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North-Central, South West Ex-Govs May Replace Adamu, Omisore




The new leadership of the All Progressives Congress has written to intimate President Bola Tinubu on the postponement of the long awaited National Caucus and National Executive Committee meetings, The PUNCH learnt.

The development is coming barely 24 hours after the Acting National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, announced the resignation of his successor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore.

This was even as multiple sources confirmed that the National Working Committee might be looking towards October to convene a National Convention to complete the transition of filling up the vacant offices.

Aside from the offices of the National Chairman and secretary, other positions that are presently vacant includes Deputy National Publicity Secretary, formerly occupied by Murtala Ajaka, who is running for the office of Kogi governor on the platform of Social Democratic Party and National Welfare Officer, which was previously occupied by the late Friday Nwosu.

Speaking exclusively with The PUNCH, National Vice Chairman for South East, Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu noted though the ruling party would eventually hold the convention, he however stressed that caucus and NEC meetings were of priority.

He said, “We are still preparing for our NEC and National Caucus meeting. It is after we have those two meetings that we will know the direction of the party. Nobody is talking about Convention. It is the caucus and NEC meetings that we are focus on for now.”

Asked to confirm if the new leadership of the party is planning to have a private meeting with the president, the NWC member nodded.

“Yes. In fact, we have sent a letter to the president to intimate him about our decision to postpone both the caucus and NEC meetings. So we are in the planning stage because of the new leadership,” he said.

On whether the exit of Kyari and few notable persons being considered for ministerial positions will create an additional vacuum before an emergency Convention takes place, Arodiogbu disagreed.

“No. The people being considered for ministerial appointments already know themselves and they are keen on retaining the party’s position like myself. Whatever backing we take, it is something we will, as a party, decides on the best way to fill them before the NEC.

“The date for the NEC has not been decided yet. My own thinking is maybe towards the end of the year. You know the planning of congress is not something that will happen within the one month. I don’t think so. We are more concerned with the NEC happening within the next two weeks. But then, the government must settle down first by announcing and inaugurating the cabinet,” he noted.

Continuing, the national vice chairman for South-East admitted that though having a frozen account as a result of the change in leadership may slightly cause a delay in staff salaries and the day-to-day running of the party’s affairs, he expressed optimism they will find a way around it.

An informed source at the party secretariat also confirmed that some representatives of the APC leadership that may include the national chairman, secretary and an undisclosed person are preparing to visit the president.

He also disclosed that several names, which include former governors and heavyweights in the North-Central and Souty West are currently being considered to replace both Adamu and Omisore.

“Definitely, they (NWC) are due to meet with the president any moment for them to decide on the all important NEC and caucus meetings. It is a must they meet to agree on the new dates.

Speaking on possible replacement for the post of substantive national chairman, the source fingered former governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura; former governor of Niger State, Abu Lolo; former Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Ali Agara and former governor of Plateau State.

He, however, exempted strong conviction Lolo may not be given the opportunity because he lacked the governor doesn’t have the capacity to ‘proeprly manage people.’

“Where the real problem lies is in who replaces Omisore as substantive national secretary. There is the general notion that Isaac Kekemeke should be allowed to occupy the position. There is also that urgent need to pick somebody from Osun to strengthen the state and rally the APC supporters after the last disastrous election where we lost virtually all the elective seats. But the question is who? Aside from former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Osun currently has no heavyweights outside the camp of the rebellious Aregbesola’s faction.

“But I must say the focus of the NWC at the moment are NEC, reuniting party members and fine-tuning the audit report. That is the focus for now. I am sure after the NEC, fixing the National Convention shouldn’t go beyond October. The real challenge I think we have now is if Kyari, who is expected to be announced as a minister soon, will be made to stay the course till a substantive national chairman emerges or resign his position immediately.

“I understand the National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, is also coming back to the country from London today. I believe you are aware he travelled two weeks ago for his daughter’s graduation and seized the opportunity to stay off the radar. Quite a lot of people have been bombing us with calls on why he stayed back when the national headquarters of the party is on fire.

“But again, you can’t blame him that much. Haven’t you been wondering why Omisore has been the one signing press statements and making announcements in the last one month? That’s the level we have sunk as a party,” he stated.

Speaking exclusively with our correspondent, Gololo said, “Faleke can never become the APC National Chairman because he represents Lagos State in the National Assembly even though he is originally from Kogi State. It is not possible for us to have a President from Lagos State and a party chairman from the same Lagos. He is trying to be smart but it is not going to be possible.

“Faleke may push for this (National Chairmanship of the APC) but we are not going to accept it. He is a lawmaker from Lagos State, not a lawmaker from Kogi State. If he knows he is from Kogi State, let him go and register as a member of the party in his State’s constituency. I am solidly behind Al-Makura. He is a good material for the job who can hold the party firmly.”

On whom is likely to succeed Adamu, Gololo said the party would decide on the matter.

“It is a party decision, but I am a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress. I don’t know what the party will decide. The National Chairmanship of the APC will still be retained in the North Central. We may still retain it in Nasarawa because we are targeting the former Governor of that State, Tanko Al-Makura. We also have Sani Musa from Niger State in mind,” he said.

On the likely successor to Iyiola Omisore who was swept away alongside Adamu as National Secretary, the APC chieftain said in the interest of fairness, a new party scribe must be of South-East extraction.

“If we want to be fair to all sections of the country, the next National Secretary should come from the South-East. The President is from the South-West, the secretary of the party is not supposed to come from the South-West.

“We did our convention before the elections, but I think this is the opportunity to bring a sense of balance in the power equation of the party. The secretary should come from the South-East,” he added.

When The PUNCH paid a scheduled visit to the party secretariat on Wednesday, the heavy security presence and retinue of officials were no longer there.

