Tag Archives: politics

Governor Obaseki of Edo hails Court after ‘certificate forgery clearance’

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The governor added that the verdict confirmed, once again, that the Edo people were well-guided in trusting him to lead them in the September 2020 governorship election.

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has commended the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the certificate forgery case levelled against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obaseki gave the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen on Saturday in Benin.

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According to him, the judgement is a triumph of the rule of law and a testament to the fact that truth will prevail ultimately, no matter how vehemently detractors push lies in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

He said that the verdict, delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was well-received as a victory for the rule of law.

“It is the needless attempt by desperate individuals, trying to undo the will of the people through the backdoor, but we are happy today that justice and truth have prevailed,’’ he said.

He promised to continue to prioritise the development of the state, irrespective of all odds.

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“My profound gratitude goes to the judiciary who have stood indefatigably for truth and justice and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.’’

Obaseki also thanked the People’s Democratic Party, the party leaders and members as well as his teeming supporters and people of Edo State for standing with him.

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#Newsworthy

Igbo Presidency: Fate as Osoba reveal APC plan for 2023

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An ex-Governor of Ogun state, Olusegun Osoba, has said the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has the right to contest for the Presidency in 2023.

Osoba also claimed there is a gentleman’s agreement in the All Progressives Congress (APC), that the next presidential candidate for the party will come from the South.

Osoba stated this while appearing on Arise TV on Tuesday morning. NoRM learnt

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as an individual has the right to put himself forward, but we have not zeroed in on an individual.

“Zeroing in on any individual will destroy our efforts now. But Tinubu has a right to pursue his own agenda,” he said

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He, however, made it clear that though “there is so much noise from the East”, nobody has contacted anyone in the ruling party to show interest in running in 2023.

“As an elder in the party, nobody from the South-East has contacted or consulted me to lobby, to even say they are interested.”

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#Newsworthy

Apostle Suleman reveals who is next for Nigeria presidency

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The Auchi-based pastor also reflected on the past prophecies he gave while corroborating his declaration with members of his church, that he foretold the end of the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2012.

A popular Nigerian televangelist, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has said the next president of the country will not come from the North.

The outspoken Christian preacher also asserted that the vice-president would become the president, according to the prophecy he gave for the year 2021.

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Suleman, the General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International, revealed this in his church on Wednesday.

“I saw power leaving the North. The Lord told me audibly that number two will become number one. It is a prophecy. Nigeria will not break (up). Nigeria will not divide. There will be no war in this country,” Suleman said.

“In 2012, not even an election year, I said I saw a new president. I said thus saith the Lord, Jonathan, go home. Remember, the Lord says you are the last PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) president. The Lord says go home.

“This one that is coming, six months, there will be no cabinet ministers, come and see insults. That Apostle Suleman, we have to check his degree, we are not sure he went to school. (This is coming) from the Senate. How can somebody be president and not have ministers? The man entered, and six months no ministers. When it happened, nobody called back to say he said so, they kept quiet.”

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“Now, I am saying this again to you. This is what the Lord told me. This country will shake. I speak in a parable. I said something during the independence (anniversary). I repeat it again. You will see what will happen. This country will shake. That’s what God told me.

“What’s today? I’m calling the date so that you won’t say it happened before he said it. 6:35 pm, December 30, 2020. Note it! The Lord told me audibly that number two will become number one.”

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#Newsworthy

Igbo leaders send warning to Atiku, Jonathan, Obasanjo

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Igbo youths were not left out in the agitation as the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Arthur Obiora, said 2023 President must be an Igbo man.

All hopes that leaders of Southeast geopolitical zone would play as united team towards the 2023 general election cycle were shattered yesterday, when stakeholders from the zone met in Owerri.

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Apart from the most recent joiner to the party, Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi, who was represented by Senator Anthony Agbo, most aboriginal members like immediate past Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, were conspicuously absent from the grand meeting.

Prominent APC stalwarts, including the host, Governor Hope Uzodimma, members of House of Representatives, Nkiruka Onyejeocha and Chinedu Ogah; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnia Onu; Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; member of the APC Interim Committee, Senator Ken Nnamani; Managing Director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Muoghalu; former Imo deputy governor, Eze Madumere, Senators Osita Izunaso, Nkechi Nwaogu and Andy Ubah; Tony Nwoye Chinwe Obaji, among others, were present.

The stakeholders resolved to do all in their powers to win the forthcoming Anambra State governorship poll, even as they harped on the need for conscientious membership registration and reconciliation of party structures from ward to state levels.

In his remarks Governor Uzodimma said APC in Southeast had all it would take to dominate the zone, stressing the need for unity, brotherly love and genuine reconciliation.

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He noted that the Anambra governorship poll was the ground to demonstrate the resolve of the party to capture the zone. He therefore appealed to members to shelve petty animosities and antagonism to work towards winning the election for the party.

“I believe that winning Anambra governorship will make the party stronger in the zone. And we can only succeed in doing this through genuine reconciliation and unity among members of the party,” the governor stated.

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The governor regretted recriminations among party members in the zone, stressing that such grievances constitute the major problems confronting APC, just as he noted that the process of reconciliation should begin immediately to strengthen and fortify the party for future elections in the country.

His words: “The problem confronting APC in southeast is grievances, and we must begin today to address it, this will help our party, we need to reconcile all aggrieved members, our party would be stronger and we also urge all of you to help secure victory in Anambra.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Science and Technology, Onu, affirmed that Southeast people are yearning for APC, assuring that it was for “this reason that APC would win the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election.

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According to Onu, “People of the southeast want APC, this is why we must be united and be at peace with each other, we must be united to achieve our aims, we will make sure southeast controls Anambra.”

Former President of Senate, Nnamani, informed the stakeholders that registration will commence from the unit levels, where members will cast their votes, stressing that the process will enable the party to actually know its strength at every unit.

Nnamani therefore pleaded with members to take the registration seriously just as he urged party faithful to immediately take part in the process.

Speaking through his representative, Senator Agbo, Umahi said he was happy to be in “the midst of progressive members of the party in the zone.” He disabused the minds of members, especially those who said he was not in good terms with his Imo state counterpart, assuring that he would work with Uzodimma to make sure other governors join APC from the zone.

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Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Meanwhile, Igbo leaders, yesterday, restated the call for the next President to emerge from South-East.

They spoke at a Solidarity Conference organised by Global Movement for Igbo President 2023 and United for Better Nigeria Initiative. The conference focused on the emergence of an Igbo President.

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In his opening address, a First Republic minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, expressed the hope that the emergence of an Igbo man of South-East zone as President would resolve leadership crises in the country.

A former Women Affairs Minister, Josephine Anenih, said the Igbo believe in one Nigeria in spite of deprivations and provocations, saying it justifies the need for an Igbo President to address the myriad of challenges confronting the country.

The chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the conference was part of efforts to consult widely towards ensuring that every Nigerian supports the quest by the region to produce the next President.

