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APC Moves to Prevent 18 Senators’ Defection

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Crack in APC NWC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday moved swiftly to avert a likely slide into the minority in the Senate.

Eighteen more senators elected on the platform of the party are believed to be heading out to join opposition political parties.

Should this happen, the APC would lose its majority status.

Already, the party has lost seven senators to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Those who defected are: Senators Yahaya Abdullahi, Adamu Aliero, Ahmad Baba-Kaital, Haliru Jika, Francis Alimikhena, Ibrahim Shekarau and Lawal Yahaya Gumau.

To avoid further defections, National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu led Deputy National Chairman Abubakar Kyari and National Secretary Iyiola Omisore – all of them former senators – to a two-hour meeting with the APC caucus in the Senate yesterday.

Adamu pleaded with the senators, many of who are displeased with the outcome of the primaries, to have a rethink and allow the party to address their grievances.

It was learnt that some governors were persuading the senators to shelve their planned defection.

The APC has 62 senators; PDP, 39; NNPP, three; Young Progressives Party (YPP), two; Labour Party (LP), one and and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, one.

Both Senators Adamu and Kyari, who resigned after their election into party offices, have not been replaced.

It was gathered that the affected senators, some of who lost return tickets, have got juicy offers from the PDP.

Sources at the session between party leaders and the APC senate caucus said the senators highlighted their grievances as follows:

*Alteration of delegates lists by governors.

*Conduct of primaries in defiance of APC and INEC guidelines.

*Hijack of party primaries by APC governors.

*Non-return of experienced, hardworking and committed Senators.

*Party’s disrespect for a gentleman agreement with the Senate and House of Representatives caucuses to concede slots to Senators with robust experience.

*Preference for moneybags and defectors.

A source at the meeting said: “The Senators were led to the session by President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan.

“The discussion bordered on the increasing depletion of the APC Senate Caucus and plans by 18 more Senators to defect to opposition parties, especially the PDP.

“The party leadership was not comfortable that APC might end up losing its majority.

“The way we are going, the coalition of opposition parties may end up controlling the leadership of the Senate.

“We have 18 Senators on standby to move to other parties to prove a point during the 2023 general election.”

Another senator, who spoke in confidence, said: “It was apparent to APC national chairman that senators were not happy and they were not ready to change their minds.

“In fact, the party leadership went on to consider options to assuage the aggrieved senators with offers including substituting some already elected senatorial candidates, among others.”

Lawan said it was “not in the interest of APC to lose its quality lawmakers in the National Assembly”.

He begged the APC senators to allow the party to look into their complaints.

The APC national chairman said he was not in the office when delegates were elected.

But he assured that the party would “look at immediate and long term solutions to the issues raised by the Senators, including some defective primaries”.

He reminded the senators that the tickets for elective offices belong to the party.

Another senator added: “Some governors are already inviting Senators for talks on the way out of the challenges at hand.”

Adamu described the defection of senators as both unfortunate and worrisome.

He told reporters that the meeting with the senators was fruitful.

Adamu said: “It is an unfortunate development when it happens but this is a season for all manner of behaviour in the political space in the country and Nigeria is not an exception.

“In every election year, this kind of thing gives cause for stakeholders to sneeze and Nigeria is not an exception. So is the APC.

“I don’t care about what is happening in other parties, my focus is on the APC.

“But we all know that the occurrence is not only happening in the APC; it’s happening across other political parties too. And because we are the ruling party, our problems are exaggerated before the public.

“There is no responsible leader that would not be worried when he loses one member not to talk of two. At the moment we are faced with the stark reality of our problems.

“My colleagues and I at the National Working Committee of the APC are committed to facing the problem squarely. We see the problem as solvable.

“We are in politics. I don’t know what would happen tomorrow, and nobody does.”

On how to stem injustice against the defectors, Adamu said: “You have no guarantee. We are in politics for God’s sake.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. How can I foresee tomorrow? I am not the person who saw tomorrow.”

 

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2023: North Central APC Stakeholders Say Region’s VP Will Enthrone Equity, Stability in Nigeria

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Some stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in north-central have made a strong case for the region to produce the party’s presidential running mate for equity and stability.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum, which made this known at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, warned the party not to make the mistake of ignoring the zone in the scheme of things.

According to a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bala Danladi Adamu, the group said the north central is critical to the party’s success in 2023, considering its innumerable contributions in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

Adamu said not only will a Christian from the region balance the presidential ticket, he added that it will ultimately guarantee success at the polls.

