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10TH NASS: Crisis hits APC as Gbaja, Faleke clash over choice of leadership



The Minority caucus of the incoming 10th House of Representatives made up of seven opposition parties has mocked the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, over its “confusion” on the choice of candidate for the speakership and vowed to exploit the loophole to produce presiding officers of the House, as reported by The Vanguard.

This is coming as the South-East caucus of the Senate urged the APC and the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to allow the zone to produce the Senate President to ensure equity in the 10th Senate.

Currently, there are no fewer than 10 APC members-elect jostling to become the next House of Representatives speaker. Aside from the alleged “confusion” in the APC, the opposition parties have 181 members-elect compared to APC’s 179 and so can, if united, produce the leaders of the House.

Following the conclusion of the elections, the APC won a majority of 179 seats beating the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, 114 seats; Labour Party, LP, 35; New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, 19; All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA,5; Social Democratic Party, SDP, 2; African Democratic Congress, ADC, 2; and Young Progressives Party, YPP, 2.

The caucus also dismissed claims that its members were beginning to drift apart with the 35 members-elect of the LP, which chose Mr. Afam Ogene as its leader, saying they would vote as a block and were still weighing their options on the choice of a candidate.

One of the spokespersons of the Minority Caucus also known as “Greater Majority,” Afam Ogene said in a statement that the fact that over 10 persons were still jostling for the speakership barely five weeks before the inauguration of the new Assembly was an indication that APC’s house was not in order.

There are speculations that the APC and president-elect had endorsed Mr. Tajudeen Abbas representing Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna State for speaker.

However, more APC members-elect have continued to join the race with the latest being the leader of the outgoing House, Mr. Alhassan Doguwa and the chairman, Committee on Navy. Yusuf Gagdi.
Also, the Chairman, Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara, is expected to declare today.

Ogene said the opposition will continue to interrogate and interface with the aspirants while keeping their plan under wraps.

“What you see going on (large crowds of members at speakership declaration events) is not anything unusual. In an electioneering season, such as we have currently, members-elect are free to honour invites by friends and colleagues.

“The mere fact that five weeks to the inauguration of the National Assembly, the APC still has over 10 Speakership aspirants speaks volumes about the confusion therein. The Greater Majority will continue to interface and interrogate all members of the 10th House of Representatives even as we keep our own plans close to our chest,” he said.

Indeed, the 35-member Labour Party caucus in the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives has said they would vote as a bloc for any speakership candidate of their choice during the inauguration of the new Assembly on June 13.

This is because the members-elect elected Ogene as their caucus leader.

Ogene, a ranking member from the 7th Assembly, who was also the deputy chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs emerged as the party’s caucus leader with 21 votes, after an election, yesterday, in Abuja.
Although 34 members-elect of the party were present at the voting session, only 31 of them took part in the exercise, with the trio of Oke-Joe Onuakalusi, Obi Aguocha and Prof. Lilian Irogbu abstaining, being persons who conducted exercise.

Speaking after the exercise George Ozodinobi and Dennis Agbo, who contested the position, lauded the choice of Ogene.

Agbo who described Ogene as a team player and also vast in the politics of the House of Representatives has served as a former deputy spokesman of the House said “With Ogene as our Caucus Leader, Labour Party is sure to hold its own in the 10th Assembly.”

In an acceptance speech soon after, the lawmaker was presented to the party’s Leader and Presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, and the party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure, where he assured that in all undertakings of the members-elect, the well-being of the Nigerian people would be uppermost.

READ ALSO  Crisis hits Lagos APC, as members attack chairman at party secretariat

Ogene said: “May I use this opportunity to reiterate that the Labour Party caucus, House of Representatives, has not endorsed any speakership aspirant. In fact, anyone desirous of our votes on the day of inauguration must first convince us, as a bloc, on what his plans and programmes for the Nigerian people are. While we may have individual preferences, I can assure you that at the end of the day, the Labour Party shall stand as one indivisible entity to take a common and progressive stand.”

Meanwhile, a fresh twist appears to have coloured the race for the House of Representatives speakership as four main contenders commenced alliance talks ahead of the June 13, inauguration.

The contenders, Ahmed Wase (current deputy speaker), Aliyu Betara (Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation), Sada Soli and Sani Jaji, on Saturday night, met at the private residence of one of them in Maitama District and agreed to work together and present a common front.

The meeting of the four lawmakers came 24 hours after reports that Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State had been adopted as the preferred choice of the ‘Lagos cabal.’

