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Kogi guber: Drop your second term bid, APC elders tell Bello

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Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, asking that Governor Yahaya Bello should not be given a second term.

The governor, they claimed, had received about N344billion in the last 38 months of his stewardship, without doing anything with the allocations.

The governor is owing salaries, pensions and gratuities, they said, adding that there are no visible capital projects on ground anywhere in the state.

They described Bello as non- performing and violent.

The petition, which was signed by the Convener of the Kogi APC Stakeholders Forum, Sen. Alex Kadiri reads:

“Governor Yahaya Bello was never elected by the good people of Kogi State. The death of Abubakar Audu made it possible for Bello to be Kogi State Governor. He has shown everyone that he lacks leadership abilities. He can’t fight for the rights and privileges of Kogi people.

“We request you to step down your support for the candidature of Governor Yahaya Bello for the forthcoming election in Kogi State.

“If the party fields him as a candidate, we are sure of losing the state to the opposition.”

The stakeholders gave insights into how the governor allegedly mismanaged the statutory allocations.

They said: “For the past 38 months including February 2019 Governor Yahaya Bello has not paid full salaries to the workers of Kogi State, despite the fact that the state received full allocation from the Federation Account as detailed below: Statutory allocation, Excess Crude and Value Added Tax (VAT) (N132b); Internally Generated Revenue by the state(N51b);  total allocations to local governments(N111b).

“Total funds received by the state and local governments: N294 billion. The other funds received by the state are as below: Bail Out (N20b); Paris Club refunds 1, 2, and 3 (N19b); and refunds for road construction by previous governments (N11b).

“The governor had conducted multiple staff screening for both the state and the local governments. And from the report of the screening, the monthly wage bill (state, local governments and pensions) at the inception of the administration stood at N5.8 billion. After screening, this figure reduced to N4.4 billion.

“From the table above it is evidently clear that the total revenue received by the state government was more than enough to settle all salaries, pensions and gratuities with huge balance remaining for overheads and capital projects.

“It is very instructive to note that even without bailout and other funds received outside statutory allocation, Governor Yahaya Bello could have still paid all salaries including pensions without conducting multiple screening and inflicting pains on Kogi State and local government workers. This must hurt APC at the polls.

“Even after the screening, all salaries and pensions payments were paid using arbitrary percentages, thereby still owing workers huge outstanding salaries.”

The stakeholders said they had tried to seek presidential and party interventions to call Bello to order, but to no avail.

They added: “We respectfully write to bring to your esteemed attention, the following facts and issues associated with our party and the governor of Kogi State.

“We had earlier, during the life of your administration petitioned against our governor, Yahaya Bello, on several occasions.

“The party, as a result, set up the Tony Momoh Committee to work on the issues in our petitions in Kogi State APC. The result of this committee’s work is kept secret in the cooler without the party or the government addressing any of the issues to date.

“Another committee was setup under the chairmanship of General Garba.  We appeared before the committee, and made far-reaching recommendations, till this day, that report is still also kept secret and under lock and key and no action taken by the party.

Last night Director-General Media and Strategy to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo said:

“Every financial statement has both income and expenditure. It is the height of mischief to push out the income of the state without juxtaposition of expenditure to set the idea for public perception.

“The Governor has only been in office for 39 months but has paid salaries for 38 months; including four months before his inception.

“Salaries take the chunk of our revenue as a state. However, we have been able to invest heavily on the other sectors of the economy.

To check insecurity in the state, we bought over 200 brand new vans, over 500 motorcycles and gadgets running into hundreds of millions of Naira.

“We gave teeth to the Vigilante Service in the State through a well coordinated training and mobilisation to complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies. Today, the security narrative we met has changed.

“The multi-million Integrated Rice Mill at Ejiba is 92% completed and will be one of the biggest legacies of our Administration.

“The administration has also made Lokoja and the other towns and cities in the state saner, cleaner and more habitable. We have completed the Ankpa Township Roads and many others are ongoing with quality jobs.

