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Saraki’s loyalists beg Buhari



Some loyalists of Senate President  Bukola Saraki are beating a retreat in the lingering cold war with the All Progressives Congress (APC)  hierarchy  over the leadership  crisis  in the Senate.

They  have already  reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari for the purpose of reconciling with him and, by extension, the party leadership.

It was learnt that members of the peace team  are also likely to meet with a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

However,the Saraki loyalists were said to have left  the first meeting with  Buhari “uncomfortable” on account of his  body language.

Saraki and his loyalists  had defied the party by rejecting  its candidates for principal positions in the Senate.

They shunned the June 9 meeting  convened by the APC to resolve the matter and teamed up with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to elect their own candidates including Saraki as Senate President and PDP’s  Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy.

It was gathered that House of Representtives Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s compliance with the APC’s directive on the choice of principal officers in the House  was largely responsible for the change of heart  by Saraki and his supporters having being put  under pressure by Dogara’s move.

It was gathered that  the  Buhari/ Saraki’s  loyalists and strategists  meeting  took place at the Presidential Villa a few days ago.

It was  shielded  from  reporters for  what a source described as “avoiding media backlash on the fresh peace process.”

The  “peace team” ,according to sources,was led by  Senate Leader  Ali Ndume.

Among those who  accompanied  him were Senators Adamu Aliero, Danjuma Goje, Kabiru Gaya and Abdullahi Adamu.

Two of the Senators  admitted last night  that they were at the meeting.

The  others could not be reached.

Investigation revealed that the Senators were disturbed that all is not well between the Senate and the Presidency.

The mild drama at the Abuja Eid  ground during the last Eid-el-Fitr festival when the President and Saraki barely exchanged greetings  was said to have made the “peace session” inevitable.

Besides, the President is said to have  refused  to meet and discuss policy issues with Saraki,causing more anxiety for  loyalists of the Senate President.

A reliable source: “These Senators, comprising mainly of some former governors came to explore peace between the Presidency and the Senate.

“Obviously, the Senators were subtly running an errand for Saraki. I think their trip was a consequence of the Abdulsalami  Peace Committee’s meeting with Saraki.”

One of those at the meeting with Buhari said: “It was actually a family affair thing. When you see a threat looming, you do not need to wait till it becomes a bigger challenge.

“We are doing everything to reconcile the President and the Senate President and other stakeholders in APC to move forward.

“We want to see that everything goes on well. Whatever is the problem, we are going to sort it out.

“There is no point pretending. The President and some APC leaders have been unhappy with the Senate President. We cannot allow the crisis of confidence to fester. This is why we decided to intervene.”

Another source on the trip said: “Yes, the President gave us audience in spite of the fact that he was not too happy with some of us on the roles we played. But I commend his magnanimity.

“We explained the situation of things to him and why he should forgive and forget whatever went wrong. We know what to do in the spirit of reconciliation to accommodate the Ahmed Lawan group.”

Asked  about  the countenance of the President after the session, the source added: “Uncomfortable but hope is not lost. I won’t tell you what the President said at the meeting.

“I think the President’s grouse was that the party’s directive was ignored despite his appeal that Senators should respect party supremacy. He does not hate Saraki.”

It was gathered  last night that some Senators had been approaching a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for reconciliation on the Senate crisis.

It was learnt that Senate Leader  Ndume is also coordinating the “reach-out- to-all initiative.”

There were strong indications last night that Ndume might have made some shuttles to Lagos to meet with Tinubu and some APC leaders.

The overtures could not be independently confirmed from Ndume as at the time of filing this report.

A respected APC top shot said: “I think it is  a jealously guarded script being driven by Ndume.

“The reality is that Dogara’s deference to party’s directive has put pressure on Saraki and the APC caucus in the Senate.

“While Dogara opted to be his own man at the last minute, Saraki’s loyalists stuck to their script which has put the Senate on the edge and created mutual distrust between the President and the Senate President.”

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on June 23 letter wrote Saraki on the party’s position on the sharing of principal offices in the Senate.

The letter, referenced APC/NHDQ/NAM/01/015/05, said: “Please find below for your necessary action names of principal officers approved by the party after excessive consultations for the 8th Senate as follows: Sen. Ahmed Lawan (Majority Leader)—North-East; Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Chief Whip)—South-West; Sen. George Akume (Deputy Majority Leader) —North-Central; and Sen. Abu Ibrahim (Deputy Chief Whip) —North-West.”

