Displaying items by tag: APC
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.”
Ahead of next week’s presidential convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, The Progressive Project TPP – an umbrella organization of all pro-Yemi Osinbajo support groups, has dismissed speculations that the vice president was considering stepping down for a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The group noted that as the APC prepares for its presidential primaries, paid agents and loyalists of some aspirants have intensified the spread of falsehoods against the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Director of Operations at The Progressive Project TPP, Alhaji Usman Aliyu Usman noted on Sunday that “some paid agents and other supporters who feel threatened by the candidature of Professor Osinbajo seem determined for a gutter fight which Osinbajo supporters cannot join”.
Part of the statement reads; “One of our visible supporters, Professor Olusola Adeyeye, a two-term Senator who represented Osun Central Senatorial District between 2011 to 2019 made some weighty statements about the APC presidential primaries on Saturday and by Sunday, really baseless and mischievous anti-Osinbajo statements began circulating.
“Unfortunately, one of these came from Mr. Daniel Bwala, an aide to Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege who currently appears to moonlight as spokesman for the Bola Tinubu campaign.
“Specifically, without any proof, Mr. Bwala started circulating a video clip with claims that Professor Yemi Osinbajo is ‘allegedly planning to step down for Asiwaju’; Mr. Bwala had no evidence and he ought to know better than going to town with such.”
“Without doubt, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is still riding high in the race and our decision not to interfere in some camps’ deliberate spread of illusion and untruths is only motivated by our genuine confidence in our candidate’s prospects.
“As stated long ago, no group linked to TPP will join any individual or group in playing gutter politics or smearing others but we need to unequivocally state that Professor Yemi Osinbajo is not contemplating any measure of capitulation to any candidate.
“While we are sworn to total allegiance to the Constitution, patriotic values and the spirit of good sportsmanship, we denounce the misleading information and unbecoming tricks that some supporters in other presidential candidates’ camps embrace so eagerly.
“We denounce too, the baseless ad unhelpful information being randomly disseminated by the likes of Mr. Bwala.
“In the interest of the nation and its democracy, TPP appeals to all aspirants and supporters at all levels to learn from the focused and principled campaign methods of Professor Osinbajo and his supporters whose collective determination towards actualizing Nigeria’s enduring greatness is a cause that genuinely deserves the support of all patriots.
“We categorically debunk the spate of falsehoods against PYO’s candidature and we urge all Nigerian patriots to look forward to join us in the forthcoming celebrations on the day after APC presidential primaries,’ the TPP official stated.
Meanwhile, the Tinubu Support Group TSG has appealed to delegates to consider the future of the nation and elect the former Lagos governor as presidential candidate of the party.
Head, Media and Publicity of the TSG, Tosin Adeyanju in an open letter to delegates said “it is an incontrovertible fact that Asiwaju Tinubu has the mental capacity, the political sagacity and the economic ingenuity required to steer the Nigerian ship to the promised land”.
“Patrick Henry famously declared that ‘I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past’. It is with the declaration of Patrick Henry in mind that I am writing to you all on why the choice of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the answer to a new Nigeria we have long desired. My letter to you all is to seek your vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in this forthcoming convention.
“Hence, I am appealing to all you, our dear party delegates to vote for Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu as the party presidential candidate. The future of this country and that of our children has made Asiwaju the right choice for a time like this when our country needs a tested turnaround.
“As a pro-democracy leader from the NADECO days, Senator in the third republic, two-time Governor of Lagos State and founding member of APC, Asiwaju is the most experienced and most qualified to be the next President of Nigeria”, he stated.
In a related development, the APC Professionals Forum has taken its quest for professionals and technocrats in the party to be given more roles to the leadership of the party.
A delegation led by the acting Chairman of its Board of Trustees, Dr Nkem Okeke which met the National Secretary of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore, was emphatic that the party has an untapped pool of professionals that could easily add value to the party’s operations at all levels.
He said: “The narrative has to change to include this untapped pool of party members who have shown more than a passing interest in politics and governance in country.
“We have quite a number, not only in our midst but also within the rank and file, that are prepared for responsibilities so we crave the indulgence of the National Working Committee (NWC) to also look in the direction of professionals who are registered APC members.
“As a registered think-tank in the party, it falls within our mandate to contribute our quota to strengthening APC. We have therefore being holding consultations with registered professionals bodies in order to woo interested professionals into the party as well as to synergize with them in order to enhance professionalism in governance.
