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The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has vowed that those ganging up against him in the battle to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming election would be defeated.

Atiku, who spoke through the Spokesperson, PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Dino Melaye, also accused the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of masterminding the crisis rocking the PDP.

Recall that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, lambasted the former vice president, Atiku and the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and vowed to continue the fight until his demands are met.

Wike, who was defeated by Atiku during the May 29 primary election, had demanded the resignation of Ayu as the only condition to work for Atiku’s victory come 2023.

But according to a statement by Dino, titled “No Shortcut To Victory”, the campaign spokesperson said Atiku is currently suffering persecution because he chose to be a democrat by not forcing Ayu to resign.

The statement added that Atiku would continue to support the “enthronement of strong institutions that can minimise the excesses of political goliaths”, stressing that as it happened to Goliath in the biblical story, “strong men get defeated, no matter the length of their domination”.

The statement reads, “the hawkers of spin in the camp of Ahmed Bola Tinubu are at it again, this time latching on to a debatable forecast to award victory to a delusional candidate who claimed that the presidency of Nigeria is a categorical entitlement.

“The Palace jesters are gloating over the orchestrated amplification of the agitation by some members of our Party to sing a dirge, forgetting that advocacy is not only normal in a democracy, their very idol went riotous and danced naked in desperation when he sensed that the ticket of his discredited and failed political party was eluding him.

“Through a sheer arrogance, impudence and indiscretion, Bayo Onanuga the mouth piece of the hallucinators and hawkers of illusion took the place of INEC by declaring a loss of election for the most promising flagbearer in the 2023 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar. May the self-acclaimed rivals of God be reminded that power belongs to God?

“In any case, the polemics being celebrated was an indictment against Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who regardless of the status and efforts of APC leaders like Rotimi Amaechi was hawking the Senatorial ticket in an insensitive and indecorous manner. In the end his power excursion lu’le. This is what Atiku will not do. It is, in fact, for the defence of democracy and respect for due process that Atiku is now being persecuted.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku as a long standing democrat will not sacrifice those elected by the Party for his own ambition, just to please autocratic democrats. If by chance he loses the support of some party members on account of adhering to the rules, he would be satisfied that he acted right.

“Waiting to benefit from the internal synthesis that may play out in the PDP is a wait in futility. The tears of opposition are only flowing from the demonstrable capacity of Atiku for political sagacity.

“This contest will be a long hull. No shortcut, no award and no conferment of entitlement. Kaka ‘eyin ko lokan'”.

[DailyPost]

His Excellency, The Senior Assistant to President Buhari on new media, Honourable Bashir Ahmad and former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-kayode has been Appointed as New media campaign directors for Tinubu presidential campaigns.

After the recent appointment Mr Bashir said and I quote “. I am honored and humbled to be called for a national assignment once again, this time, by our great party, the All Progressives Congress and our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to deputize the New Media Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC).

LEADERSHIP OF THE DIRECTORATE

Mr. Femi F. Kayode – Director

Mr. Bashir Ahmad – Deputy Director

Ms. Seun Olufemi-White – Secretary

In a facebook post Bashir thanked the APC and Bola Tinubu for finding him worthy of such great national assignment.

He added that we will by God’s grace give his all, with the support of their teeming social media supporters across the country, to lead a clean and excellent digital media campaign for all progressive Congress.

[National Daily]

The leadership of Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council on Saturday defended the omission of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, from its 422-man list, saying the decision was taken on the directive of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The development is coming hours after the comprehensive list of campaign council members was unveiled after weeks of anxiety and serial postponements.

Political observers were, however, quick to observe that despite comprising names of party dignitaries including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors as well as serving and past public office holders, several notable names of members and former aspirants were omitted.

Aside from Osinbajo and Mustapha, other missing names included former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu and one of Tinubu’s sweat merchant, Adebayo Shittu, who heads one of his biggest support groups — Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance.

 

But Chief Spokesperson of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, issued a statement on Saturday explaining the absence of Osinbajo and Mustapha from the list.