Our correspondent also observed the spaces at the car park reserved exclusively for the SUVs of Adamu and Omisore have been occupied by vehicles of the acting national chairman and the secretary.

The mood and ambience also suggested that the staff at the national headquarters have also come to accept the change in leadership as each person went about their activities, albeit with extreme caution.

Efforts made to reach the APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, for reaction was unsuccessful

Meanwhile, as the party intensifies search for a new national chairman, a chieftain of the party, Garus Gololo, has ruled out the possibility of Abiodun Faleke succeeding the former Nasarawa State governor.

Gololo premised his stand on the fact that Faleke represents Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State and as such, does not qualify for consideration for the vacant office even though he is originally from Kogi State.

This is just as the retired army general told one of our correspondents that the party would retain the chairmanship in the North Central geo-political zone comprising Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Kwara, Benue and Kogi States.

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Kogi Labour Party Denies LG Chairmen Defection To APC



The Labour Party in Kogi State has debunked the rumours making the round that 21 local government chairmen of the party have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Lokoja, the Publicity Secretary,  Idakwo Emmanuel said that there was no iota of truth in the rumours adding that it was an act of desperation on the part of APC.

“The level of desperacy of the ruling party is despicable and regrettably lugubrious,” he said.

According to him, “The campaign of Labour Party in Kogi State was flagged off by Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate and national leader of the part. The national chairman Julius Abure and other NWC members in attendance were also in attendance.

“Obviously the silence of our party is loud and terrifying to the ruling party as unknown and unidentifiable individuals are now sponsored by them to deceive the masses claiming to be Labour Party local government chairmen.

“I hereby state without equivocation that the structure of the Labour Party is intact and solidly working hard to rescue our dear state, and our move as a party is organic with genuine supporters and members.”

He said that the media and audience following must reject all individuals who are not card-carrying members of the party.


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NNPP Blames Kwankwaso As Tribunal Sacks Kano Gov



The New Nigeria People’s Party has blamed a former presidential candidate of the party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of being responsible for the loss of Kano governor, Yusuf Abba at the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The party insisted that Kwankwaso allegedly sold out NNPP to the ruling All Progressives Congress in order to negotiate for a ministerial slot in the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

The Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on Wednesday, sacked Abba, and declared the APC candidate, Nasir Gawuna, winner of the March 18 governorship poll.

The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, further withdrew the Certificate of Return the Independent National Electoral Commission presented to Yusuf.

Stating reasons why the Kano governor was sacked, the panel said the margin of votes scored by NNPP was invalid and not in compliance with the 2022 electoral act.

The judges deducted 165,663 votes from the NNPP, adding that the ballot papers of the 165,663 were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Reacting, One of the Chieftain of NNPP in Southwest, Alhaji Abass Akande Onilewura, in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, said the loss of the party in Kano corroborated the anti-party allegation raised against Kwankwaso.

Onilewura stressed that the former NNPP flagbearer’s alleged involvement in anti-party activities led to the big loss the party is facing with the declaration of the Tribunal in Kano.

He insisted that Kwankwaso did not follow due process in the selection of some of the governorship candidates for the party, which reportedly led to the filing of unpopular or unacceptable flagbearers.

He added, “This loss is a big one for us at NNPP and it only happened because of the selfishness of Kwankwaso who sold the party to the highest bidder.

“While we are still waiting for the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment, it is important for the world to know that this would not have happened if Kwankwaso had allowed due process and given the ticket to the most qualified candidate but his inlaw.

“Our investigation also showed that the continuous engagement of Kwankwaso with APC at some point gave room for them to discover loopholes which were later used against the Kano governor to secure victory for the opposition.

“It is unfortunate that some of us sweat to get the party to where it is today, only for someone like Kwankwaso to come and make all our efforts a waste. We are happy that someone like that has been expelled from this great party.

“We also want to use the avenue to warn him to stay clear of NNPP, we don’t want a betrayal in our party and we would do anything humanly possible to secure our party from hijackers who are more concerned about personal gain.

“I will also urge our members across the country to remain calm because a new leadership has taken over the party and we would do everything to restore the glory of our party. NNPP will come out to become a strong voice and opposition that would stand for justice, equity, and good governance.”


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Obaseki/Shaibu: Deputy Govs Are Spare Tyres – Lawyer



Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Onueze Okocha (SAN), has said that the deputy governors have no specific constitutional functions, describing them as “spare tyres.” 

Okocha made this known while reacting to the lingering feud between the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria in an interview on Channels TV said the deputy governors could only exercise the functions assigned to them by the governor.

He said until circumstances like impeachment, the death, or incapacitation of a governor arise, a deputy governor remains in a passive position, not totally different from that of a spare tyre.

He said, “Deputy governors are like spare tyres, they stay in the boot, nobody uses spare tyres if the four types are working.

“The truth of the matter and this is legal position is that a deputy governor has no specifically assigned functions under the constitution.

“It is only the governor of a state that can assign responsibilities to his deputy or to any of the commissioners in the state executive council.

“So a deputy governor does not really have any responsibility until the governor assigns a responsibility to him. So clearly no deputy governor can claim to have executive authority over any matter in the state until it has been assigned to him by the governor.

“A governor usually has prerogative to pick who should be his running mate and it is expected that the running mate, if they eventually win, will exhibit total loyalty and support to his governor.

“The constitution says clearly that you can exercise only those functions and perform those duties that have been assigned to you by the governor. So this is the point I need to be make to all those who are deputy governors, who are vice presidents. 

“Until the president assigns the function to you, until the governor assigns the function to you, you just stay there and wait until a circumstance may arise.

“If there is something like impeachment, death or incapacitate of a governor, the deputy governor will automatically assume the office but until those situations occur, a deputy governor is just a spare tyre.”


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