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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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POLITICS

Oyegun to Oshiomhole: Stop disgracing APC

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John Odigie-Oyegun, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has asked Adams Oshiomhole, his successor, to desist from interfering in the administration of Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state.

Odigie-Oyegun gave the advice in a statement signed by Ray Murphy, his public affairs adviser, on Sunday.

He appealed to Oshiomhole to stop disgracing the ruling party, saying Obaseki should be given a breathing space to concentrate on governing the state.

He recalled that he never interfered with Oshiomhole’ administration when he was governor and wondered why it has become difficult for him to realise that Obaseki is the only APC governor in the whole of the south-south.

“I appeal to him (Oshiomhole) to stop disgracing the governing party APC and Edo state,” he said.

“He should give the governor a breathing space to concentrate in doing the job of serving the people of Edo.

“I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo, all the while I occupied the position of the party’s national chairman.

“I am yet to come to terms with why it has become difficult for Oshiomhole to realise that Obaseki is the only APC governor in the entire south-south.

“And he should be allowed to concentrate on giving the people of Edo the dividends of democracy. ”

He urged APC governors not to stand aside and watch their fellow colleague “hampered by a party chairman whose actions might lead to political misfortune of the party”.

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Abia APGA suspends Alex Otti, alleges anti-party activities

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The Abia State Working Committee of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has slammed an indefinite suspension on the Governorship Candidate of the party in 2015 and 2019, Dr. Alex Otti.

The suspension was announced in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the party, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere and Sunday Onukwubiri, and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Monday.

The party accused Otti of engaging in anti-poverty activities, saying that he equipped his political machinery, known as Abia First, to harass party officials and create divisions in the party.

It also accused Otti of indulging in illegal and unconstitutional activities as well as acts of insubordination to the party leadership, which “undermined the principle of party supremacy”.

It stated that the governorship candidate proceeded to the election tribunal after the 2019 poll “in the name of APGA without the consent and approval of the party.”

The party further alleged that Otti sponsored attacks on the party’s state and national leaderships in both the social and traditional print and electronic media.

It stated: “Otti’s Abia First was set up and equipped for the sole purpose of using it to display political force, harass party officers and create divisions in the party.

“It is also for the promotion of his selfish and personal political objectives against the interest of the party.

“Otti is hereby suspended indefinitely from the party with immediate effect, pending the hearing and determination of his case by a disciplinary committee to be set up by the party in the state.”

The party urged the public and institutions to take note of the suspension “and desist forthwith from having any dealings with Otti in any capacity as APGA member or representive in any capacity in Abia or elsewhere.”

The party also announced the expulsion of Chief Nkem Okoro, the Chairman of a faction of the party loyal to Otti, for alleged anti-party activities and breach of the party’s constitution.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the party copied the National Working Committee of the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies in the statement.

In a swift reaction, Mr Ebere Uzoukwa, the Publicity Secretary of Otti’s faction of the party, dismissed the suspension as a nullity.
Uzuokwa said that Ehiemere and Onukwubiri lacked the legal power to suspend or expel any member of the party, having been allegedly replaced by Okoro-led executive that emerged during the party’s state congress in June.

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Delta APC crisis: Emerhor withdraws case against Omo-Agege, Ogboru faction

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The protracted division bedeviling the Delta state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Monday laid to rest with the leader of one of the two factions, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, calling the truce.

Delta APC got enmeshed in 2018 when the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on assumption of office sacked the Olorogun Cyril Ogodo-led state executive counci, inaugurated by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and replaced it with Prophet Jones Erue-led executive council.

The Ogodo-led faction, which is represented by the Mainstream Delta APC group under the leadership of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Olorogun Emerhor, had gone to court to reclaim its mandate, winning its first outing at the Federal High Court in Asaba and had proceeded to the Supreme Court in pursuit of favourable judgement.

However, in a statement on Monday, July 15, Emerhor, said his faction, considering the high stakes that had risen with recent developments, especially the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President had chosen to withdraw from pursuing the case.

“During the pendency of our Supreme Court appeal, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the main impacted person, should our appeal succeed at the Supreme Court, was sponsored by our National APC and Federal government and was elected the Deputy Senate President (DSP) of the Nigerian Senate. Since this event a lot has happened.”

“Your leadership has come under intense pressure to terminate the appeal at the Supreme Court in order not to jeopardize the standing of the DSP at the Nigerian senate. This pressure has come from elders, leaders and Clergymen of Urhobo nation, from well wishers and family members of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from APC party leaders of the South South, and indeed, from the Presidency.

“Recently, on Tuesday, July 11th 2019, myself and Chief Cyril Ogodo had audience with the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo on the matter to chart a way forward.

“Upon the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the DSP, and with the reach out from the various interested persons mentioned above, your leadership has indeed agreed, in its usual reconciliatory manner, to seize the opportunity to again push for a party reconciliation and unification deal that can produce a win win situation for Delta APC and properly position it.

“Our earlier terms for Party exco harmonization and sharing of Federal appointments to all groups in Delta APC were once again put on the table as the panacea for bringing lasting peace to APC Delta State. Unfortunately, even with the best efforts of those who intervened to seize this moment as a last minute effort to bring peace to reign, again no traction was achieved.

“At the same time, our case in the Supreme Court suffered a set back. As against securing an accelerate hearing consequent on it being a pre-election matter, the suit is currently adjourned to October 14, 2019. It has been in our contemplation for the case to come to a closure in July 2019 and allow peace and unification come to Delta APC at last.

“Under the above circumstances and in full recognition of the pressures that have been brought to bear and also in appreciation of the legal arguments as to whether we could still achieve the objectives of the suit when it comes up in October or not, your leadership has decided and indeed unconditionally agreed to withdraw our appeal from the Supreme Court by filing a notice of discontinuance today Monday July 15th, 2019.

“Your leadership believes this is for the best. We have fought a good fight and even good fights must come to an end! We don’t need to fight on till October and beyond! We don’t need to force others to the table anymore and or forever.

“I, therefore, on behalf of the Mainstream of APC in Delta proclaim an end on our part in the factional fight for the control of APC in Delta State. We also seize the opportunity to recognize Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as our Senator and congratulate him for his election as DSP of the Nigerian senate. We in the same breath, recognize and congratulate other elected legislators of APC in Delta State.

“We do this with zero expectations from those who are now the ‘victors’. We will, however, be wildly surprised if they seize the moment and strive for the unification of the party in the interest of a stronger Delta APC.

“I also wish to seize the opportunity to thank all members of the Mainstream of Delta APC, and the Ogodo led Exco in Delta State for your unalloyed loyalty, support and resilience in the face of daunting challenges throughout the period of our contending for a winning APC in Delta State. As I said earlier, even a good fight must end one way or the other. I thank you all,” Emerhor said.

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