Sunday , 18 March 2018
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Lagos APC rejects extension of Oyegun’s tenure

The Lagos state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has kicked against the elongation of the tenure of the party’s national and state executives, saying it is against the constitution.

Rising from a consultative forum held at state house Marina, Lagos and attended by party elders from across the state, the leaders said the extension of the tenure of John Oyegun, chairman of the party, and his executives by one year is also against Nigeria’s constitution.

“Section 223 of the 1999 constitution as amended provides for periodical election on a democratic basis for principal officers and members of the executive committee of political parties,” the party said in a statement.

“According to the constitution, election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party will be deemed to be periodical if done at regular intervals not exceeding four years.

“Article 17 of the party’s constitution also provides for a four-year tenure for its national and state executives, which is renewable for another four years.”

Tajudeen Olusi, leader of the party in Lagos central senatorial district, later addressed reporters.

We have taken reports of the state APC chairman in respect of the NEC meeting held in Abuja. We have also had the privilege of receiving great reports from our leader from the reconciliation committee,” he said.

“We have considered the issue of extension of tenure and we are of the firm belief that the decision is a breach of the constitution of our party and of the country. We are against the elongation of tenure. We shall continue to make our decision known to the party and to the president.

“In extending the tenure, the APC National Executive Committee had relied on Article 13.3 (ii) of its constitution which states that The NEC can discharge the functions of the convention in a period of emergency.
Article 13.3 (ii) of APC Constitution specifically states that the NEC of the party is empowered to;

“Discharge all functions of the National Conventions as constituted in between Conventions”.

“But the provision in Article 13.3 (ii) is not limitless and open-ended. It is a responsibility restricted by the same constitution, which provides exclusively under Article 30 (i) that: “This Constitution and Schedules hereto can be amended only by the National Convention of the Party.”

APC proposes N14 billion budget for 2018 activities

As the 2019 general elections draw near, the caucus of the rulling All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to consider a proposed budget of N14.82 billion for its activities in 2018.

This was contained in a memo titled “Financial report for 2016, 2017 and presentation of 2018 budget to the National Caucus”, item 8 on the agenda of the meeting, Punch reported Saturday.

The memo was distributed to members of the party’s caucus at the last meeting held on Monday.

The budget, which was prepared and presented to the APC National Caucus by the party’s National Treasurer, Bala Gwagwarwa, noted that out of this fund, the party hopes to acquire a National Secretariat at the cost of N1.96 billion and spend N1.3 billion on convention.

The budget also proposed N400 million for election expenses and N500 million to procure vehicles.

Other expenses include: Grants to states/ zones; N400 million, membership registration; N25 million, women/ youth activities; N2 million, legal costs; N2 million, and N2.48 billion was earmarked for reimbursement to states and zones.

The party said it intends to finance this budget largely from the nomination fees, fundraising, levies on elected and appointed office holders and the sale of party membership cards.

The memo read in part: “Looking ahead of 2018 which is an election year budget, a lot of activities ranging from the organisation of congresses/ primaries, conventions, sensitisation meetings and campaigns are expected.

“The budget must inevitably have to be robust, flexible and capable of being implemented. Baring this in mind, a budget of N14.82bn as shown in the Annexure 2 is being proposed.

“The main sources of income for the 2018 budget are nomination fees (N5.86bn), fundraising (N3.45 bn), membership dues (N4.2 bn), sales of party cards (N1.0 bn), and levies on Elected/Appointed Office holders (N 0.304bn).”

“On the expenditure side, the major items are: Acquisition of national secretariat (N1. 96bn), conventions (N1.3bn), media /publicity (N1bn), election expenses (N0.4bn), vehicles (N0.05bn), grants to states/zones (N0.4bn), membership registration (N0.2bn), reimbursements to states and zones (N2.48bn).”

“In order to ensure funding stability and respectable budget implementation, membership contribution has been identified as crucial.”

“Accordingly, a framework to deploy electronic payment system that assures convenience, transparency and ease of reconciliation of payment has been designed.”

