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APC Governors at Daggers Drawn over Party’s Presidential Primary

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.Mode of Event Becomes Deal Breaker

.Monday Night Meeting Ends in a Shouting Match

. Buhari Holds Critical Talk with Party’s Governors, Presidential Aspirants, NASS  Leadership

By Jude Opara, Abuja

There are strong indications that governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are in confusion and torn apart over the forthcoming presidential primary, slated for June 1.

The major point of disagreement is the mode of primary, the party would adopt. While a clique are averse to consensus option, some others are relentlessly pushing for it and their position seems to align with the body language of  the leader of the party and president, Muhammadu Buhari.

The governors in an apparent move to find a common ground were locked in a protracted crisis meeting on Monday night.

The meeting which was held at the Kebbi state governor’s lodge was presided over by the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.

The meeting which lasted till about 12 mid night seemed not to have resolved the issue as most of the governors who left with stern faces also refused to talk to the media.

Sources in the ruling party revealed that the meeting of the governors was a prelude to another one they had with President Muhammmadu Buhari on Tuesday.

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Though, the outcome of the meeting with President Buhari was not made public, sources close to the party said most of the governors may not have been satisfied with the meeting whose crux was again to decide on the mode of the presidential primary.  The president a source said is inclined to a consensus option.

Following the president’s meeting with the governors was that with the 25 presidential aspirants and the one with the leadership of the National Assembly.

The APC has been in a fix over the mode of primary to apply in selecting its presidential candidate. The party has been unable to screen its 25 aspirants who purchased the N100 million  nomination forms.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party also met on Monday without resolving the issue. Interestingly, Monday was the day the party had earlier scheduled to conduct the screening but on Sunday before that day, the party through the National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Felix Morka issued a statement postponing the exercise indefinitely.

During the NWC meeting, sources say the members did not also agree on a common position which allegedly led to minor disagreements and shouting match among some members.

The party again on Tuesday was to issue yet another statement in what it termed “Revised Timetable” for the primary elections only have date and time for the governorship, State Assembly and National Assembly elections, but remained silent on the presidential election.

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The NWC members were largely handpicked by the governors and other stalwarts of the party and it was arguably the interest of those who brought them to the NWC they were all protecting. 

The party appears to be interested in having a consensus candidate but there are very strong indications that most of the governors and the aspirants are kicking against the idea.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given the parties on or before June 3 to submit the names of their candidates for the general elections.

POLITICS

2023: Atiku/Okowa Ticket ‘ll Wrest Power  From APC —Okowa

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential  candidate  says only the PDP will wrest from the All Progressives Congress in 2023 general elections.

Okowa stated this while addressing the people of Delta and party faithful who turned out enmasse to receive him at the Grand Reception organised by the State PDP on Thursday in Asaba after his emergence as the party’s Vice Presidential candidate.

The governor, who appreciated God and thanked  Nigerians for his elevation and support, said he was grateful to the Party Presidential Flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, for selecting and nominating him as the vice presidential candidate.

According to Okowa, the Atiku/Okowa joint ticket is for victory, hope and the only ticket that will rescue power from the APC led government come 2023.

He said that the nation needed to pray, be resilient and be hopeful, adding that the process of rebuilding the country and give hope to the youth, women and indeed to Nigerians has begun.

Okowa advised youths not to be carried away by the euphoria of the time but remain committed to work with PDP for the positive change that would come.

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He said that he had in the past seven years, with the support of youths, built Delta State, adding that this would be replicated in the national level should the party emerge winner.

The governor said that the PDP-led government, if returned to power, would tackle insecurity, create jobs and rebuild the economy and ensure that education remained key to end this incessant strikes in federal universities and other institutions.

“Atiku has been talking on the need to restructure the country and the need to engage the private sector to provide opportunities for the youth and women.

“We wants to assure the private sector that a new hope is coming and we shall tackle the issues of insecurity by providing jobs for the youth.

“We cannot do this alone but with the support of the women and youths; we shall bring back Nigeria among respected nations in the world.

” So, I urge all of you to go out there to register and collect your Permanent Voters’ Cards and by the grace of God we will win in 2023,” Okowa said.

The Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Mr Ndudi Elemelu, the Ohaneze Indigbo Youths and that of the Women wings, led by Mr Okonna Nwike and Rita Daniels among other groups, gave their support for the Atiku/Okowa joint ticket.

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Governor Okowa was accompanied home by the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and  members of the party’s working committee.

Also, the state Deputy Governor, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, the state party Chairman, Mr Kingsley Esiso,  traditional rulers, clergymen, party faithful and gospel singers, were on ground to receive Okowa in a worship and praise to God for the governor.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Peter Obi Explains Why he Paid  Wike Visit

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The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Mr. Peter Obi has explained the reason he paid a visit to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Port Harcourt.

Obi on Wednesday paid a surprised visit to the former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at his private residence.

While details of the meeting remains sketchy, the former Anambra State Governor, hours later, took to his official Twitter handle to give a hint on why he met Wike.

He disclosed that he met with the governor to discuss vital national issues.

His tweet read: “Earlier, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest.”

Obi’s visit came amid speculations that Wike, former presidential hopeful on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may dump the PDP for the Labour Party.

Review Your Manifestos, Campaign Strategies – Nigerians Tell Political Parties

Citizens of Jigawa State have called on political parties and candidates to review their manifestoes and campaign strategies to suit the demands and aspirations of the people of the state.

This was contained in a ”Next Jigawa Guiding Document” on the citizens’ inputs for the development of the state.

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The outfit is a gathering of professionals who aim to encourage good governance drawn from all segments of the society.

“Next Jigawa” comprises academicians, civil servants, professionals, businessmen, religious scholars, civil society activists and other nonpartisan people who have a passion for the development of the state.

Chairman of the group, Professor Haruna Ibrahim, said the documents were produced to influence the political parties and their candidates to understand the citizens’ needs and work based on their demands and expectations.

He said, ” We have conducted a survey and also gathered citizens’ inputs from all the communities across the 27 local government areas of the state and we finally came up with this document which we hope will be adopted as a guide by political parties and their candidates.

“The document contains areas that need quick and urgent response such as education, health, civil service, commerce, environment and other areas”

Prof. Ibrahim also noted that if the inputs are considered, they would help in the development of the state in particular and the country in general.

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POLITICS

Kogi Assembly Passes Local Government Autonomy Bill

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Kogi State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed Local Government Autonomy Bill.

This followed the consideration of the bill to alter the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which seek to abolish Joint Account of the State and Local Governments.

The bill also seeks to create a different account for Local Governments where they are expected to receive their allocation from the Federation Account.

The Lawmakers in their various contributions unanimously threw their support behind the bill, describing it as timely.

The Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Alfa Rabiu noted that the bill which will enhance democracy will also provide financial independence at the Local Government level.

The member representing Olamaboro Constituency, Anthony Ujah explained that the bill is long overdue, saying it will reduce financial pressure on the State Governments.

While the member representing Adavi, Ibrahim Usman stated that the bill will enhance development at the grassroots, Lokoja one counterpart, Umar Tenimu noted that Local Government have not been able to meet their responsibilities due to the Joint Account.

Meanwhile, the President of Kogi State Chapter, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE) Comrade Tade Adeyemi, has applauded the State Assembly for the passage of the bill saying the passage would ensure security and development on the council areas.

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He urged other State Assemblies to ensure the passage of the bill so as to get the required two third majority at the National Assembly.

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