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Edo State Is Not A Colony Of National Assembly, APC Chairman Declares



. Says Party In Total Suport With Obaseki

The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday said the House of Representatives lacks the power to order the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to seal off the Edo State House of Assembly until a proper inauguration is done.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Barr. Anselm Ojezua, the state chairman of the party also assure the people of the state that no invasion will take place in the state as Edo is not a colony of the National Assembly but a sovereign part of Nigeria.

While restating his earlier statement that the leadership of the party is comfortable with the development in the House of Assembly as its preferred candidates are the ones occupying leadership positions, Ojezua said the intervention of the National Assembly has worsened the political situation in the state rather than resolve it.

According to him “The people of Edo should continue to live in peace and not to be worried by the so-called threat of an invasion. There will be no invasion against the people of Edo. Edo state remains a sovereign part of Nigeria. We are what we called federating partners”.

“We are not anybody’s houseboys. Edo is not a colony of the National Assembly or of anybody or any entity. So, the people of Edo shouldn’t worry at all. All what is playing out now is just politics and it will be resolved politically”.

While accusing the leadership of the House of Reps of acting out a script, Ojezua said having sent its committee to the State on a fact—finding mission to the State and the state chapter of the party have said they are not against the present leadership of the House led by the Speaker, Frank Okiye, what the National Assembly should have done is to recommend a political solution instead of threatening to take over the House.

“We don’t believe that the National Assembly has a right to intervene in this matter. We know that we are obliged to be polite to them when they come calling for very obvious reasons. So, we’ve made all the facts known. If we had resisted them, the tendency would have been that we have something to hide”

“They have come and they have all the facts. The fact is that the House was inaugurated, that a leadership is in place and they are actually functioning and that the matter is in court. With all that knowledge, what we expected to report and recommend is that in the light of all these facts, they should seek political solutions and watch the judicial pronouncements. They didn’t do that”.

“They couldn’t even wait for the national assembly process to be completed before they went to town. In doing that, they justify the speculation in town arising from audio recording where one of the house of assembly member was boasting that the matter has been resolved and that the Senate president and the Speaker have already been told what to do and three days later, they did that which the voice said, even though prematurely of their own processes. That to my mind has compounded our problem rather than help to resolve”

He however expressed confidence that the protracted crisis rocking the House of Assembly will soon be resolved.

“This is not the first time we are having issue in Edo state house of Assembly. If you recall, we even had it in 2014 immediately after I was elected the state chairman. You remember when PDP wanted to buy up our members in the House in order for them to impeach our governor. We heard figures as much as N50m”.

“At a stage, we had to take steps to renovate our House of Assembly when the roof was removed and members were moved to the Government House. So, if the need arises, we will do everything we need to do to preserve our independence as a state”.

When asked whether key leaders of the party at the national level have intervened in the matter, Ojezua said their interference has not been helpful in any way.

“I have made my position clear. I honestly do not think they need to get involved in this issue. For those of them who have gotten involved, their involvement has not been helpful. I think it is time for them to let go and allow us to handle it at home”.

When asked why he has not reconciled Governor Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshoimhole, who is the current national chairman of the party, Ojezua said it is difficult to reconcile what cannot be reconciled.

“I don’t know whether you can reconcile the irreconcilable. Let me say that sometimes, we don’t know whether you have to equate party leadership with party leader as meaning the same thing. We have a situation on hand right now. the decision that is already in place in the Edo state house of Assembly in terms of the leadership is a decision of the party”.

“Leaders of the party in Edo state sat down and nominated persons to take specific positions as distributed by the working committee of the party. Now, it turned out as I can now see that our leader is not in agreement. The question now is ‘which is the leadership you are talking about. Is it the ones who took the decision or the one who is not in agreement in spite of the process? As far as I am concerned, the party leadership in Edo state is in sync with the governor. We have never been at loggerheads particularly on this issue because the decision is not his own”

Daily Independent

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ASUP Calls Off Warning Strike, Asks Members To Resume Monday



The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has called off its two-week warning strike and asked members of the union to resume duties next month.

This was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the National Publicity Secretary of the union Abdullahi Yalwa.

“The two weeks definite strike of the Union will be rounding off on the 29th of May, 2022 as agreed by the emergency meeting of NEC.

“Consequently, the Union is requesting members to resume duties effective 30th of May, 2022 while hoping that government will take advantage of the window to address the 5 outstanding items,” he said in the statement.