“And while the party is in the midst of electing candidates that will fly our flag in the various elections in 2023, we are hoping to organize conferences, retreats and symposia in partnership with the new APC leadership as part of preparations for the next general elections.”
Responding, Senator Omisore welcomed the idea behind the formation of APC Professionals Forum and promised to support its initiatives.
“We are prepared to work with you and have no problem including professionals in the activities of the party ahead of the next election,” he said.
The delegation which also included the National Coordinator of the forum, Hon. Akeem Akintayo also met the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari, National Vice Chairman (South), Victor Giadom as well as National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu and his deputy, Nze Chidi Duru.
...,warns against gang-up
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, said any attempt to deny the South-East the presidency in 2023 is a gang-up against the region dominated by Igbo.
Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, in a chat with Sunday Vanguard, said those opposed to Igbo President are discriminatory against the region.
The statement was interpreted in many politically informed circles to mean that the group may not back a Yoruba aspirant for the nation’s highest office in 2023.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are believed to be main contenders in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari from the South-West while Senator Pius Anyim and Governor Dave Umahi among others from the South-East and also eyeing Aso Rock Villa..
Whereas Tinubu has publicly declared his ambition, Osinbajo is said to be considering running against his mentor who was single handedly responsible for his nomination to run as deputy to Buhari first in 2015 and later in 2019.
Adebanjo said: “If there is anything like power shift in Nigeria, it should go to the South-East. There is doubt about that, any other thing is just gang-up.
“There should not be any argument about that because the South-West has gotten it, the North has gotten, South-South has gotten it. You want the Igbo to remain in Nigeria but you want to discriminate against them.
“There should be no argument about where power should shift to, it should go to the South-East. Any other thing is gang-up.”
Nigerian physician, politician and Presidential aspirant, Adedoyin Ajibike Okupe better known as Dr. Doyin Okupe, declared that he has been taught by two past presidents on how to be a President.
The cum politician made this know in a recent interview on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City105.1 monitored by Abati media.
The former presidential spokesperson made his intention known to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in August 2021.
Other politicians on the list of the PDP who have expressed interest in the 2023 Presidential race are: Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government, Senator Ayim Pius, Veteran Journalist and Publisher of the Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, and Former President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa
According to Dr. Okupe, the race for the President is beyond brandishing of Curriculum Vitae when it comes to national politics.
“I have worked with two major Presidents (President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan) in this country, I have been with them in hard times and in good times, I have seen what their fears were and how things are done.
“My situation is much better than those who came to gamble,” Dr Okupe said.
He stated that apart from Atiku Abubakar who was a former Vice President,” I am the most well positioned person to run the next administration after General Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
In his view, “I have a lot of respect for Senator Anyim, he was a former secretary to government and I have the opportunity of working with him.
“Being a Senate President and a Secretary to the Government is far from being a President.
“Inspite of Ayim’s antecedents, I am still a better candidate than him,” Dr Okupe said.
He added, “there are different levels of government, the fact that you have occupied one does not mean you can do well in other areas.”
Dr Okupe blamed the failure of past Presidents in Nigeria on the lack of preparedness and he described the events where other people coerce others to vie for presidency as “idiotic.”
He alluded his interest to vie for the position of the President on his preparedness and motivations.
His words: “I have done my research, I know where the government failed, I know the bottle neck, I have designed a roadmap.
“I have reached a point and I have reached an age that I can give my optimum best, particularly, to address the issue of poverty, the issue of insurgency and insecurity and to relieve the pain of the masses and those who are needy and poor.
“From day one; if sworn-in-as-Presidents, I will announce 10 ministers whose names are already on my mind.
“After the first Federal Executive Council meeting, I will announce the remaining ministers.”
African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential aspirant, Kingsley Moghalu, on Wednesday tweeted about the 2023 presidential contest.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor said he forgot to inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to run.
The post was ostensibly a reaction to State House visits by All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Bola Tinubu, and Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi.
The duo, at separate meetings on Monday and Tuesday, told Buhari that they would seek the party’s ticket.
“I forgot to inform President @Mbuhari that I am running for President. But I informed Nigerians, of whom he is one, so no wahala!”, Moghalu wrote.
The tweet didn’t sit well with some respondents who posted photos of him sharing biscuits to kids, while others joked about it or gave him advice.
Lolofirstclass: “Twitter doesn’t win elections. Many of them will be online warriors that day. Send people to start spreading your word from street to street, churches, higher institutions, markets and even viewing centres.”
