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Ministerial Appointment: Buhari Generous to South East Despite 5% Vote – Oshiomhole

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APC Chairman, Adam Oshiomohole
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  • Says Saraki, Nigeria’s Smartest Politician

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole on Monday, said that President Muhammadu Bihari was magnanimous with the South Eastern part of the country especially Anambra state where he got only five percent of vote in the general election yet appointed two ministers from there making it six ministerial appointees from the region  in his second term administration.

The APC National Chairman said this on Monday while speaking with State House correspondents after a closed doors meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He was reacting to critics who have thrown jab at the choice of Buhari’s cabinet members, Oshiomhole described the President as being too generous. 

He said that for Buhari to appoint some Ministers from the South East which gave him less than five percent vote cast in the last general elections was a reflection of the generosity of the President.

Oshiomhole added that if it were the opposition party, the case would have been different.

He said: “How credible are some of those who are talking? The point is that I don’t know if there is a Nigerian who knows every Nigerian. 

“Even as I can say that I have worked for Nigerian people at all levels, as a worker in a factory, as President of the NLC, as governor of a state and now as a national chairman of a party, there are too many Nigerians I will never be able to know.

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“The screening process is meant to enable those watching, it is not for nothing that it is televised, it is to enable Nigerians see who these people are. But you will find that people started dismissing the list even before they saw it, just like some other things that Nigerians dismiss without knowing the meaning. 

“So, what you and I should insist on is that in the president’s second term, in this next level, our party, our government at the center, state and local government level must deliver. That is the entry point for every Nigerian.

“And when you talk of patronage, should we appoint…have you heard of Americans pointing Russians because they are experts to go and preside over their MDAs? Even in your newspapers do you invite me as APC chairman to come and write your editorial? 

“Patronage can be positive or negative but if there is one man who has shown the capacity to patronize all including where he did not win election, it is President Muhammadu Buhari. 

“Otherwise, where we got less than five percent, I saw two ministers coming from that state, inspite of the fact that he got less than five percent there. That speaks volumes about a large heart, to accommodate, appreciate and to have an all inclusive government.”

The APC Chairman also described former Senate President, Bukola Saraki as one of the smartest  politician in Nigeria, saying it took the ruling party painstaking efforts to break his political structure.

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Oshiomhole said that when it became clear that Saraki was proving too difficult to conquer at the seat of power, the party had to resort to Kwara state where he was eventually deflated through “otoge.”

He said today, Sakari cannot boast of having any grip either the Senatorial, Representative or ward levels in his home state.

Oshiomhole who described himself as a maverick, said the ruling party was better off under his leadership, as he has always ensured that the party ideas outweighed personal sentiments any member of the APC had.

On what he is doing to address the crisis in the ruling party said: “I am very proud to say that under my Chairmanship, our party has made tremendous progress. I am not at the mercy of fake or even disgruntled analysts. 

“I write my own testimonials by my self in terms of what l do, how I do it and what the unbiased people say. Irrespective of all the speculations, for example, it was said that 17 governors were going to remove Oshiomhole, what happened? At the end , we provided leadership and had more votes. 

“In the 2015 election, the difference between our candidate and President Jonathan then, was slightly less than three million, but this time around, we had slightly less than four million. I am a National Chairman, not a zonal or state chairman. So, my responsibilities include to get the APC at the national level going , including relating with the President, the ways we expect the State chapter chairmen to relate with their Governors and the local council chapter chairmen with their Local government Council chairmen. 

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“That is the way it works and I believe that Nigerians under my leadership appreciated APC better under my Chairmanship, as evidenced by the fact that we had more Senators, House of Representatives members this year, than before. 

“For the first time since 1999, the letter of APC under my signature was read on the floors of both Chambers of the National Assembly, announcing the Principal Officers of the Party, as determined through consensus by the leadership of the party, which is why unlike 2015 where APC as a party had no say whatsoever as to who emerged as the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Principal Officers of both Chambers. This time around, we got six out of six. Can I do better than that, can I score more than 100%. You talk about turmoil, if this is how to be in turmoil, I want to live there.”

The APC National Chairman expressed optimism that the new cabinet ministers, the party, the executive which the ministers belong and the National Assembly, the APC had what it takes to take Nigeria to the “next level”.

CRIME

Police Arrest 781 Offenders over Electoral Infractions 

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja 

The Inspector General of Police(IGP),Usman Alkali Baba, has said a total of 781 electoral offenders were arrested in the just concluded 2023 general elections across the country from a total of 489 major electoral infractions.

He disclosed this on Monday, at the meeting with Strategic Police Managers of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja.

The meeting aimed at evaluating Police performance during the 2023 General elections, highlight lessons and strengths, and dissect complex dynamics for subsequent optimal performance drew participants from across the country.

