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Oshiomhole’s sack ends godfatherism in APC – PGF DG

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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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Umahi Declares for 2023 Presidential Race

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As has been widely expected, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2023 Presidential race.

According to the Governor, he has informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his ambition to contest the presidency on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC).

Governor Umahi’s action came barely 24 hours after the National Leader of the Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, took similar steps.

Umahi disclosed his latest move to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

  1. On what his chances chances are against the background that other big political figures had indicated their intentions to run for the same office, including Asiwaju Tinubu, the Governor said God would be the decider of the outcome of the race.

Umahi, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC, said he stands a chance if the APC throws the ticket open.

He said if he gets the opportunity, his presidency will replicate his efforts in Ebonyi, saying that he has a lot to show in running governance as a business.

The Governor also said he spoke with the President about resolving the security crisis bugging the Southeast region through political solutions.

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We Haven’t Zoned the Presidential Slot to Any Part of the Country, says PDP

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As permutations continue ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied zoning the presidential slot, saying a decision is yet to be taken on where its presidential ticket would be zoned to.

It also dismissed reports indicating that PDP had resolved to zone the presidential ticket to a particular region of the country.

Recall that former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, had, last week, told a group drumming support for the presidential ambition of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar that the party had resolved to field a northerner as its presidential candidate.

But reacting to the reports, spokesman for the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said: “This is completely misleading as it does not in any way represent the position of our party. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP emphatically and unequivocally states that it has not zoned its presidential ticket to any part of the country.

“The PDP is a political party founded on democratic principles and every action of the party, including zoning, is based on extensive consultations, discussions and consideration of all the issues as well as the various tendencies and interests across the nation, with the main objective of ensuring that the unity, peaceful co-existence and development of our nation are reinforced and promoted.

“The PDP, therefore, urges Nigerians, our teeming members and supporters to completely disregard the unfounded zoning claims as being peddled. Our party also cautions those behind the claims to desist forthwith.

“The PDP thanks Nigerians for the overwhelming interest they have in our party as their sure platform to rescue and rebuild our nation from misrule and urges them to remain united and focused as we join forces for the task ahead.”

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Andy Uba Wasn’t a Candidate in Anambra Governorship Election, Court Rules

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All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Anambra, Andy Uba, who has vowed to upturn the election of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was handed an unexpected knock out on Monday.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, nullified his participation in the 6 November election, declaring his candidacy illegal.

The ruling effectively denied Uba a locus standi to challenge Soludo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the June 26 primary of the party which produced Uba as its standard-bearer was not validly conducted.

The ruling ended what would have been some legal distraction for Soludo, a former Central bank governor, hoping to make a difference in governance in the state.

Chief George Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election had challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election that produced Uba as the party’s candidate.

Moghalu, who was the plaintiff, had sued the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo aligned with the plaintiff’s arguments that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.

Chief George Moghalu

He held that the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines.

“Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,” he said.

Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the Nov. 6 election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner of the poll outcome.

The judge, therefore, declared that the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary election, and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.

“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election,” he ordered.

Prof. Charles Soludo
Anambra Governor-Elect

According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.

“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he held.

He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.

Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as “crude and primitive,” ordered that the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded since the party failed to complied with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.

Moghalu had, in July, filed the suit at the court, seeking an order removing Uba and the APC from the list of gubernatorial candidates and political parties partaking in the Anambra governorship election on the grounds that the party failed to conduct a valid primary election.

He also demanded N122.5 million as damages, which include a refund for the fee paid for expression of interest and nomination forms and N100 million “for the breach of contract to commence and conclude primary election”.

INEC had picked Uba, winner of the APC primary election, as the party’s candidate.

In the affidavit in support of the suit, the plaintiff said the APC failed to conclude the selection and nomination process for its candidate for the Nov. 6 governorship poll.

He said the APC had chosen to adopt direct primary, which is why the party published the list of designated venues for the exercise.

Moghalu said the party received N22.5 million for the expression of interest form and nomination form, including from him, “to allow him to participate in the primary election exercise”.
He further said he was informed a day before the primaries that the APC electoral committee would address all aspirants and stakeholders in Akwa.
“Shockingly, on June 26, 2021, the said election committee was not seen anywhere in Anambra; no accreditation of voters took place; no voting and collation of votes occurred in all the 326 wards of Anambra state,” he said.

He said the committee “announced election results it did not conduct, and which fakery was credited to the 3rd defendant as the winner of the primary election scheduled for emergence as APC’s candidate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra”.

Moghalu also argued that the party did not invite the INEC in line with the law requiring the commission to monitor the exercise.

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