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BREAKING: 85-Year-Old Paul Biya Wins Seventh Term As Cameroon's President

Sahara Reporters - 11 hours 7 min ago


Paul Biya has won his seventh term as President of Cameroon.

The 85-year-old politician emerged winner of the poll on Monday after he won 71.3 per cent of votes, according to official results.

There were calls by the opposition last week for a re-run of the election, but the Constitutional Council rejected the move.

Major cities were under heavy security on Sunday to ward off any attempt to protest the eventual declaration of the results.

Biya has been in power for more than 35 years.
 

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Nigerians: Consider The Dangers Of A President Lucifer By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - 11 hours 25 min ago


In John Milton's Paradise Lost, we see Lucifer the Great Deceiver banished from Heaven. In Dante's Inferno, Satan is presented as a ghastly Beast. In Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Satan is a pathetic collector of souls. What about the dark ones in Nigerian politics? When you consider the characteristics of Lucifer and Satan in Milton, Dante, and in Marlowe, if Lucifer, Satan, or the Beast had a political party, definitely it would be APC or PDP.

APC and PDP candidates are contesting for 2019 presidential elections. This is the fifth time PDP will contest for the presidency after uninterrupted 16 years hold on Nigeria. After four miserable and wasted years of APC, the party wants to be back.  

Nigerians should see the coming back of both parties with surge of ancient evils and the great inferno. Nigerians should be hell scared of both parties. It's up to Nigerians to elect a Lucifer President or President of the People. A president elected on the platform of APC or PDP will be disastrous for Nigeria. It will usher in potential greater eternal suffering in a torture chamber for Nigerians.

Consider the dangers of a President Lucifer. There will be no jobs. Jobs for the army of our unemployed youths will remain a ticking time bomb ready to go off any time. Our young men and women will remain endangered species. Our civilization will be overtaken by barbarity and brutish living. The rule of law will vanish. Boko Haram will multiply and metastasized its cells. Poverty indices will tip the threshold in human history. Corruption will flourish like never before. There will be guaranteed evil without interference. Ethnic and religious bigotry will assume a new dimension sanctioned by the government. Opponents and critics against hatred and hostility will be silenced and subdued.

Hell's history has been full of political choices. This time in Nigeria is no different, and 2019 will be a turning point in our troubled and trampled democracy. By electing a Lucifer President, Nigerians will hand over their fates to unrelenting and unrepentant oppressors who have vowed to maintain endless torment of manifest wickedness. 

Choosing either APC or PDP in 2019 means choosing darkness over light, violence over peace, poverty over abundance, hatred over love, blindness over vision, despair over hope. Just imagine with your last gasp of your humanity to consider being governed by Constitution of Satanic Verses of either APC or PDP and try to negotiate your life through eons of horror and terror.

If by rigging, Nigeria is governed by either APC or PDP in 2019, corruption, avarice, greed, wickedness, fear, insecurity, killings, will take over the land with total disregard for human suffering. Right now, Nigeria is ruled by injustice and at best selective justice. With APC or PDP at the helm in 2019, injustice, jungle justice, manufactured injustice will be our natural and constitutional law. Violence will be legitimized. Dictatorship will find a safe haven. Anarchy will be enthroned. Our children will have panic attacks, they won't be able to sleep, they'll regress developmentally due to malnutrition, family problems, and unsafe environment. Where they might have been verbal, they'll no longer talk. A blank, empty, and hopeless future awaits them.

APC and PDP wield a dangerous amnesia towards Nigeria's history of leadership vacuum. Under APC or PDP, Nigeria as a rudderless country will continue to grope in the dark and in the wilderness. Both parties are stinkingly corrupt. Membership of both parties is based on exchange of one thief for another. Both parties are revolving doors for criminals, scammers, scoundrels and scalawags. Both parties thrive on violence, unrest, bad governance willfully with impunity.

You ain't seeing nothing yet. Wait till any of the two parties take over Aso Rock in 2019. It's going to be an onslaught that will paralyze us as a nation and as a people. We must refuse and reject this reality – brazen allegiance to insanity – that the two parties hold dearly. Both parties have dismantled our hopes and disbanded our collective aspirations. We've been raped, violated, victimized, and persecuted. Atiku's coming back and of course Buhari's is dictated by blind necessity. It is insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians for Atiku and PDP to stage a comeback. Atiku and PDP are defined by ascendancy of corruption. Atiku has no moral compass about leadership and governance. He's like a great white shark, a scandal must be fed, or it sinks to the bottom and dies. Atiku's page scandal has not had the full scrutiny. This is the best time – election season – to unearth the buried skeletons in his corruption grave.

Buhari has turned Nigeria into the poverty capital of the world. Uncommon power has combined with uncommon greed to create immense deceptions and losses for Nigerians. Under Buhari, the humiliating daily headlines of corruption crises stemming from treasury looting by public officials and his kitchen cabinet seem cruel to recall.

Human behavior is regulated by many factors – moral standards, the sense of shame, of conscience, of duty, and of service. Both candidates – Atiku and Buhari – have none. Nigerians, you have been warned enough. As a people, you still have enough time to plan your escape route before 2019. Flee from a Lucifer President... Let's go there!

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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South-East Group Vows To 'Physically Deliver' Nnamdi Kanu To Police If He Ever Enters Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - 11 hours 46 min ago


The South-East Renewal Group (SERG) has berated Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), over his position on the 2019 general election.

The group said Kanu’s declaration that there will be no election in the South-East, which he claimed to be ‘Biafra territory’, is a joke that should not be taken seriously.

