There is still no light at the end of the tunnel for the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) as factional Caretaker Committee has insisted on conducting parallel National Convention next month February 26.
To match words with action, the faction has formally written it to the Buni-led Caretaker Committee to vacate the national secretariat of the party.
Meanwhile, lack of consensus among the APC Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has resulted in the cancellation the meeting scheduled to hold on Sunday as reported
exclusively by Daily Sun last week.
A source close to the governors forum told Daily Sun that the meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday this week.
Chairman of the factional CECPC, Mustapha Audu who disclosed to resolve to go ahead with convention in a chat with Daily Sun, said that the arrangements will be made public end of this month.
He said that though they have formally written to the Buni-led Caretaker Committee to vacate the secretariat, they will not however venture to occupy the secretariat forcefully due to the directive given to urchins to stab them if they dare come to the secretariat.
Asked if they are still going ahead to conduct APC parallel National Convention in February, he replied: “We are absolutely going ahead with the convention and February 26 is sacrosanct for it. We are going ahead with it because there is no reason for us to suspend the convention. There has been a series of meetings between us and the DSS and some of the leaders of the party.
“It is clear that what we did has affected the plans of the Buni-led Caretaker Committee because they were not planning to hold any convention in the first place till July/August this year. They plan to combine the convention with the party primaries for the presidency. There were lots of illegalities going on truncated by our declaration. Our declaration has affected the plans of some of the leaders that don’t have anything good for us,” he noted.
On what happened to the initial threat from the APC Progressives Youth Mandate to occupy the secretariat and audit the Buni-led Caretaker Committee, he said that his faction has not only written them but also commenced the audit process.
“Nothing happened to the threat because ours is a mental occupation. We won’t do anything physical and that is why we can’t even protest because we are aware that they have paid those boys outside the APC headquarters to stab people in the crowd when we show up there. It is a ploy to brand us violent people.
“We know their trap and cannot fall into it. However, we have written to the leadership of the party to vacate the APC headquarters and we are waiting for them to do so. As for the audit, we have started the process.
“The good thing is that Mr President is aware of what we are doing. In fact, it was the DSS that arranged the meeting to be held between us and Mr. President because they know that what we are doing is critical to the survival of the party
“It may surprise you to know that the DSS handled us with civility. I could not believe what they said to me. They said so many positive things. Incidentally, they told them to break into our houses, pick us up in the middle of the night, detain us for three days and then release us.
“But in their own wisdom, they knew that carrying out their request means to turn Nigerian youths against the security agencies. The DSS advised us that so long as we are not doing anything violently, asking people to commit crimes, we should proceed in what we are doing. They said that since we are fighting for young competent persons to be included in the government, there is nothing wrong with that as far as they are concerned,” he revealed.
Mustapha, an aspirant for the 2019 Kogi State governorship poll, warned that his faction is going ahead with the planned February 26 National Convention, even he added that it may still be dependent on the outcome of their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the ability of the Buni-led committee to right their wrongs.
While expressing readiness and giving conditions to sacrifice his agitations, he said: “If the right thing is done, I can. Simply, they should call us for dialogue, we want youth inclusiveness and we demanded for 12 out of the 27 national leadership positions. We are asking for vice chairmanship positions, two per geopolitical zone. There is still room for negotiation.”
Kalu meets Abdulsalami Abubakar
Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Saturday night paid a private visit to former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
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Kalu who made the announcement through his verified Facebook page, revealed that his discussion with the former president centered on national issues and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
He wrote: “ Tonight, I paid a visit to the former President of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to greet him for the new year. We also discussed major national affairs and peaceful coexistence of our nation.”
Lagos police arrest NURTW members amid calls for ban
By Moses Omorogieva/Lagos
The Police Command in Lagos State on Saturday said that its men arrested some members of the National Union of Transport Workers ( NURTW) who clashed on Lagos Island on Friday.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) , CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.
Ajisebutu did not mention how many people were arrested and where they were being detained.
He added that normalcy had returned to the Island as more operatives had been deployed there.
“The police have quelled the crisis. Sufficient facilities were deployed in the area immediately we received a distress call and normalcy was restored.
”Investigation into the crisis is ongoing,” he said.
