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2023: APC NWC, Governors, PCC Members Unite For Tinubu



The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), members of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) yesterday resolved to work for the victory of the standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.

Also, the three organs agreed to set up a conflict resolution mechanism for resolving issues that may affect the presidential campaign and the chance of the ruling party at the poll.

APC leaders were in one accord at their strategy meeting at the party secretariat in Abuja, which was at the instance of the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

It was gathered that the crucial meeting was meant to herald the campaigns.

The standard bearer, a source said, is also expected back in the country today from London where he held talks with businessmen, including Mr. Yemi Idowu, an accomplishment investor.

Ahead of the campaign kick-off, Southeast APC women have held a historic rally in Owerri, Imo State capital.

The event trailed the Lagos APC Women rally and the ‘Walk for Asiwaju, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, organized by party faithful.

Also yesterday, Catholic priest and former President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), John Cardinal Onaiyekan, declared that the ruling party’s same faith ticket was, in the opinion of APC, the best option.

Addressing reporters after the meeting that lasted for about five hours, Adamu said the leaders, governors and the campaign council have resolved to forge ahead in harmony.

He said: “We are very comfortable. We have established machinery for resolving everything. We are together with the governor’s forum and NWC. I believe the meeting we had is more than useful to us. For us, nothing short of victory, and that is the spirit of this meeting.”

The chairman, who refused to disclose when the party will commence its planned nationwide campaign, however, said APC cannot run faster than its shadow.

Adamu said the party recognised the important role of all its organs, stressing that meaningful progress cannot be made in the 2023 elections without the support of APC governors.

He said: “Essentially, we want to interact with our governors who are the custodians of the fate of APC in their various states that they are privileged by God to lead at this point of Nigeria’s democratic dispensation.

“Being the chief executive officers of their various states, the onus lies in the hands of God and their hands because they are the commanders of the party fortunes in their various states.

“We can not make meaningful progress in the affairs of these states, particularly in an election year that is approaching. We can not plan without the buy-in of our governors so, that we can stand together, believing that we share the same aspirations. We will plan together to see how best we can deliver the interest of the party and ensure that victory is ours in the 2023 general election that is by the corner.”

PGF chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, said the governors visit the secretariat to strategise.

On the composition of the campaign council, Bagudu, who described the release of the 422-member campaign list as unfortunate,  assured that it would be sorted out.

He said: “Governors are very proud of our party. We are very proud of our party leader, President Muhamadu Buhari. We are very proud of the conventions that produced both our national chairman and our presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima. We are very proud of the actions of the national chairman and the NWC. We are very proud of the actions of the presidential campaign council.

“We are happy that we are discussing, even though there was a list. It was a mistake. But I am happy that the party is solidly behind our candidate and our party and whatever lists that have come out erroneously, we believe it will be sorted out.”

Other PGF members at the meeting were Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano), Sani Bello (Niger), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and the deputy governor of Borno State, Umar Kadafur.

PCC members at the meeting were former APC National Chairman and Deputy Director-General of PCC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and former Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, Deputy Director-General (admin).

Women rally support for Tinubu/Shettima in Imo

Thousands of Southeast women yesterday converged on Owerri, Imo State capital, for a rally in support of Tinubu and Shettima.

The women gathered at Hero Square later marched through the Imo International Conference Center (IICC), to the Government House, where Governor Hope Uzodimma received them.

The governor said APC had done well, adding that it is a party to beat in the zone.

He stressed: “In the Southeast, APC is strong; we are in every nook and cranny of the zone and we are solidly behind our presidential and vice presidential candidates and all APC candidates in the zone.”

Uzodimma commended the women for their commitment, resilience, patriotism and for turning out to show solidarity for the party and its candidates.

He said after many years of the civil war, the second Niger Bridge had been completed and most of the federal roads have received face lift.

He expressed confidence that Tinubu would replicate the development he initiated in Lagos in Nigeria, if voted into power.

Uzodimma said: “In 1999, when there was no story of women inclusion and when the Chinese Beijing Conference has not taken resolution, he chose a woman as his running mate in Lagos. So, this is a man after the heart of women”.

