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Presidency Knocks Opposition Over Alleged PMB, Tinubu Showdown [Leadership]

The presidency yesterday flayed the opposition for sponsoring public commentaries suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s sterling act of resolving the crisis in the All Progressives Congress was a showdown between the president and a national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Specifically, it described as “political vulturism” masquerading as “smart analysis” rumours making the rounds that the dissolution of APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) and setting up of a caretaker committee for the party was a ploy by the president and his men to clip Tinubu’s wing, saying “nothing can be farther from the truth”.

In a statement by senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the presidency noted that President Buhari’s recommendations adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) at its emergency meeting last Thursday were meant to wriggle the governing APC out of the crisis it had been enmeshed in.

It said, “The very essence of the requests put to the Emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, which were unanimously approved aim to pull back the party, faced with an existential crisis from the brink of collapse, follow the constitution and take everyone along.

“While this action has been widely accepted with great relief by lovers of democracy and the rank and file of the membership, we are concerned that political vulturism masquerading as “smart analysis” is selling the commentary that this is a Buhari-Tinubu “showdown.” Nothing can be farther from the truth”.

FG Conducts Test Flight, Says Airport 90% Ready For Reopening [Leadership]

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria airports are 90 percent ready to commence operations as the nation prepares for lifting of bans on travels.

He also said the remaining 10 percent is on the surface cleaning and bags provision which will be perfected as soon as flight resumes.

The minister also maintained that non-travelling aides of all dignitaries will no longer be allowed into the terminal as part of the new protocol.

Speaking at a press briefing after the assessment of the physical changes and preparedness of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the minister said “The flight simulation is to achieve some basic things: firstly it is to maintain physical distance with each other. Secondly, it is to wear protective materials such as face mask and face shield. Thirdly, It is to maintain hygiene. Fourthly, it is to clean the area and surfaces and that is a function of the robot itself apart from identifying the passengers.

“All of the things that have happened here are to ensure we don’t spread COVID-19.”

On the time to be spent with this new protocol, the minister said “the experience is quite nice but it takes a bit of time which is why you will need to be at the airport three hours before your departure time for local flights. For international flights, we may do five hours.”

Speaking on the protocol inside the flight, he said: “There will also be social distancing in the aircraft. But new ideas are coming on board on how to remain seated to make the carbin economically okay and to ensure we don’t infect each other. Those new norms are coming and we will implement them in such a way that flights are profitable. WHO and ICAO have developed protocols of the sitting.”

Dubai To Welcome Tourists From July 7, Unveils New Travel Protocols [Leadership]

Authorities in Dubai have announced that they will be welcoming tourists and visitors starting on July 7 after shutting down for more than three months during the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, the government also released a new set of protocols that all residents and citizens travelling into or out of the emirate must abide by during the pandemic.

According to the guidelines  released by the authorities, international tourists travelling by air to Dubai must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE.

The tourists will need to download the Covid-19 DXB App and register their details on it to facilitate communication with health authorities if they experience Covid-19 symptoms.

In addition to filling the ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking, they should ensure they have a valid health insurance before they enter the UAE.

They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. If they cannot provide this proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.

The authorities said all arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings, stressing that if a traveller is suspected to have Covid-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus.

“It is also mandatory for tourists who test positive for Covid-19 to register their details on the Covid-19 DXB App and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense,” it stated.

According to guidelines for returning UAE residents released by the authorities, residents holding Dubai-issued visas were already permitted to return to the emirate from June 22 by pre-booking flights on any airline on the condition that they obtain an approval coordinated between the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA Dubai) and the airline.

The residents must however, fill a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking on their journey to confirm they do not have Covid-19 symptoms.

APC crisis: Buhari has spoken, we accept his decisions, says Tinubu [Leadership]

  • Hails contributions of Oshiomhole, sacked NWC members
  • Says crisis unnecessary, many members ‘lost their balance
  • Dismisses speculations about 2023 presidential ambition

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Saturday rallied behind President Muhammadu  Buhari on the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

He said the move was in the best interest of the ruling party.

Tinubu said the disagreements among prominent party members and the lawsuits generated by such quarrels were so numerous that the President “reasonably decided that he has seen enough.”

The Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC was dissolved on Thursday at a meeting of APC stakeholders led by Buhari, following a spate of legal actions instituted by some members whose interest was to seize the control of the party.

“The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted.