GenesisClothin2: “If you came out during the #Endsars protest to stand with the youths, by now your campaign for done finish but all of una hide una head now una need us.”
Desmond Stephen: “You will have to do more advocacy. Most people outside Twitter don’t know you.”
Okunola Smart: “First go try and contest for the Federal Hon position to test your popularity and acceptance by your people.”
Olatunde Olaleye: “Find your way to the villa with your face mask. Then snap a few pictures with Buhari.”
Moghalu joined the ADC in October 2021. The National Chairman, Ralph Nwosu said Nigeria needs “servants and dedicated leaders” like him.
Moghalu, one of the Third Force leaders, is a lawyer and political economist. He was the Young Progressives Party (YPP) presidential candidate in 2019.
Moghalu served as Special Envoy of the United Nations on Post-COVID Development Finance for Africa.
In June 2021, he was elected member of the Board of Directors, Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS).
The former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, says that President Muhammadu Buhari did not ask him to discard his political ambition.
He said this after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Monday.
The former Lagos State governor told reporters that becoming Nigeria’s president is his lifelong ambition.
The National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says his visit to the Presidential Villa on Monday offered him the opportunity to formally inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his Presidential ambition in 2023.
When asked how the President responded to his declaration, Tinubu said, “He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop, he didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition. It is a lifelong ambition. You are running a democratic dispensation and you must adopt the principles and values and virtues of democracy.”
Tinubu said he’s qualified to make Nigeria better.
“I don’t want to discuss individuals now, I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, vision and capacity to build on the foundation of the President and turn Nigeria better. I have done that with commitment and yielding zeal in Lagos State.
“You have seen that experience and capacity to turn things around and that is also what we are doing. The confusion and drift of the past in PDP are being corrected as we are today. Going back to the data of how many barrels of oil we were producing when we took over and what we have today.
“You now see excellent infrastructure. Let us think back and be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present as well as what the future holds for Nigeria,” he added.
The former Lagos governor dodged the question of a potential race for the APC ticket between him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whose support groups have been mobilising for his candidacy.
The former governor of Lagos state, says there is no rule preventing a kingmaker from becoming king.
Tinubu played a role in the merger of different parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the subsequent emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s candidate in 2015, thus earning him the moniker.
Fielding questions from reporters after meeting with Buhari at the presidential villa, Tinubu said he would pursue his ambition without the title of “kingmaker”.
“About the cap of kingmaker. I have never seen the cap of a kingmaker before,” he said.
“That is the truth and I have never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king – unless you commit murder.
“So, whatever is your attribute [of me] is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and story based on your own perception.”
Only the court can determine his eligibility - SANs
Former president’s silence fuels further speculations
It's all APC's plot to divert attention from faillings – PDP
Insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari is secretly wooing his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) preparatory to drafting him into the 2023 presidential race, has ignited a constitutional debate, with political stakeholders and lawyers questioning Jonathan’s eligibility to contest for the office of the president.
Frequent meetings between Buhari and Jonathan as well as recent activities of the former president, which have seen him keeping a distance from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) where he remains a card-carrying member, have been fueling speculations about his ambition.
This is even as attempts by governors of the APC to woo Jonathan to their party and the emergence of the campaign group, South-South Presidency 2023, had also raised the stakes as to which region will produce Nigeria’s next president.
In June 2018, President Buhari signed an amendment to the 1999 Constitution passed by the 8th National Assembly, limiting the number of terms a vice president or deputy governor who inherits the presidency or the governorship can seek re-election.
The amendments introduced in Sections 137 and 182 of the 1999 Constitution read: “137(3) – A person who was sworn-in as President to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.
“182(3) – A person who was sworn-in as Governor to complete the term for which another person was elected as Governor shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”
The citation of the Fourth Alteration reads: “This Act may be cited as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 16) Act, 2017.”
Further complicating matters for Jonathan is a legal review of two previous Supreme Court judgments where section 285 on the time limits within which pre-election cases should be filed, decided and appealed against have been the subject of interpretation in the cases of Gusau v. APC (2019) 7 NWLR (Pt. 1670) 185 and Kusamotu v. A.P.C. (2019) 7 NWLR (Pt. 1670) 52.
In both cases, the Supreme Court interpreted the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution to be applicable to all pre-election cases that preceded the said Fourth Alteration, thereby making the alteration to be of retrospective (not prospective) effect.
