- APC to Investigate Tinubu’s Anti-party Moves
It appears the All Progressives Congress may have initiated moves to investigate allegations of anti-party activities against the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some of the party members believed to be loyal to him.
This is happening as the party appears to be in a dilemma over how to deal with the party leader over suspicion that he is backing the Alliance for Democracy in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.
Tinubu is believed to be supporting Chief Olusola Oke, one of the governorship aspirants in the party’s primary in Ondo State who had recently defected to the Alliance for Democracy, along with his supporters.
Tinubu’s godson, Dr. Olusegun Abraham, was edged out in the primary won by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is believed to have enjoyed the backing of the party’s national leadership.
The delegates’ list for the Ondo APC primary was said to have been doctored to favour Akeredolu and this allegedly infuriated Tinubu.
As such, Tinubu asked the APC’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to resign over his alleged role in the primary in which his (Tinubu’s) candidate had come second.
In the statement in which the party’s national leader made the allegations, Tinubu said Odigie-Oyegun had “dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead” by derailing from the path of progressives.
The post-primary election crisis of the Ondo APC took a different dimension when Oke defected to AD in a move believed to have been instructed by Tinubu.
Party sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they had proofs that Tinubu was backing the AD governorship candidate. They added that the party leader had released funds for Oke’s campaign.
The Ondo State chapter of the APC confirmed that some members of the party were under investigation over alleged anti-party activities.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said specifically that some members loyal to Tinubu had been found to be involved in some activities against the party in the recent time.
Abayomi, who said expulsion from the party was the penalty for any anti-party activity, said the national body of the party would investigate and later come out with an action against any national leader involved in such activity.
He said, “We have yet to confirm if our National Leader is involved in anti-party activities but we will investigate; we are very sure that some of his boys here are involved in anti-party activities but when it is time, appropriate action would be meted to them.”
“Anti-party action is a serious offence in any political party and in our own party, total expulsion is the penalty.”
But a chieftain of the APC loyal to Tinubu, Mr. Bola Ilori, said APC members who supported Rotimi Akeredolu’s emergence as the party’s candidate were those involved in anti-party activities.
Ilori, who is a loyalist to Dr. Segun Abraham, alleged that the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was also involved in anti-party activities by allegedly using veto power to over-rule the recommendation of the Electoral Appeal Committee and submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said, “ Whoever is promoting or supporting Akeredolu to be the candidate of the APC is involving in anti-party (activities) because the NWC voted five to six not to submit the name of Akeredolu, and the National Chairman went ahead and submitted his (Akeredolu) name. So, what they have done is anti-party (action) itself.
“What they have done is anti-party (action) that has never happened in the history of the party.”
Meanwhile, APC members explained that the ruling party’s constitution prescribes sanctions against anyone found to be engaged in anti-party misdemeanor.
The Publicity Secretary of the Kwara State chapter of the APC, Mr. Sulaiman Buhari, said “A panel will be set up to investigate the matter. After the investigation, it is the panel that will recommend the punishment but it is stipulated in the Constitution. The person can be suspended or expelled from the party, given the (nature of the) offence. The situation also applies to chieftains of the party.”
The Cross River State Chairman of the APC, Mr. John Ochala, simply said, “Suspension,” when asked the specific sanction the party had reserved for those engaged in anti-party activities.
In Rivers State, the Publicity Sectary of the APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said any political party that is worth its salt must sanction any action by any member that is detrimental to it.
The Edo State chairman of the APC, Anselm Ojezua, said, “It (anti-party activity) can range from suspension to expulsion, depending on the circumstances of the case. There are no party chieftains; in the APC, everybody is a member.”
Meanwhile, Oke has said that he defected from the APC to the AD because he failed to get justice after he challenged the result of the primary of the party held on September 3. 2016 and the national leadership refused to act on the recommendation of the appeal committee.
The former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, said he made a wide consultation with people across the 18 local government areas of the state before taking the decision to leave the APC, stressing that it was on the advice of the people that he took the decision.
He also declared that since he had the support of the people, many members of the APC, PDP and many other political parties in the state would soon join him in the AD.
On whether he had the support of Tinubu, Oke said he had sold his credentials to Tinubu and national leaders of other political parties.
