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Dogara, 125 APC Aspirants Seek Nomination Fee Refund

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Disgruntled aspirants who participated at the March 26 National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress have vowed to take the leadership of the party to court over its failure to refund the payment for their Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms.

The development is coming four months after they were asked to step down for the current National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and other members of the National Working Committee.

Some affected politicians who spoke in separate interviews expressed concerns that they have explored and exhausted all their options with the only obstacle being the national chairman.

Depending on the category of the expression of interest and nomination forms, the 126 aspirants who contested various positions were made to cough up between N20 and N2.5 million.

At the end of the exercise, APC raked in well over N700 million with an additional N3 billion generated among stakeholders and party members ahead of the presidential primary.

There were also complaints that despite the huge revenue generated by the leadership of the party between March and August, ad hoc workers, staff, and affected party members who were engaged were equally not paid their welfare allowances.

Aspirants asked to withdraw at National Convention

The affected aspirants who stepped down for Adamu in the category of National Chairman included Senator Umar Al-Makura, Salihu Mustapha, Muhammed Sani Musa, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, Senator George Akume, and Mohammed Etsu.

Those in the category of National Deputy Chairman (North), who withdrew for the consensus candidacy of Senator Abubakar Kyari, were Yakubu Dogara, Faruq Aliyu, Sunny Sylvester Monidefe, Senator Ken Nnamani, Malam Isa Yuguda, and Emmanuel Joseph.

For the post of the National Secretary, three aspirants which included former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Oyedele Ifeoluwa and Prof Olaiya Olaitan were sacrificed for the candidacy of Senator Iyiola Omisore.

In the category of National Vice Chairman (South-South), Yekini Nabena and Worgu Chambers were asked to step down for Victor Giadom.

Aside from the aforementioned aspirants, there are 113 other aggrieved politicians who are also yet to be refunded.

One of the affected candidates, who spoke with our correspondent in confidence, vowed to recoup their nomination forms before Adamu is kicked out of office.

Adamu ‘deliberately’ delaying refund

He said, “We know how much was raised at the convention and even the APC presidential primary. So what is the problem? We the party members are equally aware of how much was doled out for Osun and Ekiti elections. I still don’t get why Adamu is finding it hard to comply with the directive of the president.

“The only reason we delayed in taking this issue to court until now was to avoid putting our presidential candidate, Asiwaju, in a bad light. But as it stands, we have no option but to head for court. Everybody knows what took place at the convention where we had to step down cannot be called an election. Perhaps, that’s why some of them in the NWC including Adamu have been acting with impunity.”

In one of the letters written to Adamu dated June 21 and appended by 107 signatories, the aggrieved aspirants also accused the party leadership of excluding them from active participation and assignments at the last party primaries for the election of various candidates.

The letter partly read, “Your Excellency, recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech at the convention directed that for those who agreed to step down, the party should refund the money they paid for the purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms.

“For the record, it is not worthy to envisage the reality of the huge expenses we incurred in our campaigns, which amount was far beyond the cost of purchase of forms.

“Our able chairman, we want to assure you and the APC leadership that we will give our best to ensure the party emerges victorious in the forthcoming 2023 general election.

“While yet not being discouraged, we wish to express that we were excluded from the lists of just concluded party primaries committee assignments for the election of our various party candidates for the general elections.”

One of the affected aspirants from North Central, Yusuf Elaigwe, however, expressed optimism when he told our reporter that he is still keeping with Adamu over the issue.

“I can’t comment on it. But there is progress. I will be having a meeting with the national chairman on it next week,” he said.

Another aspirant, Sunny Sylvester Monidefe, who stepped down for Kyari confirmed that they have written to Adamu.

Monidefe, however, expressed frustration that the chairman has yet to reach out concerning details on how they hope to refund them.

According to him, it was hard having meetings with many of the affected candidates because the majority are not residents in Abuja and only come around only when they have official duties to attend.

In a separate phone conversation, former communications minister, Adebayo Shittu, told our correspondent that the APC national chairman has reassured them that they will be fully refunded.

Shittu stated that though they are angry, there was no plan to file a suit against the leadership of the party as alleged.

“I don’t think that is true. Nobody will do that. I have spoken personally with the national chairman of the party too and he has reassured me that discussions are ongoing to pay us. We are still hopeful it will be resolved,” he said.

The matter is receiving attention – Spokesman

Responding to the development in a phone interview, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said the matter ‘is receiving attention and will resolve it soon.’

“I am sure the party will resolve it. The APC just came out of the primaries. They are dealing with it.”

In a related development, APC national vice chairman (North-west), Salihu Lukman, expressed regret over the delay, which he said was being looked into.

Lukman made the clarification in Abuja on Sunday.

He said, “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about four people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me. I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that it is going to happen,” Lukman said.

 

Credit: The Punch

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Project Lead Africa Announces 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards, Tagged “Rewarding Tenacity”

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Organizers of Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards have annouced November 13th for the 2022 maiden edition of Lead Awards. It was also revealed that the prestigious event will hold at the Dome International Conference Center, Akure, Ondo State.

Addressing a cross section of journalists over the weekend in Lagos, the Executive Director, Abiola Alaba Peters AAP, said the evening promises to be a gathering of captains of industries, government officials and prominent traditional rulers as far as Ondo State is concerned.

“It is our pleasure to announce to the general public, particularly the good people of Ondo State, that all is set for the 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards. This announcement was necessary after several months of consultation and planning, the event will be live at the Dome International Conference Center, in Ondo State capital, Akure”

“The date is November 13th 2022, It’s going to be a cooperate night, an evening of glitz and glamour, we have put in so much into making this maiden edition a memorable one. And that is why we have also taking time to design the concept of the theme of this year ceremony, REWARDING TENACITY. We believe it’s time to celebrate the individuals and organizations who have put in their best in making our dear state what it is today”

“It’s promises to be a gathering of some of the biggest names in Ondo State, from politics, business, entertainment, among others, our traditional rulers are not going to be left out, we are also expecting guests from neighboring states. Alaba Peters concluded.

Giving further details on the event, the Media and Publicity Director, Adewoye Solomon, said although activities, such as nominations and voting has kicked off since January, the award ceremony will hold on a Sunday in the month of November 2022.

In his words, “Let me start by saying that, the process and activities for the award started in January this year, the award presentation will hold in Akure, on a Sunday, the second week of November 2022. Let me also add that, two months ago, we closed the voting process. We have about 25 categories of awards, which includes the special recognition category”.

“A total of 15 categories will be decided by general public, while the remaining 10 will be decided based on the panels’ decision. We received a good number of quality entries from across the state for this debut edition. We have our final shortlists of winners, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards stand for.”

Lastly, let me also add that, this is a strictly by Invitation event. We are introducing an electronic invites by next month. We also have some top celebrities coming in from Lagos. We will make some major announcement in the month of October, do well to follow us on all our social media pages for updates. Thank You “

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JUST IN: FG Makes U-Turn, Withdraws Order To Reopen Varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors, and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

It was reported earlier that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which the Director, Finance also signed, and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils, and vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards”

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Retired Soldiers Stage Protest In Abuja Over Pay Discrepancies [PHOTOS]

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Some retired soldiers on Monday in Abuja protested salary and pension gaps among the ranks of serving and retired military personnel.

The protesters were seen with mats and banners demanding that the federal government rectify the discrepancies.

One of the banners they carried, said, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of servicing and retired personnel”

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