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POLITICS

APC Adopts Gbajabiamila As Speaker, Zones Deputy To North Central

Peter Okunoren

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The leadership of All Progressives Congress has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Ninth Assembly.

The agreement was reached after extensive deliberation at a dinner held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday night.

The position of the Deputy Speaker was zoned to the North Central.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed the development.

Issa-Onilu said the agreement was reached at the dinner between President Muhammadu Buhari and the House members-elect.

The statement said: “The APC has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.

“This position was reached after an intensive deliberation with the APC’s House of Representatives members-elect at a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa.

“The Deputy Speaker position has been zoned to the North Central.”

POLITICS

APC Has Failed Nigerians, Says Buhari’s Former Minister

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Solomon Dalung, the immediate past minister of sports, says the All Progressives (APC) has failed Nigerians.

Speaking in an interview with the Hausa section of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Dalung said the government has not fulfilled its promises to Nigerians.

He said despite being a member of the APC, it is his responsibility to speak out if things are not right.

Lamenting the high rate of insecurity in the north, the former minister said the situation is such that people fast and pray for days before embarking on a journey.

According to him, farmers had to pay the gunmen before going to the farm; nobody had ever experienced this kind of situation.

“In the north, if you are a Muslim and you want to travel, you must pray, fast for days before embarking on the journey. If you are Christian and you want to travel, you must fast and pray for days before you travel,” she said.

“Even if the journey is successful, you will still go to the hospital because of high blood pressure arising from fear during the journey. We have never experienced this kind of situation. Imagine in the north, before you go to your farm, you will have to pay gunmen to allow you to farm. If you want to harvest your farm produced, you will still have to pay gunmen before they allow you to harvest.

“So how can there be farming in the North? We have never experienced this kind of situation. It is our APC government, but this government has not addressed the needs of Nigerians. It is our government, but if we are not doing the correct thing, it is our responsibility to speak out because we spoke against some people in the past and we need to speak to ourselves too.”

He said the failure of the APC government is so glaring that “everybody knows”.

Dalung said he was not afraid to speak out, insisting that even if he is the president he will still speak with if things are not going well.

“You know me and everybody in Nigeria knows me. Whether I am still a minister, even if I am the president, whatever I see that is not right, I must speak out, not because of myself, but in the interest of the generality of the people,” he said.

“If for example, Solomon Dalung collapses and dies today, without speaking out against what is happening today, don’t you think God will question me for abusing Jonathan and for not speaking out on our failure? That is what I am afraid of, not anybody.

“Our party, the APC is like a dying party because, as I am talking to you right now, they have dissolved the party completely, it has no members, even the President is not a member.

“The caretaker committees are the members of the party, the party has no members because membership of everybody has been dissolved, so right now we are not members of APC until they bring membership cards for us to join the party, like army recruitment. So right now even the President is not a member of the APC until he appears before this committee.”




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BIG STORY

Okorocha Mulls New Party, Says APC Was Hurried Arrangement To Take Power

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Rochas Okorocha, senator representing Imo west, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a “hurried arrangement”.

Speaking with reporters in Abuja on Monday, Okorocha said the ruling party could have been better but that some people hijacked it and became “lords”.

The former governor of Imo state said progressive-thinking citizens must come together to make Nigeria work.

“The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians, to make the country work,” he said.

“APC was a hurried arrangement formed to take power when the then government was drifting. APC would have been better until people who were not members of the party, people who came for a congratulatory message, hijacked the party and became lords.”

According to him, political parties in the country do not have ideologies and are only a vehicle to power.

“The issue is not about APC or PDP. It is beyond political parties. We are talking about the character of the politicians. Political parties in Nigeria don’t have any ideology – it is just a vehicle to come to power,” the lawmaker said.

“So, what we have is not the ideal thing. We have so many people who are not interested in working for the nation.”

The senator said President Muhammadu Buhari could have performed better if he had surrounded himself with good people.

“For instance, if President Muhammadu Buhari had surrounded himself with good people, the story would not be the same today,” Okorocha said.

“We have bad people in APC, just as we have them in PDP and that was why I made the call in Rivers state that the good ones should come together to lead the people.”

The senator added that all zones must be allowed to produce a president.




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BIG STORY

2023: Fayemi’s Presidential Ambition Tears Ekiti APC Apart

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The widely speculated ambition of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to run for president in 2023 is causing more than ripples within the ranks and files of the All Progressive Congress in the state.

The APC had endorsed Governor Fayemi for the presidential race, saying the time has come for the president to come from Ekiti, adding that it would no longer play second fiddle in the southwest’s politics.

The party’s state Chairman, Barr. Paul Omotosho through the spokesman, Hon. Ade Ajayi said that the governor has paid his dues in the ruling APC and Nigeria’s political firmament at large, thus deserve to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Nigeria in 2023.

Omotosho said its members will drag the governor into the race, if he refuses to contest, saying Fayemi is eminently qualified to occupy the exalted position considering his intimidating political profile.

But strong indications have emerged that there was a sharp disagreement within the state chapter over Fayemi’s endorsement as some leaders under the aegis of Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum flayed the party’s leadership.

The Forum, in a statement on Monday signed by its Secretary, Prince Bamgboye Adegoroye, which denied endorsing the alleged Fayemi’s presidential ambition, noted that the purported endorsement does not reflect the general will of APC members.

It said the purported endorsement, which was credited to a statement by the APC state Chairman, Hon. Paul Omotoso, was a personal view of the Publicity Secretary Ade Ajayi who represented Omotoso at an event in Ekiti at the weekend.

The Forum added Ajayi only expressed a personal view on the matter and that his views neither represented the position of Omotoso nor that of Ekiti APC.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum has been drawn to a statement credited to Mr. Paul Omotoso on the idea that APC Ekiti State chapter has backed Dr. John Kayode Fayemi for the 2023 Presidency.

“We want to state unequivocally that Hon. Ade Ajayi who represented Mr. Omotoso barely expressed a personal view at a social event, where the convener was absent or at best, the views of a small clique in the party.

“The leaders of APC in Ekiti State are unaware of the idea. Again, we note that Hon. Ade Ajayi’s boss does not even believe that the position should be zoned to South West as expressed on the national platform recently.”

It stressed that all the 17 states in the southern part of the country deserved a shot at the Presidency if it is agreed upon by the national leadership of the party.

“Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum along with other eminent Yoruba leaders will canvass for the opportunity to produce the next President in 2023 from our zone.

“Adoption of an authentic, qualified, well known, humane and experienced Yoruba man is our goal, and we will play our part in accomplishing that task,” the Forum added.




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