“It is now beholden on all of us as members of the APC to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded,” Tinubu said in his first reaction to Buhari’s action.

He added: “I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.

“Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other.

“I must be blunt here: this is the behaviour of a fight club; not the culture of a progressive political party.”

Tinubu, however, said although Oshiomhole and his team made mistakes in piloting the affairs of the APC, they put in their best.

To critics who see the dissolution of the NWC as the end of Tinubu’s political ambition, he said he has “made no decision regarding 2023, for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.”

Controversy trails delay in Ajimobi’s burial [Nation]

  • We are not the cause – Oyo govt

The delay in burying the remains of former governor of Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi has become an object of controversy between his family and the Oyo State Government.

A source close to the family had claimed that failure of Governor Seyi Makinde to grant approval for the burial of his predecessor was the reason behind the delay. But the governor described the claim as a wicked lie.

Ajimobi died on Thursday. His remains should have been buried by Friday according to Islamic injunctions. But as a former governor, the family needs the approval of the governor for his remains to be buried.

The source said Makinde was tactically delaying his approval, a situation that has frustrated the government officials handling the procedure. The source added that the governor also refused to approve the family’s preferred location for the bury in spite of interventions of notable Nigerians.

Another source close to the family confided in The Nation that neither Governor Makinde nor his representative has visited the family’s Ibadan home to commiserate with them.

Ajimobi was the governor of the state from 2011 to 2019. He was the Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as at the time of his death.

But denying the claims, Makinde in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Taiwo Adisa said: “In view of the intense enquiries from news media organisations  regarding the perceived delay in burying the late former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Oyo State Government wishes to place on record that there is no truth in the rumour making the rounds that the burial is being delayed by the state government.

“The rumour, which is being deliberately spread to give the state government a bad name  and to play undue politics with the dead, initially came by the way of social media gossip, which gained traction to attract the attention of traditional media outfits.

“Several media outfits reached out to the Media Office of the Governor of Oyo State to make enquiries  on this barefaced lie on Saturday.

“Let it be stated clearly that the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has played no role at all in causing any delay whatsoever regarding the burial of his immediate predecessor, Senator Ajimobi.

“The truth of the matter is that the family, through a proxy, approached the state government and sought approval to bury the late governor on a plot of land at Agodi GRA, which is currently under litigation.

“Incidentally, it was the same former Governor Ajimobi who instituted the legal action.

“Governor Seyi Makinde had no choice than to state the facts as they are to the emissaries and turn down the request.

“Governor Makinde, however,  against the established land use rule in Oyo State, gave approval that the family can bury the late governor in his Oluyole Estate residence.

“It is to be noted that the rules guiding land use in Government Reservation Areas (GRA) forbid the burial of bodies in such locations as Oluyole Estate and Agodi GRA.

“Let us also put on record that whereas the family did not follow the laid down protocols in passing information on the sickness and eventual demise of  Senator Ajimobi, Governor Makinde overlooked all that and directed the full cooperation of the government with the family on this matter.

“It can only amount to a wicked lie to insinuate that the incumbent government in Oyo State attempted to obstruct the burial of the immediate past governor.”

Oshiomhole: I’m proud we recovered Kwara [Nation]

  • Accepts APC NWC dissolution in good faith
  • Withdraws case over suspension from Supreme Court

The immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Saturday identified toppling the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara State as one of his greatest achievements.

In his first official reaction to the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Oshiomhole said he was proud that the party under his chairmanship was able to take over the governance of Kwara State from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

“I remain proud that we were able to recover Kwara State. That was extremely important to us for reasons I need not to enumerate,” he told reporters in Abuja.

“I am happy we were able to recover Gombe State. These are strategic states. There are a couple of other things I cannot speak about,” he added.

Oshiomhole also said he had “accepted in good faith” Thursday’s dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that he had no regrets for the actions he took while in office.

He said he had also directed his lawyers to withdraw the appeal he filed at the Supreme Court over his suspension from the party by his ward in Edo State.

This is in deference to one of the resolutions at the Thursday meeting that all legal actions against the party by members be withdrawn.

He said he had directed his lawyers to withdraw the case in the Supreme Court as a mark of respect for President Buhari for his support during his tenure as APC Chairman.

He recalled how Buhari “graciously invited me to run for the office of chairmanship of the party in 2018, precisely about two years ago,” and told him that “if we do not reform the APC, we can as well forget about the party.”

