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APC Loses Three More Senators to Opposition Party

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By Idris Umar, Abuja

Three senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have announced their defection from the party.

The senators who defected about three weeks ago had their letters read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday by

Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate President.

The notice of their resignation and defection was contained in three separate letters.

The lawmakers are; Francis Alimekhena (Edo North) and Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North) who defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South) who left the APC for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

According to source the lawmakers had defected weeks ago, only their letters were read out at the start of the plenary on Tuesday.

Mr Alimekhena said the letter, “My decision is based on the continuing and multifaceted crisis bedeviling the APC, especially my senatorial district”.

There’s Speculation that the former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has secured the Edo North senatorial ticket that is the major reason for Mr. Alimekhena’s exit from the party.

Like Mr Alimekhena, also Babba Kaita and Gumau also cited internal party crisis – especially at the state level – as their reasons for leaving.

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“My resignation from the APC was borne out of the marginalization of critical stakeholders by the state government and leadership of the party in Katsina State, where small people like me were not giving a free hand to operate.

Mr. Kaita has already joined the PDP, said “I have since been joyful and graciously accepted into the fold of the PDP in Katsina State”.

Already, Mr. Gumau has clinched the ticket for Bauchi South senatorial district under the NNPP.

Their letters come about a week after Mr. Lawan read out similar defection letters from the former Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi and Adamu Aliero – both from Kebbi State.

The duo, like their colleagues, not only cited crisis in the party as their reasons for leaving but also accused the state governor, Atiku Bagudu, of frustrating the efforts of party members in the state.

There has been a wave of defections in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. These movements are majorly premised on internal party crises and the search for return tickets.

The defection by the three lawmakers reduces the total number of APC Senators from 70 to 67 in the Senate.

In a related development the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has announced FCT senator, Philip Aduda, as the new Senate Minority Leader.

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Mr. Aduda was formerly the Senate Minority Whip.

The Senate President made the announcement at the start of the plenary on Tuesday, after reading out a confirmation letter from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the letter, signed by the party’s National Secretary, Sam Anyawu, the PDP asked that Mr. Aduda replace Enyinnaya Abaribe who left the party for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) last month.

NEWS

Buhari Swears in Seven New Ministers, Announces Minor Cabinet Changes

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced minor cabinet reshuffle as he swore in seven new Ministers in the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected ministers swore in include Goodluck Opiah (Imo), Umar El-Yakub (Kano) and Ademola Adegoroye (Ondo). Henry Ikoh (Abia) Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekumankama Nkama (Ebonyi) and Odum Odi (Rivers).

NAN reports that six of the ministers replaced six former members of the federal executive council, who retired to participate in the last party primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while El-Yakub replaced the former Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, who was removed from office.

While announcing the reshuffle shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, the president approved Minister of State, Health, Sen.

Adeleke Mamora as new the Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of State, Works, Mua’azu Sambo also moved to the Ministry of Transportation as substantive Minister.

Umanna Umanna is now the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs while Minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has been moved to the Niger Delta Ministry as Minister of State.

Sen Gbemisola Saraki was moved to the Ministry of Mines and Steel as Minister of State while Umar El-Yakub is now the Minister of State Works and Housing.

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The president also approved Goodluck Apiah as Minister of State, Education; Ekumankama Nkama. Minister of Health; Ikoh Ikechekwu, Minister of State, Science and Technology; Odum Udi, Minister of State, Environment and Ademola Adegoroye is now Minister of State, Transportation.

NAN reports that before the swearing in, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of Mohammed Barkindo, the outgoing Secretary-General of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who died at the age of 63, on Tuesday night.

Those physically in attendance are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.

Other Ministers who  were also in attendance include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Education, Adamu Adamu, Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Others are, Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and Minister of State, Budget, National Planning, Clem Agba and State, Industry Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagun as well as all the newly sworn in ministers. (NAN)

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POLITICS

2023: Group Warns APC, Tinubu Against Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket

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Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a group under the aegis of Defence Watch has cautioned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tunibu against presenting a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the election.

The group made the appeal in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari titled: “APC’s Muslim/Muslim Ticket in Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: A Threat to National Stability, Regional Peace and Security’”.

The letter which was jointly signed by Alhaji Ahmed Adamu and Otunba Adeniji Adegoke, the group’s National Coordinator and National Secretary respectively, was made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

According to the group, the letter, was copied to all heads of democratic and security institutions as well as other international concerns in the country.

It said a Muslim-Muslim ticket would not only be a threat to national stability, but could also retard the country’s peace and security.

The group said presenting such a ticket as being proposed by the APC, would portray Nigeria as an Islamic and a sectarian nation.

It said, the pairing of two Muslims would be ultimately resisted by the country’s millions of practicing Christians, moderate as well as progressive Muslims and civic groups.

It added that ethno-cultural associations and enlightened members of the international communities could also protest such a pairing.

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“We are therefore calling on President Buhari to direct the security forces to do the needful by advising Sen. Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate and the party on the possible threats this action could pose to security in the country.

“It is pertinent to note the serious implications of the action with regards to security, especially when one rightly imagines that Christians will feel threatened with a Muslim/Muslim ticket.

“They may resort to pulpit preaching and mobilization of opinions across the Christendom,” the group added.

It further went on to reveal that civil society organizations and students would likely protest if a Muslim- Muslim ticket was eventually introduced into the polity in manners that might constitute security concerns.

The group warned on the danger such political arrangement could cause on the continental security.

It noted that West African Sub-region and African regional peace and security were basically predicated on the presumption of Nigeria’s political stability.

“We therefore implore you to use your good offices to weigh in on Tinubu and the APC to thread with caution and refrain from unyielding desire to foist on the nation a Muslim Muslim ticket

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NEWS

Bello Forwards Three Commissionership Nominees  to Kogi Assembly for Confirmation

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Kogi State Governor,  Yahaya Bello has forwarded  names of three Commissionership nominees to  Kogi State House of Assembly for confirmation

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Onogwu Muhammed disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Lokoja on Tuesday.

He said that the nominees  are;  former Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, (Kogi West); Dr.

Zakeri Usman and Engr. Mohammed Abdulmutalab from Dekina and Okene Local Government Areas respectively.

The Information Commissioner, Fanwo had resigned his appointment to contest the Yagba West House of Representatives ticket of the All Progressives Congress but lost.

It was also gathered that Dr. Usman if confirmed by the assembly, will replace the former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu who was sacked by the Governor from office in April 2022, over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Meanwhile, Abdulmutalab will also replace Engr. Abubakar Ohere who resigned to pursue his senatorial ambition.

Ohere emerged the Senatorial candidate of the APC for Kogi Central Senatorial seat, and would be slugging it out with Barr. Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan, the candidate of the main opposition- Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

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