“The revolution to make water available to Kogites have paid off as the administration has delivered a lot of high-worth water facilities across the state.

“With all the development projects we are doing, it must also be mentioned that we are repaying loans taken and wasted by the previous administrations in the State.

“Sanitising and digitalization of our civil service didn’t come cheap. But the administration is proud of what has been achieved in that sector. “We have also electrified about 40 communities across the state. We have improved infrastructure in our schools, hospitals and Primary Health Centres.

“The Administration put in place, bumps to check financial misdemeanors and will be remembered after 2024 as the most disciplined administration in the history of the state.”

-The Nation

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BREAKING: A’Court sacks Emerhor faction of Delta APC, upholds Erue as authentic chairman

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The crisis rocking the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress took a dramatic twist on Friday as the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo state capital upheld Prophet Jones Ode Erue as the authentic Chairman of the party in the state.

The court also nullified the minority judgement of the Federal High Court Asaba which earlier proclaimed Chief Cyril Ogodo as chairman of the party and nullified nominations of candidates produced by Erue State executive committee of the party which include the 2015 governorship candidate of the APC, in the state, O’tega Emerhor.

– More details shortly

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APGA removes Obiano, Ojukwu’s wife as BoT chairman, member

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The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), yesterday, dissolved its Board of Trustees (BoT), ahead of the May 31 national convention.

The dissolved BoT had Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano as chairman. It also had Victor Umeh and widow of former leader of the party, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, as members.

National Secretary of APGA, Labaran Maku, who read out the resolution, said the decision was reached during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Awka, following the expiration of the four year term of the Board.

Daily Sun gathered that new BoT members were to be nominated ahead of its national convention for ratification.

The NEC resolution also ratified the party’s national convention to be held in Awka, on May 31.

NEC fixed ward and lo- cal government congresses to hold on May 19 and 21 respectively, while state and zonal congresses would hold on May 23.

It was also resolved that the party retained its earlier zoning formula for the distribution of national offices, while members who took the party to court without exhausting internal mechanisms were expelled.

Addressing the NEC earlier, Governor Obiano pledged the readiness of the party’s National Assembly members-elect to support the Federal Government in achieving its development agenda. National Chairman of party, Chief Victor Oye commended the members for their zeal to transform the party, and party faithful to ensure that the forthcoming congresses and national convention were successful.

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Edo 2020: Drop your second term bid, Oshiomhole tells Obaseki …Obaseki fires back

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Oshiomhole, Obaseki

-Obaseki fires back ‘I will not step down’

-As Oshiomhole, other party leaders allegedly back ex-deputy gov, Odubu

 

Is there a conspiracy to stop the second term bid of Edo State Governor, Godwin ObasekiThis poser seems to be resolved in the affirmative amid frenetic political developments in the state.

The quest of Godwin Obaseki to win a second term as governor of Edo State now looks more daunting than ever, following the emergence of evidence than Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of the state and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside some party leaders in the state, have endorsed Pius Odubu, former deputy governor in the last administration.

Already, leaders of Edo State chapter of the APC are divided along camps led by Governor Obaseki and Comrade Oshiomhole.

Even though Obaseki and his predecessor have kept mute over the rumoured cold war between them, their supporters ahead of the 2020 battle for the governorship ticket continue to sound the political battle cry, fueling strong speculation that Oshiomhole may have severed ties with his successor. It was gathered that since it became clear that some top Abuja-based Edo APC leaders are plotting to stop Obaseki from picking the party’s ticket, he has been building political structures across the state to checkmate his opponents within the party.

Oshiomhole, The Witness learnt is said to be supporting his former deputy, Pius Odubu, who he believes is the most suitable replacement while former federal lawmakers, Hon Johnson Oghuma and Hon Gani Audu, are also said to be penciled down by Oshiomhole to replace Obaseki’s deputy governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu.

