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Buhari Not Aware of Invitation for Thursday’s NEC Meeting, APC NWC Insists

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The Prince Hilliard-led National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari is not aware of the invitation for the National Executive Council (NEC) slated for Thursday, asking members of the party to disregard the meeting.

In a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by the acting national secretariat of the APC, Arch Waziri Bulama, said convener of the meeting has been suspended by the Rivers state chapter of party and the NWC received communication of same on June 21, 2020.

Bulama said Giadom cannot summon a meeting on that date because under the party’s constitution only the National Secretary can do so pursuant to Article 14.3 of the APC constitution.

“We are constrained to once again react to a purported invitation to a National Executive Committee meeting of our great party; the All Progressives Congress (“APC”) issued by one Victor Giadom who until the last general elections in 2019 held the position the Deputy National Secretary of the Party.

“Our esteem members are advised to disregard this invitation because the author and sole signatory of the said invitation is not member of the National Working Committee (“NWC”) of our party, talk more of being an Acting National Chairman as claimed.
He had voluntarily resigned in compliance with Article 31(1)(i) of our Constitution to contest the position of Deputy Governor in Rivers State during the last general elections and has not been re-nominated by his Zone to return to that office. Further, his nonmembership of the NWC has been affirmed by the Courts and an Order restraining him from parading himself as a member of the NWC was granted against him on June 22, 2020 in the case of DELE MOSES & ANOR V APC (SUIT NO: PHC/360/2020) where the Court said inter alia:

‘That an Order of interim injunction be and is hereby made restraining the 1st, 2nd 4th and 5th Defendants, acting by themselves or through auy of their officers, agents, or privies from recognizing or regarding the 3rd Defendant/Respondent as the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman or Deputy National Secretary of the 1st Defendant/Respondent or member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the 1st Defendant/Responde1it pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.’

“More instructive is the fact that the said invitation copiously references the NEC meeting he illegally sought to convene on March 17, 2020 with a view to resurrecting same to hold on June 25, 2020. Regrettably, this proposed NEC meeting is also infected by the same bug that render the former void which is Article 25 (B) of our Constitution which provides:

‘i. The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-third ofthe members ofthe National Executive Committee provided that less than 14 days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.

“ii. Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution the National Working Committee may summ meeting at any time, provided that on an at emergency least seven National (7) days Executive notice of the Committeemeeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend”.

“It is clear that even a legitimate Chairman is only invested with powers to fix/announce a date for NEC meetings to hold every quarter and nothing more. He cannot summon a meeting on that date because under our Constitution only the National Secretary can do so pursuant to Article 14.3 of our Constitution which provides:

‘14.3. National Secretary The National Secretary shall:
ii. Cause to be issued as directed, notices ofmeetings ofthe National Convention, the National Executive Committee and the National Working Committee of the Party.’

Indeed two-thirds of the members of NEC may also summon a meeting, but it shall be required that the National Secretary gives 14 days notice to all persons entitled to attend.

In this case, the purported invitation was illegally issued on June 23, 2020 and the meeting fixed for June 25, 2020 which gives notice for only 2 days. We concede that a shorter Notice period of 7 days is allowed under our Constitution as stated in 25(b)(ii) above, however, a majority of the members of NWC must have voted to summon such a NEC meeting and that was not the case in this instance.

“Our leader, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is renowned for insisting on compliance with our constitution and rule of law. It can therefore not be true that Mr. President supports the convening of such an illegal NEC by a non-member of APC’s NWC. We urge all to disregard the said Notice as neither the NWC nor the NEC has called for such meeting.”

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Itse Sagay Wants Buhari To Sack NDDC Interim Management Committee

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The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the interim management committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He made this call on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics.

Professor Sagay also wants his principal to inject fresh members into the board in view of the allegations of corruption rocking the commission.

“I will suggest that everybody there should be cleared out and the President should not appoint a new set of people very quickly under temporary conditions so that a permanent board and management can be established in the place that will then be monitored.

“My view is that everybody should be removed right now. Clear the place, sweep it clean. Start afresh with a new set of people,” he said.

While describing the corruption allegations as mind-boggling, Sagay wondered why forensic auditing cannot be done despite having a regular board manning the affairs of the commission.

