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Nigerian newspapers headlines Wednesday morning

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Obaseki’s Governorship Bid Tears PDP Apart [Leadership]

With less than 24 hours to its governorship election primary in Edo State, the People‘s Democratic Party (PDP) is engulfed in a crisis of confidence, with Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, declaring his withdrawal from the reconciliation process to ensure Governor Godwin Obaseki emerges as the party‘s candidate.

Wike who stated his intention to back out yesterday while speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt further accused some members of PDP National Working Committee (NWC) of being sycophants and tax collectors who will never tell the truth.

He also predicted that the looming crisis in PDP will make that of APC a child‘s play.

Obaseki was granted waiver and screened for the governorship primaries after defecting to the PDP last week.

However, when it seemed Obaseki had gotten the green light of key party stakeholders to contest for the governorship ticket on Thursday, an aspirant, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, filed a suit in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, seeking to restrain the governor from participating in the primaries.

Miffed by a report in the media alleging his complicity in the matter, Wike accused some members of the NWC of instigating the blackmail against him, noting that he has had sleepless nights trying to resolve the thorny issues arising from Obaseki‘s defection to PDP.

Single Currency: Eco In Jeopardy, Francophone Countries Breaching Agreement – PMB [Leadership]

President Muhammadu Buhari warned yesterday that the ambition for Eco regional currency could be in ‘serious jeopardy’ unless member states comply with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal.

He also expressed concern over the decision of Francophone countries that form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to replace the CFA Franc with Eco ahead of the rest of member states.

The president delivered Nigeria’s position on the new regional currency at a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).

The meeting discussed the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) and the ECOWAS Single Currency Agenda.

A statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying: “Your Excellencies, you all are familiar with the history of the Eco thus far, so I will not bore you with that. We reverted to a single track approach, giving up Eco which is the original idea of the WAMZ so the ECOWAS-wide programme could thrive.

World Widows Day: Over 258m Surviving Wives Facing Untold Hardship [Leadership]

A new survey has revealed that about 258 million widows now face untold hardship across the world.

This is even as COVID-19 is imposing new challenges on women and exacerbating the numerous other difficulties they already face in their daily lives.

Amidst the alarming rise in the figures, women are also leading the health response with women making up almost 65 per cent of the health care response against COVID-19.

At the same time, women are also shouldering much of the burden at home, following school and child care facility closures and longstanding gender inequalities in unpaid work.

Addressing a press conference to mark International Widows Day yesterday in Abuja, the executive director, Women, Law and Development Initiative (WOLDI), Ms Hauwa Shekarau, decried the alarming figures of women being exposed to hardship, saying the COVID 19 pandemic is harming health, social and economic well-being worldwide, with women at the centre.

Shekarau noted that the coronavirus pandemic and the attendant lockdowns and economic closures that are afflicting the world today have led to untold hardship on women most especially widows.

She said most women don‘t have family support, healthcare, pension or even basic necessities to support themselves and their children.

Akufo-Ado apologises to Nigeria over demolition [Nation]

             Ghanaian President sets up enquiry

             Gbajabiamila urges diplomatic measures

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Ado has apologised to Nigeria over the demolition of the Nigerian High Commission building in Accra, the country’s capital, last weekend.

Akufo-Ado, who apologised to Nigeria yesterday during a telephone chat with President Muhammadu Buhari, also said he had ordered an investigation into the incident.

A businessman, reportedly accompanied by armed policemen, stormed the Nigerian High Commission last weekend with bulldozers and destroyed structures under construction within the premises.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said some suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident.

The statement reads: “President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, on Tuesday, spoke with President Muhammadu Buhari, expressing his sincere apology for demolition of a building on the premises of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana.

Giadom not competent to call NEC meeting, says APC [Nation]

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) said on Tuesday that its former member Victor Giadom is not competent to call the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party.

National Vice-Chairman (Soutsouth) of the party Hillary Etta, who is standing in for acting National Chairman Senator Abiola Ajimobi, said after a NWC meeting on Tuesday wondered why Giadom, who is no longer a member of the party could claim to be calling a NEC meeting.

Etta said: “I sit here on behalf of Distinguished Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the acting Chairman of this party. If Victor Giadom is arranging a NEC, I believe that it is your responsibility as a member of the fourth estate of the realm to investigate his locus to find out whether he has the legal and the constitutional backing to be able to call a NEC meeting.

