Aggrieved senators in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are planning for an upset if their president, Godswill Akpabio, fails to pacify them.
However, Akpabio’s camp has disclosed that the distribution of the principal offices and committees will address every grievance.
It was learnt that the aggrieved senators in the APC are recruiting opposition lawmakers mostly from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to work towards removing Akpabio as the Senate president.
It was gathered that the lawmakers are planning to ensure that Sen Abdulazeez Yari, who was defeated by Akpabio, bounces back because they believe that Yari will serve the interest of all.
The lawmakers, it was gathered, are already talking to their colleagues in the PDP, Labour Party, SDP, and others, waiting to see how Akpabio will take the office of the majority leader to the South instead of the North.
But sources have described this move as a tall dream adding that it is difficult to get the numbers to remove Akpabio.
The lawmakers in Akpabio’s camp said that once principal offices and committees are shared, the agitation will die down.
“The aggrieved lawmakers have a lot of work to do. To produce another president of the Senate, these aggrieved lawmakers will have to first remove Akpabio with at least 73 Senators (the two-thirds of 109). That is only possible if Akpabio did not give the North the office of the Senate leader,” a Senator said.
Another senator said, “There is no senator that is trying to leave the APC. The Senate has just been inaugurated and every senator wants to be carried along, especially those from the opposition. There is no APC senator that will want to defect now because there is great implication. But the lawmakers can still be in the APC and work against Akpabio.
“Some people are just planting stories that 22 Senators from the APC want to join the PDP. No senator will take that risk because before you remove the president of the Senate, you must have 73 senators. So, people raising that kind of alarm are just flying a kite.
“We don’t see that happening but if they sideline people who worked for Akpabio’s emergence, more than that number will join the opposition camp, not another political party, to get a new leadership.
“About 24 senators keyed into the Akpabio project because some influential lawmakers in the North were leading the campaign. If Akpabio did not ensure balancing in the Senate leadership especially the principal officers, these 24 lawmakers will now align with the 22 aggrieved APC senators. With about 46 senators in Yari’s campaign, Akpabio will not last in that seat because the Northern senators want the position of the Senate leader.
“We learned that Senator Opeyemi Bamidele is being positioned for the office of the Senate leader. If that is done, the Northern senators will not be happy with Akpabio and that will be the beginning of his problem.
“So, Akpabio must ensure that the Northern senators are pacified with the principal offices. So, the ball is in Akpabio’s court,” a senator from the North Central said.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers have raised an alarm over plans to destabilise the minority parties in the Senate.
According to the opposition lawmakers, there are plans to ensure that all the principal officers are loyal to the ruling party.
In a statement jointly signed by the leaders of the opposition lawmakers, they insisted on an independent Senate, and not one that is an appendix of the executive.
Those that signed the statement are: Mohammed Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi); Henry Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa); Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (PDP, Sokoto), Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi), Patrick Abba Moro (PDP, Benue), Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi; Sumaila Kawu, (NNPP, Kano) and Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah (YPP Anambra)
“It has come to the notice of the minority political parties in the Senate of an attempt by forces inside and outside the Senate to divide the minority parties and foist a pliant and compromised leadership on them.
“We have pledged to work constructively with the new Senate leadership and the Executive branch to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people. We consequently hereby advise and caution that they should not aid any group inside or outside the Senate to divide and destabilise the minority parties and the Senate institution.
“Senators of the minority parties would meet when the Senate reconvenes and, in consultation with our respective political parties, would select its leaders without undue interference from anti-democratic forces within or outside the Senate.”
They added that no senator had yet been endorsed or selected for any minority leadership position.
“Attempts to foist a one-party dictatorship would be resisted and would fail. We call on all members of the minority political parties to work together in unity to defend the democratic institution of the Senate and Nigeria,” the statement added.
Fulham 0-2 Chelsea: Mudryk, Broja strike to earn Blues their second league win of the season
Chelsea bagged two first-half goals to seal a crucial win over West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage and move up to 11th on the Premier League table.
The Blues flew out of the blocks as they debuted their new Infinite Athlete kit and created the first chance of the match after only 80 seconds, but Armando Broja could not capitalise.
Chelsea looked bright with Enzo Fernandez conducting affairs, and they picked the Cottagers apart.
Mykhailo Mudryk was looking electric and dangerous. The Ukrainian winger opened the scoring on 18 as he controlled a pass from Levi Colwill before slotting the ball beyond Bernd Leno.
It was Mudryk’s first Premier League goal following his £88 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. And within seconds, Chelsea had their second.
Tim Ream had a moment to forget as he gave the ball away to Cole Palmer. The young English playmaker then slipped Broja in, but Ream hit the ball off the Albanian striker as the ball trickled past Leno.
Fulham tried to find gaps behind Marc Cucurella and Axel Disasi on the right side of Chelsea’s defence, but it was not working. Chelsea controlled the game and held their two-goal going into the break.
In the second 45, Fulham came out with more attacking poise, and it helped that Mudryk went off with a knock, giving Fulham the impetus to come forward, but Chelsea’s defence stood resolute.
Vinicius and Alex Iwobi came on for Fulham and helped their side find spaces beyond Chelsea’s backline, but the Boys in Blue defended well and showed they were still dangerous.
Ian Maatsen, on for Mudryk, hit the post, and Leno had to be quick to smother Fernandez’s rebound effort. Fulham forced Chelsea to work for their lead, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked up to it.
Substitute Tom Cairney created a lovely chance for Sasa Lukic. However, Robert Sanchez stuck out a brilliant leg to save the effort and keep his side in it.
On 83, Willian tried an effort from outside the box, but it did not cause any problems for Sanchez as Chelsea ran out 2-0 victors
Tribunal verdict: Governor rejects judgement, calls for calm
Nasarawa State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule has rejected Monday’s judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered in Lafia.
While speaking to teeming supporters of the APC at the Government House, Lafia, Governor Sule says the judgement will be challenged at the appeal court.
He however call on the people of the state to remain calm and law abiding.
Engr. Sule promised to continue discharging his duties as the Executive Governor with more vigor.
Man Utd winger Anthony in contention for Galatasaray UEFA champions league clash
Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Antony could feature for Manchester United against Galatasaray after rejoining his ranks at Old Trafford.
The Brazil international forward was granted indefinite leave by the Red Devils following a series of alarming allegations made against him by former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin.
Antony has been back in his homeland since then, allowing him to meet with police forces in Sao Paulo.
He returned to England last week and has held five hours of talks with Greater Manchester Police.
The 23-year-old winger maintains his innocence – having also faced accusations from two other women.
United have allowed him to focus on off-field matters of late, but revealed ahead of a Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace that Antony had been given a green light to return to training and was once again available for selection.
He has only taken in one session since then, suggesting that he will be short on match fitness, but Ten Hag says the South American is in his thoughts ahead of the Champions League group stage meeting with Galatasaray on Tuesday.
The Dutch coach has said: “Antony will be in consideration but yesterday was his first time back in team training. We have a final training, then we’ll make a decision.”
Ten Hag added when delivering an update on Lisandro Martinez – with the World Cup-winning Argentine defender still struggling with a long-standing foot injury: “I can confirm, yeah. Licha Martinez will undergo surgery and the team news is Antony can probably return.”
Antony’s last appearance for United came in the club’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on September 3.
He was removed from the Brazil squad for the last round of international fixtures and has not registered a goal for club or country since April 16.
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