Mass defections turn Nigeria’s APC into minority party in Senate

first_imgNigeria’s ruling APC party splits in two Nigeria’s ruling party wins key state gubernatorial race Fifteen Nigerian senators quit the ruling All Progressives Congress party on Tuesday, making it a minority in parliament’s upper house and indicating worsening rifts in President Muhammadu Buhari’s political camp months ahead of an election.Fourteen of the 15 lawmakers went to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a letter read on the Senate floor stated. Another senator later left the ruling party while parliament was in session.The PDP, which was in power from the start of civilian rule in 1999 until Buhari took office in 2015, said in a tweet that 32 lawmakers in the lower house of parliament, the House of Representatives, had also defected from the APC.The defections may make it harder for Buhari to push through his legislative agenda for the remainder of his first term, and follows the disclosure by a faction of Buhari’s ruling APC party this month that it no longer backs his government.Deepening divisions threaten to split support for Buhari within powerful patronage networks and among voters ahead of a presidential poll scheduled for February 2019 that will decide who runs Africa’s top oil producer.An APC spokesman declined to comment on the defections.Relations between Buhari, lawmakers and some members of his own party have been strained for months with fissures emerging in public over the last few weeks, resulting in the APC split earlier this month and the latest defections.Lawmakers in June issued a series of demands to Buhari including a call for an end to the “systematic harassment and humiliation by the executive of perceived political opponents.”The president’s supporters have previously rejected the accusations leveled against the 75-year-old former military ruler. Buhari said in April that he would seek another term. His candidacy depends on party approval, though that is usually considered to be a formality for the incumbent.Nigeria’s main opposition parties earlier this month agreed to form an alliance to field a joint candidate to contest next year’s presidential election.Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice president who left the APC late last year, remains the most high profile figure to leave the party. Abubakar told Reuters in May that he hopes to be the PDP’s presidential candidate.Relatedcenter_img Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress party elects new leaderlast_img read more

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Beware the ‘kangaroo committee’ at City Hall

first_imgDear Editor,It is quite unmistakable that the folks at the Georgetown City Council are completely antipathetic to the principles of transparency, accountability, and decency.Here we are again, this time it has to do with the purported review of the parking meter contract by a ‘kangaroo committee’ that they have set up, which consists of councillors and officers of the very Georgetown Municipality. Alas! The assessment exercise is also cloaked in secrecy and mystery.Clearly, if they were serious about reviewing the shady parking meter contract, an independent committee would have been set up, and not with any member from the same Council that created the problem in the first place, as they could not be objective, in the first place.Unbelievably, just like the ‘Fantastic Four’ did in entering into this disgraceful parking meter contract in the first place, this committee has made the review process a top-secret, undercover operation.But are they reviewing the contract with and by themselves? What about all of the concerned stakeholders, such as ordinary citizens, business persons, taxi drivers and minibus operators? What about organisations such as Transparency International Guyana, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Private Sector Commission, the Movement against Parking Meters? What about the religious community? What about the schools? Will they be invited to be involved at the last minute, if at all?With more than two months elapsed of the three-month period given by the Minister for the Council to get it right, it is logical for persons to become concerned that the Council would try to foist the very same company — Smart City Solutions — on the citizenry, and ramrod this very contract with just a few minor adjustments down everyone’s throats. Beware!Sincerely,Amber Valentinelast_img read more

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