The wife of the governor, Chioma, said the rally was organised to show solidarity and support for Tinubu and Shettima.

She said: “It is on record that the ruling APC in Nigeria of today has given women a lot of opportunities in politics and corporate governance more than any other party.

“In Imo State today, our performing governor has done a lot more to improve the standard of life by accommodating women in positions of leadership and governance.”

She said leaders should be courageous and push the boundaries to make things better.

Mrs Uzodimma added: “The best leaders know how to get the most out of people; they enable the full potential in others. These are the qualities we have found in Bola Tinubu right from when he joined politics and throughout the MKO Abiola’s struggle of 1993, the struggle and bustle for democracy and his eventually reign as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.”

The governor’s wife described Tinubu as a “core democrat, a pan-Nigerian who gave different tribes a shot in his administration”.

The national women leader, Dr Bertha Edu, assured party faithful that APC would usher in peace and development in the Southeast.

She said: “We came with an agenda for the Southeast, that agenda is APC.

“As a people, we will continue to vote for APC.”

Same-faith ticket is winning strategy for party – Onaiyekan

Cardinal Onaiyekan said the APC Muslim/Muslim ticket was its best calculation for winning next year’s election.

Onaiyekan explained that the party should not be blamed for taking the decision because it was based on its winning political calculation.

The ex-CAN president spoke at Ede during the first synod of Catholic Church, Osun State tagged: “Faithful witness to dialogue and reconciliation”.

He said: “You will note that the Catholic Bishop Confrence has not taken any action on Muslim/Muslim ticket of All Progressives Congress(APC). The reason is that Muslim/Muslim ticket is a political decision taken by APC as a party on the calculation that is their best way to win the election or assure their victory in 2023 general election.

“There is no point telling them not to take such decision. All you can say is that they will have to accept responsibility for the decision they have taken. I only have one voter’s card and by God’s grace, I will use it.

“But since it is a political decision of a political party, what the church can do officially is to bring out this fact and tell people that they should take their political decision accordingly.”

Cardinal Onaiyekan added: “When the APC leadership appointed Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, as the Director of Campaign of APC, he accepted the decision politically.

“The only time when we called him to order was when he dragged the name of Pope into the appointment and political discussion. He tendered his apology, which was accepted by us because he is a member of Papa Knight.

“APC is still considered as a legitimate party in Nigeria. Many Catholic are in APC, not only as members, but they hold vital positions.  According to our church, we are not involved in partisan politics.”

Credit: The Nation


NNPCL, Chinese Firm Sign MoU To Develop Floating LNG Project



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and the Chinese company Wison Heavy Industry Co. Ltd have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of a floating LNG project in Nigeria.

The agreement was inked during the ongoing United Nations climate change conference (COP28) by NNPC and Wison Heavy Industry.

Olufemi Soneye, the NNPC’s chief corporate communications officer, revealed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Soneye said the floating LNG MoU was signed by Olalekan Ogunleye, executive vice president, gas, power and new energy, on behalf of NNPC and Kai Xu, managing director of Wison Heavy.

In the statement, both parties agreed to work together to chart a roadmap for the project development that will lead to an investment decision.

NNPC said the LNG project will target the international market.

Also, Soneye said a supply, installation and commissioning agreement was signed by NNPC Prime LNG Limited, an arm of NNPC Trading Limited, and SDP Services, an independent oil and gas company, for a 421 tonnes per day LNG project targeting the domestic LNG market.

The small-scale LNG (SSLNG) project agreement was signed by Lawal Sade, the managing director, NNPC Trading Limited, on behalf of NNPC Prime LNG. and Abhinav Modi, managing director of SDP Services.

He said the SSLNG project will ensure the efficient supply of LNG to the autogas and compressed natural gas (CNG) and industrial as well as commercial customers nationwide.

The LNG project, which will be located at Ajaokuta in Kogi state, is expected to be operational by December 2024.

After the signing ceremony, Ogunleye said NNPC is committed to delivering gas to industries nationwide and accelerating the company’s gas commercialisation efforts through the floating LNG project.

