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Buhari under fire for condemning advocates of restructuring

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President Muhammadu Buhari has come under severe criticisms for condemning advocates of restructuring of the country. Mr Buhari was reported to have said those agitating for restructuring and secession were not only naive, but “mischievously dangerous”.

The statement was made through the Executive Secretary, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Mohammed Shehu, in Zaria, at the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation on Saturday.

“The other issue is that those who are calling for restructuring and conference on what they call ethnic nationality, if you go to Southern Kaduna, Taraba, who is to represent them? We have different combinations of ethnicities in many states. Even Kano and Kaduna Igbo have properties. The same goes with Yorubas.”

“There are Fulani in Port Harcourt. So those calling for separation or restructuring, some of them I will say are very naive or even mischievously dangerous. Those agitating for restructuring are ignorant of war and its consequences because Nigeria is a dominant force in west Africa. There is no government in the world that will cede their authority to the people that are not elected,” the President said through Shehu.

Recall that a human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, attacked Mr Buhari over his comments, saying “Buhari erroneously believes that the problem of Nigeria is how to make Local Governments functional and the Judiciary independent. As important as these are, President Buhari has merely seen the smaller picture, rather than the larger picture, as President of a hemorrhaging country yearning for urgent rescue. So, for those Nigerians who had heaved a little sight of relief last week on the little tokenism conceded by Buhari ,I sympathise with you.”

In a related development, the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Middle Belt forum have knocked Mr Buhari.

The Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Sola Ebiseni, said “from what I read in the papers, the fellow to whom this statement is credited is one Executive Secretary, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Shehu, who presides over the sharing of the revenue of the federation to which his state probably contributes nothing. How else can he impress his principal than tell him what would soothe his sectional and sectarian ego?

“The elected governors of the constituent states of the federation, the leaders of the entrenched federating ethnic nationalities, former leaders, presidents and knowledgeable personalities are all calling for the restructuring of the political architecture to reinvent the foundational federal principles of the polity and here you find an opportunistic official heading an office which had no place in a true federal state, talking down on the nation.”

“State governments are demanding the powers to establish State Police to deal with insecurity and prominent traditional rulers, especially emirs, have called on their people to rise in their own defence and some uninformed government officials are threatening us with war if we seek restructuring or self-determination. It is so nauseating.”

“In any event, restructuring of the political architecture of the country in the interest of the people, their security and general wellbeing is not going to be at the pleasure of the President or the whims and caprices of his uncouth officials,” the Afenifere argued.

Also, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) president, Bitrus Pogu said no amount of threats will stop genuine agitations.

“Mr President’s threat cannot stop what is right; many things are wrong in this country. The government is becoming more and more autocratic. Things that are supposed to be handled by states are being by the federal government. There’s confusion everywhere. The directive by the president on the cattle routes, which were done by the colonial and the Northern regional government is another confusion we are talking about. If there’s anyone that is confused, I think he is the one not those clamouring for restructuring and devolution of power.”

“Those clamouring for the restructuring of the country, devolution of power which is part of the component of restructuring, are people who love Nigeria; people who want the country to work; people who want agitation for secession to stop; who want transparency in governance; people who want electoral processes devoid of rigging. ”

“If he thinks people who are advocating for restructuring are confused, I think he is the one that is confused because Nigeria cannot remain the same. The way it is now can lead to its dismemberment.”

In addition, the national chairman PANDEF, Emmanuel Ibokessien, asked that “What is it that we are ignorant about: restructuring?”

“The position of PANDEF is that Nigeria must be restructured along the path of true federalism. Powers must be devolved to states and resources controlled with percentage shared to the centre. Anything outside that is a total misnomer because, as I always say, if we fail to restructure now, Nigeria will restructure itself later,” he said.

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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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