The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria has advised Nigerians to vote competent and credible leaders in the 2023 general elections.
The group gave the advice in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council(NEC) meeting held at Bauchi.
The communique, signed by Mr Henry Yunkwap and Mr Godwin Gege, National President and Acting National Secretary-General respectively of the council, was issued on Monday in Jos. The group advised Nigerians to set aside primordial sentiments and vote according to their conscience, adding that such move would ensure credible leadership in the country.
“Council joins her voice to that of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to urge all Catholic Lay Faithful and Nigerians in general to be honest in conscience and rise above the sentiments of political parties.
“To support and vote for the best candidates whose manifestos and economic blue print can lead Nigeria out of her present quagmire,” it stated.
The group condemned the unprovoked attacks and kidnappings of Catholic priests and other religious leaders in the country.
The communique also called on government to intensify efforts towards addressing the spate of insecurity in the country.
“The council condemns the unjustifiable and unprovoked attack on facilities, abduction and gruesome murder of Catholic priests, lay faithful and innocent Nigerians in general.
“The Federal Government must rise to its statutory obligation of protecting life and property of her citizens” it stated.
Similarly, the council called on government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve the lingering strike in order not to frustrate the intellectual growth of its young citizens.
The government should also create employment opportunities for its teeming unemployed youths.
“Council calls on government at all levels to create employment opportunities and make same available to employable and creative youths.
“Council also admonishes the youths that are caught up in the web of get rich quick syndrome to explore and exploit their God-given talents for positive rather than negative purposes,” the statement said.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has announced Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state as its interim Chairman.
Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, spokesman of the NGF, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Bello-Barkindo disclosed that the forum Chairman Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State transferred power of the NGF to Tambuwal at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held at the Aso Rock Villa Abuja.
“Tambuwal has served meritoriously and harmoniously as Vice Chairman of the Forum under Dr Fayemi in the last four years.
“ Fayemi who was only a few weeks ago elected as the President of the Forum of Regional and State Governments in Saidia in the state of Casablanca in Morrocco attended the NEC virtually from New York City, where he is currently attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
“The Sokoto State Governor will be holding fort until May 2023 when a proper election is conducted among the governors,” Bello-Barkindo said.
He quoted Fayemi before making the announcement as acknowledging the result driven output of the NEC and thanked his colleagues and other members of the council for their support.
“Yes, we may be occasionally troublesome, coming from the forum of governors, and we do test your patience but you have never really expressed any frustration with all our truculent questions and the insistence that the federation must be a true federation,” Fayemi said.
The new President of the FORAF also did not forget to thank the Secretariat of the NEC and through the NEC thanked the President and Commander in Chief of the Country for taking the resolutions of the NEC seriously by implementing them.
In his response, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the NGF chairman had taken the wind out of their sail, because he was “meant to, on behalf of the NEC commend Fayemi’s informed and patriotic services to the council in the last four years.
The service according to Osinbajo was enhanced by Fayemi chairmanship of the NGF.
“The NGF has ensured that we move to a true federation, not just in words but in deeds as well,” Osinbajo said.
The vice president prayed that Fayemi’s services both nationally and globally to development, and to all of the good which the nation deserves and the global community deserves would continue.
Fayemi is expected to formally hands over the Chairmanship of the NGF to Tambuwal on Oct. 16.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi, the outgoing Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), has applauded Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his sterling leadership quality of the National Economic Council (NEC).
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said Fayemi, who is the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, spoke at a virtual meeting presided over by the vice president on Thursday.
Fayemi said that Osinbajo in steering the council, had done a lot to ensure that the country was a true federation.
He also expressed his appreciation to the entire council and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Fayemi said that having served in previous NEC and longer than most current members, he could affirm that Osinbajo’s leadership had been outstanding.
He added that the council had never had the kind of leadership that Osinbajo had provided.
The governor said he hoped that such leadership of NEC would be maintained going forward.
“I want to particularly express my own gratitude to you for your leadership over the last four years that has reenergised this council in a manner that we have not seen in a long time.
“In fact, I should say over the last seven years, but I have been privileged to be part of it in the last four years.
