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Battle for Senate leadership continues, as North steps up campaign against Akpabio



The battle over who should become the next Senate President, has not been settled as multiple interest groups within and outside the National Assembly, are still pushing for the position with no fewer than 68 senators-elect across party lines said to have rejected the consensus arrangement said to have settled for former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio.

After an intensive meeting, the Akpabio option is being railed against by those who fear that any form of imposition would not augur well for the NASS and are therefore pushing that other forms of electing the principal officers of the assembly billed for inauguration June 13 should be adopted.

In fact the All Progressives Congress (APC) Integrity Group is warning Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu due to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari as the next President and the National Working Committee (NWC) not to plunge the party into crisis over zoning of National Assembly offices.

THISDAY, quotes one of the 68 senators-elect, from the North East, as saying on conditions of anonymity that majority of them had indicated their strong opposition to the planned imposition, and agreed to work towards electing pan-Nigeria senators as President and Deputy President of the Senate.

His words: “All senators-elect from North-west zone, except two, have thrown their weight behind the planned resistance and pledged to support a leader emerging from amongst themselves. They do not want anybody to be imposed on them. Same with the senators-elect from the North East except a few self-seeking elected senators.”

On the issue of ranking, he indicated that only five out of the 18 senators-elect were in support of the imposition of Akpabio and Barau Jibrin, adding: “Only four out of the 15 senators-elect from the South East had agreed to the Akpabio/Barau project.”
Another senator-elect from Anambra State confided in THISDAY that a majority of the senators had subscribed to electing a leader on the floor, adding that the next Senate President would emerge without external interference.
His words: “No monetary or executive imposition will determine our choice of a leader and we will do it conscious of the fact that part of such leadership must be from the South Eastern part of the country.
“In the North Central, the plot also thickens as many of the senators-elect are reacting to the APC leadership plans to short-change the zone with the imposition.
“They are lamenting that the arrangement would not do the zone any good, as both Speaker and Deputy Senate President positions have been taken away and proposed to another zone. The action will completely distort the equitable distribution of leadership positions across the six geopolitical zones. On their part the South South region senators-elect are divided sharply as to who emerges. Senators-elect from Akwa Ibom have indicated their solidarity to the group against imposing leadership of the red chamber and have pledged their support to the emergence of an independent leadership in the Senate.”

In fact a source who say that only six out of the 18 Senators from the South West, are pushing the Akpabio Akpabio/Barau deal and that only the zone appears to be comfortable with it, mentioned  Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Adeola Somolon (Ogun), and Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos), as those pushing for it.

An aggrieved senator from the North East, was quoted as saying: “From the foregoing, the direction the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress and the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are going on the issue of the 10th Assembly leadership are crystal clear.

“They are bent on imposing leadership on the red and green chambers, which is going to be very detrimental to the smooth take off of the 10th Assembly. Many of the senators-elect that have signed an endorsement document for Akpabio/Barau said they did it because of the largesse attached to it.

“They have confided in some of us that the endorsement they signed is not binding. Majority have denounced the imposition and have vowed to cast their votes independently according to their conscience and not on anyone’s imposing anybody to them. The senators-elect have all agreed to shelve their party affiliations and work in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness in an undiluted manner in electing the right leadership for the 10th Assembly.”

Another ranking returning senators from a North West, who argued that Tinubu did not necessarily need to balance his same-faith presidential ticket with the principal officers’ positions in the National Assembly, said: “Legislative sovereignty, as enshrined in our constitution, must not be hindered by unnecessary interference. The principle of separation of powers should guide us, as it holds that the legislative body will elect or choose its leaders from among themselves, hence external interference in any form especially imposition must be resisted.”

A returning senator-elect from the South West also said, “An independent legislature has long been endorsed as one of the three pillars of good government; hence, the president-elect must toe the line of democratic ethics and be ready to work with any leadership that emerges as a democrat.”


