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PDP summons emergency meeting over Gov Matawalle’s defection to APC

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The National Working Committee (NWC) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has summoned an emergency meeting today to discuss the planned defection of the Zamfara State Governor, Hon. Bello Matawalle, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) tomorrow.

In an announcement on Sunday by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara, the state government invited the governor’s supporters to witness the defection.

The statement further said the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, and other APC stalwarts would receive the Zamfara State governor into APC.
The Director-General of Media in the state, Mr. Idris Yusuf, had earlier said that the governor would address journalists on the issue on Monday.

But the PDP said yesterday that Matawalle had not informed it that he was defecting to the APC.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “All I can tell you is that an emergency meeting of the party will take place on Monday and the report of the defection will be discussed.

“Also for now, the governor has not informed the PDP that he is leaving the party.”
However, concerns have been raised that it would be legally impossible for Matawalle to defect.
The reason is that the Supreme Court’s decision, which ceded the Zamfara State governorship to the PDP immediately after the 2019 elections, did not consider any individual in arriving at the decision but the party.
The judgment of the Supreme Court is believed to have made the opposition party the owner and sole beneficiary of the governorship and not Matawalle.

Already, arrangements are said to have been perfected for the governor to defect to the APC tomorrow, and he is expected to be received by the ruling party’s National Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
Also, as a prelude to the defection, Matawalle had on May 31, sacked his cabinet, including the commissioners, special advisers, the Secretary to the State Government, chief of staff and the deputy chief of staff in other to be able to accommodate some members of the APC in the new calculations.

It was gathered that the cabinet sacking was to prevent some commissioners from refusing to defect with him and avoid the kind of backslash experienced in Ebonyi and Cross River States, where some commissioners and aides refused to go to the APC with their former principals.

The governor, it was learnt, has been promised a return ticket for 2023. He is currently serving his first term in office.
In 2019, the APC won all the state and national elections in Zamfara State, the PDP came second but due to the Supreme Court judgment, the PDP inherited the victory across the board.
The state was considered an APC state and it was, therefore, to ensure his re-election in 2023 that Matawalle was being poached to defect to the APC.

Another party source also hinted: “There is no free ticket for him in the APC by 2023, as the former governor of the state, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, and Senator Kabir Marafa have reconciled and will surely give him a fight.”
The source said it was not certain if all PDP senators and members of the House of Representatives that benefited from the Supreme Court’s judgment would be willing to defect with him.

The source said: “If the governor defects what will happen to the governorship ambition of Senator Marafa? Will he subdue his ambition that caused his initial political feud with former governor Yari or will he go back to the Senate? If he decides to go to the Senate, what will happen to the current senator that is from the PDP?”

Yari, Zamfara’s immediate past governor, is plotting to become the national chairman of the APC, and has been at daggers-drawn with Matawalle, who became an unexpected beneficiary of the APC crisis in the 2019 primaries in the state.
A PDP source said the party was in possession of an intelligence report that the Zamfara governor had gone as far as seeking the opinions of some top judicial officers who had told him that leaving the PDP could cost him the seat, based on the Supreme Court’s judgment of 2019.

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Former Ogun First Lady celebrates 96th birthday

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Mama Lucy Onabanjo, wife of the first civilian Governor of Ogun State, the late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (Aiyekooto) celebrated her 96th birthday on Tuesday.

Lucy Onabanjo is the oldest surviving former first lady.

Born in Ijebu Ode on October 26, 1925, Mama Onabanjo was trained as a teacher.

It was after her training as a teacher that Lucy started dating the Late Bisi, who was working with a local newspaper called Gaskiya Tarfi Kobo (Truth is more than a Kobo).

Few months after meeting Bisi , she walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

The humble ceremony would blossom into a life of civil service from teaching to the Government House, Abeokuta and beyond.

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It’s illegal to pay petrol subsidy from federation account, Sanusi tells FG

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Former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, has said the federal government is indulging in illegality by paying petroleum subsidy from the federation account.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor spoke virtually as a panelist on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja.

He also said the Nigerian daily oil consumption data is suspect thus there is endemic corruption in fuel subsidy payments.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.

He also advocated for the end of fuel subsidy and electricity subsidy, saying the money saved should be invested in critical sectors like education and health adding that the long-term gains far outweigh the short-term pains.

“I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double?” he asked.

He noted that “this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he noted.

On electricity tariff, he said it should also be stopped as even poorer countries are paying cost reflective tariffs and enjoying uninterrupted electricity.

The Chairman, the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, also agreed that subsidy payments had to end for resources to be free up for critical investments.

He also said that the government must focus on education and healthcare provision.

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PHOTOS: South-west govs visit Tinubu

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