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Wike don’t have capacity to lead Rivers APC – Ex-commissioner




A former Commissioner for Power and coordinator of the now-defunct Tinubu/Shettima Grassroot Independent Campaign Council in Rivers State, Augustine Wokocha, has dismissed claims that former governor Nyesom Wike worked for President Bola Tinubu in the run-up to the February 25 presidential election.

Wokocha said Wike was welcomed to join the All Progressives Congress but that former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, remained the leader of the party in the state.

Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, and four of his colleague PDP governors, opposed the candidacy of their party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, insisting that the party’s national chairman at the time, Iyorchia Ayu should step aside, a call Ayu rejected.

Even though Wike did not openly campaign for Tinubu, who was then the presidential candidate of the APC, reports said he asked his supporters to work for the party.

At the moment, there are insinuations that the former may be given an appointment by the President, having visited him at the villa multiple times after inauguration.

A former Chief of Staff at the state Government House, Chief Tony Okocha, at a news briefing in Port Harcourt on Thursday called on Wike to defect to the APC and lead the party in the state.

But responding, Wokocha at a briefing in Port Harcourt on Friday said Okocha’s claims that the former governor solely delivered the state to Tinubu in the last election and deserved to be rewarded was untrue.

He stated, “The victory of Bola Tinubu in the last election in Rivers State cannot be given to one individual. It is a combination of the over 200,000 votes from Rivers State, who voted for the man who is our President today.

“I ran the campaign for the Tinubu election. I can’t remember anywhere, anytime when the immediate past governor of Rivers State canvassed any support for the President.

“I can’t remember any forum when he referred to the candidate of our party. He did not direct his people to vote for him, to my knowledge. So I don’t know what Okocha meant by Wike immensely contributed to Tinubu’s Victory. So, it is important we continue to appreciate Rivers people. Of course, people worked and those who did the canvassing to convince people that Tinubu was a better candidate also deserve our appreciation and gratitude.”

Wokocha said though he was not opposed to Wike joining the APC if he desires to, the party had a leader and was not in search of one.

He stated, “Candidly, politics is the more the merrier. So, Wike coming to the APC is a welcome development. What is an aberration is to say Wike should come and take over the party. This is the same party that its members were hounded like grasshoppers by the man who is being invited to join the party today.

“It was the same Wike who said APC is cancer stage four and the PDP is malaria. But he is welcome if he has suddenly realised that our cancer is better than the malaria he is suffering from.”

He said it would be a major disservice to the people of the state to say Wike should come and lead the APC in Rivers State.

He stressed that Amaechi remained the leader of the party in the state and that this was not in dispute.

He said Tinubu had started well and that anyone who gets an appointment would be celebrated. “But nobody should take credit that is not their own and take claims that are not theirs. We won’t allow our people to be misled,” he added.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, on Friday sworn in Dr Tammy Danagogo as the Secretary to the State Government and Chidi Amadi as the Chief of Staff at the Government House. Similarly, Dr Adaeze Oreh was sworn in as a commissioner in the Government House.

Fubara said his administration was mindful of success and that failure was not an option.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Boniface Onyedi, said the administration, founded on the mantra of continuity and consolidation, would continue to identify persons with wealth of experience for appointment so they could contribute meaningfully to its success.

He charged the newly sworn-in officials to be fair to all in their dealings.


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APC screening committee clears female aspirant, Funmi Ayinke



APC Screening Committee Clears Female Aspirant, Funmi Ayinke

The only female aspirant in the contest for the APC governorship ticket in Ondo state, Engr. (DR) Oluwafunmilayo Ayinke Waheed-Adekojo has been cleared by the screening committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday Friday, 12th of April, 2024.

The screening process which normally involves validation of candidates’ credentials and eligibility to contest was without hassle for Funmi Ayinke as there were no discrepancies in her credentials especially for the fact that she has proven records in the public space confirming her credibility and eligibility for the contest.

When asked about her plans for the people of Ondo state by the committee, Funmi Ayinke expressed the need for Ondo state to evolve using technology and Artificial intelligence which she is very knowledgeable in, narrating how she generated electricity through briquette.

She stated that Ondo state needs an engineer who is vast in the application of technology which would of course; secure a better position for the state internationally.

