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2023: No Automatic Ticket For New Decampees —- APC

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it has not granted an automatic ticket to former President Goodluck Jonathan who is being rumoured to be planning to defect to the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-south, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, also described an alleged scheme by some northern leaders to return the former President to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to reclaim power at the center come 2023, adding that the party would also win 28 of the 36 states across the federation.

The APC said the waiver granted new entrants and defectors into the party does not exclude them from undergoing nomination processes of contesting for positions in the party and as its flag bearers in general elections.

APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, made the declaration in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

He said defection into the party by any person does not confer the status of an automatic candidate of the party on such individual.

Akpanudoedehe, who was reacting to a misrepresentation of his views on the waiver granted new entrants and defectors by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at its December 8, 2020 meeting in a television programme, said all party members, irrespective of the status of the person, must go through the party’s nomination process as outlined in its constitution.

He maintained that the waiver by NEC was not restricted to anyone.

According to the Secretary, “the waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

Akpanudoedehe recalled that the party’s NEC resolved and granted waivers to persons who have recently joined the party and those desirous of joining the party in the nearest future to contest for positions in the APC and as party flag bearers in general elections.

He explained that by the NEC resolution, “new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by the APC” but not the status of automatic candidate of the party.

According to the Secretary: “For the records, in my recent television interview reaction to the rumoured plans by former President Goodluck Jonathan to join the APC, my statement was that NEC resolution was a blanket waiver to ALL new APC entrants, including the interviewee.

“The waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

‘Plot to make Jonathan President deceitful, conspiracy against South’

A South-south founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, described the ongoing scheme by some northern leaders to return former President Jonathan to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

Eze, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the plot was a packaged trick by some northern leaders to make Jonathan President for one term and retake power in 2027 thereby denying the southern part of the country a complete term of eight years.

Eze said that the northern schemers knew that with President Muhammadu Buhari successfully completing his second term by 2023, the South, in all honesty, and fairness, would produce the next President.

But to truncate a southern eight-year rule, the schemes intended to feature Jonathan for one tenure in 2023 thereby throwing the 2027 presidential election open for a fresh zoning arrangement and contest favourable to the North.

Eze urged all Nigerians to speak up and condemn such a dastardly act that might plunge the nation into unprecedented chaos.

The APC chief, however, claimed that Jonathan had rejected the plan, describing the former President’s rejection as consolatory.

He said: “This plot is an unacceptable insult on both Jonathan and the entire southern political class as if we lack credible political leaders from the South that can turn the fortunes of this country around.

“It is imperative to commend Dr. Jonathan for reading through the deceit of these leaders, trashing their dishonest entreaty and ensuring that his political feats and present status as a great promoter of democracy is not ruined, tarnished but kept intact by keeping these undemocratic elements at bay.

“I am very glad that Dr. Jonathan has done his best to keep these undemocratic forces at bay, who are hell-bent to deny the South the chance to preside over the affairs of this country according to the terms of power rotation between the North and the South, not minding that the northerners have through the military and democratic dispensations governed this country to their heart contents.

“Funny and sad enough, the same leaders who ensured that Dr. Jonathan was not reelected in 2015 are the same crop of leaders that are doing everything to lure him back to finish whatever that is left of him politically.

“As much as I am not a supporter or sympathizer of Dr. Jonathan and his type of politics, as I was one of those who ensured he was not reelected, I will not sit and allow his haters to drain the little integrity left of him.

“Luring him to contest the 2023 elections does not in any way wash him off the sins and reasons behind why he was not reelected in 2023, but a careful ploy to portray the Southerners as lacking better and credible leaders to improve on the fortunes of the country.”

Eze also commended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for insisting that he would not support Jonathan if he decided to contest the 2023 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Eze said if Jonathan allowed himself to be fooled by those luring him, he would face the worst political defeat in 2023.

He advised Jonathan not to allow himself to be used as an object of division and tension in the country, appealing to him to continue to enjoy his 2015 feat, which earned him an international figure.

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It’s Idiocy To Claim Buhari Is Dead and Replaced With Jubril From Sudan —- Femi Adesina

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The Presidency has rubbished claims by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that President Muhammadu Buhari is Jubril of Sudan.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said it is “idiocy” to claim that the president is dead and was replaced with Jubril from Sudan.

Adesina disclosed this in his latest article titled, ‘The Essential Buhari: VP Osinbajo got it!.’

He recalls how Buhari, upon return from his medical trip abroad in 2017, recognized him.

