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Oyegun Calls Off Scheduled Meeting with APC Reps Over Elongation Rejection

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A scheduled meeting between the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress and the party’s caucus at the House of Representatives was unceremoniously called off on Wednesday.

The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was scheduled to lead the NWC members to the meeting at 2pm.

Investigations by The PUNCH showed that the venue, Conference Room 034, House of Representatives Wing, National Assembly Complex, was set for the meeting and many members had arrived ahead of 2pm.

The Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, had also led some officials to the venue, awaiting the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, to receive Odigie-Oyegun.

It was gathered that Oyegun had written the lawmakers on March 15, requesting a meeting with them on happenings in the polity.

The letter, which The PUNCH obtained exclusively in Abuja, read in part, “I wish to request that you arrange an early meeting between the NWC and the APC House Caucus at the National Assembly to discuss a few recent developments in the polity.”

The PUNCH gathered that while Gbajabiamila and other members of the party were waiting for the meeting to start, words came from Odigie-Oyegun that it had been cancelled.

A source said, “The chairman’s advance party and secretariat members of staff had already arrived in the National Assembly.

“But, Odigie-Oyegun called Gbajabiamila on the telephone to say the meeting would no longer be taking place.”

It was learnt that the turn of events flowed from the outcome of the party’s Tuesday National Executive Committee meeting, where President Muhammadu Buhari opposed tenure elongation for the Oyegun-led NWC.

“A message got to him (Oyegun) that some members celebrated the action of the President.

“His associates claimed that the chairman was not sure of the likely reception to receive from the lawmakers,” a legislative source told The PUNCH.

One of our correspondents gathered that many members were also unhappy that Odigie-Oyegun rarely held meetings or visited the caucus at the National Assembly to discuss party matters with them.

When The PUNCH sought the comments of Gbajabiamila, he said, “There is nothing serious. I mean, there are no issues with the party. All the organs and activities are working.

“Members are angry? How? Why will they be angry? There is nothing of that nature.”

Attempts to get a reaction from Odigie-Oyegun were futile. Calls to his mobile telephone numbers indicated that they were switched off. A response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of 10pm.

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Wike Not Sincere with Makinde, Ortom, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi – PDP PCC

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A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”

The Punch

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Presidential Candidate: PDP PCC Accuses Wike of Frustration, Lack of Integrity

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The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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