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Oshiomhole’s Sack Ends Godfatherism in APC – PGF Boss, Lukman

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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.”

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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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