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APC wants LGs abolished

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The committee on true federalism set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to collate the views of Nigerians has recommended the abolition of local government as a third tier of government from the country’s constitution. The committee chaired by Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai will present its report to the public today. Confirming the submission of the report today, APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said yesterday that the public presentation is part of the process that will lead to its validation by other organs of the APC before the party’s final position would be announced. On the scrapping of local government from the constitution, the committee report obtained by LEADERSHIP noted: “ In conformity with conventional principles of federalism, LGAs should be no more than administrative units and in line with empirical findings during consultations, the committee recommends that the LGA should be removed from the federal constitution and states be allowed to develop a local administrative system that is relevant and peculiar to each respective states”. The special panel also endorsed the establishment of state police, including a recommendation that the Petroleum and Land Use Acts be amended to allow all the states to control their mineral resources, except as it affects offshore oil. While submitting the committee report to the National Working Committee (NWC) at the APC secretariat last Thursday, Governor el-rufai had hammered on the subject, saying the committee was surprised at the outcome of the submissions it received on the matter. He said, “Local government autonomy is a very interesting subject in which we were surprised at the outcome. There were divergent opinions on this issue. We recommend that the current system of local government administration provided for by the constitution should be amended and that states should be allowed to develop and enact laws to have local government administration system that is peculiar to each of them. “What we heard from Nigerians is that as far as local government is concerned, there is no one size fits for all. We all come from different histories, different cultures, different administrative systems and we believe that the constitution should ensure that there is a democratic local government system in every state. But considering the details of and the nature of that local government system, the number of local governments should be left to the states and state houses of assembly. “We proposed amendments to Sections 7, 8, 162, the first schedule, part one and the first schedule of the constitution to give effect to our recommendations. The section that lists the local governments and their Headquarters should be removed so that local governments are no longer named in the constitution. “States can create their local governments and determine the structure of their local governments. We are by this, recognizing that in a federal system, you cannot have more than two tiers of government. Having three tiers of government is an aberration. There is nowhere in the world where our research has shown us that you have more than two federating units.” On resources control, the committee in the report noted the “the growing agitations for states to exercise control over natural resources within their respective territories and pay taxes or royalties therefrom to the Federal Government”. el-Rufai argued during his presentation that, while there will be amendment to legislations governing this, the “Petroleum Act will be amended to show that states can now issue oil mining licences; the Land Use Act, Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, the Petroleum Profit Tax Act 2007 would all need to be amended. “So, we have proposed amendment that will ensure that minerals, mining and oil are vested in the states except offshore minerals”, he added. The APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, promised that the report will be considered and decided upon by mid-February by the various organs of the party. Oyegun said: “I am going to promise that before the middle of February, it would have been considered and decided upon by the major structures of this party, the NEC and the Caucus of the party. And whatever is thereafter agreed will be presented to the authorities as the considered views and decisions of the APC for appropriate implementation”.

-Culled from Leadership

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POLITICS

Kogi East Senate: APC, Echocho enlist thugs to harass electorates during election

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Fresh information at our disposals has revealed that the Kogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its senatorial candidate for Kogi East district in the 2019 general elections, Alh. Jibrin Isah Echocho have enlisted thugs to disrupt the forthcoming senatorial election in the zone, this newspaper gathered.

According to sources, the APC has perfected a grand plan to engage the services of thugs to harass electorates that are not committed to the party thereby forcing its candidate on the people.

We were further informed that the APC and Echocho planned to cause commotion if things don’t go their way.

Sources further disclosed that the party has enmarked over N100 million to implement the plans.

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NEWS

Amosun, Ogun APC faction set to decamp

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Indications emerged on Wednesday that Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and the entire All Progressives Congress structure in the state may decamp from the party on Thursday (today).

Elders of the party at a meeting on Wednesday evening in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, resolved that the controversy on the gubernatorial ticket should be put behind them as they prepare for the 2019 elections.

The resolution was arrived at after Governor Amosun had reportedly briefed the elders on all attempts made to validate the election of Hon. Abiodun Akinlade in the gubernatorial primaries in the state penultimate week.
The primaries ran into troubled waters when the State Chairman of the party announced the election of Akinlade, while the Chairman of the National Working Committee on the gubernatorial primary announced Prince Dapo Abiodun as winner of the election.

The conflict remained unresolved and the Presidency directed primaries into state and federal legislative houses to establish the truth about conflicting claims of strength between the group led by Vice President Yemi Osibajo, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Dapo Abiodun on the one hand and Governor Amosun on the other.

The Amosun group claimed to have won all available seats, including three Senate, nine House of Representatives and 26 House of Assembly seats, leaving no seat for the Osinbajo/ Osoba group.

The son of Osoba, Olumide, who contested the House of Representatives ticket for Abeokuta Federal Constituency, was said to have been defeated by Hon. Muiz Kazeem by 23,000 votes to 4,050 votes.

However, the result, which was announced by the NWC committee in Abeokuta did not resolve the crisis.
The Osinbajo/Osoba group, which though accepted the result, consented to Akinlade as gubernatorial candidate but on the condition that they were given two out of the three senatorial tickets, four out of the nine House of Representatives tickets and 13 out of the 26 House of Assembly tickets.

The Amosun group rejected the request, insisting on the party respecting the outcome of the primary elections.
“It is clear that a candidate who lost all senatorial, representatives and Assembly seats could not have won the gubernatorial ticket. The party should do the right thing or else we leave,” a party official who pleaded anonymity said.

He explained that the party leaders had given up on the national leadership of the party but it was Governor Amosun who insisted on pursuing their aspirations on the platform of the APC because of his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The source added: “He told us that the President had instructed (the National Chairman of the APC, Adams) Oshiomole to announce the authentic result of the gubernatorial primaries, but he refused.
“If the President cannot enforce his orders, then he has lost control of his government and it is a waste of time defending him at the expense of our own future.
“If he refuses to accept our request, we will leave the governor alone with his friend.”

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POLITICS

Delta South Senate: I’ll sponsor bills to legalise local refineries – Uduaghan

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Senatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta South Senatorial District, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has promised to work towards the enactment of a law legalising local refineries, if elected.

The former governor of Delta State said this Wednesday on his verified Facebook page. In his words: “About 6,000 illegal refineries operational in the country, were reportedly destroyed by the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in 2015.

“Some of these refineries were actually glorified rickety science projects. There is likelihood that there will be a good number of well set up refineries among them.

“The illegal refinery industry has been around for years and has grown. Can a country that is struggling to operate its four legal refineries afford to destroy illegal refineries?

“The poorly set up makeshift contraptions are dangerous and should be done away with, but the youths should be engaged in proper refineries.

“This is the origin of the call for the upgrade of the so-called illegal refineries, and if possible, they should be licensed.

“The illegal refineries that are being destroyed offer a lot of employment to the youths.

“Is the government not simply shortchanging the country with the sustained posturing and grandstanding of describing the local refineries in the Niger Delta as illegal and criminalizing their operations?’’ the former governor disclosed.

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