The professor recalled that when some appointments were made into the commission, he was against the character of two nominees then.

He regretted that the question mark posed on some members of the NDDC has given a bad impression about the Niger Delta region.

This comes shortly after the 2019 budget defence of the NDDC by the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) suffered a setback.

The NDDC team comprising its acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Executive Director (Project), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, among appeared before the National Assembly in Abuja to defend the agency’s budget for the previous year.

They, however, could not successfully defend the agency’s budget as the lawmakers pointed out some discrepancies in the budget.

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Edo Election: PDP Confident Of Victory

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The National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Edo governorship election says the party is confident that its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki will win the election.

The party was optimistic of its victory after the inaugural meeting of the council held behind closed doors in Port Harcourt which was presided over by the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

In attendance at the meeting are Governors of Adamawa State Umaru Fintri, Oyo State Seyi Makinde, and other members of the National Campaign Council, chairmen and secretaries of all the sub-committees of Edo 2020.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri said the meeting adopted the best strategies to retain what rightly belongs to PDP.

Governor Fintiri who is also the Deputy Chairman of the campaign council said they would leave no stone unturned in working with Edo people to deepen democracy.

“The election is already on the table for PDP. We have a sellable candidate, who is Governor Godwin Obaseki. Nigerians are moving forward with democracy and we have to deepen it together.

“Technically, Edo is a PDP state because, in the last election of 2019, we actually won all the elections. So, it is not coming as a surprise that Governor Obaseki has to shift his ground from APC to join us.

“Now, we are putting all the forces together, and there is nothing that’s left behind. So Edo is completely a PDP state and we are going in there to win the election,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Publicity Committee, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi said the Edo people are convinced that Governor Obaseki is the best candidate in the governorship race.

He explained that the national campaign council has given the state campaign council all the needed support that would ensure total victory for PDP.

” Those of us from Edo state are very clear in our minds that our candidate, Governor Obaseki is definitely the best candidate that can deliver and sustain the PDP ticket and also take the flag of the party to Osadebe House.

“For the South-South, it is a great challenge and honour to ensure that the six states in the zone belong to PDP. So, every support has been pledged by the leadership of the party; the governors, members of BOT, the national working committee. They are committed to ensuring that the flag of PDP will continue to fly in Government House,” he said.

Since the inauguration of the 77 member National Campaign Council by the National Working Committee of the PDP on the 7th of July, 2020
in Abuja, this is the first meeting of the council to work out strategies that will ensure victory on September 19th, 2020 in the Edo State governorship election.

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WTO: APC Governors Forum Back Okonjo-Iweala

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The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has called on member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to support Nigeria’s candidate for election into the office of the Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

In a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja, chairman of the forum and Kebbi state governor and Governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the main objective of establishing the World Trade Organization is to create a trading system that is equitable and with least distortions.

“Regrettably, while being an improvement on the Agreement on Trade and Tariffs GATT, the WTO is yet to deliver in achieving the objectives. Worst still is that it is perceived as impotent. The exit of UK from EU and the brickbat between the US and China is illustrative of the difficulties with bilateral trade agreements talk more of a global one. The failure of the WTO to reach an agreement on agriculture, for example is punitive to all of Africa”, he said.

According to Gov. Bagudu, the literal freezing of world trade occasioned by the Coronavirus Pandemic serves as a stark warning that the world needs to have a better trade system.

“Whoever imagined that one country can ‘seize’ medical supplies going to other countries? Fixing the global trading system is one of the most important challenges of our time and doing so shall contribute to global prosperity more than any agreement. In so doing poverty shall be reduced and global prosperity shall be more equitably shared. Reforming the World Trade Organization is at the heart of any of such quest, and thus the choice of the next leader of the Organization matters.

“In nominating our own Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President Buhari is not just presenting a Nigerian Candidate but is presenting to the world one of its best, albeit from Nigeria, and one who is eminently qualified to lead the task of fixing the world trading system. An economist, international development expert and a global public servant, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is one candidate that comes with all the experiences and expertise required to reposition the WTO. Both President Buhari and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala deserve commendation for giving the world the opportunity towards correcting the distortions in the world trading system.”

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