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PGF Boss, Lukman Denies Media Report of Division Among APC Governors

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The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman, has denied media report susgesting division among the serving governors of the party.

One of the Sunday Newspapers of June 21, 2020 had carried on its front page a headline “13 governors back NWC, 7 oppose.”

But in a statement signed the governors Forum’s DG in his personal capacity, described the report as false.

“This is false as there is nothing like the kind of sensational division being alluded to among Progressive Governors.

“Progressive Governors are all individually and collectively committed to the development of the party. In the context of the current challenges facing the party leadership, Progressive Governors are all working for the quick resolutions of the crisis. Although approaches and perspectives of each progressive governor may vary, they have been able to debate and reach some consensus on the problems affecting the party as contained in the resolutions of the emergency teleconference meeting of Saturday, June 13, 2020.

“Part of the resolutions, which was made public include collectively working “to ensure strengthening fair and democratic internal party mechanism for the selection of party candidates in all elections.”

According to Lyman, strengthening fair and democratic internal party mechanism means that the party will recognise and respect individual position of every leader and member.

“Debates and contestation of positions will be encouraged in the party. Anyone who seek to stifle internal debate within the party is only interested in destroying the vital progressive credential, which the party must have to be able to live up to its commitment of being a social democratic.

“Somehow, vested interests who may have been furtively peddling false allegations against some Progressive Governors for the perspectives they hold about the crisis facing the party, are doing everything possible to impose their fantasies. All other perspective outside those fantasies are being criminalised and every attempt is being made to break the ranks of Progressive Governors. This is unfortunate.

“The reality is that all Progressive Governors are guided by all the resolutions adopted at the June 13, 2020 meeting. Those trying to create imaginary divisions are enemies of the party and clearly not interested in contributing in any way to bringing about an end to the crisis facing the party.

“As part of the schema of dividing the ranks of Progressive Governors, fictitious support for and against HE Sen. Abiola Ajimobi are being raised. For the avoidance of doubt, HE Sen. Ajimobi is a respected founding member of the Forum. Any day and anytime, HE Sen. Ajimobi will enjoy the fraternal support of all Progressive Governors.

“However, given the current leadership challenges, it is not about support for or against sections of the NWC as is being projected. It is more about ensuring that the NWC function as a united organ of the party based on which it is able to make provisions of the APC constitution functional. It will be downgrading to attempt to project HE Sen. Ajimobi as a factional leader of the NWC.”

The PGF DG said those behind the Sunday, June 21, 2020 Newspaper report “are acting more like pornographic leaders, who as aptly described by Warren Bennis in his 1989 classic, Why Leaders Can’t Lead are people ‘distanced from reality, from direct experience. They are not real people but appendages … engaged in mechanical acts. These appendages are so without personalities or identifiable social characteristics’.

“They just sit down in their remote locations and attempt to simulate so called positions of leaders of the party, including Progressive Governors. They are merchants of crisis and conflicts. Every debate is reduced to conflicts based on which sections of the party are being pitched against each other.

“Once the crisis of leadership commenced in the APC, these individuals who perfectly fit the description of Warren Bennis begin to escalate the situation such that it is no longer about the party but individuals. Consequently, it become all about the supremacy of some leaders of the party. Nigerians must be wary of these crisis merchants who don’t mean well for leaders of the APC, the party – APC – and by extension the nation’s democracy.”

Lukman believe that the APC will overcome all its current leadership challenges; “Progressive Governors and all APC leaders will emerge strongly united. Every party member and leader should be committed to the resolution of the crisis as well as Nigerians who are committed to democracy based on the presence of resilient party structures that meet, take decisions and governed based on those decisions as provided by the party’s constitution, which is what defined the supremacy of the party.”

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Anambra Guber: Soludo, Umeh, Ifeanyi Uba, Others Run to Arthur Eze for “Financial Support”

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An apparent cash trapped All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), led by its candidate for the Anambra Governorship election, Chukwuma Soludo, has gone cap in hand to Prince Engr Arthur Eze to seek financial support to prosecute the November 6 election.

