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While tenure elongation is still haunting the All Progressives Congress (APC). Some of its members yesterday cried out over the content of a memo presented to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Monday by Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun. They claimed that a portion of the memo was aimed at achieving tenure extension through the backdoor. But the party leadership denied having any hidden plan to extend its tenure.

The NEC rejected tenure elongation for Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC). It, however, granted them waivers to recontest at the party’s congresses and convention for which no dates have been fixed. President Muhammadu Buhari was at the NEC meeting to, according to him, nail the coffin of tenure elongation and also declare my re-election bid”.

But in his memo, Oyegun said the Simon Lalong Technical Committee recommended, among others, that: “if for reasons of inability to fulfil constitutional and or legal conditions requisite for the conduct of a valid elective congress or convention, then, the party may as a last resort leverage on the NEC resolution of February 27, 2018, which in our view is lawful in the circumstances.” The NEC, on February 27, approved tenure extension for Oyegun and his team, but reversed itself following the President’s intervention on March 27.

Referring to the committee’s report, Oyegun insisted that the February 27 decision of NEC neither violated APC constitution nor the 1999 Constitution. Sources said yesterday that the adopted memo may “trigger problems”, especially if the proposed congresses and convention are not held.“I suspect a plot to frustrate and subvert the congresses and convention, especially since waivers have been given to the NEC to supervise the exercise and recontest in the intra-party elections. There may be no commitment to successful congresses and convention. The exercise can be programmed to fail to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor.”

Other recommendations approved by the NEC include a 21 days statutory notice for the holding of elective congresses and convention to be given to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) immediately; the current zoning formula for party offices be retained; requirements of Article 31 (111) be waived in line with the provisions of Article 13.4 (xv) to avoid disruptions in the management of party affairs at all levels; and all pending suits in respect of this matter be withdrawn.

Oyegun recalled that on February 27, the NEC voted to authorise all elected officials to continue in acting capacities for a period not exceeding 12 months after the expiration of their tenure. He said the President observed that the NEC’s decision might have contravened the party constitution and the 1999 Constitution. The chairman noted that, following the President’s observation, the NEC authorised him to set up the Lalong committee to advise the party on the way forward.

The 10-man committee, he said, was mandated to examine the President’s position and recommendations. Oyegun said the committee affirmed the “constitutionality and legality of the NEC Resolution of February 27” and the “need for elective congresses and convention.”Quoting the committee’s report, Oyegun said: “After citing relevant statutes and authorities, the committee concluded that the decision taken by the NEC at its meeting of February 27 did not violate either the constitution of the party and that of the federation.

“In essence, APC is competent through its relevant organs, to constitute caretaker committees to run the affairs of the party upon the expiration of the tenure of its elected party officials where, for some reasons, it is impracticable to hold elections before the requisite effluxion of time.“The committee is of the view that it is the requirement of the constitution that the party should hold democratic congresses and convention every four years. The issue however, is whether or not this requirement accommodates certain exigencies or circumstances that might prevent or make the holding of the congresses and convention impracticable.”

Oyegun said the Lalong committee recommended as follows: “That although the decision taken by NEC on February 27 is legal and constitutional, and violated neither the party constitution nor that of the federation, it is still in the best interest of the party to conduct congresses and convention. “However, in doing so, all reasonable measures should be taken to minimise opportunity for acrimony or rancour while ensuring that all prescribed constitutional and legal conditions are met.”

Dispelling fears of the NWC extending its tenure, APC spokesman Bolaji Abdullahi said the party was already preparing for its congresses and convention. He described the NEC’s decisions as a stop gap measure, pointing out that there is nothing constitutional about them. Abdullahi dismissed insinuations that the party leadership may leverage on that not to hold congresses and convention. He said: “I can assure you that we are preparing for congresses and convention. The congresses and convention will hold and so, there is nothing like anybody leveraging on that to ensure that congresses do not hold so that some people will remain in office”.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Nullifies Suspension Of Fayemi, Ojudu, Others

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has nullified the suspension of Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, presidential aide Senator Femi Ojudu and others.

Fayemi and the Paul Omotosho-led State Executives Council were suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the State Executives Committee (SEC) on Friday.

The development came barely 24 hours after the Omotosho-led executives suspended Ojudu and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them.