 

According to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Buhari gave a directive for both parties to be dropped to avoid abandoning governance for electioneering campaigns.

The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the Chairman of the Campaign Council. As a result, Mr. President has Specifically directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of Government.

“As a responsible Party and Government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May, 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country, but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.

[Punch]

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council says Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, has not endorsed the presidential bid of Peter Obi, standard bearer of the Labour Party (LP).

The APC campaign council said Ayo Adebanjo’s endorsement of Obi is a personal decision.

While expressing support for Obi in July, the Afenifere leader said only the LP candidate would govern independently “without the influence of these criminals in the government”.

Reacting in a statement on Saturday, Bayo Onanuga, APC campaign director of media and publicity, said Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere.

 

Onanuga said although Adebanjo is free to support whomever he likes, he cannot turn the Yoruba group into a personal franchise.

“Papa Ayo Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere. He is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic right,” he said.

“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

 

“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.

“We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.

“It is our well-considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation.”

[TheCable]

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Saturday, stated that he never said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, offered him senatorial ticket to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC during his media chat on Saturday.

The media aide to the governor, Kelvin Ebiri, emphasized that reports indicating that Wike said on Friday that Tinubu offered him senatorial ticket is  “baseless”.

Ebiri declared: “We wish to state emphatically that this news is false, baseless, and ludicrous as the Rivers State governor throughout the media chat never mentioned the name of the APC presidential candidate or alluded to him offering him a senatorial ticket.”

Ebiri published a transcript of the section of the media chat where the governor mentioned senatorial form thus: “’First of all, this is how you know those who are prepared to run an election. Some of them collected presidential forms and at the same time collected senatorial forms. You’ll know that those people are not serious to run.

“I never collected senatorial form. Even after the whole thing, people said come and go for Senate, I said no. I won’t do that. I’ve already made a commitment that this Senate ticket should be zoned to this area (Etche) because they’ve never had it before. I must not be in power.”

The media aide, therefore, declared: “In an era of the increasingly divisive political climate, the tendency to pervert the truth is extremely high. It is on this basis that we wish to remind journalists that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.

“At this critical juncture in our nation, we wish to remind journalists that getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. Journalists are enjoined to always strive for accuracy and give all the relevant facts in their reports. We, therefore, urge the unsuspecting public not to give any credence to these false, baseless, and ill-motivated reports.”

[NationalDaily]

Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, says he salutes Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), for “rejecting” the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bwala’s comment is in reaction to the exclusion of Osinbajo and Mustapha from the APC presidential campaign council.

TheCable had earlier reported that they were left out of the 422-member list.

Reacting via a post on his Twitter page on Saturday, Bwala alleged that the duo asked to be exempted from the campaign council.

 

“We salute the courage of Professor Osinbajo and Boss Mustapha for rejecting the MM ticket by asking to be left out of the campaign council of APC. Say no to religious politics. Nigerians would decide at the polls,” he tweeted.

Following Bwala’s tweet, Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the Tinubu campaign council, released a statement to clarify the situation.

Keyamo said President Muhammadu Buhari requested the vice president’s exclusion to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government”.

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” he said.

 

“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.”

[TheCable]

Saturday, 24 September 2022 20:38

Entertainers who battled kidney ailment

A former President of the Nigerian Association of Nephrology, Ifeoma Ulasi, was reported to have said in 2020 that 25 million Nigerians had kidney disease. Apparently, that figure cuts across different walks of life, and entertainers are not immune to it. Saturday Beats takes a look at entertainers who have battled kidney disease

DJ Jimmy Jatt

Many were taken by surprise when veteran disc jockey, Jimmy Jatt, recently revealed that he had had a kidney transplant in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, six months ago. This was because the turntable wizard had given no clues that he was having such a health challenge. In a video recorded at the Zenith Medical and Kidney Centre, where the surgery took place, Jatt stated that he wanted to become a face for the survival of kidney disease. He said, “I want to be a face for the survival of kidney disease. I did not want to be a victim. I have been through it, and from now on, I will be very open to talking to people about it on any platform to let them know what it is like.”