On Sunday, Kanu addressed a world press conference via an audio broadcast, 13 months after he vanished following a raid on his home by the military in September 2017. See Also Politics AUDIO: I’ve Returned Full-Time And I’ll Bring Hell With Me, Says Nnamdi Kanu 0 Comments 19 Hours Ago

In the audio broadcast obtained by Sahara Reporters, Kanu stated that he was back and would "bring hell" upon his return.

However, a statement by Charles Mbani, National President of SERG on Monday, rebuked Kanu for looking to "cause trouble for the people of South-East of Nigeria origin, who have spent the last one year rebuilding confidence with their neighbours in their bid to repair the damages caused by previous bellicose behaviour of him and his IPOB members".

It promised to "physically deliver him to the nearest police station for onward transportation to appear in court" if he ever sets foot upon the country

SERG declared that Nnamdi Kanu and the faction of IPOB do not speak for the Igbo as a people.

The statement read: “His utterances are at variance with the belief of the people of the South-East Nigeria, who are cultured, have maximum regards for Nigerians of other ethnic stocks, believe in the unity of Nigeria, while they continue to clamour for restructuring that will promote equity, respect constituted authority and institutions and will never descend low to the point of disparaging other human beings.

“The annals have recorded it that Nnamdi Kanu is a coward, who incited promising Igbo youth to throw away their lives literarily and figuratively. He threw the entire South-East into confusion and pocketed the money raised from suffering Igbo masses only for him to escape when the people had erroneously thought he had something in stock for them.

“It is the height of insult to the Igbo sensibility for him to think that putting up this charade from the Holy Land will fool Ndi Igbo another round. If he is broke and wants to use this latest performance to finance his drug-addled life, he should have a rethink and look for honest work to pay his own bills.

“We strongly believe that his desperation for money has made him team up with those that are out to frustrate the Igbo agenda and interest. We say this because it is curious that Kanu had hidden for so long as a common criminal, only for him to turn up at a time when the political fortunes of the South East are improving with the nomination of one of our own, Mr. Peter Obi, as a vice presidential candidate in next year’s election.

“SERG hereby categorically places Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and any miscreant that buys into the poisonous ideology they promote that not only will election hold in the South-East but that people will also come out to exercise their voting rights without being molested.

“Igbo will mobilize to ensure this chance is not lost, certainly not in this lifetime. On the other hand, at the end of the general election, which would hold everywhere in a united Nigeria, Kanu would have proven beyond doubt that he is a liar and an utter symbol of falsehood that is at best treated as a pariah.

“As for Kanu’s threat to continue skipping bail while visiting 'Biafraland', SERG strongly advises him to turn himself over to the court and stand trial since he claimed to have revelations that will rattle Nigeria. He is guaranteed to spend a sizeable portion of his remaining years in jail, if only to atone for our youth that he misled to their deaths.

"Since there is no internationally recognised nation called Biafra, we dare Kanu to step foot anywhere in Nigeria — within or outside the South-East — and SERG members will physically deliver him to the nearest Police station for onward transportation to appear in court.”

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Sowore Picks Accomplished Public Health Expert, Dr. Rabiu Ahmed Rufai, As Running Mate

Sahara Reporters - 11 hours 59 min ago


Dr. Rabiu Ahmed Rufai has been selected as the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC).

Dr. Rufai's appointment was announced by Dr Malcolm Fabiyi, Deputy National Chairman (Admin) of AAC and Director-General of the TakeItBack Movement/Sowore 2019 Campaign, in a statement on Monday.

Born on July 17, 1976, Dr. Rufai is a world-class expert in public health intervention. He is from Jigawa State. His areas of expertise include Maternal and Child Health Services, Communicable Disease Prevention & Control, Health Systems Development for Primary Health Care, Health Management, Policy and Planning, Health Economics and Policy Research, Health System Development and Strengthening, Demography, Monitoring & Evaluation of Health Programs, Medical Statistics and Epidemiology.  

Dr Rabiu’s impressive qualifications include a medical degree (MBBS) from Bayero University, Kano, and Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Leeds University UK. He is a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians (FWACP) and also a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH). He is a member and Associate Fellow of the West African Postgraduate Medical College, a Member and Associate Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and a Member of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.   

An accomplished academic and medical practitioner, Dr Rufai was the pioneer Dean of the School of Public Health at Federal University Dutse from 2014 to 2015, while also serving as an Honorary Consultant Public Health Physician at the Federal Medical Centre Birnin Kudu.

From 2011 to 2013, he was a lecturer and Head of Health Policy and Health System Strengthening Unit as well as the Health Management, Policy and Planning Unit at Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, while also serving as Honorary Consultant Public Health Physician.  Dr Rufai served as Registrar and Senior Registrar (I, II) at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital from 2007 to 2011. 

During his National Youth Service at the State Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State from 2006 to 2007, Dr Rufai served as an attending Physician at General Out-patient, Paediatrics & Casualty Units. From June 2005 to December 2005, he served as a House Officer at both the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, and the Specialist Hospital Bauchi, Bauchi State.

Dr Rufai has received multiple awards internationally for his outstanding work in the field of public health. For over a decade, he has worked tirelessly on primary health care in Nigeria, bringing contemporary practices to the field of maternal and child health, tuberculosis, HIV, environmental health and many of the tropical diseases ailing our people. 

Well-travelled and well read, Dr. Rufai embodies that rare combination of First World knowledge and indigenous passion. He has given his entire life and career to serving Nigeria’s least privileged at the grassroots level and demonstrated a readiness to lay his life on the line to ensure that national well-being, backed by good governance is established in Nigeria. 

Speaking on the choice of Dr Rufai, AAC Presidential Candidate, Omoyele Sowore said, “in our bid to work on Nigeria’s multifaceted challenges and proffer solutions that will create a true giant out of our nation, we have always believed that health care, population health and health economics rank alongside national security and power as critical areas that a serious government must address. I can think of no one more qualified than Dr Rufai to spearhead that aspect of our agenda. Health is Wealth — and in our government, Dr Rufai will be responsible for ensuring that Nigerians have access to affordable and world-class healthcare and translating that to economic growth.”

