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“New photos hung on West Wing walls today include Kim Jong-un,” tweeted Jennifer Jacobs, a senior White House reporter for Bloomberg News, posting an image of the new photographs.
The photographs show Mr Trump inspecting the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates North Korea and South Korea; one of his stepping inside North Korea with Kim Jong-un, and one attending events to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.
The fourth image shows Mr Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, alongside the Queen and Prince Charles, standing erect and clapping.
Ms Jacobs’ tweet suggested the photographs mounted on the White House wall contained no captions.
It is known, however, how the president feels about many of the individuals he is photographed alongside. While he recently attacked British prime minister and her approach to Brexit, he did offer praise for the head of state.
“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new prime minister,” he tweeted earlier this month, amid controversy over leaked diplomatic cables.
“While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent state visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with.”
People have also noted the president has often gushed over the North Korean leader, referring to “beautiful letters” he has received from Pyongyang.
When he took 20 steps inside North Korea last month, becoming the first siting US president to do so, he asked Mr Kim: “Would you like me to step across? I am OK with it.”
Mr Kim replied: “I never expected to meet you at this place.”
The House of Representatives has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Odebunmi Dokun (APC-Oyo) at plenary on Tuesday.
Earlier, Dokun recalled that Buhari, at the extra-ordinary session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Governments in Niamey, Niger Republic, signed the AFCFTA on behalf of the counrty.
He said Buhari, while signing the agreement, stated that the Nigerian government would seek to include terms that would engender the development of policies that would promote African production.
The legislator said that the President deserve commendation for signing the agreement which is of great significant for the country.
He said Buhari had taken steps to place Nigeria in the right place in the continent through the signing of the pact.
Dokun said Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, should in line with the agreement, define various ways to optimise benefits accruable from the pact.
He said the country must ensure that its exports to other African markets surpassed its imports in order to have positive effects on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to him, if that is not done, the nation could be turned into a dumping ground for products from other African countries.
Dokun said that failure to do so would result in a development that would be adverse to the nation’s macroeconomic objectives.
Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akwa Ibom) said that to take the advantage of the African market, Nigeria must put some infrastructure in place.
He said that the Federal Government must invest in infrastructure such as power, rail among others as well as provide support for industries.
The house urged the federal government to set machinery in motion to ensure that Nigeria optimise the expected benefits from the agreement.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committees on Special Duties and Commerce (when constituted) to ensure implementation.
The second-quarter financial numbers that campaigns filed on Monday represent a clarifying moment for the state of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The contest remains wide open and volatile, and there are still technically two-dozen candidates. But the figures portray a field that feels more like it is shrinking than sprawling, separating the campaigns with cash and momentum from those that are searching for a breakthrough or lagging at the back of the pack.
Most of the contenders outside the top five burned through more campaign cash than they raised. That is, in part, because of the party-imposed donor requirements for the fall debates — including a threshold of 130,000 individual donors — which have spurred ever-increasing spending on digital ads, as candidates desperately pursue new donors, $1 at a time.
The filings told the story of big donors and small donors, alike. Mr. Biden, for instance, raised roughly one-third of his $22 million from those who gave in $2,800 increments — the maximum amount for the primary. Mr. Biden had more than 2,700 such donors.
Mr. Sanders, who relies almost entirely on small online contributions, had two-dozen such donors.
The reports also reveal the remarkable degree to which money has tracked with polling. Those at the top of one list have tended to line up with the other.
Here is some of what we learned from the tens of millions of dollars raised and spent by the 2020 contenders:
Pete Buttigieg is here to stay
The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., is an unlikely fund-raising leader, but there he was atop the field, ahead of a former vice president and 2016 Democratic runner-up. But the $24.9 million that Mr. Buttigieg collected — nearly $11 million of which came from small donors who gave less than $200 — firmly established his financial staying power in the race. He also has $22 million in cash-on-hand, second only to Mr. Sanders, and he only trails him because of the surplus millions from past races that the Vermont senator was able to transfer to his presidential campaign.
In a sign of Mr. Buttigieg’s cultural appeal, his largest single expenditure was a payment of nearly $1.3 million to the company that manages his online merchandise store, filling orders for “Pete” and “Boot Edge Edge” wares. For a sense of scale, that figure rivals what President Trump spent on “Make America Great Again” hats and other apparel in the last quarter.