He said the reforms were challenging and entailed “difficult decisions.”

He said he put in his best serving the party.

Oshiomhole said: “Mine has been a life of struggle and I accepted this and I believe I did my best.”

Reeling out his achievements, he said: “I am happy that at the end of the day, 2019 elections have come and gone. Thanks to the Nigerian people, our President had more votes in 2019 than we had in 2015. We have more members in the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Unlike 2015, we were not able to manage our victory in the two chambers such that we had an APC President in the Senate and PDP deputy Senate President.

“This time, working hard with my colleagues in the NWC and in consultation with leaders of our party across board, we had the kind of unity expected in the governing party in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

“I am happy that the leadership of the National Assembly is working harmoniously with Mr. President today.

“The APC under my chairmanship has done its best and the results are there. Of course we have now been dissolved and I have accepted that dissolution in good faith.

“I am not going into the question of legality or illegality. The bottom line is that the President who invited me to lead the party and who mobilised all the support for my emergence as chairman also presided over the meeting where the NWC has now been dissolved.

“As a demonstration of my loyalty to Mr. President, loyalty to our party and loyalty to the Nigerian nation, I have decided to accept the decision in good faith and to maintain my loyalty, my respect and admiration for President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The former Edo State governor was confident that the APC would emerge from its crisis stronger.

He said: “I want to assure everybody that APC will have peace, and by the special grace of God, President Buhari will achieve his three key principal promises he made to Nigerians, and I will give him all the support that I can give as a Nigerian and as a member of APC and, number three, as a loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In keeping with the admonition of the President during the Thursday meeting that all suits against the party by members be withdrawn, Oshiomole said he had instructed his lawyers to discontinue the appeal he filed at the Supreme Court over his suspension by his ward in Edo State.

He said: “I have instructed my lawyers to withdraw my case that is currently pending at the Supreme Court, which has to do with the issue of my suspension.

“Sustaining the legal action would be tantamount to disobeying one of the decisions that the President has made, namely, all cases should be withdrawn from court.

“I believe as a member of APC, I have a duty to live by example. I have taken a bow and accepted the decision of the NEC (National Executive Committee) in good faith, and I want to reassure Mr. President that my confidence in his leadership remains unshaken. My commitment to our party as a member remains unshaken.”

Responding to a question on his suspension, he said the dissolved NWC had ratified the lifting of the suspension, adding: “I am at peace with my people at home.”

Asked if he had regrets, Oshiomole was vehement. “I have no regrets. You cannot lead a party as large as APC in a country as diverse as Nigeria and expect that everybody would be happy with you. I have no regrets.

“At the end of the day, how do you judge the performance of a party? You judge it by its electoral outcome.

“I believe it is convenient for people to point at a few areas where we had challenges, few states that we lost. But also, there were states that we won.

“For example, it does not matter what anybody wants to say, I remain proud that we were able to recover Kwara State. That was extremely important to us for reasons I need not enumerate.

“In life, for every one thing that some people are clapping, there must be those who are not happy.

“Just look at a football match: when you score a goal, you will see some players almost crying and yet you see some other people jubilant as if that is the end of the world.

“That is the way life is. You cannot have it both ways. I assure you I do not regret anything.”

Buhari, Tinubu still together –Presidency [Sun]

The Presidency has debunked the widespread insinuation that the decision reached at the emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to constitute a caretaker committee in place of Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) is a calculated move by President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail the rising influence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the party.

A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity),Garba Shehu, described the allegation of a frosty relationship between the President and Tinubu as a cynical commentary, saying ‘nothing can be further from the truth.’

He said the suggestion put to the NEC by President Buhari to dissolve the NWC which was unanimously adopted was intended to rescue the party from the brink, rather than targeting any individual, stressing that the relationship between the president and Tinubu still remained very cordial.

It reads in part: “The very essence of the requests put to the Emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, which were unanimously approved aim to pull back the party, faced with an existential crisis from the brink of collapse, follow the constitution and take everyone along.

“While this action has been widely accepted with great relief by lovers of democracy and the rank and file of the membership, we are concerned that political vulturism masquerading as “smart analysis” is selling the commentary that this is a Buhari-Tinubu “showdown.” Nothing can be farther from the truth.

“To put the records straight: In the formation of this great party and giving it leadership, President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who are reckoned as the founding fathers of the APC are both inspired by democratic norms, national interest and not at all by partisan motivations. These are the qualities that have made them move past cynical distractions.

