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Direct Primary: Governors Angry Over Uncertainty To Produce Successors

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Direct Primary: Governors Angry Over Uncertainty To Produce Successors
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Direct Primary: Governors Angry Over Uncertainty To Produce Successors

There are strong indications that many governors are angry that the direct mode of primaries passed by the National Assembly may deny them the opportunity of producing their successors or winning senatorial tickets after their tenure, Saturday PUNCH learnt on Friday.

These, it was gathered, were some of the reasons why they opposed the adoption of a direct mode of primaries in the amended electoral act.

One of the governors of the All Progressives Congress, who was at the tripartite meeting held at the State House with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and members of the National Assembly on Tuesday, said he and the majority of his colleagues were against the adoption of the direct primary.

Those who attended the meeting, chaired by the vice president, included the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, and the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

Both Lawan and Gbajabiamila were said to have come to the meeting with lawmakers who supported the direct primary idea.

Direct Primary: Governors Angry Over Uncertainty To Produce Successors

The governors, it was gathered, felt that the members of the National Assembly decided to opt for the direct primaries as a way of getting back at them (governors) over the outcome of the just concluded ward, local government and state primaries in their states.

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“Some of these lawmakers don’t come home like they do when they were looking for the ticket, but as soon as they heard that congresses were on the way, they remembered they came from a constituency. Unfortunately, there are people at home already eyeing their seats,” the governor said.

The governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, insisted that the passed bill was aimed at the state executives.

He added, “What the primary is aimed at getting is to deny us the privilege of choosing those who will take over from us or those that would win the party’s governorship ticket. They think without controlled delegates, we would not be able to determine our successors. They also felt we might not even be able to win senatorial tickets.

“The fact is that some of the two-time governors are eyeing the Senate while there are those who want to run for the Presidency. The lawmakers knew and that’s why they tried to move against us.”

Explaining the outcome of the tripartite meeting, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, described its outcome as a “victory for the party’s internal democracy.”

He said though tension was high at the meeting, the Vice-President played the role of a great conciliator.

He said, “While the younger elements in the House of Representatives were vehement and uncompromising in the expression of their preference, the senators were calm but resolute. The VP laid out the reasons for calling the meeting and allowed the parties to ventilate.

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“It was a victory for the party, the governors and the legislators. We should commend the party leaders for reaching an agreement in a democratic manner.”

Explaining further on a post on his Facebook page, Ojudu said, “I think the outcome of today’s meeting is a victory for internal democracy in APC. You recall that in his sagely wisdom, President Muhammadu Buhari had set up a tripartite mechanism to interface whenever conflicts of this nature arose between the party, the body of governors and members of the National Assembly.

“Acting on the President’s mandate, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo called today’s (Tuesday) meeting to allow for all parties to ventilate their voices in a no-holds-barred manner. It was a family meeting. In the end, a common ground was reached, the direct primary was upheld and aspirants under our party can now go back to the people and seek endorsement rather than giving a few delegates the power to decide for all.”

N’Assembly prepares electoral bill for transmission to Buhari

Meanwhile, the National Assembly is cleaning up the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill ahead of its transmission to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for assent.

A senior official in the Senate told one of our correspondents on Friday that after the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted the report by their conference committees on the bill on Tuesday, the document is expected to go through the Department of Legal Services of the National Assembly for verification.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives would later sign off the bill for transmission to the President.

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Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, on Tuesday after the passage of the bill, addressed journalists where he said the bill would be transmitted within seven days.

He stated, “The question is ‘where is the legislation heading next?’ It will go to the Clerk to the National Assembly from where it will go to the President. The matter, in the eyes of the parliament, has been decided, which means that the parliament has done all that the law requires it to do with regard to lawmaking.

“We have asked the bureaucrats (National Assembly management) to pass the ball fully to the executive.

“I am sure that within seven days or thereabouts, the legislation will be transmitted to the President, who is interested in ensuring that democracy in our country is strengthened. This he has shown in the recent elections in the country where he wanted the people to speak and let the voice of the people be the voice of democracy.”

Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the source informed our correspondent that the bill had yet to be transmitted as of Friday evening. The official also said the seven-day period speculated by the House’ spokesman was not realistic.

The source said, “It has not been transmitted. It won’t happen so fast. The bill will still go to the Legal Department for clean-up. After that, the presiding officers will sign it and the Clerk will transmit it to the Presidency. The process should take another one week.”

