Barring any last-minute changes, the very contentious National Executive Council (NEC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should be convening on Friday, November 22, 2019.
The last NEC of the party was convened in August 2018, contrary to the party’s law, which stipulated quarterly meeting of the body.
Reliable sources within the APC National Secretariat confirmed to The Nation in Abuja on Monday evening that a circular had been issued to the effect, saying the party’s National Caucus is scheduled to meet on Thursday, while the NEC is scheduled for the next day, Friday.
It would be recalled that the failure of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led executive council to convene the NEC for more than a year has been a major cause for concern among party stakeholders, a situation which had led some elements within the party, including the non-National Working Committee (nNWC) of the party, the Forum of State Chairmen of the party and most recently, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman.
However, a source in the party’s executive council, who wished not to be named, said the Friday date for the meeting, as at Monday evening was not sacrosanct yet, saying there is a likelihood of President Muhammadu Buhari not being around, a situation that the executive council would want to avoid.
“The President is supposed to chair the NEC, but from the feelers we have for now, he might not be available on Friday, so the meeting might have to be shifted. However, the National Caucus meeting will hold on Thursday”, the source said.
Corroborating the information, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said a tentative date had been set for the NEC meeting for Friday, saying “yes, the meeting is scheduled, tentatively, for Friday”.
Just last week, the Director-General of the PGF, Salihu Moh Lukman, during a press briefing in Abuja had called on the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to either convene the NEC of the party or consider resignation.
According to him, most of the crises bedevilling the party are such that the NEC mechanism of the party is constituted to either prevent or resolve, saying his call was necessitated by the downwards affairs of things within the party.
“The issue here is that every day the NWC, under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, continues to run the affairs of the party, without convening NEC meetings, it is working illegally. If you read the (Oshiomhole’s inaugural) speech, he made the commitment that he would run the affairs of the party based on the Constitution. Now, the last time we had a NEC meeting was in August 2018.
“By the Constitution, the NWC, which is today run by Oshiomhole, which is an administrative organ, derives its powers from the decisions of superior organs. It is supposed to be a meeting to map out strategies in terms of how to implement decisions of the NEC and National Convention would have taken and then met monthly to review progress and report progress in the next quarter in terms of implementation. That has not happened.
“I’m hoping that with respect to the judgment about the Bayelsa deputy governorship, appropriate steps will be taken to vacate the judgment. Has that happened? It has not. We are living with the danger of Zamfara being reenacted. We can win the election in Bayelsa and then court judgment will come later to say we didn’t have candidate.
Earlier in October, during the inauguration of its new executive council, the nNWC, led by its new Chairman, Nelson Alapa, called for the immediate convening of the NEC, as well as other superior organs of the party.
“Fundamental basis of this communiqué is to create appropriate awareness necessary in the minds and souls of the founding fathers and leaders of this great party on the urgent and critical need to salvage the party from possible imminent fractures/cracks if things are left in the present ways the party is being currently run/managed by the incumbent leadership.
“As provided in the 2014 APC constitution as amended, Article 11 (Party Organs) National Executive Committee (NEC) members of which this Forum falls, is the third highest organ after the National Convention and Board of Trustees and takes precedent before the National Working Committee (NWC).
“It is disheartening that National Working Committee has usurped completely powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC), the negative effects of which are currently hitting back to all levels of the party, signalling serious dangers to the stability, coherence, unity, loyalty, commitment and preparedness for continuity in governance”, he said.
Orji Kalu Will Receive Full Salaries, Allowances In Prison – Senate
The Nigerian Senate has explained that former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, will continue to receive his salaries and all other entitlements while serving his prison sentence.
Godiya Akwashiki, the spokesperson of the Senate, who made this known on Sunday, December 8, said Kalu will be paid all of his entitlements in full because he remains a sitting senator despite his conviction.
It was gathered that Akwashiki said the convicted chief whip of the Senate remains a serving lawmaker until the case gets to Supreme Court and a final judgement is given.
He said: “He is still a senator. This is the first court. The matter is going to Supreme Court so, he still has the opportunity to appeal up to the Supreme Court level. Of course they will pay him. Because he is a sitting senator just like I said…if you file for appeal, you are still serving and so they will pay you. All his entitlements will be paid.
“The spokesperson of the Senate explained that even if the Court of Appeal upheld the judgement of the lower court, Kalu still has the right to go to Supreme Court. He said it is only the Supreme Court that holds the final judgement over Kalu’s conviction.”
My Party Started Hate Speech In Nigeria — APC Chieftain
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Joshua Alobo, has claimed that his party started hate speech in Nigeria.
Alobo mentioned the current Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, as one of those involved in activities that can now be termed as hate speech under the present administration.
The human rights activist slammed the APC for allegedly turning around to hound some of those it used to get to power because they are now criticizing the present administration.
Alobo, who is the president of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, said these while speaking on Channel TV’s ‘Sun Rise Daily’ on Omoyele Sowore’s re-arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) last week.
The DSS was said to have invaded the court premises to re-arrest Sowore less than 24 hours after granting him bail.
Alobo said he was “seriously embarrassed” by the situation as Sowore was “among those who canvassed for the ‘change’ mantra.”
“APC, in which I am a chieftain, originated hate speech,” Mr Alobo, who is the President of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, continued.
“Look at what happened at . . . even Lai Muhammed and the rest, nobody was arrested. Look at the fuel subsidy protest at the freedom square. If not that Jonathan was proactive to deploy soldiers . . . I was in Abuja; even though I wasn’t in the general protest, I was using my vehicle to monitor the whole situation.
“So a lot of showbiz was going on during the Jonathan administration, they don’t look at it as a threat to the government. What is Sowore? They are just making the guy to be too popular, I don’t know him as a person. But they have been reading Sahara Reporters right from Jonathan era, a lot of information has been disclosed and all those things.
“So if a media practitioner cannot express his opinion, then what will he do? And this is a man that has the pedigree of activism right from University. So the DSS for goodness sake should not bring another terrorist group. It is the suppression of Yusuf Muhammed that escalated into what we have now as Boko Haram.”
The DSS had charged Sowore with alleged treasonable felony and cyberstalking President Muhammadu Buhari, among others.
He was first picked up by the state service after announcing plans to stage what he termed the “#RevolutionNow” protest against the Buhari administration.
The DSS had explained over the weekend that it re-arrested the Sahara Reporters publisher because he resorted to “acts inimical to security” after he was granted bail.
Tinubu Should Be Next President Of Nigeria , Says Northern Group
A political group, North Eastern Youth Mobilization Congress, has backed the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Council (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take over as Nigeria’s leader when President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023.
The endorsement was contained in a statement issued at the weekend in Bauchi by the group’s coordinator, Aliyu Balewa, at the end of the inauguration ceremony of the executive members of the congress.
Balewa said power should shift to the South in 2023 since the North would have served two consecutive terms by then.
He added that Tinubu is a unifying political figure who has contributed immensely to the nation’s political structure and deserves to be compensated with the APC presidential ticket.
“On justice ground, power should shift to the southern part of the country in 2023 since the North has served two consecutive terms.”
“We believe that the best person to succeed Buhari is the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, because he is instrumental to Buhari’s victory in the 2015 and 2019 elections. He also contributed tremendously to the success of the APC in all other elective offices.”
“Therefore, 2023 should be payback time. Let us respect the gentleman agreement by supporting the South to produce the next president. And Bola Tinubu is the best man for the job in view of his political experience, dexterity, exposure and national patriotism,” Balewa said.