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Akpabio, first Senate President from South in 16 years, risks Enwerem, Okadigbo treatment

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Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President, who is the first Southerner to hold this position in 16 years, is currently facing a challenging battle to retain his seat. This opposition is emerging from both within and outside the ruling party.

Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa-Ibom State, is encountering resistance to his leadership style in the upper chamber, which many Nigerians now view as a “retirement home” for former governors. Notably, many of the lawmakers openly opposing him belong to the ruling party, APC.

Senator Ali Ndume, who previously coordinated Akpabio’s campaign, is engaged in an ongoing conflict with him. Elisha Abbo also spearheaded the anti-Akpabio movement until his removal from the House. Ndume has openly challenged Akpabio on two occasions, and their recent encounter led to Ndume walking out of the Chamber, although he later claimed he left to pray at the Mosque. However, Ndume is not widely perceived as a formidable adversary due to his history of opposing multiple Senate Presidents without a track record of success.

In 2015, he supported Bukola Saraki but was later unceremoniously removed as the Leader of the Senate after challenging the former Kwara State Governor. Abbo was also removed from the Senate following a court ruling.

Nevertheless, Akpabio’s challenges are not over. It’s worth noting that he did not secure an overwhelming victory in his Senate President election, with 63 votes to Abdulaziz Yari’s 46 votes. Insiders in the Senate have indicated that some senators see Yari as a viable alternative in the face of growing opposition against Akpabio.

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The difficulty faced by Southern Senate Presidents may be related to the Senate’s composition. The South has 51 Senators, while the North has 58 Senators, and the majority of Southern Senators belong to opposition parties. Akpabio must exercise caution in managing Senators, many of whom are former Governors themselves.

The distribution of appointments by President Tinubu has not been favorable to Akpabio, as many Northern Senators have expressed dissatisfaction with what they perceive as the dominance of Yoruba appointments in the government. Akpabio has supported these appointments, which has further irked Northern Senators. However, many Senators are hesitant to go against President Tinubu due to their desire for better funding of the National Assembly, particularly with the upcoming 2024 budget presentation.

President Tinubu previously allocated N70 billion to lawmakers at the beginning of this Assembly, and for the first time, all National Assembly members will receive SUVs instead of the usual Toyota Camry. This has made Senators cautious about offending the President.

For now, Akpabio enjoys the support of the President and key figures like Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, Opeyemi Bamidele, and Solomon Olamilekan who are there to protect him.

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Gunmen Kill 6 Famers In Kaduna Village

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The Numana Community Development Organisation (NCDO) has expressed sorrow over the recent unprovoked attack and killing of innocent and unarmed farmers in Ambe village, Sanga local government area of Kaduna State, by gunmen.

During the tragic incident, six people were killed, and many others were injured and are currently receiving medical treatment in various hospitals.

In a statement to journalists in Abuja, NCDO President Comrade Ahmed Gani remarked, “It is alarming that kidnappings in our communities have surged recently, with reports of one or two persons being kidnapped every week.”

He further highlighted the worsening situation, stating that herdsmen have occupied ancestral lands, transforming these areas into hotspots for frequent kidnappings of innocent farmers. Some affected villages include Dangwa Ungwan Kafinta, Ninte, and Dangwa Ungwa Manzo.

Gani recounted a series of attacks in Sanga local government area: two people were killed at Lambari village on March 2, 2023; one person at Unguwar Madaki Arak on May 5, 2023; one at Gani Sarki on August 19, 2023; and five at Unguwar Ganye on February 8, 2024.

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“These persistent attacks on our peaceful communities have become intolerable, especially now with the onset of the rainy season,” he stated.

Farmers are now afraid to go to their farms due to the escalating attacks, which will likely have a negative impact on the local economy in the coming months, Gani warned.

While acknowledging the efforts of the Kaduna State Government under Governor Senator Uba Sani to address insecurity, Gani urged for increased protection, especially in Sanga and Jema’a local government areas.

He called on the Kaduna state government to deploy more security forces to rural communities to protect residents and restore their confidence so they can farm without fear of attack. Gani also urged the state government to support those injured in the recent Ambe village attack who are currently undergoing medical treatment.

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BREAKING: Helicopter Carrying Iranian President Raisi Crashes In Azerbaijan

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A helicopter in a convoy transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to the Qiz-Qalasi Dam in East Azerbaijan province reportedly crashed on Sunday.

Details of the crash and information about other passengers were unclear at the time of reporting, but rescuers were attempting to reach the crash site, according to state television.

The country’s finance minister, Amir Abdollahian, was also reportedly in the helicopter with the president. Reports indicated that two of the three helicopters in the convoy safely reached their destination.

Iran operates a variety of helicopters but faces challenges in obtaining parts due to international sanctions. Much of Iran’s military air fleet dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The 63-year-old Raisi is a hard-line former head of Iran’s judiciary and is considered a disciple of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some analysts believe he could succeed the 85-year-old Khamenei upon his death or resignation.

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More details to follow…

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We will not tolerate breach of contractual agreement – Gov Namadi warns contractors

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Jigawa State governor, Malam Umar Namadi has said his administration would not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.

The Governor stated this while inspecting some ongoing projects across the state.

The inspected projects were mostly rehabilitation and reconstruction of the roads and bridges damaged by flooding in the last two years.

Speaking to various contractors, Governor Namadi expressed satisfaction on the quality of the projects and urged them to speed up the work for a timely completion.

According to him, “we are ready to continue patronizing any company that demonstrates seriousness and sincerely in handling his work.

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“We will not delay your payment as soon as you complete the work and at the same time we will not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.”

He noted that the state government had taken measures towards reconstruction of facilities damaged by flood last year.

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