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Rivers crisis: I’m not afraid to fight, beware, Fubara warns Wike

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Fubara tackles Wike for accusing him of renting crowds for thanksgiving

Rivers State governor, Sir Simi­nalayi Fubara, has warned that he will surprise those who con­sider his honest decision to im­plement the presidential peace pact as a sign of weakness.

Governor Fubara said he had been inundated with sever­al comments in the media about the implementation of the peace initiative, and had chosen to be silent out of maturity and wis­dom.

It would be recalled that at the height of the political crisis in the state, President Bola Tinu­bu in December 2023 brokered an eight-point peace deal between Governor Fubara and his pre­decessor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who is the Minister of the Feder­al Capital Territory (FCT) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, urging the duo who were at loggerheads over the political control of the state to sheathe their swords.

Part of the peace resolutions stipulated that the impeach­ment move against Fubara be stopped and that the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, who is also the leader of pro-Wike 27 law­makers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) be returned as speaker af­ter Edison Ehie four-man House that the court recognised deposed him, while Ehie steps down as speaker.

Additionally, that all matters in court be withdrawn, and the governor re-submits the state’s N800 billion 2024 budget to the whole House, after Edison Ehie’s four-man House passed the bud­get upon receiving it from Gover­nor Fubara.

But Governor Fubara in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, on Wednesday, emphasised that it was important to put the re­cords straight for clarity sake, explaining that when President Bola Tinubu intervened in the political crisis that engulfed the state on October 30, 2023, the agreement that was accepted was a political solution.

Governor Fubara noted that he had since commenced im­plementation of the agreement, solely because of his respect for President Tinubu, but cautioned that it appears that other politi­cal actors have taken his humil­ity and compliance as a sign of weakness.

The governor said, “Let me say it here for record purposes: What is happening here in our dear state is somebody who has respect for an elder.

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“Mr. President invited all the parties to Abuja, and came out with a resolution that we should go and implement. That resolu­tion, I am implementing it. It is not a constitutional implementa­tion. It is a political solution to a problem.

“And I am doing it because of the respect I have for Mr. Presi­dent. But let me say it here, if that action that I have accepted to take would be seen as a weakness, I will surprise them. I want this message to go to them.”

Governor Fubara while re­ceiving members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 23 local government areas of Rivers State on a solidarity rally at Government House Gate, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said their large number further goes to prove the nature of the or­ganic support his administration has continued to enjoy from the people of the state.

“Some days ago, somebody said we are busy renting crowds for thanksgiving. But what I have seen here today, it’s not different from what is happening at those thanksgiving rallies. People are just appreciating God and good governance.”

Governor Fubara stated that he was mindful of the legacy he would bequeath after his tenure, adding, “It should also be about the lives that have been touched genuinely; about the policies im­plemented without any induce­ment to better the lives of the people and the society.”

The governor urged the peo­ple to continue to support his ad­ministration, show understand­ing over actions taken, and obey the rules in a peaceful manner.

“When you are doing what is right, I will stand by you. Nobody, whether full or half is going to intimidate you. Brace up, I say brace up, because the next step, it will be fire for fire in Rivers State. Everything will be imple­mented.”

Governor Fubara said that al­ready, local government workers have started receiving N30,000.00 minimum wage with promotion to be implemented beginning from April’s salary payment.

He also promised to set in motion plans to finalise modal­ities for the implementation of the Consolidated Salary Scale for Grade Level 17, and regular payment of benefits to the local government service retirees.

“For our people, the great and wonderful people of Rivers State, we will continue to lead you with the fear of God.

“Maturity is not about age, maturity is in the person. It is what defines the character of a person. I choose not to respond to people that I assumed are ma­tured, but are obviously imma­ture in attitude.

“I will continue to be mature, not minding my age, but I will not, for any reason, allow my­self or anybody who is working with me in this administration to be messed with, maltreated or abused in the cause of adminis­tering this governance.”

In his speech, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Apostle Clifford Paul, told the governor that they were on a thank-you rally to show appreciation for his love for the workers.

Apostle Paul stated that Gov­ernor Fubara has changed their fortunes and restored hope in them when he directed the pay­ment of N30,000.00 minimum wage to the workers, and lifted the right-year ban on promotion, which has now placed them at par with their counterparts across the country.

On his part, the Deputy Gen­eral Secretary of NULGE, Com­rade Ajewole Ayodele, who rep­resented his National President, said they were delighted with the pro-people policies of Governor Fubara, particularly for ending the stagnancy and frustration workers suffered.

