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APC Crisis: Lukman Drags Adamu To Court Over Alleged Breach Of Party Constitution 



Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman

• Buhari, APC governors meet at Aso Rock
• Tinubu parleys APC governors over NASS leadership tussle
• Buhari: Why opposition lost presidential poll

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, deepened, as an embittered member of the ruling party’s National Working Committee (NWC), Dr. Salihu Lukman, dragged the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to court over alleged breach of the party’s Constitution.

Salihu, in a suit filed at an Abuja High Court, informed top echelons of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, President-elect Bola Tinubu and the Governor Atiku Bagudu-led Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) that he was left with no option but to approach the court when it became obvious that Adamu was bent on perpetuating the alleged illegality upon the expiration of the seven days ultimatum, which expired on Wednesday.

Lukman, a vitriolic critic of Adamu’s style of leadership, justified the action, thus, in the letter addressed to President Buhari: “I have proceeded to institute a legal action, seeking to compel Adamu and lyiola Omisore, being respectively APC National Chairman and National Secretary to compel them to comply with the requirements of running the affairs of the party as enshrined in the provisions of the APC Constitution.

“As things are, I am painfully left with no option. It is quite disheartening that under the leadership of Adamu, we are failing to abide by the provisions of our party’s Constitution and the party is being managed based on discretionary decisions of Adamu and Omisore.

“Given the high confidence you had in Adamu, which made you to nominate him to emerge as the National Chairman of our party, the least one would expect is that he will conduct himself strictly based on requirements as provided in the APC Constitution.

“It is my strong view that APC is the most important political legacy you gave to Nigerians. It was your leadership, and partnership with Tinubu and other party leaders that produced the success story of the merger negotiations of 2012/2013 and the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

“Having participated in the advocacy for the merger that produced the APC and being a founding member of the party privileged to be a member of the current NWC, I find it very compelling to take this legal action to enforce accountability within the party.

“It is my hope that this court action will be concluded before May 29, and a NEC meeting of the party will hold before the end of your tenure in office as President.”

IN a related development, APC governors yesterday, held a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where President Buhari said a combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made the opposition political parties to lost the February 25 presidential election.

The President said while the ruling APC was working hard to retain power in the recent elections, the combined opposition was a victim of overconfidence.

Speaking at his residence in the State House where he received the Progressive Governors Forum, Buhari said: “They were already telling their foreign backers that they would defeat the APC.

“Our party blended confidence with caution, we worked hard and won. Now, their overconfidence is creating more problems for the opposition than anyone else. They are finding it hard to convince those who supported them from outside why they are unable to beat us.

“A combination of overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves made them lose, plain and clear. This has created more problems in their camp. Why did they fail to remove us?”

Speaking in response to an issue raised by Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, the leader of the forum, President Buhari said “an important reason I congratulate Asiwaju on winning is because the opposition got support and false hope from outside and went on to create the impression that they will win, that they will defeat us. How more wrong could anyone be?”

He charged the Progressive Governors to stick together and openly address issues among themselves. “Try and keep solving problems. Be courageous to discuss them openly between yourselves. This is the best way to survive politically in Nigeria.”

He further urged them to “have a programme to meet regularly and to discuss issues and how to maintain the Party nationwide.” President Buhari spoke at length about his retirement proposal, saying that he intended to be at home in Daura, Katsina State, for six months before moving eventually to Kaduna State.

He thanked Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna for the infrastructure he has provided that would make life for his retirement and that of the people of the state much better, adding that the governor of Kano State had equally done the same.

The Chairman, Atiku Bagudu said the visit was ostensibly to say “Happy Sallah” to the President and to thank him for the leadership he had given to the party and the nation.

This being their first visit since the elections, they congratulated the President on the party’s victory in the presidential polls. He said: “Congratulations, your party won the Presidency, a majority in the Senate and for being the leading party in the House of Representatives. These successes would not have happened without your support.

“History will remember you kindly. Around the world, the election is being celebrated because of the turbulence in the region and in the developing world, all courtesy of your leadership.

“We won by sheer hard work, the same thing you have always encouraged us to do.  We thank you immensely for everything,” he added. Earlier, the President-elect, Tinubu had met with the APC governors in a move aimed at settling the thorny issues revolving around zoning arrangement for the selection of principal officers of the 10th National Assembly.

Though details of what transpired at the parley also remained sketchy, it is believed that the fear of rebellion by aspirants jostling for the exalted seats of the Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker informed the urgent need by the President-elect to meet with the governors.

Tinubu urged the governors to work with the party leadership and lawmakers on the election of principal officers of the National Assembly. He said: “The challenge before us is working in unison with the party leadership and the National Assembly over the election of their principal officers. And I charge you to unite in spirit and faith and work in line with the party.”

