December 7, 2023

The All Progressives Congress presidential campaigns will today, Tuesday, begin in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The PUNCH reports heavy security presence in the state capital on Monday, with a long convoy of military vehicles seen patrolling the streets and blaring sirens, while some roads were being repaired in preparation for the rally.

The state Governor, Simon Lalong, who doubles as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, inspected the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos on Monday, where the campaign flag-off would take place today.

Speaking during the inspection, the governor noted that already, the city of Jos and Plateau State were agog, as APC faithful and residents prepared to receive the Chairman of the PCC and President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; APC governors; the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima; the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and a host of other dignitaries and supporters.

He said the Local Organising Committee, led by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, and the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, had done a lot of work to ensure that the campaign flag-off was successful.

Lalong said, “The history is very clear, and God is writing this history himself. Anybody who is declared here goes on to win the presidential elections. We know of Abiola and Obasanjo. Asiwaju is also going the same way because we have been blessed. I am very impressed with the show of hospitality and excitement among the citizens who are ready to receive the victory of the APC.”

Gbajabiamila suspends plenary

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, in an unusual move, adjourned sitting till Wednesday.

The Senate and the House naturally meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

On October 12, 2022, the House adjourned plenary for four weeks, until November 15, to allow its committees to conduct budget defence sessions with ministries, departments, and agencies of the government over their proposals in the 2023 appropriations bill.

However, Clerk of the House, Yahaya Danzaria, issued a notice on Thursday, asking lawmakers to reconvene on Monday.

As the House reconvened on Monday, Gbajabiamila and the Clerk swore in the new member representing Bassa/Jos-North Federal Constituency in Plateau State, Muhammad Alkali.

The Speaker also read out to members three communications from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the budgets of the Federal Capital Territory and the Niger Delta Development Commission, as well as an executive bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The session was adjourned till Wednesday without the lawmakers getting to the items on the order paper for the day.

Though the House and the Speaker did not give official information on the adjustment, sources in the chamber linked it to the APC presidential campaign rally that would begin on Tuesday, where party stakeholders and loyalists of the candidate, Tinubu, were expected to be in attendance.

However, Gbajabiamila suspended sitting on Monday over rowdiness in the chamber.

Several efforts by the Majority Whip, Mohammed Monguno, to call members to order during the proceeding, which lasted about an hour, proved abortive.

Notably, an earlier mild drama played out after Alkali was sworn in.

Alkali, of the Peoples Redemption Party, replaced Musa Agah of the Peoples Democratic Party.

After Alkali’s swearing-in, Gbajabiamila invited the PRP lawmaker to the flag-off of the ruling APC presidential rally in Jos, Plateau State, on Tuesday, an invitation that did not go down well with the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

“The ruling party is flagging off its presidential rally in Plateau State. You are highly welcome to join us,” the Speaker had said.

He added that that could mean bidding the PRP’s Presidential Candidate, Kola Abiola, and the party’s Secretary, Babatunde Alli, who were watching the proceedings from the gallery, goodbye.

Elumelu, however, raised a point of order to decry that the Speaker was being political while presiding over the caucuses in the House.

He also alleged that Alkali might feel intimidated by Gbajabiamila.

Before ruling the Minority Leader out of order, the Speaker said Elumelu was “crying more than the bereaved” and that he was a “meddlesome interloper.”

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