“They are in touch with one another. Their relationship remains as strong as ever and between the two of them, only they know how they manage their enviable relationship.

“This whole exercise, that should lead to massive reform and overhaul of the leadership of the party, as he said in that brilliant speech, was ‹›to save the APC from the imminent self-destruction. We have to move ahead. We have to take everyone with us and ensure that the party is run in accordance with democratic norms and with consensus. We have to work for the benefit of the country.”

Edo guber: PDP revived my political career –Obaseki [Sun]

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) revived his political career, following his exit from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obaseki made the disclosure yesterday at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja, shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return from the National Chairman, Uche Secondus, as the opposition party governorship candidate in the September 19 Edo gubernatorial poll.

The governor, who was also given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nomination form for the forthcoming election, expressed gratitude to members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), PDP governors and other leaders of the party across the country for rallying round him and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, in their trying times.

This is coming as Obaseki named Shaibu as his running mate for the September 19 governorship poll in the state, saying, “You don’t change a winning team.”

Obaseki defected to the PDP after he was disqualified from participating in the APC governorship primary.  He emerged the governorship candidate last Thursday, after other aspirants withdrew from the contest.

The choice of who becomes Obaseki’s running mate in the September 19 polls was a thorny issue in the negotiations between the governor and leaders of the Edo PDP prior to his defection to the opposition party.

Obaseki expressed optimism that he would win the September 19 poll for the opposition party as the people of the state had assured that they would go wherever he goes.

His words: “My deputy and I are very grateful to this great party. Like I said, you will never know what God has destined for you. In our hour of tribulation, when we were pushed out in the rain and storm from our former political party, you came out with that huge umbrella to give us cover and shelter.

“It was only when we entered the house, that we then realised that this was the house we should have been in the first instance. Because we now saw that the values in the house are the values we cherish and the values we live for -values of justice, values of law and order, values of care for our people, putting the people first. These are the values we have always been in pursuit of, which we found in this new house in which we have been graciously accommodated.”

Furthermore, Obaseki said: “I want to commit to you that in line with the ideal and motto of this party, me and my deputy, who is going to be my running mate, for the September 19 election, because you do not change a winning team, we shall promote the ideals of this great party and you can always count on us.”

Why APC is in crisis –Bashir Kurfi, ex-CPC chieftain [Sun]

■ Reveals how they teamed up with Sambo Dasuki to form party ■ How power was shared ■ Says party now mere collaboration of people

Dr Bashir Kurfi, brother of Ahmadu Kurfi, former Chairman of defunct Federal Electoral Commission, FEDECO is from Katsina State. He is a self-professed revolutionary scholar who hates conflicting ideologies, himself an ideological personality. A former Director of Research and Strategy in the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, a man who claims to be among five personalities in Nigeria close to President Muhammadu Buhari and a lecturer in International Finance at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria in this interview spoke on a number of national issues, including how he acted as an agent employed by the CPC to effect the bargain that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Excerpts:

 

I want your thoughts on the crisis in the All Progressives Congress, APC, by first asking you if you think the party would be able to survive all these crises bedeviling it. You will recall the party celebrated its continued stay in power last year and many Nigerians expected it to have stabilized by now. But what you find is infighting within the party and the leadership in terms of streamlining their interests and that of the party in the interest of the nation as a ruling party. The crisis last year led to their loss of many states to the opposition, PDP. Now, there are crises within the NWC, Edo and Ondo states chapters of the party that has led to the defection of Governor Obaseki and his deputy and the deputy governor of Ondo State. Would APC survive these crises and take part in the 2023 election as a united party?

