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Convention: After screening, Akume expresses satisfaction, secures more endorsements

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Former governor of Benue state and Minister of Special Duties and Inter governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume has declared that he is satisfied with the screening of aspirants for the national chairmanship position in the forthcoming All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention.

The frontline chairmanship candidate, who was accompanied to the screening venue by a powerful delegation of Elderstatemen, APC leaders across the states of the federation and other stakeholders, expressed confidence that screening exercise will produce quality leadership for the ruling party.

Senator George Akume said: “I don’t know whether it’s an interview, it’s a screening exercise. They asked me questions on political realities of our time, so these are issues that affect many other political parties even the big ones like APC which is a flagship political party at movement. It was an interactive session so to speak and I think I learnt much about from them and I think they learnt a little from me. By and large, it was okay.”

The former senator was among the national chairmanship aspirants screened Tuesday evening in Abuja.

Other national chairmanship aspirants at the screening include: Senator Sani Musa, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, Saliu Mustapha, Mohammed Etsu, former governor Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

Meanwhile, a Forum of Christians and Muslims Youth of Nigeria have backed the national chairmanship aspiration of Senator George Akume.

At a media briefing at the end of their meeting in Abuja, the forum said that Akume, a former Benue state governor is the best for the party and by extension the country.

Leaders of the forum, Mallam Yusuf Muhammed and Mr. Peter Bassey Asuquo, President and National Publicity Secretary respectively, said Akume will unite the party and ensure the party win the 2023 Presidential election.

“The Forum of Christians and Muslims Youth of Nigeria recommend Senator George Akume without reservations as the best candidate for the APC National Chairmanship based on his competence, experience, and nationalism.

“We have constituted a lobbying committee among our members who cut across the 36 states and FCT to solicit the support of the APC critical stakeholders for Senator Akume’s victory as the next National Chairman of the APC.

“This, we have been doing behind the scene silently and are quite hopeful of our Patron’s victory,” they said.

The forum which said Akume has a worldwide leadership perspective, said that he is what APC needs now to galvanize all the stakeholders to victory ahead of the general elections and also Nigeria.

They said: “As a former governor, senator, local government secretary and Sole Administrator as well as an outstanding career civil servant who rose through the ranks for many years, Senator Akume has excellent experience and deep knowledge of dealing with different categories of persons across various social economic strata of the society.

“Not forgetting his current responsibilities as the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs where he works with all tiers of government; local, states and federal government. These multi-sectoral coordination qualities are critical for the APC Chairmanship.

“Senator Akume’s political sagacity in managing different political interests stemmed from his over 24 years of partisan politics and is unarguably a formidable credential that has resulted to many victories in his personal political career and as leader of various political interests over the years.

“His political base cuts across Nigeria as can be attested to by the various awards and recognition from both international and national reputable organizations, for instance as the Patron of Forum of Christians and Muslims Youth Nigeria, he has been indeed a great pilar of support in line with our cardinal objectives of peaceful coexistence.”

Earlier in the week, the Borno state governor Prof. Babagana Zulum, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari, governors on the platform of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), their deputies and all other stakeholders to consider the candidature of Senator George Akume, for the position of the national chairman “for the sake of fairness, equity, and justice.”

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Politics

Discordant tunes as Obi/LP clash over purported endorsement of Abure

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***Obi says he did not endorse any leadership, as LP counters him

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General election Peter Obi may be embarking on a collision course with the party over his motif for the visit to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday along with his supporters.