"All supporters of the TakeIt Back movement and our great party, the African Action Congress, will be excited by Dr Rufai’s choice. In surveys, our members and supporters called for a northern vice-presidential candidate, with integrity and an unbridled passion for national unity. Dr Rufai embodies all those qualities. We worked hard to find within one individual the many traits you told us were important and we are confident that Nigerians will find in Dr Rufai a man of integrity, intelligence and devotion to a nation that urgently needs our help. 

"We present to you our running mate and Nigeria’s next vice president, Dr. Rabiu Ahmed Rufai: exactly what the doctor ordered."

 

 

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AfDB Approves $50m Credit Facility For Fidelity Bank

Sahara Reporters - 12 hours 30 min ago


The African Development Bank has approved a US$50 million line of credit to Nigeria’s Fidelity Bank Plc to support small and medium-sized, and women-owned enterprises in selected transformative sectors.

The credit will also accommodate close to 100 SMEs in manufacturing, health and education.

According to a statement by AfDB, the credit was approved by the bank’s board on October 10, 2018, and the facility is fully dedicated to financing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a minimum of 30 per cent going to women-owned enterprises.

The statement read: "The loan will enhance Fidelity Bank’s liquidity and help meet the demand for medium-term funding to players in the target sectors, contributing to improved quality of lives, job and wealth creation and tax-revenue generation.

"The facility complements the Nigerian government's long-term development strategy, as espoused in its Vision 20:2020 agenda. Aligned with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERPG), the AfDB noted that the funding will ultimately boost enterprise competitiveness and expand Nigeria’s economic base. The ERPG seeks to stimulate Nigeria’s economic growth, catalyse macroeconomic stability, foster diversification of the economy, and enhance social inclusion as well as governance.

"SMEs account for 30 per cent of Fidelity Bank’s loan portfolio. The selection of the tier 2 Nigerian bank for this seven-year credit facility (with a grace period of two years) is based on its strong niche presence in the SME and mid-sized corporates space. It is also in recognition of the bank’s credit management and strong track record with the African Development Bank. The Nigerian lender has previously received US$18 million and US$75 million lines of credit from the development finance institution in 2001 and 2013, respectively."

Ebrima Faal, Senior Director, Nigeria Country Office at the African Development Bank, was quoted as saying: “Fidelity Bank is a niche player, focused on the SME space and this US$50 million credit line will contribute to strengthening its presence in its key market segments. The Nigerian financial institution also continues to meet its ongoing credit obligations under the terms of previous support received from the African Development Bank".

The statement continued: "The line of credit to the Nigerian financial institution is consistent with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013–2022). It also aligns with two of its High 5 priorities – Industrialize Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

"Founded in 1987, Fidelity Bank Plc has grown from its marginal position into a stable banking institution. Currently the 10th largest commercial bank in Nigeria by asset size, it was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in May 2005. It has a broad client base of about four million customers nationwide, served from a network of over 240 branches and business offices, supported by alternative service delivery channels like ATMs, mobile and electronic banking, and agency banking channels.  

"Following its renewed digital banking and retail drive, Fidelity Bank was ranked 4th best bank in Nigeria in the retail market segment in the KPMG Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS) in 2017."

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Nine Nigerian-owned Shops Looted And Burnt In South Africa

Sahara Reporters - 12 hours 46 min ago


At least nine shops belonging to Nigerians have been burnt in South Africa.

The incident occurred in Hillbrow, Central Johannesburg, between Sunday and Monday

Habib Miller, Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Union in South Africa, accused South Africans of committing the act.

Speaking with NAN via phone from Pretoria on Monday, he noted that the union had informed the Nigerian Mission in South Africa and was expecting their response to its development.

He said: “Nine Nigerian businesses have been looted and burnt. The incident began on Sunday and continued till Monday, October 22. Businesses affected range from restaurants, internet cafe, bar, groceries and stores.

“At the time of the incident, electricity in the area was cut off. One of the businesses affected is owned by Mr C.J. Ubah, a bar owner at Fife Street.

“The union is monitoring the situation. We have not received any report of casualty on any Nigerian, but the situation is still tense because there are fears that the looting will resume in the night. We have also advised Nigerians in the area to adopt safety measures by being alert."

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TCN Accuses DSS Of Conspiring With Private Telecoms Firm To Take Over Facility

Sahara Reporters - 13 hours 18 min ago


The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is facing a likely take-over of its fibre optic infrastructure by a private telecommunication firm, Phase 3.

The take-over is despite a subsisting court order in favour of TCN.

According to ThisDay, a petition obtained on Sunday, from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, noted that TCN's operations may be affected by the action, which bothers on allegations of failing to abide by the terms of a $40 million fibre optic network infrastructure deal they signed on March 2006.

In the petition, the Department of State Services (DSS) was accused of conniving with the concessioner to take over its fiber optic infrastructure. This is as TCN said it entered into a 15-year partnership with the firm in the spirit of public private partnership, for Phase 3 to use its fibre optic network infrastructure.

According to the document, the agreement involved Phase 3 paying a concession fee of $40 million to the federal government through it for the right of access and use of the fibre optic network for the 15-year period. Besides the concession fee, TCN says it agreed with the firm that it would pay 2.5 per cent royalty on its gross revenue from its use of the network among other charges.

The corporation noted, however, that Phase 3 had remitted only $3.5 million out of $40 million. The telecommunication company had further gone ahead to allegedly sub-concession the network to a third-party for periods longer than what it agreed with it. On the premise of these two reasons, TCN says it opted to cancel the agreement, triggering a court action.

