Those close to Hadiza Bala Usman, suspended MD, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, believe that her current travails is linked to his closeness to Nasir El Rufai’, Governor, Kaduna State, believed to be nursing presidential ambition ahead 2023.
Usman and El Rufai’s closeness is well documented in the public domain with some speculating familial ties.
The speculations took a life of its own during 2015 general election and political activism for which Usman was a key player.
Some traducers of El Rufai’ are just bent on destroying Hardiza because they feel that she is helping the governor amass money for his 2023 presidential ambition,” explained a close source to the embattled NPA boss who asked not to be mentioned in name because of the political volatility of the matter.
The source, however, insists that he enjoys closeness to Usman, enough to know that there is more to the probe of the suspended NPA boss.
Usman was placed on suspension over alleged looting of N156.3bn under her watch at the NPA.
Summarising the allegation against Usman, the House of Reps minority caucus said that apart from the unremitted N165 billion cited by the supervisory Ministry, other documents and reports from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had also uncovered several sleaze, including unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14.
The legislative caucus said the summary is also in addition to audit query of N15.18 billion allegedly stolen through inflated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects/programmes under the watch of the suspended NPA Managing Director.
“The real issue here is that some political players believe that Usman has been using the NPA to warehouse money for El Rufai’ to prosecute a presidential ambition,” explained ElombahNews informer.
Before 2015, Usman was keenly involved in the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, campaign which many saw as political tool to uppend former administration under People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Not a few political players insist that the BBOG movement had the imprematurs of El Rufai’ at the time.
But El Rufai’ has always contended that the choice of the next president after President Mohammed Buhari should come from the south of the country which in effect excludes him, a Northerner, from contesting the presidential election in 2023.
These, for some pundits, is El Rufai’s scheme of campaigning for the slot of vice presidency under a Southern President.
APC’s Can Only Survive With Effective Leadership Recruitment Process – Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila has said for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the progressive movement to survive in Nigeria, there must be a deliberate and effective system of leadership recruitment to identify and prepare people, especially the youth, to occupy the important offices of party and government.
Speaking at the 2021 Progressives Youth Conference of the APC in Abuja on Monday, Gbajabiamila said the party needed to identify competent people both at home and in the Diaspora and bring them on board to be “effective champions of progressivism in the country and in government.”
He said this was the practice all over the world, especially in countries where democracy had developed over the years.
The Speaker also said translating good manifestos into policies by political parties remained the foundation for achievements.
“Political party manifestos are a statement of vision and vision is the foundation of all achievements. For a nation such as ours to succeed, we must first define a common vision that will inspire us, bring us together, and provide the focus that allows us to persevere through the inevitable difficult times,” Gbajabiamila.
He noted further: “Political parties exist to mobilise public support to form a government and to superintend over the affairs of the state. To be successful in this regard, political parties must reflect in their membership, the broad spectrum of the society it seeks to govern.
As is the case with all other contractual documents, the commitments contained in the party manifesto are the basis upon which the party’s record in government will be measured and its leaders will be assessed both in real-time and in the judgment of history. As it has been throughout history, so also will it be for us in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as we too will answer for what we have done with our time in government.”
Gbajabiamila also said the most important factor that determined whether a political party in government would succeed in implementing its manifesto would be the process by which the party arrived at the manifesto in the first instance.
LG Poll: Ogun APC members protests against imposition of candidate
Some aggrieved members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun on Tuesday staged a protest to express their displeasure over alleged imposition of candidate ahead of the July 24 council polls in the state.
The APC members from Abeokuta-North Local Government Area staged the protest at the premises of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) at Oke-Ilewo in Abeokuta.
The protesters said though they still hold their loyalty to Governor Dapo Abiodun, they were opposed to “the choice of a wrong candidate in our area.”
The members frowned at and rejected the alleged imposition of Abdusalam Ayorinde by the APC leadership as the party’s flagbearer for Abeokuta-North council area at the forthcoming polls.
The leader of the group, Babatunde Olajumoke, who addressed journalists, said that the people’s choice was Tajudeen Ishola, whom he said, had been identifying with the people over the years.
Saidat Akinlade, another APC chieftain in the area, explained that the chances of winning the polls in the area is brighter with the candidature of Ishola.
Mrs Akinlade, who restated the loyalty of the members for Gov. Dapo Abiodun, noted that some “selfish” party leaders might have misguided the governor on the choice.
She called on Mr Abiodun to invite Mr Ishola and other party leaders from the local government area and the state for a dialogue on the matter.
“We want the governor to call us for dialogue and hear our own agitations so that the party would continue to record landslide victories in the polls in the area,” she said.
APC may not survive after Buhari’s tenure, party wasted four years, says Sen Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) may face challenges after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Lawan gave the warning on Monday night in a speech delivered to close the First Progressives Youth Conference 2021 which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
He said the party must begin to plan ahead to sustain the goodwill and legacies of the present administration.
He noted that by doing so, the party would be able to retain its appeal and nationalistic outlook beyond the 2023 general elections.
He said, “Whether we like it or not, the truth is, President Muhammadu Buhari remains the person with the bulk of the support we get across this country in APC.
“[And] when he leaves, he would still have some roles, but I daresay that it is after he leaves office that APC will face its challenge.
“Yes, we have to know our value then, and the value of APC presently is APC minus President Muhammadu Buhari. Whatever it is, that is the value of APC.
So, we need to do a lot to build this party, and we need our youths more than ever before for them to continue with this legacy that this administration has established all over the country.
“That means we have to see our selves as brothers and sisters regardless of where we come from.
Our tribe or even ethnic group, our religious persuasion should not matter when it comes to uniting this country.
“[And] as APC, the onus is on us to provide security and an economy that will bring growth and development to give people the kind of life that is meaningful.
We can ask others to join us, but we are the ones to do it, so we need all hands on deck.”
He lamented that the plan of the APC to deliver on most of its promises to Nigerians was stalled in the first tenure of the President Buhari administration as a result of the feud between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
“When we were voted in 2019 as leaders of the National Assembly, we were conscious of one thing, that our mandate that was given to us by Nigerians in 2015 had suffered disruption and dislocation.”
For four years (2015 to 2019), our government could not perform optimally because of the then crisis between the parliament – the National Assembly – and the Executive arm of government.
“So, APC had already lost four very important years. And, that was supposed to be the years that we should have convinced Nigerians that they took the right decision by voting out a PDP administration in 2015.
“What are our options? We are one party in different arms of government. Our policies are supposed to be the same. Our programmes and projects are supposed to be the same, whether you’re in the legislature or the executive.
So long as you are APC, that is your programme and project, that is your government and you are bound to make it succeed.
“So, we took the conscious decision of working in harmony that our relationship must be characterized by consultation, coordination, partnership and mutual respect, that we must succeed in the second tenure (2019 – 2023).
“Otherwise, in 2023, many would like to see our backs if you can’t provide the services expected of you in your first four years.
And] you to change and do better, why would anybody give you eight years?
“So, we felt we have an obligation to Nigerians who voted for us, to our people in APC and to our country, that we must work in such a fashion and manner that government is able to deliver services to Nigerians.”
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