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Osun Election: Our Deal With Omisore, by Oshiomhole

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  • Osun Election: Our Deal With Omisore, by Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that the party did not offer Senator Iyiola Omisore any financial inducement to gain his support during the rerun election conducted on Thursday, adding that the former Deputy governor never made any demand.

Oshiomhole also gave reasons why the party disqualified the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Jummai Alhassan from contesting the governorship elections primary in Taraba state, saying the party was not convinced about the loyalty of the minister to the party.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the former Edo State governor said the party gave Senator Omisore the opportunity to sponsor candidates to contest elections on the APC platform, stressing however that those saying the APC offered him money was out of place.

He said “I said we had a negotiation and had a deal that has to do with the governance of Osun State. I didn’t go with money and I don’t have money to give to anybody. He didn’t ask and there was no basis for him to ask.

“The word automatic ticket has meaning. Having regards to the provisions of electoral acts which makes primary mandatory, can you at the same time talk of automatic ticket? Even when I spoke to our National Assembly members, it is not that I don’t know that word exist, but I simply didn’t find it useful and never used it.

“We agreed that he will have an opportunity for him to contest for a seat on APC platform. Not just for senate or House of Representatives, but also for house of assembly. That is why I said we spoke about the immediate which is the Osun election and going forward.”

The APC Chairman said further that “Both the APC and the PDP recognizes that we needed to do business with the other minority parties that participated in the election and it wasn’t difficult to understand who to do business with if you want to influence the outcome of the election.

“It was clear that the SDP was largely in control of those areas. If you want to do a Coalition, you identify the leaders who have influence and enter into negotiation. Why PDP were shouting in the morning, that they were going to challenge the rerun their leader went to Senator Omisore to persuade him to negotiate a possible working arrangement.

“Recognizing the fact that SDP was critical to this conversation, we decided to also open negotiation with their leadership and I was impressed by his emphasis. He told us that, yes he has lost, but he believe that he can still win if we have a deal that seeks to address the primary purpose of his participation in the process which is the governance of the state and specific policy issues that were of concern to him.

“We had a robust conversation and reached an agreement which I think is healthy. We didn’t have to negotiate about compensation or about paying money to anyone. The issue was about governance, education and how we can have a working relationship ahead of the general election and in future elections.

“We were able to strike a deal that has to do with the specific issues that affect the welfare and the well being of the people of Osun State. Whereas Saraki failed to strike a deal with the SDP, we secured a deal with them and now APC, working with the SDP had huge influence in those areas and combining our efforts, it was not strange that at the end, we won.

“For democracy to flourish, only people who can accept the pain of defeat should participate in an election because there must be a winner and a loser, but for PDP to take the position as if election is only free and fair if they win is not ideal.

“When they win election in Cross River last month, we did not hear any voice, they won in Taraba, we did not hear any voice, INEC was perfect, but whenever they lost, INEC is colluding. We do not have the rigging no-how.”

Speaking on why the Minister of a Women Affairs was disqualified, Oshiomhole said “as for the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, she has issues that have to do with party loyalty. Our constitution is clear and it dictates that to contest elections or even hold office in the APC, you must be loyal to the party in every material concern.

“From all she had said in the past and even her comments and general attitude during the screening, the NWC reviewed everything taken together and we arrived at the conclusion that she does not possess the level of loyalty that the APC requires for her to contest elections on our platform.

“We made it clear when the defections happened that APC may well benefit from these defections if it helps us to be more critical in terms of who we give platform to contest elections and that there are core values that binds the APC together and they are non-negotiable.

“The Electoral Act and the APC constitution forbid anyone from being a member of more than one political party at a time. You cannot be a member of APC and be a card carrying member of another party but when you have a situation where it would appear, based on what you know and based on what I know that someone is probably APC in the day time maybe for the purpose of retaining certain offices and they are PDP at heart.

“Or if they are not PDP at heart, they are actually and simply a follower of a one-man permanent presidential candidate…then we have the right to ask ourselves if these attitudes and qualities are characteristics of an ideal member of an APC.

“So, those are the reasons. We did not want to have a lengthy explanation to do but she knows why she was disqualified and we know why we denied her the use of our platform.”

On the Minister of Communication, he said: “He admitted that he did not do the mandatory NYSC as provided for under the law and in his own judgment, his being a member of the House of Assembly in the state and now as a minister of the federal republic that these were enough sacrifices.

“But for us as a party we know that NYSC is a mandatory scheme. It is not something you may elect to do or abstain from doing and my understanding of the NYSC Act is that no employer of labour is permitted to employ anyone who graduated under 30 years and who did not obtain an exemption for reasons as provided for in the NYSC Act.

“So, for us, not participating in the NYSC raises very serious moral issue as well as legal issue. After interviewing him, we were convinced that….for our party, there are clear lessons we need to learn from our recent past when people… anyway, we were convinced that if he did not do NYSC, that for us was enough to disqualify him and we had to find the courage to do so.”

While commending the people of Osun State for keeping faith with the party, Oshiomhole said: “We have seen over the period that the opposition party has always, whenever it is not winning election raise issues of rigging. But I do understand PDP is quick to suggest rigging in any election in which it is not favored by the electorates.

“The Osun election was substantially free and fair. The fact that some votes were cancelled suggests that something’s went wrong the first day. But that those cancellations were effected by INEC also showed the independent of INEC to make decisions on the spot based on evidence on ground.

“Reviewing the opinion of genuine monitors, you realize that the fact that it was inconclusive was accepted by both local observers and foreign observers. PDP disagreed with the idea of conducting elections in those places where the elections were cancelled.

“There have been rerun elections in the past that favored the PDP. A lot of the governors today elected on the PDP platform especially in the south south are beneficiaries of inconclusive and inspite of our reservations, we had to accept those outcome.

“In the Osun election, nobody can talk of landslide victory. If anyone had access to manipulate those figures, you will not rig election and do so half-heartedly to a point of leading to inconclusive election.”

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.

Government

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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