In June 2018, a Court of Appeal issued a stay-of-execution order granted on interlocutory injunctive orders to Phase 3 by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in May 2018.

In disregard of the appellate court’s notice, TCN alleged that DSS had taken over its fiber optic structures in transmission substations located in Keffi, Nasarawa State; Suleja in Niger State and Katampe in Abuja. The petition stated that the take over began on October 8, with DSS officials threatening to shoot any TCN staff who interfered with Phase 3’s take over.

“The three takeovers were done on October 8, 2018, with men of the DSS who were reportedly heavily armed, chasing away TCN workers at the substations and equally threatening to shoot and kill any of them who dared to stop Phase 3 from repossessing the concession shelter of TCN’s fibre optics infrastructure,” the petition read.

The petition noted that Phase 3 created the unauthorised access points at a time when the verdict of the suit it instituted against TCN for cancelling the $40 million concession deal was still being awaited.

According to data from the power advisory team in the Office of the Vice-President, Nigeria lost 2,187.7 mw of power due to grid constraints for the week ending Friday, September 19, 2018.

DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, had not responded to the allegation at the time of the report, just as TCN was also not available for comments on the petition.

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BREAKING: Ambode Hasn't Committed Any Impeachable Offence, Says Lagos Assembly Speaker

Sahara Reporters - 13 hours 42 min ago


Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, has dismissed rumours of plans by the House to impeach Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of the state.

He stated this during the plenary session of the House on Monday.

According to Obasa, "Impeachment is constitutional and has its process", but the lawmakers are "not embarking on that yet".

Proceedings of the session were contained in a post on the Twitter handle of the Lagos House of Assembly that read: "The Rt.Hon Speaker @mudashiru_obasa clears the rumours on alleged impeachment of the Executive Governor @AkinwunmiAmbode. Impeachment is constitutional & has its process. we are not embarking on that yet. H.E @AkinwunmiAmbode has not committed any impeachable offence.

"We don’t need wailers to advice us on how to go about our duties. For now, we are still working in one accord to move Lagos forward. This is to clear the rumors."

The Rt.Hon Speaker @mudashiru_obasa clears the rumors on alleged impeachment of the Executive Governor @AkinwunmiAmbode.
Impeachment is constitutional & has its process. we are not embarking on that yet.
H.E @AkinwunmiAmbode has not committed any impeachable offense.

— LagosHouseOfAssembly (@lshaofficial) October 22, 2018
 

 

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PHOTOS: Angry Staff 'Detain' Suspended NHIS Boss In His Office

Sahara Reporters - 14 hours 2 min ago






Following the forced entry of the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, into office on Monday, workers have barricaded the entrance of the building and vowed not to allow him to come out of the office.

Yusuf was accompanied by armed policemen, who fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesting staff, who had earlier tried to prevent him from entering the office. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: '50 Policemen' Escort Suspended NHIS Boss To Office 0 Comments 6 Hours Ago

At the time of filing this report, workers had vacated their offices and converged outside, stating that the atmosphere was not conducive for work.

They also threatened not to open the main gate for him to leave.

More to follow...

 

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'He Stood By Me In Time Of Trouble' — Fani-Kayode Explains Presence In Court With Fayose

Sahara Reporters - 14 hours 17 min ago


Fani-Kayode in court to support Fayose

Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, has explained his presence in court on Monday during the commencement of the court trial of Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State, for alleged corruption.

On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Fayose on an 11-count charge bordering corruption and abuse of office to the tune of N30.8 billion.

Fani-Kayode was there to watch it all happen, and he told SaharaReporters: "What I’m doing here is to support Ayo Fayose and I’m a sound believer in the unity of this country — also for the love of this country.

"I’m a lover of justice and I know it is important that people summon courage just Iike Fayose and to know that loyalty is a virtue. I’m loyal to my friends and country, and Fayose is one because he stood by me in time of trouble and I will in his troubled time. I believe it is important to learn a lesson from this." See Also Corruption UNVEILED: Musiliu Obanikoro And The 16 Witnesses Who Will Testify Against Fayose 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

On the unveiling of Musiliu Obanikoro, who used to be the in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Fayose, as one of the 17 witnesses to testify against the Governor, Fani-Kayode said: "I believe it is important to learn lesson from this, that friends sometimes are not real friends.

"Friends that will stand by you in terms of trouble are the real one and I’m a friend to Fayose... to show solidarity with him and to let him understand that he is not alone because I really know what he is passing through."

He accused APC of witch-hunting the opposition, saying: "Every PDP leader has been subjected to some prosecution or the other. They prosecute the enemies and protect their friends and therefore it is important to be with Fayose because our only hope lies in God and the justice of the system.

"I have every confidence in this country and also that it is important that one looks for the taste of real justice. I don’t want people to be convicted on the pages of newspapers. Let’s see how it goes; I stand with the innocence of this man."

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NYSC Postpones Kaduna State Batch C Orientation 'Till Further Notice'

Sahara Reporters - 15 hours 5 min ago


NYSC members

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has directed all 2018 Batch 'C' prospective Corps Members deployed to Kaduna State to "remain at home until further notice".

A statement by the NYSC management on Sunday via its official Facebook page noted that the suspension of the orientation course in Kaduna was due to the "current securoty situation in the state".

Corps members posted to other states were, however, directed to resume on Tuesday, as scheduled.

The statement read: "The Management of  National Youth Service Corps wishes to inform all 2018 Batch 'C' prospective Corps Members deployed to Kaduna State that the commencement of the Orientation Course earlier scheduled for Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 has been suspended till further notice due to the current security situation and consequent curfew imposed by the State Government.

"All affected prospective Corps Members are advised to remain at home until further notice from the NYSC Management.

