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I’m still a member of LP… I’ll never engage in anti-party activity, says Peter Obi

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Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, says he is still a member of the party.

The LP has been hit by crisis ranging from allegations of misappropriation of funds, tussle for leadership, to calls for the resignation of the party’s chairman — since last year’s election.

On Wednesday, the LP conducted a controversial national convention in Anambra state which re-elected Julius Abure as its national chairman.

Obi did not attend the convention, fuelling speculations that he may be mulling ditching the LP for another platform.

Speaking at a Spaces session on X (formerly Twitter) organised by Parallel Facts on Friday night, Obi said he is still a member of the LP, noting that he will never engage in anti-party activities.

Speaking on the crisis rocking the party, the former Anambra governor said the focus should be on building a new Nigeria.

He also called for the structuring of the ‘Obidient movement’.

“I am still a member of Labour Party and I don’t and will never do anti-party,” Obi said.

“We will do whatever is possible. As we go along, we will see what happens. Let us remain focused on building a new Nigeria.

“We want the party to work and pursue what we set out to do and that is to change the country. We should not lose that focus and face minor issues that will distract us.

“We promised to build Nigeria, we did not promise to build a new Labour Party.

“It is the standard practice around the world where movements form themselves into blocs and are part of the political process.”

‘IT’S MY NORMAL WAY OF LIFE’

Obi said visiting worship centres and handing out donations at places he visits has always been his way of life long before he joined politics, noting that he is not campaigning.

“I am not campaigning. I have been doing things like this before I got into politics. It is bad that politics in Nigeria is transactional,” Obi said.

‘EVERY STATE SHOULD EMULATE ABIA’

On March 22, Alex Otti, governor of Abia, signed a bill repealing the law that allowed former governors and their deputies to collect pensions.

The law stipulated that former Abia governors and deputies are entitled to 100 percent of the annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy; their cooks, stewards, drivers, and gardeners are to be paid by the state; and are entitled to three police officers and two operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Reacting, Obi commended Otti and called on other state governors to follow suit.

“I have argued against humongous pensions for ex-governors. As governor, I did so too. My reason is simple — people are being owed all over the country, and are being paid as little as N4,000 and N5,000 as pensions,” he said.

“When I left Anambra state, they brought the pension law to me authorising a house for me in Awka, Abuja, or Lagos, similar vehicles as the serving governor to be changed every two or three years plus security, cooks, house helps which I turned down.

“I rejected that law and till today, Anambra has not bought me a sachet of water. The way the country is today, I urge every state to emulate Abia state.”

Politics

‘You’re not following procedure’ — Drama as Ondo guber hopeful confronts Ododo over APC primary

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Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, and Gbenga Edema, one of the hopefuls for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial ticket in Ondo, engaged in a heated argument on Saturday over the distribution of election material for the party’s primary.

Ododo is the chairman of the seven-member committee overseeing the Ondo APC governorship primary.

The argument started after some members party gathered at the BON Hotel, Akure, where the election materials were scheduled to be distributed.

From the crowd, Edema confronted Ododo, saying that election materials were to be distributed to several wards in the state.

The aspirant added that Ovie Omo-Agege, secretary of the primary election committee, had announced that “accreditation will start by 10 am, to be completed by 1 pm while voting proper will start by 1 pm and end by 2 pm”.

Edema then accused the committee of breaching the protocols for the exercise.

In response, Ododo said election materials have been sent to wards in the north and south senatorial districts in the state.

“I came in this morning as early as past eight for this national assignment to humanity. You claim that there has never been material issued to any of the 203 wards,” the governor said.

“From the brief I have gotten from the secretary of this APC primary election, that of the north and south have been released since morning. And it remains that of the central, which is what we have been trying to sort out.”

Reacting, Edema said his ward is located in the state’s south senatorial district and “the returning officer who ought to collect materials for my ward, Mahin Ward II in Ilaje local government area, is here and unable to collect any materials”.

“I’m from Ilaje LGA. [Voting material] has not been sent there. How did it arrive there? Through what medium? I have been here by 6:30 am,” the governorship aspirant said.

“I am one of the aspirants. The returning officer who ought to collect material for my ward, Mahin Ward II, in the Ilaje local government area, is here and unable to collect any materials. He has been here since seven o’clock. No material was given to him.”

The confrontation then climaxed into shouts and heated exchanges.

A total of 171,922 accredited members for the APC gubernatorial election in the state. The exercise is scheduled to take place across 203 wards in 18 LGAs.

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Politics

Kano court upholds Ganduje’s suspension from APC

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The Kano state high court has affirmed the suspension of Abdullahi Ganduje from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court, while granting an ex parte order, also restrained Ganduje, national chair of the party, from further parading himself as a member of the APC.

On April 15, APC executives in Dawakin ward, under Tofa LGA of Kano, suspended Ganduje over alleged corruption.

However, the working committee of the APC in Kano subsequently nullified the suspension and punished the ward executives.

The court ordered that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the national working committee (NWC) of the APC.

The application was granted by Usman Na’abba, a judge, on Tuesday, following an ex parte motion filed by Ibrahim Sa’ad, on behalf of executive members of the APC in Ganduje’s ward.

The court directed the respondents to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30.

Na’abba also stopped the state working committee of the APC in Kano “from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje’s ward, essentially on action endorsed by two third majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution”.

“An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (1st), APC National Working Committee (2nd), Kano State Working Committee APC (3rd), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (4th), to maintain status quo ante belum as of 15th April, 2024,” Na’abba said.

“The order thereby restraining the 1st respondent (APC) from recognising the 4th respondent (Ganduje) as member of APC and prohibiting the 4th respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state working committee from interfering with the legally and valid decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the 4th respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

On Tuesday, the Kano anti-corruption commission said it had filed fresh charges against Ganduje who was governor of the state from 2015 to 2023.

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Politics

Kano APC suspends Ganduje over corruption allegations

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Dawakin Tofa LGA of Kano has suspended Abdullahi Ganduje, national chair of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over corruption allegations.

The suspension was announced by Halliru Gwanzo, legal adviser of the ward, during a briefing with journalists in Kano on Monday.

Gwanzo cited allegations of bribery against Ganduje by the Kano state government as reason for the suspension.

“We decided to suspend Dr. Ganduje from the party due to the seriousness of the allegations against him,” Gwanzo said.

He added that the suspension will persist until Ganduje is cleared of the charges.

Last week, the Kano high court had stated that Ganduje will be arraigned on April 17 on charges bordering on bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of public funds.

In a court summon, it was stated that the former governor of Kano will be arraigned alongside his wife and son.

The other defendants in the case are Abubakar Bawuro, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited, and Lesaga General Enterprises.

In a charge sheet seen by TheCable, the state government said the offences contravened the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008.

BACKGROUND

In 2018, Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, published a video of Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollars from contractors, which he stuffed into his “babanriga”, a traditional outfit.

The APC national chairman was the governor of Kano from 2015 to 2023.

The newspaper said Ganduje requested $5 million as bribe from the contractors who recorded the video.

In 2023, the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) invited Ganduje for questioning over the video.

The former governor did not honour the invitation and instead instituted a suit against the agency.

In March, a federal high court in Kano stopped the agency from inviting or questioning Ganduje over the bribery allegations.

The court ruled that the agency lacks the power to invite or investigate Ganduje over the allegations.

Abdullahi Liman, the presiding judge, said the alleged infraction is a federal offence that cannot be prosecuted by the state anti-graft agency.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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