“Because of the status and personality of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, we are duty bound as politicians to sell the dossier and credentials of capacity and experience to him and all the leaders of political parties and hope that they would give support to progressive ideas that can develop the people and lead to the growth of our state when they see these ideas,” Oke added.
Repeated calls to the mobile telephone of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun were neither picked nor returned.
A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.
Similar efforts made to get a reaction from Tinubu were equally unsuccessful. Calls to the mobile telephone number of his spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman, were neither picked nor returned.
A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.
Envoy Considers Establishment Of Chinese Banks In Nigeria To Boost Economy
Mr Cui Jianchun, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, says he is in talks with Chinese owned Banks to establish operations in Nigeria.
This, the envoy said, is to boost Nigeria’s economy and expand trade relations between the two nations.
Cui made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while addressing Journalists during the commemoration of the 2021 Chinese Moon Festival and China-Nigeria Cultural week.
According to Cui, the establishment of Chinese Banks in Nigeria will also be one of the key areas of discussion during the China-Nigeria Binational Committee meeting, which he is also pushing for the establishment.
He said that an efficient financial institution was a key driver to achieving a strong economy, one Nigeria can learn from China’s experience.
“Before my departure from Beijing to Abuja, I talked to several banks in China. When you list the World’s 10 big banks, six are in China.
“The Banking sector is very important, because, without money, we cannot build our industries.
“What I am thinking here is best to talk to the governor of Central Bank and how we can allow the Chinese Banks to run office here and now, they are doing the feasibility studies on that.
“I am working hard that in the Bi-national meeting, I hope we can make a big decision and give a big push to let the banking industry and insurance industry because financial integration and institutions are key.
“If you go to China, you will find our banking industry is very powerful, not only for business but the change in the way of life.
“Because of the COVID-19, the Banking Industry is a little hesitant, but I told them Nigeria has a lot of human resources and as long as we work together, we can do big things.
“And that is why it is important to invest in the banking industry, to solve this problem,” Cui said.
Extolling the extant China-Nigeria trade relations, Cui noted that the volume of trade between China and Nigeria is nearly 20 billion US Dollars, with an increase from 2020’s 19.2 billion dollars.
Cui said the Chinese economy is restoring to the normal post-COVID-19 pandemic and both governments are working hard on how to expand imports and exports.
Speaking on the event, Cui said the China’s moon festival is a very important and significant one for China as it symbolises family reunion, national peace and social harmony.
The envoy said the 2021 celebration is also a special one as it coincides with the 50th Anniversary of China-Nigeria’s bilateral relations.
He said that both countries also share Oct. 1 as their National Days.
He said it is also on that note that the Chinese Embassy is honouring 50 Nigerian employees of Chinese Companies in Nigeria for their outstanding performance and contribution to strengthening diplomatic ties.
Dr Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, also lauded the Nigeria-China relations.
She said the relations had recorded great successes over the past five decades.
“The five decades of co-operation had since witnessed several cultural activities and exchanges in the spheres of arts, music, dance, exhibition, cultural administration, training and capacity building of cultural officers.
“And recently, the development of Cultural Industries centres in Nigeria, among others.
“I must add that China, through the youth-oriented programmes such as the photos competition and similar activities in the past is surely a dependable ally.
“In redirecting the energy and mind of our youth to creative ventures, thereby furthering the Nigerian government’s policy of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years”, Anyanwukatu said. (NAN)
Lagos Prohibits Open Cattle Grazing, Sanwo-Olu Signs Bill Into Law
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, assented to the bill prohibiting Open Cattle Grazing and Trespass of Cattle on Land, signing the legislation into law 11 days after it was unanimously passed by the State House of Assembly and transmitted to the Executive arm for authorisation.
By implication, it is now criminal in Lagos for cattle rearers to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing. The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle round public places by herders.
The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the Governor followed the decision of Southern Governors’ Forum last August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across member States.
There have been crises witnessed in some States, resulting from alleged open grazing.
Although farmer-herder crisis is not pronounced in Lagos, the anti-open grazing law is expected to prevent the spillover of the menace into the State.