It was also gathered that a crack emerged in the Lagos State House of Representatives caucus over the purported adoption and endorsement of Abbas as the preferred choice of the president-elect, Tinubu.

A close confidant of Tinubu and secretary of the now dissolved Presidential Campaign Council, James Faleke, was said to have confronted Femi Gbajabiamila and accused him of ‘misinformation.’

The four lawmakers, Vanguard gathered, have directed their supporters to attend the declaration of each of them.

Wase has directed his supporters to attend the declaration event of Betara today at the Trans-corp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Multiple sources told Vanguard that the combined number of supporters of the four aspirants is 287.

Sources close to the meeting of the four aspirants disclosed that the lawmakers have agreed to present a “formidable common front” just as a joint committee involving their confidants has been set up to harmonise positions and present a workable template within 72 hours.

A source at the meeting told Vanguard that “from the onset, we knew what the outgoing speaker was up to but we merely waited for him to unveil his agenda, which he has done now. Interestingly, those of us on this divide do not want to believe the President-elect is part of this charade.

“We know he cannot because he knows too well the implications of such action. It is either he has resolved to use Gbajabiamila to subjugate the North or Gbajabiamila is acting a script without the knowledge of the incoming president.

“Both ways, it means that even the North will not have a say in whatever is zoned to us and that will be the last thing we will accept. How can an outgoing Speaker attempt to impose someone as a stooge and we are all looking?

“We still give Asiwaju the benefit of doubt because he himself is a product of resilience, we all supported him when there was a similar charade shortly before the presidential primaries, when someone attempted to do what Gbaja is doing now.

“For now, we can only say that our 287-man combined supporters is alert and ready to go anywhere the four leaders jointly decide to go. As of now, they have all agreed and indeed directed that their individual support groups should attend the declaration event of any of them.

“As a follow up, the four leaders have even set up a all committee to work out details of an agreeable template that will help us bring everything to the table.

“Betara will do his tomorrow (Monday), while another will follow suit on Tuesday and irrespective of who you support, you have to attend the event to show to the world that we are together in this ‘Save NASS Project’.
“In all these we are doing, we respect the President-elect even though some persons are dropping his name.

We are even more convinced that he knows nothing about what Gbajabiamila is doing because James Faleke is as close as anyone to the President-elect.

“If Faleke could openly confront Gbajabiamila in their Lagos Reps caucus meeting that the purported endorsement of Abbas by Tinubu is not correct, then something is wrong somewhere.”

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It was gathered that at the Lagos caucus meeting hosted by Gbajabiamila, Faleke who is the chairman of the House Committee on Finance disclosed that Tinubu’s real choice for the position of Speaker remained Jaji from Zamfara.

He was equally said to have accused Gbajabiamila of deliberate misinformation to the public on the issue of the speakership, saying that Abbas’ adoption was Gbaja’s “personal agenda and not a decision of the party or Tinubu’s.”

Meanwhile, APC stakeholders in the North-Central have rejected the endorsement of Tajudeen Abbas for the speakership of the House of Representatives for the incoming 10th National Assembly.

The APC leadership reportedly adopted Abass representing Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna State for the office, last Friday.

The party was also reported to have favoured former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio for Senate presidency.

At a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, the stakeholders said the zoning lacked equity, justice and fairness.

The convener, Rev. Dominic Alancha appealed to the president-elect to intervene, warning that the exclusion of other zones may lead to a repeat of 2015 scenario, where former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, emerged against the party’s arrangements.

He said: “We are again compelled to invoke our mandate to address you this morning due to an anomaly we have detected in the direction APC leadership is taking in the course of zoning key offices in the 10th Assembly which we feel may not augur well for our democracy. Having won the 2023 presidential election fair and square, we had expected the leadership of APC to be guided by the principle of justice and fairness in zoning leadership positions in the parliament and had thought that factors like commitment to the success of the party, level of contributions and the need for fairness, equity and justice to all would guide the decision.

“What we have seen emerging from the decision of the APC however, is a situation of total disregard to justice, equity and fairness, where personal interest has been put forward thereby bringing chaos and conflict in a situation that would have otherwise gone smoothly, if national interest had been the guiding principle.

“While the decision of the APC leaders to zone the Senate Presidency to the South-South and the Deputy Senate Presidency to the North-West conforms to the expectations of most Nigerians because it takes care of zones that are yet to be represented in the composition of the leadership of the next administration, we cannot say the same for the zoning of other leadership positions for the 10th Assembly.