‘’I am vast in the knowledge of technology and Artificial intelligence, the world is changing and we can’t continue to remain as we are. We need an engineer who is vast and knowledgeable in all of these. I developed the generation of electricity through briquette so when we have this kind of grace in Ondo state, we should not waste it.’’

Continuing, Funmi Ayinke expressed confidence in securing the party’s ticket because all women in the state have thrown their weight behind her. She noted that many women decided to support her ambition because she has been a source of hope for them before she thought of a governorship ambition.

Speaking further on the support she has received so far, Funmi Ayinke recounted the massive crowd that besieged her rally ground in Akure without paying a dime.

‘’Women come to me that they want to pay me back with their support because I have been a source of hope for them. Women vote more in Ondo state and I have that confidence that this is my time, I have sown the seed, it’s time for harvest.’’

‘’In the last rally we did, I didn’t pay any women to attend, It was just an open invitation and we shut down the whole of Akure, this means people know what they want and they appreciate the fact that we have the courage to come out. Without woman, there is no vote, no nation.’’

The screening process ended with cheers from the committee, congratulatory messages from officials at the party’s secretariat and prayers of victory from women in the secretariat premises.


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Diri sends list of 14 commissioner-nominees to Assembly



Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has forwarded list of 14 commissioner-nominees for confirmation by the State House of Assembly as

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has forwarded list of 14 commissioner-nominees for confirmation by the State House of Assembly as commissioners of the state.

Unlike what happened in his first tenure when it took him six months to submit the names of his commissioners, the nomination for his second term is coming barely two months after his inauguration on February 14, 2024.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere, the nominees are: Biriyai Dambo SAN; Maxwell Ebibai; ESV Moses Teibowei; Mrs. Koku Ebiuwou Obiyai; Dr. Emelah Gentle; George Flint and Komuko Akari Kharim.

Others are Perepuighe Biewari; Preye Brodrick; Dr. Ebieri Jones; Barrister Peter Afagha; Mrs. Elizabeth Bidei; Michael Magbisa and Hon. Daniel Igali.

It has yet to be ascertained if another list will come after this one sent on Friday, but from the current list, some former commissioners’ names were dropped.

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North’s Caucus Demands Labour Party Chairmanship



North's Caucus Demands Labour Party Chairmanship

Naija News reports that the embattled National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, is from Edo State in the Southsouth region.

However, in a statement issued during a press briefing in Bauchi State on Friday, the forum convener, Hussaini Saraki, stressed the need to unite the party without factions.

Nevertheless, the National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, mentioned that the party has progressed beyond the contention for the national chairman role.

“We have moved past this, please. The national convention is behind us.

“Even Saraki’s people are now working for the unity of the party. Perhaps, he is yet to close his shop,” he said.

Naija News understands that Saraki suggested that the leadership of the party should be zoned to the North for inclusivity and fairness.

Abure was reelected as the LP’s national chairman on March 27 during the party’s controversial national convention in Nnewi, Anambra State.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) deemed the convention and its outcome as unlawful.

In response, the umbrella labour union established a transition committee to assume control of the party’s operations across the country until a comprehensive national convention could be organized.

Addressing reporters, Saraki said: “Northern Nigeria is united for one Labour Party and we are not interested in any faction — whether Apapa faction or Abure faction. They are no longer in existence.

“What we have is a united Labour Party. In fact, we, the northerners, will not take anybody to be given the position of the chairman of the party if not somebody from the North.

“We want the party leadership to be zoned to the North so that at least there is that inclusivity.

“The presidential candidate of the party is coming from the South; let the chairman of the party come from the North.”


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Labour Congress bad influence, says Labour Party



Labour Congress bad influence, says Labour Party

The Labour Party on Thursday said the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress are victims of circumstance who are not willing to learn from their past mistakes.

This was disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh.

The development comes barely two days after the party warned that the congress lacked the power to sack the Julius Abure-National Working Committee.

Ifoh, again on Thursday, labelled the NLC as a bad student of history who keeps doing the same thing and expecting different results.

He said, “A good student learns from history. Where people refuse to learn from history, history will continue to repeat itself. When the Nigeria Labour Congress in 2015 attempted to crookedly take over the leadership of the Labour Party and wrote INEC, INEC replied them that they have no locus standi to interfere or change the leadership of the party.