However, all other prospective Corps Members deployed to other States and FCT are to report at the various Orientation Camps on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 as scheduled. All inconveniences are regretted."

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Killings And Destruction In Kaduna: What Have We Gained? By Yekeen Akinwale​

Sahara Reporters - 15 hours 31 min ago


Whatever the cause of the recent waves of killings and destructions in Kaduna State − more than 50 lives, the police said were already lost−it is clear that we never learned and understood that violence is not, and can never be a solution to our grievances.

With few months to another general election, these are definitely unhealthy developments for the country.

The decision to go berserk by any aggrieved party−to resort to the ongoing attacks− at this point in time in a state like Kaduna that never recovered from the grip of ethnic clashes, religious violence and of late banditry activities was not only ill-informed and against the ordinary people, but a great disservice to all.

It is difficult to decipher whether those who orchestrate these crises clearly understand the imports of their selfish decisions or those who are the tools in their hands really took their time to examine how these have dented their lives and those of others. It is unimaginable how some people are comfortable with blood in their hands− and they live like vampires.

Once a Ville Des Possibles (City of possibilities), for indigenes and non-indigenes, Kaduna, now like, Jos is a city even travellers who traverse its express roads are targets of ethnic and religious fighters and now often, kidnappers who are on the prowls.

Early residents of Kaduna and Jos, were gripped by that sense of possibility, that many among them originally from South West and South-East never dreamt of returning to their own roots. The only place they and their descendants have known as homes as these cities.

Four times curfew imposed in Kaduna in two years

What has suddenly tore apart the cord of unity, peace and tranquility in Kaduna is still a mystery. The relative peace once enjoyed in the state is fast eroding and scary too.

Between December 2016 and October 2018, the government of Kaduna State has imposed curfew four times after violence erupted in some parts of the state.

This is outside the activities of bandits who have turned Birnin Gwari town to a killing field in recent time.

Kaduna had hardly known peace since 1980 and it is unfortunate for such a cosmopolitan city− it is home to all Nigerians but they are now on the run for fear of attacks.

In 2016, Christmas was observed under curfew in Kafanchan area of the state after a deadly clash between Fulani herdsmen and natives. A 12-hour curfew was issued by the governor, to according to him, ‘stabilize the security situation in the area.’

“Well, we have curfew, even on Christmas day, but it is for 12 hours. People will be able to get out in the morning at 6.00 a.m. and be back at 6.00 p.m. It is because of the security situation,” El-Rufai said of the need to impose the curfew.

Again in February 2017, the state government was forced to declare another curfew after at least 21 people were killed in Jema’a and Kaura local government areas of the state.

The state security council announced a 24-hour curfew afterward. Many houses were also burnt in the attacks.

Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of Governor El-Rufai, said the curfew was imposed to prevent further break down of law and order.

In August 2018, the governor imposed a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on Kwaru and Ungwan Yero communities in the Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.

This followed the killing of two youths in the communal clashes that took place in the two communities.

And just two months after, Kaduna is already boiling for reasons that are yet unknown.  The government, in response, to curb the destruction, exercised its constitutional power−imposed another curfew making it the fourth in two years.

“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect. Residents are advised to comply by this directive. The decision has been taken in the best interest of the state,” El-Rufai stated after a crisis that had claimed 55 lives.

The number of deaths in Kaduna

Not many have paused to imagine the quantum of loss−human and materials that has followed the incessant crises in Kaduna. Perhaps, if this has been taken into cognizance, those behind these needless killings would have had a rethink.

Before the recent waves of attack, Governor El-Rufai in January 2017 revealed that no fewer than 20,000 people lost their lives in the various crises that had rocked Kaduna State since 1980.

El-Rufai said it was regrettable that of all the crises in the past 35 years which led to the destruction of lives and property, nobody has been prosecuted for the dastardly acts.

In the same January 2017, the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), disclosed that the crisis in Southern Kaduna between Fulani herdsmen and the natives which has lasted months claimed 204 lives.

But the Catholic Church in its report of the same crisis put the casualty figure at 808 as of December 2016, a figure that was disputed by the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris who did not give a contrary number. The Catholic Church also said 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops, and one primary school were destroyed.

Such were the attendant losses in human and materials for just one crisis.

Nobody has been prosecuted for the killings, and this, the Governor of the state lamented.

Given the death tolls from 2017 till date, the figure is far over 20,000 for those that were recorded and the unreported deaths are unimaginable.

The unintended victims

As with Jos, so it has been with Kaduna−travelers on Kaduna express road have also become victims of the madness.

We are yet to come to terms with the shocking discoveries from the Jos Pond, that’s better called ‘Pond of deaths.’

Definitely, it is not only in Jos, that innocent travelers are made scapegoats of crisis they knew nothing about. It is so sad how the nation’s moral fabric and cord unity are being shredded by hatred sown by people who are hell bent at causing war.

For only God knows how many people have passed through some unfortunate incidents and have disappeared without trace.

 Only on Sunday, some innocent travelers were caught in the midst of cross fire on their way to Kano. It took the intervention of some Hausa speaking passengers for some Kano bound travelers to escape being harmed while so were not so lucky.

 Many of these attacks on travelers have gone unreported and underscore the spiral effect of the crisis.

The call for a re-think

The level of hypocrisy in the land is frightening as it is alarming –we do not practice what we profess. Those who preach peace are yet the same people that are promoting anarchy in the land.

Are we going to ever change in Nigeria? People who sponsor and foment trouble across the country are religious people− Muslims and Christians. Yes, they are among us− men and women that we respect, young and old that we all know.  When crisis start, they forget what the scriptures teach and pick up the gauntlet.

People that frequent places of worship and often times mount pulpits and podium to sermonize against violence−they preach love, peace and unity and neighborliness, yet they are the promoters of anarchy.