He further told the governors and former governorship candidates of the party that “whether you return or not, this is our government. Once we know what we are doing and communicating as elected leaders and loyal party men, we will conquer the challenge. ”

Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, who is also the governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to Tinubu’s residence.
Among those in attendance were Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima and Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Hope Uzodinnma (Imo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Babajide Sanwo-olu (Lagos), Ben Ayade (CrossRivers), Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti).

There were also the deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe and APC governorship candidate in Kano State, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna. It was, yesterday, gathered that Tinubu has rejected a push by some forces in APC to micro-zone the Senate presidency to South-South geopolitical zone of the country. On the contrary, Tinubu insisted that the office must be openly zoned to the entire southern region with no particular preference to any zone.

The development, it was learnt formed the details of what transpired at the Wednesday meeting with the President-elect, the APC leadership and some National Assembly members.

It was learnt that Tinubu rejected proposals made by some members of the APC leadership and three Southwest senators for the Senate Presidency to be micro-zoned to the South-South.

A reliable source told who pleaded anonymity said the President-elect reasoned that since the members of the party supported the zoning of the presidency slot that produced him to South, it will not be logical for the same people to now adopt a micro-zoning system.

The source said that Tinubu insisted that zoning the senate presidency to the South will give all the qualified aspirants from Southeast and South-South opportunity go into a fair contest for senators to make their choice, the same way APC delegates made their choice of a presidential candidate out of the lot.

It was also learnt that Tinubu cautioned the leadership against throwing the party into a crisis, directing an amendment to the NWC’s recommendations.
Meanwhile, ahead of the May 29 handing-over, APC has appealed to Nigerians to support a peaceful transition of power from President Buhari to Tinubu. National Chairman of the party, Adamu, gave the charge yesterday when he received a pro-democracy group, The Natives, led by its Supreme Leader, Olalekan Smart Edwards, at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
The APC chairman also explained why Tinubu had to travel shortly after the general elections, saying the President-elect is in good health but needed to rest due to the rigours of the campaigns.

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Buhari Prefers Animals To Nigerians, Says ‘My Cows, Sheep Much Easier To Control’ Than Compatriots




Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has slammed Nigerians, stating he prefers to be with animals on his farm because they are “much easier to control” than his compatriots.

“I am looking forward to tomorrow (Monday) to fly to my base and go back to my cows and sheep, which are much easier to control than fellow Nigerians,” said Mr Buhari.

Mr Buhari spoke at a gala and dinner held on Sunday in Abuja.

He also claimed that the 2023 elections gave power back to the Nigerian electorate.

While praising the outcome of the elections, Mr Buhari congratulated Nigerians for realising they have power in their votes and that their votes count.

Presidents of South Africa, Sierra Leone and Ghana attended the event. 

He added, “Your Excellencies, heads of state and government, and their representatives, I thank you very much, and I say goodbye to you and wish us the best of luck.”

Mr Buhari, in March, told U.S. ambassador Mary Beth Leonard that he was eager to return to his animals in Daura.

Mr Buhari also told the American diplomat that he could not wait to stop being Nigerian president and get back to his farm where his animals awaited him.

“I plan to be a big landlord back at home, working on my farms and tending to more than 300 animals. I am eager to go,” Mr Buhari told Ms Leonard.

In January 2022, the former military dictator complained about ruling Nigeria.

Peoples Gazette

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Nigerian Air: Airlines Berate Sirika, Groups Demand EFCC Probe




Domestic Airlines under the aegis of the Air Operators of Nigeria have berated the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for allegedly putting pressure on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to issue an Air Operators Certificate to Nigeria Air without following due process.

The carriers also accused the former minister of unilaterally plotting to establish Nigeria Air without involving the panel meant to work on the project.

The local carriers made this known in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, on Sunday.

The statement said, “As indigenous operators, we are happy and grateful to the NCAA for saving us from this punishment by resisting the pressure from Minister Hadi Sirika to grant an AOC to Nigeria Air without going through the due process.”

The association further said the project had been allegedly shrouded in secrecy since the Ministerial Committee on the Establishment of a National Carrier recommended that the national carrier be private sector-driven with minimal government involvement.

It added, “On further investigation, we discovered some mind burgling dangerous agenda to kill the entire indigenous operators and handover monopoly to Ethiopian Airlines in a dubious and fraudulent way against the economic interest of Nigeria, hence our court action supported by strong material evidence. For us, it is a patriotic action to save the Nigerian Government, people and economy from exploitation and to also protect the Nigerian aviation sector and our investments.”

Meanwhile, a Nigeria-based anti-corruption group, SecureWorld and Liberty Initiative for Peace has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest and probe Sirika for allegedly using the establishment of the national carrier economic malfeasance.

The petition, which was addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, was signed by the Executive Director of SELIP, Mark Adebayo.

The letter read in part, “We are compelled to bring to your attention that the aircraft purportedly unveiled on Friday, May 26, 2023, by Minister Hadi Sirika, as the first flight of the national carrier, Nigeria Air, is still in active service of Ethiopia Airlines.