“They have failed to learn from that trajectory and it is surprising that Joe Ajaero’s NLC is also taking the same line of action and trajectory and they are expecting a different result.

“A reasonable NLC would have been thinking of how to consolidate with the leadership of the Labour Party having made huge exploits and having achieved great results from the 2023 general election rather, they have chosen a collision cause which will neither help them nor help Nigerians.”

Reacting to the allegation, the Deputy President of NLC Political Commission, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, told our correspondent in a phone chat that what the party was doing is reverse psychology.

Ndubuaku stated that it was actually Labour Party, which failed to adhere the consent judgment they had in 2014 that is striving to repeat the mistake of 10 years ago.

“When you read our consent judgment with the LP, you will find out that what happened in 2014 is exactly what is repeating itself today. The party has started doing things that are unconstitutional. They don’t conduct ward, local and state congresses. They just come around and affirm themselves. That is undemocratic. You need to have delegates from all these congresses I mentioned.

“That was exactly what they tried in 2014 and attempting to repeat the same thing today. Of course, we did the same thing we are doing now by sealing the party office and appoint a caretaker committee to do the right thing. We eventually reached an agreement called ‘consent judgment’ after they dragged us to court.

“There was no argument about the fact that LP was registered and owned by the NLC. That was how we agreed in an expansive and all-inclusive national convention. Can you imagine that they are attempting to repeat the same thing 10 years after? How can you even exclude the Obidients Movement from your national convention?” he said.


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Ondo 2024 primaries: Jimoh Ibrahim pays N100 million dues for APC members



A governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election

A governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, Jimoh Ibrahim, has disclosed that he has paid N100 million to enable some members of the party vote during the primaries of the party on April 10.

According to the business mogul, the payment was made to enable members of the party revalidate their membership in the party.

The national leadership of the party had instructed all members of the party in the state to pay their annual dues, due to the position of the party that only financial members would be allowed to vote during the primaries.

The party took the decision after disclosing that a direct mode of primary would be adopted to elect the standard-bearer of the party among the 16 aspirants seeking the party’s governorship ticket.

Speaking on why he made the payment, Ibrahim said, “I paid a sum of N100 million to the purse of our national secretariat as dues for some members of our party across the 18 local government areas of our state.

“It will prevent many of our members from being disenfranchised during the governorship primaries.”

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How Ogbonaya Onu was displaced for Obasanjo as president in 1999 – Shehu Sani



A former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has said that the late Ogbonaya Onu was displaced from being the President of Nigeria in 1999.

A former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has said that the late Ogbonaya Onu was displaced from being the President of Nigeria in 1999.

The PAPERS reported that Onu, an All Progressives Congress, APC presidential aspirant in the 2023 election, died on Thursday.

Onu, who was the first civilian governor in Abia State, died in Abuja on Thursday

Sani, a former lawmaker, who represented Kaduna Central Senatoral District in the 8th assembly, while paying tribute to the former minister, said Ogbonnaya could have been Nigeria’s President in 1999 after he won the APP primaries in Kaduna, attended by the likes of the late Ikemba of Nnewi Chief Ojukwu.

“He was deliberately displaced after a midnight merger with the then AD. The military wanted Obasanjo and Falae.

“The late Chief Onu is one of Nigeria’s most distinguished, decent and disciplined political figures in history.

“He has been an influential figure in Nigeria’s politics for over four decades. A Senator in the second republic,a Governor in the third republic and a presidential candidate, party chairman and minister in the fourth republic.

“He is a rare breed politician who lived as unstained, untainted and unblemished like his white apparel. He was a man who lived and served his country with decorum and impactful anonymity.

“He was a true patriot whose nationalist credentials can’t be faulted by any section of the country. Onu was an unnoticed and unappreciated gentleman and national leader. In words and in deeds, he lived above politics of rancour and controversy.

In 1999, the outgoing military wanted power to shift to the South West. Onu was a simple man.

“His known residence in Asokoro remains the one rented for him by his party, the ANPP, when he was elected its chairman. He remained there throughout his tenure as minister.

May his soul rest in peace.”

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