If we must continue as brother and sisters, as neigbours, as co-travellers, the bitter truth be told that lessons from killings and destructions are calls for us all to rethink our actions and inaction.

A nation is as good as its people− if we want peace, we must work for it by ourselves, if we desire growth, we must lay the foundation for it and if we crave for development, it is our duty to eschew bitterness and work for the common goal of the country. For in anarchy, nothing can thrive− insecurity does not guarantee growth and development.  The time is now to have a re-think before Nigeria is shredded into pieces by selfish interest.

Akinwale is of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)

Twitter @akinwaleganglin

akinwalegangling@yahoo.com

 

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BREAKING: '50 Policemen' Escort Suspended NHIS Boss To Office

Sahara Reporters - 16 hours 46 min ago


Policemen numbering about 50 have tear-gassed staff members of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

They shot the cannisters into the NHIS headquarters on Monday, as they broke the gates of the premises to escort the suspended NHIS Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf, into the headquarters.

Yusus's suspension was announced last Thursday. See Also Exclusive BREAKING: Usman Yusuf, Executive Secretary Of NHIS, Gets Fresh Suspension 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

According to The Punch, the policemen fired the tear gas to disperse members of staff, who wanted to prevent Usman from gaining access to the premises.

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BREAKING: Fayose To Remain In Detention As Court Adjourns Trial

Sahara Reporters - 16 hours 49 min ago


The trial of Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos State, has been adjourned till Wednesday.

On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Fayose on an 11-count charge bordering corruption and abuse of office to the tune of N30.8 billion.

When the charges were read to him, the former Governor pleaded not guilty.

His counsel, Kanu Agabi, filed a bail application on his behalf of his client but the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, rejected the application, ruling that Fayose should remain in EFCC custody till Wednesday.

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ECOWAS Knocks Security Agencies Over Role In Osun Poll

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 9 min ago


The Economic Community of West African States has said the international community and voters in Nigeria believe that security agents might have been used in creating problems for the electoral process.

The Head of Political Affairs, ECOWAS, Dr Remi Ajibewa, said this when he and other ECOWAS officials visited the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, according to a statement on Sunday.

Ajibewa said while INEC conducted the Osun governorship election professionally, the same could not be said of the security agencies.

The statement, which was signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, read in part, “He (Ajibewa) commended the commission for the conduct of the Osun State governorship election but regretted that while INEC did its best, the international community and voters feared that security agents might have been used to create problems for the electoral process.”

The ECOWAS official reiterated the need for INEC to carry all stakeholders, comprising political parties, the media, civil society organisations and security agencies, along as it prepares for the general elections.  He said INEC should also work closely with the police to secure the electoral process.

Gen. Francis Behanzin, who headed the ECOWAS delegation to INEC, said ECOWAS would deploy 200 observers in Nigeria to monitor the 2019 general elections which will begin in February next year.

Behanzin said the purpose of the visit was to, among other things, find out about INEC’s preparation for the 2019 general elections and the challenges it was facing, in view of Nigeria’s large voter population of over 80 million.

He described Nigeria as “a very big country”, pledging financial support for the conduct of the elections.

Behanzin expressed gratitude to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for his contributions towards the improvement of the electoral process and sustenance of democracy across the West-African sub-region.

In his remarks, Yakubu thanked Behanzin for his kind words and seized the opportunity to explain the commission’s preparations for the 2019 polls.

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Labour Begins Indefinite Wage Strike November 6​

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 13 min ago


NLC President Ayuba Wabba

NLC President Ayuba Wabba Guardian Nigeria

Unless the Federal Government announces a new minimum wage, organised labour will embark on an indefinite strike from November 6, 2018.

“If nothing is responsibly done by the Federal Government to meet our demands, on Monday, the 6th day of November, we shall embark on a nationwide strike to compel this government to show more sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis,” said a statement by labour leaders. The statement was signed by the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba; his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Bobboi Kaigama; and president of the United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero, in Abuja, yesterday.

A seven-day warning strike it staged earlier was called off September 30, three days after it began. Labour had wanted the Federal Government to reconvene the tripartite national minimum wage committee.

The organised labour denied government’s argument that the committee did not agree on a figure during its last sitting. “We accepted N30,000 as a compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building. Anything to the contrary, no matter the quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear, cannot be true. Resorting to Goebbelsianism at this time of national emergency, which requires men and women of integrity, is rather unfortunate and cannot suddenly make the brazen falsehoods truths.”

The labour leaders said: “We cannot continue discussing a figure that has already been agreed procedurally within the committee.

What we are waiting for is for the Federal Government to immediately set in motion the necessary machinery for turning the agreement into a bill for onward submission to the National Assembly, where we expect the presidency to work together with the legislators to make it a law so that it can be implemented quickly.

“We are not amused by the feeble and laughable attempt the Federal Government is making to intimidate and cow the trade union movement and its leadership in the country all in a bid to subjugate the will of Nigerian workers over the national minimum wage. Let us today remember those who deny us and let us collectively demonstrate our position at next year’s polls.”

Confirming the outcome of the last meeting on the proposed figure from the Organised Private Sector (OPS), the director general designate, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale, told The Guardian: “We have concluded. We have a majority figure which was N30,000, which was what we all agreed on. However, there was a minority voice from the Federal Government that it would not be sustainable for government and they proposed N24,000. But we insisted that we were closing discussion and we were leaving it at N30,000.”

Olawale however pleaded with the organised labour not to embark on strike, adding that if it does, the private sector should be excluded.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) meanwhile has berated the Federal Economic Council for approving 15 per cent of the annual budget for education at the twilight of the current administration.

The general secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, said 20 per cent would have been more appropriate because given the low budget of the country, a mere 15 per cent would not make noticeable impact.