“This system allows the use of airtime to pay the monthly N100 membership dues by members while bigger payments can be transacted through banking channels customised for the party in all banks.”

“This system has been substantially completed except for the negotiation of the revenue sharing formula between the party and the telecoms companies whose platform will be used in collecting the payment and regulatory impediments will soon be resolved, which will substantially support the party’s on-going discussions on revenue sharing formula with the telecoms companies.”

The treasurer, Mr Bala explained in the memo that due to the difficulty faced by the party with its planned engagement of telecoms firms to ease the collection of fees, it has engaged the services of “System Spec (Remita)” as an alternative channel for collection of membership fees and hopes this would be inaugurated soon.

“Based on the membership strength of about 10 million and 35 per cent success in collection of membership fees, we are confident that this system will provide sustainable funding for the party.”

APC extends Oyegun’s tenure by 12 months

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has extended the tenure of the national working committee (NWC) of the party led by John Oyegun by 12 months.

The decision was taken at the national executive council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday.

Speaking at the end of the NEC meeting, Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, said the extension would take effect from June 30.

“The NEC met today and major decisions in line with the constitution of the party. We all aware that the tenure of current NWC and the executive members of this party both elected and appointed come to an end June this year,” he said.

“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and conventions and considering that our leader Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general election with more disputes and crises adding that party have decided on line with article 13 which empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of its convention and the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of current NWC other executive committees at various levels for another 12months starting from June 30th.”

It had been reported that pro-Buhari governors impressed it on the president that it was better to elongate Oyegun’s tenure than risk a new convention that could further fracture the party.

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the ruling party, had accused the chairman of sabotaging his efforts to reconcile aggrieved members of the APC.

But speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja on Friday, Bello said governors and many members of the ruling party have confidence in Oyegun.

APC Kaduna boils: El-Rufai suspended for six months

A faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna state has suspended Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state, for six months.

El-Rufai’s suspension is coming three days after the faction, known as Kaduna Restoration Group, issued him a query and suspended three of his aides.

The faction led by Suleiman Hunkuyi, senator representing Kaduna north central, had accused el-Rufai of  “anti- party activities and anti-human activities”.

Hukunyi had said if the governor did not respond to the query within 48 hours, “the state working committee will sit down and deliberate”.

In a statement on Sunday, the faction said el-Refai refused to honour the invitation to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.

It subsequently concluded to suspend him for six months with immediate effect.

“Sequel to the 48 hours ultimatum issued to the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir Ahmad Elrufa’i by the Kaduna state working committee of the APC to give explanations and defence on the allegations labelled against him, the SWC under chairmanship of S.I. Danladi Wada on Saturday 17th February 2018 convened, resolved and do consider and ratified the findings and recommendations of the Disciplinary and Fact Finding Committee put before it in accordance with Article 21 (B) (iii) of the APC Constitution, to the effect that having the governor failed to respond accordingly, he stands suspended for a period of 6 months from the APC with immediate effect,” the statement read.

The meeting had in attendance members of the state caucus, members of the national assembly, chairman and members of the state executive and working committees, stakeholders and other prominent members of the APC in attendance.

APC will forget state police after election – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempting to deceive Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general election.

In a statement on Sunday, IPOB described the party’s proposition of state police in the country as an “election gimmick”.

A restructuring committee set up by the APC had, among other things, recommended that Nigeria should employ the use of state police.

Although the federal government is yet to adopt the recommendation, IPOB said the party is only trying to buy time with such move.

In the statement sent to media outlets , Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesman, said the idea of state police would be forgotten after the election, just like the “APC did with (its promise of) restructuring”.

“Even the most unintelligent person knows that this state police proposal is a key component, if not the central plank, of the report on restructuring by the APC committee appointed by the presidency,” the statement read.

“It is a calculated fraud designed to buy time and confuse the gullible. It is merely an election gimmick calculated to deflect attention and convey the impression that this is a listening government which is a lie.

