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Nigerian newspapers headlines Sunday morning

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APC governors supporting me — Obaseki [Nation]

  • Says ruling party has no ideological difference with PDP •Defection excites PDP governors

EDO State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, said on Saturday that he still enjoys the support and sympathy of governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obaseki made the disclosure at the Abuja national secretariat of the PDP shortly after he was screened for the June 25 governorship primary election of the PDP.


Malami denies blocking NIRSAL probe [Nation]

  • Says he only directed coordinated investigation by security agencies

THE Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), has faulted a media report claiming that he directed the stoppage of the investigation of alleged fraud in the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

Malami said he only directed that a well coordinated investigation should be carried out as against the current situation where multiple investigative agencies of the Federal Government were independently investigating the same agency.


APC crisis: 13 govs back NWC, 7 oppose [Nation]

THE crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) has divided the governors elected on the platform of the party.

While 13 governors are backing the Abiola Ajimobi-led National Working Committee, seven others are opposed to it.

The seven governors, who have branded themselves as “reformists,” are desperate to hijack the party’s structure ahead of the 2023 general election.

The 13 governors have, however, described the seven governors as “day dreamers” and “people driven by hubris.”


Edo primaries: APC dares Obaseki, refuses to apply for permit [Punch]

  • No primaries will hold without government approval, gov insists
  • Ize-Iyamu emerges sole APC aspirant as two others withdraw
  • Some APC governors in support of my re-election, says Edo gov
  • IG deploys mobile policemen from Delta, Bayelsa, others in Edo

Ahead of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State on Monday (tomorrow) the party has dismissed the order gazetted by the state government that political parties must obtain approval of the governor to hold any political gathering.

The APC maintained that it did not require a permit from the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to hold direct primary as its preferred mode of choosing candidate for the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.

Obaseki had in a gazette signed on May 28 and published on June 5, banned political gatherings that could make direct primary possible in the state stipulating that only indirect primary could be held in the state and in only one location, Benin City.

The order partly reads, “That in respect of political gatherings for the purpose of conducting primaries for any of the parties desiring to field candidates in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, gatherings of more than 20 persons may be allowed, subject to the written approval of the governor, if such gatherings do not exceed 5,000 persons; hold in Benin City and in a single facility with a large seating capacity of not less than 10,000 persons; are provided with adequate health, safety and sanitary facilities and are COVID-19 response compliant with social distancing policy, hand-washing and proper use of face masks fully observed.”

The governor had explained that the law was in line with the determination of his administration to stop the spread of COVID-19. But the APC argued that it was a political move to stop it from conducting its direct primary to choose its candidate. The Independent National Electoral Commission had revealed that of the 15 political parties participating in the election, 14 chose indirect primary while only the APC chose direct primary.

But responding to Sunday PUNCH’s enquiries on Saturday, the APC Acting National Chairman, Abiola Ajimobi, who spoke through the National Vice Chairman (South South), Hilliard Eta, said in a telephone interview that the APC as a law-abiding party believed that only the Federal Government was currently empowered to enact the kind of order, Godwin Obaseki, gazetted.

He said, “Under the law, as it is operational in Nigeria today, it is only the Federal Government that has powers to make laws under a pandemic such as the coronavirus as we have it today. The gazette that Obaseki has signed says not more than 50 persons can gather.

“In any case, since we now have only one aspirant left, we don’t have to have any permit to conduct our affirmation.

“All we need to do is to ask the question, “Do you want Pastor Ize-Iyamu yes or no finish. If he (Obaseki) likes, let him say people should not gather at all, we will do the affirmation in the various houses of our members.”


Buhari snubs Magu, gets Senate confirmation for 207 appointees [Punch]

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been able to get the 9th Senate to confirm at least 207 appointees for him in the last one year of the existence of the current Senate, Sunday PUNCH reports.

The 207 already confirmed include judges, ministers, ambassadors, commissioners and heads of agencies.

However, Buhari has not considered the re-appointment of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Magu was appointed by the President on November 9, 2015 subject to confirmation by the Senate. But he has remained in acting capacity since then.


Wadume: Soldiers killed IRT men after we explained they were not kidnappers, says riot policeman [Punch]

A riot policeman, Sergeant Haruna Abdullahi, serving with the Mobile Police 67, Takum, Taraba State, has said that his superior, Insp. Suleiman Dauda, identified the operatives of the Intelligence Response Team to the soldiers who attacked them.

He said the soldiers killed three policemen and two civilians shortly after the detectives were introduced to them (the soldiers).

Abdullahi stated that he was at a checkpoint on the Takum-Ibbi Road on August 6, 2019, when the armed soldiers in a Toyota Hilux van approached the roadblock.

He stated that the troops in a Hilux van claimed they were chasing after some kidnappers but the officer in-charge, Dauda, informed the soldiers that the occupants were police officers and not kidnappers’ as alleged.

The officer said the soldiers returned to the checkpoint with a suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume,) shortly after the IRT team passed through the checkpoint with the suspect in their custody.

The riot cop stated these in his statement to the Joint Investigation Panel set up by the Chief of Defence Staff to probe the killing of the policemen and their civilian assistants.

