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Fresh Protest Rocks APC National Secretariat Over Edo Gov Primary

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Supporters of Edo federal lawmaker, Dennis Idahosa, on Monday stormed the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja to protest the outcome of the February 22 governorship primary in Edo State.

The demonstration comes barely two days after Idahosa threatened to drag the ruling party to court for allegedly robbing him of his mandate.

The lawmaker was one of the 11 aspirants who lost out in the poll that produced Senator Monday Okpebholo as the candidate of the party ahead of the September governorship election in the state.

The demonstrators, who blocked the main gate of the national secretariat, demanded to see the National Chairman of APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to demand justice.

While flaunting different protest banners and placards, they alleged that the shadow poll did not follow the Constitution of the party and further appealed to the National Working Committee to revert to the initial February 17 primary.

In the said election, Idahosa and two other aspirants were declared winners, an act that forced the leadership of the party to declare the poll inconclusive.

But Idahosa supporters claimed the election was fixed to favour Okpebholo.

Addressing newsmen at the secretariat on Monday, the leader of the protesters, Innocent Ogedengbe argued that the conduct of the rerun poll was contrary to what is contained in the Electoral Act and Constitution of the APC.

He said, “The said primaries of 22nd February 2024 did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 as aspirants were not given equal opportunities of being voted for by party members at the designated centres at the wards that make up Edo State. The party members present to vote did not have their votes cast recorded by any known office of the party’s National Secretariat.

“Quite clearly the result sheets used were completed in the National Secretariat of the party as it did not flow from the reality on the ground in Edo State.

“The said primaries of 17th and 22nd February 2024 were not conducted by open secret ballot by APC as required by relevant provisions of APC constitution and the declaration of Senator Monday Okpebholo is not only unlawful but a crass violation of the APC constitution.

“Our strong prayer is that the injustice perpetrated by the Governor Otu committee be set aside by the party and Hon. Dennis Idahosa be rightfully declared winner on the strength of available extant documentary evidence. Let justice be done.”

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Aregbesola forms new political group after alleged expulsion from APC

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Former Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reportedly launched a new political group named, ‘Omoluabi Progressives’.

According to The Will, Aregbesola also began the group’s membership registration at his ward last weekend.

The former Minister of Interior floated the political group shortly after his alleged expulsion from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State by the party’s top chieftains.

The APC in Osun State said that Aregbesola is not a member of the party.

The party in a communique signed by State Chairman Tajudeen Lawal, while officially informing party leadership about the upcoming electronic party membership registration as directed by the national secretariat, warned members against registering with Aregbesola’s group as it is not recognised as part of APC in Osun state.

The communique added that as far as the APC was concerned in Osun State, Aregbesola is no longer a member of the party.

It accused Aregbesola of causing distractions within the party’s affairs in the state and that it had notified the national secretariat, at least thrice, to take appropriate actions since it was unable to tame him at the state level.

Prominent members of Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) were also absent at Aregbesola’s 67th birthday.

There have been rumours that the ‘Omoluabi Progressives’ is allegedly a prelude to a new political machinery Aregbesola will use to determine who becomes the next governor of Osun.

Meanwhile Aregbesola has not yet publicly denounced his membership of the APC.

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Nigerians Will Decide If Atiku Or Obi Will Be PDP’s Candidate In 2027 – Bafarawa

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Former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, has shared his thoughts on the call for the merger of political parties ahead of the 2027 presidential election.

Bafarawa, in an interview with Punch, noted that the problem in the country is not the political party, the politicians are the problem of Democracy.

He noted that most politicians in the country were once members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bafarawa, who spoke on the claim that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, visited him and the move for the merger of political parties, said, “I was not visited by Peter Obi. But this merger that is being talked about will not help matters. It’s still the same people in the PDP and APC.

It’s not the political party that’s the problem; we, the politicians, are the problem of our democracy. So, it’s not a question of changing A, B, C, or D. There’s nobody who’s not once a member of the PDP or the APC.

They are in the same category. It’s like a football game where they’re passing the ball to their colleagues. While they’re doing that, no umpire blows the whistle; that’s why everything is messed up.

“Unless we tell ourselves the truth, be honest with ourselves, and see how we can commit ourselves to moving the country forward together, nothing much can be achieved.”

Speaking on the PDP’s possible presidential candidate in 2027, Bafarawa said if Obi decides to return to the party, “The people, Nigerians, will decide who the flag bearer will be.”

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Aisha Yesufu urges FG to Scrap Senate

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Civil rights activist, Aisha Yesufu, has called on the government to scrap Nigerian Senate to reduce the cost of governance.

The co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls Movement, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday, June 9, in Lagos.

She stated that Nigeria should drop its bicameral legislature and adopt a unicameral legislature to reduce the cost of governance.

A unicameral legislature is a system with one chamber or house, as opposed to a bicameral legislature which has two chambers(Senate and House of Representatives).

Some countries with unicameral legislatures include China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Portugal.

According to Yesufu, until something is done about the cost of running government and corruption, Nigerians will not feel the dividends of democracy.

She said, “We need to really and critically examine our democracy and look at what fits us and serve the ordinary people and the masses. The one that will not be too expensive.

“What we have now is too expensive. We need to cut costs and not just continue what we have that has not been working for Nigerians.

“I totally support the call for us to have a unicameral legislature. It is very important because the kind of governance that we are practising is very expensive.

“As a country, we really don’t have that kind of money. Apart from this, the fact is that both the Senate and House of Representatives end up duplicating functions in terms of what they do,” Yesufu said.

She said the Senate had been turned into “a retirement home for a lot of incompetent and failed governors who didn’t do anywhere well for the people in their state..

“It (Senate) is a joke ground; we cannot say what the Senate does is in a really sense different from what the House of Representatives do.

“They (Senators) do nothing special and at the end of the day, they are paid humongous amounts of our money and such huge allowances for doing nothing different.

“We found out that a good number of them, especially those that are former governors, while they get this humongous salary, as well collecting pension from their respective states.

“There is no way democracy can work for the masses with this kind of waste of public funds that could have been directed to put happiness to the face of the common man.”

According to her, Senegal is practising a unicameral legislature, after abolishing Senate for the second time in September 2012.

She said, “The House of Representatives is capable of taking care of the law making aspect of the nation, oversights and other things that the legislative arm of government does.

“Unicameral legislature should be adopted in Nigeria because bicameralism is too expensive apart from the fact that it slows down business of lawmaking.

“It is not working for us, we don’t have the kind of money to run it and maintain this, especially at a time the masses are suffering.

“Having a single legislative arm will pay us better in terms of reduction of cost of governance,” she said.

Yesufu decried that Nigeria had not in real sense been practising true federal system of government.

Speaking further, the activist said the country could also adopt the parliamentary system of government to also reduce cost to governance.

She said that Nigeria could not longer sustain the current presidential system of government.

“This will also pay us in terms of reduction of the cost of governance because whoever is leading the country is the one that is the first among equal.

“Ministers in this system are selected from members of the parliament that are elected.

“So, that reduces the cost of governance drastically and better than what we have now where separate people are brought in as ministers,” she said.

“We can have a parliamentary system of government, we shall be reducing cost of governance drastically well.

“The Prime Minister would not be this powerful and exercise control over everything, including the appointed ministers, because ministers are also members of the parliament,” she added.

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