“This APC regime promised restructuring before they were elected into power, today they are ardent opponents of restructuring. With this state police gimmick, once you elect them back in 2019 they will become critics of state police. Only the gullible and unintelligent will be taken in by this charade.”

Powerful said had the current administration been sincere about its intentions, “it would have implemented the proposal (of restructuring) immediately rather than merely issuing it as a report to be debated upon”.

He, however, added that IPOB is not interested in “whatever structural reforms” the federal government wishes to undertake “because the key tenet of democracy which is public debate and vote on a crucial matter is conspicuously lacking in their approach and proposal for state police”.

“Our primary interest remains the full restoration of the full sovereignty of the nation of Biafra and nothing more,” he said, adding: “Anything short of a referendum to ascertain the wishes of the people is dead on arrival for us.

“We are democrats by genetic disposition, which means that our belief that power resides with the people is sacrosanct.”

‘Attention-seeking gambits of desperate politicians’ — el-Rufai speaks on query

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has described as a “sham” the query which a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state issued to him.

Accusing the governor of “anti-people/anti-party activities and inhuman policies”, Shuiabu Wada, chairman of the faction, gave el-Rufai 48 hours to respond to the query.

The faction had also suspended Uba Sani, the governor’s political adviser; Suleiman Kwari, the state commissioner for finance; and Yahaya Pate, the acting state secretary of the party, for actions that are “inimical to the interest of the chapter”.

Reacting, el-Rufai said the query is part of “attention-seeking gambits of desperate politicians who have steadily been demystified”.

In a statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman, the governor said he is not deterred by the development and that his government “appreciates the support it has received from the party in executing policies that stand up for the right of ordinary people to equal opportunity.”

“The APC government of Kaduna state has boldly lived up to its manifesto commitments and principles to the people,” the statement read.

“In this work, it continues to enjoy the firm support of the APC state executive which is united, and committed to the hard work of bringing sustainable change.

“Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is proud of his record in achieving unprecedented levels of capital spending in the state, direct job creation, doubling school enrolment and doubling internally-generated revenue.”

He also took a swipe at Suleiman Hunkuyi, senator representing Kaduna north, over the senator’s claim that he will unsit him as in 2019.

According to him, “the desperate senator is seeking a lifeline, in the vain belief that ratcheting up rascally actions will bring him attention and relief from the mooted national reconciliation efforts.

“Senator Hunkuyi has failed to understand that you cannot create party executives at your whim. It is the party’s prerogative to consider appropriate responses to this breach of discipline.”

The APC in Kaduna has three factions.

I sympathise with APC – Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has expressed sympathy with the ruling party.

Speaking at a meeting with APC’s national working committee (NWC) in Abuja on Wednesday, Tinubu said there would be challenges in carrying out change in different sectors of the country.

The national leader said the party needs to look inward and should be repositioned if need be.

“We have never govern before, but governed the confidence of Nigerians to govern. We have a creed to really serve the country, change and reform the country,” Tinubu said.

“It is not easy to have those changes implemented like instant curfew. We have to grow it and face challenges. I sympathize with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations have been very high and the good will was extremely high. But where are we today?

“The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition if need be, we should build confidence among ourselves.”

The APC national leader said the challenges President Muhammadu Buhari is facing are enormous.

“The challenges faced by our government and the president is enormous. It is only because people are not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and we have to push that I won’t touch those areas yet,” he said.

“The challenges of security, the challenges of reforms, re-engineering the finances of this country, stopping the corruption and challenging the status quo to change and reform ourselves is there. It doesn’t go away over night. You work on and work hard at it.”

On his part, John Oyegun, national chairman of the APC, said there are issues that must be resolved in the party.

He said the NWC would give Tinubu the needed assistance to help him carry out his assignment.

“There is no question at all that we have major issues with the National Assembly, major issues in Kano, Kogi, Benue states which the current challenge that we are facing,” Oyegun said.

“So, we truly welcome your appointment and I want to say that we will give you all the assistance that you will possibly need to make your assignment a most successful one.”

