Defection: Senators will determine Saraki’s fate – APC - Naijaray
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Defection: Senators will determine Saraki’s fate – APC

The All Progressives Congress has said senators will determine whether or not Saraki will retain his position as Senate President.

The party said it remained the party of choice for all genuine democrats as such it would do nothing to undermine a system its members fought so hard to nurture to this level.

The National Vice Chairman of the APC (South South ) , Hilliard Eta , said this in response to allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party that it was planning to force a change of leadership in the Senate .

He said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, on Thursday .

Eta said , “We in the APC are progressives; the concept and principle of progressivism is that the ordinary man must be at the epicentre of all policies and actions of our government.
“ As a party, we are not all senators; we have senators in the Senate . Saraki was elected as the President of the Senate by senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . It is the senators that will decide whether Saraki remains their president or not .

“ But I can say this , there are no factions in the APC, we have one National Chairman , Adams Oshiomhole , nothing has happened to give any clue to factionalisation in our party and the constitution is very clear as to the grounds upon which defections can occur.

“ For us as a party, we will defend the law and the constitution of this country. The PDP I am told would do everything in their power to defend Saraki, we will do everything legitimately to defend the laws of the land and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . ”

We ’ll resist attempt to remove Saraki, says Tambuwal
But in spite of this assurance , the Sokoto State Governor , Aminu Tambuwal , said the PDP would resist any illegal attempt to remove Saraki as the Senate President .

He warned the Federal Government to stop framing up members of the opposition, adding that Nigeria was not a banana republic.

Tambuwal , who just defected from the APC to the PDP, said it was unfortunate that the Federal Government had resorted to framing up anyone with a contrary political view.

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The former Speaker of the House of Representatives spoke at the special National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP, which was held to welcome defectors to the PDP in Abuja on Thursday .

Apart from Tambuwal , among other defectors who were at the meeting were Saraki; the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom ; a former National Chairman of the PDP, Barnabas Gemade ; a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Senator Dino Melaye and a former Nigeria ’ s Ambassador to South Africa , Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto .

Tambuwal said , “This (frame up ) especially on the simple account of disagreement on political leanings is simply unacceptable . And we cannot allow our country to drift further . It is not about anybody , it is not about any interest, this is about the country.

“ We must retrieve our nation; we must reposition this country and restructure it for the benefit of Nigerians.
“ When they talk about cross-carpeting (defection ), I began to wonder . When we cross-carpeted (defected ) the other time, did they complain ?”

He said that when he heard about alleged plans by some senators to break into the chambers of the Senate to steal the mace and install a pseudo Senate President, he wondered if such people were familiar with the rules guarding democracy.

Tambuwal said , “It is not a gestapo, we are in a democracy and the constitution of this country is very clear that members of the Senate and the House of Representatives can choose from among themselves their own president of the Senate and Speaker .

“ It is a conference of members of the two chambers and if the members have confidence in the Senate President, they are free to retain him and so be it with Speaker Yakubu Dogara. We will resist any attempt to illegally remove Senator Saraki .

“ Nobody should be afraid and we must respect due process and the rule of law if we are in a democracy.

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“ Nigeria is not a banana republic and we will not take that from anybody .
“ If you try it (to remove Saraki) , we will march out our own forces in the country and jam you ; we cannot afford to allow anybody , no matter how highly placed , to toy with the fate of more than 200 million Nigerians. ”
In his speech , Saraki said that he would not speak much at the meeting, adding that the day to “ say many things would come . ”

He , however, pleaded with members of the PDP to receive him and his co-defectors with open hearts.

Saraki said that the battle ahead would be fierce , adding that they needed to work together to achieve results in 2019 .

He congratulated Ortom and Tambuwal “ for the courage you have displayed” and Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was not at the meeting, for their decisions to return to the party.

He said he offered himself and would play his part , to continue to ensure that “we defend our democratic principles in this country; we provide security and good leadership and good governance for everybody. But that is only possible if we are all united because not any one man or two or three can do it alone . ”

In his speech , Ortom said he regretted that he had to leave the PDP for what he called “ obvious reasons . ”

Ortom said, “ I’ m happy to be back home, the home I participated in building. Though for obvious reasons , I took part in a journey . In that journey , I had many challenges. I became poor and I lost everything I took to the party. Everything I took to the APC died .”


2019 Election: Buhari, Atiku, Others To Sign Peace Accord In Abuja

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the nation’s presidential candidates will sign a Peace Accord in a bid for the election to be peaceful and transparent.