 

The participants  present at the meeting comprised of  the Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) and members of the Force Management Team, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs) and other Tactical Commanders.

Baba at the accession, tasked all commands to submit casefiles centrally at the Electoral Offences Desk located at the  Office of the IGP at the  Force Headquarters in Abuja, for coordinated processing to INEC Legal Section.

According to him, the Police Force would effectively collaborate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to expeditiously and transparently prosecute the 781 electoral offenders apprehended.

The Police boss, also charged the Strategic Police Managers to readjust strategies and operations towards ensuring a stable post-election security order and refocus policing attention on routine law enforcement duties.

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“I firmly admonish all political actors and their supporters to submit to democratic norms, peaceful means, and legal procedures in advancing their interests as the Police and other security agencies shall not tolerate the resort to incitement or any act designed to threaten our national security”, he said.

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POLITICS

Benue PDP Chieftain Faults Ayu Suspension by Ward EXCO

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From David Torough, Makurdi

The Convener, Atiku Grassroots Movement, Terzungwe Atser, has said the officials of a council ward of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),lacked the powers to suspend a member of the National Working Committee (NWC). 

This was contained in a statement, which he issued on Monday in Makurdi.

 

According to the statement, the party’s officials of Igyorov Council Ward, Gboko Local Government Area, Benue were not aware of  section 57 subsection 7 of the PDP constitution where it is stated that only the National Executive Committee of the party has the power to take disciplinary measures against a national official of the party.

 

“The perpetrators of this shameless act must also be aware that the ward officials lack the powers to suspend or take any other disciplinary measure against a national officer of the party. 

“By virtue of section 57 subsection 7 of the PDP constitution, only the National Executive Committee of the party has the power to take disciplinary measures against a national official of the party.

“Ignoring the provisions of the party’s constitution and going ahead to do so only points to intended mischief by the perpetrators and their sponsors,” Atser said. 

He pointed out that the purported letter of suspension was also full of inaccuracies and blatant lies, noting that the letter was dated  March 24 but was announced on Sunday, March 26.

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He disclosed that the ward officials acted acting under duress. 

The letter also claimed that the National Chairman could not deliver his polling unit and ward to the PDP. 

He further said that to the accusation that PDP lost in Ayu’s polling unit was false, stressing that evidence on ground showed that the PDP won overwhelmingly in Mkovur Market polling unit where the Chairman voted and also won in Igyorov council Ward.

“In the governorship election, all other parties got zero votes while the PDP got 200 out of 203 accredited voters. The results are on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Irev portal to be verified by any concerned person.

“The claim that the National Chairman did not vote in the governorship and state assembly elections is also a figment of imagination of the authors as the chairman voted and stayed at the polling unit with all members of his family until the votes were counted and announced. This too can be verified,” he said. 

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NEWS

Plateau Guber: Tribunal Grant Nentawe, Mutfwang Permission to Inspect Election Materials

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos 

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate in Plateau State, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda has gotten the approval of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal setting in Jos the Plateau State Capital to inspect materials used in the 18 March, 2023 governorship election in Plateau State.

 

The Media Officer of the Generation Next, Shittu Bamaiyi in a statement signed and made available to Journalists yesterday in Jos said “the governorship Election petition tribunal sitting in Jos gave ruling this morning, after hearing the two applications moved by Nentawe’s Counsel.

In a motion exparte and motion on notice; the Counsel, Jim Gotom told the tribunal that his motion is supported by a six paragraph affidavit he placed reliance on all of them.

And further hinted that a written address was attached to the affidavit with legal arguments and decided cases to back his application.

Counsel to the applicant applied for leave and order of the Tribunal to permit Nentawe, his lawyers and agents to inspect election materials such as “Tendered voters list, Electoral material Receipt, Ballot Paper Account and Verification Statement.”

Other materials demanded to be inspected include, “statement of Invalid, Rejected and Cancelled Ballot Papers, Statement of Unused and Spoilt Ballot Papers,Tendered Ballot statement, Results of Poll from Polling units, Summary of Results for Local government areas, Summary of Results for the State and Summary/Declaration of Results for candidates.”

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Gotom also requested that his client be permitted to inspect the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and the Back End Server Report from the BVAS for all the polling Units and other relevant documents used by the Commission.

Meanwhile the Governor-Elect Barr. Caleb Mutfwang has also filled a similar motion and application for leave of the Tribunal to also carry out similar exercise as requested by the APC on his emergence which has been granted concurrently.

Mutfwang through his Counsel, Kingsley Mallan sought the Tribunal to allowed his client inspect materials used for the March 18th governorship election also as requested by the APC.

Counsel to INEC, Elekwa Oyemauche in his submission stressed that the prayers contained in all the applicants applications are the same and therefore should be consolidated to save the Tribunal’s time.

The Tribunal in her ruling granted the application and prayers of the parties and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should give them access to jointly inspect the materials.

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