Power Struggle Rocks APC As 3 Factions Fight For Soul Of Party

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi and Romanus Ugwu

The race for 2019 Presidency may have split the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) into three camps, battling for the soul of the party.

The three main camps are the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) caucus, defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) cum South-West caucus and new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) caucus.
Sources said there are other sub-camps and caucuses that are ready to align with the main three camps when need be.

The tussle in APC is said to be connected with the 2019 general elections and the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the presidential election, which is red years away.

Daily Sun gathered that so intense is the struggle that the three contending factions are scheming to produce chairman of the influential Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party. The BoT is an advisory organ but wields considerable influence in who gets what in any political party.

It was gathered that the struggle for control in the party started shortly after the presidential election on March 28, 2015. Some Buhari loyalists said as it was time the president became the undisputed leader of the party, while others contended that he should face governance and leave party matters to the politicians.

Shortly after, some members of CPC, Buhari’s former party, reportedly said it was normal to allow the incumbent the right of first refusal on a second term and that talks of 2019 should be jettisoned until the APC stabilises in government.

But, members of the defunct ACN and the nPDP believed the president should only serve one term; set the country on the right pedestal, fight corruption and quit the stage for a younger member of the party to take over and continue with the APC manifesto.

In the lead up to the national caucus, BoT and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings tomorrow, a major issue for resolution is the Senate leadership squabble which is still festering.

The attempt of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), chaired by the chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to get members in the National Assembly respect the party position failed miserably.

Senators jettisoned the party’s position and zonal arrangement for offices, while the House of Representatives worked out an arrangement that subsists today.

Inability of the party to have its way in the National Assembly was blamed on the chairman with some stakeholders calling for his removal which is allegedly being championed by a governor from the South-South where Oyegun comes from.

But, another source in the APC disclosed that, “even if Oyegun is kicked out, because of the zoning formula in the party, the South-South will still occupy the chairmanship position.”

Another knotty issue for the party’s NEC to solve would be who to succeed Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Mohammed, before his appointment as the Information and Culture Minister, was the party’s spokesman. He is from the North-Central.

His deputy, Timi Frank, is from the South-South; a situation which may have worked against him from occupying the position before now.

So, as the party convenes its meeting tomorrow, Daily Sun gathered that some members would seize the occasion to ask for “more political patronage.”

According to one of the chieftains of the party, “some of us who worked for the party have not been compensated. Boards of federal agencies have been dissolved. This is the time to put loyal party members on these boards,” said an assistant to one of the party’s leaders.

“The slow pace of appointments and removal of PDP appointees in government positions are all to the detriment of APC members on the long waiting lists of some of our ogas.

The distribution of political patronage should have strong inputs from the party as a strategy for strengthening party loyalty and motivation of party faithful…” he added.
Meanwhile, APC National Auditor, George Moghalu has denied cracks in the party.
He said such speculation is a figment of the imaginations of mischief makers.

“Such speculations are figment of the imaginations of certain persons. As for the BoT chairman, I can tell you the decision of who becomes the chairman is an exclusive reserve of the members, and the person to emerge as the chairman will be known very soon when we organise the inauguration,” he noted.


Ex Minister Tried To Return N50bn Through Me — El-rufai

Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has told New York Times that associates of an ex-minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan had approached him to return the sum of $250 million to the Federal Government.

The money is about N50bn using an average exchange rate of N200 to a dollar.

The governor, who did not mention the names of the associates or the name of the ex-minister, said he was not in any position to handle such matters but would pass across the message to the appropriate authorities.

In the report published on Friday, the governor said, “When you say you want to refund, it means you are admitting that you took what was not yours. ‘I said, ‘I am a governor, I am not involved in this. I will pass on your message.’’’

The former minister of the Federal Capital Territory had before the inauguration of the new administration said President Muhammadu Buhari’ s government would ask corrupt politicians to return every kobo stolen by them.

El-Rufai had told members of the National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, who visited him in Kaduna that such politicians must be ready to return all stolen funds after May 29.

He, however, said those who were not corrupt had no cause to fear.

El-Rufai said, “We will politely ask those who stole government money to return the funds. The All Progressives Congress government is made up of people who are ready to work for the masses and the betterment of the country.’’

Also, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, had in July told State House Correspondents shortly after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that the President’s delegation during his last trip to the US was told how a minister under ex-President Jonathan stole $6billion.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that apart from sending her aides to el-Rufai, the female minister had also approached some members of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption and some governors close to President Muhammadu Buhari, offering to return part of the loot.

Chairman of the committee, Prof. Itse Sagay, could not be reached on Saturday night as his phone was switched off.

A member of the committee however told our one of our correspondents that even though the former minister did not approach him, he was aware that she made such moves.

