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Former minister reacts to Zamfara APC crisis

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The former Minister of State for Information, Hon. Ikra Bilbis has reacted to last week’s All Progressives Congress (APC) parallel Congress, saying it was an unfortunate situation for the party in Zamfara State.

The former minister, in a press statement he personally signed, said the situation requires the intervention of critical stakeholders and leaders of the APC otherwise all the years of toil and sacrifice made to build the party will be in vain.

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“I say this with all sense of responsibility given my deep knowledge of how the party birthed at the national level and became accepted by the people of Zamfara and sufficiently aware of those whose contributions have strengthened and fortified the party to the level that it does not lose a single seat in all elections in the state.

“But events in the recent past have called for a review of how the affairs of the party are being conducted in Zamfara leading to strife, disorder and formation of factions which culminated in a purported ward congress of the APC in the state.

“It is however instructive that after the purported ward congress, one of the leading members of the party, Senator Kabiru Marafa has come out to challenge the legality of the exercise describing it as ‘’dead on arrival’’.

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“Senator Marafa drew his conclusions based on the fact that the rules guiding the conduct of congresses were not adhered to.

“As he pointed out, the APC by holding the ward congress in Zamfara, is in material breach of key provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC Constitution.

“This is because Section 85 of the Electoral Act made it mandatory that INEC must be given a notice of 21 days before holding a congress, a process which was not adhered to by the APC in the case of Zamfara.

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“The flouting of the laws portends grave danger for the APC as any process emanating from that can be challenged in court and the APC will be the loser again if that should happen.

“Even more frightening is the legality of holding a congress in defiance to a court order suspending all activities of the party at levels in the state.

“It is well known that some members of the APC in Zamfara are in court challenging the dissolution of the executive committee of the party in the state and the court while hearing the case, has suspended all activities of the party in at all levels in the state pending the determination of the case.

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“But without waiting for the determination of the case, the APC called for a congress which processes started last Saturday with only the faction led by Governor Bello Matawalle and a few others participating.

“The faction led by the former Governor AbdulAziz Yari, has refused to take part in the exercise in deference to the court order restraining the party from holding any activity in the state pending the determination of the case before it.

“Though the Marafa led faction participated in the congress, it is also not in agreement with the conduct and has called for a halt to the processes and is even threatening to challenge it in court if the process continues.

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“But the Matawalle faction, enabled by the chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee of the party, Mai Mala Buni is carrying on with impunity.

“This, however, is most unfortunate as the national leadership of the party should be seen to be on the side of law and order rather than on a divisive and chaotic cause that will not augur well for the party,” he said.

“It is clear that some forces are ganging up to use the instrument of the party to pursue their selfish aims and to go at certain leaders of the party in Zamfara whom they perceive as threats to their ambitions.

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“In Abuja, there are those who want to get at former Governor Abdulaziz Yari, simply because of the overwhelming clamour by well-meaning leaders and members of the APC nationwide for him to contest the national chairmanship of the APC, while in Zamfara, there are those who realising they are not popular with the people, want to create chaos in the state so that they can use the resultant mayhem to perpetrate an electoral fraud that will return them to the office”

“It is these two combined forces that are responsible for the seeming commotion in the Zamfara State chapter of the APC.

“But unlike those who joined the APC only recently, former Governor Yari has been a foundational leader and the major force for the growth of the APC both at the national level and in Zamfara State.

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“As the then chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Yari’s leadership inspired the confidence of many of his colleagues to see hope in the formation of the party.

“As governor, he was able to win the hearts of the people of Zamfara with his populist programmes and resolve to transform the state for the better.

“His grassroots reach and passion for human capital development has remained unassailable in the history of Zamfara and that is why the people of the state love him and have absolute confidence in his leadership and do not hesitate to align with his political choice.

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“He is unlike some of the current political leaders in Zamfara and other states, who hardly stay in their respective states but are either in Abuja pursuing their political interests ahead 2023 or globetrotting in search of elusive investors.

“Like their colleague in Zamfara, some of the governors behind the APC crisis in Zamfara have left the affairs of their states unattended to and are not doing enough to better a lot of the people in their states.

“Clearly, Governor Matawalle has not been acting in ways that suggest he has the interest of the APC at heart that some of us are even suspecting he was brought to the party to destroy it.

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“It was in order to pave the way for him that the duly elected exco of the party in the state was dissolved which has brought further litigation and division to the party.

“The Governor hardly calls nor attends to party functions while he is always travelling out of the country in the guise of looking for investors.

“These have led to the suspicion that the Governor is deliberately inflicting pains on the people as a way of getting back at them for rejecting him at the polls when he contested for governor in 2019 on the platform of the PDP.

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“Leaders of the APC must therefore listen to what Senator Marafa is saying and call Mai Mala Buni to order before he uses Matawalle to completely destroy the APC in Zamfara State.

“The party can do this by constituting a board of trustees which can run the affairs of the party since Mai Mala Buni is showing that he is incapable of being just and objective to all members.

“Or it can allow the other members of the National Working Committee of the party to take charge till a substantive national chairman is elected.

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“Mai Mala Buni needs to be excused from the acting national chairman position so he can go and look after Yobe State which is his constitutionally assigned responsibility since the task of combining governance and running the APC appears too much for him.