First of all, you have to know that I was central to the negotiation of CPC and ACN which later became APC. I was the one who led the team that went to negotiate with Bola Tinubu. In my team on the CPC side at that time was the current Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Kabir Yusuf, publisher of Daily Trust, Wada Maida who was Chairman of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, and Sambo Dasuki. We went to negotiate with Tinubu and his team. But the issue today is that when you look at the APC as a party it is just a coalition of various interests that came together to form a political party for the purpose of occupying political power; which means to enter political offices. So, if you look deeply and analytically, you will find that actually it is not a political party because all sorts of various political interests have come in. If you look at the team I do not know where Adams Oshiomhole comes from, maybe the ACN. Now, look at Buhari from the CPC and Oyegun came in from Tinubu’s perspective and Tinubu was the leader of the ACN and also a political leader in his right from his Southwest zone. So, when at that time they decided on who will be the chairman it was Tinubu who brought Oyegun and the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo into the coalition. Then we in the CPC brought the presidential candidate with the ANPP bringing Ogbonnaya Onu, the current Minister of Science and Technology because at that time he was National Chairman of the ANPP. That was how the coalition stood. But subsequently they said those who participated in the coalition like Atiku Abubakar would be taken care of when they formed government. And when they formed government part of the coalition, Atiku Abubakar brought his boy, Garba Shehu because he had been his spokesman and Boss Mustapha. At that time Boss Mustapha was not brought on board immediately as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. It was David Babachir Lawal. Boss Mustapha was the MD and Chief Executive of Inland Waterways as part of the package of Atiku Abubakar. So, there was no ideological correlation between all these compradors in the political setting. Then subsequently APC lost their authority and integrity because it looked like there was no cohesion as a political party as it was not based on any ideological clarity, but just a mere collaboration of people. Unfortunately, the person who is supposed to be the leader of the party who is the president, Muhammadu Buhari under who the party is in power has a lackadaisical attitude in addressing political problems within his political party. If you are a correct political leader there is no way you will allow your house to be on fire. If you sit down and watch your house on fire it is basically going to consume you. Even if it doesn’t consume you as a person it will consume the package, the physical development you have as dividend of democracy from your political party. So, now in APC everybody is on his own. The governors are on their own, the ministers are on their own and even take people from other ministerial or other executive positions you find out that most of the people who are in government now in the APC, alot of them have no active activism in the CPC, which is the main party of the president and also in the ACN.  Quite a number of them are also PDP people who are the ones running the country as they wish and then getting the opportunity of a president who does not seem to care, who restricts himself inside the Villa so that even if he is coming from the airport to the Villa he goes by helicopter. Therefore, he would not know if there is a pothole between the airport and the Presidential Vila. So, that presents a problem to our nation state. So, now you could see he relies on some very few individuals. These few individuals who surround him are his the so-called security apparatus and close political associates, including those who are his relations.  What you can know from his actions and utterances is that he does not know what is going on in the country because he relies on this people who will tell him lies. Otherwise, how do you explain what is going on in the country? In his home state, Katsina…I am also from Katsina; on a daily basis bandits will kill not less than 50 to 100 people. The implication of this is grave.

You just mentioned a name, Sambo Dasuki as a member of the CPC team that you led to negotiate with the Tinubu team. If Sambo worked so hard for Buhari to achieve his ambition of being president people would wonder why lock him up for such length of time immediately you won the election?

I really do not know, but maybe it has to do with their military matter. But the fact of the matter is that Sambo Dasuki was the one who even introduced us to Tinubu because they were in exile together when Abacha was after them. You know Abacha planned to deal with Sambo; so they were in exile together. Also Sambo helped Tinubu’s mother when he was Military Assistant to Babangida. And you know Sambo is a very brilliant person. Sambo is one man who doesn’t keep contacts of names and numbers in his phone. He does them off hand. What he does is to just pick his phone and dial your number off hand. He doesn’t save numbers on his phone. And Sambo is such a complete gentleman.

If the problem between him and President Buhari is a military one, the campaigns to be president by Buhari in CPC and APC with the negotiation which you just talked about came after their military life?

And you know the whole campaign we did for Buhari in ANPP, it was with Sambo. It was Sambo who initiated this meeting. Initially we were meeting in Lagos House in Asokoro. It was Sambo who was in between. He was the one who made the arrangements and when we fly to Lagos it was Sambo who will make the necessary arrangements. But you know the military; it’s just like what Adamu Ciroma said in one of his many interviews. He said they say Buhari is unforgiving and said why should he not forgive? He overthrew a democratically elected government and put Shagari in detention; so if you are removed by the same people you used to overthrow Shagari why should you complain? I can tell you that Sambo is the one who went between Buhari and Babangida because Babangida also assisted Buhari with money for his elections. It was through Sambo that Babangida assisted Buhari. Sambo’s father, Dasuki was the Chairman of the Nigerian Marketing Board and it was the funds from the Nigerian Marketing Board that was used to stabilize the Nigerian economy during the Sardauna regime. And the sad thing was that Sambo’s father wanted to see his son, Sambo, but couldn’t till he died. Sambo’s father, former Sultan of Sokoto died when Sambo, his son was still in detention. The interesting thing is that Mamman Daura is marrying Sambo’s sister. They are the same father and the same mother. No one could save Sambo even when six courts gave him bail. I can tell you that all the campaigns we did around the country Sambo was with us. And you know Sambo has a lot of networks. If you want a detribalized Nigerian that is Sambo. You will see him so comfortable with every Nigerian regardless of your tribe, religion or whatever. He is also well known and one special attribute of Sambo is that he is very generous. That was why they couldn’t find anything in his account when they investigated him. This is because if Sambo has N100 million here as we are sitting before Sambo gets up he would have finished distributing it before leaving.