While Mr. Buttigieg has found a following among small donors, his big-money operation is perhaps even more impressive. He had nearly 1,500 donors contribute $2,800, the maximum donation for the primary or more. (Mr. Buttigieg, unlike some rivals, is also collecting general election money he can’t spend in the primary.) He raised $4.8 million from such so-called max out donors.
His financial firepower is a point of pride. When the Democratic strategist David Axelrod pointed out in a recent interview with Mr. Buttigieg that Ms. Warren had raised “almost as much as you,” Mr. Buttigieg jumped in.
“Not quite,” he said.
Elizabeth Warren racked up small digital donors
Ms. Warren made one of the biggest gambles of the race in February when she swore off holding high-dollar fund-raisers. It paid dividends this spring as she tripled her haul from small contributors to $19.2 million. Ms. Warren has adopted a strategy of spending heavily — her campaign spent nearly 90 percent of what it raised in the first quarter, and then doubled its spending to more than $10 million in the second quarter. She now has more than 300 people on payroll, which gives an organizational advantage but also means her fund-raising must keep pace lest she be forced into future cutbacks.
Ms. Warren now has $19.8 million cash on hand.
Mr. Sanders remains one of the 2020 race’s top fund-raisers even without a signature moment in the last three months. But the fact that Ms. Warren surpassed him — he collected $18 million — is a potential cause for concern.
Perhaps even more notable is that the 2020 Sanders campaign was out-raised by the 2016 Sanders campaign in its first two quarters. Then, he was a scrappy underdog foil to Hillary Clinton; now he has tried to position himself as a front-running alternative to Mr. Biden while holding Ms. Warren at bay.
Biden has built a balanced fund-raising operation
Yes, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have taken Mr. Biden to task for his reliance on large contributors. Yes, Mr. Biden has traveled the country for events at the homes of top trial lawyers and business leaders. Yes, about $470,000 of Mr. Biden’s donations came from donors who listed their occupation as “CEO,” his filing shows.
And yes, Mr. Biden raised more from donors who gave more than $200 — $13.6 million — than anyone besides Mr. Buttigieg. Much of that came from $2,800 donations.
But the former vice president played the small-donor game well, too. He collected $8.31 million from donors who gave less than $200, counting 256,000 contributors. Having hundreds of thousands of small-dollar supporters did not shield Mrs. Clinton from Mr. Sanders’s searing attacks on the elite money that was pouring into her campaign in 2016, and it will not shield Mr. Biden either. But it certainly does not hurt his financial standing.
On the spending side, Mr. Biden has quickly constructed a large campaign, with a payroll of about 185 people. He spent about half of what he raised, ending with $10.8 million in the bank.
The debates are really important (just ask Kamala Harris and Julián Castro)
If the quarter had ended a week earlier, Ms. Harris’s fund-raising haul might have landed closer to the rest of the pack than to the four money leaders who raised at least $18 million. As it is, her $11.8 million put her in a unique place — $7 million-plus ahead of Senator Cory Booker yet $6 million behind Mr. Sanders.
But her campaign said she raised $3.2 million of her funds online in the days after the debate, when she distinguished herself with a riveting exchange over race with Mr. Biden. And records show she also received a jolt of larger contributors: in those same four days she took in about $950,000 in donations of $1,000 or more.
Translation: Without her breakout debate performance, Ms. Harris could well have been mired in the single digit club.
Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, also got a boost from the debates. His campaign said he raised $1.7 million in the first 85 or so days of the quarter and then $1.1 million following the debate. That surge allowed him to actually bank some money and avoid spending more than he raised. It also lifted him to the 130,000-donor threshold to qualify for the September debate (he now must also still meet the polling requirement).
The financial impact the first debates had on the Harris and Castro campaigns will only heighten the stakes of the next ones, which will be held in Detroit later this month.
Beto O’Rourke’s money struggles are serious
The whispers had been that Mr. O’Rourke’s number would be bad. The whispers understated his underperformance.
After bursting into the race by raising $6.1 million in his first 24 hours, Mr. O’Rourke sagged to only $3.6 million in the last three months — eighth place. He also spent $5.3 million — $1.42 for every $1 he raised.