He said, “I have never met her and she has never sent anyone to me but I know that she has tried to meet other members of the committee offering to refund some money. I also learnt that she had tired to reach President Buhari many times.”

Another reliable source privy to the activities of the committee, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday night that all the persons the ex-minister met or sent emissaries to refused to accept the money from her.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “She approached the committee members but they refused to take the money from her. This was shortly before she travelled to the United Kingdom. Even while in Britain, she has not relented in trying to return some of the money she was accused of stealing.”

SUNDAY PUNCH further gathered on Saturday that the ex-minister had written petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against some of her former allies.

According to a reliable source at the commission, the ex-minister learnt that some of her former associates that she favoured with mouth-watering deals in her ministry were behind her travails.

In retaliation, she reportedly sponsored petitions against her former allies providing strong evidence against them to the anti-graft agency.

Following these petitions, one of her former associates, who is a major player in the oil industry was invited for questioning two weeks ago while another ally of hers is facing extradition from Switzerland.

Efforts to reach the Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, failed on Saturday as his phone was switched off.

My Abductors Wanted To Kill Me — Falae

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, has said his abductors aimed at killing him on the day he was kidnapped on his farm at Ilado Village, Akure-North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

He explained that the kidnappers first aimed at killing him by shooting at his vehicle when they stormed his farm, because they thought he was inside the car.

Falae stated this on Friday at his Akure residence while playing host to members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, led by Gani Adams.

Recounting his ordeal to the visitors, the elder statesman said, “They were not after money alone; they wanted to eliminate me by shooting my car, thinking I was inside the car.

“They later walked into my office with their sharp knives and cutlasses and started cutting me with machete before taking me into the bush. We trekked from Akure to Owo, following bush paths and swampy areas on my bare legs till we got to an area close to Ifon in Ose Local Government Area.”

Sympathising with the former presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Adams said if a national figure like Falae could be dealt with in that manner, such a treatment could be meted to the younger generation also.

He said, “It is an insult that such a revered elder statesman can be so harassed in his own land. He is not just an elder, he had been secretary to the Federal Government, finance minister, permanent secretary and presidential candidate. If he could be kept for four days what then can happen to ordinary citizens?”

Adams restated his stand that President Muhammadu Buhari should implement all the 633 recommendations contained in the report of the 2014 National Conference which addressed security, and other important sectors that can move the country forward.


“Yvonne Said Nigerians Are Useless And silly”: Man Accused Of Assaulting Actress

The last might not have been heard about the reported ill-tempered altercation that recently occurred between popular Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, and Elvis Eze, at the birthday party of actress Ingrid Alabi in Ghana as Eze has come out to debunk the allegations of assault heaped on him by Nelson.

Eze revealed that contrary to the accusations peddled all over digital and social media, he never at any time physically assaulted Nelson; instead, he merely questioned the sultry actress over her negative attitude towards him after she snubbed him at the party.

It was widely reported in online entertainment news platforms, blogs, and the social media that Eze had purportedly assaulted Nelson physically over her refusal to shake his hands and hug him after he had been introduced to Nelson by Alabi during Alabi’s birthday celebrations on September 26 in Accra, Ghana.

Narrating his own side of the happenings that occurred on that fateful day to our correspondent, the Ghanaian-based Nigerian socialite said he was very disappointed that the actress could act so disrespectfully to him considering that he approached her courteously.

In his words, “Ingrid Alabi invited me to her birthday party on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Upon getting to the party venue, I saw Yvonne Nelson at the event. After the party, I went inside Ingrid’s sitting room, where she hosted her exclusive guests to inform her that I was leaving. During that period, Yvonne Nelson taking pictures with the celebrant and one other actress. Ingrid then asked me to join them to take pictures together which we did.

“After taking the pictures, Ingrid introduced me to Yvonne Nelson as her brother and Yvonne to me as a friend. When the introduction was over, I wanted to have a handshake with Yvonne. She blatantly refused and she was rude to me, saying she doesn’t shake or hug people that she’s not familiar with and I walked out.”

Eze who disclosed that he was a huge fan of the actress prior to the incident said he approached Nelson when he spotted her sitting in her car on his way out of Alabi’s house. Although, he admitted that there were verbal exchange of words between him and Nelson, he never for once threatened to raise a finger not to talk of physically fighting her.

“On my way out, I saw her sitting in her car and I walked up to her and told her that ‘Yvonne what you did in there is not called for because I’m a big fan of yours and I watch your movies, I follow your movies and I was opportune to see you for the first time after someone introduced me to you, I was just trying to say Hi and you were rude to me.’

