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Oshiomhole Speaks On Why APC Disqualified Mama Taraba, Shittu

Aisha Alhassan, the women affairs minister, was disqualified from running for Taraba governor by the APC because the ruling party doubts her loyalty.

The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said this in Abuja on Friday evening while addressing journalists.

Mr Oshiomhole also restated the party’s earlier stance that another minister, Adebayo Shittu, was disqualified from running for Oyo governor after he was found to have skipped the mandatory NYSC scheme upon graduation from school.

“As for the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, she has issues that have to do with party loyalty. Our constitution is clear and it dictates that to contest elections or even hold office in the APC, you must be loyal to the party in every material concern.

“From all she had said in the past and even her comments and general attitude during the screening, the NWC reviewed everything taken together and we arrived at the conclusion that she does not possess the level of loyalty that the APC requires for her to contest elections on our platform.

“The Electoral Act and the APC constitution forbid anyone from being a member of more than one political party at a time. You cannot be a member of APC and be a card carrying member of another party but when you have a situation where it would appear, based on what you know and based on what I know that someone is probably APC in the day time maybe for the purpose of retaining certain offices and they are PDP at heart.

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“Or if they are not PDP at heart, they are actually and simply a follower of a one-man permanent presidential candidate…then we have the right to ask ourselves if these attitudes and qualities are characteristics of an ideal member of an APC,” he said referring to Mrs Alhassan’s past public declaration of support for Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Abubakar, a former vice president, left the APC for PDP last year and is now seeking to be president of Nigeria on the PDP platform.

Speaking on the disqualification of the communication minister, Mr Oshiomhole said, “He admitted that he did not do the mandatory NYSC as provided for under the law and in his own judgment, his being a member of the House of Assembly in the state and now as a minister of the federal republic that these were enough sacrifices.”

The party chairman said for the APC, participation in the NYSC is mandatory for those eligible.

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“But for us as a party, we know that NYSC is a mandatory scheme. It is not something you may elect to do or abstain from doing. And my understanding of the NYSC Act is that no employer of labour is permitted to employ anyone who graduated under 30 years and who did not obtain an exemption for reasons as provided for in the NYSC Act.

“So, for us, not participating in the NYSC raises very serious moral issue as well as legal issue. Anyway, we were convinced that if he did not do NYSC, that for us was enough to disqualify him and we had to find the courage to do so.”

Mr Oshiomhole, however, kept mum on why the APC-led federal government was still keeping Mr Shittu as a minister despite skipping the NYSC.

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