“We, therefore, take strong exceptions to the bid to zone the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North West zone because that will imply undue favouritism, lack of fairness and marginalisation of other zones.

“Because while the North West will go home with two key positions in the National Assembly, the North-Central and the South-East would be totally excluded from the leadership of the 10th National Assembly. This to us seems to be a deliberate act of provocation to the North-Central zone which has contributed so much to the success of the APC as a party and to the victory of President-elect Asiwaju Tinubu.”

Following the reported endorsement of Abbas for the speakership of the House of Representatives, a support group of the president-elect, Asiwaju Tinubu had ditched the endorsement and opted for Ahmed Wase.

Wase is the outgoing deputy speaker of the House of the 9th House from Plateau State.

The group known as Tinubu/ Shettima Global Support Group, TSGSG, said it chose Wase over other aspirants because of his wealth of experience in legislative engagements.

In a statement by the convener and co-convener, Engr. Muhammad Ibrahim and Musa Gindiri, the group urged members-elect to rally around a competent candidate with a track record of excellence and experience in leadership to pilot the affairs of the incoming House.

Also, Yusuf Gagdi, has said that he is the best man for the speakership of the 10 House.

Giving reasons why wants to become the Speaker, he said going by his humble beginning, he understands Nigeria’s problems and knows the solutions to them.

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The 42-year-old Gagdi, who represents Pankshin/Kanke Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House, said: “National Assembly members should elect a person that knows the problems of Nigeria, touched, passed through the problems and also has a lot of solutions to the problems.

“I understand Nigeria and the problems because I was a victim too. If you talk about Nigeria today, you will talk about insecurity, poverty, access to health, and education among others.

“As a member of the 9th Assembly, I sponsored 20 bills and out of that, Mr. President has assented to six of my bills.
“As part of equity, justice and fairness, speakership should be zoned to North-Central and again when it comes to age, youth must have the opportunity to have one of the strategic places in Nigeria’s democracy.

Unveiling his manifesto, he stated that it was categorized into two sections: ‘Performance of the House of Representatives’ and ‘Public Policy Priorities.’

To ensure equity in the 10th Senate, the South-East caucus of the Senate has urged the APC and the President-elect to allow the zone to produce the Senate President.

Arising from a meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the caucus made up of the serving and new senators-elect from the South-East geopolitical zone urged Tinubu to be the sensitive to the present times in Nigeria and give a level playing field to all aspirants for the office.

The caucus also threw its weight behind those aspiring for the Senate presidency from the South-East.
A communiqué read at the end of the meeting by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah also warned of grave consequences of endorsing a certain candidate from the South-South region without regard to South-East.

Those who signed the communiqué included Senators Orji Uzor Kalu, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Ifeanyi Ubah, Victor Umeh, Osita Izunaso, Ezenwa Oyewuchi, Tony Nwoye, PC Ndubueze, Okey Ezea, Kelvin Chukwu and Osita Ngwu.
However, the outgoing governor of Ebonyi State and senator-elect, Dave Umahi and other senators-elect from the state were absent at the meeting.

The communiqué read in part: “We have observed with dismay the antics of persons with vested selfish interests who have planted themselves around the President elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and have vowed to shut out the South-East from the Senate Presidency of the 10th Senate.

“Beyond ethnic and religious considerations, in the forthcoming 10th Senate, the South-East has been blessed with ranking Senators-elect including members of the All Progressive Congress, who have the cranial capacity, competence, influence, experience and Political followership to pilot the affairs of the Red Chamber, it becomes imperative that the All Progressives Congress upholds the principle of natural Justice and equity which it preaches founded on reasons and zone the seat of Senate President to the South-East region.

“That the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu should extend the same democratic opportunity he received from the outgoing administration which gave all aspirants equal opportunity to exercise their fundamental and constitutional rights during the APC Presidential Primaries. He should be conscious of the grave implications of zoning and endorsing a candidate from the South-South without any regard for the South-East, such a move will no doubt serve as a recipe for injustice which will culminate in restiveness.

“We implore the President-elect to be sensitive to the times in Nigeria and ensure the country continues to thrive on the party of equity, unity and fairness to the tripod of Nigeria (Hausa Igbo Yoruba) and the geopolitical zones.

“The country is already divided amongst ethnic and religious lines due to the exclusion of the Southeast region, which formed the major reason the APC received the amount of votes from the Southeast. The incoming Administration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu must correct this anomaly by ensuring that the Southeast is given the opportunity to produce the next Senate President.

