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Lai Mohammed Useless To APC In Kwara – Abubakar, APC Chair

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Lai Mohammed Useless To APC In Kwara - Abubakar, APC Chair
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Lai Mohammed Useless To APC In Kwara – Abubakar, APC Chair

INTERVIEW
By TAIWO AMODU On Jul 18, 2021

Abdullahi Samari Abubakar is the caretaker committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State. In this interview with newsmen in Abuja, Abubakar points fingers of scorn at Lai Mohammed for instigating crisis in the North-Central state. TAIWO AMODU brings excerpts:

What was your reaction to the allegation made by Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed that he sponsored your governor’s election?

My reaction is that I was not happy because I see the two of them as members of the same family as APC members. Whatever may have been the situation, it ought not to have gone to the public. Let me say one thing, I think the governor was pushed too much. If not, he would not have said anything. That much I know.

I wouldn’t know whether he sponsored the governor’s election. But what I want to say is that it may not be true. The governor, to the best of my knowledge, did a lot for himself. And he even opened up that the party which he is a member refused to follow him to most campaign places during the election in Kwara. And probably this was the directive given by the Minister himself. So, if he is now claiming that he sponsored the governor’s electioneering  campaign, and yet you didn’t follow this man to at least 80 to 90 per cent of the places he campaigned,  then I think it will be wrong for such a person to claim that he sponsored our governor’s campaign.

Do you think against the backdrop of allegation from the minister, he deserves to be sanctioned?

Like I said earlier on, I still see the minister as a member of our party. Because he has not formally told us that he is moving out of the party, which I doubt if he will go. He is a minister where the APC, as the ruling party, is running the administration. So, I would not think he will want to move out. But from those utterances he made, the party, APC as structure, has guidelines over issues. If we feel that what he said publicly amounts to disrespect or causing acrimony within the party, honestly, we are going to make sure the rules of the party are applied against him and any other person.

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Are you suggesting that he may be suspended from the party?

Well, there are guidelines like I told you. If the offence is commensurate to suspending him or any other, definitely the rule of the party is going to apply because nobody is too big to be sanctioned. We want to have sanity in the party.

How soon are we expecting this?

I tell you, very soon.

Will the sanction take place at the national level or from Kwara chapter?

Well, there are steps according to the party. It has to start from the particular ward of that fellow, then comes down to the local government then to the state. So, whatever decision is taken at the ward to local government then to state, it will then be forwarded to the national level for ratification.

What is the update with the party’s registration, can you say the party is still one family like it was in 2019?

Hopefully, that is what we are trying to do. We are reaching out to most stakeholders in our state.  We are talking to them. And we are hopeful that at the end of the day, we will go back as a family and probably produce result that will be better than 2019. You have to also remember that there are other people in the party. What is happening has nothing to do with the promotion of the party, rather it is the individual interest that you see people portraying publicly. And where individual’s interest supersedes the collective interest of the state, obviously you will find this pocket of complaints and that is what is happening. Those who probably want to be governor, those who want certain positions and they think that it may not be easy for them to defeat the incumbent governor when they go into primary, they will have to get reasons they want to advance so that they can buy favour from the public. Now, what is happening is nothing more than that.

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But don’t you think the agitation by the Lai Mohammed faction has paid off, ultimately, since the national secretariat has listened to them by extending the party registration exercise in Kwara?

That may not be true. There are certain facts that some of you don’t know. When the appeal committee came to Kwara, we met with them. There was this allegation that some people were not allowed to register. But mind you, that was wrong. If you come in then, the rooms were open. It was just that some people were discouraging others not to come out and register, for whatever reason we may not know. Let me tell you categorically that Alhaji Lai Muhammed as a minister registered. Quote me anywhere. I can show the date he registered.

Lai Mohammed Useless To APC In Kwara – Abubakar, APC Chair

Did he do it in secret because we didn’t see it in the media?

He registered at his ward at Oro Kwara state. You can confirm that from me. The extension of registration is not a new thing. It is not that Alhaji Lai group or camp has won anything. Remember that I also authorised a document that APC national secretariat should extend the registration in Kwara State for at least one week, because a lot of people came into the party. And, we just have to allow them as members of the party whereby they will have the equal right to take part in whatever is going on during the congresses. I authored a paper signed under the leadership of the governor who is the leader of the party in Kwara State, that is, Governor AbdulRahman urging the national secretariat to please extend the registration exercise for at least a week in Kwara. If they are now extending it to two weeks, it is not a glory to anyone who wants to so claim because we requested that and I think the national only acted in that recognition of our letter.

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Are you not also worried that so many members of APC have teamed up to form the third force ahead of 2023 elections in Kwara?