The article reads partly: “I remember that day in August 2017, when the President returned to the country finally from his medical vacation. From January of that year, he had been in and out a couple of times, but spending weeks and months outside, attending to his health. And finally, on August 19, he returned home, triumphantly.

“We were at the airport to receive him. I have told the story a number of times, to dispel the idiocy that it was a certain Jibril of Sudan that came back and not Buhari. The daughter of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, was getting married. And I had attended both the church service and reception, decked in full Yoruba traditional attire of Agbada and a cap to match. Straight from the ceremony, I went to the airport to join the welcome party for the President.

“We the principal aides were on a line to receive the President as he descended from the aircraft. And he shook hands with each person, having one wisecrack or the other to say, as is typical of him. When he got to me, he said, “Adesina, this is the best I’ve seen you dressed.” And we both laughed.

“Jibril of Sudan? How did he know I was Adesina? How would he know how I normally dressed? Idiocy, I say again. But that is just a digression, not the story I really want to tell to support the topic at hand.”

Kanu had rumoured Buhari’s death in 2017, following the president’s medical trip to London.

He had claimed that Buhari was cloned and replaced with Jubril Al-Sudan after his death.

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Take Vaccine or Present Negative COVID-19 Result, FG Tells Civil Servants

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The Federal Government has informed federal civil servants that they either get the COVID-19 vaccine or present a negative test result.

Recall that the FG had mandated all civil servants to get the vaccine or else they would not be allowed to enter offices.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, at a press conference, on Thursday, in Abuja, made clear that federal civil servants were not under obligation to take the vaccine, however, they must show negative COVID-19 PCR test.

He said, “The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on Wednesday, announced interventions to, not only protect the most vulnerable people in our society but to also ensure that the workplace is safe for all citizens. Clearly, there is a loss of productivity and its impact on socio-economic development when workers are unable to come to work on a regular, and consistent basis due to outbreaks of an infectious disease such as COVID-19.

“Following advice by public health experts, the PSC announced that all Federal Government employees should make a choice as to how they can contribute towards making the work environment COVID-19-free. The logical choice is between taking the vaccine and showing the evidence or presenting proof that one is COVID-19-free by showing a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior.

“This provision is applicable to all Federal Government institutions. The decision to release the advisory was not taken lightly. It is part of the PSC and Federal Ministry of Health’s mantra to always use scientific evidence to make decisions for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

Shuaib also confirmed that there are enough vaccines to cover the population of employees of the Federal Government and more, stating that the PSC had already done a comprehensive analysis and forecast on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Based on delivery forecasts from the COVAX facility and African Union, Nigeria will have adequate vaccines to cover more than 50 percent of eligible populations by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In order words, please do not worry about the availability of vaccines because we have the supply chain figured out already,” he added.

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N4.9bn Fraud: Judge Angry, Slams N200K Fine On Fani-Kayode For Shunning Trial For Fifth Time

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Justice Daniel Osaigor of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to pay N200,000 for not making himself available for re-arraignment for alleged money laundering.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Osaigor said he had gone through the court’s file and noted five different letters by Fani-Kayode, seeking adjournment on the same medical grounds.

The court, consequently ordered that he should pay the sum or risk revocation of his bail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman.

Also charged was Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC preferred 17 counts bordering on N4.6bn money laundering against them before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

They had all pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

The trial had begun before Aikawa and witnesses being led in evidence before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos jurisdiction of the court.

The case was consequently assigned to Justice Osaigor and the defendants scheduled for re-arraignment on Wednesday.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, announced an appearance for prosecution.

Mr I. J. Ogechukwu appeared for the first defendant (Usman), Mr B. F. Ajudua appeared for the second defendant (Fani-Kayode) and Y. Olabode appeared for the third and fourth defendants.

Buhari then informed the court that on July 15, the prosecution asked the court to adjourn the matter for re-arraignment of the defendants.

She told the court that on October 11, the prosecution received a letter from the second defendant informing them that he had been given bed rest.

“Whenever he doesn’t want to attend court, this is the type of letter we get,” Buhari said.

However, Ajudua told the court that although his Fani-Kayode’s illness was recurring, he had attended court regularly.

After the judge went through the court’s file, he asked his counsel to take one of two options: revocation of Fani-Kayode’s bail or imposition of N200,000 fine to be paid before the next adjourned date.

The counsel chose the fine option.

Justice Osaigor adjourned the case till November 30.

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