President Muhammadu Buhari and other presidential candidates, including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are to sign Peace Accord to ensure smooth conduct of 2019 general elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event, slated for International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday at 3.00p.m is being organised by the National Peace Committee.

The committee is headed by former Military Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The Peace Accord is an undertaking by all the presidential candidates to ensure peaceful and rancour-free campaigns before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

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The candidates are also expected to avoid hate speech, fake news or any act capable of causing socio-political unrest in the country.

The leadership of the affected political parties as well as the Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) are also expected to grace the event.

Other presidential candidates expected to sign the peace agreement include: Mr Donald Duke-Social Democratic Party (SDP); Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim- Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr Omoyele Sowore-African Action Congress (AAC) and Mrs Obi Ezekwesili- Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

Others are Dr Obadiah Mailafia-African Democratic Congress (ADC); Prof. Kingsley Moghalu – Young Progressive Party (YPP); Pastor Chris Okotie – Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) retired Major Hamza Al-Mustapha-Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN).

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Habib Gajo-Young Democratic Party (YDP); retired Maj- Gen. John Gbor – All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Ali Soyode-YES Party and Dr Davidson Akhimien-Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN) are also expected to sign the Peace Accord.


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Katsina APC House Of Representatives Member Dumps Party, Defects To PDP

The ruling All Progressives Congress has lost another member of the House of Representatives to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party.

A member of the House of Representatives from Katsina State, Ibrahim Murtala, has defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Murtala, who is representing Matazu/ Musawa Federal Constituency, announced his defection in a letter read by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, on the floor of the house on Tuesday.

In the letter, Murtala said that he wished to inform the house and the general public that he was no longer a card-carrying member of the APC.

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The lawmaker said he would from now pursue his political career under the umbrella of the PDP.


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I’ll Publicly Declare My Assets If Elected, I Support State Police – Singer, Banky W

Regarded as the King of R&B music in Nigeria, multi-talented singer, Banky W has reiterated his determination to represent his constituency as a federal lawmaker.

While speaking in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, a Federal House of Representatives candidate from Eti-osa in Lagos state, Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, pledged to support the establishment of state police if elected.

The Wedding Party actor who disclosed that he was willing to publicly delcare his assets if elected as a lawmaker to represent Eti-Osa constituency, said his destiny is to stay in Nigeria and make his community and the country better.

Banky added that he decided not to leave the country, at a time many Nigerians are running away to seek greener pastures because he believes he is meant to empower the young people around him.

He said; “For me, it is about destiny and impact. I have lived outside of the country for a little over half of my life and I have had those opportunities and they are still there for me if I wanted to take them but I feel like my destiny is here.

“I feel like I have been given the success, the platform, the following and the relevance that I have because I am meant to use it for a greater good. I am meant to use it to impact my generation. I am meant to use it to empower the young people around me. I am meant to use it to make my community and my country better.

“So, if I run away because life is easier elsewhere, that will be running away from my problems and I am intent on impacting my generation and fulfilling my purpose, that is why I am here,” he said.

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Speaking further, Bank W said that he is not intimidated by the ruling party and other mega parties, adding that he has new ideas to bring to the table and the community is ready for new ideas.

“The community is ready for people with vision and the intellectual capacity and for fresh faces on the scene that generally have good intentions for the country.

“For us now, it is about going door-to-door, community-to-community in Eti-Osa and letting them know that they do have a separate option, an alternative that is willing to try to do things differently and hopefully, to do things better.

“At the end of the day, if it’s the will of God and the will of the community, then we willl win but if it is not, then we are okay with that because we have been playing our role in trying to improve our community and that is never going to stop, whether we get the seat or not,” he said.

He explained that the reason he chose to run on the platform of a new party is because his party does not want people to handcuff their message and vision.

“That is (why) we have set up our own political party. We have set up MDP. It is a new party. It is self-funded because we do not (want) to answer to the powers that be. We just want a seat at the table of governance. We want to bring our own chair so that the only people that we will be answering to, are the people who put us in office – which is the community.

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“And I think that marks a difference between what we are trying to do and what other politicians are doing.”

When asked if he supports state police, he was affirmative. “Absolutely. I think that Nigeria is too big of a country to be policed effectively on federal basis. I think that there are so many issues that are going on in our communities now that I think states should have the ability to run their own police forces.

“I know we have really great police officers but I feel like they are underfunded and not really supported and the bad ones make everyone else look bad. So, I think there is some reform that needs to happen in the police as a whole and I would encourage us to look towards state police.”

While stating that he will publicly declare his assets if voted into office, he said he does not have any political god-father.

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