“And I have been part of all the NEC’s proceedings before your time, but I can say without any shadow of a doubt that the energy, the focus, the results over the last four years are due to no other reason than your extraordinary leadership of this council,” he said.
In his remarks, the vice president commended Fayemi who was attending his last NEC meeting.
More so, at the meeting, NEC received briefings on the need for states to adopt strategies to step up service delivery in the grassroots and also on how to mitigate flood.
Former members of the National Assembly from the South-West geopolitical zone on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have urged members of the party to shelve their agitation for the resignation of the National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu. The Interim Coordinator of the PDP South-West Forum of Former Parliamentarians, Yemi Arokodare, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
”Party members across the region should shelve all personal interests and work tirelessly for the success of the party in 2023 general elections, in spite the lingering leadership crisis.
“We wish to appeal to all the South West Party Leaders to tarry a bit on their request that the PDP National Chairman, Ayu should step down as part of measures to address the lingering crisis in the party.
“This may further cause imbalance and instability within the party, if allowed to linger.
” Arokodare said that the group acknowledged the concerns raised by all the party Leaders and other stakeholders on the need to ensure fairness and equity in the party structure.
He said that the former lawmakers also noted the merit for inclusiveness of South West within the party, but urged that the demand should come after the general elections.
“Beyond this, we feel very strongly that, what is important now is to work like we did in Osun State and win the next Presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, our concerns for now should be how to win the coming polls, then, other things will follow.
” Arokodare commended the party’s Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar for his consultation visit to the South West region as part of the ongoing nationwide consultations in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
He also commended, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for hosting the meeting during the visit of Zone by the Abubakar which he described as unprecedented .
He commended PDP leaders and members for their large turn out to attend the consultation meeting where they discussed issues and views.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on Sept. 8, the National Executive Council of the PDP passed a vote-of-confidence in Ayu, suggesting that the party chairman will not be stepping down any time soon.
A motion for the vote of confidence in the PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC) was moved by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu at the BoT and NEC meeting which held in Abuja on Thursday.
The vote was supported by a NEC member from Kwara and presided over by the acting chairman of the PDP BoT, Adolphus Wabara.
There have been several calls by the southern caucus of the PDP for Ayu to step down for a southerner, however, with the vote of confidence, it is almost certain that Ayu will not be vacating the seat.
The meeting was witnessed by just four of its 11 governors including Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Darius Iskaku (Taraba), Duoye Diri (Bayelsa) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) as well as the Deputy governors of Benue and Adamawa.
The Ogun chapter of the Accord Party says the expulsion of three national officers of the party by the National Executive Committee.
did not follow due process.
Alhaji Adekunle Olayokun, Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee in the state , made this known at a press conference in Abeokuta on Sunday.
Olayokun said the position was taken at a meeting of the party chieftains held earlier on Sunday in Abeokuta.
The News Agency of reports that the National Secretary of the Accord party, Mrs Adebukola Ajaja, had on Thursday, announced the expulsion of the three national officers through a communique issued at the end of the party’s NEC meeting in Abuja.
Ajaja had listed the affected members as Revd. Isaac Adeniyi, the Acting National Chairman, Innocent Igbokwe, the former Zonal Vice-Chairman (South-East) and James Itiaba, Zonal Vice-Chairman (South-South).
The three officers were accused of gross misconduct, gross insurbodination and breach of party’s constitution.
Olayokun, however, stated that the expulsion was illegal, adding that such action could only be carried out and ratified at the national convention of the party before it could become effective.
He, therefore, declared support for Adeniyi and the other affected national officers.
Olayokun described the development as a plot to truncate the impending success of the party’s candidates at the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
He warned against further attempts to destabilise the party, saying this would be met with stiffer actions.
“Any further attempt to bring rancour into the party by anyone from now on will be met with stiffer actions like party discipline and court action,” he said.
He called all members of the party to be united to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The chairman also stressed the need for the members to be focused on their mission to entrench the party as the credible alternative in all the states and at the federal level at the 2023 polls.
“We are indeed sure of our party’s success in the coming election.