Adewale Amu, popularly called Jimmy Jatt

The caption that accompanied the video read in part, “A very successful kidney transplant (exactly six months today) has further deepened my appreciation for life’s most important things and gratitude to God

“I cannot imagine pulling through this without my angels. My wife, my daughters; I love you beyond any words. And to my siblings, where do I begin to thank you? My friends for an amazing support system. To anyone battling kidney disease, this is not the end and to all donors and caregivers. Keep staying God sent.

 

“To fans and business partners, DJ Jimmy Jatt has never been cooler! Hop on, the ride continues.”

 

Indeed, it seems the veteran is back in business. His last post on Instagram, as of the time of filing this report, was a flyer announcing an event tagged, ‘Saturday Night Fever with DJ Jimmy Jatt’, set to hold today in Houston, United States of America. He added the caption, “This Saturday night Houston TX.”

Eedris Abdulkareem

Popular rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem, cuts the picture of a ‘hard man’. This is because he is one who does not back down from a fight, and is never hesitant to express his opinions.

But indeed, there is no one that is above falling sick.

Eedris Abdulkareem

Some months ago, the rapper’s team announced that he had a kidney disease and had been undergoing dialysis in Lagos. A statement by his record label, La Kreem Entertainment, in July read in part, “On behalf of the Abdulkareem family and Lakreem Entertainment Inc., we sincerely ask for prayers and good wishes for Eedris as we face these challenging times.

“He will come out of this and blaze up the musical stage again in due course. His spirit emboldens us. We shall be updating you as we continue with this life-saving process.”

Many Nigerians were full of admiration and praise for his wife, Yetunde, when it became known that she had donated one of her kidneys to him.

The ‘Mr Lecturer’ rapper eventually had the surgery in August, and shortly, after, he took to social media to thank his wife, family and fans. Posting a picture of himself and his wife, he wrote, “Thank you, God. I am specifically giving thanks and praises to the Almighty God for my successful kidney transplant surgery over the weekend. May His holy name be glorified forever.

“Words cannot express my love, devotion and commitment to my adorable, loving, supportive and compassionate wife, Yetunde, with whom God Has made my life complete. Baby, I will always love, cherish and adore you forever.

“My awesome, lovely children, God has harkened to your fervent prayers. Daddy and mummy will be coming home hale and hearty soon.’’

Meanwhile, the entertainer took to his Instagram page on Thursday, September 22, to inform his fans and loved ones that he had left the hospital. Posting a picture of himself wearing a nose mask, he added the caption, “It’s good to be back home. To God be the glory.”

Dejo Tunfulu

Sadly, not every entertainer who had kidney disease survived to tell the story. A popular Yoruba actor, Adekunle Adetokunbo, aka Dejo Tunfulu, had for years put smiles on the faces of many with his comic roles in movies. But on April 1, 2022, the sun set for the funny man.

Dejo Tunfulu

He was said to have battled kidney disease for a while before succumbing to the cold hands of death. The actor was said to have been rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital in Lagos around 4am on that fateful day. According to those who saw the actor in his last moments, they recalled that he looked emaciated and a shadow of himself.

In an interview with The PUNCH, a friend of the late actor stated that he had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. He said  he was aware that the late actor nursed the disease for months.

“I don’t know if the family was aware, but he once confided in me that he went to get his drugs. I’m not sure if his children are aware but they should be,” he said.

Though the late Dejo’s family accused the hospital of being negligent in their duty of care towards him, the healthcare institution released a statement that read in part, “The late Adetokunbo had been battling with multiple organ failure and immunosuppression with attendant remarkable weight loss, poor appetite, laboured breathing, and increasing weakness for months before presentation.

“He was said to have complained of headache, vomiting and sudden collapse resulting in weakness on the left side of his body, which started hours before presentation at our A & E.”

