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PGF boss, Lukman warns against complacency in APC

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…Says party better than PDP, APGA, others

Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh. Lukman, has warned leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against complacency, saying the party should be ideally encouraged to consider testing political proposals meant to deepen democracy.

The APC chieftain said the governing party needs to take every necessary step to open up party structures and invite patriotic Nigerians, members and leaders of organised groups to join it.

In a statement released Sunday in Abuja, Lukman said APC is far ahead of its political peers in terms of being a liberal party with strong internal contestation.

“Emerging from a big existential leadership crisis, all our political leaders in APC should be ideally be encouraged to consider testing political proposals that should strengthen and deepen our democracy. There should be no room for complacency. In fact, as a party, we need to take every necessary step to open up our party structures and invite patriotic Nigerians, members and leaders of organised groups to join the party.

“With party’s National Caretaker Committee about to commence processes of membership registration and verification, we should aggressively mobilise Nigerians across all parts and sections of the country to join the party. This should be a necessary precondition to accelerate the process of ensuring that political negotiations in the country go beyond electoral contests.

“Part of the incentive required to encourage members and leaders of interest groups to be convinced about the APC being the go-to party for the realisation of political aspirations of diverse interests including professional and organised groups has to do with conducts of elected and appointed officials in governments controlled by the party. Are our elected and appointed officials dispose to public debates, engagements and negotiations with organised groups? Or, do they also consider demands by interest groups as expression of disagreement and therefore evidence of conspiracy against the party, governments it control and all our political leaders? For our democracy to develop to the level of producing compromises on a permanent basis, and with all Nigerians across all sectors based on corresponding respect for every interest in the country, the structures of our parties must be opened and broadened to accommodate everyone. Otherwise, our democracy will remain stagnant and limited to electoral contests with the risk of the current ugly leadership vicious circle.”

According to the PGF boss, APC is far ahead of its political peers in terms of being a liberal party with strong internal contestation. But such liberalism is yet to produce the corresponding requirement for interest representation and negotiation within the party, which is responsible for why our elected and appointed political leaders in the party estimate citizens’ demands as disagreement and subversive when it doesn’t correspond to their positions.

“It is also why fellow party leaders would appear intolerant to positions of other party leaders regarding both citizens’ demands and internal disagreements. We need to appeal to our leaders at all levels, especially in APC to liberate themselves and shed off any fear of citizens’ engagement, internal disagreements, political negotiations and the possible compromises that may emerge both within the party and in the country. Fear of citizens’ engagement and political negotiations is largely what is emboldening political opponents whose credentials on this score are anything but attractive.

Lukman said in APC, nothing is impossible.

“Our leaders have broken the country’s political ice twice. They have led us to negotiate the first successful merger of political parties in the history of the country. They have also led us to successfully negotiate a major leadership crisis of existential magnitude, which is arguably the first of its kind that has not led to breakaway and split in the party.

“As party members, we need to support our leaders and appeal to them to introduce all the required initiatives to enhance the democratic orientation of both the party and the country. At this critical point of our development, both as an emerging democracy and as a party, the catchphrase should be producing political comprises through debate and negotiations. This should be our new standards for political contests in the country, based on which we are able to command electoral advantages and assert our political superiority.”

He also believed that democratic development should be about the significant compromises brokered and the extent to which citizens, on account of the compromises, are able to feel a sense of belonging. Any democracy can be adjudged to be working well if through the different compromises it produces, citizens are able to feel a sense of belonging.

“A major requirement needed may have to do with the task of aligning the vision of political leaders with the hopes and aspirations of citizens. Interestingly, it is always much easier for citizens to align themselves with the views of political leaders. Those views may or may not necessarily equate to visions, nonetheless however, citizens can simply hope that their interests are represented in the views of leaders.”

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2023 Elections: 10 Ministers Resign from Buhari’s Cabinet

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Ten Nigerian cabinet members resigned to run for political office in compliance with an order from President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Lai Mohammed, minister of information, the ministers will be replaced immediately. Buhari had directed all cabinet ministers that intended to run in national elections next February to resign from their posts by May 16 to ensure they didn’t unfairly benefit from their government positions.

Mohammed said he didn’t have any information on the status of central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, who has also declared his intention to run.

Buhari holds Valedictory service for Ministers

President Buhari on Friday held a valedictory session with the ten ministers that tendered their resignation letters to pursue their political ambition in the 2023 elections.

President Buhari also promised to fill as soon as possible the vacuum created by the departure of the ministers.

Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the validatory session at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the outgoing Ministers that attended the session were; Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation), Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment), Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta Affairs), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technological Innovation), Timipre Sylva State for Petroleum Resources), Tayo Alasoadura (State for Niger Delta Affairs), Dame Tallen Paulen (Women Affairs), Uche Ogar (State for Mines and Steel Development), Abubakar Malami (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) and Emeka Nwajiuba (State for Education), who was absent but with a permission.