Ogunleye said: “We see both projects as having enormous impact all over the country because they are central to the commercialisation of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources and ensuring that our country earns the much-needed foreign revenue from its abundant gas assets.”

“It is also consistent with NNPC Management’s drive to deliver on Mr. President’s gas and power aspirations across the country.”

Speaking on the SSLNG project, Sade said it will boost the domestication of LNG utilisation by supporting the growth of auto-gas initiatives across the country.

“We are looking at a timeframe of 12 months from execution to the commissioning of the project. The project will deliver about 420 tonnes per day of LNG per day into the domestic market, which will enhance efficient delivery of gas to the auto-gas/CNG and industrial customers in line with Presidential mandate,” she said.

The partners, according to Soneye, have pledged to work with NNPC to deliver the projects within schedule and in the most cost-effective manner.

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Lagos Doctor Femi Olaleye Asks Appeal Court To Dismiss His Rape Conviction



Femi Olaleye, managing director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, has approached the appeal court over the judgment convicting him of rape.

Recall that Olaleye, in October, was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping his wife’s niece.

Rahman Oshodi, the judge at the special offences and domestic violence court in Lagos, convicted Olaleye on a two-count charge of defilement of a child and sexual assault by penetration.

The judge ruled that the defendant should serve life imprisonment for count one and the same for count two.

The judge said the sentencing should run concurrently.

  • The Grounds Of Appeal

In the appeal filed on November 24 at the appellate court in Lagos, the medical doctor through Kemi Pinheiro, his lawyer, highlighted 35 grounds of appeal against the judgment of the lower court.

The appellant argued that the lower court erred in its conclusion that the alleged survivor was a child of 16 at the time of the incident, adding that the prosecution did not provide documentary evidence to support the age of the alleged survivor.

The appellant said the prosecution team should have provided the birth certificate of the alleged survivor to prove the age.

The appellant said the testimony of the alleged survivor was riddled with inconsistencies, contrary to the submission of the lower court.

He said the alleged survivor did not make a rape accusation before the police, who interviewed her when the alleged events were still very fresh in her memory.

He added that it was four months after the alleged event that she made the rape accusation.

The appellant argued that the lower court should not have relied on the evidence of Oyebimpe Akinbunmi, the medical expert from Mirabel centre, adding that the examination of the alleged survivor was carried out four months after the alleged rape incident.

“Even though the offences were alleged to have occurred between 2020 and 2021, the medical certificate issued by PW5 clearly showed that the alleged survivor was being examined in respect of a sexual assault that occurred in March, 2022,” the appellant was quoted as saying by NAN.

“In the face of this material contradiction, it was wrong of the court to have held that the evidence of PW5 corroborated that of the alleged survivor.

“Since the outcome of PW5’s examination did not indict the appellant, the finding of the court is erroneous and ought not to be sustained.”

The appellant asked the court to set aside the conviction and quash the sentencing.

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Pay Workers New Minimum Wage Before Christmas — Oshiomole To Employers



Adams Oshiomhole, the Senator representing Edo North Senatorial District has urged the public and private sectors to pay staffers the new minimum wage of N35,000 before Christmas.

The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress cautioned that there would be no Christmas festivities if workers were not paid the new minimum wage.

Oshiomhole, a former Governor of Edo State said this on Tuesday at the 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Non-Academics Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions in Abuja.

He said, “Now that you have N35,000, there are workers from different states. Are all the state governments implementing it? The answer is no. Why should it be no, and why are they at peace? Your members are not at peace in the States.

He added that the new minimum wage cut across all work sectors in the country.

“It should not be a selective application. The N35,000 must affect all workers. It has to go around all workers in Nigeria, whether public or private, that is the logic of nationwide strike.

“Please tell the NLC President that those are the issues that they must solve so that this December, nobody goes home without that N35,000.

“Whether such a worker is working for the federal, state, local government or the private sector, that N35,000 must be paid. If you don’t pay, there will be no Christmas for you as an employer whether public or private sector.”

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