“With the side-lining of the South-East from producing the Presidential candidates of the major political parties before the general elections, the only means through which the zone can be compensated is for the zone to produce the next Senate President as this will restore confidence of the people from the S-East and S-South.”


Crisis hits Lagos APC, as members attack chairman at party secretariat



The All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) demanding the review of court order

The ruling political party in Lagos State, All Progressive Congress (APC) is currently engulfed in crisis due wrangling among stakeholders within the party over leadership in Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The crisis which has been brewing in different LGA of the state, on Monday snowball to attack on the party’s chairman, Cornelius Ojelabi , at party’s secretatriat, in Acme, Ogba, Ikeja.

According to a viral video trending online, the party’s chairman, Ojelabi was attacked by aggrieved party members from Alimosho Local Government , who stormed the party’s secretatriat to express their displeasure on how Ojelabi is managing the crisis in their local government.

The protesters accused Ojelabi of bias and were about beating him up when the policemen waded in and rescued the chairman away.

In the video, before the police intervention, the angry members removed the chairman’s cap, attempted to beat him but they were stopped by the security men on ground.

It was gathered that the protesters, who had converged at the party”s secretariat, embarked on the act when Ojelabi totally turned down their request on possible solutions to end the leadership crisis rocking the party chapter in Alimosho.

But rather than accept their requests, Ojelabi insisted that the current public officeholders must be on seat during a meeting that will deliberate on their wish and recommendation for APC in Alimosho.

SOURCE: Sun news

READ ALSO  Kogi gov dispute: I’ve not withdrawn my appeal — Ajaka
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Kogi gov dispute: I’ve not withdrawn my appeal — Ajaka



Kogi gov dispute: I’ve not withdrawn my appeal — Ajaka

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Muritala Ajaka, has denounced as false, reports that he has withdrawn the appeal he lodged to challenge the outcome of the last governorship election in Kogi State.

Ajaka, in a statement he made available to newsmen, said there was no truth in th claim that he dropped the legal action he initiated to void the election of Governor Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The SDP candidate said his legal team had earlier lodged a 32-ground of appeal at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.

“I am fully committed to pursuing the legal battle to regain the mandate that was freely given to us by the people of Kogi State.

“It would be a massive betrayal of our shared struggle, the impoverished workers, retirees and the people of Kogi State, as well as the memory of our comrades who were unlawfully killed, for me to even consider having any discussions to compromise this historic struggle.

“This fight is not just for me, but for the impoverished, terrorized, and dehumanized people of Kogi State, and for the families of those who were killed, injured, and forcibly disappeared.

“As you may be aware, our sagacious legal team has since filed thirty-two strong, compelling and arguable grounds of appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, well within the stipulated time.

“We have followed all the necessary legal procedures to ensure that our appeal is heard and determined within the given timeframe, and I am confident that we will be successful,” the statement further read.

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It will be recalled that the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition had on May 27, affirmed Ododo as the winner of the gubernatorial contest that held in the state on November 11, 2023.

The Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu led three-member panel dismissed the petition that was brought before it by Ajaka of the SDP.

The tribunal held that Ajaka failed to prove his allegation that governor Ododo, did not secure the highest number of valid votes cast at the election.

It equally dismissed Ajaka’s allegation that the election was not only fraught with irregularities, but also conducted with substantial non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The tribunal held that it found no reason to dislodge the result the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared in favour of Ododo and the APC.

Dissatisfied with the judgement, Ajaka approached the appellate court to set it aside.

Source: Vanguard

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Rivers crisis: Ex-LG chairpersons flout police order, stage protests



Rivers crisis: Ex-LG chairpersons flout police order, stage protests

Former council chairpersons from 21 of the 23 LGAs in Rivers have led protests in their respective council areas.

Last week, Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, asked the heads of local government administration to immediately assume control of the 23 council areas.

This followed the end of the three-year tenure of the council chairpersons.

Despite the governor’s directive, some of the former LGA chairpersons reportedly attempted to resume duties at the council secretariat, but were chased away by youths.

The development heightened the political tension in Rivers as residents protested at some of the LGA secretariats.

Police officers fired multiple shots to disperse protesters at the various LGA headquarters.

The 23 LG secretariats have since been barricaded by the police.


Rivers has been embroiled in political crisis since Fubara fell out with Nyesom Wike, his predecessor.

On Monday, Onengiyeofori George, a former chairman and his followers, marched through Buguma, the council headquarters of Asari-Toru LGA, gyrating to songs praising Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

They held posters with inscriptions urging the police to continue occupying the council headquarters.