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Similarly, the National Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu, stated that being one of the six zones in the country, “it is not out of place if Igbo or South-East comes up that it is their time to rescue Nigeria.”

He appealed to Amechi to ensure realisation of the dream of Nigeria’s founding fathers.

Obiora, represented by the Director of Planning and Strategy, and leader of Igbo Young Politicians Forum, Tony-Ezekwelu, an engineer, said:
“We are not begging anybody, Igbo man must be President come 2023.

He urged political parties to zone their 2023 presidential tickets to South-East.

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“If they want us to remain as multi-ethnic nations that Nigeria is, we will remain and build Nigeria as a country where there is peace, justice, equity and fairness.

“We are not begging anybody, Igbo man must be President come 2023. Those who are supporting Bola Tinubu and former President Goodluck Jonathan and Atiku Abubakar want to break Nigeria up.” According to him, rotational Presidency should start with Igbo ethnic nation.

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#Newsworthy

CAR presidential election: Touadera heading to victory – Party

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But his government controls only about one-third of the country, with militia groups that emerged from the conflict in 2013 controlling the other two-thirds.

Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera is on track to win last weekend’s elections, his party said on Thursday, a day after the opposition called for the vote to be annulled.

“Trends… point to a first-round victory by Professor Touadera, reflecting the renewed legitimacy that the people have conferred on our candidate,” his campaign director, Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, told a news conference.

A powerful coalition of opposition groups said Wednesday the vote in the violence-torn country had been badly flawed, and called for its “cancellation, pure and simple.”

Sarandji said the electoral and judicial bodies could be trusted.

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“No candidate has any right to go through non-official channels to call for the elections to be cancelled and to be held again,” he said, speaking at the headquarters of Touadera’s United Hearts Movement (MCU) party.

The elections, staged last Sunday for the presidency and the legislature, are widely seen as a key stability test for the CAR. NoRM reports

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The landlocked country is one of the poorest in the world and among the most volatile, suffering a string of coups and wars since gaining independence from France in 1960.

In 2013, it spiralled once more into bloodshed when then-president, Francois Bozize, who had himself seized power a decade earlier, was overturned by a mostly Muslim coalition called the Seleka.

Touadera, who was elected in 2016 after a turbulent transition following the coup, is the frontrunner in the crowded field of 16 candidates.

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On Wednesday, the Democratic Opposition Coalition (COD-2020), an alliance of political and other groups, said the elections “were not fair and inclusive and are in no way the expression of the people’s will”.

Condemning an “electoral farce”, it claimed widespread ballot stuffing and complained of a lack of observers.

According to official figures, voting did not take place in 29 of the country’s 71 sub-prefectures (sub-divisions of large administrative districts), and only partly so in six others.

In many areas, militia groups hampered the organisation of the elections and intimidated voters, according to local leaders and UN workers who asked not to be named.

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In addition, thousands of people were prevented from voting or never received their voting cards because of the lack of security.

Provisional results are expected from January 4, but no final results are expected before January 18. A runoff will be held on February 14 if there is no outright winner in the first round.

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#Newsworthy

Cross River: Gov. Ayade signs 2021 ‘heavyweight’ budget into law

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Ayade, however, expressed the hope that with the several industries he has so far established and commencing fully in 2021, the state’s economy would receive a giant boost.

Cross River State Governor, Benedict Ayade, has signed 2021 budget of ‘Blush and Bliss’ into law following passage of the of N282b appropriation bill that was reduced from N1.01tr by the House of Assembly on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

Speaking shortly after signing the budget yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Calabar, Ayade disclosed that the budget made provisions for the establishment of a state polytechnic.

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“It also has provisions for social welfare schemes like grants and other financial benefits to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Cross River people,” he said.

Ayade explained that the size of the budget was smaller when compared to previous budgets of over N1tr and that his administration decided to reduce the financial commitment in key projects like the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275km superhighway to five per cent.

According to him, the state government will build the Seaport on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, adding: “For the 2021 budget of “Blush and Bliss,” the gross component is in its reduction from N1.01tr to N282b. My worry is what will then happen to the gap.

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“We had explained this during the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big dreams to the basic, primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on our tables.”

Ayade stated that his government had planned that by 2021, it would move away from food on the table to food on the plough, but that with the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests, government realised that it had to further sustain its food on the table agenda.

He maintained that the 2021 budget was streamlined to meet the intended focus, hence it provided a 5 per cent cost for capital projects like the 275km Superhighway, the Bakassi Deep Sea port and Calas Vegas Island, among others.

He said the state’s privatisation council in partnership with KPMG, as consultants would select the best investors for the capital projects.

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He commended the state House of Assembly in ensuring that the 2021 budget was ready for signing.

Speaker of the House, Eteng Williams, explained that the House did some adjustments to the appropriation bill Governor Ayade submitted in October to accommodate current realities that were captured in the bill, such as establishment of the Cross River state Polytechnic, which the governor recently signed into law.

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#Newsworthy

2023: Orji Uzor kalu as Nigeria’s next President, not my prophecy – TB Joshua

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Prophet TB Joshua made the clarification in a tweet posted on Monday.

The founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet TB Joshua, has denied saying Senator Orji Kalu would be the next president of Nigeria.

The controversial cleric described the story making the rounds as “fake news”.

He said he has been on his prayer mountain for five days now and could not have made the statement.

“FAKE NEWS ALERT! Please be informed that the story circulating titled “Orji Kalu is Nigeria’s Next President, says TB Joshua” is NOT from TB Joshua.

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“TB Joshua is not around; he is at the Prayer Mountain in a rural area for the past five days,” the tweet read.

The prophet was reported to have said over the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, would be a former governor from the southern part of the country who was held in prison.

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#Newsworthy

Buhari would get ‘no apology’ over summon on insecurity issues – Reps

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Twenty-hours later, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the president had agreed to address the lawmakers. Buhari later shunned the invitation.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Monday denied apologising to President Muhammadu Buhari for summoning him over the state of insecurity in the country.

“The president or the Presidency as the case may be never sought an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigeria electorate,” House of Representatives spokesman Benjamin Kalu said in a statement.

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“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologised to anyone for excercising her constitutional mandate.”

The denial by the House of Representatives was in response to media reports during the weekend that the legislative arm of government apologised to Buhari for summoning him over insecurity in the northern region.

One of the reports claimed that the House has dropped both “immediate and future” plans of inviting Buhari to address the lawmakers on rising insecurity in the country.

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday, December 1 passed a resolution and summoned Buhari to address the country over the killing of more than 40 farmers in Borno state.

The motion was moved by Satomi Ahmad, lawmaker representing Jere federal constituency, and nine others from Borno State. The lawmakers insisted that Buhari had to address the lower legislative chamber of the National Assembly.

Nigeria’s attorney-general Abubakar Malami argued that the House lacked the constitutional powers to summon the president.

While the House is yet to speak on Buhari’s refusal to honour the lawmakers’ invitation, House of Representatives spokesman Kalu said it will “not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy.”