While Mr. Buttigieg was hawking a steady stream of merchandise throughout the quarter, the demand to have “Beto” emblazoned on shirts, hats and mugs appears to have dissipated. His campaign last made a payment to Bumperactive, which runs his online store, on April 9.
In an interview on Monday evening, his campaign manager, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, made the case that Mr. O’Rourke had been hobbled by a “skeleton staff” that wasn’t equipped to capture the “energy” of those early days. She used the word “capacity” more than once.
“People look at Beto and they think, ‘Oh he raised $80 million in the Senate race,’ and they imagine that that happened overnight,” she said. Most of the money, she pointed out, came at the very end. “There is a very long way between now and the end of the campaign.”
The trouble for Mr. O’Rourke is that bad money quarters can beget worse money quarters. Poor polling — Mr. O’Rourke scored 0 percent in a New Hampshire survey on Monday — can exacerbate matters. His campaign is increasingly focused on Iowa, where it just announced it was expanding operations.
“It’s a bad bet to count him out,” Ms. Dillon said.
A fire outbreak has occurred at the accounting department of Bayero University Kano (BUK).
The department is located at the university’s new site in Kano.
The fire is said to have damaged valuable materials in the department.
A witness said firefighters were in the school trying to put out out the fire and prevent it from spreading to other departments.
BUK is a federal government-owned university located in Kano. It is one of about three dozen universities owned by the federal governemnt across Nigeria.
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24-year-old comedian, Iyanuloluwa Adejumobi, on Tuesday, appeared before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly raping a woman.
However, when the case was mentioned, Magistrate B.O Osunsanmi did not take the plea of Adejumobi, 26, who lives at Abesan Estate, Lagos, NAN reports.
Following the defendant’s claim of being in court because of an ”amorous relationship gone sour with the complainant”, Osunsanmi admitted the comedian to bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate ordered that one of the sureties must own landed property in Lagos and that both must be gainfully employed and must show evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She directed the police to forward the case file to the office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions for advice and subsequently adjourned the case until Aug. 25 for mention.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, ASP Ezekiel Ayorinde told the court that the defendant committed the offence on July 3 at his residence.
He said that the defendant allegedly lured the woman into his room on the pretext that his father had seen a vision regarding her and wished to see her.
The prosecutor alleged that the defendant beat up the complainant and raped her.
He said the case was reported at the police station and the comedian was arrested.
The offence, the prosecutor said, contravened the provisions of Section 260 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, which prescribes life imprisonment for rape.
A couple photographed kissing next to a lion they have just killed while on safari has caused outrage.
Darren and Carolyn Carter, from Edmonton in Canada, posed for the camera minutes after shooting dead the animal while trophy hunting in South Africa.
“Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun,” they wrote underneath the picture posted online. “A monster lion.”
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Another image shows the couple in front of a second dead big cat. “There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle,” the photo is captioned.
But the pictures were widely condemned after being placed on the website of Legelela Safaris – a tour company which specialises in organising big game hunts.
Eduardo Goncalves, the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie.
“This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras.”
Australian TV host Danny Clayton said: “More idiots that get their rocks off by pointing a boomstick at a beautiful animal.”
But the couple have refused to be drawn on the photos. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Mr Carter, who runs a taxidermy business with his wife, said: “We aren’t interested in commenting…it’s too political.”
Legelela Safaris charges up to £2,400 for tours which include giraffe, zebra, leopard, elephant, rhino and lion hunts.
Philippe Coutinho ha dado su visto bueno a un posible regreso a Liverpool. Actualmente, el brasileño no tiene hueco en las filas de Valverde. Su actuación en esta temporada y media no ha conseguido convencer a la afición del Camp Nou ni al propio club. Puede que la losa de 145 millones de euros haya puesto mucha presión sobre él y no haya rendido como se esperaba.
Un año y medio después, según Calciomercato, el futbolista está cerca de volver a la entidad que lo ha pulido. La oferta que se plantea consta de una cesión de dos años con una opción de compra de 88 millones de libras para el Liverpool.
El mediocentro ofensivo está dispuesto a volver a Liverpool y guarda un cariño especial a este club, tal y como ha manifestado su agente Kia Joorabchi: “Creo que Liverpool está muy, muy profundamente en su corazón, fue un gran fanático de ellos durante la campaña, deseaba que ganaran el título y tiene una afinidad muy fuerte allí, así que creo que será muy difícil para él ir a un competidor directo del Liverpool desde un punto de vista personal”.