(Politics Nigeria)

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Resign Now, Buhari Orders Ngige, Amaechi, Akpabio, Nwajiuba, Other Aspirants

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that all members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) running for elective offices to submit their letters of resignation on or before Monday the 16th of May, 2022.

The Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, disclosed this on Wednesday during the Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said that the directive excludes the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The Information Minister affirmed that if there are any amendments or additions to this directive they would be made shortly.

According to the Minister, the directive might involve political appointees, if the need arises.

The affected appointees include, Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, who have joined the presidential race on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Others are the Minister of State  Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, who is running for governorship position in Abia State, the Minister of Women Affairs, Paulline Tallen, who recently declared her ambition to contest for the senatorial seat in Plateau State.

He added that the directive excludes the Vice President because he is an elected member of the cabinet.

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Enugu Politicians Are Not Bandits – PDP Guber Aspirants Reply Ekweremadu

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu
Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Gubernatorial aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu East Senatorial district have responded to the alarm raised by Senator Ike Ekweremadu over alleged political violence in Enugu State.

The former Deputy President of the Senate Ekweremadu, who spoke through his campaign organization, at a press briefing in Enugu on Friday, called on the police to arrest the situation.

However, guber aspirants from Enugu East zone have told the Senator that there were no bandits in the party’s politics.

The aspirants from Enugu East Senatorial district, represented by Denge Josef-Ken Onoh, in a statement, Friday evening, described all the allegations by the Ekweremadu campaign group as falsehood.

Onoh in the statement said: “This conference is a unification and a show of solidarity among ourselves to drive home the acceptability and agreement of the people of Enugu state on power rotation and zoning of the common political position of Governorship of the state. Our coming together is to stress our commitment for a peaceful transition process in the state and its dividends of good governance, security and welfare of the people of Enugu state, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of every good administration.

“We wish to acknowledge the pragmatic leadership of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has been doing all his best to position Enugu state as the most peaceful and secured state in the country, despite attempts by a few uncooperative ones to dress the state in a bad stead. We are behind Governor Ugwuanyi in these trying times and wish him divine intervention in the process of the people of Enugu state to choose who becomes their next administrator after him. We pledge that we will support whoever will emerge as the candidate of the PDP in the process that has already started well on April 30 2022 with the successful conduct of three-man Ad hoc delegates held in all the 260 political wards of our dear state.

“As you were all witnesses, the ward congress was conducted freely and fairly in all the wards of Enugu East senatorial district and to a larger extent in all the 260 wards of the state as was certified by the ward Congress committee sent to the State, except for one or two of complaints, as we learnt, and which is normal and sometimes unavoidable in political contests. We are happy that there was no causality, despite attempts by some disgruntled persons who have chosen not to abide by the popular decision for governorship zoning and rotation among the three senatorial components of the state.

“We have been inundated by inquiries from outside the State, where a press conference was held, in clear neglect of you reputable and hardworking journalists in the State, whom we know had severed them with all you might, up to this time that they chose to make a volt face. However, in response to the inquiries and for posterity sake, we wish to make the following clarifications.

“Enugu State is a peaceful State that had not been associated with banditry or cultism as the Ikeoha Campaign organization inferred. We are amazed that the Ikeoha campaign organization would describe all the local government council and PDP leaders in Aninri local government, where their principal comes from, as thugs, bandits and cultists. These are leaders whose principal was part of the election process and never described them as bandits until they chose to hold a parallel congress which they conducted in their private residences.

“Security agents are saddled with the responsibility of tracking bandits and hoodlums as alleged by the campaign organization, and so we are miffed that instead of following the right path of reporting such cases to the appropriate authorities for investigation and action, they chose the media to ridicule the well conducted exercise and paint Enugu State black.

“We are in good stead with the principal of Ikeoha Campaign Organization, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who is one of us and who we revere so much in high esteem that we are not quite sure that the campaign organization had his authority to disseminate the falsehood it has circulated.

“We and Ekweremadu share a very close affinity bond of friendship and commitment to the greater good of Enugu state and we urge him to unite with us to promote peace so as to ensure a peaceful democratic transition in Enugu State. In the spirit of brotherhood we urge him to play politics without bitterness but toe the line of amicable settlement of any issue that may arise in the course of this transition.

“The Governor of Enugu State is not a thug, nor does he support violence and has never demonstrated any form of violence against anybody. Under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s watch as the leader of Enugu State, nobody has been met with violence; rather freedom of speech has been enhanced in the State with level playing grounds.

“In a nutshell, we urged the general public to disregard the false narrative of brigandage in Enugu State. It’s not true and not in the character of the Governor and good people of Enugu State who are working hard to ensure that there would be the most peaceful electoral transition process in the State.”

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