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“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well.

“Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their profession.”

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#Newsworthy

2023: Why we want Tinubu as President – Sen. Adeyeye

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Nigerians are looking for a leader that can truly lead them. So, let every zone of the south get whoever they want and let Nigerians choose.

Senator Dayo Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, and ex-spokesperson of the Senate, is the Chairman, Planning Committee, South West Agenda for Asiwaju Tinubu 2023 (SWAGA ’23).

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The movement was officially launched in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital by delegates from all the South West states of Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti State, on Tuesday December 15, 2020.

The official launch and unveiling of the group’s logo, came less than 24 hours after the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, endorsed the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 2023 presidential race.

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The group had visited both Alaafin and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, a day before the launch for royal blessings before embarking on the mission.

The SWAGA ’23 team comprises ex-senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and some other serving and ex-political office holders from different states across the six states of South West. A former member of Oyo State House of Assembly, Bosun Oladele is the secretary of the group.

The programme was graced by former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; and an ex-Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe. The list also comprised former Speakers of Lagos State and Ogun State Houses of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and Suraj Adekunbi, respectively. The immediate past Secretary to Ondo State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde; former deputy governor of Oyo State, Otunba Moses Adeyemo; and Senator Adesoji Akanbi, who represented Oyo South in the Senate from 2015 to 2019.

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Senator Abu Ibrahim from Katsina South Senatorial District, who was involved in merger negotiations between Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) towards 2015 general elections, was respresented on the occasion by Dr. Aliyu Zakari-Jiya. National Coordinator, Northern Region Support Tinubu for 2023, Hamman Dikko, was also at the programme. On the sidelines of the programme, Prince Adeyeye answered questions exclusively from Saturday Sun on what the concept of SWAGA ’23 stands for, predictions that APC may not exist beyond 2023, allegation that APC is good as opposition party than being in power, and how to balance the equation of struggle for power between the South West, South South and South East when power rotates to the South from the North, as well as other sundry issues. OLUSEYE OJO asked the questions.

You just officially unveiled the SWAGA ’23, what exactly does the concept stand for?

The concept speaks for itself. It is South West Agenda for Asiwaju Tinubu. SWAGA is an agenda to draft Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, into the presidential race. It is a South West idea, muted by South West leaders of like mind, who believe in the capacity and the ability of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead Nigeria at this present time.

Nigeria at this present time needs very dynamic, forward looking, and experienced leader. Nigeria is at a crossroads and we have looked and searched and discovered that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu towers above every other politician in this country to offer the right leadership at this present time.

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This is why we are so much interested in the interest of Nigeria. It is not a selfish South West Agenda. It is actually in the national interest of Nigeria that we are making this effort to project him, to market him, and to sell him to other Nigerians.

We believe that he is a fantastic product that we can market and sell, and that other Nigerians will embrace what we have seen, and also join the mass movement to support and ensure his victory at the poll.

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Some people have been saying 2023 is still a long time, they want to know why you are rooting for Asiwaju Tinubu this early?

Make the hay while the sun shines. The Year 2023 is very close. President Muhammadu Buhari has now spent one year and seven months in four-year second term mandate. The election of 2023 will come in February of that year. Let me analyse to you; forget that year. Don’t mention 2023.

The election is coming up early February and we have only one month before the election when we enter 2023. So, we are talking of only 2021 and 2022. If you look at it, we have just 24 months. And we are talking of presidential election in a very big country like Nigeria.

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The campaigns have not started. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not even declared open campaign for presidential election. That will probably be towards the end of 2022.

But we call what we are doing a sensitisation campaign, just to sensitise people to begin to have this idea and this concept, to let people begin to think along that line.

We are not embarking on campaign. Did you see us in a rally? Did you see us sharing leaflets, pasting posters, making billboards, going to television stations to make campaigns? Those are political and this one is a mere sensitisation discussion. It is about getting people of like mind together to embrace this concept. So, it is not a campaign per say. And it is not too early to begin to sensitise people to that. If you yourself wants to contest in February 2023, will you not start telling some of your friends by now?

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not commissioned us to embark on this mission. It is not even his idea, it is not his problem. It is we who believe in his leadership and that he is going to make a tremendous impact in the life of this country if he is at the helm of affairs. We believe that he will offer an unequalled leadership, especially at a time like this in Nigeria. This is why we have started sensitising people to the idea, and that is what we are doing and we will continue. It is not too early to do that.

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You said Asiwaju Tinubu has not commissioned you to embark on this mission, how are you sure he will run in the presidential race in 2023? What if he says he will not run?

We will make it impossible for him to say that, because he holds it to Nigerians to participate in that election. It is patriotic duty we are calling him to do. If truly, he is man who believes in the wellbeing of this country, for the progress and development of Nigeria, he has no choice than to accede to our request. He should come out and offer himself for the leadership of this country at this time. We are calling on him to serve. We are confident that he will come out and run for the presidency.

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With all the efforts that you have put into this mission, people would want to know who is bankrolling you?

I can say it categorically without any fear of contradiction that this is self-contribution. All the people you see are making their own personal financial sacrifices. That is the truth. We are not soliciting support from anybody. We don’t even want anybody to come and support us financially. If you are even a moneybag or a billionaire, we will ask you to keep your money because we don’t want anybody to hijack it. All the people who are participating are making their own financial contributions. As I am making, others are making. Everything you will see us do will be through personal sacrifices of those who are starting this movement. We are not soliciting anything from Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We are not soliciting anything from anybody whoever. It is a mass movement.

We are building a model in this country and very soon, you will see ordinary people in all of these states, making contributions. It used to happen in the days of Awo and co. But now, everybody is expecting politicians to donate, to bring out money.

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Of course, this is leadership now. All the people you have been seeing with this movement, are either former senators, ministers, members of the House of Representatives and so on, making contributions. They have the capacities. Nobody is bankrupt.

Some political observers have noted that with the internal wrangling within APC, the party may not actually exist beyond 2023, and that it may break and a third force would emerge. What is your take on this?

We are embarking on this mission to prevent this. Honestly, the emergence of a person like Bola Ahmed Tinubu is one of the things that can make APC to survive beyond 2023. If you are a deep political analyst, and you understand politics of this country, Tinubu taking over the mantle of leadership of this country now, as National Leader of APC, is what we need now.

I see a scenario of the 1993 presidential poll when M.K.O Abiola won the election throughout the country, even he defeated his opponent in his ward. With Tinubu, the election of 2023 is going to be a repeat of the 1993. Tinubu will win massively across the country because he has built structures across the country. He has connections and has watered the ground round the whole country. He has sown seeds round the whole country and those seeds will germinate now. He is the only one who has that capacity at a time like this. So, in order to prevent what analysts or doomsday seers are saying from happening, we need a person like Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We need to drag him in now. This is a national emergency. He has to come to the scene to save the party.