“Day by day, people have been seeing improvements, development and progress in the Accord Party which has now become the envy of all.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) say it has shelved its planned strike and will continue its negotiations with the Federal Government and other stakeholders to drive home its demands.
The association’s president, Dr Dare Ishaya, gave the assurance on Thursday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
According to Ishaya, the decision was taken on Wednesday during the association’s extraordinary National Executive Council’s (NEC) meeting.
“When we examined those issues yesterday, we discovered that the 2022 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) had been released and the payment was effected on Tuesday.
“Most of our members have already gotten their alert, the issue of the implementation of the new hazard allowance, we also found out that the Ministry of Finance has approved the release of funds for the payment.
“Having critically examined the situation, the NEC resolved that we should step down the ultimatum that was issued to the government and also reaffirm our commitment to continue to deliver adequate and quality health services to the Nigerian populace.
” Ishaya, however, said that the association’s NEC would continue the ongoing negotiations with all relevant authorities to ensure that the other unresolved issues were sorted out amicably.
“We do not want to plunge the Nigerian masses into unnecessary hardship because the hardship in the country is already enough for them so we felt that we should not add to the inflictions that the Nigerian masses are passing through.
“So the resolution of the emergency NEC meeting is that we should suspend our ultimatum and continue negotiations with the Federal Government until the other contentious issues are conclusively resolved.
” He added that a communique to that effect would soon be released.
NAN reports that the association had issued several ultimatums to the Federal Government to implement the payment of the new Hazard Allowance and arrears it stipulated as at Dec. 22, 2021. The said allowance is contained in the circular issued by National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) dated Dec. 22, 2021 with reference number 04.21811406. Other issues include the payment of the skipping arrears for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to deserving members and consequential adjustment of minimum wage to members who were deprived since it was implemented.
Also, the immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and other related allowances in line with the agreed terms from the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
In July, 2022 NARD had given the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to commence payment of the newly-reviewed Medical Residency Training Fund and hazard allowance, among other demands.
The association threatened an indefinite strike if their demands were not met at the end of the two weeks.
However, the ultimatum was extended by another two weeks on Aug. 21, which elapsed on Sept. 5.In 2021, they had embarked on strike over unavailability of medical equipment in public tertiary hospitals and staff welfare for two months, ignoring order from Industrial Court to call it off.
Mr Charles Aniagwu, Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, says sacking the party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, would have deepened the party’s crisis.
Aniagwu stated this on Saturday in a Television programme monitored in Asaba, while giving reasons why the PDP was exploring other options toward resolving its current crisis.
He said that as a listening party, the PDP was taking a second look at the issues based on what was permissible by the laws of the party.
Aniagwu said that sacking Ayu would create constitutional crisis for the party which would snowball into greater problems than what the party was currently facing.
According to him, the suggestion that the National Chairman must step down has been overtaken by events following the vote of confidence by the National Executive Committee (NEC).
“People may misinterpret it to mean calling the bluff of certain stakeholders but that is far from it because the party leadership examined the issues vis-a-vis the provisions of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017.“When you look at that constitution, there are principal officers called the National Working Committee led by the National Chairman.
In the order of hierarchy, the Deputy National Chairman, who must also come from same zone with the National Chairman, is next in line.
“The third in line is the National Secretary; when you look at these positions, the National Chairman is from the North, the second in command is also from the North by virtue of the provision of the party’s constitution.
“In section 45 of the party’s constitution, in the event of removal or resignation of the National Chairman, the National Deputy Chairman takes over and acts in that position pending when the party is able to organise another election.
“Alternatively, the party will convene a NEC meeting where it will take a decision as to how to rearrange the hierarchy of the party,” he said.
Aniagwu added that because the offices were elective positions, even if Ayu were to step down so that the National Chairmanship seat is conceded to the South, the provisions of the constitution of the party would also be offended.
“A southerner can only become National Chairman if we also removed the Deputy National Chairman of the party who the lot immediately falls on, by provisions of the law.
“Even if the party is able to solve that puzzle by bringing both National Chairman and Deputy to South, the third person in the hierarchy of the National Working Committee of the party is the National Secretary – Sen. Samuel Anyanwu from Imo.“Now, if you decide to bring these two positions to the South, have you also made arrangements to take the National Secretary to the North?
