APC nominates Akpabio and Tajudeen for Senate President and Speaker; APC Representatives Reject Tinubu’s Zoning, Plot Upset in Speakership Battle | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • APC nominates Akpabio and Tajudeen for Senate President and Speaker
  • APC Representatives Reject Tinubu’s Zoning, Plot Upset in Speakership Battle
  • Atiku’s Aide Faces Backlash for ‘Disgraceful’ Video Showing Lawyer Opening Vehicle Door for Him
  • Governor Uzodinma Succumbs to Pressure as Imo Labour Strike Enters Day 5
  • Adamawa Government Lifts Suspension on NGOs

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

APC nominates Akpabio and Tajudeen for Senate President and Speaker

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has put forward Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, as its candidate for the position of Senate President. The ruling party has also chosen Abbas Tajudeen, a prominent member of the House of Representatives, to be the Speaker.

As the APC holds the majority of seats in the National Assembly, it has the authority to determine the presiding officers.

In an official statement released on Monday, Felix Morka, the spokesperson for the APC, announced that the party has also nominated Barau Jibrin, the senator representing Kano North, for the role of Deputy Senate President, while Benjamin Kalu, the current spokesperson for the House, has been nominated for the position of Deputy Speaker.

Morka explained that the decision was made following consultations and meetings held with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, along with other party leaders and stakeholders, regarding the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions.

However, the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) acknowledged the need for further consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders to ensure the support of the aspirants for the National Assembly leadership positions, as well as the backing of party members across the country.

Back in March, Abdullahi Adamu, the APC National Chairman, stated that the party would collaborate with the President-elect to determine the zoning of the National Assembly positions.

Just last week, David Umahi, the outgoing Governor of Ebonyi, withdrew his bid for the Senate Presidency and pledged his support to Akpabio.

APC Representatives Reject Tinubu’s Zoning, Plot Upset in Speakership Battle

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is facing a precarious situation within the House of Representatives as lawmakers strategize to undermine the zoning arrangement proposed by President-elect Bola Tinubu and endorsed by the party’s leadership.

In a surprising turn of events, the National Working Committee announced Tajudeen Abbas, a House member from Kaduna State, as the consensus candidate for the position of Speaker, while Ben Kalu, a lawmaker from Abia State, was selected as the Deputy Speaker.

However, in an unexpected twist later that evening, all major contenders, including Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, Ado Doguwa, Yusuf Gagdi, Sada Soli, Ahmed Jaji, and Miriam Onuoha, appeared at Muktar Betara’s declaration and openly rejected Abbas as the consensus candidate.

Deputy Speaker Wase addressed the crowd, expressing determination to overcome the forces that believe they control Nigeria. He revealed that five of the aspirants had already formed an alliance against the party establishment.

Other aspirants such as Soli, Doguwa, and Jaji also voiced their readiness to challenge and defeat the favored candidate.

During a meeting on Sunday, a lawmaker aligned with one of the aspirants stated, “APC does not have the numbers to tell lawmakers to go to hell. The majority is small compared to the last assembly when APC had over 200.”

A check of the list of elected members confirms that the ruling party indeed has fewer seats compared to the combined number of seats held by opposition parties. The APC holds 177 seats, while the opposition parties have 181.

The current situation bears similarities to the 8th Assembly, where Yakubu Dogara and Yusuf Lasun aligned with the opposition in 2015 and successfully defeated the favored candidates, Femi Gbajabiamila and Mohammed Monguno.

Sources reveal that the majority of lawmakers from the Northeast are supporting Betara, while Abdulmummin Jibrin is mobilizing opposition lawmakers, including members from the NNPP, Labour Party, and PDP.

The minority group appears divided between Abbas’ team and Betara’s camp. Lawmakers loyal to Gbajabiamila have formed a caucus campaigning for Abbas, while Betara controls the larger majority.

There are indications that some of the aspirants may withdraw from the race once negotiations commence.

The APC’s National Working Committee had warned Mr. Tinubu to engage in more extensive consultations. Their statement reads, “The NWC called for further and better consultation with necessary stakeholders in order to assure the support of the aspirants to the National Assembly leadership positions and members of the Party nationwide.”

Amidst the internal crisis within the ruling party, opposition parties are capitalizing on the situation and plotting to secure the Speaker’s position.