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The opposition PDP has alleged in the past that APC was good as an opposition party. But now that you are in government at the centre, it seems you do not understand how to govern the country very well. How will you respond to this?

There are challenges at this moment that the government of the day is trying to solve. In many, we have not been very successful. We are making efforts. Some efforts are yielding positive results. But all Nigerians should put our hands together now and forget partisan politics. This is a time we should all unite to join hands with the government to save the country. It will not be too helpful to continue to see how we can exploit every situation from partisan political advantage. We are in an emergency and we must try and save this country now.

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The APC took over the reins of power in 2015, and by 2023, you will be eight years in office controlling the country. Why do you want APC to stay in power beyond 2023? What has the party done to deserve continued stay in power?

The party has a lot of achievements to its credit. There are problems and challenges. Whether we like it or not, every issue has two sides to it. There are positive sides. There so many achievements the government has also recorded. I can sit down here and be enumerating. They are obvious and clear to some Nigerians, depending on where you are standing and where you are looking at the issues. The most important thing is going forward. This is why the issue of SWAGA is that there must be somebody in 2023 that must see as very competitive, very good, has good track records, has the experience and the capacity, and ability, and the patriotism to lead this country to another level.

We are now facing very serious challenges, such that the unity and continued co-existence of this country is threatened. So, we need a leadership that can hold the country together. It is when we have Nigeria together that we can think of development. I am saying that the person is Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I challenge anybody, if you have a better candidate, bring him forward and let us see. Then, let us go to Nigerians and market them. We will see who has the better candidate. I believe that the challenge is to have a good leader to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has tried his best. We should begin to identify somebody to take over from him and do a fantastic job.

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You said you had an agreement before the incumbent administration came to power in 2015 that APC would operate rotational presidency between the North and the South. Now, the North will complete its eight years in 2023, and power should come to the South. Some people are saying it is the turn of the South East to produce the president. But you are supporting Tinubu from the South West, how will you balance the two?

It is at two levels for them to know we have an agreement within the APC, even the PDP and even Nigerians, so that in the interest of peace, unity, fairness and justice, power cannot remain in one place. It is necessary to give every area of the country, and every group a sense of belonging. So, there is an understanding that the minimum we can do is to allow power to shift periodically between the North and the South. There is a consensus on that between the North and the South.

When it comes to the South, every area of the South has equal right to contest for it. Whoever the cap fits will wear it. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is from South West. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is from South South. That will not preclude people from these two areas from asking for it when it comes to the South. They have the rights to challenge everything. Don’t forget that former president, Umar Yar’Adua, was from Katsina State and President Buhari is also from Katsina. The northerners do not see that they are shortchanged because the power came back to the north. What is going to be essential now is power should come to the south.

Every area of the south, whether South South, South East or the South West, has equal right. But we must have somebody that most Nigerians can rally round. The mere fact that we say we are zoning and power should rotate does not mean that Nigerians would now go for third-rate or second-rate person.

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But some people are saying power should be retained in the north. If it so, what will you do?

Power cannot stay in the north. If they don’t believe in it, APC believes in it and Nigerians believe in it. In the interest of peace, you cannot have one zone monopolising power. I still want to commend Olusegun Obasanjo. When he was leaving power, a lot of people came out in the South to continue after him, such as Peter Odili, Donald Duke and so on, they wanted to be president. But Obasanjo stood his ground that after his eight years, power should go to the north. That was why Yar’Adua was supported to become the president. I believe that has been the principle.

Some of the people who opposed Jonathan in 2015 said from 2007, Yar’Adua ruled for two and half years before his death. They stated that Jonathan completed the rest term of Yar’Adua and was elected in 2011 as president. They said power should go back to the north. They said the north was being shortchanged, that since democracy started in 1999 to 2015, the north had only done two and half years out of 16 years. That was their argument. They said power must come to the north at all cost. This created a terrible tension in this country, that even made it possible for people to come together to form APC.

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#Newsworthy

Wike in APC’s snare over derogatory remarks on Govs – APC

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The governor said he had not disappointed Rivers people, who gave him their mandate to improve the quality of living, infrastructure and guarantee the security of life and property.

All Progressives Congress (APC) governors got a bitter pill from Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Wednesday. They were told to accept they are failures.

According to him, nobody would be proud to be called an APC member.

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Flaying the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Wike said insecurity had worsened and the economy has collapsed under the watch of ruling party.

A statement by Wike’s Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor spoke when he led his Oyo State counterpart, Oluseyi Makinde, to open the Woji and Obagi roads in GRA Phase 2, Obio Akpor Local Government Area.

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Wike said it was ironic for the APC governors to keep admitting worsening insecurity without accepting the failure of their party.

According to him, the Federal Government under APC promised to offer better governance but has failed woefully on all indices.

To him, even APC members must be ashamed of the party.

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The governor said: “I hear the Progressives Governors Forum saying that there is insecurity. Who is responsible? They should come out openly and say that the party in power has failed.

“Nigerians gave a mandate to APC at the Federal Government level and therefore, they must own up that they have failed Nigerians.

“Everything has collapsed in the country. Security has collapsed. The economy has collapsed. Nothing is working in the country. Today, all over Nigeria, there is insecurity everywhere.

“The other day, in Katsina State, they took about 400. The next day, they said they took 84. Now again they said they’ve taken a village head, the wife and 14 people in Katsina State.

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“When there was a problem in this state, about the level of kidnapping, I shouted but nobody listened to us. They said it was politics and that we were killing APC people.

“I said when you introduce politics to security the consequences will be great.

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“Now, it is everywhere. Until they come to apologise to Rivers State for what they have done to us, then God will not forgive all of them.”

He said he was not tired serving the state, adding after his tenure he would walk freely on the streets.

Makinde said with the evidence of Wike’s performance, it would be difficult to convince Rivers people to abandon PDP for another party.

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He said: “Indeed, all right-minded people like to identify with progress irrespective of their personal feeling towards the initiator.

“Development is a big part of our democracy and every project counts towards the overall progress of the nation.

“We are blessed to be leaders at this point of Nigeria’s history where there seems to be a reawakening of political consciousness, especially among the young people.

“True, we have a unique privilege of grooming a new crop of people who will see governance as service.

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“We have remained too long in where people see public coffers as an extension of their accounts.

“At the next circle of election in 2023, Nigerians will show that they have learnt something from the event of 2020 and that electoral decisions have consequences.”

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#Newsworthy

Six Strong men dumps PDP as crisis looms

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The defectors were received on Wednesday by the party leader in Oyibo, Gift Okere, and caretaker committee Chairman Chamberlain Okorie.

Six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyibo Local Government Area of Rivers State have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is despite the deepening crisis in the party, characterised by suspensions and counter suspensions.

The defectors – Adolphus Nweke, Onyema Ihenna, Ibekwe Okere, among others – said the PDP is no better party.

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They hoped the party structure would become stronger after this crisis period. “We would rather be active members of the APC and partake in the dividend of the work, than answer big name and die in hardship”, they said.