Con esto su representante confirma que el destino de Coutinho no estará vinculado a un rival directo de los reds. Además, Joorabchi admite el deseo del jugador.pero la afición no olvida el pasado. Un ejemplo de ello son las semifinales de Champions donde Coutinho fue abucheado en su vuelta a Anfield.
¡No te olvides de seguirnos también en nuestra cuenta de Instagram, 90min_es!
Nseobong Okon-Ekong, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and David-Chyddy Eleke write that the All Progressives Grand Alliance may have returned to the familiar terrain of being bogged down with a case of musical chairs
Typically, it has been a fool’s errand to attempt to write about the series of unending skirmishes and intermittent wars in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The domineering personality of the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who became the presidential candidate of the party at its formation in 2003 tamed real belligerent tendencies until his demise in November 2011. With the exit of one with such towering influence, all the contending forces in APGA unsheathed their daggers and charged at each other in an unceasing battle.
From the barrage of self-inflicted battering that it has suffered over the years, APGA has awfully come close to extinction, but it keeps bouncing back with an amazing resilience. Arguably, its only saving grace is the self-preservation instinct of a merry band of provocateurs who have mastered the craft of firing the ambition of ethnic jingoists. APGA’s theatre of the absurd is exclusively set in the South-east, where it holds Anambra State as its last-ditch effort at survival. Though, there is imminent possibility of APGA spreading its business to other states in the region, its biggest opportunity was lost when former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi kicked the party in the butt and sort to snuff life out of it by joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) immediately he left office of governor. Instead of joining forces to strengthen the arm of APGA, he became presidential campaign director in the region for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Frequently advertised as the Third Force in Nigeria’s seeming two-party reality, APGA has itself to blame for upstaging its own effort to spin the vaunted position — by promoting actions that almost certainly end in a fiasco. For almost one decade, APGA leadership has been bogged down with a case of musical chairs. While the public and the media are trying to become familiar with the story of an emerging APGA leadership, that particular episode comes to an unfortunate end; giving way to the beginning of another in the series.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a parallel NEC election in Owerri, Imo State and Awka, Anambra State. Chief Edozie Njoku, a founding member and former National Vice Chairman of the party also claims to have removed Chief Victor Oye from the saddle as National Chairman. While Njoku may not have yet caused maximum damage to APGA, but there is no denying the fact that he has created a crack that can be widened if he Oye stops short of embarking on a needful reconciliation.
The story of the evolution of political parties in Nigeria, especially in the Fourth Republic will definitely not be complete without a good mention of the formation and strides made by APGA. The party has no doubt been able to withstand the highly turbulent political atmosphere in the country. As a result of the turbulence, most of the political parties formed along with APGA have either had their names mutilated or their structure decimated. But APGA has survived a prolonged leadership tussle and maintained its political relevance.
The party was hit by serious leadership crisis shortly after 2003 general election when its pioneer national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, lost grip of the party to the then National Treasurer, Chief Victor Umeh. The resultant power tussle led APGA into one of the longest legal battles ever in the country’s political history. Though the party survived after Umeh won at the Supreme Court, it no doubt had its foundation shaken. Okorie and his supporters left the party. An embittered Okorie said his exit left only the carcass of APGA. But APGA has remained standing after nearly two decades of its existence. Instead of being dismembered or disappear from the political space on account of intra-party feud, the party has become toughened.
APGA’s unique philosophy is almost tied to its slogan – “Be Your Brothers’ and Sister’s Keeper” in the sense that the party seeks to project the bond of fraternity that exists among Nigerians. The party fielded a candidate for the presidential election in 2003 in the person of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. It only repeated the feat at the last general election when it fielded Gen. John Gbor (rtd.). In four years, the party under the chairmanship of Victor Oye, has recorded milestones by expanding its scope and winning more laurels.
For the first time, APGA won governorship election in a resounding manner, posting victory in all the local government areas in Anambra State. It also scored a first by winning the executive chairmanship of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT). Gwagwalada being the second highest populated Area Council in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), that victory signposted APGA as a party to watch in the coming elections. Another uniqueness recorded by the party in this season include a successful venture outside its traditional domain in the South-east, to win councillorship positions in the Niger State council election.