“Because of these legal impediments, the party, after examining it, felt that given the time, which is just about six months to the general elections, that it may likely snowball into some form of crisis within the party.
“The party felt that if we proceeded to make these changes, that there is the tendency that we could dive into a crisis worse than the one we are seeing at the moment.
“The leadership of the party is intelligent enough and I am happy that Gov. Nyesom Wike and other leaders appreciate the need for the party to move as a whole into the 2023 general elections,” he said.
He said that the party adopted possible options which led to the resignation of Sen. Walid Jibrin and the emergence of Sen. Adolphus Wagbara as Chairman, Board of Trustees.
“The emergence of Wagbara in the south to join the Vice presidential candidate and National Secretary had created some form of balance in the interim.
“But what is most important is that there is a bigger elephant here which is winning the 2023 general elections because Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from where we are at the moment.
“I am convinced that our leaders, who have been craving for these changes, will appreciate the fact that the party is listening.
” But, because of time, probably when the party may have won the elections in 2023, by the grace of God, we can then proceed to make some of these alterations that may not be injurious to our quest to win the general elections,” Aniagwu said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has adopted a grassroots structure for its electioneering campaign for the 2023 general election.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this at the end of the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja.
Ologunagba said that the party also approved a unified campaign structure for its campaign across the country, for the general election.
He said that the NWC at its 97th meeting deliberated on issues of urgent national importance as well as the preparations for the 2023 general election.
“NEC also approved the structure for campaign councils at the states, local government, ward and unit levels, while it unanimously empower the NWC to modify and adjust the structures of the campaign councils as and when the need arises.
“NEC received and approved the proposed structure for Zonal Reconciliation Committees to be set up to ensure that our party presents a common front ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“NEC also received and approved the composition of the Manifesto Review Committee to review the manifesto of the PDP ahead of the 2023 general election,”he said.
The national publicity secretary, said that NEC also charged party faithful to remain united in rallying toward the success of the PDP at the 2023 general election.
He said that NEC also decried the current state of the nation’s economy and the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) among others.
Ologunagba added that the NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the party National Working Committee (NWC) led by Sen. Iyorchia Ayu for effectively managing the affairs of the party.
He said that NEC also endorsed the resignation of the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibrin and accepted the nomination of Sen. Adolphus Wabara, the Secretary of the BoT, as the acting Chairman.
“NEC thanked Jibrin for his loyalty and commitment toward the unity, stability and success of the Party at all times and urged him not to relent in his service to the Party and the Nation at large,”he said.
Ologunagba said that NEC congratulated the party as well as the Osun Governor-Elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke for PDP victory at the July 16 governorship election.
“NEC unanimously ratified the list of candidates of the party as submitted to the INEC by the NWC,” he said
The Presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has pledged that he would meet the expectations of the party and Nigerians when elected president in 2023. Abubakar made the promise during his remarks at the PDP 97 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
He appreciated the NEC members for their support during the party’s convention in May where he emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP.
“I cannot thank you enough.
My promise is that I will meet your expectations and the expectations of Nigerians.
“Let me also use this opportunity to thank our outgoing BoT Chairman for his services and sense of patriotism for our great party,” Abubakar said.
The former vice president also expressed his commitment to ensuring that the internal crisis in the party was resolved.
“Many speakers have alluded to family disagreement, family disagreements are normal even in normal families as well as political families.
“But what I can assure you is that we are determined to resolve those issues internally.
There are not really fundamental disagreements, it is normal,” Abubakar said.
He appealed to all party members to ensure that it’s challenges were resolved internally within the provisions of the party’s constitution.
“As a political party we have our constitution, our rules and our regulations.
“I want to urge that no matter the level of disagreement, it should be resolved within our constitution, within our rules, within our regulations.
“We have all what it takes to guide us to continue to nurture this political party, to provide a platform for all Nigerians to realize their collective and individual aspirations.
“Therefore, I wish to appeal to all members of our party to make sure that all our disagreements are resolved internally,” Abubakar said.