“Further directives/ updates shall be released after the 103rd meeting of NEC which is scheduled to hold in the month of June 2022 during which the situation shall be reviewed.”

The union said the move followed “the significant inroads were made in four (4) of the items in our list of demands” which include payment of areas of the new minimum wage among others.

However, ASUP said there are four more outstanding issues yet to be addressed by the government. This includes the release of the approved N15Bn revitalization fund for the sector.

“This issue is still stuck in the Federal Ministry of Finance with a promise of follow-up action by the Education Ministry,” the statement added.

Others, the union’s statement noted, are the release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre; the release of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service; continued delay in the appointment of substantive Rectors for Federal Polytechnics in Mubi, Offa, and Kaduna, and the resolution of issues with members in Colleges of Agriculture.

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Buhari To African Leaders: We Must Allow People To Freely Choose Their Leaders



President Muhammadu Buhari has advised African political leaders to respect the right of citizens to make their choices in elections.

President Buhari said that the right of people to vote and determine who leads them should not be treated lightly.

Speaking at a bilateral meeting with Lazarus Chakwera, the President of Malawi at the sideline of the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Friday, the President said to strengthen the democratic fabric and ensure smooth conduct of elections, “we must convince the people that we respect them, and this is by allowing them to choose whoever they want.”

He acknowledged that the path to democracy in African countries had not been a smooth one, recalling that he had been to the Supreme Court three times before he got to be President, adding “I had to openly disabuse the minds of our colleagues. We are a developing country, that we should not be demoralized.

“We have to go through these processes. We must trust these institutions to do what is right. Present the evidence. Don’t give up. Keep on pushing.”

The President explained that the merit of one’s case, not religion, or ethnicity or section will determine success in political endeavors, saying that his meritorious cases in court were thrown out by judges who more or less shared the same sentimental backgrounds with him.

He said, “So, I say go for merit. Don’t stand on ethnicity or such other divisive factors.”

Speaking on the relationship between Nigeria and Malawi, and that of the Southern African Sub-region in general, President Buhari said his predecessors in office, especially the late General Murtala Mohammed laid out the continental rule of engagement placing Southern African countries on Nigeria’s priority list.

According to him, “We are acutely aware of the problems of Southern African countries, more than most others,” said the President.

“Murtala virtually left the country to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, then, and faced up to Europe and America on the problems (of apartheid). He was very energetic and patriotic. We will continue on that path.”

President Buhari said he greatly valued his meeting with President Chakwera, giving assurances that he will pay attention to the issues brought to the meeting.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two countries were directed to take the matters forward.

President Chekwara described President Buhari as a statesman and a role model, saying that his country was willing to learn from Nigeria’s experience in agriculture, infrastructure development and in managing security and violent extremism, which, he said, were creeping into the South African sub-region.

He said while both countries were together in the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, his country’s wish was for a speedy trade relationship with Nigeria.

President Chekwara asked for convening of a meeting of technical experts to discuss trading pacts, Memoranda of Understanding and agreements.

“There is no way we won’t relate to the biggest economy in Africa. Our older brother should hold our hands and we walk together,” said the President.

Later, Carlos Vila Novo, the President of São Tomé and his spouse met President Buhari and the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

The Sao Tomean President got assurances that Nigeria will continue to play a brotherly role in the affairs of sister African countries.

The President also received in audience the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who came to thank him for honoring the invitation for the Extraordinary African Union Summit in his country.

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Dark Saturday As Police Confirm 31 Dead In Rivers Church Stampede



The Rivers State Police Command has said a total of 31 persons died during a stampede at the venue of an outreach programme put together by a new generation church in Port Harcourt on Saturday morning.

The church, known as Kings Assembly, was said to have invited members of the public to partake in the event where gift items and food were promised to be shared to congregants.

The church is located in the GRA area of Port Harcourt, but the event was held at the Port Harcourt Polo Club, a bigger facility to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

The acting spokesperson for the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the 31 deaths, saying the church had organised the outreach to give out palliatives to the underprivileged in society before the unexpected occurred.

“It is 31 persons that died. It was a stampede because a church was trying to give out palliatives.

“They were about to start the event by 9am or so. But some persons went there and broke into the place and went inside.

“So people started rushing in and there was a stampede.

“From the information we have, the church was trying to gift items and food to assist the underprivileged.

“Meanwhile, investigation has commenced to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident,” Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, stated.

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