Before this issue of Sambo you gave me a summary of what I might say is the state of affairs in the polity as far as you know. But let me take you back to the APC crises. It would appear as if the problem of the APC is that of the leaders not wanting to work as a party, but as a coalition of different interest groups just like you alluded to. But let me pose the question. Now that APC is going the way of the PDP. What do you see is the future of the APC?

APC has no political future. APC has collapsed as a political party. In fact, there is no way APC can win anywhere in normal electoral setting and in a free and fair election because they have no leadership. The leadership of the president at the national level is nothing to talk about and the leaders of the party are on their own based on their personal interests. Then if you take Adams Oshiomhole, he doesn’t respect anybody and how do you have a political party, for goodness sake, that says that you disqualified a governor because his papers are not proper and the same party appointed that same guy who left for four years? And if there is something like this if they are serious in the party they would call the concerned governor, informally, not even at committee level and say look there is this problem can you clear the air so that we don’t have to embarrass ourselves. If there is still a problem then they should tell him to nominate another person to take the slot. This is where political strategy comes in. But you just announced it as if he is a commoner in the party. And now the issue is that nobody knows the Chairman of the party. As it is somebody may run to court and say the procedure leading to the primary was wrong and so they will end up like Zamfara State and also like Katsina.

Let’s talk about the indifference of Buhari to the problems in his party. Some people will say it is possible that such aloofness may be due to his current knowledge of the nature of the problems associated with Nigeria’s politics and has decided to tread softly. However, we have seen how the crises affected the party in some states in the 2019 election. Yet others are accusing him of selfishness and that it is perhaps because he doesn’t need the party again having been given a second term by Nigerians. What do you think?

You know Kenny, you cannot be the political leader of any group and having put you in office, you ignore the platform on which back you rode to power. So, how come you now have every problem not being settled democratically, but by court? How do you allow a judge who has no knowledge of politics to settle your problem for you and you have a leader who is supposed to manage your crisis. So, if you have a president who cannot manage a macro problem at the level of his party what it means is that he doesn’t need the party any longer and doesn’t need Nigerians because he has won his election, he would finish his term and go wherever he wants to go and then it is your business what happens next. Buhari has no structure as a person. He cannot influence the election of anybody from the platform of the Buhari Organisation. Before you know nobody will be in the APC because mark you even in this negotiation of Obaseki, Tambuwal was involved. So, in conclusion APC is no more a political party and I don’t see it the way people are saying it would crash. It has already crashed and, therefore, they have no basis to manage anybody.

You helped negotiate the merger between ACN and CPC, which resulted in the formation of the APC, but you speak as though you are no longer in the APC?

No. You see, I am an ideological person. I am a revolutionary scholar. We entered the Buhari Movement because we wanted to change the order of the Nigerian state. We wanted to make it a mass movement, but now when we see this rubbish going on how do you think I will be part of this? I have been teaching in the university. I have been a lecturer in International Finance for the past 32 years at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. I was taught Finance in New York. If you want to take five people who are close to Buhari in this country I am one of them. I was also the Director of Research and Strategy for the CPC and wherever he travelled to then we were always together. We still have mutual respect and whenever I want to see him I can see him. Even when they formed the government I was not interested in any office.

If you are asked what you think is wrong with the Buhari government because as close as you claim to be with Buhari you have not painted a rosy picture of the government. What is the problem?

In management there is what we call concept of management and what is very important for you to see in any business or political activity, it’s what we call functions of management when you must have plan. You plan, you coordinate and plan who will be here and there and who will be the best to serve where and then you coordinate to ensure that all the activities are going towards an organizational goal. But what we are having in this regime, Kenny, be sincere to yourself, just look at all the Ministers that we have how many of them do you think at a private level you will have the confidence to give the Managing Director of FAAN? So, if you can’t give him Managing Director of FAAN why would you give him Managing Director of Aviation or Minister of Aviation, for example? So, you see there are no quality people in the current government. There is no coordination even in the National Assembly because also they came in various pragmatic forces because they are there if you are from APC you negotiate with the government and they put you somewhere either by hook or crook. Have you ever seen in the history of Nigeria whether during the military or civilian administration where a Minister cannot walk up to see the president and Commander-in-Chief? It is only in this time.