In his remarks, the former President of the Senate and acting Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Adolphus Wabara urged party members to always control their emotions and ensure disagreements within the party were addressed internally.
“The PDP has an inbuilt mechanism to solve problems.
We have done it several times.
When people expect us to implode, that is when we become very glorious.
“I want to advise us that we should always deprive ourselves in-house no matter what the anger is; let us deprive ourselves in-house rather than playing to the gallery.
“We should watch and control our utterances because by and large, only God knows tomorrow.
“Because once you voice out something, it is always difficult for you to pick back what you voice out.
“My advice to use is that we should be mature enough to control our temper,” Wabara said.
Earlier, the party’s National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, said he was happy that PDP is united and Nigerians were enthusiastic about the party in spite of the impression being created by some people.
“I am happy that the Nigerian people are interested in our party.
I am interested not because we disagree among ourselves, but in our capacity to deliver and when we take over power.
“We have done it before and I believe that people will also give us their mandates.
” Ayu urged the party to focus on the issues that worried Nigerians including issues of security, education, economy, health, national infrastructure that will help the country to move forward.
On his part, the Chairman, PDP Governors Forum, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said that the forum was working to address the misunderstanding in the party.
He pledged that PDP governors would continue delivery of dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Tambuwal commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and President Muhammadu Buhari for improving of the country electoral system, urging them to sustain it to make 2023 general elections free and credible.
“We must as people of goodwill, as believers and democracy encouraged President Buhari, indeed INEC and all security agencies to ensure that we have free, fair, transparent election in 2023. “In any case, that was what PDP presided over in 2015. So it’s only an improvement on the legacy of the PDP if that is done by the APC administration,” Tambuwal said.
The Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, said that the party Caucus in the National Assembly was united and indivisible.
Utazi, who pledged their support to the party in the 2023 general elections, urged all to work together for the success of the party.
The National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is set with its 2023 National Presidential Campaign Council list.
The party National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Wednesday night after the party National Caucus meeting in Abuja.
Ologunagba , who did not disclose details of the list, added that the party was ready for it Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Executive Council meetings scheduled for Thursday, where the list would be approved.
“The party is set to go and ready for the elections.
We are ready for the Thursday BoT meeting and caucus meeting.
“All issues were resolved and we are happy as a party and we are ready to go because the mission to rescue and rebuild our country is going on in line with the plan of our party.
“We are set to go.
We are ready.
The organs of the party are working.
You can see that PDP is truly a party.
“Every decision of this party is in line with the constitution of our party.
We go through all processes through the organs of the part in line with all the regulations and the constitution, as provided for.
“We are doing well.
We are happy.
We are smiling.
We are fine and we are set to go.
“Tomorrow, we will be going on with our BoT and NEC meeting, the campaign council is ready, in terms of the structures and we are ready to go,” Ologunagba said.
When asked why many of the party governors were absent at the meeting, Ologunagba said many were on holiday outside the country but were fully represented by their deputies.
Asked who would be Chairman of the Campaign Council, the party Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, quickly said “it will be made available after the Thursday meeting.
” Ologunagba, earlier in a chat with journalists, had denied a hint that members of the National Working Committee (NWC) asked Ayu to resign his chairmanship position at the NWC meeting held last Thursday.
Ologunagba said nothing of such was discussed at the NWC meeting, saying issues discussed were majorly the agenda of the NEC meeting, composition of the National Campaign Council, among others.
The caucus meeting was attended by PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, his Bauchi and Bayelsa counterparts, Governors Bala Mohammed and Duoye Diri, respectively.
Others were the Chairman and Secretary of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senators Walid Jibrin and Adolphus Wagbara, respectively; Deputy Governors of Edo and Benue, Philip Shuaibu and Benson Abounu respectively.
As the end of the meeting, some protesters converged outside the gate of the Akwa-Ibom Governor’s Lodge chanting “Ayu must go”; “We want justice in PDP” and “PDP National Chairman – North”.
Others read: “PDP BoT Chairman-North”; “PDP Presidential Candidate-North”,; PDP Governors Forum Chairman – North” and “Ayu respect yourself”.