…Says party’s unity responsible for cordial relationship with opposition lawmakers
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has given several conditions that would enable the All Progressives Congress retain power during and beyond the 2023 general elections.
The Senate President while receiving a visiting delegation of the All Progressives Congress Youth National Lobby Committee on Thursday in Abuja, said that the APC must ensure youth representation in governance to facilitate active participation in policy matters and decision making processes.
Lawan explained that concerted effort must be made by the ruling party to manage its successes by ensuring that it sustains practices that would deepen democracy at all levels.
According to him, delivering on key promises made to Nigerians ahead of 2023 elections, particularly on the provision of critical infrastructure needed for development, remains a way to further boost the confidence of Nigerians in the party.
He said, “When we sit at a table like this, and many decisions will be taken, why can’t we have youth representation? Because that is what will help them understand the logic, the philosophy of such decisions when they are taken and, therefore, they are better prepared to be in a position to do the same when they eventually become leaders, rather than always asking them to go and deal with youth matters.
“You can deal with youth matters, but I believe that you should also be part of major circles of the party.
“APC, at the risk of being very partisan, is blessed more than all the political parties in Nigeria today, because we control the federal government, the two chambers of the National Assembly, we have about 22 or 23 states and majority of state members of the state houses of assembly, chairmen of councils and councilors.
“This is a huge and massive blessing for our party but also a huge responsibility for it, because the party must succeed at the federal level.
“At the states that we control, we must continue to show the best examples on how good governance is enshrined and sustained and, of course, at the council levels.
“If we do that, we will be in power for as long as God wants us to be, and that will be a very long time. I don’t want to risk quoting a figure. PDP did and it became a curse.”
The Senate President further disclosed that the unity of purpose among APC lawmakers is responsible for the cordial working relationship and support which the party enjoys from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party in the National Assembly.
“Those of us of APC stock in the National Assembly, they understand right from the start that we had a date with history.
“We had an opportunity to do what is right, that is to work for the betterment of this country, work for our party in government to succeed, and ensure that Nigerians get the best possible dividend of democracy and, therefore, we decided to work together as ambassadors of the party.
“We have achieved that much and, because we are united, we are also able to have a very good and cordial working relationship with the opposition in the Senate and, indeed, the National Assembly.
“Sometimes, some partisan things will be said, but it is very understandable, I was in the opposition for sixteen years, so I know the kind of thing I said when I was in the opposition against government that was in control then. So, I can understand some of the things the opposition may say.
“But by and large, even the opposition has been supportive of our administration to a very large extent, and that is because our house is in order”, Lawan said.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the APC Youth National Lobby Committee, Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed, commended the Senate President for ensuring a harmonious working relationship between the National Assembly and Executive, as well as demonstrating “unparalleled commitment to the party”.
According to him, the passage and assent of the Petroleum Industry Act, the restoration of the budget cycle to January-December timeline, among other critical legislations are historical feats achieved by the APC administration.
He added that the APC Youth National Lobby Committee was suggested by President Muhammadu Buhari and approved by the Chairman of the Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni.
Ahmed explained that the Committee was charged with the responsibility of lobbying APC stakeholders with a view to ensuring that opportunities are provided for young Nigerians in governance.
Shettima Appoints Hakeem, Elder Brother of LP Vice Presidential Candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has been appointed to serve as the special adviser on political matters to Vice-President Kashim Shettima.
Baba-Ahmed is an elder brother of Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 election.
Baba-Ahmed’s appointment was made known on Monday, September 17, via a social media post on X, formerly Twitter.
NNPP Crisis: Court Sets Aside Kwankwaso’s Suspension From The Party
A Kano State High Court has set aside the suspension of the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) from the party.
Justice Usman Na’aana on Tuesday granted an interim injunction restraining Boniface Aniebonam, Agbo Major, and 16 other respondents from parading themselves as national officers or leaders of the party pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice.
The judge also set aside “the purported suspension of Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as member of the applicant (NNPP)”.
On August 29, 2023, the group led by NNPP chieftains — Aniebonam and Major — within the party suspended Kwankwaso for six months for hobnobbing with politicians outside the NNPP.
Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor, who came fourth in this year’s presidential election.
The Aniebonam and Major group, which controls NNPP Board of Trustees said “material evidence” in public affirmed that Kwankwaso was involved in “anti-party activities in various meetings” and political discussions with President Bola Tinubu, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar; and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi.
The group would subsequently expel Kwankwaso over “failure to appear before the Disciplinary Committee”.
The Aniebonam and Major group also accused Kwankwaso of “financial impropriety relating to the mismanagement of public funds”.
However, the Kano court stopped Aniebonam, Major and 16 other respondents from parading themselves as party officials and fixed October 5, 2023 for the case.
Guber Poll: I’ll Hit The Ground Running As APC Chairman – Ganduje
The new National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, says he will hit the ground running to ensure the victory of the ruling party in the November 11, 2023 governorship polls in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa.
Ganduje spoke on Thursday during his acceptance speech as the party’s chair after his emergence at the 12th APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
The party’s NEC also elected former Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, from Osun State as its National Secretary.
Addressing party leaders after his emergence, Ganduje thanked President Bola Tinubu and promised that internal democracy would prevail in the party during his tenure.
The ex-governor of Kano State pledged to ensure a scientific register of party members and pay utmost attention to election management and conflict resolution.
According to him, there would be level playing field for all party members during party primaries.
Ganduje promised to hit the ground running to ensure victory for the party in the three forthcoming off-season governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi are three of the eight states with off-season governorship elections due to past litigations and court judgements. Others are Anambra, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo.
In the general elections earlier this year, the APC won the presidential poll and 16 state governorship polls leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 10, the Labour Party (LP) with one state and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) also with a state.
For the November 11, 2023 governorship poll in Kogi, the APC is fielding a former Auditor General of Local Government in the state, Usman Ododo.
In Bayelsa, the party is fielding the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, while incumbent Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, is throwing his hat into the ring for a second term in office.
Interestingly, the new APC chairman was unable to secure a win for his party in the March 18, 2023 governorship election as NNPP’s Yusuf Kabir and ally of NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, trounced Ganduje’s man, Nasir Gawuna.
Kabir scored 1,019,602 votes to defeat his closest contender, Gawuna, of the APC who polled 890,705 votes. In the February 25 poll, the APC also lost to the NNPP.
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