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Displaying items by tag: 2023 Election

The general overseer of Salvation Ministries, Port Harcourt, Pastor David Ibiyeomie has said politicians underrate the influence of the church in their ability to win elections.

Speaking at the church’s week of empowerment in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the clergyman insisted that he has the power to stop a candidate from becoming the governor if he wishes to, maintaining that all he has to do is pray.


He added that church people now have money compared to before, so they are in the position to help the government if they need to and not the other way round.

His words: “Before 2003 in the South South, church people were not rich, as the wealth was in the hands of occult men.


“Then 2003, we had a crusade in a place called Civic Center, Port Harcourt. And I prayed a prayer, I will never forget; and I said, ‘Today, wealth turns from the occult men to the hands of the Church.’ When I prayed that prayer, physically they came to this place.

“The man, a commissioner then, under a government said, ‘Sir, you have troubled us; no man troubles us like this. Why do you trouble us like this?


“Why did you do that kind of prayer? he came with armed men; they were to bring this Church down then.

“I said if you bring one block down here and you see tomorrow morning, God is not the owner of this Church.

And the military men with him looked at him; they stepped back with their guns.


He said, ‘na so Church man dey pray?

Even if they want to vote you tomorrow, I will pray you out.”

He went on to insist that he has the authority of God to stop a candidate from winning an election.

“I have all the powers to say, ‘don’t sit on that seat and you won’t sit.’ It’s not a matter of boasting, it’s with authority.

Anybody say ‘I play with the Church,’ a day to your sitting you will clear. If you know the power with the Church you can’t play with the Church.

The Church has played down on herself so politicians think they can toy with us.

No, that politician has not been born, that can toy with the Church of Jesus!

In Nigeria, in this nation, anyone who will toy with the Church of Jesus will never be a president of Nigeria in the name of Jesus!,” he added.


Says no aspirant has been disqualified


The seven-member presidential screening committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shortlisted 13 aspirants to participate in the presidential primary election billed to hold on Monday.

LEADERSHIP had reported exclusively on Thursday that the committee was preparing a shortlist of nine for the consideration of the party APC leadership.

The committee chaired by former national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, confirmed the story while submitting its report yesterday to the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

Earlier Friday, speculations about “disqualification” of some of the presidential aspirants were rife following the failure of Oyegun, who briefed journalists after submitting the report, to name the 13 aspirants on his committee’s shortlist.

But dependable sources in the presidency who have seen the full report however told our correspondent last night that the said media reports suggesting that ten candidates had been disqualified were not true.

According to one of the sources, all 23 aspirants screened were cleared and qualified, but the committee recommended a “safe list” of 13 names.

Those recommended in the list are APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; former minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi.

Others include former minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Ebonyi State governor David Umahi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Abubakar Badaru.

Two other aspirants, former minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio and Mr Tein Jack-Rich, were also believed to have made the list after the committee submitted its report yesterday afternoon.

The ten aspirants excluded from the shortlist are Pastor Tunde Bakare; former Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha; Cross Rivers State governor, Ben Ayade; former Zamfara State governor, Sani Yerima, and former Senate president, Ken Nnamani.

Others are former Minister of Information and Culture, Ikeobasi Mokelu; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Demeji Bankole; US-based Pastor, Felix Nicholas, and the only APC female aspirant, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.

Our source who did not want his name in print because he is not authorised to speak on the matter said, “The committee did not disqualify anyone. I don’t know where the news about disqualification came from. The report made it clear that all the aspirants had been cleared and were qualified to contest in their own right.”

Another source close to the committee said the decision of the committee to recommend a “safe list” was based on the large number of aspirants who appeared for screening.

The source said, “During the screening, the aspirants told the committee that they were ready to accept a consensus candidate in the interest of the party. The only exception out of the 23 was Tinubu, who said he would only accept consensus if he was the beneficiary. That being the case, what is the point of going into the primary, which is only a few days away, with a horde of aspirants?”

On the basis for making the “safe list,” the source said electability and the complexity of the country’s makeup were considered, among other things.

“Apart from these two criteria, the committee also tried to avoid the potential of litigation and also the extent and degree of field work that the aspirants undertook,” the source noted, adding that “this last point weighed heavily on the committee’s mind because the committee wanted to recommend people who had actually gone out there to work.”

The source added that the party or President Muhammadu Buhari, who is its leader, was free to go outside the committee’s list to add or remove aspirants.

Meanwhile, chairman of the screening committee, Odigie-Oyegun yesterday the reasons why his committee pruned the number of presidential aspirants from 23 to 13.

While submitting the report to the party leadership at the national secretariat, Oyegun said the committee would have gone a little shorter than 13 but chose to allow the party to decide who their preferred candidate will be.

He said: “First, we had 23 member aspirants that we interacted with. And my first comment is that we were very occupant. Those were 23 that presented themselves. We had a lot of others, prominent Nigerians both within and outside the country that had applied but for whatever reason, could not proceed with their applications.”

“The second point I want to make is that we were surprised at the active participation of the youthful members of the party. Some of them surprised us with what they have accomplished in life, their understanding of the situation in this country and why they want to have the privilege of governing this country.