Two factions of the NURTW clashed over the control of some motor parks on the Island on Friday.
The videos of the clash went viral showing the hoodlums using dangerous weapons against each other
The arrests come amid call by Accord Party for a ban on the notorious union in Lagos.
Lagos State chapter of the Accord Party called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to proscribe the union following repeated violence by its members.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Dele Oladeji, in a statement on Saturday called on Sanwo-Olu to tame the members of the NURTW by proscribing the union with immediate effect.
“Again, the members of the NURTW were enmeshed in a deadly fight on Lagos Island which was reported to have resulted in the untimely death of some four youths.
“This deadly clash created a security scare, in which innocent and hardworking residents of Lagos had to scamper into shops, crevices, under table and inside gutters for dear lives.
“Many rushed into shops and were locked in with the shop owners, just to stay away from stray bullets or being caught up in the fracas.
“Traders were forced to shutdown their businesses, which led to the loss of transactions running into billions of naira.
“We advise the Lagos State governor to, with immediate effect, proscribe the NURTW for a peaceful and safe Lagos city.”
The spokesman said that the recent violence was one too many among the members of the NURTW in Lagos State.
Oladeji said that though members of the union were always in the habit of killing themselves during such fracas, their action had always defied the security set up in Lagos State and had always created a state of insecurity among residents.
“Ask an average resident of Lagos, and they will tell you they live and commute in utter fright of these ‘union boys’ daily on the streets and roads.
“Gov. Sanwo-Olu should rise up in service to residents of the state and proscribed these lawless group for a safer Lagos State,” he added.
He said that NURTW factions were known to frequently engage in free-for-all over power tussles at different locations and parks.
Pakistan proud of pig-to-human heart transplant pioneer
Friends and former classmates of the Pakistan-born surgeon behind the world’s first pig-to-human heart transplant say they earmarked him for greatness from his medical school days.
Karachi-born Muhammad Mansoor Mohiuddin made headlines last week as the co-founder of the US university programme that successfully transplanted the heart of a genetically modified pig into a gravely ill American man.
While hailed as a medical breakthrough, the procedure also raised ethical questions — particularly among some Jews and Muslims, who consider pigs to be unclean and avoid pork products.
None of that worried Mohiuddin’s friends and former colleagues in Pakistan, who remember him as an ace student with a passion for medicine.
“He would be so interested, always there, always available and always ready to get involved in surgery,” said Muneer Amanullah, a specialist who attended Karachi’s Dow Medical College with Mohiuddin in the 1980s.
College vice-chancellor Muhammad Saeed Qureshi said pride in Mohiuddin’s achievement had flooded the campus.
“There was exhilaration that this has been done by a graduate from this college,” he told AFP.
Mohiuddin was quick to share the limelight with a team of 50 from the University of Maryland Medical School.
“They were all experts of their respective fields,” he told AFP by phone.
“They are the best surgeons, the best physicians, the best anaesthetists, and so on.”
While the prognosis for the recipient of the pig’s heart is far from certain, the surgery represents a major milestone for animal-to-human transplants.
About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 6,000 patients die each year before getting one, according to official figures.
To meet demand, doctors have long been interested in so-called xenotransplantation, or cross-species organ donation.
“We were working on this model for 18 years,” Mohiuddin said.
“Those 18 years were dotted with different phases of frustration — as well as breakthroughs — but finally we have done it.”
The surgery is not without controversy, however, especially given Mohiuddin’s Islamic faith.
Pigs are considered unclean by Muslims and Jews — and even some Christians who follow the Bible’s Old Testament literally.
“In my view, this is not permissible for a Muslim,” said Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, a prominent Islamic scholar, in a video blog where he discussed the procedure.
But another Islamic scholar in Pakistan gave the procedure a clean bill of health.
“There is no prohibition in sharia,” Allama Hasan Zafar Naqvi told AFP, calling it a “medical miracle”.
“In religion, no deed is as supreme as saving a human life,” added Mohiuddin.
In Karachi, the surgeon’s fellow alumni feel their former colleague may now be destined for even greater glory — medicine’s top prize.
“I think… the whole team is in for it, in for the Nobel Prize,” said vice-chancellor Qureshi.
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