“As we speak, the membership of Chief Giadom has been suspended by a competent court of jurisdiction in Port Harcourt this afternoon. Not only is he not a member of the NWC from today, his membership of the APC has been suspended”.

Citing Article 25B(i and ii) of the APC Constitution (2014 as amended) gives the conditions precedent to summoning a NEC meeting, as: “The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.

“Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend”.

Giadom on Tuesday issued a notice of NEC meeting for tomorrow at 12pm at an unnamed venue.

Wike attacks PDP NWC over Obaseki’s ticket bid [Nation]

             Rivers governor: some NWC members ‘are tax collectors’

             Port Harcourt, Ekpoma courts give conflicting rulings

             PDP reports judge to CJN

             INEC warns parties on suits

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been hit by another crisis following the defection of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obaseki, who is pushing for the ticket of the PDP to recontest for governor, has been rejected by two of the aspirants cleared to contest for the ticket before he was admitted into the PDP and granted a waiver. The governor was disqualified from contesting on APC platform.

The two aspirants, Kenneth Imasuagbon and Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, vowed not to step down for Obaseki in tomorrow’s primary.

On Tuesday, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike accused some of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members of unjust action and disrespecting the integrity of senior party members. He described them as “tax collectors”, threatening to expose them.

In a statement on his behalf by Commissioner for Information and Communication, Wike said he had pulled out of the reconciliation process in the Edo State chapter.

More drama as police occupy APC office, NWC battles Giadom over NEC [Punch]

  • I’ve Buhari’s approval to convene NEC meeting – Suspended secretary
  • You’re on suspension, can’t convene NEC, NWC warns embattled chieftain
  • I have decided to sit and watch developments as they unfold, says Amaechi

The All Progressives Congress  crisis took another turn on   Tuesday as  armed policemen were deployed in its  national secretariat to forestall an outbreak of violence

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as part of efforts to prevent violence, met with the members of the APC national working committee.

But the  crisis in the ruling party worsened as the suspended deputy national secretary, Victor  Giadom, fixed the party’s National Executive Committee meeting for Thursday.

Opposing Giadom, the NWC said having been suspended from the party, he was not qualified to convene the meeting.

The leadership crisis in the APC worsened on Tuesday last week when the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld the suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, by a lower in court in Abuja in March.

On  the same day, no fewer than 17 members of the NWC held an emergency meeting and chose the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as acting chairman.

However,  Giadom, on the following day, cited a March  judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and declared himself as the acting chairman.

Giadom had since returned to the court, which extended its  order by two weeks.

But the  deputy national secretary was on Monday stopped by a Rivers State High Court from parading himself as the acting national chairman.

The Ajimobi-led APC has also replaced him with Worgu Boms. Boms was nominated by the  South-South chapter of the party for the position of the deputy national secretary.

FG submits school reopening proposal to National Assembly [Punch]

The Federal Ministry of Education has presented to the National Assembly a detailed proposal on its plan to reopen schools across the country.

The Minister of State for Education,  Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education.

He was in the upper chamber to brief the federal lawmakers about his ministry’s plans for pupils who had been forced to stay at home following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nwajiuba refused to give details of the proposal, saying some people would misconstrue it as the ministry’s guidelines for schools reopening.

He said, “Children are asymptomatic carriers. Nobody can prove whether they can infect each others. Not even the health experts. Everything we know about it is what we read. There is nothing we discovered on our own.

“In the document we have provided, we have suggested how we can move our education sector forward in this pandemic period.

“We don’t want to make it (proposal) known at this period so that some people will not take our proposal for the guidelines for schools reopening.

“The documents were presented to you so that you can criticise and make inputs as major stakeholders”

PDP asks NJC to sanction Port Harcourt judge [Punch]

The Peoples Democratic Party has written a petition to the National Judicial Council asking for sanctions for Justice E.A. Obile of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, in respect of suit N0: FHC/PH/CS/69/2020.

In the petition sighted on Tuesday, the PDP, which said it was the 7th defendant in the suit in question, claimed that the Plaintiff was being externally sponsored “to do the hatchet job” of perverting the judicial process to ensure that Governor Godwin Obaseki does to fly our Party’s flag in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State.