But Saraki said it was impossible to comply with the directive of the party because the principal officers had already been selected before the letter was received.

A source in Lawan’s camp said: “We were aware of the meeting between the President and the affected Senators. They said they are after peace, but without putting options on the table.”

Saraki himself is confident that the Senate will bounce back after what he calls some distractions.

The Senate President in a tweet yesterday said: “Although the 8th Senate has had some distractions,we have hit the ground running.

“When we return, Nigerians can expect more oversight actions.”

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Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour emerges Labour Party guber candidate in Lagos



Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has emerged as Labour Party guber candidate in Lagos.

He polled 111 votes to defeat his opponent Mashood Salvador in the just concluded Labour Party substitution primary on Wednesday.

Mr Salvador could only muster 102 votes.

Mr Rhodes, 39, left the Peoples Democratic Party last month to join the Labour Party to fulfil him ambition of running for the governorship of Lagos State. 

Football transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, tweeted on Thursday morning: “Chelsea are working on many different deals. Talks on with intermediaries of Wesley Fofana deal, after two bids rejected; Pierre Aubameyang discussed as option since last week but no proposal to Barça yet.

“New bid expected soon for Inter’s 2003 born talent Cesare Casadei.”

Mr Salvador, his competitor had also defected the All Progressive Congress, APC last month as well.

Meanwhile, former state party chairman, Ifagbemi Awamaridi who had initially won the gubernatorial ticket of the party when the primaries were held months ago vowed to not let go of his ticket since he is recognised by the INEC as the flag bearer.

Labour Party hierarchy however insists Mr Awamaridi was just a placeholder who had withdrawn from the party’s candidature via a letter.

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Sen. Dariye may pick Labour Party nomination form after prison release



A former governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye may declare interest to contest the Plateau Central senatorial seat on the platform of the Labour Party (LP). 

Dariye; former Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame, and three others were, on Monday released from prison three months after their pardon by the Council of State led by President Muhammadu Buhari, on April 14, 2022. 

Dariye, who was serving 10 years’ imprisonment for N1.126 billion fraud, was released after about four years in prison. 

It was gathered from credible sources that the Plateau State chapter of LP has concluded arrangements to receive the former Plateau governor from Abuja to pick the party’s senatorial form. 

Dariye, who served as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, defected from the party. He contested and won a senatorial seat in 2011 on the platform of LP.

A Labour Party official, who preferred not to be named, said: “Yes, it is true that he (Dariye) will be running for a Senate seat. We are making arrangements for him to come from Abuja for the senatorial declaration.”

The source said Dariye would spring surprises at the polls because he remained loved by many in the state.

The party official said that Dariye was “still very popular and relevant in Plateau Central in spite of his ordeals.

Dariye’s homecoming, the source said, has also given a boost to the governorship bid of the party’s governorship candidate, Patrick Dakum, who defected to the Labour Party, after failing to secure the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Call your supporters to order, Tinubu tells Obi



The Tinubu Campaign Organisation has appealed to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi to call his supporters to order and to allow this election circle to be about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria.

In a statement by its Director of Media and Communications, Mr Bayo Onanuga, the TCO admonished the Labour Party presidential candidate to get his supporters to desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

TCO further states that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process will be enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well.

Mr. Onanuga noted that the Tinubu Campaign Organisation saw the need to appeal to Mr. Obi to rein in his supporters after investigating the origin of the fake report claiming that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asking him to support Peter Obi and take care of his health.

President of Ghana via his official Twitter account has vehemently debunked the fake news as a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public.

“I have written no such letter to the APC leader, and it will not occur to me to do so. Ghana and Nigeria boast of decades of cordial, strong and brotherly relations, and I am not going to be the one to interfere in the internal affairs and politics of Nigeria,” said President of Ghana via Twitter.

“We have found that the fake news about Akufo-Addo’s letter was first published on June 22 by a rogue platform, whose url reads as (sic) and site identity as World of News.

“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by Peter Obi Support Group, same day – a clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.

“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50billion monthly payment from him. The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Mr. Ambode.

“The pirate website, which the Facebook account feeds on also parades malicious fake news and headlines such as “ I am old, but my blood is young, please vote for me – Tinubu begs youth” .

“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: When I became president, I will Build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu”.

“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring virus to your computer.

“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr. Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Mr. Onanuga reiterated.

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