Ondo 2020: ‘We Did Not Endorse Akeredolu For Second Term’ -APC Elders
A group of elders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State, under the auspices of APC Unity Forum, Monday, denied a report that they had endorsed the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, to go for second term.
Punch online reports that Akeredolu held a meeting with some members of the group and some governorship aspirants on Saturday where it was gathered that an advisory council was constituted to find a solution to the lingering crisis rocking the party.
However, chairman of the forum and former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, according to Punch in a statement said the issue of endorsement never came up in the meeting.
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But the Unity Forum said some of Akeredolu’s supporters in the party, Punch reports that took the meeting for the endorsement of the second term for the governor.
According to him, “We did not discuss Akeredolu’s second term ambition, we did not negotiate anything, we did not ask for anything from the governor.
“I have received several calls from people about the outcome of the meeting as wrongly reported, but I want to emphasize that the meeting has nothing to do with Akeredolu at all. I have not collected a dime from anybody, I will never collect anything and I will not sell my people.”
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Similarly, the Secretary of the APC Advisory Council and an aspirant of the party, Mr Issac Kekemeke, on Monday said what transpired in the reconciliatory meeting was the inauguration of the advisory council and an ad hoc committee in a bid to resolving the crisis.
He said, “The council unanimously affirmed Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, as the leader of the party in the state and appointed Chief Pius Olu Akinyelure and Isaacs Kekemeke as the chairman and the Secretary of the council respectively.
“The council noted the appeal of Governor Akeredolu to members present to put the past behind them and urged all to work for the unity of the party. The governor’s declaration that the council was not a forum for deciding the candidacy of the party for the 2020 governorship election in the state and the assurance that he would run a more inclusive government was commended.
“The council after an extensive deliberation on the present structures of the party in the state also constituted an ad-hoc committee to consult stakeholders and party faithful across the state and come up with recommendations for its consideration within the shortest time possible.”
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According to him, the committee members are Chief Olusola Oke (chairman ), Chief Bode Sumonu, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Bamidele Oloyelogun, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, and Mr Jacob Oredola.
Edo Sets Up Task Force To Tackle Fuel Crisis
The Edo State Government has commenced inspection to check fuel scarcity, hoarding, and a hike in the price of premium motor spirits in the state.
According to the special adviser to the governor on media projects, Cruseo Osagie, The task force set up to regulate the product, on Tuesday, inspected fuel stations in the Benin Metropolis to check against hoarding, as well as address the issue of artificial scarcity and arbitrary hikes in prices of petroleum products in the state.
Speaking to journalists during the inspection, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Ferguson Enabulele, said the state government will carry out further engagements with relevant authorities on the matter.
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He said, “We discovered under-dispensing in some of these stations, over pricing which cannot be fully justified as some are saying the sector has been fully deregulated but there is no formal letter from the state government concerning that. So, we still stand with the old prices of these products.
“It’s a bit difficult to reach a specific position on this issue now (pricing). We will hold further conversations with the DPR Office in the State and thereafter, inform the state governor of our findings.
“We will invite owners of filling stations to engage with them also. It is when we have that information that we will now know what to do because as we stand, there is no formal authority deregulating that sector but as against what most of these petrol stations are acting on – as if the sector has been fully deregulated and they have control over their pricing.”
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He appealed to the residents to be patient as there is going to be more engagement with the Department of Petroleum Resources to arrive at an authoritative position.
Senate Amends ICPC Act, Slams 2 Year-imprisonment On False Petitioners
The Senate on Tuesday passed an amendment to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC Act with stiffer punishment for false petitioners.
Specifically, the amendment to Section 25 of the Act, now provides two-year imprisonment with no option of fine on anyone whose petitions to the commission is found to be false or intended to mislead.
This was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, chaired by Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari (APC Kaduna North).
In the principal Act, the offence of false petition attracts a fine of N100,000.
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The amendment in Section (25) (1) says Any person who makes or causes any other person to make to an officer of the commission…any statement which to the knowledge of the person making the statement, or causing the statement to be made is false, or intended to mislead shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years.
The Red Chamber had in the past, planned to streamline the operations of the ICPC with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC so as to make it more proactive.
EFCC Told To Start Probing Buhari, Leave Ortom
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been urged to start probing the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari and leave ex-Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
Unconfirmed reports had it that EFCC had allegedly invaded Benue State, in an attempt to arrest Ortom.
It was claimed that the anti-graft operatives were invited on the orders of the Minister of Interior, George Akume.
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Reacting, Ortom had said the anti-graft agency operatives were welcomed into the state because he had nothing to hide.
However, a civil society organization wondered why EFCC was looking away from the alleged corruption allegations against Buhari’s government, but opted for Ortom.
Ternenge Bendega, the President of Benue Coalition for Democracy, BCD, recalled that in August 2018, after Ortom dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on account of gross insecurity and his maltreatment by the leadership of APC in Benue State, the EFCC had went after him like a rabid dog.
A statement by Bendega reads: “Yesterday, the media were awash with reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was laying ambush to apprehend the immediate past Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on alleged corruption charges. The reports however did not state what Chief Ortom’s offense was.
“The government of Muhammadu Buhari is on record as the most corrupt administration in the post-independence history of Nigeria! Trillions of naira have been stolen under the watch of “Mr Integrity”, but the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies always look the other way while the country is being raped. They prefer to oppress those who have volunteered to fight for justice, like Samuel Ortom.
“Former President Muhammadu Buhari did not hide his disdain for Ortom. He wanted Ortom removed at all costs and his agent for executing the “project” was Senator George Akume, the leader of APC in Benue State.
“Today, the EFCC, apparently following the wink and prompting of the immediate past President, has resumed the witch-hunt of Ortom? But what is the former Benue Governor’s crime? His only “sin” is his boldness to challenge the powers behind the Fulani occupation agenda. He has dared to take the tiger by the tail. Ortom is apparently the first Governor to directly question the Fulani subjugation machinery and refuse to shift even a foot backwards.
“The immediate past Benue State Governor also knew that the beast would fight back and he prepared his mind for the war ahead. In the last couple of weeks, he often told his audience that he was ready to visit the EFCC if the commission wanted him to appear before it. What is not clear is why the commission would want to arrest a man who is willing to answer charges against him.
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“EFCC has exhibited the height of impunity by its selective war against financial crimes in the country. The situation where the commission harasses innocent citizens on politically motivated grounds is unacceptable.
“We task the EFCC to beam its searchlight on corrupt officials in the immediate past administration of President Buhari who turned the national treasury to their personal estate.”
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