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Principal Officers: N’Assembly Crisis Splits APC NWC, Adamu Meets Tinubu




The emergence of the National Assembly principal officers has caused a split in the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress.

The development was sequel to the decision of  the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, who faulted the process that led the selection of the principal officers.

As part of the efforts to resolve the crisis, Adamu alongside the National Secretary of the party, Iyiola Omisore, met Tinubu on Wednesday.

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio had on Tuesday  announced Senator Opeyemi Bamidele as the Majority Leader;  Senator Dave Umahi ( Ebonyi South) as Deputy Majority Leader;  Ali Ndume (Borno South) as Chief Whip, and Lola Ashiru (Kwara South) as the Deputy Whip.

He also named Plateau North lawmaker, Mwadkwon  Davou as Minority Leader while Osun West lawmaker, Kamorudeen Olarere (PDP Osun West) emerged as the Deputy Minority Leader.

Also,  Darlington Nwokeocha, (LP Abia Central) was named Minority Whip while  Rufai Hanga (NNPP Kano Central) was the Deputy Minority Whip.

Abbas on the other announced Julius Ihonvbere, the lawmaker representing Owan East/Owan West of Edo as the Majority Leader and Abdullahi Halims representing Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro of Kogi as the Deputy Majority Leader.

Abbas equally announced Bello Kumo representing Akko federal constituency of Gombe as the Chief Whip and Adewunmi Onanuga representing Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North federal constituency in Ogun, as the Deputy Chief Whip.

Ali Isa of the PDP was named the Minority Whip, while George Ebizimawo of Labour Party was announced as deputy minority whip.

But displeased with the process, Adamu told a meeting of the NWC members and APC governors the ruling party was not involved in the emergence of the officers.

He said, “The national headquarters of the party of the NWC has not given any such information or communicated about the choice of offices. Until we formally resolve and communicate with them in writing which is the norm and practice, it is not our intention to break away from traditions.

“So, whatever announcement is done either the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, is not from this secretariat.

Adamu and Omisore arrived at the Aso Rock Villa a few minutes before 5pm, and were ushered into the President’s office shortly afterwards.

However, three key members of the NWC expressed their displeasure over the chairman’s stance in an off-record chat with selected journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

Among other things, they distanced themselves from the former Nasarawa governor’s position that the APC had not endorsed the election of the majority leaders, deputy majority leaders, chief whip and deputy chief whip for the two chambers.

“That was the national chairman’s personal opinion, not the party’s position. After all, didn’t the emergence of the two chambers of National Assembly leaders receive the blessing of Mr President?” one of the committee members said.

They also explained that some governors, who bared their minds on the issue, also cautioned Adamu and further urged him to reach out to the National Assembly leadership to resolve the matter amicably.

Another NWC member expressed concern that it would appear the national chairman had made up his mind not to work in the interest of the President as his action  “consistently’ negates virtually his government strives to achieve.’’

He stated, “It is really getting out of hand and there is an urgent need to call him to order. Many of us were not happy with what he said because it wasn’t discussed in our meeting with the governors. It was his personal view and not the position of the NWC.

 “And we wonder why Adamu is consistently doing this. The party took a position on the National Assembly but the national chairman keeps talking about having ‘further and better consultations’ at every point. Am I saying anything different? Did you media people not report it? That amounts to rebellion and insubordination to the party.

“In fact, we understand both Akpabio and Abbas went all the way to Keffi to brief him long before he made that statement. I also heard Governor Hope Uzodinma said the governors are standing with the NASS and would seek means to resolve the friction.

But the truth is that there is nothing to resolve. The point is that the president is fully in the know and consented. The national chairman and the governors were also briefed. These are the stakeholders of the party for crying out loud.

“We, therefore, distance ourselves and the NWC from such actions that clearly undermine the smooth take off of the APC federal government under the leadership of President Asiwaju and call on the National Chairman to desist from such action,” he stated.

The third aggrieved member of the committee also told journalists that he suspected most of Adamu’s actions were always deliberate in order to pass a subtle message.

“For instance, while he was speaking, we noticed that the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma was trying to signal him to stop and leave the matter for the closed door session but Adamu still went ahead to say his mind. When it was Uzodinma’s turn to speak, he sounded conciliatory and appealed to Adamu to try and ensure that there was no crisis.

“Bago, on the other hand, was very direct. He told Adamu that it was wrong of him to have spoken the way he spoke and that the principal officers of the National Assembly emerged after wide consultations with relevant stakeholders. Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni also observed that stakeholders of the party were all working at cross-purposes. In fact, he expressed concerns that even the NWC appeared constantly divided. He therefore pleaded with Adamu to seal all cracks and ensure that everyone was on the same page”, he noted.

An ally of the APC national chairman, who preferred to be anonymous, disclosed that Adamu’s statement was largely misconstrued.

While arguing that the matter was blown out of proportion by a section of the media, he explained that dealing with Adamu demands tact.

He added, “Adamu is an administrator, a former legislator, minister and was a two-term governor. People who have passed that threshold always adhere so much to bureaucracy hence anything that is not communicated to you formally in writing, you consider it has not done.

“A lawyer and administrator will tell you there was no information or action unless he has officially communicated by writing. That was the spirit with which the chairman spoke yesterday because the information was not officially communicated to the party. By tradition and culture, this is an action that ought to be carried out by the party.’’

“Adamu has disowned NASS leaders.” That’s not true. He didn’t disown anything. He neither confirmed or denied when he said it has been conveyed officially to him,” he stated.

A source, however, ruled out any threat of sanction or punitive measures on Akpabio and Abbas.

The Deputy National Organising Secretary of the party, Nze Chidi Duru, declined to comment on the matter because he was indisposed.

He said, “Besides, I didn’t attend the meeting of NWC with the APC governors.”

The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, also told The PUNCH that he is presently out of the country at the moment.

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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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