“What was important was that they so believed in the country and the party that they were able to pay the sum that some of us considered princely handsome to participate in the process. And I think the party ought to pat itself on the back for them.”

On the criteria relied on to screen the aspirants, Oyegun said. “Aside from the basic background, experience and understanding of the Nigerian situation, the ideas as to how issues, difficulties and problems can be addressed were key factors that were considered.

“Our report is simple and short. I don’t want to beat the bush. There were two aspects to it: The basic constitutional qualifications for you to aspire to be a president of the Federal Republic to of Nigeria. That was simple.”


A frontline presidential hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has promised to replicate all the developmental strides he made in Lagos while he was the governor of the state in Nigeria, if elected the president in the 2023 general elections.

Tinubu, who is the National Leader of the APC, made the pledge in Benin City on Saturday evening at the Oba of Benin’s palace when he paid the Benin monarch homage as part of his consultation visit to party delegates in Edo State ahead of the presidential primary of the party later this month.


The APC presidential hopeful, who said he was at the palace to seek the Oba’s endorsement and prayers for his presidential ambition, said Lagos State was in bad shape when he became governor of the state, but he turned around the fortunes of the state and made it a mega city before he left.

“Your Royal Majesty, I am here this evening to seek your endorsement; I am here this evening to seek your prayers and blessings because I know what your endorsement means, I know what your prayers means. Your Royal Majesty, I want to be president of this country and I am not joking.

“Your Royal Majesty, I am very competent when it comes to competence. My experience in various leadership capacity gives me an edge.


“Your Royal Majesty, when I became governor of Lagos State, the state was nothing to write home about, but as of today, Lagos is a mega city. When I became governor of the state, Lagos was generating internally N600m monthly, but as of today, Lagos is proud of generating N50bn monthly. These are all the things I put in place to make Lagos great”, Tinubu boasted.

While noting that he worked very hard and supported President Muhammadu Buhari to become president of Nigeria in 2015, Tinubu solicited for all and sundry support for his ambition.


In his response, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, said the Benin throne is non-partisan, but just interested in good leadership for the country and prays for such.

“We are praying for you. And if you are eventually given the ticket and become president of the country, do the things that will make you sit at the right hand of God. And do not forget those that prayed for you.”


Tinubu later left the Oba’s Palace at about 7.02pm to meet with the APC delegates at a hotel in Benin City.

The Economist and Chief Executive Officer of CFG Advisory, Tilewa Adebajo stated that the issue of Census before an election year is very volatile.

Mr. Adebajo said this in an interview on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City105.1 on Saturday.

The subject of Population Census has been a discourse since the last population and housing census in Nigeria took place in 2006.

When there was a clamour by some groups for Census to be conducted in 2018, the Speak of the 8th National Assembly, Hon Yakubu Dogara, stated categorically that Census close to an election year, would make some politicians hijack the process that would determine the outcome of the results, rather than the actual figures.

In a recent development, Mr. Adebajo argues that the Population Census process in Nigeria has been politized and a lot of people has lost confidence in the system.

According to him, “If you try to do a census now, everybody is going to scream bloody murder, because they will feel that you are going to use the census result to try to influence the elections next year.”

He said, “the National Population Commission will tell you that they are ready to conduct a census, but there is no political will to go ahead to conduct the census because some people feel that it might not favour them.

With references from the amount of mobile telephone penetration, voter register, and National Identity Management system, mentioned by Mr. Adebanjo to give an overview of Nigeria population estimate; he said, “the amount of mobile telephone penetration could give an idea of what the population in Nigeria looks like.

“The National Identity Management System, again a lot of people do not have confidence in that system.

“The voter register; but over the last 15 years you will see a situation whereby the vote register has shifted from the large population from the Southwest to the North, which is currently the largest within the last 10 years.

“People are concerned about how this has been manipulated and if you don’t know your population, you can’t plan all the social infrastructure that a teaming population requires, you need to know the numbers so that you understand your demography, so that you can plan properly.

When fielded with questions concerning the launch by the President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 3rd February, 2022, on the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development, stressing the need for urgent measures to address Nigeria’s high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern contraceptive methods across the country and  the National Council on Population Management inaugurated by President Buhari, chaired by Mr. President, and the Vice President as the deputy chairman with Heads of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies as members.

Mr. Adebajo replied: “The Nigeria population has become a liability.

“They have recognized those issues, they have brought it up, so it’s now a situation where we talk about policy flip-flops, and consistency in government.

“It is important that we do not only set up these policies, but it’s important that we are consistent with the policies. If we need to enact a legislation to back those policies let’s do but we can borrow some from the Chinese model and the Indian model.

“It’s not only important that we plan, but it is also important that we move ourselves from western conspiracies on Population control,” he said.

Mr. Adebajo further speaking, said that “The first step to put in place population control, we need to put in place a credible census for Nigeria.

“The strategy for one part of the country is different from another part of the country.

“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”

Feedback during the interview via WhatsApp by Abdul Kayode from Ajangbadi in Lagos, he said, “a country without database of its citizens, should not bother to consider population control measures.