BREAKING: All clear for Tinubu! S’Court dismisses PDP’s double nomination suit *Says, PDP a busy-body



For being a meddlesome interloper and a busy-body in bringing a case that was none of its business, the Supreme Court, on Friday slammed a N2million fine on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over its suit demanding that the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election be vitiated.

The main opposition party, had claimed that Kashim Shettima, being a candidate in a Senatorial election in Borno and as well as the running mate to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the election, amounted to  double Nomination, which is forbidden by the law.

Based on that, the prayed the apex court to declare the ticket null and void and the votes recorded for it in the election, through which they were declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wasted, a prayer, which if it had succeeded, would pave the way for Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the party in the election to take over from Tinubu as the 16th President on Monday, when he is due to be inaugurated.

But the court, while dismissing the prayers, which originated from the Federal High Court Abuja, and travelled through the Court of Appeal, before it,  agreeing with the positions of the lower courts which dismissed them on the ground of lacking in locus standi to institute the case.

But, Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, not only held that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC, ordered the main opposition party to pay N2milllion, for its troubles, after establishing that its arguments tended to misleading the court, which was “sad”.

The court, which said it was aware of the case of Uche Nwosu, former governorship candidate in Imo State, the court, held that it did not applay in the instant case, as it agreed that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced and therefore, was no longer a candidate for the Senate before he picked up the running mate ticket, thus, making the allegation of multiple nomination untenable.

On the other hand, the court, held that Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions, and having not being on all fours, PDP suit, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Accusing the PDP of attempts to use the social media to set a trap for the apex court to blackmail it, which he said was “painful, unfortunate and uncalled for,” the court said a political party had no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party, adding that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.

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Nigerians must allow the love they share abroad resonate at home – Obasanjo



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is worried that the level of love Nigerians abroad share among themselves is not replicated at home, adding that a situation where they are quick to become friends outside and enemies at home, must be stop. The former President, who acknowledged how Nigerians in the diaspora were making the country proud in their different areas of endeavour, told participants at an evening reception held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, that Nigerians in the diaspora must conduct themselves as good citizens wherever they domiciled.

Obasanjo, whose views were captured in a statement by, Kehinde Akinyemi, his spokesman, expressed satisfaction over the unity exhibited among Nigerians in the United States of America, urging them to reciprocate such togetherness when they are back home.

The former President, said to have spoken on behalf of a delegation of eminent traditional leaders and academics that included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, was quoted as saying: “Nigerian nationals are often very united when they are abroad, but something else when they return to the country, therefore, I want to urge all to be good citizens, not only where you are, but when also you come home to Nigeria.”

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Uproar, social media exchange of fire, over Ooni’s handshake with Pete Edochie, KOK



The exchange of handshakes between veteran actors Pete Edochie and Kanayo O. Kanayo with Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyey Ogunwusi Enitan, has spurred a flurry of reactions on social media, The Nation, is reporting.

The paper, which reviewed the viral video shared on Thursday, where Edochie and Kanayo approached Ooni’s table at Elizabeth Jack Rich’s 40th birthday party on Tuesday and exchanged Igbo “cultural” handshakes with the monarch, acknowledged the different meanings being read into it.

Social media users on Twitter took to the comment section of the video with some knocking the actors for disrespecting the tradition by exchanging handshakes with the monarch, while others praised Ooni for showing respect to the Igbo culture.

Man of Letters said: “Igbakeji Oorisa?! It’s acceptable that he received the  cross-culture respect handshake with Pete Edochie because the man Pete carry, but what’s his excuse for doing it with Kanayo O Kanayo??”

Kelvin Odanz said. “Is this ceremony holding in the Ooni palace? I mean, if an Igbo man (from a culture that doesn’t bow to another man) meets the Ooni in the UK for instance, is it disrespectful if he chooses to greet the respected Oba in a way he was brought up to respect dignitaries?”

Another user Onyemauchi tweeted: “This man supposed be King for him community”

Another tweep tracesorba wrote: “Igbos don’t bow down to any man, An evolved or wise man is their our own Chi.”

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