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‘Aso Rock rocks as Tinubu, Osinbajo, others told to forget primary, adopts Jonathan as candidate’

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The Aso Rock cabals and All Progressives Congress power brokers in the Muhammadu Buhari government have reached out to presidential aspirants contesting on the platform of the ruling party to step down and support former President Goodluck Jonathan as the consensus candidate, SaharaReporters reported exclusively.

The controversial platform claims the cabals, comprising some members of Buhari’s extended family and associates, are led by the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura.

They are said to have the ears of the president, as well as influence policy-making and select those who get major appointments.

Recall how SaharaReporters had recently reported Jonathan met with Daura and other cabal members in Abuja where he was promised the automatic ticket of the APC.

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The consensus method will entail President Buhari anointing him, while other aspirants will step down as it was done during the March 26 national convention of the APC, which produced Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the chairman of the party.

Multiple sources told SaharaReporters on Saturday that all other aspirants had been notified not to expect any primary election next week.

The party had on Friday postponed its special convention for presidential primary for the 2023 general elections from May 29 to June 6.

The aspirants were also informed that Jonathan had been adopted by the President.

The move has caused division among party leaders, governors and other stakeholders who felt the former President did not deserve the ticket.

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“There is internal war in our party, APC as all aspirants got notification that Goodluck Jonathan is Buhari cabal’s adopted candidate, imagine the insult,” a source told SaharaReporters.

“All the aspirants have been notified not to expect party primary next week Friday as the cabal around Buhari have chosen Jonathan as the consensus candidate of the party.”
Some of the aspirants include Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi, a former Minister of Transportation.

Other presidential aspirants are former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; ex-Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba and former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani.
Similarly, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; ex-Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima; former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Imo State governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha and former Ogun state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun are also not left out.

Meanwhile, SaharaReporters learnt that that most of the aspirants especially Tinubu and Amaechi have vowed to test their popularity at the primary election regardless of the decision of the Aso Rock cabal.

Jonathan was Nigeria’s vice-president between 2007 and 2010 and became the president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He later completed the latter’s tenure.

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Jonathan won the 2011 presidential election but lost his attempt to secure a second term in office in 2015.

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SaharaReporters had in the past reported how the Aso Rock cabal was pressurising the former President to defect to the APC.

He was said to have surprised the Northern elite and the cabal by his disposition to the Buhari presidency despite all the dirt and campaign of calumny thrown at him and the PDP before the 2015 presidential election, which gave Buhari an unprecedented victory over an incumbent.

It was learnt that some cabal members had also been impressed that despite the Buhari government’s glaring failure, Jonathan had not openly criticised his predecessor or his administration, much unlike ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had written open letters condemning the Buhari government and also verbally berated it at any opportunity.

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SaharaReporters learnt from sources that the establishment of ‘Almajiri’ schools by Jonathan to reduce a large number of out-of-school children in the North also scored the former president good points in the eyes of the northern cabal in the APC, especially with most of it now rotting away, even under a Northerner as president.

Jonathan had recently rejected the presidential form of the ruling APC purchased for him, purportedly by a group of supporters from the northern region.

Speaking through his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said it was an insult for the group to have bought him the forms without his permission.

However, sources had told SaharaReporters that claims by the former President that he did not authorise the purchase of the multi-million-naira forms are far from the truth.

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“Contrary to his denials, former President Goodluck Jonathan gave over N200 million to the governor of Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru, to purchase the APC nomination and expression of interest forms for him,” a source privy to the arrangement had told SaharaReporters.

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Politics

Tinubu appoints Tanimu Yakubu new DG of Budget Office

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr Tanimu Yakubu as the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, following the expiration of the tenure of Mr Ben Akabueze.

Yabuku is an accomplished economist and was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua from 2007 to 2010; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria from 2003 to 2007, and Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning in Katsina state from 1999 to 2003.

Also read: Tinubu dismisses Arase, appoints Argungu as new Police Service Commission Chairman

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the same institution.

The president thanked the outgoing Director-General for his services and wished him success in his future endeavours.

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The president said he expects the new Director-General to enhance the provision of efficient and qualitative budget functions, with a view to promoting fiscal sustainability, transparency, and accountability in public finance management for national development.

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LP chairman accuses INEC of mismanaging 2023 elections

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The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of mismanaging the 2023 general elections.

This was just as a former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi, called for a probe into how the electoral umpire spent the N400bn released for the conduct of the poll.

 

Also read: Edo LP in disarray as group insists on Akpata’s removal

Addressing a gathering of party faithful during a programme to celebrate Democracy Day in Abuja on Wednesday, Abure expressed disappointment with how INEC conducted the presidential poll where the All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared the winner.