Dachung Bagos, one of the spokespersons for the opposition parties, confirmed their intentions to contest for the presiding offices. He stated, “We have already agreed to vie for the leadership positions.”

However, it may be challenging for the opposition parties to unite all minority lawmakers, as some of them are already playing prominent roles in the campaigns of APC members.

Atiku’s Aide Faces Backlash for ‘Disgraceful’ Video Showing Lawyer Opening Vehicle Door for Him

Daniel Bwala, the spokesperson for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has faced criticism after sharing a video on his Twitter page. The video showed a fellow lawyer opening the vehicle door for him as he arrived at the presidential election tribunal in Abuja.

Arriving at the court premises in a Toyota Land Cruiser at around 9:15 am, Bwala was accompanied by a lawyer dressed in white and black legal attire who promptly exited the vehicle to open the door for him. Bwala, looking neat and wearing a suit, confidently climbed the stairs with his red diary in hand and hurriedly made his way towards a courtroom.

Bwala shared the 22-second video on his Twitter page, accompanied by a caption expressing prayers for peaceful and professional proceedings during the presidential election tribunal.

The video clip quickly gained attention on Twitter, with many criticizing Bwala for allowing or instructing another lawyer to open the door of the SUV for him. Abdul Mahmud, a lawyer, responded to the video, calling it “disgraceful” and stating that it violates professional rules.

Several individuals pointed out that Bwala, who practices as a barrister in the United Kingdom, should be familiar with and uphold global professional standards. While some criticized him for breaching ethical codes, others directed insults at his perceived lack of understanding regarding what is right or wrong.

Governor Uzodinma Succumbs to Pressure as Imo Labour Strike Enters Day 5

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has yielded to the demands of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as the ongoing industrial action entered its fifth day.

The strike by the Organised Labour was announced last Wednesday following the disruption of the Workers’ Day celebration in the state.

A temporary injunction was issued by the National Industrial Court in Owerri, restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from participating in any strike action in Imo State. The presiding judge, Nelson Ogbuanya, issued the directive on Thursday.

However, sources reveal that the Imo State Government has now agreed to address the issues raised by the NLC.

In a joint statement released in Owerri and made available to the press, the government, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmos Iwu, and the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Cyprian Akolisa, confirmed the resolution.

The organized labour was represented by Comrade Onyeka Chris from NLC headquarters, Comrade Tony Ebaho from TUC headquarters, Imo State Secretary of NLC, Comrade Anukworji Nduka, and Chairman of TUC, Imo State, Comrade Amalu Charles.

According to the resolution, “Tripartite representatives of the state government, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress should swiftly address and resolve the areas of disagreement and misunderstanding between the government and labour.”

“Both parties condemned the circumstances that led to the alleged disruptions of the May Day celebrations and pledged to ensure peaceful conduct of all NLC and TUC activities in the state.

“Although the government is not at fault, it seeks solutions to assist those who may have incurred losses due to the aforementioned interruptions.

“The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, have agreed to suspend the ongoing strike in Imo State to facilitate the peaceful resolution of any remaining disputes in a spirit of reciprocity.

“Both sides promise not to penalize any employee or official for their actions or inactions resulting from the industrial actions.”

Adamawa Government Lifts Suspension on NGOs

The Adamawa State Government has lifted the suspension that was imposed on the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the state. The suspension was announced by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri prior to the Governorship/House of Assembly elections held on March 18.

Governor Fintiri had stated that NGOs were found to be engaging in political activities that were detrimental to peace, leading to the suspension of their activities. However, in a statement released by the governor’s Press Secretary, Mr. Humwashi Wonosikou, it was announced that the suspension has now been lifted.

Governor Fintiri expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the NGOs, which he acknowledged had contributed to the successful conduct of the elections. He urged the NGOs to carry out their humanitarian activities in accordance with the rules of engagement to fulfill their mandates.

It is worth noting that the governorship election held on March 18 in Adamawa State was marked by some challenges. The election was initially declared inconclusive and a repeat election took place on April 15. However, the election was disrupted after Senator Aishatu Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner despite not having the highest votes and before the results from 10 local government areas had been collated.

The former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, who made the illegal declaration, is currently being questioned by the police regarding this act.

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