He said: “The so-called 15 per cent is even grossly inadequate because right now, what our universities are doing is to rely on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to bridge the gaps that have been created as a result of inadequate funding. Government talks about intervention funds, which is a clear admittance that government is not funding education properly through the budgetary system. I think if government is serious about funding education, they should start from 20 per cent to make any impact. In fact, we need to ask the 15 per cent or 20 per cent of what? What is even the size of the budget itself for the percentage allotted to make sense? So, the size of the budget determines the quantum of impact that is expected. Right now, our budgetary allocation cannot be said to be extremely high.”

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Stop Misusing My Name, Okonjo-Iweala Tells Politicians​

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 13 min ago


Former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

A former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has cautioned politicians to stop misusing her name to further their partisan political objectives.

Her media adviser, Mr. Paul C Nwabuikwu, said in a statement yesterday that in spite of several rebuttals and clarifications he issued over the past months, some groups and individuals were still misusing the former minister’s name to further partisan political objectives.

“We would like to alert Nigerians that this unfortunate practice has increased significantly in this political season. This misuse of the minister’s name comes in many forms. There are fake newspaper articles published under her name; fake quotations canvassing certain views which are falsely attributed to her. Even fake audios in which someone pretends to be the former finance minister have been going round. Most of these are typically disseminated on WhatsApp and other forms of social media,” Nwabuikwu explained.

“In one recent example, a video of the minister was cleverly edited, leaving out crucial information and context to give a totally false impression. These shenanigans are designed to give the impression that she supports one particular political interest or position or the other. We urge Nigerians to ignore these mischievous antics by political peddlers of fiction.

“Okonjo-Iweala is very capable of speaking for herself if and when she wants to and does not need the help of anyone to do that.

“In this political season of forged and fake news, we urge the media and the public to crosscheck the authenticity of any quotations, articles, audios and videos attributed to Dr Okonjo-Iweala before giving them credence or going public with them. If it does not come directly from Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s twitter account then kindly discount it,” Nwabuikwu added.

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PHOTOS: Obanikoro Absent, Fani-Kayode Present As EFCC Arraigns Fayose In Lagos

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 20 min ago









Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State, is at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, to answer to charges of corruption filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fayose was brought to court shortly before 9am, and notable among those at the court to offer him support was Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation.

However, ex-minister Musiliu Obanikoro, who had been listed as one of 17 witnessed to testify against Fayose was not in court.

Photos below:

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APC Govs Storm Abuja Tomorrow, Collect Signatures To Remove Party Chairman​

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 28 min ago


The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has hit back at governors of the party that are reported to be moving against him, saying he would not succumb to their antics and impunity.

He said contrary to insinuations by some of them and their allying stakeholders that he was out to liquidate the party, his mission was to galvanise the APC into a disciplined and cohesive platform ready to clinch victory at next year’s general elections.

Oshiomhole’s fightback coincides with the intensification of efforts by governors to remove him from office. THISDAY learnt last night that 15 of 21 governors of the party, being coordinated by one of them from the South-west, are collecting signatures to force a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that would unseat the national chairman.

The governors, multiple sources told THISDAY, would be converging on Abuja tomorrow to finalise their objective.

The party has also explained that it opted for consensus and made some hard choices in a desperate bid to meet the October 18 deadline set for submission of its candidates’ list for elections into the National Assembly.

In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, the APC national chairman said while the party would not surrender its functions, which are constitutionally circumscribed, to any other entities, it would always reach out to divergent tendencies and mediate the disparate political camps in the interest of party cohesion.

According to Oshiomhole, stakeholders should be assured that the party is in safe hands as it marches, sure-footedly, to victory in the 2019 general election.

In an apparent response to criticisms coming from some governors elected on APC’s platform, Oshiomhole vowed that only the party, and not pseudo political empires in the states, had the power to superintend the primary elections for the nomination of its candidates in the general election.

He said, “To be clear, Oshiomhole did not become national chairman of the governing party to bring it down a notch from the pedestal of its 2015 electoral victory let alone to preside over its liquidation.

“Rather, his single-minded goal, from the outset of his declaration of interest in the position, was to deploy his capacity in helping to strengthen and reposition the party as a truly supreme and disciplined political entity.”

Oshiomhole who blamed those he referred to as “conservative elements” for spearheading a plot to pass a vote of no confidence against him, said their main grouse was his insistence on party supremacy and discipline.

He noted that before his emergence as chairman, the party was wallowing in impunity and disrespect to laid down rules.

He said he knew from the onset that those who supported the status quo that he supplanted would not cave in easily but will fight back.

According to him, “Although, it might appear fortuitous to some persons that he became national chairman at the threshold of the 2019 general election, the truth is that there is no accident in predestination.

“We must appreciate the fact that it has pleased the Almighty God to place him in the saddle of APC-led leadership at this time for a purpose.”

Oshiomhole said the reforms he planned to bring about in the APC had begun to manifest in its vast flourish and ramifications, through instilling discipline, ensuring party supremacy, promoting due process, dealing with impunity and executive arrogance wherever they manifested to undermine intra-party electoral processes in the states.

“Again, we were not, in the least, deluded that the process of rebranding or rewriting the narrative of the four-year old party would be easy.

What we are witnessing in the APC today is Oshiomhole’s adroit management of the strains and pains that accompany the birth of a resuscitated governing party,” he said.

Referring to the party’s handling of the primary election crises, Oshiomhole said the message was very clear that the party and not pseudo political empires in the states had the power to superintend the primary elections for the nomination of the party’s candidates in the general election.

He said the leadership provided by the party in recent primary elections and the large-scale integrity of the processes were developments that should hence serve as exemplars in the administration of parties.

