Today’s Headlines: APC ex-deputy Govs protest exclusion from NEC meeting,Abure inaugurates LP caretaker committees for Lagos LGs

According to Punch news, The Forum of Former Deputy Governors of Nigeria has called on the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, to amend the party’s constitution to allow ex-deputy governors to attend meetings of the APC National Executive Committee.

A 60-member delegation of the group made the appeal on Monday when they visited Ganduje at the APC national headquarters in Abuja.

While decrying their omission from the list of dignitaries that turned up for the NEC meeting at Transcorp Hilton two weeks ago, the chairman of the forum, Chris Akomas, said the ex-deputy governors have a massive following in Nigerian politics.

Addressing journalists, the former deputy governor of Imo State said, “Our own interest should be protected. If there is a political party where you have made contributions and you are not carried along when the body takes critical decisions…

We repeat that we take the exclusion as an omission. You captured Speakers and Deputy Speakers but left out people that served and represented the whole state; people who carry the structures of a state! It is not good either for the Forum of Former Deputy Governors of Nigeria or for the political party or for effective governance. This is because the effectiveness of governance has to do with bringing in cross-fertilisation of ideas. As we said, within the forum of deputy governors, there are expertise, experience, knowledge and professionalism. That has to be done across the board.”

Reacting to their concern, Ganduje promised to look into the issue, saying he understood their plight, having served as a deputy governor under his former boss-turned-political adversary, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Kano.

Abure inaugurates LP caretaker committees for Lagos LGs.

According to Punch news, The embattled National Chairman of the Labour Party, Mr. Julius Abure, has inaugurated caretaker committees for the 20 local government areas of Lagos State.

Inaugurating the 16-member executive for each of the 20 council areas on Sunday evening in Lagos, Abure expressed confidence that the party would be victorious at the Presidential Election Petition Court, where it is challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Abure, in the company of the LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, Prof. Pat Utomi and others, said that the 2023 general election was “a struggle to liberate Nigeria.”

While decrying the current economic hardship in the country as a result of the fuel subsidy removal, the LP National Chairman condemned the spate of killings in some parts of the country, especially Plateau.

He said that the LP’s participation in the 2023 general elections had changed the political landscape of Nigeria.

“I want to assure you that we have put our hands on the plough and we are not looking back.

“In the next couple of weeks the judgment will be out and we will all come back here to celebrate and form a government of the people,” he said

I quit football after I broke my leg thrice — Austin

According to Punch news, Former Rivers United captain and new team coordinator, Festus Austin, says he had to make the tough call of quitting active football after battling with an injury over the past four years, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

After playing for 16 years in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Austin called it quits, having won two league titles with Dolphins and Rivers United.

Following his retirement, Rivers on Monday appointed him as their team coordinator and also named striker Nyima Nwagua as the new captain of the club.

“We are delighted to announce that Festus Austin has been appointed our new team coordinator. Austin, a dedicated solid centre-back during his active days, assumes the new role ahead of the new season, having served dutifully as our captain. We wish Festus Austin every success,” the club announced on Monday.

“It’s a thing of joy when you work and people appreciate you. Although it was difficult for me to say goodbye to football professionally, and then crowning my effort with an appointment is a perfect reward. I am happy about it,” Austin told PUNCH Sports Extra.

“I broke my leg three times and it’s the same leg. My doctor advised me that I should be on the safer side to avoid another one because it would be difficult to get out of it, so I decided to stay away from the game.”

NLC protests proposed fuel price hike, threatens fresh strike.

According to Punch news, The Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday warned that its members will commence a nationwide strike without any formal notice if marketers increased the pump price of petrol without concluding the ongoing negotiations.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, admonished the Federal Government to stop the falling value of the naira.

The threat by the organised labour followed hints by oil marketers, on Sunday, that the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would rise to between N680/litre and N720/litre in the coming weeks should the dollar continue to trade between N910 and N950 at the parallel market.

The marketers said dealers seeking to import PMS were being forced to put the plans on hold due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to import the commodity.

The warning came barely one week after the local currency crossed the N900/dollar ceiling, with the naira selling at over N945/dollar at the parallel market on Friday.

Oil dealers said the CBN Importers and Exporters official window for foreign exchange, which boasts of a lower exchange rate of about $740/litre, had remained illiquid and unable to provide the $25m to $30m required for the importation of PMS by dealers.