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Ocholi’s replacement saga stokes fresh crisis in Kogi APC

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Ocholi’s replacement saga stokes fresh crisis in Kogi APC
By John Akubo, Lokoja

Members kick against Faleke as possible substitute, party disown them
The inability of the presidency to fill the ministerial slot created by the death of James Ocholi about one year ago, has thrown Kogi State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) into a fresh round of crisis.
Ocholi who was minister of State for Employment, was an indigene of Kogi. His party, APC has been bedeviled by internal wrangling since the governorship election that saw the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor in place of Prince Abubakar Audu who died on the verge of victory.
James Faleke, running mate to late Audu, had expected that Audu’a name will be substituted with his but the party leadership settled for Bello, the second runner up in the primary, to the chagrin of many members.
Though the Supreme Court has since laid the matter to rest when it affirmed the validity of Bello’s election, the Audu/Faleke’s group are still sour and it has not been well with the party ever since.
The dust raised by the choice of Bello has not settled when the issue of Ocholi’s substitution cropped up further deepening the crack in the APC.
Faleke’s name has been bandied as possible nominee to fill the vacancy created by Ocholi’s exit. Sources claimed that it was part of the rapprochements to get APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari back on one page in the party affairs.
In fact, it is believed to be one of the numerous appointments that have been lined up by the presidency to massage the ego of Tinubu who many consider relegated to the background by the central government.
But rather than pacify the people and bring cohesion to the party, the move has further stoked the acrimony in the state chapter of APC.
The Kogi East zone where the late minister hailed from, had before now complained over the presidency’s delay in picking one of them to replace their brother that died, insisting that it was their slot. According to them, it would be a grave disservice for another to produce the minister since their son died in service.
Similarly, the APC in Kogi West warned against the choice of Faleke as it would exacerbate the crisis within the party. In a statement jointly endorsed by Alhaji Suleiman Ejibunu and Chief Richard Asaje, they contended that if Faleke and his godfather deserve any ministerial slot it couldn’t be that meant for Kogi.
They cautioned such move would lead to exit of prominent, loyal and committed members of the party as well as aggravate the fractionalized party along many divides.
“We are also unequivocally resolute to stop Tinubu’s expansion into Kogi State or any state in the North Central, we are determined to push out all his consults from Kogi come 2018/2019. It is a task that must be done through all legal/political means. They have failed and they will continue to fail,” the Kogi West APC asserted.
They claimed that Kogi APC knew Faleke that represents a Lagos State constituency in the National Assembly only during the governorship struggle when the Tinubu purportedly imposed him on them as the deputy governorship candidate to late Prince Abubakar Audu.
According to them, it generated a lot of distress to the founding members of APC in the state who built the party, battled the then sitting government in all national elections and won.
Furthermore they asked: “Faleke took the party to court up to Supreme Court and lost while some leaders have remained beggars after the massive support to build APC in the state; if those leader’s effort are left to this ugly power play with humiliation of this nature, what type of party and country are we building?”
They alleged that reconciliation was proposed, which Faleke rejected on the grounds that he cannot be reconciled with the Governor until the ‘injustice’ of taking the governorship from him is redressed, adding: “Giving him such an appointment will amount to providing him fuel to fire the breakup of APC in the state.”
But in a dramatic turn, the State executive council of APC berated Ejibunu, Asaje and their associates described them as fifth columnists in the party.
A statement signed by the entire membership of the executive including the chairman, Alhaji Haddy A. Ametuo, said that the people lacked the locus standi to speak for it stressing that it was meant to cause disharmony among members.
“We the entire members of the state exco respect the power of the President to freely choose whoever he wants to serve in his cabinet, Hon. Faleke inclusive. We also respect the national leadership of Asinaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose support and influence traverses the national structures of the party.
However, Faleke in a swift reaction said that the opposition against his purported nomination was coming from “empty vessels,” noting that it was strange that the people were campaigning against a nomination that was yet to be made by the President.
The House of Representatives’ member, who denied knowledge of any such nomination, however, said those ganging up against him were working for a particular interest.
“My purported nomination as a minister is even unknown to me, but it is a fact that the choice of a minister from any state rest with the President. I will ignore the duo that spoke against my purported nomination,” he stated.
Also, he said that it was wrong for the people to have spoken against Tinubu, whom he noted, worked for the development and the victory of the APC, adding: “Tinubu is a national leader who also has followers in the North. He has nothing to benefit him in Kogi for them to view it as trying to infiltrate the state or northern politics.”

http://m.guardian.ng/features/ocholis-replacement-saga-stokes-fresh-crisis-in-kogi-apc/

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#ENDSARS: Senate President asks Nigerian youths to embrace dialogue, peace at Eid-el-Maulud

