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Will the centre hold in Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, as fresh details emerge on internal wrangling

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News of a leadership tussle in Nigeria’s ruling political party – All Progressive Congress (APC) broke yesterday as Niger state governor, Abubakar Bello, hinted he is taking over as the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee party.

The development poses questions for keen observers as the party crisis takes a new twist. All Progressive Congress (APC) has been unable to host her party convention in a while.

One party observer, Salihu Moh. Lukman said “between November 2021 and January 2022, the APC Convention has been postponed three times because of deliberate refusal to initiate most the processes required, such as booking the venue for the Convention and serving the statutory three weeks’ notice to INEC”

There have been other serious allegations against the leadership of His Governor Mai Mala, which include the discovery that his group, since November 2022, had obtained a Court injunction against the Convention and are waiting until three or two days to the Convention before serving it on the party to succeed in blocking the March 26 APC Convention from holding. 

Some news platforms reported yesterday that Bello’s move to take over the Caretaker Committee of the party is strongly backed by President Muhamadu Buhari who want Buni sacked because of many allegations of sharp practices as APC CECPC Chairman and replaced him with His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello as Sole Administrator. 

A source in the party revealed that “the plot is that His Excellency Mai Mala wants to continue to run the affairs of the party and conduct the party’s primary where candidates for 2023 elections would emerge”. 

“Based on that there are specific allegations of His Excellency Mai Mala striking some deals with some Presidential aspirants to ensure their emergence as the Presidential Candidate of APC for the 2023 elections. 

“Some of the allegations suggest extorting money from these aspirants, including someone who is yet to join the party. It is being alleged that campaign offices for the aspirant are already being opened even before such a person joined the party” 

“All these highlight problems of trust, which the leadership of His Excellency Mai Mala represented. A good confirmation of why it will be difficult for party leaders and members to continue to invest any trust on the His Excellency Mai Mala leadership of the Caretaker Committee is the attempt to constitute another zoning Committee after there is decision between President Buhari and Progressive Governors on zoning, based on which stakeholders of the party at zonal levels are to finalise negotiations on positions to go states”. 

Politics

Farmgate: South Africa’s ruling party, ANC, defends President Ramaphosa, wants panel reports rejected

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has told the country’s lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm.

The party’s Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress said Paul Mashatile, “the president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic.”

Meanwhile, in his defence, President Ramaphosa in a statement to the Constitutional Court said “the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it, and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me.”

Ramaphosa wanted the panel report “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

According to one of the party chieftains, Mashatile, while addressing journalists on the development, the party’s National Executive Committee’s decision to back Ramaphosa is said not to have been unanimous.

“Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report,” Mashatile said.

The Parliament on Thursday received a report on an investigation on the president after a huge sum of money in cash was reportedly found (stolen) on his Farm.

President Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing but confirmed that a robbery occurred and an estimated $4 million was stolen at the farm back in 2020, on his game farm.

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ECOWAS leaders to establish regional peacekeeping force in member states

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Leaders in the West African sub-region have resolved to establish a regional peacekeeping force to intervene in member states to help restore security and constitutional order.

The leaders on Sunday said they want to nip the security crisis in the region bud which has witnessed several coups in the past two years.

“The leaders of ECOWAS have decided to recalibrate our security architecture to ensure that we take care of our own security in the region,” the leaders said in a communique after an annual summit in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

“The leaders are determined to establish a regional force that will intervene in the event of need, whether in the area of security, terrorism (or to) … restore constitutional order in member countries.”

ECOWAS leaders “reserve the right and they have taken the decision to take certain measures but they would appeal and call on the authorities of Mali to release the soldiers.”

The subregion has witnessed military interregnums with coups Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso and the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) wants to do more to boost constitutional government in its member states.

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