2019: Tinubu meets Buhari, speaks on APC crisis, Obasanjo, IBB’s letters

Leader of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that his recent appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to reconcile all warring groups in the party is a great honour.

The ex-Lagos governor also spoke on the recent letters to President Muhammadu Buhari by two former Nigerian leaders.

Mr. Tinubu was appointed by Mr. Buhari last week to bring an end to various internal squabbles among members of the ruling APC across the country.

The former Lagos State governor, who met behind closed doors with the president in his official residence on Tuesday, said he has already started the assignment.

In a brief interview with the Nigerian Television Authority after the meeting, Mr. Tinubu, who spoke about the appointment, said Mr. Buhari has given him free hand to carry out the assignment.

“Democracy is about conflict resolution process. You can’t do it without resolving conflicts. We can’t build it without understanding the conflicts and where we are coming from.

“But we want to leave the country with a legacy. It’s not about Mr. President. That is what he’s telling the country,” he said.

The APC leader, who was accompanied to the meeting by the former interim national chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, also said the decision by Mr. Buhari to ask him to carry out the assignment is one of the best ways to improve Nigeria’s democracy.

He said Mr. Buhari is “one of those rare beings around the country, around Africa who had experienced both worlds: he fought a battle to save Nigeria and came to politics to save Nigeria.

“Very rare people have such an opportunity in their life time and that’s what we talk about legacy; and where we have all the challenges, do what we should do. I am enjoying the challenges so far.”

On the chance of APC emerging victorious in the 2019 elections, Mr. Tinubu said the APC has a better chance and is strongly “determined to prosecute election in a most transparent and democratic manner.

“And we will win,” he said.

Mr. Tinubu also spoke about the recent statements issued by former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida urging Mr. Buhari not to seek re-election.

“I don’t address those shadows. We should let our former presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions but they can participate in our politics if they are interested.

“It is a free world, but this freedom is not served a la carte. They should allow us to move our country forward. It is a challenge to every Nigerian,” he said.

Buhari asks Tinubu to resolve conflicts in APC

President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Bola Ahmed Tinubu to resolve the disagreements in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, made this known in a statement released on Tuesday.

Tinubu, national leader of the APC, is expected to reconcile aggrieved members of the party and facilitate mediations.

The statement read: “As part of on-going efforts to improve cohesion within the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts.

“The assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the Federation.”

Implementation of APC restructuring report will move Nigeria forward, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the sincere implementation of the recommendations of the All Progressives Congress (APC) restructuring committee will move the nation forward.

The committee led by Ahmad Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, submitted its report last week.

Speaking when Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa, led a delegation to the former president on Thursday, Jonathan said the implementation would also encourage inter-ethnic harmony.

According to Fidelis Soriwei, spokesman of Dickson, Jonathan said the issues which the committee deliberated upon were exhaustively treated during the 2014 national conference.

He said it is a good idea that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas which featured prominently in the deliberations of the 2014 conference.

He commended Dickson for playing the role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the sensitive issue of restructuring.

The Nigerian leader said the governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw nation did not speak with discordant tones on the issue of restructuring.

“I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC committee on restructuring,” he said.

“I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the governor on this issue of restructuring.

“Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw nation.

“I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward.”

On his part, Dickson said he led the delegation for a consultative meeting and to brief him on the steps the Ijaws had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuit of what is right in the country.

He explained the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society.

Dickson noted that the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 confab.

“As you all can see, this is a high-powered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation,” he said.

“I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former president and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and good, not only in this region, but across the nation.

“As you are aware, there is a raging issue of restructuring and moves made to bring about a fairer, egalitarian, stable and prosperous Nigeria. And here, in this state and in this region, we are proud to have our leader, the former president and so today we came to brief him about the steps we are taking to study all the reports, including, the reports of the 2014 Confab which was rightly empanelled by Mr. President and it is gratifying to note a number of the recommendations given by the APC panel are the same conclusions that the 2014 Confab arrived at.”

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier one at Kiagbodo, the country home of Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.