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Buhari chose to tolerate Wike, Fayose instead of dealing with them – Femi Adesina

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Femi Adesina, an aide to the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said his principal “could have dealt with” two Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] stalwarts – Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State and Ekiti’s former governor, Ayodele Fayose –  but he chose to let them be.

Adesina, who is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a piece published on Friday on his website and entitled, ‘Wike Vindicates Buharists’, said Buhari would have dealt with the duo for their “anti-Buhari tendency” either “overtly or covertly” but like a father, he decided to tolerate “his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.”

Wike had recently appreciated the President for approving the refund of N78.9bn to Rivers for the repair of federal roads. A total sum of N148bn had been approved by the Federal Executive Council to five states including Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo, and Osun.

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Adesina described the recent action of Governor Wike as “completely different direction compared to what he had always said of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

He wrote,

“The Wike we knew was either usually crying wolf where there was none, alleging that the Federal Government wanted to kill him, or claiming that he was not answerable to the central government at Abuja in any way, or even pontificating that the President and his political party, the All Progressives Congress, had failed the country in diverse ways.

“If not for the maturity, and the avuncular attitude of President Buhari to all state governors, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he and Wike were enemies. Forsworn ones.

“There was also the then Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who had formed a tag team with Wike in the anti-Buhari tendency. The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be. He was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.”

On the invitation extended by the Rivers governor for the President to visit the state to see what the money was used for, the President’s spokesperson said,

“In January 2018, there had been vicious killings in some parts of the country. States affected were; Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara. The President decided to embark on sympathy and solidarity visits to the states. All the Governors were receptive, except Wike, who said the visit was a smokescreen, meant to revive the dying APC in Rivers State.

“When about 20 people were killed on New Year Day 2018, in Omoku area of the state, and the President wanted to visit, Wike demurred. He said there were killings every day all over the country, and it meant the President must visit every State on a daily basis.
The circle has turned fully round, and Governor Wike is inviting the President to visit. He says he’s “a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.” Wonderful!

“Some people say it is N78.9 billion that is working, and the Governor is clearly inebriated by that windfall. But I don’t think so. Rivers is by no means a poor state. The amount is handsome, no doubt, but the state is oil-rich, and can hold her own when it comes to finances. I rather choose to believe that Governor Wike had been playing a curious kind of politics all along, and now, fairness and justice have touched him in a positive way.”

Politics

We are not investigating Osinbajo – Reps

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Osinbajo making a toast

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, on Tuesday, said it is not investigating the office of the Vice President or the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as erroneously insinuated in some quarters.

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke gave the clarification while addressing the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu.

Oke explained that the ongoing investigation was aimed at getting documentary evidence of the school feeding procurement under the National Social Investment Programme carried out by the Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning.

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Since its implementation in 2016 until October 2019, the SIPs was domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, with VP Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as Chair of the Steering Committee that oversights the National Social Investment Office.

The NSIO provides standard delivery mechanisms, with objectivity, collaboration, synergy transparency, efficiency and pro-active monitoring in mind.

To assure of close collaboration and impact, focal persons from each State were nominated by the Governors, to supervise the State’s activities in relation to each of the four programmes.

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The Office of the Vice President has never been involved in financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the SIPs.

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning was in charge of all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement of funds allocated and released for the NSIPs.

He said:

“By our records, the office of the Vice President is responsible for policy formulation and monitoring of the National Social Investment Programme.

“Issue bothering on procurement was handled by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning which has now been merged with the Ministry of Finance.

“We have it on record that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning handled all issues of procurement from 2016 to September 2019 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was created.

“Our request is for the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to make available all relevant procurement records for the various items under the NSIP. Our investigation has nothing to do with the office of the Vice President but the Ministry.”

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INEC fixes date to conduct all pending by-elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has fixed Oct. 31 for the conduct of the 12 pending constituencies by-elections in the country.

The commission disclosed this in a statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the commission would have long conducted the by-elections but for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since then, the commission has developed a policy on the conduct of elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It also revised its regulations and guidelines and engaged with health authorities and stakeholders on conducting elections in an environment that guarantees both credibility and public safety.

“The commission has also successfully conducted the bye-election to fill the vacancy in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency and is going ahead with the conduct of governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states on Sept. 19 and Oct. 10, respectively,” he said.

The pending by-elections are Bayelsa Central Senatorial District; Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai and Bayo Constituencies in Borno State; Cross River North Senatorial District; Obudu Constituency in Cross River.

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Others are Imo North Senatorial District; Lagos East Senatorial District; Kosofe II Constituency in Lagos State; Plateau South Senatorial District; Bakura Constituency in Zamfara; and Ibaji Constituency in Kogi.

Okoye said that the decision was taken after reviewing preparations for Edo and Ondo states’ governorship elections as well as all outstanding by-elections.

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According to him, the by-elections in the federal and state legislative houses were due to resignation or death of members in eight states of the federation.

“By the harmonized timetable, the commission will give the notice of election on Aug. 17 while political parties will conduct their primaries to nominate candidates between Aug. 24 and Sept. 8.

“Submission of forms and personal particulars of candidates will commence on Sept. 9 and close at 6p.m. on Sept. 13,” he said.

Okoye added that the timetable and schedule of activities for the by-elections had been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.

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He added that INEC’s attention had also been drawn to the existence of vacancies in Isi-Uzo Constituency in Enugu State and Bakori Constituency in Katsina State.

Okoye, however, said vacancies had not been formally declared by the Speakers of the affected state assemblies.

He implored concerned stakeholders, particularly political parties, to take note of the timelines in the schedule and strictly adhere to them.

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APC praise Odigie-Oyegun as he clocks 81

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John Odigie-Oyegun,

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said its former National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is a voice of reason in national polity and a strong advocate of progressive ideals and mantra of the party.

The party eulogised him in a congratulatory message yesterday in Abuja by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, on today’s 81st birthday of the former Edo State governor.

The statement reads:

“The APC celebrates elder statesman and our former National Chairman, H. E. Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on the occasion of his 81st birthday on August 12, 2020.

“Our great party rejoices with Chief Odigie-Oyegun and his family, friends and associates for the good health, exemplary life and good tidings the Almighty God has granted him.

“Chief Odigie-Oyegun is undoubtedly a man of many positive firsts. The country’s youngest Permanent Secretary, first elected governor of Edo State, first National Chairman of the APC, who led us as then opposition party to presidential victory in 2015 after defeating the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Indeed, there is much to celebrate as Chief Odigie-Oyegun clocks another year in an illustrious life’s journey.

“A gentleman with uncommon humility, our great party attests that Chief Odigie-Oyegun remains a voice of reason in the national polity and a strong advocate the APC’s progressive ideals and mantra.

“In the ongoing drive by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Committee to reposition the party and ensure peace and unity across party ranks, the party continues to count on the support of Chief Odigie-Oyegun and other party leaders to achieve this goal.

“The party prays for Chief Odigie-Oyegun a long, healthy and fulfilled years in service to the party and country.”

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