Crisis looms as APC prepares for congresses

GOVERNOR Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, who doubles as the Caretaker Committee Chairman, North Central, has been charged to urgently resolve the looming party crisis in the state ahead of the All Progressives Congress congresses. This was contained in a press statement jointly signed by the Caretaker Chairman, Mohammed Imam and the Secretary, Mohammed Liman, issued in Minna, on Monday.

The statement said the governor has failed to resolve the party leadership crisis in the state.

It noted that the lingering cases against the party and its officials pending in courts were not withdrawn as directed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), during their inauguration one year ago.

According to the statement, recent events were a pointer to a disaster waiting to happen.

The statement read in part, “We observed that there is a deliberate attempt to sideline Engineer Imam-led executive of the party as several meetings were called and resolutions taken without recourse to my leadership but instead, the zonal chairman (Zone B) and Assistant state youth leader were commissioned for a meeting held in Government House recently, contrary to the provisions of the party Constitution.

“You will recall that last year at a press conference, we highlighted the danger these illegalities pose to the survival of the party as we approach 2023 general elections.”

Meanwhile, ahead of the APC congresses for the nomination of candidates to fly the party’s flags in the 2023 elections, a zoning crisis is already brewing in the Lavun Local Government chapter of the party.

The crisis has been aggravated by the insistence of the major stakeholders of the party to maintain the zoning policy adopted and used to pick the area’s candidates since 1999.

Under the arrangement occupants of the house of Assembly seat are to serve for a single term of four years after which the slot will move to the next zone.


Source: Punch



Rocket Attack On Capital As President Performs Eid Prayers

At least three rockets landed near the Afghan presidential palace on Tuesday as Ashraf Ghani and a group of other leaders marked the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha with prayers in the garden.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, it was the first rocket attack on Kabul since the Taliban launched a series of offensives to coincide with the final drawdown of foreign troops from the war-wracked country.

The early morning holiday calm was shattered by the sound of incoming rockets heard across the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses the presidential palace and several embassies, including the US mission.

In a video posted on the official palace Facebook page, dozens of men can be seen continuing with their prayers even as the rockets are heard overhead and exploding nearby.

President Ghani, dressed in traditional Afghan clothing and a turban, stands at the front and appears to not even flinch as the crowd bows together.

“The Taliban have proved that they have no will and intention for peace,” he said in a speech afterwards.

Interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai said three rockets appeared to have been fired from a pickup truck. One did not detonate, he said.

“Based on our initial information, we have no casualties,” he added.

The palace was attacked last year as hundreds of people gathered to watch Ghani’s inauguration ceremony, prompting some to flee.

The jihadist Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for that attack, with no reports of casualties.

Tuesday’s attack coincides with a sweeping Taliban offensive across the country as foreign forces wind up a troop withdrawal scheduled to be complete by August 31.

It also comes a day after more than a dozen diplomatic missions in Kabul called for “an urgent end” to the insurgents’ ruthless military offensive, saying it was at odds with claims they want to secure a political deal to end the conflict.

The statement follows another round of inconclusive talks in Doha over the weekend between the Afghan government and the Taliban that many hoped would kickstart the ailing peace process.