“He was subsequently reviewed by our medical team that same morning and was feared to have suffered a stroke with very low blood level in addition to end-stage immunosuppression which led to further tests that were requested.

 “Despite the late presentation and severity of the deceased’s condition at the point of admission, the unfounded rumours making rounds made a mess of the selfless and frantic efforts of our medical team.”

Leo Mezie

Actor, Leo Mezie, battled a kidney ailment stoically for years but he eventually lost out. He was said to have died on Saturday, May 14, 2022, while recuperating from a kidney transplant.

Leo Mezie

In an interview with The PUNCH in 2019, the actor had stated that it was tough accessing funds to get treatment. He had said, “We give God the glory. I still go for dialysis three times a week.

 

“The fundraising that the Actors Guild of Nigeria was helping me with has been stalled as I have not been hearing anything from them. Right now, I am on my own, with support only from my immediate family. They raise money for me in turn, and that’s how I’ve been managing. However, the end goal is for me to get a kidney transplant, and the earlier for me, the better. Otherwise, I would continue to cough out money for dialysis. To get the transplant done in Nigeria, it would cost about N20m. I’m considering Nigeria because that is the best I can afford. The treatment would last for three months.”

In the same interview, the actor also lamented that many of his friends had abandoned him in his moment of need. He said, “Let’s not even go there because it is heartbreaking. They are countless. However, I don’t feel disappointed because if someone who is your friend leaves you at your time of need, it means that even if he is with you, he wouldn’t be able to do anything to help. It’s better for such a person to leave you so that you can know how many people are with you. For those ones not showing any interest and who aren’t even bothered enough to call me, it only shows the kind of people they are. Anyway, I only look up to God, not man. And He has been there for me all the while.”

It was reported that Mezie eventually got help from kindhearted Nigerians, and he went for a kidney transplant. But sadly, he died shortly after.

OJB Jezreel

The story of contemporary Nigerian music cannot be written without mention of the name, Babatunde Okungbowa, aka OJB Jezreel.

OJB

The talented music beat maker was responsible for producing hit songs such as 2face (now 2baba)’s ‘African Queen’, Ruggedman’s ‘Ehen’, Azadus’ ‘Madam’, Nomoreloss’ ‘Iyawo Asiko’, Jazzman Olofin’s ‘Raise the Roof’ and D’banj’s ‘Kiss Me Again’ and Yemi Alade’s ‘Ghen Ghen Love’.

As a singer, he also churned out songs such as ‘Pretete’ and ‘Searching’, which went on to become very successful. Though he still had a lot to give, his brilliant career was cut short abruptly. He battled a kidney ailment for four years before his demise.

At a point, one of his wives, Mabel, donated a kidney to him and many thought he would live after all, but he died in June 2016, barely three years after the transplant, and a month shy of his 50th birthday. He was survived by three wives and seven children.

[Punch]

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Babachir Lawal, has clarified that northern christian politicians remain steadfast on their stand for justice, equity and fair-play in the 2023 political dispensation in the overall interest of the nation.

The renowned technocrat insisted that any nation or political dispensation built on injustice would crumble because justice and equity settle all other disputes.

Lawal in a statement he released to the media on Saturday, is apparently pleading with Nigerians to understand the position of Northern Christian Politicians on the Muslim-Muslim of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 presidential election.

He explained that neither Bola Ahmed Tinubu as APC presidential candidate and APC as a political party has ever seen anything wrong in the choice of same faith for the presidency of 2023 to make peace or assuage the feelings of northern christian politicians.

The statement made available to our correspondent read in part, “Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC.

“I now want to respond to this.

“We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such.

“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.

“There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.

“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.

“It seems that Bola/Kashima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is division within Christendom on this matter.

“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country.

“Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people whilst also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.

“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebbelsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.

“Everyone, including some notable Christian haters, are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “christian” organizations that churn out falsehood to the public.

“It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.