Okorie noted that the PDP in Oyibo Ward 2 has crashed following the defection of key executives to the APC. He urged the new members to work for APC’s victory in the next elections.

He admonished them on the need for unity, cooperation and hard work to ensure victory for the party, even as he assured them of huge benefit under the leadership of Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi.

Okorie alleged the absence of government projects in the council despite the defectors’ hard work and commitment in the PDP.

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He said: “PDP administration has done Oyibo people more harm than good. There is no Wike project in the council. When Rotimi Amaechi was governor, Oyibo council recorded key projects and human development programmes that posterity will be proud of.

“Your decision to join APC is a good one and you will soon confirm it. Amaechi has nothing to give you, but I assure you he will continue to fight for the entrenchment of true democracy.”

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#Newsworthy

Buhari’s move to sanction Chinda spikes impeachment call – Dagogo react

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Dagogo lamented that as a supposed seasoned legislator, Doguwa should admit that the Ninth Assembly was not playing its role of checkmating other arms of government, particularly the executive.

A member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Farah Dagogo, has faulted moves to sanction Kingsley Chinda over his call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment.

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Chinda, a lawmaker from Rivers State, had asked the National Assembly to commence impeachment process against the President over rising insecurity in the country.

But Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, who faulted Chinda for mooting the idea, threatened to sanction Chinda. Dagogo, who represents Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers State, however, expressed displeasure with Doguwa for allowing sentiments to becloud his judgment over the call and conduct of Chinda, who is leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House.

He described Doguwa’s excuses that President Buhari failed to honour the House’s invitation due to Chinda’s conduct as ‘ridiculous.’

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The Rivers lawmakers maintained that such claim only exposed the hypocritical nature of the leadership of the lower legislative chamber.

“Doguwa, who was lawmaker in the Third Republic and in the current dispensation, ought to be experienced enough to know that Chinda did not commit any ‘legislative infraction with his call.

“I don’t understand this kind of autocratic democracy that Doguwa and his colleagues he claimed to be speaking for want to practice in the House. It is sheer hypocrisy. We are all witnesses to the state of the nation’s economy and insecurity, especially in the North, where he (Doguwa) hails from,” he said in a statement.

“Rather than demonise Chinda, I expected the Majority Leader to encourage and thank him for speaking the minds of most Nigerians that cannot find comfort in a country they call their home, especially in the North.

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“I believe Chinda’s stand is the position of most members of the PDP in the House, as he did not breach any legislative rules that could warrant any disciplinary action and as such, any move geared towards that direction will be resisted.

“We are not in a banana Republic and so, we must imbibe the tenets of democracy and no one member in the House of Representatives will cow the other. We are all equals, as we represent different constituencies, positions are just privileges,” the statement added.

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#Newsworthy

Budget’21: Govs sign ‘money laden’ budget into law

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom also signed the 2021 appropriation bill of N134 billion into law.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and his counterparts from Katsina, Gombe and Benue have signed the their respective states’ appropriation bill into law.

Ganduje had submitted the N147.9 billion ‘Budget of Reality’ to the House of Assembly in October 2020 for scrutiny.

However, the N177,936,737.540 budget passed into law indicated N30 billion increase to the estimate submitted by Ganduje in October.

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The governor also signed N52.1 billion supplementary budget for 2020 into law. Education, health and infrastructure took top priority in the 2021 budget, among other sectorial allocations.

Assenting to the appropriation at the Government House, Kano, Ganduje declared his determination to ensure 90 per cent implementation of capital projects slated for 2021.

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In the same vein, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, yesterday, signed into law the state’s appropriation bill of N286.6 billion.

The budget is an increase of N3.8 billion over the N282 billion estimate earlier presented by the governor to the House of Assembly a few weeks ago.

Masari commended the lawmakers for the speedy passage of the bill, more than a week before the end of the year.

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Also, Governor Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe State signed the state’s 2021 budget bill into law.

The N119 billion ‘Budget of Resilience’ was signed in the Executive Council Chamber, Government House, yesterday, in the presence of the Speaker, Chairman House Committee on appropriation, Clerk of the House, Majority Leader among others.

Yahaya thanked the lawmakers for their “usual prompt attention to executive matters, which had nurtured peace, harmony and enviable relationship between the two arms of government.”

Earlier, the speaker had disclosed that 52 per cent of the budget was earmarked for capital projects and 48 per cent for recurrent expenditure.

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Performing the state function at Government House, Makurdi, Ortom expressed gratitude to the House of Assembly and Benue people for standing by him in the face of threats to the state’s corporate existence during the enactment of the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law of 2017.

He lauded the assembly for passing the bill without delay and said it would fast-track government business in the state.

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#Newsworthy

US Election: Joe Biden in new battle as Republican accepts win

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Republicans have framed Georgia as must-win races, with the state forming the last line of defense against what they describe as radical “socialism.”

President-elect Joe Biden threw his weight into the Democratic battle for control of the US Senate on Tuesday, as his White House win was finally acknowledged by top Republicans and holdout foreign leaders.

Biden flew into Georgia — a southern state he won in an upset against President Donald Trump — to host a rally for two Democratic candidates in runoff races that will determine the Senate’s balance of power.

“Honk for your next United States senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock,” Biden told the crowd at the drive-in event in Atlanta — urging voters to turn out in force on January 5.

“Send me these two men, and we will control the Senate!”

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One day after the Electoral College affirmed Biden’s victory, attention shifted to the looming Senate battle — and to the shape of the incoming administration as US media reported Biden will tap Pete Buttigieg, a former Indiana mayor and presidential rival, as secretary of transportation.

Buttigieg would be the first openly gay person confirmed by the Senate to a presidential cabinet post — in sync with Biden’s pledge to usher in the most diverse cabinet ever when he takes office on January 20.

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And while Trump still refuses to concede — continuing to tweet allegations of mass fraud that have been rejected in dozens of lawsuits — top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell finally broke his silence with a message to the president: it’s over.

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 15: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in rally for U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock at Pullman Yard on December 15, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Biden’s stop in Georgia comes less than a month before the January 5 runoff election for Ossoff and Warnock as they try to unseat Republican incumbents Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

“The Electoral College has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, adding that Americans can also “take pride” that they will have their first female vice president in Kamala Harris.

Biden told reporters before flying to Georgia that he had a “good” phone conversation with McConnell, a longtime Senate colleague.

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“I told him that while we disagree on a lot of things there are things we can work together on,” Biden said.

The Electoral College confirmation triggered a recognition of Biden’s win from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said he was “ready for collaboration” with the Democrat.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of — who had both waited until now to recognize the president-elect — also sent their congratulations.

‘Turn the page’
Trump, in unprecedented fashion, has yet to acknowledge his defeat in the chaotic election that will see him exit the White House after a single four-year term.

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But Biden urged the divided country to “turn the page” as he welcomed the Electoral College vote on Monday, saying US democracy proved “resilient” against Trump’s “abuse of power.”