In 2010, Jonathan was sworn in as president after the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and would later take a second oath of office in 2011 after winning the presidential election. The former president again ran for president in 2015 but lost to President Buhari.
His eligibility to run in 2023 after the 2018 constitutional amendment is now an issue of debate among regional and political rivals for the presidency and prominent lawyers in the country.
Senior lawyers in the country, including and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANS) and law professors, have said only the courts can decide whether the amended constitution is retroactive or applies to the former president.
They spoke based on the amendment to the 1999 Constitution which provides that vice presidents and deputy governors who served out the tenure of their principals can only seek re-election once.
According to them, the idea behind the law is to prevent them from having to stay in office for more than two terms.
A learned silk, Ahmed Raji (SAN), raised some questions on the issue, which he said will have to be determined by courts.
He cited the example of former Taraba State governor, Jolly Nyame; former Ogun State governor, Olusegun Osoba and former Yobe State governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, who were elected governors in 1992 but had their terms in office cut short due to military intervention in politics.
They were however cleared by the courts to contest the 1999 governorship election in their respective states and were elected governors.
Raji said, ”Was the law in place when Jonathan served. This issue will throw up arguments whether the law was in place when Jonathan was president. Definitely no; the law was not in place.
”Then the question to ask now is, does it have a retroactive effect? That is where we have to look at the wordings of the law; otherwise, when Jonathan left he already had a vested right to contest and can that right be taken away from him in future? These are the issues.
”The wordings of that law will now have to be looked at. You will recollect that when we came into this republic, Reverend Jolly Nyame was governor in 1992; same with Olusegun Osoba and Bukar Abba Ibrahim, but in 1999, they all contested twice and they served out their tenure.
”Ordinarily, after contesting in 1992, they should not have had the opportunity to contest more than once, but they served out their terms. What prevailed then is under a different constitution from what we have now.”
Also, a constitutional lawyer, Barrister Paul Omoluabi, agreed with Raji that the law should be tested in court, saying if nobody has gone to court to challenge it, the law will stand.
”If anybody has not gone to court to challenge it, then the law stands. If former President Jonathan presents himself to contest, then someone needs to go to court to challenge his eligibility to contest the election on the ground that it is against the provisions of the constitution.
”If, indeed, there is any such law someone should go to court to test the law on his eligibility but if there is no law like that, he would be free to contest because in the face of the law, he had contested only once”, Omoluabi said.
For his part, a professor of law at the Bayero University Kano, Auwalu Yadudu, said the reason for the law is to prevent them from going for a third term in office.
According to him, the law was borrowed from the 22nd amendment of the US constitution.
”The amendment was borrowed from the 22nd amendment to the United States of America’s Constitution. The 22nd amendment to the US Constitution bars the vice president from doing what is considered 3rd term if he had done one full term of four years and two years plus one day.
”I want to believe that is what they are borrowing. I think the idea behind the law is that they don’t want a Vice President or a Deputy Governor to do three terms in office”, he said.
Another professor of law, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), said until Jonathan comes out to declare his intention all the reports are still in the realm of speculation.
When reminded that there is no smoke without fire, he queried: ”When you have a volcanic eruption and there are smokes everywhere, do you see fire?
”Has Jonathan come out to say he is contesting. All that is being said about Jonathan contesting the next election is still in the realm of speculations. Until he comes out to declare his intention, that is when the law will be tested in court.”
Former President Jonathan and his associates under the aegis of the group, South-South Presidency, 2023, however maintained a deafening silence over the issue of his eligibility following the alteration to Sections 137 and 182 of the 1999 Constitution.
While messages sent to Ikechukwhu EZE, the media aide to the former president, were not answered at the time of writing this report, the message sent to Jonathan’s political associate and convener of the South-South Presidency 2023, Chief Dikivie Ikhiogha, was also not answered.
In his recent media campaign for the group, Ikhiogha said though the South-South for Presidency, 2023 campaign was not about former President Jonathan or the emergence of a presidential candidate from the region, in a specific political party,” the country owes the South-South people a four-year tenure following the abrupt termination of Jonathan’s tenure, which is supposed to be eight years.”
Ikhiogha, in his position, said Nigeria’s president in 2023 must come from the South South zone in order to “balance the political equation” of the country.
According to him, Jonathan, the first person from the South South to be elected president of Nigeria, was unable to win a second term in 2015. He was defeated by the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.
Ikhiogha also pointed out that the South-South for Presidency 2023 is an advocacy group formed with the purpose of letting the country know that it is the turn of the South South to produce the next president based on the fact that the zone was pushed out of power in 2015.
