjo, Falae says

Former Secretary to the Federal Government, and the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party, says he has come to visit a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, about the affairs of the country.

He mentioned that to journalists as he emerged from the over two hours closed-door meeting held with the former president at his  Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential  Library, Abeokuta, at exactly 2.25pm.

He described Obasanjo as his former boss, and argued that the affairs of the country were greater than anybody’s political ambition.

He said, I am here to visit Papa Olusegun Obasanjo, former head of military government and former President of Nigeria who was my boss when I was the permanent secretary at the presidency. I have to come to see him about the affairs of Nigeria.

“The affairs of Nigeria are greater than the political ambition of anybody. So I came here to exchange views with Baba.”

Details later…

Senate to send ‘Not too young to run’ bill to Buhari for assent

The senate has resolved to transmit the “Not too young to run” bill and 11 others to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The decision was taken after the upper legislative chamber adopted the conference committee reports on the bills on Tuesday.

Other bills are financial autonomy of state legislature, restriction of tenure of president and governors, timeline for the presentation of presentation of appropriation bill, determination of pre-election matters, submission from the judiciary, the Nigeria police force, political parties and electoral matters, authorisation of expenditure in absence of appropriation; the legislature, political parties and electoral matters.

In all, there are 33 bills seeking to alter various provisions of the constitution.

The senate had approved 29 of the bills while the house of representatives approved 21 of them. Seventeen of them were passed by the two chambers without differences and subsequently transmitted to the state houses of assembly for resolution.

The senate then resolved while awaiting the resolutions of the houses of assembly, those ready could be sent for presidential assent.

The not too young to run bill seeks to reduce the minimum age requirement for elective positions in the country.

It was first passed by the senate and the house of representatives in July 2017.

The bill seeks to reduce the age qualification for the office of the president from 40 years to 30 years; age for the office of a state governor from 35 to 30; senate from 35 to 30; house of representatives, from 30 to 25; and state house of assembly, from 30 to 25.

Keyamo appointed spokesman of Buhari’s 2019 campaign

Festus Keyamo, Lagos-based lawyer, has been appointed as the spokesman of the re-elecion bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The appointment was conveyed in a letter dated April 16, 2018, and signed by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation and director-general of the camapign.

The letter said Keyamo’s appointment covers the period before the president “gets APC’s nomination” and during the elections proper.

“I’m pleased to convey to you the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation to appoint you as director, strategic communications in respect of the forthcoming campaigns for the 2019 presidential election,” the letter read.

“As you are aware, President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking the nomination of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress, as the candidate for the said election.

“Your appointment is to aid in getting the said nomination and to ensure the success of the subsequent campaigns for the 2019 presidential election.

“In your capacity, you are to be the Spokesperson for the campaign during the nomination process and also at the subsequent campaigns for the 2019 presidential election.”

Contacted by TheCable, the lawyer declined to speak on the appointment, saying he would react in a statement “later in the day”.

Keyamo, 48, hails from Ugheli, Delta state, and graduated from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo state, in 1992.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993 and was elevated to the rank of a senior advocate in 2017.

Last year, he was appointed to the board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

Balarabe Musa offers PRP presidential ticket to Sowore

Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Kaduna state, has offered Omoyele Sowore, a presidential aspirant, the ticket of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) for the 2019 presidential election.

Receiving Sowore at his residence in Kaduna on Friday, the statesman said PRP would be willing to settle down for a presidential candidate that is fully prepared to take Nigeria out of its socio-economic woes.

Musa said Nigeria needs a young and vibrant political leader who would match his words with action.

“We are inviting you to the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and by the time you are declaring, I would lead the declaration because we believe in socialist reconstruction of Nigeria, and striking with a leading role in the economy to ensure peace, equality, social justice, and restoring the dignity of Nigeria,” Musa said.

He added that PRP would be willing to join a coalition of political parties to dislodge the incumbent, as being agitated by Sowore, ahead of the election.

“It depends on circumstance, we have always championed the relevance of political coalition and whenever a political party comes out to change Nigeria alone, we advise the political party to form a coalition of relevant political parties on the basis of minimum programme for Nigeria, covering the national unity, democracy and social-economic development,” he said.

“And that is the minimum condition we require because PRP in its history has never contested an election without coalition in one way or the other as long as our separate existence remains and there is a better alternative.”

Musa described the Obasanjo’s third force as a “kangaroo coalition” of political jesters who have once failed the country.

Reacting, Sowore said he and members of his team are already in talks with a coalition of political parties.

He explained that his political campaign to become president would be devoid of ethnicity and religious bias noting that Nigeria is one.

I’ll jail Fayose after tenure, Fayemi vows

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday vowed to jail Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, if reelected.

He spoke during the declaration of intent to contest for Ekiti State governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Fayose, he stated, will be made to account for the gross mismanagement of the state’s resources and allocation in the last four years.

Fayemi, who was governor between October 2010 and October 2014, shocked the crowd by bringing out a red card from his pocket which he symbolically showed to Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said the red card is an answer to the White Paper issued against him by the Fayose regime which indicted him of financial impropriety and banned him from holding public office for ten years.

Traffic was grounded for about four hours in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where a massive crow turned out to hear Fayemi speak on his readiness to win Ekiti for APC in the July 14 governorship poll.

Fayemi said the state has retrogressed sharply in the last four years he left office saying his bid to run again was motivated by the need to “rescue Ekiti people from bad governance, want, hunger and poverty.”

He lamented the suffering of teachers, state civil servants, local government workers, and pensioners who are being owed backlog of arrears of salaries, allowances and benefits.

According to him, Fayose owes core civil servants six months, local government workers ten months, community health workers ten months; pensioners, ten months; teachers, ten months and students, bursaries of over three years.