Again, the last general election has seen APGA winning more seats in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly elections. It also won the House of Representatives seat in Oturkpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency, Benue State.
APGA repeated the feat of winning most of the House of Representatives seats in Anambra State. On the whole, the party got 10 of its members in various states elected into the Green Chamber. Judging from the number of candidates fielded, the 2019 national elections is one in which APGA has been rewarded with its highest harvest of elected members across Nigeria.
Another positive outcome of the current APGA leadership led by Oye can be seen from the huge financial return it posted after the last general election. Recently, while speaking on the financial status of the party, Oye said APGA realised a total of N1.3 billion from the sale of forms during party primary and funds generated during the last general election. Out of this amount, he said the party spent about N360 million leaving a balance of N940 million. From all indications, the financial status of APGA is a very healthy one when compared along side other political parties of its size. To further show that APGA has come to stay, the party is said to be making arrangements to purchase an edifice in a strategic location in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which will serve as its national headquarters. This will make APGA the first political party in Nigeria to own a national office in Abuja.
An elated Oye who has been reelected for a second term said that “APGA for the first time is financially stable and can comfortably meet its financial and other related commitments.”
However, this seeming basket of achievements has been dismissed by the former national chairman of APGA and immediate past senator that represented Anambra Central Zone, Senator Victor Umeh. In a leaked e-mail to the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, Senator Umeh stated that he had been approached by some of the party’s governorship aspirants in Imo State, with evidence that the incumbent national chairman of the party, Oye was involved in some underhand dealing dealings with the promise to deliver to them the governorship ticket of the party, for the just concluded 2019 governorship election in the state.
The statement read in part, “I am constrained by circumstances to write this mail to you on the activities of Chief Victor Ike Oye which I have a responsibility to bring to your attention. For about two weeks now, I have been approached by some persons from Imo State with complaints of monetary extortion by Chief Victor Oye during the last primaries in Imo State with a request that I pass them to you, to direct Oye to return their monies to them over unkept (sic) transaction. I requested them to furnish me with details of the transactions. I shall forward to you their narratives and documents for your perusal.”
In the letter, Umeh listed Mr. Okey Ezeh, Mr. Stanley Amuchie, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Chief Humphrey Anumudu as some of those who were extorted by Oye. He went further to allege that the quartet have an axe to grind with Oye and another ranking member of the party, Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe who is now a member of the House of Representatives, representing Anambra East and West federal constituency.
Regrettably, Chief Oye told Mr. Eze that I, Chief Victor Umeh and Archbishop Valerian Okeke were responsible for his inability to honour their agreement. I will forward his written petition to EFCC and some of the bank transactions with Oye and also bring it to the attention of His Grace (Bishop Valerian Okeke).”
The leaked e-mail also showed that Mr. Amuchie a former Chief Operating Officer of Zenith Bank and an aspirant to the ticket of the party in Imo is also holding the duo accountable for failed promises regarding the primaries. Chief Ohakim, a former governor of Imo State is said to have a similar accusation, while Anumudu purported that Oye got a car gift from him, aside from other things which he said he was ready to forgo.
Umeh added that, “I see these as very serious moral issues. I consider these revelations as serious embarrassment to the party and a gross abuse of office by Chief Oye. One unfortunate thing was that they engaged these fellows by dropping your name as supporting their action. These were part of the reasons I told you on the 28th of April, 2019 that Oye is unfit to continue in office as National Chairman of APGA. I believe that it will be futile and damaging to APGA if you continue to support him.”
Meanwhile, the party has been polarized, with some members siding the national chairman, Oye, while others are of the view that his handling of the party, especially his conduct with reference to the governorship primary in Imo state was unacceptable.
Members of the national working committee (NWC) of the party have all aligned with Oye, condemning Umeh’s letter to Governor Obiano, but other stakeholders of the party are backing Umeh for revealing ills in the party, and attempt to cause crisis in the party by bringing the actions of the national chairman before Obiano who is the leader and chairman Board of Trustees of the party.
A statement by the party’s national publicity secretary, Tex Okechukwu after a an emergency meeting of the national working committee read in part, “The NWC condemns in its entirety the leaking of a purported email between Senator Victor Umeh and the Executive Governor of Anambra State as an act of gross indiscretion propelled by delusion.