“While his other colleague governors, who are behind the crisis in the Zamfara APC, must be reminded in clear terms, that their constitutional responsibilities is to their respective states and their people; hence should go back and serve their people instead of meddling in the affairs of the party at the national level which is out of their basic functions as governors.”

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You’ve dug your political grave – Ubani to Otti over planned defection to ADC

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Former Commissioner of Information and Strategy in Abia State and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Abia Deputy Governor, Chief Don Ubani, has taken a swipe at Alex Otti over his ambition to be governor.

DAILY POST recalls that Alex Otti, who was the ex-Group Managing Director (GMD) of the defunct Diamond Bank and gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2015 and 2019 decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC) late last year.

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Ubani in a statement on Wednesday, reminded Otti that his desperation and vaulting ambition to become Abia governor will continue to elude him, insisting that the APC chieftain has finally dug his political grave with the latest plan to join again the African Democratic Party (ADC) ahead of 2023 general election in Abia State.

“Otti contested for Governorship of Abia State in 2015 on the platform of APGA. In conformity with political realities in Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of PDP gave him a beating of his life from which recovery has become obviously difficult, if not impossible.

“Being not a sport’s man, Mr Alexander Otti, driven by inordinate ambition, overstretched the peaceful ambiance for which Abia State had been known by embarking on frivolous litigations against the victorious Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. All said and done, Mr. Alexander Otti failed. The only achievement he was able to record was that he came a very distant second to Governor Ikpeazu in 2015.

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“In 2019, Mr. Alexander Otti still ran on the platform of APGA. That time around, he came a very humiliating distant third position, trailing only behind Dr. Uche Ogah of All Progressives Congress, APC, who came next to Governor Ikpeazu,” Ubani said.

“Even though he knew he had no locus standi, he desperately went to challenge Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s victory in Court. He was so confused, dejected and frustrated that the Appeal Court described and dismissed him as a ‘Meddlesome Interloper and Busy Body”.

Continuing, Ubani stated, “Still blindfolded by a vaulting ambition to be Governor of Abia State in 2023, Mr. Alexander Otti moved to his third party, APC. Feeling that APC, though the worst Political Party that had ever been birthed in Nigeria, being the ruling party in the country would make it possible for him to achieve his ambition, he went and pitched his tent with the Party.

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“Unfortunately for Mr. Alexander Otti, he joined the wrong camp of APC, the Chief Orji Uzor Kalu faction. High Chief Ikechi Emenike is the ‘Alpha and Omega’ in APC in Abia State. High Chief Emenike treats Chief Orji Uzor Kalu with visible disdain and disrespect. High Chief Emenike, in his own desperation, wants to run for Governorship of Abia State in 2023, pretending to have forgotten that his fellow Umuahia man, Chief T A Orji, had ruled the State for Eight Consecutive Years, 2007-2015.

“Mr. Alexander Otti has now gotten to his wit’s end. He has avoidably found himself in a labyrinth. Going back to APGA, especially with the recent electoral victory of Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo as Governor-Elect of Anambra State under APGA would have been ideal but true to his character, he does not leave a house built by others without putting a lot of effort to destroy it. So, APGA is foreclosed. Coming back to PDP is like a precarious adventure. Mr. Alexander Otti is now in a quagmire”.

He queried, “What does Mr. Alexander Otti do in this moment of total confusion? His last option, digging his political grave! Mr. Alexander Otti has concluded arrangements to desperately run on the platform of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in 2023. He has started setting up an ‘interim structure’ of the non-existent party in the state”.

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Osun 2022: APC leaders bar party members from contesting against Oyetola

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Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ede South/Ede North/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State have thrown their weight behind the second term bid of the State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

This is as the leaders have also warned that no aspirant from the federal Constituency should contest in the Osun APC primary against the Governor.

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This decision was made known by Chairman of the elders, Gbadebo Ajao at a press conference on Tuesday at Ido-Osun.

The party leaders at the press conference disclosed that any party member from the federal Constituency who contests with the governor would be rejected by the party and they would not have their support in any form whatsoever.

The elders stated that their decision to endorse the Governor as the sole candidate for the 2022 gubernatorial election was arrived at after wide consultations across the federal constituency.

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Recall that the APC had slated March, Saturday 5, 2022, for its gubernatorial primary election in Osun State and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also fixed July 16, 2022 for the Osun Gubernatorial election.

Some members of the party, especially The Osun Progressives (TOP) have been agitating that the candidate of the party for the polls be selected from the Osun West senatorial zone as was clamoured in 2018 so as to ensure fairness since individuals from both the Osun Central and East had served two terms in office as governor.

When the APC ticket went to the incumbent who comes from the Osun Central senatorial zone, many political heavyweights within the Osun APC, like the former Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti decamped from the party to another political party in order to realise their ambitions but only came back to the party after election victory went the other way.

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This move has not gone down well with the pro-Oyetola/IleriOluwa faction of the party whose argument has been that the decision to select a candidate that will be the APC flagbearer should be based on competence and not zonal consideration.

Notwithstanding, many aspirants from the Osun West zone have started to indicate interest in presenting themselves for the Osun top job.

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