Apparently piqued by how his visit was portrayed to be an endorsement of the Julius Abure-led leadership, Obi on Wednesday morning clarified that his visit to the Party’s secretariat on Tuesday was not to endorse the leadership but to engender reconciliation.
A statement by Peter Obi Media Relations (POMR) spokesperson Dr Yunusa Tanko indicated that the visit was more of reconciliation not an endorsement of any leadership as it was being portrayed.
In a swift reaction, the LP national publicity Secretary Obiorah Ifoh in a counter statement described Obi’s new statement as a twist of the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate to the leadership of the party.
He said Obi and Abure are on the same page over reconciliation in LP as he warned against any attempt to twist well intentioned visit.
Obi’s spokesperson statement reads,
“Obi’s visit to Labour Party yesterday was not to endorse anybody, but occassioned by his reconcilliatory move. Julius Abure in his speech stated clearly how Obi came to the office, and Obi in his speech clarified same, while preaching peace, and his mantra ‘pursuit of better Nigeria for the poor’

“Leadership of NLC/TUC Political Arm Commorades Titus Amba and Chris Uyot who were informed of Obi travelling out today, hence will honour thier invitation, also met with him, and extensively discussed same peace move with them.

“Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family, and not to support one against the other.

“In all his meetings with with all stakeholders, he has always maintained peace, and urge not to lose purpose which is to free Nigeria suffering and pain.

“The LP standards bearer plans to continue meeting with critical stakeholders, and groups to achieve all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.

Ifoh statement reads,

“The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been called to a statement issued by the spokesperson to our National Leader, Peter Obi titled, ‘Obi visits to LP, Reconciliatory, not endorsement…’ Dr. Tanko Yinusa wherein he tried to twist the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on the leadership of the party.

“As a party we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. “This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week titled ‘Triumphant Resumption of Abure led NWC’ wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Peter Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful National Convention of the party held in March. But to us as a party we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.
“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government that will liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its Political Commission to understand that we are not the foe, and to see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria.
“They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the Labour Party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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Okonkwo accuses Abure-led LP of being equally yoked by corruption as APC

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***Says he is suspending his association with the party

Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, has alleged that the national convention organized by Julius Abure which returned him as Labour Party (LP) national chairman is nothing but criminality and corruption.

He stated this when he announced he was suspending his relationship with the Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of the LP.

According him, a new Nigeria is the priority, adding that he prefers to lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Okonkwo, who was the spokesperson for the Labour Party Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, in a post via his verified X account on Tuesday, said the current Abure-led National Working Committee of the Labour Party is another incompetent and corrupt association, just like the All Progressives Congress (APC) he left before.

The post reads: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing than winning doing the wrong thing.

Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported National Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party APC because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

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Obi, Otti, LP Lawmakers to storm Akure for Ondo guber election campaigns

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***Party Receives Boost From Aggrieved Aspirants from APC and PDP

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Governorship Primaries in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Ayodele has declared the resolve of Party to take back Ondo State in the forthcoming coming Governorship elections of the state billed for November 2024 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Olusola Ayodele to have made the declaration when he Addressed the Southwest Leadership of the Party on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ayodele who conducted the Ondo State Governorship Primaries of the LP in Akure a fortnight earlier stated that all preparations by the Leadership of the party to win the Ondo Governorship elections have been concluded with the formation of a proposed Southwest Task Force on the Ondo Governorship elections .

According to him, the Task Force being put together comprises key leaders of the party in the Southwest, who have been charged to mobilise a high-powered National Campaign Team of the Party for the Governorship elections to reenact the LP – Mimiko victory and 8 years good governance of Ondo State

He said, “To lead the Ondo National campaign committee is Mr Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and Mr Alex Oti, Governor of Abia State. They are to be supported by all LP Senators, Reps Members, State Lawmakers and other key leaders of the Party in the country with formidable solidarity from key members of the Obidient Movement in diaspora.”

While clarifying the rumour about the possibility of the party conducting a substitution primaries for the Governorship candidacy of the party, Ayodele said “this would only happen, if the current governorship candidate of the party decides to withdraw from the race during the substitution window created by INEC and if the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party also finds governorship aspirants who have the required competence and capacity as possible replacement to fly the governorship ticket of a mega party like the Labour Party, especially, a party which has ruled Ondo State for 8 years before”

Ayodele said although some aggrieved frontline governorship aspirants, especially from the APC and PDP are already discussing the possibility of crossing to Labour Party with the Committee, it is only the National Working Committee of the Party that can sanction such discussion before the close of the substitution window of INEC. He however applauded the youths, students and the masses of the people in Ondo State for remaining steadfast with the Party.

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