Comrade Ayodele assured the governor of the continued support of the union both at the state and national level to his ad­ministration.

“At our last NEC meeting, when he (state chairman) was reporting to us that you have done a series of things to local government staff, because from history, Rivers State has been a source of mockery to other states in Nigeria when it comes to the welfare of local government staff.

“When he said it, somebody from the North said, that means this new governor has tried to part away from what he met on ground, because we have been asking: how on earth is it possi­ble that workers will be on duty for eight years without promo­tion?

“But for your wisdom that you have done it for us, we too are go­ing to reciprocate. And I want to assure you, Your Excellency, that anytime you call on us, we are go­ing to come out en masse to asso­ciate with you, to solidarize with you, to continue to pray for you, because of your commitment to our welfare and service,” the na­tional officer added.

On his part, the Rivers State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Alex Agwanwor, said workers have resolved to stand with Governor Fubara because he has demon­strated his love, put smiles on their faces and advanced the welfare and growth of the state.

Comrade Agwanwor warned that NLC will not hesitate to occupy anywhere used by the Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, should they begin another impeachment proceed­ings against the governor.

He noted that in addition, or­ganised labour would be forced to withdraw their members working with the lawmakers, if they decide to throw caution to the wind.

 

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River crisis deepen as Assembly overrides gov Fubara, passes LG bill into law

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The Rivers state House of Assembly has passed the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor,

The Rivers state House of Assembly has passed the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The Assembly on Monday, April 22, defied the state High Court’s order directing the status quo on the issue of elongating the tenure of elected local government officials, which formed part of the amendment.

The House was said to have also screened and confirmed members of the chairman and other members of the Assembly Service Commission in the spirit of the new law.

Details shortly…

 

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Aregbesola, Oyetola trade words over Osun shares

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Fresh uproar has hit the camp of the former Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega

Fresh uproar has hit the camp of the former Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, over the selling of the shares of Osun State at Omoluabi Bank, to private investors.

The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Sunday Bisi, alleged that Oyetola sold the shares while he was the governor of the state.

A leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ijesaland, Adebayo Adedeji, yesterday insisted that Aregbesola sold the shares before leaving office.

Adedeji said in a statement: “In 2013, the government of Aregbesola went to the Nigerian Stock Exchange in order to increase the company’s share capital by N1.65billion so as to be above the N2.5billion minimum capital requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for mortgage banks in the country.

“Wale Bolorunduro, who was recently nominated as chairman of the bank by Governor Adeleke, was the Commissioner of Finance in the state under Aregbesola. He has knowledge of it.”

Aregbesola, reacting to the claims through his media aide, Sola Fasure, in a terse message said: “It’s between Oyetola and the PDP administration in Osun. We don’t want to be dragged into it. But you may seek clarification from Dr. Wale Bolorunduro. He’s the new chairman of the bank.”

 

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[Full Result]: Aiyedatiwa wins Ondo APC governorship primary

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Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has clinched the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has clinched the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Aiyedatiwa’s emergence from the primaries was announced by Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State, who served as the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee.

With Aiyedatiwa scoring the highest votes of 48,569, the result was declared almost 48 hours after the commencement of the exercise on April 20.

The primaries, marked by controversy and tension, saw Aiyedatiwa’s closest contender, Mayowa Akinfolarin, securing the second position with 15,343 votes.

Olusola Oke came third with 14,915 and Jimoh Ibrahim scored 9,456 to occupy the fourth position.

Results of the Ondo APC governorship primary election

1:ILAJE LG

Aiyedatiwa 2,485
Akinterinwa. 26
Oke. 2,511
Jimoh Ibrahim, 589

2: Ile Oluji/Okeigbo

Voters: 4309
Accredited: 3097
Valid: 3097

Jimoh Ibrahim: 282
Aiyedatiwa: 1225
Wale Akinterinwa: 474

3: Ondo West

Voters: 22122
Accredited: 17679
Valid: 17679
Jimoh Ibrahim: 2668
Aiyedatiwa: 10610

4: ESE-ODO LG
Aiyedatiwa: 298
Akinterinwa: 0
Olusola Oke: 147
Jimoh Ibrahim: 174

5: OWO LG

Aiyedatiwa 2,123
Akinterinwa. 345
Oke 225
Jimoh Ibrahim, 192

6: IDANRE LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 579
Akinterinwa 119
Oke 225
Jimoh Ibrahim, 120

7: AKOKO NORTH EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 664
Akinterinwa 135
Oke 138
Jimoh Ibrahim, 505

8: AKOKO NORTH WEST LG

Aiyedatiwa 5, 430
Akinterinwa 198
Oke 2, 721
Jimoh Ibrahim, 728

9: AKOKO SOUTH EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 533
Akinterinwa 43
Oke 391
Jimoh Ibrahim, 67

10: AKOKO SOUTH WEST LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 747
Akinterinwa 272
Oke 415
Jimoh Ibrahim, 466

11: NO RESULT FOR IFEDORE LGA.