Insecurity is now a major challenge whether in the North or South so much so that as the North is crying of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, southerners are shouting of being under siege by herdsmen. What are your thoughts about the efforts of the government to address them because only recently a youth coalition protested in Katsina and two Sundays ago the Northern Elders Forum addressed a press conference where they asked the Federal Government to do something. Now, with the president reading the riot act and the Senate President asking the service chiefs to brace up or shape out, what do you think? And can the military alone deliver us from this insecurity in the country?

They will not deliver anything because the same political talks have been going on in the past five years. So, I do not expect anything. As I am talking to you I got a phone call about five hours ago because I keep tab of those who are killed around northern state. In my state, Katsina, they killed about eight people today. They know these people have no education, no roads, no work in the North so they try to sectionalise it and make religious manipulations out of it, but we know too well that if you are a Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa driver you are in the same class; your children don’t go to school or if you are an Igbo, Yoruba, Itsekiri or Hausa Minister you still live in the highbrow area of Abuja. Their children go to the best schools. I have just arrived from Kaduna to this place, Zaria this night. Tell me if any crazy man can leave Port Harcourt for Aba at this time. And then before you sectionalise something look at the service chiefs and other security leaders from SSS to NIA to the Inspector General of Police, are they not from the North? So, why are they killing your people and you are there?

2023: I knew Buhari was deceiving Tinubu – Afenifere chieftain, Adebanjo [Punch]

  • Why I haven’t decided on 2023, Tinubu reveals, says time not right
  • Buhari has no rift with Asiwaju, Presidency declares
  • Sacked Oshiomhole-led NWC yields to pressure, dumps court action
  • Ex-party chair surrounded by bad advisers –Caretaker committee

Following insinuations that the recent developments in the All Progressives Congress were indications of a rift between the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has said he knew the President was allegedly deceiving Tinubu all along.

Adebanjo said the national leader was also deceiving the President as he described the APC as a gathering of incompatible persons. He argued that there was no ideology binding the party members together and that it was all about sharing offices and power.

Even though the Presidency said there was no rift between Buhari and Tinubu, many commentators described Thursday’s decision of the National Executive Committee of the APC to dissolve its National Working Committee as a blow to Tinubu, who is believed to be pro-Adams Oshiomhole, the sacked chairman.

There have been widespread claims that Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, was eyeing the presidency in 2023, and that the recent development in the party was a way of truncating his ambition.

Adebanjo said, “I have worry for him (Tinubu). He knew all these things but he relied on Buhari and worked to make him the President. I said it before publicly that Buhari is deceiving Asiwaju and Asiwaju is deceiving Buhari. Everybody is trying to use the other. Why can’t Tinubu hammer on restructuring knowing that this was what brought Buhari to office?

“I have been in this game for 70 years. So, many of those who are talking now were not born then. That is the truth – even Buhari was a toddler. He is now 74. Each time I tell you, why should Tinubu, the Vice-President (Yemi Osinbajo) and all those who were in Alliance for Democracy run to the APC? Why are they hesitating now to stand for restructuring? They can’t talk.

“All the things I am telling you now – it is not the first time. I said both Jagaban (Tinubu) and Osinbajo should get out of the APC. I said it openly. It is a disgrace and disservice to the Yorubaland. So, what is happening now shows there is nothing to bind them together.”

Wadume: Slain policemen begged for their lives but soldiers didn’t spare them –IRT operative [Punch]

A policeman who survived the attack on the Intelligence Response Team by troops on the orders of their commander, Capt Tijjani Balarabe, says the soldiers fired several rounds at their vehicle after it crashed.

Insp Mathias Abba, in his testimony to the Joint Investigation Panel which probed the killing of three policemen and two civilians during the August 6, 2019 attack in Taraba State, noted that the slain cops begged for their lives, but the soldiers did not spare them.

According to him, the troops cut down the deceased with a General Multipurpose Machine Gun, insisting that none of the IRT personnel died when their vehicle crashed.