“The phantom allegations in the email were excerpts from the same hoary fairytales which the NWC has since dismissed as frivolous. To the NWC, it is despicable and invidious that such allegations will continue to be peddled and re-peddled by third parties, instead of the complainants. The general public are urged to disregard the contents of the purported email as a last gasp orchestra of macabre dancers aimed at sabotaging APGA’s successful National Convention of May 31,2019.”
Big wig politicians in the party under the aegis of National Stakeholders Forum and the elected congress chairmen of APGA, rising from a meeting in Abuja stated, “Without fear or favour, Senator Victor Umeh’s letter the Gov. Willie Obiano, who doubles as National leader, and Chairman BoT, was very much in order, and in line with Articles 12(14)(a,b,c & h) of APGA constitution 2019 (as amended), in his capacity as a most senior BoT member, a statutory member as such, and a Senator of the FRN of Nigeria, whose oath of office is to defend the extant Laws of the FRN, which frowns at corrupt practices.”
The group also condemned Obiano for not acting on Umeh’s letter saying, “By not acting on this grave and gross allegation of this magnitude, the National leader ( Gov. Willie Obiano) failed in his capacity to fulfill the trust and enormous responsibility entrusted in Articles 10(1)(2)(3) & (4) of APGA constitution 2014(as amended). We resolve that the action of Senator Victor Umeh, OFR, was in order, and the ignominy attached to the weight of such gross allegation was in bad faith on the part of the National leader, Gov. Willie Obiano.”
While the fight continues between the two men, a source within the party who begged not to be named told THISDAY that Oye has already perfected plans to sack Umeh from the party. He said, “Oye has already reached out to other leaders of the party, and I am afraid that they may sack Umeh who has worked so very hard from the beginning to sustain the party. The only thing that can help Umeh is the court which he is a guru in, because Oye is a man who never relents when he sets out to achieve something, and he is ready to go miles.”
From all indications, the ball now lies squarely in the court of the Anambra State governor, Chief Obiano who is the leader of the party as his inability to call both men to a negotiating table may lead to the loss of the party in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, especially as the PDP is gearing up to take over from APGA in the state.
Before the last general election, the party was almost torn apart by leadership tussle which ended at the Supreme Court. Some stakeholders of the party led by its then National Vice Chairman, the late Ozo Nwabueze Okafor took Oye to court, challenging his position as the national chairman of APGA. Although Okafor, one of the key actors in the face-off later died another supposed member, Martin Agbaso, took up the case and pursued it relentlessly until it crashed at the Supreme Court on July 13, 2018. The apex court ruled in favour of Oye-led NWC.
The end of the legal tussle and its favourable outcome further strengthened the party and perhaps brought more stability which helped it to attract more prominent politicians to its fold. APGA got so many leading politicians, especially from Igbo extraction looking its way as a platform that held many promises in winning elections. This explained the rush for its ticket in the build-up to the 2019 general election. The party came alive with many politicians aspiring to run election on its platform.
This growing confidence in the party could explain why the contest for APGA tickets became very hot and almost cantankerous. The aspirants tried to put in everything they had into winning the primary, and in the end those that lost became highly agitated and disillusioned. Some were able to pick up courage and join other parties to contest on their tickets, while others that were aggrieved over alleged shortcomings in the primary preferred to pursue the legal option. Some of these aggrieved APGA aspirants alleged that they faced extortion during the party primary. They pointed accusing fingers at the Oye-led APGA national leadership. But Oye has since dismissed the allegation of extortion and complaints over the handling of party primary, insisting that all the aspirants were given a fair chance to contest for the party’s ticket under a transparent atmosphere. Oye further said that APGA’s primary was so transparently organised that those who lost were satisfied and could not go to court.
Nonetheless, there are some party stakeholders who are still bent on pushing for Oye’s exit as the national chairman. More so, they said they wanted the position of the national chairman of APGA to be rotated out of Anambra State where it has been in the last 14 years. This group saw it as an auspicious time to launch an attack to oust Oye when his first term in office expired early in June.
The drama started after Oye-led NWC had written the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to give it notice of the party’s national convention fixed for May 31, 2019.