With strong allies of APGA decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the election, it was gathered that Soludo mobilised close friends to the Abuja residence of Prince Engr Arthur Eze to plead with him to support his ambition financially.

Prof. Soludo was accompanied by Sir Victor Umeh, some Igwe and APGA chieftains. Coincidentally, they met Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah who had also come to Prince Arthur Eze’s residence to solicit for his support.

Soludo’s visit to the Anambra business mogul has shocked many as it would be recalled that the governor Willie Obiano APGA led government insulted and called Prince Engr Arthur Eze unprintable names after he led some traditional rulers on a thank you visit President Buhari.

Some of the traditional rulers were dethroned, some suspended and Ozo Igbo Ndu was ridiculed by APGA media.

A source privy to the meeting told our correspondent that Arthur Eze told Prof. Soludo to go and bring Gov. Obiano and his wife to come and tender open apology before he could listen to them.

He advised Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah to go and support Andy Ubah of APC.

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Comprehensive Review of RAF Overdue – Gov. Bello

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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has opined that the discuss for the comprehensive review of Revenue Allocation formula (RAF) was overdue and that Federal government must now consider relinquishing portions of her share to the other 2 tiers

He noted that realities between the 3 Tiers of Government currently necessitated a more equitable sharing plan for all revenue accruing into the Federation Account noting that such was the position of Kogi State and he was convinced it was held by his colleague governors

He stated that the federal government enters into all sorts of agreements with organised labour, including on the minimum wage as well as enhanced pay for some professional cadres, which invariably mean more money out of the already depleted pockets of hapless states and local governments.

Governor Bello noted that Currently, the federal government takes 52.68 percent, the 36 states and the FCT split 26.72 percent and the local government councils make do with 20.60 percent while the 9 oil producing states receive an additional 13 percent as derivation revenue which is distributed among them depending on the actual contribution of each to crude oil receipts.

The Governor said with 43,788 workers and a salary obligation of N3.8bn monthly for Local which is quite different from the N3.206bn needed to settle salaries and remunerations every month at the state level for a workforce Kogi’s monthly income, which includes allocations from FAAC and JAAC plus its internally generated revenue which the current Administration has painstakingly grown about 300%, still hovers around N7bn.

He added “The situation is dire and it becomes worse when you add our many other governance responsibilities such as meeting the needs of our people in all sectors – education, health, infrastructure and utilities, security of lives and properties, social cohesion, diversity management, among others. Clearly, the case for an enhanced revenue share for the 2nd and 3rd tier of governance has never been stronger. I strongly urge it this is the right thing to do and this is the time to do it”.

He added that the Commission has a duty to ensure that none of such revenue was stolen, diverted or hidden away from all lawful beneficiaries. Often, States and Local Governments can do nothing more than look on, helpless, at the distressing frequency with which our media report the discovery of trillions of naira in distributable revenue which the NNPC or other revenue generator either neglected, failed or refused to remit to the federation account as and at when due.

While tasking the EFCC to brace up in the challenge of its responsibilities, he advised that preventing the larceny of the nation’s communal funds was actually a better use of her valuable resources and time than the recent dealing in innuendos about alleged lost or found funds in alleged secret accounts of the Kogi State Government which neither him, nor his administration knew anything about.

The Governor noted that Revenue allocation in Nigeria should promote national unity and accelerated economic growth of all tiers while he urged this assemblage to look critically at the revenue allocation formula currently in use in Nigeria today and isolate the immediate and remote reasons why it has failed to achieve the desired developmental aspirations.

Governor Bello however suggested a revenue-sharing formula of 39%, 35% and 26% between the federal, state and local governments respectively

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National Assembly’ll Pass 2022 Budget Before End of 2021 – Lawan

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly is committed to passing the 2022 Appropriation Bill before the end of this year.

Lawan, in his opening speech at the budget laying ceremony, recalled how the 9th National Assembly promised to return Nigeria to a January-to-December budget cycle with the 2020 budget and made it possible. He added that the feat was repeated with the 2021 budget.

While thanking the President, Muhammadu Buhari , for early presentation of budget, the Senate President said the lawmakers would pass the money bill before the end of 2021 to allow maintenance of the new budget cycle.

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