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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC

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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC
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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC

ABUJA- Pioneer national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Rufai Hanga has dumped the ruling party, saying the APC right now is ‘technically non- existent’.

Our correspondent gathered that many prominent leaders in the party made entreaties to Hanga not to leave the party but he disclosed that there is no going back on his decision as the APC will soon collapse.

Hanga, who disclosed in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Abuja that he has resigned his membership of the APC however said he has not joined any other political party for now.

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He said even though he was one of those who laboured to build the APC, he cannot wait and watch the party collapse on his head.

” Yes, I decided to walk away from the APC even though I have not yet openly declared for any other party. But I have left the party and I’m watching them do their thing”.

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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member
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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

A member of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers, Mr Karibi Bobmanuel, says Nigerian youths are more interested in following leaders than taking up leadership.

Bobmanuel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Friday that the complacency of youths to happenings in the country was of serious concern.

“We have a situation where, youths or young leaders pretend or behave as if all is well and foolishly follow political leaders without a rethink.

“We act like a bought over, subdued and hopeless generation of youths that are always remotely controlled, like robots on what to do,’’ he lamented.

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According to Bobmanuel, the 2023 general elections will hold in less than two years, but the youths are not organised or coordinated to face the older generation currently holding power.

Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

“Pre-election activities for 2023 will begin in 2022, but as youths, we have yet to be organised because we have no focus.

“Until we organise ourselves, come together and speak with one voice, no matter the political divide, the older generation will continue to rule us,’’ he said.

The APC chieftain called on Nigerian youths to mobilise for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration to be able to control their units.

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“We must not act unconcerned going forward; let’s mobilise the non-partisan Nigerians to register for their voter’s card ahead of 2023.

“If we organise ourselves in our various political parties, we will be able to mobilise and stop the older generation from continuing in office,’’ Bobmanuel said.

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability - Abia Chieftain
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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain from Abia State, Dr. Isaac Nkoke, has warned the party leadership against re-admitting a former Governor of the state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, into the party.

This was coming against the recent visit to the former Abia State Governor by the national leaders of the main opposition PDP in Nigeria led the National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, at his Abuja residence on Thursday.

Kalu had posted in his official Facebook account said, “Received and held a luncheon with leaders of the opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Secretary of the party, Senator Samuel Anyanwu at my residence this afternoon”.

Kalu was elected Abia Governor in 1999 on the platform of the PDP but left the party to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, at the peak of his political war with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006.

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He later dumped PPA but his attempt to return to the PDP in 2014 was vigorously resisted by his erstwhile political ally and successor, Senator Theodore Orji.

He later defected to APC before the 2015 election when he contested for the Abia North Senatorial seat but lost to Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP.

Kalu however re-contested in 2019 when he eventually was declared winner of the contest amid controversy.

But the Abia PDP chieftain, Isaac Nkole, in a statement issued to journalists in Umuahia, on Saturday, while warning the party leadership, claimed that Senator Orji Kalu is in a desperate move to return to the PDP has discovered that his days in the All Progressive Congress (APC) are numbered.

He stated that the Senate Chief Whip has been reaching out to key stakeholders in PDP both at the state and national levels, in a bid to return to the former ruling party.

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

The stalwart described the Abia senator as a political liability, arguing that the latter’s return to the PDP is not in the best interest of the party.

He reiterated that the leadership of the PDP, both in Abia and the national level, to be careful not to allow Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to return to our great party because his return will destroy PDP.

Nkole further stated, “I’m raising this alarm because we heard that he is making contacts with the party bigwigs begging for the door to be opened for him to come back.

“He knows he is already at the end of the road in APC as the party’s structure is off his grip. His political fate is not the one recognized by Abuja. Knowing the implications for him and others in 2023, that’s why he’s making desperate efforts to return to PDP but we don’t need people like him to infest our party. The Senate Chief Whip is not the only APC chieftain from the southeast itching to return to the PDP”.

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Continuing, Nkole, revealed that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who this year joined the All Progressive Congress, was also allegedly making moves to return to the PDP.

The Abia chieftain further said, “We heard that Governor David Umahi also wants to return to the PDP. They have all discovered by joining APC in the first place. That’s why they all want to return but PDP is tired of political liabilities and desperados without ideology.”

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