He praised voters for casting ballots in record numbers despite fears of Covid-19 and “enormous political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence.”

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The White House transition is occurring with the coronavirus pandemic surging, pushing US Covid-19 deaths above 300,000.

While critical winter months lie ahead, a bright spot has emerged with health care workers receiving the first doses of coronavirus vaccine distributed in the nation.

And with top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci recommending Biden and Harris quickly take the vaccine, the president-elect said they would receive the shot in public view.

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Minds on Georgia
Although the door has all but shut on his efforts to overturn the vote results, Trump remained defiant, insisting in a series of tweets that he won a “landslide victory” and that there were still “tremendous problems” with the vote.

In a threatening move against Republican leaders in Georgia, where he has made baseless claims of massive voter fraud, he retweeted a pro-Trump lawyer who posted a picture of Georgia’s governor and secretary of state, saying “they will soon be going to jail.”

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, need to flip both Georgia Senate seats in order to seize control of the upper chamber, while Republicans must hold just one to maintain their majority.

If Republicans do, McConnell remains majority leader, and his relationship with Biden will quickly become the most closely watched in Washington.

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The pair were known for striking deals during crunch periods when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president.

But McConnell gave Obama no quarter, repeatedly stymying him on judicial nominations and forcing the president to curtail his legislative agenda.

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#Newsworthy

Breaking: I served Sanusi ‘the Jonathan medicine’, I have no regrets- Ganduje

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Sanusi was appointed during the administration of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in which Ganduje was deputy governor. He succeeded Kwankwaso in 2015.

Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje on Tuesday gave reasons why he dethroned Alhaji Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

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The governor said he took the decision to save the system and the traditional institution from abuse.

Governor Ganduje spoke at the presentation of a book on former President Goodluck Johnathan, authored by a journalist, Bonaventure Philips Melah.

According to him, Sanusi was not the best man for the throne at the time he was appointed in June 2014, saying that the deposed Emir was appointed to spite former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Jonathan had in April 2014, sacked Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over claims by the ex CBN Governor that $49 billion was stolen by some persons under the Jonathan administration.

Faulting Sanusi’s public outburst over the alleged fraud, Ganduje said the ex CBN Governor ought to have discussed the matter privately with the former President, who in turn could have ordered investigation into the allegation.

Ganduje said Jonathan took a bold step by sacking Sanusi as CBN Governor, even though the action created bad blood in certain circles.

The Kano Governor said: “Jonathan took a bold step in sacking Sanusi as CBN Governor, which created bad blood in certain circles.

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“When Sanusi said $49 billion was lost in Jonathan’s government, I said in my mind that No, you could have discussed with him (Jonathan) privately.

“You could have given him this clue and then he would know how to investigate even before those who had stolen the money would find a way of hiding the money.

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“That statement, I said in my mind was not honourable. That statement created bad blood”.

In June 2014, barely two months after he was sacked as CBN Governor, Sanusi got appointed as the Emir of Kano, a position that Ganduje said he did not deserve in the first place.

Governor Ganduje however sacked Sanusi as Emir of Kano on March 9, 2020, a decision the Governor said he took to “save the system and to save the institution”.

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Sounding derisively jocular, Ganduje said: “Sanusi was appointed Emir of Kano not because he was the best man for the throne but to retaliate what Jonathan did to him.

“That was in order to prove that what Jonathan did to him was wrong and that the people of Kano wanted their son as Emir and therefore they decided to appoint him as Emir.

“But when he was appointed, there were a lot of demonstration with people burning tyres here and there. But because of government backing, he was sustained on the stool.

“When I became governor, (that’s why you will laugh), I said yes, the Jonathan medicine is an important medicine.

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“That medicine, even though I am not a medical doctor, but that medicine would serve the same purpose, for the same disease and for the same patient.

“So I took my Jonathan medicine and decided to save the system, to save the institution and I applied it effectively. So Jonathan and I are on the same page. Actually, I have no regrets.”

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#Newsworthy

PGF Boss, Lukman calls for APC internal democracy

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This is the critical success factor for enduring reform that should come with commitment to democratic values and rule of law, which is not limited to preservation of power.

The Director General of the progressive governors forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, has maintained that the entrenchment of internal democracy is required to ensure victory of the party in the 2023 general election.

The PGF boss said there is the need to take every step necessary to ensure the success of the ongoing reform in the APC to strengthen internal democracy within the party.

Lukman in a statement titled “Seductiveness of Conventional Politics and the Challenges facing APC” dedicated to the publisher of the Leadership newspapers, he argued that this would avert the problem associated with the imposition of candidates that had dogged party politics in the country over the years.

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“Ultimately, the reform should be able to guarantee that all negotiations for appointments by governments produced by the party should be mainstreamed as part of the operational activities of the party,” Lukman said.

“The goal of reform therefore is to ensure that the party is fortified as the bearer of democratic values and progressive politics.

“This will require that all activities of membership registration/revalidation, congresses and national convention are carefully planned. To achieve this will require that members of His Excellency Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee are taking the necessary steps to strengthen the capacity of the APC National Secretariat to implement all decisions.

“This is largely about taking responsibility and communicating decisions to party members and the public. Although, considerable progress has been achieved, it is important to appeal for more consultations, coordination and better communications of initiatives and all the internal reform process.

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“Poor consultations, coordination and communication makes party members to be contemptuous of every decision taken, which strengthens the confidence of those opposed to internal party reform. The solution to all these lies in the ability of the 13-member Caretaker Committee to work harmoniously with the required professional competence. The Secretary of the Caretaker Committee should be able to facilitate the process of planning and one of the 13 members should be able to lead the process of members’ and public mobilisation.

“Our leaders, especially the Caretaker Committee should bear in mind constantly the message of Obama in his Memoir, that “It was the nature of democracies to swing between periods of progressive changes and conservative retrenchment. The swing to conservativism may be produced from within the party.”

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#Newsworthy

Mahmood Yakubu assumes office as INEC Chairman for second term

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Yakubu promised that in due course INEC would give details of other activities going to the 2023 election.

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday assumed office to commence his second tenure for a period of five years.

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Yakubu at the expiration of his first tenure on Nov.9 handed over the affairs of the commission to National Commissioner, Ahmed Mu’azu, while awaiting Senate confirmation for the second tenure.

Yakubu, at a brief takeover ceremony at the commission headquarters in Abuja, said that quick passage of the Electoral Act amendment remained a top priority.

“You will recall that I appealed to the Senate Committee on INEC during my screening two weeks ago to conclude work for the passage of the Electoral Act amendment by the first quarter of 2021.

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“I am glad that in his response, the Senate President has assured the nation only yesterday at the public hearing on the Electoral Act amendment that the National Assembly is committed to that target.

“He said that it is not only achievable but they will ensure that it is actualize.”

Yakubu added that the immediate area of attention for the Commission would be the resumption of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) by the first quarter of 2021.

