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APC: “Remove Buni as Interim leader else suffer legal troubles”, Keyamo warns party

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The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) of imminent legal tussles if Governor Mala Buni of Yobe State remains its interim leader.

The minister, also a member of the party, in a leaked memo released on Wednesday, said the “unity” in the party may be short-lived if the party went ahead with its planned congresses under the leadership of Buni.

The planned congresses hold nationwide on Saturday.

Hinging his reasons on the split decision of the Supreme Court to uphold Rotimi Akeredolu as Governor of Ondo State earlier on Wednesday, the minister said the APC escaped potential defeat due to ‘little technicality’ which may not be applicable in subsequent court cases.

Four out of the seven-member panel apex court dismissed the appeal of Eyitayo Jegede, the October 2020 Governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo, to remove Akeredolu as the elected state governor.

In his reaction to this judgement, Keyamo said the ruling party would have lost the case if Mr Jegede had joined Mr Buni in the suit.

“The little technical point that saved Gov AKEREDOLU was that Jegede failed to join GOV. Mai Mala Buni in the suit. Jegede was challenging the competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni as a sitting Governor to run the affairs of the APC as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.

“He contends that this is against Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution which states that a sitting Governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever. In other words, had Buni been joined in the suit, the story may have been different today as we would have lost Ondo State to the PDP,” he noted.

Keyamo said the technicality found therein in the judgement may string chains of suits from APC members to question the legitimacy of the 13 month old interim leadership of Buni to organise congresses and national convention.

He highlighted the continuous leadership of the Yobe State governor as a breach of Article 17 of the APC Constitution, adding that the party should stop its proposed congresses by the former’s leadership or risk imminent division.

“The planned Congresses across the country slated for this weekend must immediately be suspended because it will be an exercise in futility as analysed above. The competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni to organise the congresses has been called to question by the Supreme Court,” he said, calling for an urgent NEC meeting to appoint new interim leadership, anyone holding any executive position in any government establishment.

“Alternatively, the Board of Trustees of the Party, which includes Mr. President, can be activated to organise a National Convention in line with Article 13 of the APC Constitution where it is given such powers. Those powers can be delegated at the meeting to a Committee in line with the APC Constitution which will run the Party and plan the Convention. The new Exco can then plan for Congresses,” he added.

Aside Buni, both the governor’s of Osun State Isiaka Oyetola and Sani Bello of Niger State representing the South-west and North-central zones respectively, are the other incumbent governors named among 13-member caretaker committee.

The committee was appointed in June 2020 following the controversial removal of Adam Oshiomhole-led executives.

However, Keyamo’s leaked memo was made available to reporters a few hours after the inauguration of the APC congress committees for all the states of the federal at its headquarters in Abuja.

At the event expected to set in motion plans for its July 31 Wards Congresses, the party’s congress committees were represented by their respective State Committee Chairmen while Mr Buni was represented by the APC interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe.

In his address, Akpanudoedehe said the outcome of party unity depends on the outcome of the congress and urged the committees to encourage consensus candidates.

“The unity of our party also depends on the outcome; and the outcome essentially depends on your supervision of the issues and the overall conduct of the Exercise.

“Do not forget that the CECPC reserves the power to recall the team, or any of its members whose conduct is below expectation; afterall, he who hires, can also fire.

“You’ve been urged to encourage consensus arrangements, where possible,” he said at the inauguration ceremony earlier on Wednesday.

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Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.

The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.

The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.

An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.

However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.

The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.

The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.

The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.

The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.

Postponed polls

The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.

See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.

Kaura

The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.

PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.

Kagarko

The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes

Kubau

Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.

Kudan

Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.

Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.

Lere

Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.

Zaria

Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.

Soba

Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.

Sanga

Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.

Jema’a

Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.

The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.

Giwa

The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.

Kaduna North

Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.

Makarfi

The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.

Igabi

Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.

But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.

Jaba

Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.

PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.

Kaduna South

The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.

Sabon Gari

Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.

Ikara

The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.

Kachia

The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.

According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.

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2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama

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A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.

Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.

He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.

“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.

Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.

“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.

“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.

“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.

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Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria

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The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.

Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.

It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”

It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.

“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.

“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.

“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.

The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.

“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.

(NAN)

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