Some of the inscriptions reads: ‘Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He Likes’ and ‘There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council’.

The protest by the pro-Wike former LGA bosses is coming despite an advisory against protests as issued by the Rivers police.

The Rivers police command had asked the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to shelve the protest.

READ ALSO  Crisis hits Lagos APC, as members attack chairman at party secretariat

On Saturday, Clifford Paul, president of NULGE in Rivers, had given Kayode Egbetokun, the inspector-general of police, a four-day ultimatum to order officers to vacate the 23 LG secretariats in the state.

Paul had said the police siege at the LG headquarters has prevented NULGE members from accessing their offices.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson in Rivers, said the command received intelligence of a possible hijack of the protest.

“The police command respects the right to lawful assembly but has received credible intelligence indicating potential infiltration of the planned protest on Monday,” the statement reads.


In April, the Rivers assembly passed the local government amendment bill into law despite Fubara’s refusal to give his assent.

The amendment empowers the lawmakers, via resolution, to extend the tenure of elected chairpersons of LGAs and councillors, where it is considered impracticable to hold elections before the expiration of their three-year term in office.

The Rivers assembly said the amendment was to ensure that LGA elections were conducted before the expiration of the administration.

Fubara declined assent to the bill, but the assembly vetoed his decision.

However, a court judgment nullified the amendment to the local government law.

The verdict was appealed, and the appellate court is yet to deliver judgment on the matter.

The 27 house of assembly members had said they would resist attempts by Fubara to install caretaker chairpersons in the LGAs.

Source: The Cable

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Police take over emir’s palace in Kano, dislodge local guards protecting Sanusi



28 Girls abducted in Katsina rescued

The police have reportedly stormed the emir’s palace in Kano state and displaced the local guards protecting Muhammadu Sanusi, the recently reinstated emir.

According to Premium Times, the hunters who served as local guards left the palace as soon as the police officers took over the security of the building.

This was said to be a move aimed at securing the main palace for the relocation of Aminu Bayero, the deposed 15th Emir of Kano, following a court order that faulted his dethronement.

On Thursday, a federal high court in Kano nullified all actions of the state government repealing the Emirates Council Law of 2019.

In his ruling, Muhammad Liman, the presiding judge, said the defendants were aware of an interim order previously granted by the court but ignored it and implemented the law.


On May 23, the Kano house of assembly passed the amended bill, which Abba Yusuf, the governor, signed into law.

The law repealed the 2019 version, which divided the Kano emirate into five jurisdictions and was relied upon to dethrone Muhammadu Sanusi as emir in 2020.

On the same day the law was repealed, Sanusi was reinstated as Emir of Kano by kingmakers and the governor.

Aggrieved, Aminu Babba Dan Agundi and Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano emirate approached the court to restrain the respondents from enforcing, implementing, and operationalising the law that reinstated Sanusi.

On May 23, Liman ordered the defendants to “suspend” and “not give effect to the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024, as they affect all offices and institutions of the Emirate Council created according to the provisions of the Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019”.

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The Kano police command had also said it would not comply with the directive of the state government on the eviction of Bayero from the Nassarawa palace which he moved into after he was replaced by Sanusi, the new emir, who moved into the main palace in Kano.

Since then, Bayero, who is said to have the backing of some federal government officials, has been under the protection of a retinue of soldiers and police officers at the Nassarawa palace.

Source: The Cable

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Edo 2024: Group holds symposium to support PDP’s Ighodalo



Edo 2024: Group holds symposium to support PDP’s Ighodalo

The Good Governance Advocacy Group recently held a symposium to show their support for Edo State governorship candidate Asue Ighodalo in the upcoming election.

The event, themed “Obidients for an Edo that works for all: The Asue Ighodalo Phenomenon,” took place in Benin, the Edo State capital, and was well-attended.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Asue Ighodalo, was praised as highly suitable for the governorship role to manage Edo state.

In his welcome address, the co-convener Obidients AI, Austin Isikhuemen highlighted the group’s vision and mission as the primary reasons for endorsing Ighodalo, citing his commitment to justice, fairness, and equity, as well as his impressive track record and integrity.

Isikhuemen emphasised that Ighodalo stands out significantly among the other candidates in the race.

Also speaking, Prof. Chris Nwaokobia Mustapha, gave enough explanation as to why Edo people cannot afford to toy with their future by electing the wrong candidate.

