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Labour Party Crisis: Apapa Faction Accepts Abure As National Chairman, Says Fight Now Against Peter Obi, NLC

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Weary of the leadership struggle between the Julius Abure-led Labour Party (LP) and his camp, the Deputy National Chairman, South, of the LP, Lamidi Apapa has collapsed his faction and accepted Abure as the party’s national chairman.

With this development, the leadership tussle between the two camps may have also been laid to rest.

However, the Apapa’s faction has stated that both factions reconciled to fight the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 general election, Mr. Peter Obi and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

The crisis between Abure and Apapa almost polarised the party to the extent that both filed separate appeals during the presidential election petition.

In what was described as an anti-party activity to destabilise the party for the benefit of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Apapa had filed a petition to discontinue Obi’s presidential petition against President Bola Tinubu.

The NLC had backed Abure during the war of attrition between him and Apapa.

With the new peace deal between Abure and Apapa, the two camps would team up against the plans by the NLC to take over the party.

Abure, who had enjoyed NLC’s support, fell out of favour with the union following a contentious national convention held in Anambra State that returned him and all his loyal members of the National Working Committee (NWC) to office three months ago.

This compelled the NLC Political Commission to void the new leadership and set up a transition committee, saddled with the task of engaging stakeholders of the party and conducting a fresh convention in 90 days.

NLC also embarked on a series of picketing at LP secretariats nationwide, insisting on an all-inclusive convention but Abure had his way.

A source at the LP national secretariat, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, explained that Abure felt the urgent need to close rank with the Apapa’s faction following the open revolt and pressure from the NLC and his perceived differences with Obi.

According to the source, “it is the only logical way for him to have a united front against the threat of the NLC in particular. I believe you already know Abure has a long history with Apapa and Abayomi Arabambi before now,” the source explained.

When contacted, the factional spokesman of Apapa’s camp, Abayomi Arabambi, confirmed the development.

Arabambi told THISDAY that they had no problem with Abure from the outset because they knew he was being misled by NLC leadership.

“Yes, it is true. The reconciliation was done to fight a common enemy.”

When asked who the common enemy was, he said: “Peter Obi and the NLC, particularly the NLC President, Joe Ajaero.”

When reminded that the Abure-led party had reserved the 2027 presidential ticket for Obi, the spokesman of the Apapa faction said “That is a complete fallacy.”

He said: “We are together to stop all those political hawks from taking over our party. We thought they (NLC) were fighting for a just cause. But it is very obvious they only want to take over our party and we are not going to accept that.

He added: “I also want you to know that there is nothing like the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign here anymore. It has been dissolved. Everybody has reverted to former governorship and presidential candidates. We don’t want disinformation from the Labour Party.”

The National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, also confirmed the reunion to THISDAY, saying it was not out of place for Abure to extend olive branches to aggrieved members of the party.

According to him, both leaders reconciled to move the party ahead.

He said: “They have reconciled and Apapa has reverted to his earlier position as the Deputy National Chairman, South. Apapa pledged solidarity with the Abure-led National Working Committee.

“The Labour Party is one united party now except some little pockets of opposition led by Kenneth Okonkwo. We are sure that sooner than expected, he will join the mainstream party led by Abure,” Ifoh added.

Ifoh stressed that it was because of the reconciliation that Apapa had been speaking in favour of one united political party led by Abure.

He also disclosed that there were ongoing talks with the Ajaero-led NLC to put the Labour Party in good position for the politics of 2027 and the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo scheduled later this year.

BIG STORY

MOHBAD: Late Singer’s Family Conducts Fresh Autopsy

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The family of late singer Mohbad (born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba) has ordered a second toxicology test to uncover the truth behind his mysterious death on September 12.

Following his burial the next day, Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21 for an autopsy, which was conducted on the same day.

However, in May, it was revealed that the pathologist conducting the autopsy informed the coroner that Mohbad’s body had decomposed by the time the test was performed, potentially compromising the results.

The new toxicology test aims to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pathologist also said the cause of the singer’s death could not be ascertained.

Mohbad’s autopsy result from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) showed that “no significant gross finding” could be attributed to the singer’s death.

The toxicology “revealed the positive finding of Diphenhydramine, an anti-histamine; however, this concentration was not in a fatal or lethal range”.

Last month, the Aloba family rejected the autopsy result while also demanding an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

In a statement on Tuesday, Monisola Odumosu, a member of Aloba’s legal team, said a two-part autopsy is being conducted on Mohbad.

She disclosed that the first phase had been carried out last week while the second part involved “a toxicology and histology test”.

The lawyer added that the procedure was witnessed by Joseph Aloba, Mohbad’s father, and a pathologist representing Wunmi, the late singer’s wife.

“The second autopsy as requested by the Aloba family and ordered by the Magistrate of the Coroner Court, Ms. T.A. Shotobi, was conducted on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 2024. This autopsy is a two-part exercise, with the first part now completed,” the statement reads in part.

“If the cause of death cannot be determined from this initial examination, the second part will proceed, involving a toxicology and histology test on the necessary samples already obtained.

“This comprehensive procedure, conducted last Friday, was witnessed only by Mr. Joseph Aloba, the forensic pathologist appointed by Mr. Joseph Aloba and his team, legal representatives of both Mr. Joseph Aloba and  a pathologist appointed by Wunmi Aloba to observe the procedure.”

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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BIG STORY

President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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