All aspirants scored zero, according to the returning officer, due to an alleged shooting.

12: OSE LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 091
Akinterinwa 39
Oke 800
Jimoh Ibrahim, 267

13: IRELE LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 203
Akinterinwa 15
Oke 93
Jimoh Ibrahim, 139

14: ODIGBO LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 631
Akinterinwa 114
Oke 138
Jimoh Ibrahim, 845

15: AKURE NORTH LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 860
Akinterinwa 177
Oke 1, 239
Jimoh Ibrahim, 1, 606

16: AKURE SOUTH LG
Aiyedatiwa 3, 265
Akinterinwa 86
Oke 328
Jimoh Ibrahim, 294

17 OKITIPUPA LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 622
Akinterinwa 27
Oke 1, 571
Jimoh Ibrahim, 109

18: ONDO EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 4, 803
Akinterinwa 141
Oke 1, 171
Jimoh Ibrahim, 406

 

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Aiyedatiwa, 15 others jostle for Ondo APC gov ticket today

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All is set for the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State to pick its governorship candidate today. The ruling party had announced that 171,

All is set for the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State to pick its governorship candidate today.

The ruling party had announced that 171, 922 members drawn from the 203 wards of the 18 local government areas of the state will take part in today’s primary election.

Sixteen aspirants will be jostling to clinch the ticket to become the APC governorship candidate in the state.

They are Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa; the Senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim; Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olusola Oke; former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile; Dr Funmi Waheed-Adekojo and the APC National Vice Chairman (South-West), Isaacs Kekemeke.

Others are Dr Soji Ehinlanwo, Akinfolarin Samuel, Okunjimi Odimayo, Adewale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema, Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide, Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyanjan, and Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

Aiyedatiwa, who is riding into the fray on the back of incumbency and strings of endorsements from traditional rulers and the majority of state lawmakers, holds the ace.

In an interview with our correspondent, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Ebenezer Adeniyan, said, “We are not under any pressure. The primary is just in 24 hours. I am sure by then, everybody will know where they belong.”

On the mood in the governor’s camp, he described it as normal.

“This is not about mood. The reality will be on the field tomorrow. He is the governor. There is nothing to worry about,” he stated.

Aiyedatiwa, who concluded his campaign tour in three council areas of Akoko North West, Akoko North East, and Akoko South on Friday, had told newsmen that he still enjoys the support of the people.

He said: “Throughout this campaign journey, the immense support I’ve garnered stresses the resounding desire of the people of Ondo State for continuity. This affirmation is rooted in the remarkable progress achieved during the short period we have spent in office. The people of Ondo state yearn for the continuation of this positive trajectory and it is evident that they believe I am the right candidate to lead this charge.

“Therefore, I urge everyone to identify with me in their various wards on Saturday, so that the developmental phase we have embarked on can continue. Let us ensure that our collective voices are heard loud and clear.”

But another contestant, Ibrahim, who spoke at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja few days ago, warned that an endorsement does not win anybody an election.

The senator also said the governor and other aspirants know he is the most qualified, as he has been in the race as far back as 2003 when he contested with the likes of the late former governors, Olusegun Agagu and Adebayo Adefarati.

Another contestant, Akinterinwa, also ended his campaign tour at his Ile-Oluji hometown where he promised to be true to his campaign promises ahead of Saturday’s party primary.

Addressing journalists on Friday, Akinterinwa exuded confidence, saying he expected nothing short of victory at the poll.

He said, “Ondo people want somebody knowledgeable, who has the capacity, somebody who has been around long enough, whom they know and who has been in government that they can fraternise with.

“When we go out, we don’t take crowds from one local government to the other. So, our crowd is organic; it is within that environment. I expect that on Saturday, we will come out as winners of the primaries. By the grace of God, I won’t be surprised if other aspirants start stepping down for me. Some of them (aspirants) are already reaching out to me.”

A female contestant, Funmi Waheed-Adekojo, has announced that she is willing to step down if the APC calls for it.

She disclosed this to journalists at a media parley in Akure, the state capital on Friday.

She said, “I will step down for my loyalty to the party. If the party asked me, I would do so. Wherever the party goes, I will go. I came out based on the passion I have for people. No one asked me to contest. I am not going to bribe anybody.

