- 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.
China Urges U.N. States Not to Attend Xinjiang Event Next Week
China has urged United Nations member states not to attend an event planned next week by Germany, the United States and Britain on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.
“It is a politically-motivated event,” China’s U.N. mission wrote in the note, dated Thursday. “We request your mission NOT to participate in this anti-China event.”
China charged that the organizers of the event, which also include several other European states along with Australia and Canada, use “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.”
“They are obsessed with provoking confrontation with China,” the note said, adding that “the provocative event can only lead to more confrontation.”
The Chinese mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ambassadors of the United States, Germany and Britain are due to address the virtual U.N. event on Wednesday, along with Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth and Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard.
The aim of the event is to “discuss how the U.N. system, member states and civil society can support and advocate for the human rights of members of ethnic Turkic communities in Xinjiang,” according to an invitation.
Western states and rights groups have accused authorities in Xinjiang of detaining and torturing Uyghurs in camps, which the United States has described as genocide. In January, Washington banned the import of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations of forced labor.
Beijing denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational training centers to combat religious extremism.
“Beijing has been trying for years to bully governments into silence but that strategy has failed miserably, as more and states step forward to voice horror and revulsion at China’s crimes against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said on Friday.
Lawmakers Tensed Over Possible Boko Haram Attack On National Assembly
Lawmakers have been notified of a possible attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the National Assembly complex and other public buildings in Abuja, The media gathered.
Several members of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, confirmed to Punch correspondent that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group.
One of them, who is from a state in the South-West, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises.
“That is the security alert I saw today. I’m already moving out of here. I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he said.
Already the notice of the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers.
The notice, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, was sent to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers and all members of the House.
The ‘security alert’, dated May 4, 2021, was issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Mr. Usman Shiddi.
It was titled ‘Re: planned insurgent attacks on VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja.’
The alert read, “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office.
“The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.
“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress.
“This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.
“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”
Security has been beefed up in and around the complex since Thursday last week.
For the first time, security operatives on that day checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third (and last) gate, a process that has continued to date.
Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists, or persons working in private businesses in the complex.
The media correspondent observed that soldiers joined the regular sergeants-at-arms and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps that manned the gates.
Recall that the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, had on April 26, 2021, raised the alarm over Boko Haram terrorists taking over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.
Bello said Abuja was not safe, with Boko Haram’s presence in Kaure – a two-hour journey from the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State. Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.”
The same day, Gbajabiamila had met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in company with the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
On the next day, the House held a long executive (closed-door) session to discuss the rising spate of insecurity across Nigeria, calling on Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.
At the secret session that lasted over three hours, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was that “the Federal Government should ensure the protection of national infrastructure and assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.”
Lagos State Plans To Launch 500 Small New Buses Next Week
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to introduce 500 small new buses to the state by next week Thursday in a bid to provide alternatives to local motorcycles.
The Governor said this in a speech on Wednesday to mark the opening ceremony of the Lagos Architect Forum. The forum themed, ‘The City of Lagos: The Next Twenty Five Years’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos chapter, at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
The 4-day forum which will run till Saturday had in attendance other dignitaries including the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal; the Lagos State Chairman of the NIA, Arc. David Majekodunmi; SA to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye; and the President-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh.
In his speech, the governor noted the progress made in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and his vision for the Lagos master plan to ensure that Lagos becomes ‘Africa’s model megacity’ by 2050. Acknowledging the challenges in the transport sector, the Governor gave assurances on improving the various modes of transport including the roads, waterways and rail lines.
“For the waterways, we’re currently building 16 jetties and terminals. About seven of them should be ready before the end of the year; we have some that are already currently being used.
“All of them will not look as nice as the one at Falomo, but we want all of them to be comfortable. We have a fleet of almost 20 boats now each carrying 50, 60, 40 passengers. We want people to use the waterways which is why we’re investing in them,” Sanwo-Olu said.
On road and rail transport, Sanwo-Olu said the state would soon begin to operate 100 new high-capacity buses, with plans to launch 500 LASTMA small buses by next week Wednesday or Thursday as alternatives to okadas that don’t have enough passenger space. He also promised that one of either the blue or red rail lines will become operational by next year.
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