Naturally in a family, if one of your members is not cooperating you will be worried because you want to make peace. If it is true that number they claim move out of APC in Kwara, well one will be worried. But I want to assure you that is not true. You will also remember that those who claimed to have moved out had denied it. And what is third force? It is the hope of joining another party. What do they think they are going to meet there? But, I want to assure you that it may not last. We are talking to them and we are hoping that a lot of them will come back.

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says former president, Goodluck Jonathan, will not be handed an automatic ticket to contest in 2023 if he joins the party.

The former president has been rumoured once again this week to be close to joining the party that defeated him in the 2015 presidential election.

He has denied the rumours of his possible defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the APC has fueled speculations by throwing him an open invitation to join, with a promise to waive restrictions on his qualification to instantly run for office.

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The party’s spokesperson, John Akpanudoedehe, further clarified the party’s position in a statement on Friday, September 17, 2021 that the offer does not include an automatic ticket for Jonathan or other new members.

2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

“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.

Jonathan was elected vice president in 2007, and later became president in 2010 following the death of President Musa Yar’Adua.

He won the 2011 election for his first proper term in office, but failed in his bid for a second term in 2015, losing to President Muhammadu Buhari who went on to win his own second term in 2019.

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With the incumbent president set to leave in 2023, there have been constant rumours that Jonathan is being tapped to replace him.

The PDP has lost three serving governors and numerous lawmakers and officials to the APC since last November, handing the ruling party momentum ahead of what’s expected to be keenly-contested 2023 elections.

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Politics

God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

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God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

Fani-Kayode once vowed that over his dead body, until Jesus comes, he would never join the APC.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who once said he’d rather die than join the All Progressives Congress (APC), says God has led him back to the political party he once labelled Almajiri Peoples Congress.

“A lot has changed over the last six years and it is important that we make the right choices and the right decisions at the right time, precisely if we feel as if we are being led by God to make those choices,” Fani-Kayode said, moments after his unveiling as an APC signing by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

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Fani-Kayode once described the APC as a “filthy, rat-infested sinking ship” and a “bloodthirsty, blood-lusting, accursed political association of Boko Haramists and Fulani herdsmen, genocidal maniacs, ethnic cleansers and mass murderers.”

God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

He had also said: “The PDP is my party, I would never leave the party. Until Kingdom comes, until Jesus returns, I will never join the APC.”

In recent times, Fani-Kayode had also gone on air to heavily criticize Buhari and call the president unprintable names.

Buhari, Fani-Kayode had said, “locked people up, he crated people, he killed people, carried people from the streets of London, turned Nigeria into a pariah nation…a man that looted PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund)…Buhari is very corrupt, he is a man that committed so many atrocities. This man destroyed the lives of so many people.”

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On what he now thinks of President Buhari and the APC after his defection on Thursday, Fani-Kayode said: “I spoke against Buhari from the outside, now I know him from the inside. I am not saying he is an angel or a demon.

“The APC I was talking about that time is not same today. Let’s focus on unity, peace and togetherness.

“There is a time to condemn and criticize people. There is also a time to come together, work together to achieve unity.”

Responding to a question on his remark that he would rather die than join the APC, the lawyer said: “Joining APC now is the away forward, despite what people may think about it.

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“APC is a liberal party. A lot has happened in APC over the years. The party has changed and the president has accommodated the change. Had the APC leadership not changed I wouldn’t have joined them.

“I am doing the right thing based on conviction and understanding. This is the right decision for me, love me or hate me, it will not take anything away from me.”

Fani-Kayode, who was the spokesperson of the PDP presidential campaign council in 2015, was led into the president’s office by the Caretaker Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, as well as Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

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Biafra

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has expressed concern over the sit-at-home order given by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

It noted that the development was adversely affecting its preparations for the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6.

The Anambra State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nwachukwu Orji, said this during the commissions ‘s Monitoring and Support Centre EMBER Zone Implementer Workshop, held in Awka, on Thursday.

He said, “Our preparations are on course, even with all the challenges we are facing, such as the attack on our state office on May 23rd and the sit-at-home which are eating into our preparation time, but we are doing our best.

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“Ad hoc staff are already being recruited online and we are interacting with the stakeholders and we are happy with where we are now and we are confident that come November 6, we will have a successful election.”

He said the commission would recruit no fewer than 25,000 ad hoc workers for the poll.

He insisted that sensitive materials for the election would be brought in from Owerri, Imo State, because of the destruction of the Awka office of INEC

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

Stakeholders had expressed reservations over INEC’s plan to import electoral materials from Owerri for the simple reason that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress National Campaign Council for the election is Governor Hope Uzodinma.

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In response, the REC said, “You know that the Anambra State INEC office was attacked on May 23rd and that led to the destruction of our store. Since that incident, we had to fall back on the INEC zonal store.

“INEC has zonal offices and for the South East, the zonal office is in Owerri and that is where we have been trying to remobilise for the election.”

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