He noted: “Nobody allowed the South-South to complete our tenure. It is a clear injustice to the region. And for fair play, justice and peace, we should be given a chance to complete our tenure. All region had in the past joined together to agitate for rotational presidency and we are saying that if the position of presidency is zoned to the southern region by any political party, it should be micro-zoned to the South-South based on the fact that the South-West has gotten their tenure of eight years and another eight years as vice president.
“Yes, the South-East has not tasted, but the South South only had a tenure, and a tenure is not a full rotation given to candidates. Buhari is completing his eight years. What offense did we commit that we should not be given our full tenure of eight years? The nation owes us four years. In the nation today, there is suspicion among regions and zones. Amidst all these, the only solution is for the nation to allow SouthSouth to complete their tenure.”
It’s APC Plot To Divert Attention From Its Failings – PDP
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said speculations of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a ploy by the governing party to divert attention from their monumental failures.
National publicity secretary of PDP, Hon Debo Ologunagba, said the APC embarked on the propaganda of Jonathan’s defection with the hope of swaying Nigerians from focusing on their failures in the security and economic sectors.
Ologunagba said the APC has become distressed as a party and is hoping to glean off the democratic credentials of the former president.
He said it is unfortunate that in 2021, between January and December, 9,196 Nigerians were killed by terrorist and over 3857 kidnapped.
He stated: “Now that they (APC) are in trouble they will spin all sorts of story because they are used to propaganda. But we know that the former president is well respected and because he is a product of the PDP that believes in democratic principle. That is why in 2015 he allowed for peaceful transfer of power. That is the essence of democracy which endeared him to the whole world. That is why today you see him being appointed into united nation body as peacemaker and so on.
“So he has been a busy person for the good of humanity and that is one of the legacies of the PDP. They might want to spin up propaganda to distract Nigerians from their monumental failures. They can bring any issue or story to divert attention of Nigerians from the level of insecurity, collapsing economy and so on.
“For us, it is not beyond the APC whose stock in trade is to lie and push out propaganda to distract from the real issues.
“In 2021, between January and December, 9,196 Nigerians were killed by terrorists and over 3,857 were kidnapped, and this same government will lie to Nigerians. Over 70 percent of them that died are from the North.”
The PDP spokesman said the opposition party will remain focused on the challenges facing Nigerians.
“We know that in spite of party affiliations everybody must be on board and we are looking for that opportunity for all Nigerians to work with PDP to rescue Nigeria.
“For me, APC is under so much distress. They don’t have a National Working Committee because the contraption called caretaker committee is illegal. So today that party has no manager and that explains why Nigeria is in a rudderless situation,” he added.
Dr Amselm Onuorah, the spokes person for the Kwechiri N’Oganiru opined that the presence of security operatives deployed for the Anambra stand-alone guber election brought insecurities to prospective voters.
Dr Onuorah made this know as a guest on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City 105.1 on Saturday.
The Anambra governorship election that was conducted on the 6th November 2021 and supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area, in Anambra State on the 9th November, 2021 generated a lot of apprehensions from many people.
Prior to the scheduled date for the Anambra gubernatorial election, there was a report on new media that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared a sit-at-home order in the South East between 5-10 November, 2021 which of cause falls within the date for the election.
However, the President of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, had given clear directives to that effect, stating it clearly that whoever tries to disrupt the election will meet with the full weight of the Nigerian State.
According to the Office of the National Security Adviser, any non-state actor that tries to challenge the state's will be dealt with full force. According to the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The election was conducted in 21 Local Government Areas, over 5,000 polling units and 18 candidates of various political parties involved and also over 34, 500 personnel, 45 Commissioners of Police,48 ACPs, 2 DIGs, 5 AIGs, 3 Helicopters. The Civil Defence Corps sent in over 20, 000 men. The Department of State Security deployed its men and women.
The spokesperson of the IPOB in a bulletin said that the sit-at-home order is cancelled and the group encouraged people to come out in their numbers to take part in the election.
In retrospect, Dr Onourah blamed the voters turn out on the humongous number of security personnel.
According to him, deploying such a number of personnel could have a negative impact in an election. “Some persons that didn’t come out may have thought that something may happen. However, their presence helped the atmosphere for those that came out,” he said.
Dr Onourah disagreed When fielded with the question by Dr Reuben Abati, if the presence of those personnel was there to justify the means to an end.