But in a statement on Friday by Deputy National Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, APC said the suspensions were a “nullity.”

The party said: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a purported and widely-reported “suspension” of the Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Kayode Fayemi as well as an earlier reported, “indefinite suspension” of some other party members in the state.

“The actions are a nullity as the Party’s National Secretariat is yet to receive communication from the state chapter on the purported “suspensions”. We strongly advise all members to adhere to our Party constitution.

“Governor Kayode Fayemi remains the leader of the party in Ekiti State.

“In line with the mandate of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee and the President’s admonition to party members to ensure and support ongoing amicable and rancour-free settlement of internal party disputes, we call on our esteemed party members and leaders in Ekiti State to be duly guided.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Architect Paul Omotosho-chaired APC Ekiti State Working Committee is the authentic, valid, and duly recognized Executive as no factions or divisions exist in the State Chapter.”

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I’m Not Under Any Pressure To Accept Defeat —– Ize-Iyamu

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the recently conducted Edo governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has debunked speculations that he is under pressure from party leaders to accept defeat.

Ize-Iyamu said this in response to media reports on the subject, even as he urged the media to desist from speculative reporting.

He stated this in a statement signed by his Director of Communication and Media, Mr. John Mayaki, in Benin, on Thursday.

He said, “I was shocked this morning when I saw reports saying I begged Obaseki to return to APC after the election.

“While immediately responding to it, another one emerged. I will restate that I never begged him to return after the election. I deliberately did not reply when I saw all that rumour on social media with people tagging me in them.

“Now, I saw another report in the media stating that APC leaders are mounting pressure on me to accept defeat. In all fairness to the national leadership of my party, they never mounted any pressure on me.

“So, I wonder where their source got information from. The public repossesses a lot of trust in the media for authentic information. What happens when this trust is betrayed?”

Ize-Iyamu also reiterated his earlier position that he had yet to make up his mind on his next step.

According to him, “I already tweeted that I am studying the result and consulting widely on my next line of action. Speculative reporting must be condemned.

“When I make up my mind, I will let my supporters know. For now, patience is what I implore, not violence; not anger will help us now. Dignity will manifest in how we bounce back from this minor setback.”

In a related statement, Mayaki said, “We warned several times that the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP camp, but they did not listen.

“That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate appealed to Obaseki to come back to APC.

“The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election, but doctored by Governor Obaseki media handlers to seek undue legitimacy.”

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It’s A Lie, I Didn’t Beg Obaseki To Return To APC, I Have Not Addressed The Press After Election —– Ize-Iyamu

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The Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation has called on the traditional media to perform due diligence in reporting events arising from Edo State, as unprofessionalism would render them as tools for PDP.

This was in a statement by the Director of Communication and Media of the Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, Mr John Mayaki, who reacted to claims that APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu appealed to Governor Godwin Obaseki to return to APC yesterday at a press conference in Abuja.

Mayaki, who noted that nothing of such happened, explained that the media has once again lent itself to the fabrications of Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP, as they did throughout the election.

“We warned several times that the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP camp, but they did not listen. That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate appealed to Obaseki to come back to APC. The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election but doctored by Governor Obaseki media handlers to seek undue legitimacy”, he disclosed.

He also wondered if the media was being sponsored by Governor Obaseki and the PDP, as it seemed implausible that they actually believed the story. This is even more so when reporters in Benin city would report Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who is currently in Abuja where the various media organizations are also domiciled – this is to tell you the suspicion inherent in the viral video.

“Pastor Ize-Iyamu was reported in the stories as speaking from Abuja, but it was the Benin reporters that covered the story. Were the reporters transported to Abuja? Do these media agencies actually believe the stories they carry? Obaseki and the PDP have a way of leaking false news to the media and the media has to be sensitive and professional in receiving this news.”

Meanwhile, Mayaki also warned that there is a fake Twitter account purporting to belong to Pastor Ize-Iyamu, which has been disseminating false information. He warned the media to avoid it like a plague and verify all their information before passing them on.

He said, “I only wish the media had been more professional during the elections; they were not and what is done is done. They don’t know how violent and anti-democratic it was in several parts of Edo State, including Egor in Benin City, and so they reported that the elections were free and fair. At least, going forward, let them verify all news before passing it on. It is the basic ethic of the profession”.

 

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