Oshiomhole also responded to criticism by one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the party, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, who said the APC could not win under his leadership, describing it as cooked narratives from those who failed to impose their preferred candidates on the party during the nomination process.

He said, “The crime committed by Oshiomhole’s leadership is its disdain for impunity and circumvention of due process perpetrated in some of the states at the pleasure of some influential stakeholders.

“These influential stakeholders, according to grapevine, have begun to mobilise to pass a no-confidence vote on the leadership of Oshiomhole, having failed to impose their preferred candidates on the party in the nomination process.”

He said history would justify his efforts and that posterity would vindicate him as he and other party leaders moved to achieve the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election scheduled for February 16, 2019.

He urged those who lost out in the party primaries to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship, bolstered by the fact that his leadership was propelled more by its interest in propriety in which victory for the party could be grounded.

N’Assembly Primary Crisis Resolved by Consensus

Meanwhile, the APC has stated that it opted for consensus and made some hard choices in a desperate bid to meet the October 18 deadline set for the submission of candidates’ list for the 2019 elections into the National Assembly.

The ruling party, which was faced with an almost intractable dispute in some of its state chapters over the outcome of the governorship and legislative primary elections, had to lay back the consensus option that appeared politically correct at the time.

The APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, who spoke with THISDAY yesterday, explained that the party adopted consensus to resolve issues where there were dispute.

“In many cases where we had issues with our primary elections, and did not rely on the outcome of such primaries, we went through the process of consensus. That was replicated in many places,” he said.

“For the Zamfara State primary election crisis, he said that the party had to choose between the available options of direct, indirect and consensus to resolve the logjam.

According to the party’s spokesman, “No it is not about resolution, the position of the party remains the same, that there was a primary election in Zamfara State. We mentioned the venue and the date.

“The issue is that there were crisis, even the INEC guidelines provide for the resolution of such crisis. It happened in other states, including other parties which also had issues with their primaries.”

He said there was no particular issue in Zamfara State, to warrant the special attention being given it.

He said there was primary election in Zamfara but the fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wrote that there were no primary election in the state stirred up issues.

“We have submitted names of candidates for the legislative seats in Zamfara State and for all other states,” he maintained.

On the reported case where the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, threatened not to support the APC’s candidate in next year’s governorship election due to the failure of his favoured candidate to pick the ticket, the APC Spokesman said it was mere speculation.

“The statement was allegedly released by his commissioner, not by him.  Even if it was by him, it is still within what politics allows. The governor has a right to express his interest and as a leader in APC where there are issues, it can be resolved through the party mechanism and I am sure that the party will do that, there is nothing to worry about in this regard,” he said.

However, it was learnt that the party employed tact in the handling of the matters that arose from the primaries, especially in the states where there were legal matters.

As part of the strategies to prevent possible backlash from the outcome of the primary election, the party had kept the list of candidates it submitted to INEC secret.

A source said the leadership of the party had to rally its legal team to advise it on the steps to be taken in dealing with the primary election crisis.

Apart from Zamfara, other states where the APC may have employed the consensus option include, Rivers, Cross River, Adamawa, Niger, Imo and Nasarawa.

In the case of Zamfara State, the source told THISDAY that the party relied on legal advice by the spokesman of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), who was asked to draft a reply to the INEC’s letter.

THISDAY gathered that what APC did to meet the INEC deadline had opened up a new crisis pitting the leadership against aggrieved aspirants and vested interests who felt short-changed.

Aggrieved aspirants have continued to storm the national secretariat of the APC with their supporters to vent their anger.

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They Are Ganging Up Against Me, Oshiomhole Cries Out ​

Sahara Reporters - 17 hours 38 min ago


APC National Chairman

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  has cried out over an alleged gang up against him by some unnamed party stakeholders.

Oshiomhole alleged that this group of stakeholders is populated by persons who were uncomfortable with the positive reforms his leadership was bringing to the party.

The APC chairman, in a statement issued by by his Chief Press Secretary Simon Ebebgulem, in Abuja, on Sunday, said suggestions in some quarters as voiced by one Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, who aspired for the party’s Presidential ticket that the APC could not win the 2019 general elections with Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman was far away from the truth.

Oshiomhole said the National Working Committee of the APC under his leadership was working towards repositioning the party to achieve greater successes.

While reacting to some of the claims made by the former Presidential aspirant, the statement read in part: “The totality of Unagha’s claims, without necessarily addressing them one after the other, tallies with cooked-up narratives being sponsored by some influential stakeholders in their respective states that Comrade Oshiomhole is responsible for all the problems in the APC at the moment.

“These influential stakeholders, according to the grapevine, have begun to mobilise to pass a no-confidence vote in the leadership of Oshiomhole, having failed to impose their preferred candidates on the party in the nomination process”.

The statement further read; “Comrade Oshiomhole did not become national chairman of the governing party to bring it down a notch from the pedestal of its 2015 electoral victory let alone to preside over its liquidation.

“Rather, his single-minded goal, from the outset of his declaration of interest in the position, was to deploy his capacity in helping to strengthen and reposition the party as a truly supreme and disciplined political entity.

“Although, it might appear fortuitous to some persons that he became national chairman at the threshold of the 2019 general election; the truth is that there is no accident in predestination.

“We must appreciate the fact that it has pleased the Almighty God to place him in the saddle of APC leadership at this time for a purpose.

“The purpose has begun to manifest in its vast flourish and ramifications: instilling discipline, ensuring party supremacy, promoting due process, dealing with impunity and executive arrogance wherever they manifest to undermine intra-party electoral processes in the states.”

Oshiomhole’s handling of the recently concluded APC primaries across the nation drew criticisms from some of the party’s aggrieved stakeholders including the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari who did not hide her disappointment as she took to her twitter handle to vent her anger. Others who were not pleased with him included the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari among others.

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