The aggrieved members went to court to stop the convention from holding, but could not achieve that as it held in Awka, Anambra State capital. Oye was reelected for a new four-year tenure, including some members of the former NWC. Just the same way the APGA national convention was taking place in Anambra State, the rebellious group also staged what they claimed to be a parallel convention to elect officers. The Spokesman of the aggrieved group, Mr. Mic Adams addressed a press conference in Abuja rejecting the reelection of the Oye-led NWC. He also objected to the adoption of a new constitution by the party on the grounds that the National Convention that produced it excluded many stakeholders.
Adams said, “You cannot have a new constitution from a convention where the National Executive Committee meeting that approved it was stopped by a court order. What we are saying is that all decisions taken at that NEC is null and void. As far as we are concerned that constitution is a product of an illegal convention and stands rejected. If you look at the new constitution, you will see impunity. NEC has 16 functions, while the NWC has six functions but they swapped it. They took the entire 16 functions of NEC and gave it to the NWC, not minding that NWC is a standing committee of NEC. NWC is not the owner of the party. NEC owns the party and then the convention.”
From the tone of the statements by these aggrieved APGA members, it appears that they have the backing of the former national chairman and immediate past senator representing Anambra Central, Senator Victor Umeh. The group had quoted copiously from a confidential letter it said the former chairman wrote to the Anambra state governor, complaining of alleged misdeeds of the incumbent national chairman.
Nevertheless, it seems Adams’ group didn’t take cognizance of the fact that there was a judgement by an Ibadan High Court directing the party in unmistakable terms to conduct its national convention not later than June 5, 2019, which was expressly complied with.
But Oye who spoke at the presentation of the party’s new constitution to journalists in Abuja recently insisted that his accusers were merely seeking to take control of the party to position it 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.
He said the sponsors of the current crisis are actually seeking to control the politics of Anambra State as they are afraid their governorship ambition would not fly with him, in view of the announcement by the party that it had zoned the position to Anambra South. According to Oye, “They had wanted to remove the national executive and install a stooge as the new national chairman, someone they would continue to manipulate and control, someone who would just be a figurehead, while they stay by the side dictating to him.” Regarding the new constitution of APGA, Oye said the document was the product of a successful national convention of the party held on May 31, 2019 in Awka, the Anambra State capital. Oye described the dissenting views as that of opportunists. He said there was no distraction in his party, adding, “The party is calm and maintaining high level of tranquility.”
* APGA was formed in 2003 with Chief Chekwas Okorie as its first National Chairman and the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu as its presidential candidate
*For close to one decade, APGA has suffered from a barrage of self-inflicted battering, bringing it close to extinction, but it keeps bouncing back with an amazing resilience, albeit with a leadership bogged down with a case of musical chairs
*The influence of APGA is concentrated in the South-east, particularly in Anambra State
*APGA is frequently advertised as the Third Force in Nigeria’s seeming two-party reality
**The party was hit by serious leadership crisis shortly after 2003 general election when its pioneer national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, lost grip of the party to the then National Treasurer, Chief Victor Umeh. The resultant power tussle led APGA into one of the longest legal battles ever in the country’s political history
*Though the party survived after Umeh won at the Supreme Court, its foundation was shaken. Okorie and his supporters left the party
*APGA won governorship election in a resounding manner, posting victory in all the local government areas in Anambra State
*The party scored a first by winning the executive chairmanship of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT). Gwagwalada is the second highest populated Area Council in Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Another uniqueness recorded by the party in this season include a successful venture outside its traditional domain in the South-east, to win councillorship positions in the Niger State council election. Again, the last general election has seen APGA winning more seats in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly elections. It also won the House of Representatives seat in Oturkpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency, Benue State
*APGA repeated the feat of winning most of the House of Representatives seats in Anambra State. On the whole, the party got 10 of its members in various states elected into the Green Chamber. The 2019 national elections is one in which APGA has been rewarded with its highest harvest of elected members across Nigeria
*APGA realised a total of N1.3 billion from the sale of forms during party primary and funds generated during the last general election. The party spent about N360 million leaving a balance of N940 million
* Mr. Okey Ezeh, Mr. Stanley Amuchie, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Chief Humphrey Anumudu; 2019 governorship aspirants in Imo State on the platform of APGA have made grave allegations against Oye
* A couple of weeks ago, there was a parallel NEC election in Owerri, Imo State and Awka, Anambra State. Chief Edozie Njoku, a founding member and former National Vice Chairman of the party also claims to have removed Chief Victor Oye from the saddle as National Chairman