“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government.

“The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.

“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.

“The other key positions, The Senate President, the Speaker, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President positions have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions respectively.

“Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Representatives member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies.

“In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.

“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra?

“If Kashim Shetima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government?

“Let us make no mistake about it; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.

“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.

“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind.

“So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north.

“And, broken they will be indeed. We noticed this trend in APC right from its registration in 2014 up to the 2022 convention where the overriding goal seemed to have been to exclude northern Christians from all the organs of the party.

“How any one expects APC to win the 2023 presidential election under this climate befuddles the mind. I do not know why this saying keeps coming to mind: “those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad” but it bears restating.

“It is a pity that Bola has chosen to throw away the Presidency which was within his reach to grab.

“As for us northern Christians and other Nigerians who share in our vision of a united and peaceful Nigeria devoid of tribal and religious exclusion, we will continue with our struggle and are very very confident of victory.

“After all, the God who allowed Nigeria to be inhabited by a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society intended that we all should live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters all created in the image of God.

“We are on a mission from God and are confident of victory. So, we fear no one and can be intimidated by no one. We are confident that Nigerians, especially sensible Northern Nigerians, will come to appreciate this fight for justice, equality and peaceful co-existence. We are buoyed by Psalm 2:1-4 which reads thus:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying ‘let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derisions”, the statement said.

[DailyPost]

There is a saying that in politics, no less than war, the lessons of the past campaign are prized beyond their application to the present one. Interpretation: Each political campaign, like every battle, is dependent upon the experience of past campaigns but is itself unique. In different ways, the ‘old brigade’ politicians in Nigeria have misled themselves in their vaulting and entitlement ambition, to paraphrase America’s 38th President, Gerald R. Ford, to think that the presidency is a prize to be won rather than a duty to be done.           

 

 

 

But unknown to them, Nigeria’s political architecture is changing thick and fast before their very eyes. Today, there’s a ‘new order’, new cadence and rhythm. The emergence of Mr Peter Obi in the 2023 Presidential race is driving our politics in astonishing manner, bringing hope and optimism in the horizon. The incontrovertible fact is that, Mr Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, more than any other national figure, is defining the public agenda for the Presidential election scheduled to hold on February 25, 2023. He has been arguing – articulately and emphatically – the urgent need to fix a broken Nigeria, clean up the mess, cut the cost and size of governance. He has been marshaling out the challenges of immediate sort that confront us, and proffering solutions. He has urged the youths to ‘take back their country’. This is their time, their season.  Everywhere he goes – home and abroad- his message is resonating. In Canada, for instance, the oldest man there, a Nigerian, journeyed from faraway place, to see him. The old Daddy of 106 years old from the South-West Nigeria (who has lived the greater part of his life in Canada) said he wanted to have a feel of the man called Peter Obi. As he held his hand, tears of joy dropped. It was a moving scene.  Back in Nigeria, rallies after rallies have become common scenes to behold, on Obi’s behalf, without him giving a dime for the sponsors. They call themselves “Obidients”. They troop to the rallies, of their own volition, in rain and in sunshine. They see him Nigeria’s new hope.  It’s a measure of his frugality, not stinginess. As a critic of the present system in Nigeria that has left millions of Nigerians in extreme poverty and the country in the brink of collapse, Obi reminds everyone who cares to listen, that one of the aims of his struggle “is to dismantle the present structure of criminality” in Nigeria”. It’s not by any violent means, but through citizens’ active participation in the democratic process.          