Abdullahi, in his statement dated August 17, 2019, said, “I was on duty at Ibbi checkpoint when I saw a Hummer bus coming from Ibbi town and the vehicle stopped at our checkpoint. The occupants identified themselves as police personnel attached to the IRT on special assignment and passed.

“Immediately after, I saw an Army Hilux van with some soldiers inside, shouting at us. (Soldiers in) one Peugeot behind the Army vehicle are saying, ‘kidnappers.’ Then, my officer in-charge, Insp. Suleiman Dauda, told them that they (IRT operatives) were not kidnappers, but police personnel, but they did not stop.

“After some time, the Army vehicle came back with some people lying at the back with bloodstains and some civilians on motorcycles shouting that the military had rescued their boss (Wadume).”


APC crisis: Buhari may meet party leaders today [Sun]

Following the pressure from the critical stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has finally resolved to intervene in the leadership stalemate arising from the Tuesday ruling of the Court of Appeal which sacked Comrade Adam Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party, Sunday Sun has reliably gathered.

According to a top hierarchy of the party, who was privy to the resolution, the President is expected to meet all parties involved in the crisis today to reconcile the warring factions. Expressing optimism over the latest trouble-shooting effort by the President, he said: “There is no cause for alarm; we will resolve the crisis on Monday. I am telling you authoritatively that the President will intervene on Sunday (today) to resolve the crisis.”


APC crisis deepens as Dep spokesman demands emergency NEC meeting [Sun]

…Warns that party’s at tipping point

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) took worrisome twist yesterday with the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, demanding for an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to contain further escalation of the crisis.

Nabena, who alleged that the factional acting chairman of the party, Victor Giadom, is sponsored by fifth columnists, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari, to facilitate emergency NEC to also deliberate on consolidating APC’s control of Edo and Ondo states ahead the forthcoming governorship elections.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on the leadership crisis in the ruling party, the deputy spokesperson warned that: “the APC is clearly at a tipping point.”


COVID-19: NNPC, Seplat begin $1.2 million 200-bed medical facility in Imo [Sun]

As part of their efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company have entered into collaboration to construct a 200-bed permanent emergency and infectious disease hospital for the Southeast in Orlu, Imo State.

Chairman of Seplat, Ambrose Orjiakor disclosed this yesterday in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project, which he said would be completed in 18 months.

According to Orjiakor, the project, which is sited at the Imo State University Teaching hospital complex, Orlu, is expected to gulp $1.2 million when completed.

He disclosed that the hospital would not only be for the fight against Coronavirus disease, but also to complement the efforts of other hospitals in the state in the various infectious diseases treatment.


Textile Industries Tottering Despite Govt’s Efforts [Leadership]

The textile industry has been a great concern to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, as the sector is yet to revive in spite of a series of interventions.

At the moment, textile companies across the country, including Kaduna, Kano, and Aba, among others, are now in a moribund state, apparently crippled by high electricity tariff, high interest rate and multiple taxation.

Worried about the state of the sector, the federal government had disclosed in different fora that it would give priority to the development of the textile industry to move the country from being an importer to exporter of finished clothing products.


Edo APC At Daggers Drawn Over Oshiomhole [Leadership]

The controversy trailing the suspension of former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, from the All Progressives Congress (APC) continued yesterday as warring camps in his ward 10 in Etsako west local government of Edo State differed over his status in the party.

Reprieve came the way of Oshiomhole when 17 members of a faction of the executive committee of ward 10 in Etsako West local government of the party led by secretary of the ward, Emuakemeh Sule, announced the lifting of Oshiomhole’s suspension from the APC.

But another faction made up of 10 members led by APC chairman in Etsako Ward 10, Mr Oshawo Stephen, said Oshiomhole remains suspended as a member of the party, insisting that the ward executives stand by their suspension of the erstwhile national chairman.

This is just as the APC also announced receipt of the nomination from Rivers State as a replacement for the deputy national secretary, Chief Victor Giadom.

LEADERSHIP Sunday recalls that Oshiomhole was suspended by the party in November last year following his protracted disagreement with Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State.

A High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ordered his suspension as APC national chairman in March 2020, a verdict which was upheld by Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

But respite came the way of Oshiomhole yesterday as a faction the executive committee of ward 10 in Etsako West local government of party in Edo State announced the lifting of his suspension from the APC.

Speaking at a press conference at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, Emuakemeh Sule, secretary of the ward, stated that the resolution was arrived at after its members had “found no merit in the allegation or processes employed.”


After Meeting With Govs, Resident Doctors Suspend Strike [Leadership]

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF has brokered a truce with the  Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to call off its strike which commenced at the beginning of the week, consequent upon which the doctors rising from a meeting this evening Saturday June 20th decided to put their faith in the Governors Forum and suspend the action.

According to a statement by the head media of the NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello Barkindo,the entire executives of the NARD were at the NGF Secretariat Abuja on Thursday at the instance of the Director General of the Forum, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru, where they met with the chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi and later the Governor of Oyo State Ayo Makinde and expressed their grievances.

It was the very first time that NARD would be putting their grievances before the Forum.

After listening to them, the NGF Chairman reminded the NARD executives of their Hippocratic oath and admonished them to always bring their conscience to the fore “because when you strike it is not the men in power that suffer but the common man on the streets.” Fayemi commended them for remaining in the country to serve in spite of the abundant opportunities and lucrative offers that await them abroad.


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