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PDP Lawmakers Won’t Chair Committees, Oshiomhole Insists

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said that lawmakers of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives will not be appointed as chairmen of committees in the next parliament.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari for elected APC lawmakers on Tuesday, Mr Oshiomhole said the decision is because the APC has learnt from the ”mistake” of 2015 when members not loyal to the party were allowed to assume leadership positions in the National Assembly.

The dinner held inside the Banquet Hall of the State House Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the wish of the APC in 2015. Both men, elected on the APC platform in 2015, had the support of PDP lawmakers and appointed some of them as committee chairpersons. Both men defected to the PDP in 2018.

Mr Oshiomhole on Tuesday said even as APC members, Messrs Saraki and Dogara were hostile to the APC administration led by Mr Buhari.

He accused the duo of creating tension in the system, delaying budget needlessly and creating all sorts of obstacles to frustrate the government.

“In life, mistakes are permitted. But it becomes a problem if the mistake is repeated twice. We are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in 2019, we have learnt our lesson.

”Out of 223 APC elected members, 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.

”In other climes, you don’t go into coalition when you are in the majority, you do so when you don’t have the numbers. We have the numbers, out of 360, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want Mr President to face the trauma of 2015, ” he said.

The APC chairman said the House of Representatives has 96 committees and that all re-elected members will chair strategic committees, adding ”even new members will chair committees this time around.”

He said the decision is sequel to the fact that most of those who decamped from the APC were rejected by Nigerians during the election and “even those who led it were uprooted by the Otoge movement in Kwara State.”

“We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or opposition.

“If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every committee were chaired by PDP members,” he said.

Mr Oshiomhole also said Mr. Buhari and the leadership of the party do not expect the National Assembly to be a rubber stamp.

He said, however, that they will operate like a typical African family where issues are discussed in closed door.

“The good news,” he said, “is that there is a role for everyone.”

“Both the re-elected and new members are entitled to heading committees

“We have asked our people not to share what belongs to us with other party members.

“I don’t have apologies against forces of retrogression,” Mr Oshiomhole said.

The party chairman’s stance comes a day after the APC said its elected lawmakers consulting with the PDP were right to do so.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Lagos lawmaker favoured to be the next House speaker by APC leaders, is one of those consulting with PDP members.

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Napoli Consider Renaming Stadium after Diego Maradona

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Napoli are considering renaming their stadium in memory of Diego Maradona after the club legend died aged 60.

Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, forged a strong bond with the Italian club and its supporters during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991.

The forward, who inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, joined Napoli from Barcelona and won their only two Serie A titles – in 1987 and 1990 – along with the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed following Maradona’s death that the club will discuss renaming their stadium in his honour, combining its current title with his full iconic name, Sky reports.

“We can consider the idea of calling our stadium San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona,” De Laurentiis told French sports channel RMC Sport.

Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris supported the proposal that the city’s San Paolo Stadium be renamed for Maradona, who scored 81 goals in 188 appearances for the club.

“We are already putting it together this morning, taking the first steps to dedicate Naples stadium to Maradona,” De Magistris said.

The Mayor added: “We’re hoping to make it coincide with the resumption of games with fans.”

Fans gathered outside the stadium, which was lit in memory of Maradona’s time at the club, in the southern Italian city on Wednesday evening.

Tributes have poured in from the world of football and beyond, with three days of national mourning underway in Argentina.

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Implement People’s Demands Or Set Nigeria on Fire, Wike Tells Buhari

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prove to Nigerians that he is ready to do the people’s requests.

The governor said the President will set the country ‘on fire’ by not implementing some of the requests voiced out by leaders during the recent discussions with the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.

The PUNCH had reported that Gambari led ministers and federal lawmakers to meetings with leaders of the six geopolitical zones as a way of addressing concerns raised in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

Gambari and the presidential delegation had met with governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday.

At the meeting, the South-South leaders including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.

Giving an update on the meeting on Thursday morning, Wike said the President still has time to implement the will of the people and etch a legacy for himself.

The governor spoke today on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by The PUNCH.

He said, “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.

“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”

Continuing, Wike said political will to implement what the people want is key in governance.

According to him, the President has to show leadership by listening to Nigerians and by implementing the people’s requests.

“He may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.

“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy,” the governor added.

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Legendary Football Star, Diego Amando Maradona Dies at 60

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Diego Maradona, one of football’s greatest-ever players, has died. He was 60 years.

The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month. The Argentine Football Association confirmed he had died this afternoon.

“The Argentine Football Association, through its president Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” they said.

Another of football’s greats, Pele, has led the tributes to: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.” Follow latest updates and reaction here.

Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, said the former player had shown signs of improvement after a successful operation three weeks ago.

Dr Luque said Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after he had the procedure.

“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque said, addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.

“He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved.

“The first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”

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