“We can confirm that the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800  with the registration number  ET-APL,  has since left the country this weekend for Turkey according to a check on the flight radar; it only transited Nigeria for the farce of a show put up by the minister.

“The flight landing in the country with Ethiopia Airlines’ registration number means Nigeria Air has no  Air Operator Certificate. No aircraft can be registered in Nigeria without the carrier having an AOC which means that the aircraft does not belong to Nigeria Air either as leased or owned equipment. So, Sirika should not be allowed to fool Nigerians,” the group said in the petition.”

The group urged the anti-graft agency to make Sirika account for the sum of N15.9bn that has been committed so far to the project by the Federal Government, alleging that the desperation by the minister was geared towards covering up the misappropriation of funds and monumental fraud.

Meanwhile, finding showed that the aircraft that was purportedly unveiled on Friday in Abuja flew back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday evening.

As of Saturday evening, the flight tracker showed the aircraft was en-route Addis Ababa, approaching from the Central African Republic.

However, on Sunday morning, the flight tracker showed the plane had landed in Ethiopia.

Efforts to reach the Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Capt Dapo Olumide, and the Head Press, Public Relations Ministry of Aviation, Oluseyi Odutayo, proved abortive.

Responses to messages sent to their telephone lines were still being expected as of press time on Sunday.


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Tinubu’s Inauguration: You Can’t Stop Aggrieved Voters From Protesting — Udenta Tells DSS



PROFESSOR Udenta Udenta has flayed unfavorable disposition of security agencies to protests by aggrieved Nigerians during presidential inauguration on May 29 , warning that any negative response to protest during inauguration by security agencies would an infringement on the fundamental human rights of citizens.

Undenta,a pioneer National Secretary of the defunct Alliance for Democracy,AD, particularly picked holes on some comments attributed to heads of security agencies ahead of the inauguration.

The renowned scholar spoke on Thursday, on the sideline of a public presentation of a book,
titled:“ Media and Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy: Threats, Constraints and Resilience”, organized by the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, in Abuja.

The book co-authored by Paul Obi, Taye Obateru and Sami Amadi was reviewed by a communication consultant and Deputy Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Baze University, Abuja, Prof. Abiodun Adeniyi and launched by Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.

According to Udenta,the remarks being made by security chiefs over the inauguration ceremony were attempt to shut down democratic conversation.

Recall that the federal government had said security will be reinforced at Eagle Square, the designated venue for the May 29 presidential inauguration, as well as in its surrounding areas.

Udenta said: “In two or three days times, there will be inauguration. The Inspector General of Police is already speaking, the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) is speaking, the military are also speaking. However, my sense of it is that they are shutting down democratic conversation and we should not allow that. While you’re going to swear people in, you should equally allow those that want to protest do that peacefully, legitimately constitutionally.

“If you have your security perimeter, within which you don’t expect anybody except invited guests and those with clearance, outside the perimeter, thousands, if possible millions of Nigerians are permitted to gather with their placards and protest. That is part of democracy. The media is a fundamental cadre for protecting democratic infrastructure and governance. The moment you tear it down, democracy vanishes, and authoritarianism becomes the order of the day.

“The behavior of National Broadcasting Commission, and even behaviour of the president-elect media team is abhorrent at this stage, that’s why I want to repeat, as people will be sworn in on May 29, millions of Nigerians have rights to protests wherever they are as long as they don’t have arms and are doing it peacefully, as the law provides.”

The don, therefore, suggested that “the media should cover any protest robustly with intensity, like the way they will cover the swearing-in. So whoever want to protest or have counter-protest can do that within their rights.

“I feel hurt when I hear people who handles the security talk with so much anger as if people are going to topple the democratic system which is not going to happen. The right to protest is provided for in law,”he added.

Speaking, IGP Usman Baba Alkali, who cautioned journalists against circulating fake news and hate speeches, declared the police readiness for the inauguration ceremony.

The IGP, represented by the Force Public relations officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, also emphasized the need for journalists to fact check their stories before publishing, while adhering to journalism ethics in their reportage.

“We should be mindful of the excessiveness of our reportage and engage in constructive criticism”, he stated.

Also speaking at the event,the Bauchi State Governor,Bala Mohammed,lauded the role played by the Nigerian Media in building democratic culture, institutions and practices in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility.

Speaking through his Special Adviser, on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, Mohammed thanked the organizers, authors and editors of the book for a well researched scholarly endeavor which he said has a direct and practical bearing on media development and democracy .

He, however, lamented that the current debate in Nigeria regarding the place of the media in Nigeria’s democratic transformation and consolidation relate to the role of the media in empowering civic spaces and strengthening democratic governance and the challenges the media face in engaging in such undertakings .

Co-author of the book, Paul Obi, stressed the need for the press to be allowed to operate with the constitutional provisions.

He said:”What we need to do is to ensure that those right are not breach or limited and it should work within our constitutional framework and any aspect that prevent media from performing constitutional rights,we should raised alarm,”

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