The picture that emerges from the above is that Obi is perhaps the most formidable candidate, and the man to beat in the Presidential election. No surprise, attempts are ongoing to stop his soaring acceptance across the country. Only last Saturday, the police in Ebonyi state teargassed Obi supporters in the state capital, Abakiliki, chased some into a church. But the rally still took place. In Lagos, a group of lawyers is reported to have filed a suit at the Federal High Court to stop a rally in the state planned by Obi-Datti supporters on October 1. The lawyers, nine in number, have specifically asked the court to restrain Obi, his running mate and their royalists from holding the rally until the hearing and determination of the suit.  Who is afraid of Peter Obi? Many do. And for good reasons. With the Presidential election nearing, Obi’s opponents are seeing the writing on the wall. They are jittery by recent polls. For example, the result of opinion poll by NOI commissioned by Atedo Peterside’s ANAP Foundation showed a massive lead for the Labour Party Presidential candidate with 21 percent, while the APC candidate Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP tied on 13 percent, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) with 3 percent. Similar poll conducted by Daily Trust newspaper showed even a more significant margin by Obi with 64 percent, Tinubu and Atiku at 16 and 14 percent, respectively. The two polls cut across gender, geographic location and age-group.  What does that tell you? It means that if the presidential election is held today, Peter Obi will be Nigeria’s President-elect.  This is the reason why the Tinubu herd dogs are attacking Obi. Though polls don’t have the final say in an election, they provide a vital tool for understanding the country. They can tell us a lot. According to Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research at the Pew Research Centre, USA, in the absence of polls, we would just have public officials claiming whatever they want. And that’s why some spokespersons of the Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Organisation are in overdrive to malign the truth regarding Obi’s record of accomplishments.                

I thought they said their candidate would be ready to discuss issue-oriented campaigns. But, by the way, who are these attack dogs and their public records? They include Bayo Onanuga, the garrulous Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, enfant terrible Festus Keyamo and journeyman Femi Fani-kayode (aka FFK). They have few attributes in common: they tend to shoot from the hip, they are patronising and overtly arrogant, they talk fast and loose with the facts, they are masters of defining truth downwards. And when they see the truth, they maintain a mouse like silence. But, truth is the only tool that will bring positive change. Not with these hirelings. They have consistently shown an absence of leadership and an absence of a grasp of what Nigeria is today and how to rescue it. But my admonition to Obi-Datti is plain: Don’t lose your cool, stay presidential. Decency in political communication is key. Keep it clean and civil, don’t be desperate to demarket an opponent. Focus on issues; be persuaded by reason, not by tantrums. It doesn’t help. But can  the master of the attack dogs against Obi call his surrogates to order? He won’t because he’s against the wall.  Let’s look at some of the cheap lies against Obi. Oshiomhole, as characteristic of him, went off the handle last week when he alleged that Obi was soft on security when he was governor of Anambra state.  Where was the former Governor of Edo state when, on April 10, 2014, the then Inspector General of Police Abubakar Mohammad, declared Anambra under Obi’s leadership as the “safest state in five years”? The Nation newspaper owned by Tinubu gave a copious reportage of the IGP commendation on April 11, 2014. The newspaper garlanded Obi for a job well done on security matters.  Perhaps the worst of all lies ever told against Obi is that by Keyamo, when he alleged without any scintilla of evidence, that Obi was planning to stage “his own assassination”, and have “Labour Party boys dressed in APC caps and T-shirts to attack some Labour Party offices” across the country. How low can someone go to tell a lie? No surprise, Keyamo came under fire for this incendiary, hate comments on Obi. Well, for FFK, no one takes himself serious anymore. His comments no longer attract more than a pitcher of a warmspit. That’s how low his public rating has gone.                                              

All in all, amid unwarranted  verbal swipes, Obi-Datti campaign and its supporters should keep it clean, civil, affirmative and decent. To paraphrase Michelle Obama’s famous quote, ‘when they go low, we go high’. Their fusillade of attacks should be seen as the final lunges of desperate men. They have neither a “city boy” nor a golden boy” in the ring. They are only searching for smoking guns against Obi, but won’t find any to stick to his name. Rather than response to every herd attack, Obi-Datti campaign should stick to the high road and hope for the best. The good news is that Nigerian voters of today are smart enough than they were in 2015 and 2019. The right thing to do by the Obi-Datti campaign is to continue hammering the message on security, economy, power supply, infrastructure, cutting cost of governance, poverty reduction, job creation and production as a plank for economic growth and development. He should not go on the offensive and attack his opponents personally. The target of the opponents is to discredit Obi’s firm determination, competence and character. He should not lose his temper. He should focus on the issues he has set for his campaign. This is where he should draw the line: keep the contest on a high plane.

