Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are to meet with members of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) over their grievances to prevent mass defection.
The Nation reports that the meeting slated for Monday, May 21, followed a one-week deadline given by the nPDP to the APC leadership over alleged marginalisation of its members by the APC-led federal government.
The newspaper reported that a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) who spoke in confidence said the outcome of the meeting will be presented to the presidency and other organs of the party for consideration.
It stated that among those suspected to be planning their exit are Senate president Bukola Saraki and House speaker Yakubu Dogara.
This Day reports that Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the former national chairman of nPDP said the APC had slated a meeting with the group for 2pm today, May 21.
“The last time we met here (Baraje’s residence) in 2016, I told you that the way the party was going, we were on the road to perdition,” he said.
“If you look at the letter we wrote, we never said we gave an ultimatum to leave the party, but we advised them; we hinted the party because of the ongoing primaries of the party.
“Now that the party invited us, exactly on the seventh day after being in receipt the letter, they wanted us to meet that same day. But because we were speaking for several leaders across the country, we told them we couldn’t meet that same day. So, now they have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow (Monday) anytime from 2 p.m.”
Meanwhile, the Taraba state government and Middle Belt organisations have faulted a report of a panel set by the Nigerian Army to investigate the allegation levelled against soldiers by a former minister of defence, Lt Gen Danjuma (retd.), the Punch reports.
Danjuma had accused the Nigerian Army of not being neutral in the killings allegedly being perpetrated by armed Fulani herdsmen. He also advised Nigerians to defend themselves against attacks.
In response, the army set-up a 10-man army panel which dismissed Danjuma’s claims and asked the elder statesman to take caution.
But the Taraba state government has rejected the report in its entirety.
The senior special assistant to the governor of Taraba state on media and publicity, Bala Dan-Abu, stated that what the army did was simply to take the position of a judge in its own case.
He said: “The allegations were made against the army and what we expected them to do was to set up an independent panel to investigate the allegations and not to assemble their men to give them justice in their own case.
“The armed forces should set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations if they must be taken seriously.
“The allegation that the army is colluding with the armed herdsmen to kill Nigerians was not only made by retired Lt.Gen. T.Y. Danjuma and the Taraba State Government, but the Amnesty International too accused the Army of complicity in the killings, so they cannot deny that.”
To business news, the Guardian reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has lost over N546 billion due to the failure by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to reform the oil and gas sector.
The newspaper stated that trend does not only represent the loss of potential revenue for government but also constitutes a major challenge for the 2018 budget expectations and implementation.
In addition to absence of reform, industry experts said NNPC’s self-regulatory and above-the-law modes were partly to blame. They also expressed concern over the leadership tussle between the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the NNPC group managing director (GMD), Maikanti Baru.
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Still on business news, Vanguard reports that Nigeria’s foreign exchange market has come under pressure following the upsurge in demand for dollars.
Financial market dealers attributed the demand pressures to portfolio rebalancing by foreign investors away from emerging markets, dividend repatriations as well as response to declining yield on government securities in Nigeria.
APC official tells why his party could be voted out in 2019 on Naij.com TV