“She just exploded and said ‘I should shift and get out from her front that she doesn’t want to talk to me’ after which we began to exchange words, I told her that ‘you silly or sick in the head.’ That was it and she started insulting me and of Nigerians saying that ‘Nigerians are useless, mad, crazy and silly.’ So I walked away from there and I went home,” he said.

Eze disclosed that he was surprised when he heard that the case had degenerated badly to the extent that the issue propped up on networking site, Facebook, where he was accused of molesting Nelson. He further said he was alarmed when he was told that his image was shown on TV stations and newspapers across Ghana and he had been reported to the Accra airport police.

According to Eze, “Two days after the event, I saw a post on Facebook saying that Yvonne Nelson had been assaulted by a Nigerian man named Elvis Eze also known as Elvis Casino. I was so baffled seeing this so I immediately called Ingrid. She (Ingrid) told me that Yvonne brought policemen to her house at about 3am, saying that Ingrid must take her to Elvis house to get him arrested for assaulting her. This is what I was told by Ingrid. Later on, I started receiving numerous calls from my friends and associates, telling me that my face is on T.V. and on newspapers alleging that I assaulted Yvonne and that a case had been lodged at the at airport police station in Accra by Yvonne regarding the incident.”

Insisting that he was innocent of the accusations, Eze remarked; “I never assaulted her, I didn’t touch her or beat her, I did not molest her and I left there without anybody harassing me or chased me out because I did not touch her. Even Ingrid Alabi was there and she can bear me witness and other people there can also bear witness to this. A lot of people were there, actors and actresses that were there can bear me witness.”

Terribly pained about the incident, Eze said he was disappointed about how Nelson had handled the entire issue, saying he never expected the star studded actress to have taken the issue to the public glare and defame his personality.

“I just saw her for the first time and I am one of her greatest fans, and I love her movies. I was surprised when I saw her at Ingrid’s party. So when I was introduced to Yvonne, I was so happy that I had met her finally. I was so surprised and disappointed how she was rude to me because I didn’t know the way she act is different from the way she behave in real life. That is my own side of the story. It was just a normal misunderstanding, I was even surprised to see that things will get this far,” he concluded.

Alamieyeseigha’s Tomb In Amassoma (See Photos Of Alamieyeseigha’s Burial Site Prepared By Him While Alive) – Sony Neme

Photos of the proposed tomb of late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha have surfaced online.

According to a Facebook user, Sony Neme, Governor Seriake Dickson was spotted yesterday, Wednesday, October 14, at the deceased’s proposed tomb In Amassoma.

”Gov Seriake Dickson minutes ago at Alamieyeseigha’s proposed tomb at Amassoma. The late Alamieyeseigha, a hero of d Niger Delta struggle, resource control and an albatross of Obasanjo’s 3rd term bid, had prepared his burial site long before his passage on Saturday.”
Sony Neme wrote on facebook along with the photos.S18029_42 S24389_44

El-Rufai Sidelined In Selection Of Kaduna Ministerial Nominee – Sahara Reporters

A source at the Presidency has confirmed to SaharaReporters that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State was sidelined in the selection of Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the ministerial nominee from his state. Mrs. Ahmed is the current executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a position she has held since the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to our source at the Presidency, Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, unilaterally picked Mrs. Ahmed as the ministerial nominee from Kaduna State, bypassing such committed members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, a retired federal permanent secretary, Umaru Dembo, a former minister, Isa Ashiru, a former member of the House of
Representatives, and Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, a businessman and leader of the state’s APC Caucus. “Power brokers around Mr. President convinced him to accept Mrs. Ahmed as the nominee for minister, sidelining Governor El-Rufai. According to our source, the choice of Mrs. Ahmed is likely to create disaffection among APC members who feel they worked for the party’s success in the March and April 2015 polls.

“The governor refused to interfere with the president’s ministerial nomination, thinking the President would use his discretion to choose from [among] Kaduna State’s APC chieftains who worked assiduously for the party. Then Governor El-Rufai was caught napping by Kyari’s choice of Mrs. Ahmed,” our source said. He stated that Mr. El-Rufai felt upset by the slight, adding that the governor had hoped that President Buhari would make a choice that would have created harmony within the Kaduna State chapter of the APC. “I expect Governor El-Rufai to make his position known to President Buhari,” the source stated. The choice of Mrs. Ahmed, a relative of Governor El-Rufai, has reportedly triggered some friction in the APC.

SaharaReporters learned that the nominee is the daughter of Governor El-Rufai’s cousin, Yahaya Hamza. A retired permanent secretary in charge of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Hamza died recently.

Our source said the nominee’s husband was a close ally of former Vice President Namadi Sambo. “Many APC chieftains see her [Mrs. Ahmed] as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and argue that she contributed in no way to the success of APC in the state,” said our source.IMG_1444921990412_edit


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