BREAKING: APC screening committee disqualifies 10 presidential aspirants
The All Progressives Congress Screening Committee has disqualified 10 presidential aspirants of the party.
The PUNCH had reported that 23 aspirants were screened in two days by the committee.
The Chairman of the APC presidential screening committee, John Odigie-Oyegun, made this known on Friday.
Odigie-Oyegun spoke while submitting his committee’s report to the APC National Chairman, Abduallahi Adamu, in Abuja.
Apart from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, other APC presidential aspirants screened by the panel are Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Serving governors who were also screened are Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa).
Others are former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, and serving senators Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Boroffice, and Rochas Okorocha.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, Nicholas Felix, Ahmad Rufai Sani, Tein Jack-Rich, Ikeobasi Mokelu were also screened.
According to Oyegun, only 13 out of the 23 aspirants screened were cleared by the committee.
He hinted that youthful aspirants made the list of cleared aspirants without revealing names.
The PUNCH had reported that the committee held the screening exercise on Monday and Tuesday in Abuja.
According to an earlier released schedule by the party, the cleared aspirants are expected to contest the APC presidential primary at a special convention in Abuja between June 6 and June 8.
Call for Tinubu’s disqualification
A member of the All Progressives Congress in Kano State, Sagir Mai Iyali, had written a petition against the party’s aspirant, Bola Tinubu, seeking his disqualification by the Oyegun-led committee.
Iyali in a letter dated May 17, 2022, demanded the disqualification over the former governor’s “questionable educational qualifications”.
He also claimed that Tinubu allegedly submitted false documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 1998.
Iyali said although Tinubu is above the required age to contest the office of president, his age is not known, adding that obscurity surrounding the presidential hopeful could jeopardise the party’s chances at the polls.
It read in part, “We understand that Bola Tinubu who has since procured his expression of interest and nomination forms and has submitted the same to the party has certain issues that clearly amount to a similar disqualification scenario.
“From the information contained in prior submissions to INEC, particularly in 1999, Mr. Tinubu presented a false claim, on oath, of his attendance at the University of Chicago from 1972-1976.
“It is clear now that these claims are false. Not only was this filed in the INEC form with a declaration on oath on December 20 1999, it was also contained in an affidavit of loss sworn to before the High Court of Lagos, Ikeja Registry, December 29, 1998.”
The petition asked Tinubu to show proof he attended the University of Chicago or he must stand disqualified as the opposition is in possession of his questionable credentials.
“Over the years, the identity of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been shrouded in secrecy. In fact, no one can claim to know the identity of the man. Repeated efforts and demands by the general populace and the media to unravel the identity of Asiwaju Tinubu have all proved abortive and unsuccessful,” he wrote.
In his response, Tinubu’s Media Aide, Tunde Ramon, at 9.30pm on Monday said a statement would be issued soon. But he had yet to send the statement.
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Breaking: Tinubu swears-in George Akume as SGF
President Bola Tinubu, has sworn-in Senator George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Present at the brief event today (Wednesday) were the Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, some servicing and former governors, including former Governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura and the immediate past SGF, Boss Mustapha.
Others were Vice President, Kashim Shettima; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr FolasadeYemi-Esan and the spouse of the new SGF, Mrs Regina Akume.
Recall that Tinubu had earlier announced the appointment of the former Benue state governor as the new SGF.
The President also appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila as the Chief of Staff, and Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as the Deputy Chief of Staff.
The appointment was made public via a statement issued by Abiodun Oladunjoye, Director, Information, State House. Abuja.
According to the statement, the President announced the appointment during the meeting he held with Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Akume was the immediate past Minister of Special Duties, under former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akinyelure, Edo senator dump PDP, allege internal crisis
The lawmakers representing Edo South, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, and Ondo Central, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, have both defected from the People’s Democratic Party.
The duo of Urhoghide and Akinyelure made their defection known on Wednesday in separate letters read by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agegewho, who presided over the plenary.
In his letter titled, ‘Notification of Resignation of My Membership of the Peoples Democratic Party,” Uroghide stated that his exit from the party was due to irreconcilable differences and squabbles within the party.
He said, “I write to formally inform you and the entire Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that I am resigning my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party, effective immediately.
“This difficult decision arose out of the negative political energy emanating at the moment from the irreconcilable differences and squabbles within the PDP at the national level and especially in my dear state, Edo State.
“These squabbles have spiked to levels that have made it impossible for someone like me, who is a confirmed democrat, to function and grow as I envisioned in my political journey.”
The Edo lawmaker stated that he was grateful to the party for the experience and opportunity given him to build relationships.
Similarly, Akinyelure noted that he was resigning to seek other means of adding value to his state.
He said, “Distinguished colleagues in the 9th Senate of the National Assembly, this is to inform you that I am resigning my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party with effect from June 11, 2023 when I must have completed my four-year tenure in the Senate of the 9th Assembly.
“I, therefore, wish to express my appreciation to the party for granting me the opportunity to serve Ondo Central Senatorial District and Nigeria in the Senate of the 9th Assembly on the platform of the PDP.”
Akinyelure said he was leaving the PDP “to enable me to settle down and look forward to other areas of human and professional endeavours where I can be of value addition to my dear state, Ondo State and Nigeria in general.”
Both lawmakers didn’t state what party they are defecting to.
Reacting to Urhoghide’s defection, the Edo State PDP Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, said, “He is a respected senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I wish him well in his future endeavours.
“I disagree with him over the reasons he gave for his resignation but they are his personal opinion and I don’t comment on people’s personal opinion, no matter how highly placed they are.”
UK, US, Saudi Arabia, others in bilateral meetings with President Tinubu, pledge support, solidarity
Several countries on Monday formally presented their goodwill messages and letters of support and solidarity to President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The letters were presented to the president by the special envoys and heads of missions of the countries after his inauguration as the 16th President of Nigeria.
Among the countries are United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Cape Verde, Somalia and Nicaragua.
While congratulating President Tinubu, the new UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, presented letters from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, King Charles and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
The US delegation led by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia L. Fudge, paid a courtesy call on President Tinubu and had a brief bilateral discussion with him.
Also, the South Korean delegation had bilateral discussions with Tinubu.
While delivering a letter of invitation from South Korean, President Yoon Suk Yeol for Tinubu to visit that country soon, the delegation also sought increase relations between the two countries.
The Saudi Arabian delegation delivered a goodwill message from the Saudi Royal House to the Nigerian president.
A special envoy of the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida equally paid a call on President Tinubu and extended a hand of support and fellowship.
In the same vein, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a delegation which met with Tinubu and expressed willingness to work with the country in the area of fin-tech.
Others who met with President Tinubu and pledged cooperation with Nigeria included delegations from Brazil, Somali, Cape Verde and Nicaragua.
Office of President,
May 29, 2023.
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