“Without mincing words, this concept of rotation has regrettably become a hindrance to progress. One of its errors is that it prioritises political permutation over meritocracy and competence.”

Another governorship aspirant, who seems to be defying the odds in the last few weeks, is Oke.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria is coming into the contest on the back of a string of endorsements from some traditional chiefs and the popular Omoluabi Indigene group.

Two days ago, the campaign organisation of the late Dr Paul Akintelure, who was also a governorship contender until he died on March 24 after a brief illness, collapsed its structure to join forces with Oke’s camp

The move was confirmed in a statement jointly signed by the Director General and General Secretary of the group, Dr. Bello Adeluse Obe and Mrs Usor Eteng, respectively.

The group, which directed all its members across the 18 local government areas of the state to vote for Oke, said the development became necessary to ensure his victory in Saturday’s governorship election.

 

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Ganduje remains our party national chairman – APC spokesman

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The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Felix Morka, on Thursday, reiterated that the ruling party will not

The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Felix Morka, on Thursday, reiterated that the ruling party will not honour the initial court order affirming Dr Abdullahi Ganduje’s suspension as national chairman.

He also reiterated that the national chairman of the party has not been served any summon concerning the initial court order restraining him.

Morka, who featured as a guest on Arise TV, affirmed that they have instead thrown their weight behind the recent Kano Federal High Court ruling calling for a stay of the order.

The political drama in Kano had taken a fresh twist on Wednesday after a Federal High Court presided over by another judge, Justice A.M Liman, halted the purported suspension of Ganduje by his ward executives in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state.

The ruling was given after Ganduje filed an exparte motion seeking to enforce his fundamental right to a fair hearing.

The respondents in the application are the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and nine other individuals.

Morka argued that it was the right thing to do on the basis that those who masterminded the suspension were not recognised members of the party.

He said, “The order issued by the first court was very disturbing, for some reasons. First, the plaintiffs who purportedly filed that action are not recognised members of our party and therefore shouldn’t have the locus standi to invoke the authority of the court to make any such order.

“Secondly, every lawyer in this country is aware that from the Supreme Court up to the NJC, there is this cautiousness that judges don’t make orders that are far-reaching in effect on an exparte motion or application.

“When you see the nature of the case and observe it is likely to cause the defendant substantial exposure to ridicule and justice, you put that defendant on notice within the context of even that exparte application; so that the justice of the matter can be met.

“But this judge, in this case upheld the illegal suspension of a national chairman, did so on an ex parte application, which shouldn’t really be.

“Being a lawyer, I have a lot of respect for the court and won’t say much. But be that as it may, as I speak, that order of the Kano State High Court purportedly affirming the suspension of our national chairman has not been served on the party and the national chairman himself.

“So this conversation and every other one relating to this has really been based on media reports. In other words, we do not have legal notice of that order. So the question of how we react to it or whether we will respect it or not is out of it because we have not been served. In the meantime, this Federal Court has issued a prohibition, an order restraining the impersonators who are the plaintiffs in that matter from enforcing that suspension.

“We are right now in the stage of status quo where we were before the purported suspension of Ganduje as the national chairman. He still remains our national chairman.”

 

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Kano court reverses Ganduje’s suspension, orders status quo

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A Federal High Court in Kano has halted the suspension of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdullahi Ganduje.

A Federal High Court in Kano has halted the suspension of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The ruling came on Wednesday after Ganduje filed an ex parte motion seeking to enforce his fundamental right to fair hearing.

The respondents in the application are the Police, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and nine others.

On April 16, APC executives in Dawakin Ward, Tofa LGA of Kano State, suspended Ganduje over alleged corruption.

However, the State Working Committee, SWC, of the APC in Kano nullified the suspension and punished the ward executives.

But a Kano High Court presided by Justice Usman Na’Abba upheld the suspension.

In the ex parte order delivered on Wednesday by the Federal High Court and made available to newsmen on Thursday, a Kano High Court presided by Justice A. M Liman ruled that the suspension should not be implemented until the case filed by Ganduje is heard and determined.

“All the respondents, their servants, agents or privies are hereby restrained from implementing and/or giving effect to the purported decision reached during the purported emergency meeting of the alleged executive members of APC Ganduje Ward, held at Ganduje Ward of Dawakin Tofa Local.

“All the parties are hereby mandated to maintain status quo before the purported emergency meeting of the alleged executive members of APC Ganduje Ward, and to stay action in respect of this matter pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application,” Justice Liman said.

 

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