Other names touted to be eyeing the seat of the incumbent governor are former minister of state for works, Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi, Retired General Charles Arhiavbere and Honourable Osarodion Ogie, who is the current secretary to the Edo State government.

 

Obaseki’s alleged ‘sins’ against Oshiomhole

Recall Obaseki won the heart of his former boss, Comrade Oshiomhole who fought his battle to become the governorship candidate of the APC in 2016 and subsequently, the governor.

After Obaseki emerged governor, the relationship between him and Oshiomhole was cordial until very recently when a cold war ensued between them.

Though Governor Obaseki has always maintained that he has no problems with the ex-governor, feelers from the state prove the contrary.

What has now become a war, the magazine learned, started during the APC primaries, when the former helmsman wanted to impose his candidates for the National and State Assembly elections on Governor Obaseki, a situation the governor vehemently opposed.

Though Comrade Oshiomhole succeeded in imposing some candidates on the party, Governor Obaseki refused to support the candidates as a result of this, most APC candidates lost at the National Assembly election.

Obaseki on taking over the mantle of leadership in 2016 ruffled political feathers in the state when he boldly banned revenue contracts hitherto given to some APC leaders and disbanded community development associations (CDA) engaged in illegal sales and allocation of lands.

This major activity had been ‘goldmine’ of sort to some party leaders. The decision was roundly applauded by majority of Edo people but perceived in political circles as a show of ingratitude, especially from the camp of those who felt they supported his emergence.

A source said Obaseki had complained to close associates that he is choking under the overbearing attitude of his predecessor and that he wants to be his own man. It was learnt that Obaseki was expected to take care of some APC political boys loyal to the former governor, but that they were the first he got rid of the moment he was sworn in. 

Besides, some political leaders were said to have complained bitterly of the lack of patronage from the governor and vowed to ensure that Obaseki is denied second term ticket come 2020. They were said to be unhappy with his leadership style. The governor was also accused of empowering his Lagos-based cronies with juicy contracts against politicians who had worked and supported his emergence. They had threatened to work against the governor during his re-election.

Oshiomhole is not also happy the governor dumped all the associates and supporters as soon as he took power, sources divulgedThe governor has simply refused to patronize them as usual rather he populates his kitchen cabinet with his own people.

It was gathered that Governor Obaseki has continuously told Comrade Oshiomhole’s supporters it would not be business as usual as “taxpayers’ money cannot be dispensed for political patronage,” another source said.

The source said, “We are taking development to those in the grassroots, we will not share money like the governments did in the past.”

Now that the 2020 governorship election is around the corner, the aggrieved party men and women said they are poised to have their own pound of flesh on the governor.

They have resolved among themselves that they will stop Governor Obaseki from securing a second term in office.

One of them told our correspondent that “the APC leaders have commenced a search for a good replacement of the governor in 2020.

“We have been able to stabilize the party because majority of our memberare aware that the governor will not be granted second tenure. This is the reason some of our members and leaders have continued to remain calm and steadfast in the party.

We have never had it so bad. Governor Obaseki turned his back on us as soon as he became governor, now we are prepared to pay him back in his own coin by making sure he’s not returned as the party’s candidate for next year’s election.”

But some angry party leaders told this newspaper that the governor can still redeem the situation. They insist that they are prepared to work with him if he’s ready to carry everybody along.

“Governor Obaseki’s second term bid rests squarely in his hands, if he is serious let him redeem the situation now before it is too late,” the APC leader who pleaded anonymity said.

Another factor insiders said also working against Obaseki is the governor’s alleged romance with the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto.

Knowing the fragile nature of the friendship between the governor and his predecessor, sources divulged that the speaker employed deceit to use Obaseki to clean his dirty mess.

“Adjoto told the governor that Oshiomhole brought money to the house with the intent of impeaching him (the governor). He said the plan was to bring in the impeached deputy speaker, Victor Edoror, so that the governor can easily be impeached.

The governor bought into his plan to remove Edoror and others he thought were threats to him,” a source privy to the event told our correspondent.

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