Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari over his role in the resolution of the leadership crisis in the All progressive Congress (APC).
Reacting over the dissolution of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC), Lukman argued that the development speaks volume of the reality that there is no more room for godfatherism in the APC.
The PGF boss in a statement entitled “lessons from APC Leadership Crisis and Resolution” argued that but for President Buhari’s timely intervention, the Oshiomhole led NWC allegedly doing the bidding of their godfathers would have destroyed the party beyond repair.
Enjoining chieftains of the party to reposition the party ahead of the 2023 general elections, he urged the Governor Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee to invoke article 21 of the party constitution on any erring party members that drags the party to court over the dissolution of the Oshiomhole led NWC.
According to him: “The current APC leadership crisis is partly triggered by the reality of the changes being experienced in Nigerian politics whereby godfathers are being challenged by local leaders.
“Who would have ever thought that ward executives could activate a process that consumed the National Chairman and the whole National Working Committee of the ruling party?
“In all our democratic experiences, especially under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), a National Chairman only get removed on account of disagreement with the President or top leadership of the party at national level.
“This is largely accountable for why our democracy is so concentrated with so much power at national level. National officers are less accountable and operate almost as gods. Somehow, APC appears to have succeeded in altering this.
“This may mean a big opportunity to broaden the base of our democracy such that accountability mechanisms are strengthened within the party and decentralised to local levels.
“How can this be achieved? Will APC leaders take steps to achieve that? While in the case of the current leadership crisis, it is a case of the survival instinct of Governor Godwin Obaseki mobilising the APC executives of Ward 10, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State against Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the former APC National Chairman, it simply means that all officials of the party must ensure that they have good relationship with their ward executives.
“As argued by Moises Naim, although these ward leaders don’t have ‘coercive power of large and expert organisation but the counterpower that comes from being able to oppose and constrain what those big players can do. Their power is of a new kind; not the massive, overwhelming, and often coercive power…what happens when power is radically scattered, diffused, and decayed? Chaos and anarchy. The war of all against all.
“A world where players have enough power to block everyone else’s initiatives, but no one has the power to impose its preferred course of action is a world where decisions are not taken, taken too late, or watered down to the point of ineffectiveness.
“War of all against all was exactly what happened in APC. Everybody – members, leaders, sympathisers, supporters, etc. took part in the conflict. No player or actor in the conflict had enough power to block others and no one had enough power to impose preferred positions.
“Decisions are blocked as our party’s constitution was practically set aside resulting in organs not meeting. When eventually NEC met and the decisions came, it was late, at least not able to save Governor Obaseki even though it adopted the controversial governorship primary election that produced Pastor Ize-Iyamu as the Governorship candidate of the party for the 2020 election. How effective were these decisions?
“With the NEC successfully held, have the crisis been resolved? No, but at least it can be said the ugly period is over. To the extent that we have a Convention Working Committee that will manage the party for a period of six months and organise a National Convention to elect a new leadership, it can be said that the crisis will be resolved. Given that a section of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) are threatening legal actions against the decision of the NEC, what does this mean?
“It simply means that a section of the dissolved NWC are working against the party. Perhaps the Convention Working Committee should consider invoking provisions of Article 21: Discipline of Party Members of the APC constitution by taking advantage of the now discovered micropowers of ward leaders. Based on that those members of the dissolved NWC who attempt to institute legal actions against the decisions of NEC should be appropriately sanctioned.
“It is the responsibility of the Convention Working Committee to ensure that all the rascally conducts of party leaders that characterised the APC leadership conflict are brought under control. We should on no account tolerate conduct of any leader of the party, which makes them more associated with activities of bandits who don’t respect any rule or any leader.”
Buhari Seeks Senate Approval for Fresh N2.3trn External Loan
The President, Muhammadu Buhari , has asked the Senate to approve another N2.3trillion ($6.18bn) external loan.
This is contained in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and read at plenary on Tuesday.
Buhari said the proposed loan which is equivalent to N2.3trillion is to finance the 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion.
Buhari said the loan would enable the Federal Government to fund critical infrastructural projects in transportation, health, and education among others.
This is coming barely a month after the Senate approved the sum of $1.5bn and €995 million external borrowings for the Federal Government.
The loans were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings Buhari had, in May 2020, asked the Red Chamber to approve to finance various priority projects of the federal government and to support the state governments facing fiscal challenges.
Armed Thugs Disrupt NLC Protest in Kaduna, Wabba Accuses El-Rufai
The protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday turned violent as armed thugs attacked the workers, throwing stones at them.
The workers had converged at the popular NEPA roundabout in the Kaduna capital city to continue the day two of their protest when the thugs invaded the area and started throwing stones and other dangerous weapons at them.
The attack forced many of the protesters to scamper for safety.
It is not known who actually sent the thugs, but the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba has pointed accusing fingers at the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Speaking with newsmen amid the protest, Wabba said he informed the DSS after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.
“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria. Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.
“While we are here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs And We Are Not Using Thugs we are Nigerian workers,” Wabba told Channels Television.
The armed thugs were dispersed by security operatives with teargas.
Wabba is leading day two of the NLC protest despite being declared wanted by the Kaduna State government.
Nigeria Receives £4.2m Ibori Loot
Nigeria has received the £4.2million seized from the associates of convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori from the United Kingdom.
This is according to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this on Tuesday via a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
He confirmed that the “Federal Government of Nigeria has received GBP 4,214,017.66 of the loot associated with the family members of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori.”
According to the statement, “the amount has been credited into the designated Federal Government account with naira equivalent value of the amount as of 10th May 2021.”
Malami was said to have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Minister said the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public-oriented projects.
On May 3, Malami had announced that the United Kingdom would repatriate the looted fund to Nigeria any moment from now.
He had explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was working tirelessly to ensure the return of looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries, adding that that the Federal Government of Nigeria was in touch with the UK government on the matter.
“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated. We anticipated two weeks but we are not in control of the banks.
“There is neither complacency nor any delay as efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he said.
He noted that the Federal Government is working assiduously to make sure that the transfer goes through successfully.
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