Prof Chris called on Asue to take Edo state to the exemplary height that will create peer pressure among other state governments which can raise the standard of governance nationally.

Prof Chris, also said that the Obidient Symposium was necessary as he explained that Obidients preached justice, equity and fairness and supported Peter Obi from the southeast in 2023.

He said they cannot now turn around to support a candidate of Labour Party who is from the same local government and senatorial district to take over from Governor Obaseki.

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“Edo North was in the saddle for eight years before Edo South whose tenure of eight years is coming to a close. He jocularly asked, “Edo Central come wash plate?”

Responding, Ighodalo, spoke about great leaders like Lin Quan Yu and his Cambridge University days with Femi Fani-Kayode who became his ‘tutor’ because of the latter’s exceptional brilliance.

He said that the Singaporean leader was shocked when he later visited Nigeria and found it in a state of arrested development.

Asue said that Singapore has moved to the first world while Nigeria is apparently on a backslide.

“We have had oil revenues enough to build seven Dubai’s but where did all the money go? Choice of wrong leaders has been the cause of Nigeria’s development crisis,” he said.

Goodwill messages were received from the Deputy Governor, DG PDP Campaign Council, and Commissioner for Arts and Culture.

Professor Izibili’s guest lecture on ‘leadership and its role in attaining the Edo of our dreams’, was well received.

He defined leadership and showed the relationship between purposive leadership and governance outcomes.

He successfully linked leadership perception and the quest for the Edo State of our dream.

He highlighted the critical impact of character on the performance of a leader and concluded that leadership must not be left to chance but deliberately chosen with expected outcomes in mind.

Source: The Nation

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Escalation of Wike, Fubara’s Power Tussle in LG Councils



The power tussle between the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, and Governor Siminalaye Fubara of Rivers State was escalated in the 23 local government councils in the state last week, following the expiration of the tenure of the local government chairmen. What the current situation looks like, is that the minister may have lost his much-cherished political structure in the state, Ejiofor Alike reports

With the expiration of the three-year tenure of the chairmen of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the immediate-past governor of the state and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike, and Governor Siminalayi Fubara have shifted their power tussle to the local government councils.

In a strategic move to stop Fubara from replacing the elected local government chairmen who were Wike’s loyalists, with caretaker committees comprising his own loyalists after the chairmen’s three-year tenure, the members of the sacked Martins Amaewhule-led state House of Assembly, who were also Wike’s loyalists had enacted the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which extended the tenure of the chairmen by six months.

But in a counter move, Fubara’s loyalists challenged the lawmakers’ decision in court and Justice D.G. Kio of a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt declared the six-month tenure extension as null, void, unconstitutional, and of no effect, on the grounds that it was inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9 (1) of Rivers State Law No. 5 of 2018, which fixed a three-year tenure for the chairmen and councillors.

READ ALSO  Rivers crisis: Ex-LG chairpersons flout police order, stage protests

However, despite the court judgment affirming the three-year tenure as stipulated by the 2018 law, the elected chairmen had vowed that they would not vacate offices when their tenure expired on June 18, 2024.

Indications of a potential breakdown of law and order emerged when the outgone Chairman of Ikwerre LGA, Samuel Nwanosike, in a now-viral video, threatened anyone to dare remove him on the said date, insisting that he would remain in office in accordance with the law enacted by Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

He blamed what he described as Fubara’s failure to conduct local government elections for the tenure extension.

The state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) led by the then Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Allwell Ihunda, had also at a press conference in Port Harcourt, insisted that the state lawmakers had extended their tenure because the governor failed to conduct LG elections.

The audacity of the now-former chairmen to challenge the authority of the governor and resist the state high court judgment had led to a build-up of tension in the state.

The perceived act of insubordination by the former chairmen also earned public sympathy for the governor as many people argued that the state was the only state in Nigeria where serving lawmakers and local government chairmen could abuse their governor publicly.

It was not surprising that armed youths who were engaged in the protection of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta trooped out from the creeks in their large numbers to force the chairmen and their supporters out of their offices when their tenure expired on Tuesday.

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In a viral video where armed youths belonging to one of the groups were trooping out of the creeks, their leader who later identified himself as ‘General Gab Asabuja’, the Ogidigbo of the Niger Delta, was heard saying that they were back from the river ahead of June 18, to deal with council chairmen that would refuse to vacate their offices.

“We are back to take over all the 23 local government councils. So, the council chairmen should wait for us. We are coming,” he said.

He said it was his hobby and business to work with the government to fight crime.

Source: This Day

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