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The LP chair also called for a holistic approach to the ongoing electoral reforms to ensure people are abreast of recent developments.

He said, “This reminded us that there is a similarity between the military regime of 1993 that annulled the general elections and the 2023 election which INEC mismanaged.

“One of the cardinal strong points to prepare the Labour Party again for the 2027 general elections is to ensure a holistic approach to electoral reform to ensure that the party followers are well-educated.”

Amadi, a guest lecturer at the event, appealed to the 10th National Assembly to investigate the role played by INEC at the 2023 general election.

The former NERC chairman also noted that the probe cannot be completed without the electoral body explaining to Nigerians and the international community to account for why the outcome of the 2023 poll failed to meet expectations despite budgeting N400bn from taxpayers’ money for the exercise.

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“Nigerians and indeed the National Assembly should be courageous enough to probe INEC expenditure during the 2023 general elections. They also explain the failure of the INEC server during the Presidential election with all the money given to them.

“It is appalling that no one spoke about the huge amount of money given Mahmood Yakubu and all the INEC commissioners to prosecute a failed election because the Supreme Court has to step in to determine the result of elections,” he stated.

Amadi urged lawmakers involved in the ongoing electoral reform to reject the inconsistency of allowing the presidency to decide who will become the INEC Chairman.

According to him, such privilege gives room for election rigging before the votes are cast.

He said, “What is imminent here is that they may have already positioned party members as INEC commissioners against 2027 where they would work and declare the results in favour of the Presidency that appointed them.

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“To this end, opposition parties should work together to win the war on electoral reform. It is time for you to decide whether to be the vanguard of change or not and set up a system that can win elections. This is because politics is not a game of possibility. If we are determined, we will win.

“I think it is an error for any political party to go into an election without strengthening its process. You must take a review of your past, your mistakes and opportunities and weigh options with training of staff and support for the electoral reform, things will positively work out.”

Also speaking, the Leader of the LP Reps caucus, Victor Oghene, promised that the electoral reform, which has passed the second reading at the lower chamber would ensure the bill is passed into law and early enough against the 2027 general elections.

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The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress Political Commission, Martins Egbanubi, on the other hand, dismissed speculation that there is division in the Party.

“We don’t have two factional leaders and there can never be. So the Labour Party remains united and strong,” he assured.

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In March 2024, Theheute reported that Abure said the present challenges facing Nigeria as a nation should not be entirely blamed on leaders, stating that the crop of the current followership was also culpable.

He said the situation of the country was the result of the choices made by Nigerians during the last general elections.

Abure stated this in Lagos while speaking to newsmen in the wake of the Court of Appeal judgment reversing his sacking as the LP National Chairman.

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I believe in full LG autonomy, says Kwara gov

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Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday, said he believes in full autonomy for local government areas.

He clarified that the position of the state in the ongoing legal proceedings on local government is that the state does not violate any section of the law regarding autonomy.

 

Also read : Kwara State government, labour sign minimum wage deal

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“It is my personal belief that each local government should manage its resources and be responsible for its obligations, including wages that are first-line charges. The State Governor should not be held liable if any local government is unable to pay salaries since we do not touch a kobo of their money.

“We also do not have any joint project accounts with any local government in the state, as was the case with the previous administration in our state,” the governor said in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaiye.

“These are my personal beliefs. But my personal belief is not necessarily the same as the letters of the law, including the provisions of the JAAC, which is a creation of the Constitution. As of today, local government allocations are sent to the JAAC as required by the law. Section 162 of the Constitution is very clear on this.”

According to him, as things stand today, no activity of the local government in Kwara State is at variance with these provisions of the law.

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He said, “Our case in the court is not about my personal belief. It is, we believe, in the defence of the constitution, which created JAAC for reasons that are well-grounded in our experiences as a people. JAAC, in summary, pulls resources together to pay all teachers, health workers, traditional rulers, and other statutory duties listed in the schedule of the local government areas. If we all want these to change as a national consensus, we believe that the constitution will have to be amended to expunge JAAC.”

Theheute reports that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), instituted a suit on behalf of the Federal Government, before the Supreme Court, against the 36 state governors in the country seeking full autonomy for local governments.

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In a suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the AGF urged the apex court to issue an order, prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected LG leaders.

The suit which is predicted on 27 grounds, contended that Nigeria as a federation, is a creation of the 1999 Constitution with the President, as the head of the Federal Executive arm of the Federation, and has sworn to uphold and give effects to the provisions of the Constitution.

In the suit which accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power, the AGF sued them through their respective state Attorney-Generals.

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