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#ENDSARS Senate President asks Nigerian youths to embrace dialogue, peace at Eid-el-Maulud

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has cautioned the Nigerian youths who recently protested demanding for better policing and political governance, to embrace peace at this years Eid-el-Maulud celebration especially as the Government has acceded to their demands.
This was contained in a statement by his special aviser(Media) Ola Awoniyi that was issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
In the statement Lawan
felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Muslim Ummah, on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Maulud, which is the celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
According to Lawan, the youths, having made their points, in the spirit of the occasion should embrace peace and engage government through dialogue, as the corrections they seek can only manifest under a peaceful atmosphere.
Lawan noted that this year’s celebration comes at a time that Nigeria is striving to restore law and order in the chastening aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.

“Our harrowing experience over the past few weeks underscores the need for us as a people of faith to imbibe and demonstrate in our every conduct the virtues of love, peace and tolerance which Prophet Mohammed personifies.

“This trying time requires our prayers and supplications to Allah to intervene to restore peace and love of neighbours to our land. “However, it also requires of us introspection as to the roles we are playing as leaders and individual citizens in building the nation that we desire.”

The Senate President reiterated the commitment of the ninth National Assembly to “the entrenchment of processes that will encourage our youths to tap their talents and pursue their dreams for the elevation of our great country.”

Lawan expresses confidence that “the trials we are going through will ultimately strengthen our bonds as citizens of the same nation and propel Nigeria to its great destiny.”



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Hoarding of Palliatives: Niger APC chieftain accuses Govs of crime against humanity

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Hoarding of Palliatives: Niger APC chieftain accuses Govs of crime against humanity

Former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism and a Chieftain of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger state, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa has berated state governors in the country for stockpilling COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses, which were looted by angry youths across the country.
He indicated that governors are the real problems of Nigerians.
Vatsa was however quick to exonerate President Mohammadu Buhari from any blame over the nationwide looting of palliatives, resulting in the loss of lives of “desperate and hungry Nigerians”.
“Buhari can not go to states to share palliatives. It has been entrusted to the governors for onward distribution to the people, so I think Nigerians should excuse Buhari from this unfortunate development”.
Vatsa who is the Coordinator, public affairs to governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state gave the indication in Minna on Tuesday while reacting to the nationwide looting of palliatives by Nigerians.
“The Governors are making governance very difficult for the President. In fact they are part of Buhari’s problems if not how can someone explain the hoarding of palliatives meant to cushion the effect of Coronavirus Lockdown”.
The former publicity secretary of APC in the state believed that Governors who hoarded palliatives away from Nigerians can never provide dividends of democracy to their people.
He added that “governance is all about the welfare of the people so if you can not give the people what was given to you to give them, what else would they expect from you”, he queried
He pointed out that the governors know quite well that Nigerians are hungry and desperately need these things, so they want to make them very hungry so that they can buy them during election very cheaply with those items.
According to him “with this Singular act, they have deliberately de-marketed this government, and Nigerians have lost confidence in this administration. It is very unfortunate”, he submitted.
Vatsa therefore cautioned the security agents using force on these Nigerians who are merely looting what was meant for them, adding that “what is happening is re-looting the looted”.
Vatsa who argued that the looting of the palliatives does not amount to any crime also believed that “what these governors have done is nothing but a crime against humaninity, that is my opinion on this and its quite unfortunate”.
He also appealed to the youths to stop attacking individuals and private companies, saying that “that does not portray the qualities of future leaders in them.

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Lekki massacre: Senator Ubah asks Buhari to prosecute erring soldiers

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Lekki massacre: Senator Ubah asks Buhari to prosecute erring soldiers

Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has urged
President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately commence prosecution of all soldiers found culpable in the deadly Lekki Toll Gate shooting.

In a statement, he issued in Abuja on Monday, he described the shooting as a gross violation of the fundamental right of the #EndSARS protesters.

Describing the shooting as barbaric, Ubah said, “I am deeply saddened by reports of extrajudicial shootings and barbaric killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki-Lagos, Nigeria. I wish to categorically condemn in its entirety, these shootings by security operatives who are meant to protect the citizens.”
According to him, “these unlawful shootings by the military and security agents at unarmed protesters are a gross violation of the right to life as enshrined in Section 33 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
He said the prosecution would go a long way in serving justice to the deceased and their loved ones.
According to him “I am deeply saddened by reports of extrajudicial shootings and barbaric killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki-Lagos, Nigeria. I wish to categorically condemn in its entirety, these shootings by security operatives who are meant to protect the citizens.

“These unlawful shootings by the military and security agents at unarmed protesters are a gross violation of the right to life as enshrined in Section 33 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

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