Our battle formations have been assembled and the game is on! 
 
The marching drums are beating, our horses pull at the bit, our warriors are singing as we prepare to enter the fray. 
 
Caesar has crossed the Rubicorn: war is inevitable! 
 
The enemy should prepare for a relentless bombardment! 
 
When the whistle blows on September 28th we shall give no quarter and we shall ask for none. 
 
On that day we shall charge, cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!
 
I urge Iyorcha Ayu to resign as National Chairman of his party and I implore the opposition PDP to quickly settle their differences and put their house in order. 
 
I say this so that when our highly esteemed presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, trounces Atiku Ibn Dubai, their Waziri of Abu Dhabi, at the polls in February next year they will have no excuses. 
 
I appeal to Nysesom Wike to give them back their balls so that they can be fit for battle.  
 
Taking them on when they are so badly divided and when they are in the midst of this acrimonious, pathetic and pitiful condition and situation of barbarous civil war and fratricidal butchery would be unfulfilling, unexciting and almost dishonorable. 
 
It would result in an unprecedented and uninspiring electoral massacre. 
 
They would face utter devastation and annihilation. 
 
Their pants would be removed before the entire world and they would be buggered stiff without any hope of
 redemption or for the future.
 
In short we would have no opposition left in Nigeria apart from Rabiu Kwankwaso's affable yet regional 'Kwakwansia' brigade known as the NNPP and the aggressive, excitable and murderous mob, gullible and unruly rabble, abusive and misguided street urchins, violent Endsars veterans, ignorant plebians, closet secessionists and Biafran extremists that call themselves the Obidients. 
 
Contending with Atiku Abubakar and his PDP in their present situation and state would result in disaster for them both. They just can't make up the weight. 
 
It would be like a super-heavyweight taking on a flyweight. 
 
It would be like Tyson Fury fighting a man that has no arms and no legs.
 
It would be like Mike Tyson taking on Bobrisky. 
 
It would be like Superman contending with an ant. 
 
It would be like the Wolf squaring up with Little Red Riding Hood. 
 
It would be like Batman exchanging blows with Mother Theresa. 
 
We don't want that! 
 
It just wouldn't be any fun! 
 
It would be too easy and too boring! 
 
It would be a 'no contest' and a first round knockout! 
 
It just wouldn't be good enough!
 
What we want is a real fight against a big, strong, happy, healthy, fit and worthy adversary and opponent so that when we knock them for six we can make boast of the fact that we fought against an army of able men and not one of dysfunctional boy-lovers and unruly, quarrelsome, obnoxious, acrimonious and divided little children. 
 
There is no glory or honor in spanking a feeble, emaciated and defenceless adult child that cannot fight back. 
 
That would be very unfair and would be an act of cruelty. 
 
I urge them to stop fighting, to close ranks and to make peace amongst themselves so that we can flog them before the world when they are at their full strength and capacity. 
 
Meanwhile I never knew that the prayer of "O Lord scatter the ranks of our enemies and make them turn their swords against one another" could be so powerful and effective. 
 
This is a great testimony.
 
We have only just started warming up, campaigns have not yet begun and yet they are already groping in the dark, slapping and cursing one another publicly and attempting to gouge each others eyes out! 
 
What a sight to behold!
 
I guess we can't expect much more from a group of circus clowns, court jesters, corrupt souls, degenarate scammers, unlettered and ill-bred peasants and notorious buggery merchants.
 
This is the party that says it wants to take power in Nigeria? 
 
God forbid it! 
 
By the time this is all over they will roll on the floor, shed bitter tears, gnash their teeth, chop leather and know that we serve a mighty God!
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