The group, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, party leaders and elders from the north central zone to settle for a young and vibrant Christian out of the “array of credible individuals that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.

Failure to do so, Adamu, however, cautioned that doom awaits the party as it would be further divided along ethnic and religious lines.

Read full statement below:

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum is calling this press conference as a concerned stakeholder in the APC to put issues in proper perspective regarding the choice of running mate to the APC presidential candidate.

This has become instructive given the attempt by some selfish individuals who are bent on scheming the North Central out of the affairs of the country, especially in the buildup to the 2023 General elections.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum frowns at such a despicable plot considering the innumerable contributions of the North Central in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

It remains a statement that the North Central is a critical region in the country. As such, it would be against all known political strategies for the region to be alienated in the present permutations towards securing victory at the elections.

The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must come to terms with choosing his running mate for the elections. Consequently, the APC North Central Stakeholders Forum wishes to inform Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of those that have constituted themselves around him as electoral strategists.

We are aware of the plot to ensure that the vice presidential slot is not given to a Christian APC member from any North Central state for inexplicable reasons. This is on the heels that such a move would spell doom for the party.

They have been ferocious in this regard. As stakeholders in the North Central region, we know that such a move would boomerang and further divide the party along ethnic and religious lines.

The APC Presidential Candidate must rise to the occasion and resist every form of pressure mounted on him by these selfish individuals against the idea of a Christian running mate from the North Central region of the country.

It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the vice-presidential slot be given to a vibrant and young candidate from the Middle Belt. This is necessary to ensure a balanced and strategic team that would guarantee electoral success at the elections.

We are also using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see that the APC gets it right regarding its choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is necessary to ensure that the party records outstanding victory at the polls.

President Muhammadu Buhari must also recognize that the North Central region in the country holds the ace in the presidential elections, and little wonder why the opposition parties have been making strategic advancements in the region to secure electoral victory.

The APC must not allow any form of discontent in the North Central by denying the region of the vice-presidential slots, as there are an array of credible candidates that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The hawks that want the party’s downfall are unfortunately parading themselves as stakeholders of the party. At the same time, they are out to satisfy their selfish interest and not the well-being of the party as a whole.

The APC North Central Stakeholders Forum is also using this medium to call on prominent middle belt elders to rise in defence of the Middle belt in the political scheming in the country. The strategic importance of such cannot be overemphasized.

They must ensure that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not misled as the indicators point to the fact that the APC Presidential candidate is on the verge of making a grave mistake should he choose a running mate outside the middle belt region.

The consequences of such a move might not be palatable for the party in the presidential elections, hence the need for caution in the choice of vice-presidential candidate of the APC.

We wish to call on elders of the APC in the Middle Belt region to protect the region’s interest by ensuring that the APV nominates its vice-presidential candidate from the Christian community in North Central.

We thank you all for your time and attention.

God bless.

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CVR Fresh Registration Hits Over 10m – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says fresh registration in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 10,487,972 as at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 27.

The commission in its CVR weekly update, released in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 8,631,696 registrants had completed their registrations.

It disclosed that 3,250,449 of the registrants completed the process through online, while 5,381,247 did through physical registration.

The gender breakdown of the registrants who had completed their registration comprised 4,292,690 male and 4,339,006 female, with the gender category showing that 6,081,456 of the figures were youth, while 67,171 were Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.

The update also revealed that INEC had received a total of 23,560,043 applications including those applying for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information records.

The breakdown also indicated that 12,317,963 of the applications were from male, 11,242, 080 were from female, while 187,904 applications were received from PWDs. (NAN)

 

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Banditry: Military Rejects Zamfara’s Call for Citizens to Bear Arms

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The Military High Command yesterday rejected the call by the Zamfara State Government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits and terrorists.

Governor Bello Matawalle had asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.

Reacting yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said he did not see the basis for such call.

He spoke at the National Defence College, Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria codenamed “Exercise Grand Nationale”.

He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.

Irabor said: “We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we’re doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.

“We’re there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We’re there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I’m yet to get the details, but I do not think that’s the right thing to do.”

He said the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, should be in a position to address the issue.

“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The Armed Forces are in Zamfara, but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.

“I believe that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General, should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.

”Like I said, the AGF will do much about it. We have the Armed Forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC; but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues”, Irabor said.

Irabor said the essence of the Operation Grand Nationale, was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.

 

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