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30 June 2020

APC interim panel to visit Tinubu, begs members to withdraw suits

The Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress Caretaker Committee and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee will before the end of this week visit the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, It was learnt.

It was gathered that this was part of the decisions taken during the inaugural meeting of the committee held at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, on Monday. The meeting, which started at 1.02pm ended at 3.16pm.

It was learnt that the visit, which had been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, was meant to reassure the APC national leader that the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee was not targeted at him.

The APC National Executive Committee had, at its meeting attended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday sacked the party’s NWC loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose suspension was upheld by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on June 16.

Following Oshiomhole’s suspension on June 16, the APC was divided into two factions with one led by its suspended Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, and the other consisting of 18 NWC members, who were loyal to the national chairman.

Many analysts had interpreted Buhari’s support for Giadom and the sack of the NWC loyal to Oshiomhole, as the President’s deft move against Tinubu ahead of the 2023 presidential poll.

But the Presidency, in a statement on Saturday dismissed reports that Buhari and Tinubu had fallen apart following the dissolution of the NWC.

Also, Tinubu, in a statement on Saturday, supported the dissolution of the NWC at the instance of the President during the NEC meeting. Buhari, Tinubu said, acted like a true father to save the party from disintegration.

An APC chieftain, who confided in our correspondent, said at their meeting on Monday, the party caretaker committee members agreed to visit Tinubu to seek his support.

The source said, “It was agreed that the committee should go and meet our national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, to pacify and assure him that the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of our great party was not targeted at him. He is one of our most revered leaders. We recognise and appreciate his enormous contributions to this party. We plan to visit him tomorrow (Tuesday). If the visit does not take place tomorrow, it will take place before the end of the week.”

It was also gathered that the committee decided to focus on reconciling aggrieved members, the formation of a campaign council for the Edo governorship election and preparations towards peaceful conduct of the primary for Ondo State.

Earlier, the Head of the APC Legal Department, Dare Oketade, administered oaths of office and allegiance to members of the committee.

The APC caretaker chairman, in his inaugural address after members of the committee were inaugurated, assured party members that the committee would work on short and long term strategies to reposition the party.

Buni, who is also the Yobe State Governor, said since its formation six years ago, Nigerians were attracted to the APC largely due to its sincerity of purpose, principles and unblemished integrity of its founding fathers.

He said the least Nigerians deserved from the ruling party they massively believed in and voted for was good governance as exemplified in the provision of dividends of democracy.

The Yobe State governor also explained that internal disagreements were normal especially in all political parties noting that the APC was not an exception.

He said, “It is time for this committee therefore to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the party at all levels. It is our belief that the decision by NEC to constitute this committee will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our great party.”

“Changes are inevitable and disagreements on issues and concepts are an integral part of human and institutional relationships. As a political party built on strong ideology and, parading men and women of enduring principle and integrity, we must prepare for real and anticipated changes and their consequences. The outcomes of changes that evolve in our party politics must be decided by us.”

The chairman appealed to all party members to heed the appeal by the President to aggrieved members, who had cases in courts. He urged them to withdraw the cases in the interest of the party.

Police discover Lagos well where residents siphon, sell petroleum products

Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, have discovered two wells, at Ejigbo area of Lagos State, which they said is being used in siphoning and selling petroleum products from a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Police sources disclosed to newsmen, that two suspects, identified as Vitoria Ogunsomi and Shafe Abayomi, who are believed to be owners of the wells located in No. 4 and 2, Surprise Avenue Ejibgo, Lagos, were arrested when operatives of the IRT headed by deputy Commissioner of Police got wind of their activities.

It was gathered that a team of operatives discovered that Ogunsomi and Abayomi dug 75-foot wells in their compound, which is located few meters away from the NNPC pipeline, and they connected pipes with submissive pumping machines into the well linking with the pipeline.

Sources explained that whenever the NNPC is transporting its products along the pipeline, Ogunsomi and Abayomi, whose buildings are located side by side, will put on their pumping machines and siphon the products into jerry cans and tanker trucks.It was learned that the suspects who were alleged to have made millions of naira from the business, ran into trouble when IRT operatives got wind of their activities through some residents of the area who were scared of their activities as it could lead to massive fire outbreak that could have a devastating effect in the area.

The source said; “we got calls from a concerned resident in the area who alerted us about the activities of Mrs Victoria and Mr Abayomi who are residents of Surprise Avenue, and alleged that residents have been siphoning petroleum products from NNPC pipeline located close to their area. “The source told us that these people have wells which have underground pipes connected to the NNPC pipeline within area. “The source told us that whenever the NNPC is transporting its products along that pipeline, their products usually surge into those wells and they are swiftly pumped into tanker trucks by owners of the wells.

“The source told us that the big trucks normally come by night to carry the products. When we acted on the information, we stormed the buildings and found the wells with pipes and pumps in it and the stench of fuel was everywhere. “At Mrs Victoria’s apartment we found jerry cans filled with petroleum products, but Mr. Abayomi smartly dismantled the pipes and pumping machine in his own well before we arrived in his own compound. “But we are currently working on tracing and apprehending people who have been buying these stolen products from them.

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