The party said the plaintiff was aware of the fact that on account of the intractable intra-party squabble in the All Progressives Congress, Governor Godwin Obaseki recently defected to the PDP to pursue his political ambition of re-election as the governor of Edo State for a second term of office,

He was also aware that the primary election of the PDP for the forthcoming gubernatorial election has been scheduled to hold on the 25th day of June 2020 in Benin City, the Capital of Edo State.

The petition which was signed on behalf of the party by Dakzel Shamnas, made the following prayers that: a. The Chief judge of the Federal High Court be advised to reassign the suit to a Judge of the Federal High Court sitting at the Abuja Division of the Court; and b. Immediate disciplinary action be commenced against Han. Justice E.A. Obile of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court for invidiously assuming jurisdiction and taking sides in the political conflict in Ede State with a view to disrupting the political process.”

 

WHO approves use of dexamethasone to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients [Sun]

  • NAFDAC’ll aid scientists on coronavirus’ drugs, vaccines

The fight against COVID-19 has received a major leap following confirmation that the steroid, dexamethasone, has life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said  during a recent virtual briefing from Geneva, said the next challenge was how to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most.

According to researchers from Oxford University, a low-dose regimen of dexamethasone, which is typically used to treat certain forms of arthritis, severe allergies, asthma, and certain types of cancer for 10 days was found to reduce the risk of death by a third among hospitalised patients requiring ventilation in the trial.

Court grants Obaseki right to participate in PDP primary [Sun]

  • Party petitions NJC, seeks sanction against judge

A High  Court in Ekpoma Judicial Division has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from removing, preventing or purporting to exclude Governor Godwin Obaseki or any of other aspirant who has been cleared by the party from participating in the gubernatorial primary slated for 25th June, 2020.

The Judge, J. O. Okeaya-Inneh, ruling in a suit filed by Felix Irioh and Tom Irehobhude, said: “I find in my humble view that the applicants have satisfied the guidelines for the grant of the orders sought as enjoined in the celebrated landmark case of Kotoye v CBN (1989), 1 NWLR PT. 98, 419 at 441.”

Defendants in the suit are Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, the PDP, Andy Ikhajiangbe, Peter Akhimien and INEC.

The judge adjourned the matter to July 1 for hearing of pending applications.

Demolition of embassy attack on Nigeria’s territorial integrity –Gbajabiamila [Sun]

Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, described the demolition of the Nigerian embassy building in Ghana as a direct attack on the sovereignty of the country.

Gbajabiamila, who stated this during a meeting  with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama,  called for  retaliatory measures against those who trampled on the diplomatic rights and privileges of Nigerians and Nigeria in foreign land.

The speaker noted that attacks on Nigerians abroad has become a regular occurrence, stating that many countries in Africa were in the habit of hurting Nigerians,  while  the country looked the other  way in the name of African brotherhood.

“We all have a responsibility to make sure that we uphold the honour and integrity of the country that we serve. The minister has explained what happened and what they have done or doing. But I think we should look at it from the premise that it was the Nigerian State that was attacked, not just a building.

“In terms of visibility and otherwise of the property, I want to say that it is trite to understand that all countries exist through their Embassies in other countries. So for that reason, Nigeria was attacked by Ghana because if anything happens in Ghana, it’s the Nigerian Embassy that Nigerians will run to and get protection due to the diplomatic immunity that it should enjoy.

“So let’s face it. If the American Embassy was demolished, do you think the US will be asking for apologies and indemnity? Or the UK, Canada or any other Western country? They won’t ask for apology. But we have established a pattern here, because from what I heard, this is not the first time it is happening. It happened before and we said we will look into it and then they apologized and we let it go.

“Others may say that this is a sibling rivalry that is going on between Nigeria and Ghana, and we did nothing, but we must take a stand, because this has gone beyond court processes as the Minister said.

“This diminishes Nigeria as a State because it’s not a land dispute between Nigeria and any individual, but a diplomatic dispute between Nigeria and Ghana which should be handled accordingly, because the person who did this did it under the cover of their law.”

Gbajabiamila added “reciprocity is a legitimate instrument in foreign policy and we can employ it. If such had happened here in Nigeria, the individual will first approach the court to enforce his rights, and I want to believe that Ghana is a democratic country where laws apply, but this person didn’t use the law to do this. So it’s purely a predetermined attack on the Nigerian State.

“So we should move away from this idea of gentleman big-brother whom everyone can just trample on and nothing is done.”

 

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