“For God’s sake, we don’t have a record of the numbers of people going and coming into the country through our land borders. How do you preach to a Hausa man who has four wives, not to produce kids?

Datti Baba-Ahmed, chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has expressed interest in running for governor of Kaduna in the 2023 elections.

Baba-Ahmed announced his intention for the top job in Kaduna on Sunday when he submitted his letter of interest to the PDP leadership in the state.

The former presidential aspirant in the 2019 election described his intention to run for governor of Kaduna as a “call to duty”.

He said he decided to run to serve the people and lead the state to prosperity, not because he wanted power or a position.


“Our people are in dire need of a good leader that will secure their lives, their property and bring prosperity to the state,” he said.

“I am not here to seek for a job or a position, but I am moved by the plight of the people to offer myself to serve and lead Kaduna residents to the glorious Kaduna state we all aspire.

“A good leader is the one that solves societal problems, brings prosperity and development. Therefore, we will fail if we do not screen good leaders that will work to improve the standard of living of the people.”

He added that a leader’s integrity, honesty, and transparency are crucial attributes to have in order to better the lives of residents.



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President Muhammadu Buhari says he would want to be remembered as the President who stabilized Nigeria in the area of security, economic prosperity and triumph over corruption.

The President, who spoke at a town hall meeting with South East leaders on Thursday in Owerri, during his one-day official visit to Imo State, said with less than two years left in his eight-year tenure as President, security still remains a major priority for his administration.

‘‘If there is no security, there is nothing anyone can do no matter how much you try or the initiative you have.

‘‘Security is number one priority and then the economy. When people feel secure they will mind their own business,’’ he said.

The President told South-East leaders that while fighting corruption in Nigeria had become very sophisticated and difficult, he would continue to strive to leave a lasting legacy of integrity and accountability in the system.

‘‘Nobody can accuse me of having companies or mansions anywhere in the country and I thank God that I try to keep myself as clean as possible, so that I cannot be taken hostage.

‘‘I will do my best to ensure that Nigerians that try hard, succeed in their efforts,’’ he said.

2023 Election
On the forthcoming 2023 elections, the President reaffirmed his commitment to free, fair and credible polls, urging the leaders to honestly educate their constituencies on the need to hold their elected representatives accountable.

Acknowledging the resourcefulness and enterprising spirit of Igbo people, the President said:

‘‘The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry.

‘‘Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria.

‘‘The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy.’’

Infrastructure Development
Noting that no country can make any meaningful progress without the development of infrastructure, the President expressed regret that successive governments at the Federal level contributed to the decay of critical infrastructure in the country.

He promised that the Federal Government would complete ongoing key projects in the South East, including the 2nd Niger Bridge as well as the railway lines and routes linking the region with other parts of the country.

‘‘I firmly believe that when you get infrastructure right, Nigerians will mind their own businesses,’’ he said, adding that as a group, the Igbos stand to benefit more from the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country because ‘‘they are more enterprising.’’

President Buhari had earlier commissioned four projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodinma, including the Naze/Ihiagwa/Nekede/Obinze link road, the Balloon Driven/Flood Control drainage at Dick Tiger Road, the Egbeada Bypass road and the New Exco-Chambers, Government House, Owerri.

Addressing Imo residents at the commissioning of Egbeada bypass named after a prominent son of the State, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President said he was very impressed with the level of work done by the State government.

‘‘I am very pleased with what I have seen and I assure you that I will support Imo State within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.

In his remarks at the town hall meeting, Governor Uzodinma said Ndigbo believe in a united Nigeria predicated on ‘‘justice, equity and fairness.’’

He thanked the President for addressing the interests of Ndi Igbo through deliberate policy initiatives designed to give the people a true sense of belonging, including the ongoing construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge, among others.

Governor Uzodinma said the people of South East would remain grateful to the President for approving the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta Local Government Area of the State, adding that as time unfolds, the economic benefits of the base would manifest.

The Governor also commended the President for strongly supporting the appointment of two prominent Igbos into two key international organisations-Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Assistant Director-General of Health Emergency Intelligence, World Health Organisation (WHO).

In his remarks, the President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor assured the President of the continuous support of Ndigbo.

‘‘Ndigbo are committed to Nigerian unity and there is news for those trying to push us out of Nigeria.

‘‘Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the ocean and no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out of the ocean.

‘‘Mr President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igbo land and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo nation,’’ he said.


The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder.

Governor Ortom stated this on Tuesday after to journalist after meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

He noted that the nation has not made any significant progress on insecurity.

His Excellency added that if insecurity persists, "there will be no 2023 elections in Nigeria."

He called on the Federal Government to immediately prosecute anyone found culpable of breaching the law.

Governor Ortom responding to his alleged attack on his convoy by unknown gunmen, His Excellency forthwith urged everyone not to politicize the issue of his attempted assassination.

He  stated that about 15 unknown gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, attacked his convoy while on a visit to his farm was not stage-managed.

He prayed that what happened to him would not be experienced by anyone else.