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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state was not in attendance as his other colleagues elected on the platform of the ruling APC visited President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Daura, Katsina state. His absence has further raised insinuations that he could be on his way out of the party. Some of the governors in attendance were Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Yahaya Bello of Kogi.

The governors of Benue, Ogun, and Lagos were represented by their deputies on the visit which the governors said was aimed at consoling with Buhari over the loss of two members of his extended family. Ortom has not been on good terms with the Presidency since the killing of 73 people by suspected Fulani herdsmen in his state on New Year’s Day. The Benue governor has increasingly blamed the Presidency for not being proactive, claiming he had informed the federal government that herdsmen were planning to attack some communities in the state. On his part, Buhari has not visited Benue since the killings; though, he hosted Ortom at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on 9 January.

The president’s media aide Femi Adesina had said in January that Buhari did not visit the North-central state because he did not want to politicise the killings. Adesina was speaking on the back of criticism of the president for not visiting Benue. And when Buhari visited neighbouring Nasarawa state on 6 February, Ortom sent his deputy, Benson Abounu, to represent him there. Buhari was in Nasarawa on a working visit where he commissioned a couple of projects.“As a mark of honour and respect for his office and that of the president, I have sent my deputy to represent me because I cannot leave the state when my people are being killed,” Ortom said.

On Wednesday the governor reiterated his position that the Presidency should be blamed for the recent killings in his state, when he appeared before the joint Senate Committee on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence. He showed the lawmakers copies of his letters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the security chiefs before and after the crisis began.“Over 100 people killed in Benue would not have died if security agencies were responsive. None of the letters (to the Presidency) was replied,” he said.

“The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, attributed the Benue killings to blockade of grazing routes and implementation of ranching law.“His position is misleading and dishonest. We hope that his position is not that of the Federal Government.”


Atiku-Wike Rift: It Seems Devil Has Entered PDP – Bode George



Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appealed to Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, and Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, to “cool down” amid the crisis in the party.

Speaking on Wednesday during a Channels TV interview, George said it appears “some kind of devil” has entered the party.

The opposition party has been enmeshed in crisis since the conclusion of its presidential primary election in May.

Wike had contested the presidential ticket but he lost to the former vice-president.

The cracks widened after Atiku Abubakar named Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

Following the announcement, some party stakeholders expressed concerns that Abubakar overlooked Wike — who was said to have been recommended by a panel set up at Abubakar’s instance.

The division in the party worsened after Abubakar granted an interview to Arise TV, during which he explained his rationale for overlooking Wike.

Days after the interview, Wike fired back, accusing the party’s presidential candidate of telling “many lies”.

Efforts by PDP stakeholders and elders to resolve the crisis have since proved abortive.

Speaking on the matter, George said Atiku and Wike must understand that their ambitions cannot be bigger than the PDP.

“It is a major bother not only for me, but it is also a bother to a lot of the committed elders and members of the upper chamber of the party. It looks like some kind of devil has entered into the midst of our party,” he said.

“We have the capacity to resolve our crisis; we have enough experienced leaders, committed followers, who will sit and be able to resolve this crisis once and for all.

“Unfortunately we have a month and a week before we commence the campaign, my appeal now is that Governor Wike should cool down, presidential candidate Atiku should also cool down because none of their ambition should be bigger and higher than the ambition of our party. We are appealing to both of them.

“Because there is no organisation anywhere in the world that would not have crisis but the capacity and the ability to handle the resolution of such crisis would be a measure of how developed, reliable or respectable that organisation is.”

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Obasanjo, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Gov. Abiodun, Others Receive Tinubu Amid Swarming Supporters [PHOTOS/VIDEO]



All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, again, stormed Abeokuta, Ogun State capital this time to meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in respect of his 2023 presidential ambition.
Tinubu arrived at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) around 1.14 pm and proceeded to the elder statesman’s penthouse to hold a closed-door meeting with him.
He was accompanied by Senator Andy Uba, former EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu among others while governor Dapo Abiodun, former governor  Segun Osoba, his successor; Otunba Gbenga Daniel, ex-deputy governor Gbenga Kaka, Senator Gbenga Obadara, chief Femi Majekodunmi among others arrived the OOPL to join Obasanjo to receive Tinubu and his entourage.
A crowd of enthusiastic supporters who had arrived OOPL hours earlier submerged him as they chanted his praises and success concerning the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

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Dogara, 125 APC Aspirants Seek Nomination Fee Refund



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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