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C’River Assembly to enact severe anti-kidnap law

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Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem has disclosed that the House will soon enact a state law that will mete out severe punishment to kidnappers.

He spoke to the leadership of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, when they called on him to seek the Assembly’s support to rescue their colleague, Prof Ekanem Ephraim of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital who was kidnapped a week ago.

The armed abductors had pretended to be patients.

Expressing sadness over incessant cases of kidnappings in parts of the state, the Speaker said when the law comes into effect, whosoever is caught in the act of kidnapping in the state will pay heavily for it.

“I really feel very sad by the frequency of abductions. The recent case of Professor (Mrs) Ekanem Philip Ephraim of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital is very worrisome.

“I understand your pain and want to assure you that we will do everything possible to secure her immediate release from the kidnappers’ den. The State governor and the security operatives are working round the clock to bring her back safely,” he said.

The Speaker appealed to the NMA not to carry out their threat of withdrawing their professional services.

He assured of the safe release of the doctor of Neurology.

Speaking earlier, chairman of NMA, Dr Felix Archibong who led the NMA delegation on the visit, said the trauma the victim is going through was unspeakable.

He said there have been incessant kidnapping of their members and called on government and security agencies to end it.

He pleaded that Prof Ephraim should be released unhurt soon enough.

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We are overhauling our internal democracy against 2027 — Bauchi LP

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By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi

The Acting Chairman, Bauchi State chapter of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Mohammed Sabitu Aliyu has said that the party is poised at overhauling its internal democracy for a formidable outing in 2027.

Sabitu said this in Bauchi on Monday while addressing some supporters, support groups, aspirants who contested for various positions in the 2023 polls and other stakeholders of the party from across the local government areas of the state who gathered for Sallah/Easter get together organised at the party’s secretariat.

He said that, “We are working tirelessly not only to ensure that the Labour Party is united but to brighten its chances in future elections in Bauchi state and in the country in general. LP is a party with so much promise and that is the more reason we are assiduously working to bring everyone on board towards a successful outing come 2027.”

The LP chairman also enjoined all the aggrieved party stakeholders to think of the party above all other interests.

While explaining why he believed the Labour Party is more popular than other political parties in the country, he said the party’s popularity stems from the frustration of Nigerians with other political parties, including the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

According to him, “The future of the Labour Party is bright. Nigerians have tried PDP and APC and are now more aware, informed and more experienced, and they now know better that the only hope of the common man is the Labour Party.

“I’m assuring Nigerians,we know the problems, challenges and they have been identified, and the modalities and mechanisms are on ground to tackle them if given the opportunity to govern the country.”

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Ignore Ganduje’s purported suspension – Kano APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kano State chapter, has urged the public to ignore the purported suspension of the national chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.

The secretary of the party in the state, Alhaji Zakari Sarina, told the newsmen on Monday in Kano that the supposed suspension of Ganduje by any group of individuals was null and void.

He said the suspension, which was announced on Sunday by a faction of the party, came from non-members of the party.

“It is impracticable for non-members to slam a national officer with suspension without recourse to laid down procedures as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

“I must make it clear, that we are undeterred by the activities of these impostors because.

Their style lacks finesse and sophistication and has further exposed their political naivety where Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is an acclaimed master.

“From available records, those behind the latest oddity are political jobbers who have offered themselves for pecuniary benefits at behest of dignity“, Sarina alleged.

According to him, they don’t belong to progressive because a good thing party member will not work towards destroying a legitimate member who was governor for 8 years and rose to become a national chairman.

“It is because they are outsiders, they are simply not aware of the internal workings, or ground rules of the APC on disciplinary actions, hence they resort to poor strategy that cannot stand logic, and reasons.

“We from ward, local government level and state are solidly behind our leader who has contribute positively towards the political growth of our party’’, he told NAN.

Sarina alleged that leader of the group who announced the purported Ganduje’s suspension was a member of New Nigeria People’s Party who contested but lost the counselorship election in Ganduje ward.

He advised the media to be cautious of those who seek to use their platforms to promote falsehood.

“The media should, as a matter of fact, scrutinise issues that are of paramount to the growth of democracy by being the driver of democracy’’, he said.

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Thugs attack Edo APC meeting, former lawmaker, woman leader, husband injured

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By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

A meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday ended in violence as thugs allegedly loyal to one of the leaders attacked a former federal lawmaker, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, woman leader, husband and injured many others.

The attack was said to have been carried out by the thugs at the installation ceremony of a former federal lawmaker as the ‘Apex Leader’ of the APC in the Local Government.

Hardly had the meeting started when the suspected hoodlums and political thugs struck, inflicting injuries on those present, with the woman leader of the local government and her husband currently hospitalised.

They also damaged vehicles and chairs and carted drinks and other items away from the venue of the meeting, which took place on Dumez Road in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the attack, Agbonayinma said, “The APC local government chairman, Sunny Ogbewe, called me that the leaders of Ikpoba-Okha were coming to meet with me to rub minds with me on the way forward for the party in the local government area.

“However, it was a sad story. People who are close to me led many others to the venue, destroyed, and beat up the woman leader and her husband. Both of them are in the hospital as I speak.

“They also vandalised vehicles, broke chairs and tables and carted away drinks. This is not how politics should be played. Going violent and beating up elderly persons?

“For some time, the people of the local government have been appealing to me to come and take a leadership position. But I have not shown interest because of what I have gone through. I lost my son and I am still going through trauma.

“They came here to appeal to me to be the apex leader of Ikpoba-Okha.”

Agbonayima, while addressing the meeting after security was beefed up at the venue, vowed that those who carried out the attack “will pay dearly for all they have destroyed,” even as he disclosed that the attackers also left with a generating set brought to power equipment for the meeting.

He said it was tough for him to accept the honour the APC members of the local government bestowed on him to be their “Apex Leader.”

“This opportunity is given to me, I will not take it for granted. I will not disappoint you,” he said, adding that he would consult before making decisions, urging party members to respect their leaders at all levels.

Participants at the meeting condemned the attackers and called for severe sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to take such action in the future.

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