The men, he stressed, were killed by “rapid (gun) fire from the soldiers.”

An autopsy carried out on the murdered policemen and their civilian assistants had attributed the cause of death to long-range rifle shots to the head, body, and leg, apart from the superficial injuries sustained from the crash.

Abba in his statement explained that they identified themselves at two military checkpoints and a police checkpoint while on their way to Ibbi to arrest a kidnap suspect, Hamisu Bala (Wadume), who was rescued by the troops after the attack on the police.

Abba who sustained a bullet wound on his right leg stated, “On getting to the last military checkpoint, we heard firing and the driver managed to pass but the firing continued. When I looked back, a Toyota picnic with the full headlight and a Hilux van were coming after us at full speed.

“When the speed from the Toyota was not enough because it was loaded with soldiers, the army patrol van overtook the Toyota and we heard the rapid fire of the GPMG mounted on the van.

“Our driver wanted to stop, but everyone was confused, so the (gun) fire from the GPMG caused our vehicle to somersault several times but the military kept firing at our vehicle despite the fact that our vehicle was already down.”

Narrating how he survived the hail of bullets, the inspector said he crawled to a nearby bush just as his colleagues also made efforts to come out of the crashed bus.

“Everybody was alive, nobody died in the accident but while I was watching, some of my men came out of the bus and escaped. The soldiers brought out the rest from the vehicle and fired shots at them at close range.

“Before they shot them, some of them (policemen) were begging them (soldiers) not to kill them, but the soldiers turned deaf ears and murdered them all.

“After killing them, one Capt Balarabe moved the suspected kidnapper (Wadume) in handcuffs into a military patrol vehicle and drove him away.”

We only need your daughter’s virginity, not money – Cultists who abducted Bauchi undergrad tell parents [Punch]

Suspected cultists who kidnapped Patience Emmanuel; a 20-year-old undergraduate in Bauchi State have told her family that they didn’t need money but the victim’s virginity.

The victim’s parents had been distraught over her kidnap which occurred four days ago.

The family said Emmanuel, a 100 level Pharmacology student at the Bauchi State University, Gadau, left the house on Wednesday afternoon and her whereabouts unknown since then.

Speaking with journalists on Saturday, the victim’s father, Mr Emmanuel Kushi, a retired civil servant, said his daughter was abducted on her way home after visiting his younger brother.

He said, “On Wednesday, June 24, around 2pm, she left my younger brother’s house in Rafin Zurfi and told him she was coming to my house at Kafin Tafawa (a distance of about four kilometers) to pick something and he gave her permission to come.

“By evening my younger brother’s wife kept calling her mobile to know if she had arrived but there was no response. They thought she was already in my house working.

“Later on, they tried again but the number was switched off. The next day (Thursday) around 1pm, my younger brother’s wife called me and asked why I delayed Patience and didn’t let her come back. She asked if there was any problem.

“I told her that I didn’t see Patience because she had not come to my house. She expressed shock about what I told her and said she would call her friend to confirm.”

He further explained that his brother’s wife told him that when she called Patience’s friend, he told her that he also tried calling her on Wednesday but her phone rang out.

The father added, “So he sent a text message to her mobile. Then, a reply came in. The response read, ‘Do you think you will ever see her again? Fool.’”

Kushi said he came back from the farm and also saw a text message in his phone sent by the abductors through his daughter’s number.

The text message, which was forwarded to our correspondent read, “Father, your daughter is with us (BLACK AXE CONFRETANITY (sic)). We don’t need your money what we need is her virginity. Don’t bother looking for her.”

He said that he got another text from the abductors on Saturday morning informing him that she was dead.

“This morning, at exactly 10.25am, they sent me another text message and said ‘she is dead’. We’ve been trying to call her but her number has been switched off. One thing I know is that my daughter is not dead. I believe she will return alive.”

He said the family had reported the matter to the Yelwa Divisional Police Headquarters.

Kushi explained that the family had resorted to prayers to seek God’s intervention while awaiting the outcome of police investigation. He described his daughter as a well-behaved and obedient daughter “who always jokes with me.”

The mother of the abducted lady, Mary, said she had been living in anxiety since Thursday when she heard of the news.

She said, “I have not been finding it easy since I got the news that she was missing. I got the news on Thursday afternoon. I have left everything to God. They should release my daughter’s corpse to us so that I can see her.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ahmed Wakil, confirmed the incident, adding that the police were investigating the matter.

 

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