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Atiku Backs Tinubu, Slams Oyegun for Ondo APC Primary

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atiku-abubakar

A former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has faulted the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress for overruling the recommendation of its appeal panel on the Ondo State governorship primary.

The appeal panel had recommended the cancellation of the APC governorship primary in Ondo State, where a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, emerged the winner.

The National Working Committee of the ruling party, however, ignored the panel’s report and submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the APC candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.

Atiku, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by his Media Office, urged the NWC of the party, led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to promote  the rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs.

This, he said, was germane to the unity and stability of the party, adding that the leaders should stop breaking their own rules.

The National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had, in a statement, criticised Odigie-Oyegun for rejecting the recommendation of the appeal panel on the Ondo primary of the party.

Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, who called for the resignation of the national chairman, said Odigie-Oyegun was promoting injustice in the party by manipulating the Ondo primary.

In the statement by his media office, Atiku stated that it was imperative for the national leadership of the party to respect internal democracy and democratic tenets, warning that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”

Atiku added that the NWC was supposed to be an impartial umpire in the arbitration of crisis among its members in any given election.

He noted that since the APC found veritable reasons to review the outcome of the governorship primary, and was able to establish valid grounds to cancel the exercise as well as call for a fresh one, the decision to deviate from the panel’s decision was a negation of due process and “an unfashionable hollow in democratic best practices.”

The former vice-president stated that it was wrong for the APC to have set aside a resolution its own organ reached on the crisis.

He advised the leadership of the party to do a soul-searching on why problem arose and escalated.

According to Atiku, the party leadership should always be guided by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus.

The former vice-president, however, urged aggrieved members of the APC in the Ondo election to exercise restraint in seeking redress to the crisis.

He asked the leadership of the party to retrace its steps and restore confidence among the conflicting parties in the state for the overall benefit of the ruling party.

One of our correspondents learnt that a meeting of the party leaders and some governors would take place next week.

It was gathered that the meeting was part of moves to resolve the crisis caused by the Ondo State primary.

A party leader  on Wednesday, said, “I can tell you we will meet on the crisis, possibly on Wednesday (next week). Our leaders will also reach out to Asiwaju.”

There were reports on Wednesday that the party mandated the Progressives Governors’ Forum to intervene in the crisis.

According to the report, the party and the forum had mandated the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, to meet Tinubu.

Tambuwal was said to have been contacted by the party leaders on Tuesday to mediate in the dispute between Tinubu and Odigie-Oyegun.

The governor would meet the APC leader on Saturday as part of efforts to resolve the crisis in the party.

It was reported on Wednesday that the crisis was one of the issues discussed at a meeting Tambuwal and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

The media aide to Tinubu, Tunde Rahman, however, said he was not aware of any planned meeting between the former governor and Tambuwal.

“I thought that when Tambuwal was asked if his meeting with Buhari had to do with the matter of the Ondo APC, he said he did not know,” Rahman said while parrying the question.

Meanwhile, a member of the appeal panel set up on the Ondo governorship primary, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent on Wednesday in Abuja, expressed sadness over the flouting of rules in the party.

He said, “I am glad our leaders have started speaking out. We cannot continue to have a situation where the proper things are jettisoned under the guise of expediency.

“That former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is standing up to be counted is something we should be happy about.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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