Fayemi said Governor Ayo Fayose has no excuse not to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits having collected two tranches of bailout funds, two tranches of Paris Club refund cash and Budget Support Funds for thirteen months.

He also disclosed that latest records from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed Fayose has borrowed N56 billion since coming to power in October 2014 with nothing appreciable to show for it.

Fayemi vowed that Fayose would be brought to justice at the end of his tenure on how he has managed all the funds received from the federal government on behalf of the state.

The former governor was joined by his wife, Bisi; former deputy governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi and other officials who served in his administration to the APC secretariat where he officially informed party leaders of his intent to run.

After declaring at the secretariat, Fayemi and his train moved to the nearby Jonathan African Church Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti where he addressed another crowd waiting for him on his agenda for the state.

He said all APC members who had joined the governorship race are eminently qualified to occupy the state’s number one seat saying anyone who emerges as the flag bearer would be supported by all.

The minister declared that everything humanly, constitutionally and legally possible would be done to win Ekiti State for APC at the next governorship election.

Fayemi said: “When I come before you, it is with profound need for the unfinished business, we need to complete what we started, reclaim our land and restore our land.

“Anywhere Ekiti people go, people subject us to questions that what is wrong with you Ekiti people?

“We thought you are educated, we thought you are exposed, how do you come up with a character like this as governor?

“It is time to put a stop to that; it is not about title, it is about sacrifice and whatever it will take us to free Ekiti from these criminal and rapacious brigands, we will do it.

“We are here to inform Ekiti people that we will never abandon them. We will never hesitate to leave the comfort of Abuja. It is high time to come home and help our vulnerable people.”

He added: “We will do everything that is required to win Ekiti back. They will accuse us of using federal might.

“Although power belongs to God and he gives it to whoever He wishes, we will use bottom power, middle power. That is why they are jittery.”

He described the White Paper of the Fayose administration which

indicted him of financial impropriety and recommended him for a ten-year ban from holding public office as an “ordinary tissue paper.”

The minister said: “Every time I move around, I see the suffering and penury our people are going through. I saw their pain and pangs of not knowing where the next meal will come from.

“That is why we must tell the man who is shouting around that he has a White Paper, we have a red card for him and his party. We will ensure that he will end up in jail.”

Fayemi described Fayose as a “pathological liar” for claiming that the debt he (Fayemi) left behind was responsible for his (Fayose’s)

inability to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits as and when due.

The ex-governor explained that he took a N25 billion bond from the Capital Market in December 2011 with which he executed capital projects adding that he had repaid N14.5 billion at the time he left office in October 2014.

Dismissing the opposition’s claim that he hates workers and teachers, Fayemi stressed that workers enjoyed most during his administration when they enjoyed salary increase three times.

Apart from this, he said workers were sponsored to local and overseas seminars, teachers got Core Subjects Allowance, Rural Teachers Allowance and no worker was sacked.

To party members, Fayemi said: “Whoever wins the primary, we will all support him. Don’t run down any aspirant. Let us desist from hate speech because all aspirants are promoting our party.

“Party members should not use abusive and intemperate language and I want to suggest to our party leaders to come out with a code of conduct to check this.

“If we don’t do that, we run the risk of damaging our brand (APC). You are free to market your aspirant and leave the judgment to our delegates.

“They (delegates) want our party back in power and we must respect their judgment. Any aspirant who does not respect the rule, I will take him as an agent who does not want the good of our party.

Ekiti guber: Fayemi writes APC leaders, monarchs, makes public declaration Saturday

Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has written national and state leadership of the All Progressives Party (APC), elders of the party, prominent citizens and  traditional rulers in the state notifying them of his intention to run for the July 14 governorship election in the state.

Fayemi, in the letter which he personally signed also disclosed that his public declaration for the gubernatorial  contest would come up at a rally in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday.

Some prominent names to which the letters were addressed include the National Chairman of APC , Chief John Oyegun, National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, all traditional rulers in Ekiti State, his colleagues in the Federal Executive Council (FEC); former and serving governors elected on APC platform, as well as prominent sons and daughters of Ekiti.

The Minister had on April 2 hinted on his plan to run for the party’s ticket during the quarterly meeting of the Ekiti APC leaders at his Isan Ekiti country home.
Ahead of the Saturday’s public declaration, the Minister  had also undertaken a tour of the 16 local government areas of the state, where he held meetings with local government and ward executives as well as elders of the party.

The tour which kicked off  Monday, in Efon Local Government, ended in Oye Local Government Thursday.

Fayemi in the letter said his decision to join the governorship race was informed by the need to join other patriots to rescue the state from the grip of the current insensitive and incompetent PDP-led administration, that has plunged the state and its people into unimaginable misery and poverty.

“My mission in public life which has always cantered on transforming the material conditions of our people has always revolved around these three imperatives – breaking the yoke of ignorance that keeps our people down; liberating them from ill-health and other limitations that restrain them from achieving their potentials; and breaking the stranglehold of poverty which keeps people from living full creative lives.

“In practical and policy terms, this for me has always meant prioritizing social investments in education, healthcare and other social interventions that reduce the cost of living, while raising the quality of life.

“Public office is too serious to be left to charlatans and when men and women of good conscience that are committed to the ideals of social justice and the common good turn away from politics, we pave the way for unprincipled opportunists to take power.

“My convictions about how much more is possible in Ekiti stem not from any sense of entitlement but from a sense of service, of obligation and from my belief that posterity has positioned us for such a time as this.

“There is much that we have to repair and redress in Ekiti before we can go forward.”, He added.

The Minister’s central message at the various meetings during the tour dwelled on the need for all APC members to unite in order to successfully confront and defeat the incumbent PDP government in the state, come July 14.