He said that the exercise would continue for at least six months to the 2023 general elections.

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“We will also use the opportunity as required by law to clean up the register of voters.

“We are happy with our register of voters. It is robust but will continue to see ways by which we can improve the quality of the register.

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“I am saying so because the credibility of any democratic election draws from the credibility of the register of voters.

He added that without a clean register of voters, there could not be a credible election, assuring that INEC was committed to cleaning up the register of voters.

“In doing so, we hope to introduce a new technology for voters enrollment in 2021 drawing from the lessons we learned in the last exercise in 2017 and 2018.”

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“We have exactly 799 days to the next general election holding on Feb. 18, 2023.

“We have identified 1508 activities that we must accomplish between now and election in 2023. Some will be carried out simultaneously.”

Yakubu the former acting Chairman, Muasu and other national commissioners for holding fourth in the last one months and for the successful conduct of 15 by-elections in 11 states on Dec. 5.

Earlier in his remarks, Mu’azu said that while holding forth the commission was able to conduct 15 by-elections successfully.

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He commended members and staff of the commission for their supports and successes recorded while awaiting Yakubu’s confirmation.

He also commended all stakeholders who made the by-elections a success.

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#Newsworthy

Joe Biden appoints Obama vet, Susan Rice, Others

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A tug of war over the agriculture post reportedly developed in recent weeks, with progressive congresswoman Marcia Fudge a leading candidate.

US President-elect Joe Biden announced several administration picks Thursday, including Obama-era officials such as former national security advisor Susan Rice as White House Domestic Policy Council director and ex-chief of staff Denis McDonough as veterans affairs secretary.

The appointments, laid out by Biden’s presidential transition team, highlight the diversity which Biden pledged to bring to his cabinet.

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“This is the right team for this moment in history, and I know that each of these leaders will hit the ground running on day one to take on the interconnected crises families are facing today,” Biden said in a statement.

Rice, who is Black, had been a contender for secretary of state. But she was expected to face intense opposition from Republicans in the Senate confirmation process over her role in the Benghazi crisis of 2012, and that prestigious cabinet position went to close Biden advisor Antony Blinken.

Heading the Domestic Policy Council will assure Rice, 56, gets into the president-elect’s White House inner circle and see her influence key elements of Biden’s “build back better” agenda amid a surging coronavirus pandemic and strains over racial justice.

In this file photo taken on March 18, 2015, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC. – US President-elect Joe Biden announced several administration nominations on December 10, 2020, including Vilsack, Obama’s secretary of agriculture for two full terms, has been nominated to that same role under Biden. (Photo by Nicholas KAMM / AFP)

But it may be seen as a surprise appointment given her experience in foreign policy. The position does not need Senate confirmation.

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He has been nominated to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, a sprawling government agency tasked with managing a health care network that serves nine million enrolled veterans.

Biden has repeatedly stressed that his presidency will not equate to a third Obama term, and yet Thursday’s announcement spotlights his close connection with his Democratic predecessor’s brain trust.

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He named 69-year-old Iowan Tom Vilsack, Obama’s secretary of agriculture for two full terms, to the same role, which is seen as central to the coronavirus response as the department helps feed millions of Americans in need.

Instead, Fudge, 68, was nominated to serve as secretary of housing and urban development, a position whose profile could also rise as the pandemic fuels a potential eviction crisis.

Biden also chose international trade expert Katherine Tai to be the US trade representative.

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Tai, currently the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, would be the first Asian American and first woman of color in the USTR role.

The transition team also confirmed that Biden will travel to Georgia Tuesday to boost two Democratic candidates in tight run-off elections that will determine which party controls the US Senate.

The trip coincides with the start of early voting there next Monday.

The runoffs feature former journalist Jon Ossoff challenging Republican Senator David Perdue, and Raphael Warnock, pastor at one of the most prominent Black churches in America, running to unseat Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler.

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Biden narrowly won Georgia in the presidential race. The tight state contest has been challenged by President Donald Trump, who has made repeated accusations that the election was “rigged” and that massive fraud helped Biden win in Georgia and elsewhere.

No evidence has emerged to support such claims.

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#Newsworthy

Ghana Election: John Dramani Mahama claims victory

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The incidents ranged from a civilian sighted driving a police vehicle in the Bono Region, a shooting incident in the Central Region to electoral officials tampering with ballot papers.

Ghana’s National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) presidential candidate Mr. John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday expressed appreciation to the country’s electorate “for voting for change”.

Voters across the country cast their votes in the presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday.

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Mahama, in another post, claimed that the party has won the majority of parliamentary seats in the elections.

He claimed that the NDC won the majority of seats in Parliament and thanked Ghanaians for voting for change.

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“Thank you for voting for change and giving the NDC a working majority in the next Parliament. Thank you Ghana,” he tweeted.

His party had earlier expressed the belief that it had won 141 parliamentary seats out of the 275 constituencies in Monday’s polls.

The party’s General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, said at a news conference on Monday that its tally showed that Mahama was also on course to win the presidential race.

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But, the New Patriotic Party’s General Secretary, Mr. John Boadu discredited the claim by the NDC.

According to him, the NPP won 137 seats out of the 275 parliamentary seats.

Boadu said: “But although we are in majority which is not very big, our presidential candidate, because of the good work he has done, has been able to gather more voters than most of our parliamentary candidates. Once again…, we are making the point that, whereas we do not wish to declare that we have won the presidential race, we can confidently say that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has secured a clear incontestable margin ahead of his closest challenger, John Mahama.”

But, as at the time of going to the press, Akufo-Addo was leading with 5,826,549 votes (51.9%) of the votes collated against Mahama’s 5,220,563 votes (46.5%).

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Also against its earlier timeline, the country’s Electoral Commission postponed the declaration of the presidential and parliamentary election results until further notice.

According to a statement issued by the commission, the decision was to ensure accurate collation of the election results across the country.

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“The Electoral Commission informs the public that to ensure the collation of results at the Constituency and Regional Collation Centres across the country is accurate, the EC will extend its intended timeline for declaring 2020 Presidential election results,” the statement reads in part.

More than 24 hours after voting was closed, collation was still ongoing in some constituencies with some results yet to be confirmed as at yesterday evening.

The electoral commission said results of Monday’s presidential election will be released “as soon as they are received”.

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The commission said collation of results is currently ongoing in the country and urged Ghanaians and lovers of the country’s democracy to remain calm and patient.

In a statement titled, ‘Collation Of Election Results Proceeding Smoothly Across The Country’, also warned party representatives and supporters against declaring any results.

The Joint Operation Centre of the National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) recorded 34 incidents nationwide at the close of polls Monday.

Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, in Accra yesterday, said in spite of the pockets of incidents, the elections had been largely peaceful, with few reports of incidents of crime or interferences across the country.

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In all, 17,027,641 people were certified to take part in yesterday’s polls in 38,622 polling stations in the 275 constituencies across the country.

