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By backing Obi’s presidential bid, do you support removal of petrol subsidy?, APC campaign council asks NLC

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The presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress to state its position on petrol subsidy.

The NLC is among the groups that have declared support for the presidential bid of Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP).

On Monday, Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, while speaking at a retreat of the LP, said the union will mobilise its members across the 774 LGAs to achieve victory for Obi in the 2023 presidential election.

Obi had said part of his plans if he becomes president, would be to remove petrol subsidy.

“Going forward, we must look for ways to move Nigeria beyond oil. We must end this criminality called ‘oil subsidy’,” he had said.

Over the years, the NLC has protested against the plan by the government to remove petrol subsidy.

In November 2021, the government announced the plan to remove petrol subsidy, but it was met with a pushback from key stakeholders, including the NLC which threatened to embark on a nationwide protest.

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In January, the Federal Government postponed the plan indefinitely, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, said by supporting Obi’s presidential bid, the NLC should disclose its current position on petrol subsidy.

“We note that the leadership of the organized labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday, September 13, 2022, at a national retreat of the Labour Party in Abuja, promised to mobilise its members across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to ensure victory for Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, in next year’s presidential election,” the statement reads.

“We also note that in several interviews he granted in the last few months and weeks, Mr Peter Obi has vowed to totally remove subsidy on petrol if elected President. We also note NLC’s long-standing opposition to the total removal of fuel subsidy. Other left-leaning supporters of the Labour Party were also present at the event to cheer Mr Peter Obi.

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“Consequently, the following questions are urgently begging for answers by the leadership of the NLC:

“Before adopting Mr Peter Obi as its candidate, did the leadership of the NLC have a discussion with him on the issue of removal of fuel subsidy?

“If they did have that discussion, did Mr. Peter Obi agree to back down on the issue of subsidy removal? Was that a basis for supporting him? If he did not back down on the issue, did organised Labour agree with him?

“If no such discussion is held, does it mean the leadership of the NLC now fully supports the removal of fuel subsidy? Or will that not be reckless of the NLC to adopt a candidate without thoroughly interrogating the candidate on his policies as they affect the Nigerian workers or the masses? The NLC must make a public statement and come clean on this.

“If the excuse is that Mr Peter Obi has said that the money saved will be used in other critical areas of the economy, how is that different from what Buhari’s Government is also saying?

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“These questions have become necessary because Nigerians deserve to know whether organised Labour’s adopted party, which is the Labour Party, supports and promotes a policy that the leadership of Labour opposes in another breath when it is adopted by the government of the day. They cannot be blowing hot and cold.”

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Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council

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The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.

In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”

On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.

Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.

 

The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.

The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.

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Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.

The statement:

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.

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“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”

 

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Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list

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Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.

In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.

Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.

But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.

“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.

“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.

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Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.

He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.

But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.

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Newspaper Headlines Today: Benue residents flee as flood takes over homes

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1. Residents of flooded areas in Benue State have fled their homes as a result of the flood. Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Dr Godwin Oyiwona said on Friday that the flood had risen to a level of 11.1m on the seasonal flood gauge on river Benue.

2. The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party took a new dimension on Friday with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, making a series of allegations against the Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, among others. Wike accused Ayu of receiving a N1 billion bribe. Ayu and Atiku have refused to react to the allegations.

3. Geng Quanrong, the Chinese man accused of killing Ummu Buhari (Ummita), will be served Chinese meals. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) made the confirmation as his trial gets underway. Kano Correctional Centre spokesman, Musbahu Kofar-Nassarawa said Quanrong was not expected to eat ‘gabza’, a meal for prisoners.

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4. The three policemen abducted by some gunmen in Ogun State have regained freedom. It was gathered that the cops, who arrived Ogun from Zone 2, Onikan Lagos for an investigation, were captured in broad daylight yesterday along the Wasinmi road, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun.

5. Some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State have been abducted in an attack along Kaduna-Kachia highway in Kaduna State. It was gathered that the attack happened at a place called Tashar Icce, which is some meters from Kujama community in Kajuru Area of the State.

6. The federal government has told the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the National Industrial Court ruling and call off its seven-month strike. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the advice while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja.

7. The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, accused the former Senate President, David Mark, of working against him during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential primary election. During a chat with some selected journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday, Wike said David Mark was part of those who plotted his defeat.

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8. Following weeks of anxiety and serial postponements, the presidential campaign council list of the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was released with several notable names of party chieftains missing. The 422-man list has names of political heavyweights, including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors, as well as serving and past public office holders.

9. Against the backdrop of recent visit to All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate Bola Tinubu in Abuja, by some notable actors, the National Executive Committee of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, has warned its members to desist from doing anything that would jeopardize the interest and purpose of the guild.

10. Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo was yesterday, charged with ‘improper and/or violent conduct following the incident where he appeared to knock a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand. The incident happened at Everton’s Goodison Park after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat last April.

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