Sanwo-Olu, who assented to the bill during the State’s Executive Council meeting in Alausa, directed the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.
He said: “By the powers vested in me as the Governor of Lagos State, I am signing the bill on Open Cattle Grazing and Trespass of Cattle on Land into law to prohibit issues associated with open grazing of livestock.”
The Governor also signed legislation transforming the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) into a full-blown agency.
The development coincided with the commemorative month dedicated to raising awareness on gender-based violence in the State. The Governor and members of the State’s cabinet wore attire with purple shades to support the campaign against sexual violence.
The DSVRT legislation provides for the establishment of Sexual Offenders’ Register that would help the State efficiently tackle violations in the communities.
After signing the law, Sanwo-Olu said: “Raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence is an important piece of working to end the cycle of violence. It is important to reiterate the State Government’s zero tolerance to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. We will not rest on our oars until the menace is reduced to the barest minimum in Lagos.”
The Governor appointed Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi as the Executive Secretary of the new agency.
Vivour-Adeniyi was the coordinator of the response team before the legislation was signed into law.
ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Guinea Junta Over Coups
West African leaders have decided to impose travel bans and freeze the financial assets of members of Guinea’s ruling junta and their families after a coup more than a week ago.
The decisions were announced Thursday after an Extraordinary Summit on Guinea in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Mediators with the regional group had traveled to Guinea to meet with junta leaders and check on the condition of deposed President Alpha Conde.
ECOWAS president Jean Claude Brou said the West African leaders have also insisted that there should be no “need for very long transition for the country to return to democratic order.”
The targeted sanctions come after Guinea’s coup leaders set a number of conditions for releasing Conde, according to the foreign minister of Ghana.
ECOWAS had already warned it will impose penalties on the junta in Guinea unless it immediately releases Conde, who has been held at an undisclosed location since being detained during the Sept. 5 coup in Conakry.
“We are coming to address a burning issue in the region,” said Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the current chair of the regional bloc, ahead of the summit. He was joined by presidents or high-ranking officials from eight of the other 15 ECOWAS countries.
Members of the ECOWAS delegation that visited Conakry after the coup presented their reports at Thursday’s meeting, said Ghanaian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. The junta has set a number of conditions for complying with the demands of regional mediators, she said but declined to disclose what they are.
The delegation has spoken with Conde’s doctor “who ascertained that indeed physically, he’s very well,” she said. However, she said, the ex-president is still coming to terms with the fact that his government has been toppled after more than a decade in power.
“For anybody who has gone through such a traumatic experience like he did, mentally, it’s not the best, not to say that mentally we found anything wrong, but he was quite shocked; he’s still in a state of shock,” she added.
Meanwhile, in Conakry, junta leaders were also set to meet with mining company representatives on the third day of a special summit to chart Guinea’s political future. Junta leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya has sought to reassure the country’s most vital economic sector that the political changes will not impact existing mining projects in the country, which has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite.
Guinea’s coup leaders have yet to make public their proposed timeframe for handing over power to a civilian transitional government, nor have they outlined how quickly new elections can be organized.
Conde had sparked violent street demonstrations last year after he pushed for a constitutional referendum that he used to justify running for a third term, saying term limits no longer applied to him. He ultimately won another five years in office last October, only to be toppled by the coup 10 months later.
At the time he came to power in 2010, he was Guinea’s first democratically elected leader since independence from France in 1958.
The regional bloc also planned to tackle concerns over whether a second member state, Mali, is making enough progress toward a return to democracy more than a year after a military takeover there.
In Mali, the ruling junta led by Col. Assimi Goita has committed to holding new elections by February 2022, though mediators who recently visited have expressed concern about whether that deadline now can be met.
Goita overthrew Mali’s president in August 2020 and then agreed to a civilian transitional government and an 18-month timeframe for holding a vote. However, only nine months after the first coup he effectively staged a second one, firing the civilian interim leaders and ultimately naming himself as president of the transition.
ECOWAS has not reinstated Mali’s membership in the bloc, marking the first time since 2012 that two of the 15 member states are suspended concurrently.
ECOWAS President Brou said there was the need to revisit the organization’s 2001 protocol on good governance “because a lot of things have changed or improved.”
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