The director said due to measures put in place and deployment of security agencies, the NESTF had projected zero incidents. However, it commended the public for their cooperation with pre-election security measures that were put in place and which were well executed on Election Day.

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#Newsworthy

Storyline: Liberia votes on George Weah plan to cut presidential terms

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Weah’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill dismissed the claim the president would seek to extend his stay in office, pointing out in October that the president had yet to even finish his first term.

Liberians voted on Tuesday on President George Weah’s plan to shorten presidential terms, with critics fearing the former football star could use the constitutional referendum to cling to power.

Weah has argued that keeping the same leader for years “is not the way to go” and wants presidents and lower-house lawmakers to serve five years instead of six, with senators serving seven years instead of nine.

But the move has sparked suspicion in the region because other presidents have used constitutional changes to re-set the clock on their time in office, extending their grip on power.

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In Guinea, 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term in October after pushing through a new constitution that allowed him to bypass a two-term limit.

The same month, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, 78, was a elected for an equally contentious third term, after having revised the country’s constitution.

Opposition politicians in Liberia fear that Weah, 54, could try a similar move, although the president has denied the claim.

He was elected in 2018 and is still serving his first of a maximum two terms in office.

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Voters are also choosing whether to repeal a 1973 ban on dual nationality, a move which some hope could be an economic boon in the poor nation of 4.8 million people.

Hundreds of thousands of Liberians are thought to reside overseas, having fled war and poverty.

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If they acquire another nationality they are barred from owning property at home, however, among other restrictions.

There were long queues at polling stations in Liberia’s capital Monrovia on Tuesday, suggesting a high turn out.

“I got here at 5:30 am to vote yes for the dual citizenship,” said Manuela Jackson, a 23-year-old university student voting in eastern Monrovia, whose brother has US citizenship.

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“That is the only interest I have (in) this vote,” she added.

Should the referendum overturn the dual-nationality ban, Liberians with two passports will still remain barred from elected office.

Casting his vote in Monrovia in the late morning, Weah said that Liberia “needs to be peaceful,” in an apparent reference to recent election-related tensions elsewhere in the region.

“We don’t need to tear our country down, so the process is fair,” he added.

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Test for George Weah
Some view the referendum — which is taking place alongside a mid-term senatorial election — as a bellwether of support for Weah.

Born in Monrovia’s slums, the president rose to football stardom and then to his nation’s highest office, making him an idol to many.

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But Weah is facing mounting criticism over poor living standards in Liberia.

The country is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003, and West Africa’s 2014-16 Ebola crisis. It also suffers from soaring inflation, and regular cash and fuel shortages.

The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), an opposition coalition, has led the charge against the referendum and has urged its supporters to boycott the poll.

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It argues that there was not enough public discussion about issues, which few fully understand.

“We don’t even know what the implications are when you vote ‘yes’ or you vote ‘no’,” CPP secretary-general Mohammed Aly told AFP recently, warning that Weah could seek further terms.

“It is not good for one man to be president for a long time,” McGill told reporters at the time.

After a peaceful election campaign, fears of electoral violence also surfaced on Sunday when protesters attacked a CPP politician’s convoy in the northwest of the country. Weah has condemned the violence.

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About 2.5 million voters are registered to vote, according to the national elections commission.

Polls are set to close at 6:00 pm, with initial results expected this week.

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#Newsworthy

Plateau Bye-election: APC’s Nora Daduut wins senatorial seat

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According to him, the valid votes were 155, 659 while 2,144 votes were rejected.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Prof. Nora Daduut of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Plateau South senatorial by-election held on Dec. 5.

The bye-election was conducted to fill the vacuum created by the death of Sen. Ignatius Longjan which occurred on Feb. 9.

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INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Idris Amali, announced that Daduut polled 83,151 votes to defeat her closest challenger, Mr George Daika, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 70,838 votes; a margin of 12,313 votes.

“Daduut, having scored the highest number of votes cast and fulfilled the requirements of the law is hereby returned elected,” Amali said.

He said that the total number of accredited voters for the election was 159,191, while votes cast were 157, 803.

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A breakdown of the results according to local governments as announced by the returning officer indicated that in Langtang North, the APC got 12, 241 votes, while PDP scored 16, 841 votes.

In Langtang South the APC polled 9,321 against PDP’s 12, 439 votes.

In Mikang Local Government where the PDP candidate hails from, the APC scored 8, 425 votes, while PDP got 7, 887 votes.

In Shendam, the APC got 18, 542 votes, while PDP got 10, 223 votes; in Wase, APC got 21, 838 votes, while PDP scored 12,807 votes.

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The result of Quan Pan, the home local government of the APC candidate, indicated that APC scored 12,784 votes, while PDP got 10, 641 votes.

NoRM reports that apart from the APC and the PDP, eight other political parties also participated in the election.

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#Newsworthy

Zamfara bye-election: Bakura constituency, inconclusive – INEC

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Prof. Magawata further said that results from 14 polling units were cancelled due to over voting.

Prof. Ibrahim Magawata, the Returning Officer of the Bakura state House of Assembly by-election in Zamfara has declared the exercise inconclusive.

He explained that, after collation the result of the votes cast, the two major contenders, APC and PDP scored 16,464 and 18,645 respectively, giving a difference of 2,181.

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He also said that some polling units scored zero due to ballot box snatching, violence, assault on INEC officials and burning of election materials by thugs.

According to him, the cancellation of the 14 Polling Units affected 11,429 voters which is higher than the margin announced and so declared the election inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is expected to brief the media on the development and the next line of action.

Noble Reporters Media (NoRM) reports that tension was high in Bakura some days to the election leading to the deployment of more security personnel.

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There were also accusations and counter accusations especially on rigging and intimidation between the former state governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari (APC) and Gov. Bello Matawalle (PDP).

The development created conflict among the supporters of the two political parties.

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#Newsworthy

Borno Senator, Shettima reveal who will solve APC zoning issues

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Senator Shettima also stated that the ruling APC will disintegrate over its presidential ticket contrary to insinuation that the party was on the verge of collapse.

Senator Kashim Shettima (APC-Borno Central) has said President Muhammadu Buhari, the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu and others will resolve the issue of zoning in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Speaking at a two-day mid-term retreat held in Ado-Ekiti, Shettima, the immediate past governor of Borno State, stated that it was too early to talk about zoning ahead of the 2023 election.

He warned politicians to stop heating up the polity about which section of the country will secure the party’s presidential slot in 2023.

He said: “Don’t forget that our party still controls the Presidency. We have a leader and other competent leaders that can manage every crisis situation.

“At the appropriate time, our leaders will sit and take the most apt decision that will resolve the issue.

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“APC is a party that is united and nothing can break us. I am confident that we will win the 2023 presidential election. APC still remains the party to beat because of the unity of purpose and togetherness as well as desire to deliver for Nigerians.

“So, I am confident and no cause for alarm, what you called controversy will be resolved in the fullest of time.”

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#Newsworthy