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Tension in APC as State Chairmen Demand Immediate Conduct of Congresses, Convention

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State chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday demanded an immediate conduct of the party’s congresses to pave the way for the national convention to usher in a new National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

The party chairmen, under the auspices of the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, told journalists in Abuja that it was time for the party to hold the national convention, billed for June, after the conclusion of the membership revalidation and registration.

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However, contrary to expectations that the membership drive would’ve been concluded by Wednesday as originally planned, the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party yesterday extended it again, by three weeks.

The Chairman of the forum and APC Chairman in Borno State, Hon. Ali Dalori, said at a press conference that the membership drive had increased the base of the party.

Dalori said: “Thus, after the conduct and conclusion of membership registration/revalidation exercise, we urgently call for the immediate conduct of congresses and convening of the national convention; and to allow for the completion of all other tasks assigned to the committee by NEC within the time frame.”

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He stated that the ruling party had witnessed tremendous turnout of Nigerians and a mass increase in the party’s numerical strength in the last few months.

He added that it was only proper that the party allowed the exercise to progress to the best of conclusion.

He said immediately after the commencement of the exercise, members saw the need for an extension to accommodate the second stage of the exercise in view of the mass turnout of Nigerians.

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“Due to logistics bottleneck and the complexity of the distribution process of registration materials, a number of states only received the materials to commence the second phase of the registration exercise not too long ago, and will therefore not be able to meet up with the reviewed scheduled timetable of the exercise without denying so many willing citizens the opportunity to join the party,” he added.

According to him, the membership drive so far has provided a prelude to what would be expected in future elections in Nigeria

He described the turnout of Nigerians to join the party as a vote of confidence in the APC, adding that “just like projected, we will continue into the next decades to provide the needed leadership to the country as the party in power, not only at the centre but in almost all the states of the federation.”

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Also yesterday, the party, in a statement in Abuja by the National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, announced the extension of the ongoing membership drive by three weeks.

The exercise, which started on February 9 was scheduled to terminate on March 31, 2021, before it was extended for additional three weeks.

The latest extension was the second time the national leadership of the party would be extending the exercise.

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Akpanudoedehe stated: “The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) under the leadership of His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, had done everything possible to keep to the earlier timeline; however, it has become imperative to extend the duration of this very important party activity.

Consequently, the committee has approved the recommendation of the National Committee for the Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update to extend the duration of the exercise for three weeks.”

Akpanudoedehe added that the audit of the reports received from the National Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee; the States’ Registration Committees and that of the party Situation Room indicated most states for varied reasons, started late, and required additional time to conclude the exercise.

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He said the party’s decision was also sequel to the applications from critical stakeholders, including all states’ caretaker chairmen for an extension of time to capture Nigerians desirous of joining the party.

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It’s All About El’rufai 2023: Bala Usman, Embattled NPA Boss’s Travails To Gov. El Rufai’s Ambition

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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.

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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.

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Okene Bridge Collapse, Govenor Yahaya Bello should see me as a friend from the other side

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I will never exonerate His Excellency,Govenor Yahaya Bello from the collapse Okengwe street in okene local government instead he should see me as a friend who likes to tell him the truth, in this life, we have so many friends, some foes also dressed up as a friend they will tell you what pleases you , massaging your ego to take what they needs, I don’t do such , I am a friend who’ll tell him the needed true, he has failed and that is obvious everywhere but, I will not join those mocking him secret, he should read me and possible adjust.

Over the night, I received so many opinions trying to blame the contractor instead of the governor, as is the usual case in Nigeria. To some the governor should be praised for even awarding the contract.

Well, this line of argument makes some sense only if the money used for the contract is the governor’s personal money.

I agree with some of them to some extent. Yes, I do out of pity for those who do not know their own rights and the duties of public officials.

Okengwe street in okene local government of Kogi state

Come to think of it, can the Kogi state government under Governor Yahaya Bello tell Kogites that they do not have any interest in the said contract?

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I would be ready to tender a sincere apology to my Governor if the following questions are validly answered.

What is the identity of the contractor that handled this collapsed and good for nothing project ?
What is the name of the company ?
What is the value of the awarded road?
Who are the government engineers that supervised the construction of Okene Bridge ?
Which ministry supervised the projects ?
What is the time limit ?
Was the total money that budgeted for this job released to the contractor ?
If I get this details then I will tender an open apology.

 

Usman Okai Austin CNA

 

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Incase You Missed It: Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave $2 Million to Adams Oshiomhole in Excange for Shehu Sani ticket.

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According to the source, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave the money to Farouk Adamu.

He said Adamu collected the cash in Abuja on behalf of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Details have emerged of how the Kaduna Central Senatorial District ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was sold for $2million to Uba Sani, Political Adviser to Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.

A source privy to the deal spoke exclusively to SaharaReporters in Abuja on Friday.

According to the source, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave the money to Farouk Adamu. He said Adamu collected the cash in Abuja on behalf of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He revealed that the sum of N50million was offered to the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, by Uba Sani, which he turned down. The source also noted that Nabena had issued several press statements that Shehu Sani remained the only candidate cleared for the zone, and Nabena had insisted he would only do what the National Working Committee (NWC) asked him to do, as he had no power to upturn their decision.

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Hadiza, however, threatened to do everything possible to stop Shehu Sani from getting the automatic ticket, whether the NWC liked it or not.

SaharaReporters gathered that after the failure of a series of attempts by the proxies to get Nabena’s cooperation, Hadiza decided to channel it through Farouk, who collected the cash.

The source also narrated how the Governor El-Rufai slept in the National Chairman’s office, and threatened to pitch tent with Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if Shehu Sani’s name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the APC candidate for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

Farouk, who headed a presidential committee on the APC primaries, collected the money without the knowledge of other members. Members of the committee include Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

“He ignored the report of the committee and took charge of making phone calls to senators to inform them who made the list and who did not. Why is it that those who got the tickets have not come out to defend Oshiomhole against the myriad of allegations of bribery levelled against him?” the source queried.

Investigations revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Sani Mustapha, the senator representing Niger South Senatorial District, to return to the party.

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Mustapha had announced his resignation from the party on October 22, 2018, stating that his decision to leave the party was due to the injustice done to him by the substitution of his name with that of Bima Mohammed, who was not cleared by the panel.

According to information obtained by SaharaReporters, the president has asked him to go to court to challenge the injustice, and promised that he would get his (president’s) support.

“As I am talking to you now, Senator Sani Mustapha has returned to APC and gone to court to challenge the manipulation of the results of the primaries,” the source revealed.

The backlash that followed the bribery allegations levelled against Oshiomhole compelled his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, to issue a statement on Thursday, in which Oshiomhole threatened to take legal action against further allegations.

However, Nabena has asked Ebegbulem to stop the media propaganda and face the reality on ground, as it had affected the party negatively.

He stated this while reacting to a statement on the Whatsapp group platform of APC Press Corps.

“Simon, please stop all this media propaganda and face the reality on ground; the damages affecting the party,” he wrote.

Some members of the National Working Committee are said to be pleased with the fact that the amount allegedly paid by the candidates to Oshiomhole is in public domain. A member, who preferred not to be named, said many of the committee members were oblivious of those deals, as they were sidelined from the beginning of the entire process.

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