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The decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone office of the chairman of the party to the North caused major crack in the South-west caucus of the party.

Prior to the release of the party’s zoning arrangement, last week, some South-west stakeholders were widely reported to have indicated their interest in occupying the coveted position.

It would be recalled that a coalition of PDP leaders in the zone, led by the former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, has advocated the zoning of the position to the South-west.
 The group led by George argued that zoning the position to the zone would go a long way in wooing votes for the party in the zone.

Expectedly, zoning of the position to the North-east, an arrangement that apparently favoured the incumbent chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, displeased some leaders and chieftains of the party in the South-west.

George, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), who spoke on a Channels TV programme: ‘Politics Today,’ rejected the zoning formula, saying it was capable of causing more damage to the party.

He said it was not fair for the North to get the 2019 presidential ticket and also retain position of national chairman.

However, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State expressed his support for Sheriff, saying the zoning arrangement was supported by majority of party leaders.

He said George’s position was informed by his interest to become the party’s next national chairman.

Fayose said: “Chief Bode George told me personally that he wants to be national chairman of the party. I told him I won’t support him. With all due respect to the elderly people in this party, they must take the backstage. People are tired of seeing the same old faces again.”

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday evening met with 16 Catholic bishops behind closed doors at the presidential villa, Abuja.

The Catholic bishops, who visited President Buhari under the umbrella of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, were believed to have called on the Buhari on the subject of the growing menace of Fulani herdsmen’s attacks in parts of the country.

It will be recalled that the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, was last week attacked by suspected herdsmen along the Benin-Ekpoma Road while returning from attending the 10th anniversary both of the creation of Diocese of Uromi and the ordination of Bishop Augustine Akubueze of Benin Diocese.

The attack drew outrage from the Catholic faithful, and the Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese, Dr. Donatus Ogun, appealed to Buhari to tackle speedily the issue of the growing cruelty of Fulani herdsmen.

The meeting, which started at about 9pm, had in attendance  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, while leading the delegation of the Bishops is their president, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, Cardinal Onaiyekan; Bishop of Sokoto,  Matthew Hassan Kukah;  Archbishop of Benin City, Augustine Akubeze, and Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Godfrey Onah

Other are bishops Felix Alaba Job, Anthony Obina, Valerian Okeke, Gabriel Abegunrin, Matthew Ndagoso, Lucius Ugorji, William Ayenya,  John Nyiring, Camilius Umoh, Ralph Madu and John Okoye.

 King of Juju Music, Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye, a.k.a. Sunny Ade (KSA), is not dead, contrary to the rumour doing the rounds on Monday.

The rumour was debunked by one of the associates of the Juju maestro, Mr Clement Ige, saying “it is not true.”

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, Ige said nothing was wrong with KSA, adding that “he is hale and hearty,” just as he noted that he was not aware of the source of the rumour that had widely spread.

“KSA was in Ibadan yesterday (Monday) and will also grace an appointment with the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona today (Tuesday). 

“I urge the people and the entire Nigerians not to panic and disregard the rumour. KSA is in good health and full of life,” he said.

It was gathered that the music icon had commenced preparation for his 70th birthday slated to hold later in the year.

A man arrested by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of  the Lagos State Police Command for being a major buyer of stolen mobile phones in Lagos, has confessed to have bought over 4,256 mobile phones from robbers, pickpockets and  one – chance gangs operating in the state .

The suspect, Kazeem Bamidele, 42, who is the Second Vice Chairman of the National Union of Road and Transport Workers’ (NURTW), Ajegunle Unit, equally confessed to the  RRS Intelligence Team that he has over 52 boys in Lagos State, who steal and sell “clean phones” to him constantly.

Kazeem, popularly known as “Elewure” in the  social circle, was arrested ,  when the RRS Intelligence Team quizzed two stolen phones users in Kogi State in connection with abduction and robbery cases in Lagos State.

The operatives had upon returning from a week – long investigation to Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kogi State, swung into actions by arresting Elewure from his shop in Boundary Market, Ajegunle, after he was fingered to have been the seller of two Blackberry Z10 phones and a CAT phone collected from victims of robbery and abduction incidences in the metropolis.

Kazeem said, “I have over 52 boys who sell clean stolen mobile phones to me. On the average, I receive 38 ‘clean’ phones in a week. I have been in the business for more than two years"
He also confessed that  " Boundary Market in Ajegunle, where I have office and shop, is where they sell the phones to me and that is where the buyers equally get them. I know they are stolen phones. Nearly every guy in Ajegunle is involved in this kind of runs. It is what they do to survive." 

"I was pushed into the business by family pressure. I have two wives and  seven children. I have so many dependants. What I pay as school fees alone is staggering " the suspect claimed
Bamidele also stated  that " I had too many problems in life. My mother gave birth to 13 children for my father. Though both of them are no more, only three of us are left. I am the breadwinner of the family' " 

My first wife’s children are part of the predicament I have. Since I married the second wife, I have not known peace. Can you believe that since I was arrested, she has never called or visited me? I know this is a lesson for me in life. She has seven children for me and what I paid as school fees for her children is staggering”, he stated.

He continued that “I started out in life as ‘elubo’, pepper and maize grinder. I know that most of these phones were gotten from pickpocketing, one chance and robbery"  .

The suspect added that " My second wife has mounted so much pressure on me to quit the business long ago but the financial pressure was stunning. I think I have come to a point I don’t need to be advised to stop it now":.

He revealed that " I buy Infinix Hot 2 at N10k and sell N12,000; Blackberry Z30 at N20,000:00 and sell at N22,000:00; buy Infinix Hot Note at N15,000:00 and sell at N17,000 and Samsung Galaxy X3 at N11,000 and sell at N14,000. I don’t buy iPhone because of its locking system”.

Investigators revealed that as at the time of his arrest, five stolen mobile phones were found with him. He is presently helping the police to pick up his boys from their hide-outs, bus stops and routes of operations.

Already, two commercial buses “danfo” used for robbery and one chance operations are presently at RRS Headquarters in Alausa.

It was also learnt that the suspect revealed to the police  most of the boys ,who bring phones to his shop , stay in hotels around the state.

" some of the phones traced to Elewure were that of high profile members of the society as well as celebrities" our source said.

According to the Police PPRO, SP Dolapo Badmos the force was following up the suspect’s revelations and is  making steady progress in the  investigations of  the case.
The suspect has been transferred to SARS for further investigation and prosecution.