He said, “It is because of the failure of a system that accumulated to the event seen in Anambra.
“The federal government wanted the elections to hold to make a statement.
“The state didn’t want a state of emergency to be declared, so they have to deploy all that security apparatus to conduct an election in Anambra
“If the challenges in Anambra was handled before the election, it won’t be necessary to deploy all those security personnel.
“But at the end we had a peaceful election.”
A comment from Adeboyga Adedeji via whatsapp reads, “in as much as I want to congratulate Pro Charles Solution Soludo, for having the largest number of votes, I think we as a nation has not experienced what true democracy and democratic process entails. This idea of militarization of election, is another way of denying the right of the people in an election. Indirectly paving way for malpractices.”
Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Governor of Jigawa State, has blasted the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying it is a party that cannot conceive of good governance in the country.
Speaking last night while featuring on Trust TV’s Daily Politics, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, explained that the All Progressive Congress (APC) was formed to only grab power in the country.
He further explained that the APC lacks the character and capacity to bring the needed development to Nigerians in all spheres of life.
According to Lamido, “All they (APC) say is PDP is dirty but they are poaching on our members to come and build their party. APC taking PDP members into their fold is corruption.”
He said that there is nobody in APC that is original, emphasising that the party is very corrupt.
The PDP chieftain observed that the just concluded convention of the PDP has created more chances for the party in the 2023 election, expressing optimism that victory for PDP signifies great hope for the country.
He added that the convention was not a PDP convention but a Nigerian convention, saying that with the level of insecurity, divisions and bad economy in the country today, Nigerians are yearning for change.
Lamido recalled that he and other PDP leaders formed the G9 and G18 groups as the only way to stop General Sani Abacha’s transition programme and restore hope to Nigerians.
Arising from the outcome of June 12, he explained that the country went through a crisis and lack of trust.
He observed that there was mistrust in the land when Abacha came on board, stressing that Nigerians felt that they needed a very genuine democracy which should be able to unite Nigeria, restore trust and love in the country.
He further recalled that when Abacha was nursing his transition ambition, they felt that it will not work, adding that themselves in the G9, late Bola Ige, late Solomon Lar, Adamu Ciroma and others formed the G9, adding that they believed that one cannot heal Nigeria if June 12 is not addressed.
He added that they formed the G9 to fight Abacha transition ambition and not his government, saying that after that, they formed the G18, wrote a memo to Abacha challenging his transition.
The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola announced the reintroduction of tollgates on selected dual carriageways across the country, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday, 4th August 2021
Consequently, many Nigerians have expressed concerns to reintroduce toll collections on the designated routes earmarked by the Federal government.
Gbolahan Olojede, an expert in Public policy analysis is of the opinion that paying N200 on a motorable road, is more money in his pocket.
Olojede made this know as a guest on CityTalks with Reuben Abati.
The Minister of works and Housing stated that cars would pay N200, SUVs and Jeeps N300, private buses N300, commercial buses N150, luxury buses and trucks N500.
According to him, for the project to be a successful programme, the government will have to communicate this in a “robust citizen’s education system,” and the citizens to understand it along that line.
In his view, the reason why the reintroduction of the tollgates is important is because the Federal government does not have enough resources to maintain federal roads.
Hence, the option available is to begin to cutdown private resources into that space.
Recall that the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, 18years ago demolished all toll plazas across the country.
Olojede however, noted that One of the problems that projects like this suffer from, is the issue of trust deficit between the govt and the public.
He said, “Government must ensure that those roads are motorable as a precondition to the implementation of the tolling post.”
He also noted that what Federal government is doing now, that is different from what was done in 2003 when toll plaza was demolished was the introduction of electronic means of collection.
He added, “If the level of transparency the government has put on the table is sustained, it will ensure that the credibility of the programme also is sustained.
“If we fail at the collection efficiency, the project itself will be totally undermined
“In the tolling there is also a regulator which is the ICRC the infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission of Nigeria, it is the duty of this agency to ensure that private organizations and govt are held accountable as far as the collection of this toll is concerned.”
Olojede opines “that the ministry is trying to do is that we are transparent about this and we want it to be credible.
“The reason why motorcycle, tricycle and bicycles are exempted from toll fare, is because they are seen as the bottom part (rung) of the ladder.
“It is the same that was extended to the commercial bus, (N150) if they are burdened, they will extend the burden to passengers.
“The military and the police can be in some emergency operations and so that the issue of toll won't be a factor to stop them.”