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‘APC PLANS TO DISUNITE NIGERIANS WITH MUSLIM/MUSLIM TICKET’

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Senator Walid Jibrin, a former Board of Trustees Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party

A former Board of Trustees Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Walid Jibrin, has accused the All Progressives Congress of planning to disunite Nigerians with its Muslim/Muslim Ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Jibrin who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential and governorship campaign council in Nasarawa State made the accusation in the Awe Local Government Area of the state during his party’s zonal campaign rally on Thursday.

Our correspondent reports that the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, had picked the former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, who is also a Muslim as his running mate ahead of the poll.

The development caused discontent along religious lines as many Christian faithful protested what they referred to as an attempt to “Islamise” the country.

The action of the APC also forced some stakeholders of the Christian faith out of the party.

Senator Jibrin said, “That singular unpatriotic gesture, coming at a time of rising security challenges confronting the nation is never a welcome development.

“The apparent late excuses by Tinubu to justify what is clearly an anomaly, that his wife is a Pentecostal pastor, are lame and insulting to the sensibility of Nigerians.

“And with what the APC and its presidential candidate have done, it is obvious that Nigeria cannot be safe in the hands of the former governor of Lagos State whose decisions and actions could plunge the country into chaos.”

Jibrin, however, said the country will be safer in the hands of the PDP, adding that the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and the Nasarawa state governorship candidate, David Ombugadu, are men of high intellect and composure who would ensure steady growth and development of the nation.

He appealed to residents of the state to vote for all PDP candidates in the 2023 elections, promising that the party would tackle the numerous challenges confronting the nation by providing the dividends of democracy to the people.

On the current disagreement between the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, the former Board of Trustees Chairman said leaders of the party were making frantic efforts to settle the disputes before the commencement of the 2023 elections.

“What is happening now in the PDP is a family matter. Alhaji Atiku and Governor Wike are brothers. As leaders, we are making efforts to address the issues, and we are hopeful that they will be resolved before the February 2023 elections.

“I stepped down from my position as BoT chairman to allow peace to reign in the party and pave way for other party stakeholders who had never occupied my former position to do so.

“I am confident that the PDP will retake the presidency and win many states during the forthcoming elections, so I am urging our party members and supporters to remain resolute in the struggle,” Walid Jibrin added.

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HOW POWERFUL FORCES TRIED TO STOP TINUBU CANDIDACY – APC VICE CHAIR

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APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Mallam Salihu Lukman, on Tuesday, said some forces outside the APC made attempts to use former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele, to prevent Bola Tinubu from being chosen as the APC presidential candidate.

According to Lukman, it took the combined efforts of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Working Committee and the resilience of the APC governors to abort the move.

Lukman, who is a member of the APC National Working Committee, made the claim in a statement titled, “Electoral contests and public expectations: Matching hopes with realities.”

Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 12 others to win the APC presidential primary last year June.

According to Lukman, when it became obvious that the kites of Jonathan and Emefiele would not fly, the masterminds of the plot, who were not card-carrying members of the APC, positioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, for Buhari to anoint as the party’s consensus candidate.

He said, “It may also be important to note that the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as APC presidential candidate was the product of strong internal contest. There may be temptation to narrow the contest to the dynamics around the question of whether there will be an anointed aspirant who would have been crowned as the consensus candidate, which wouldn’t have been Asiwaju Tinubu.

“Many had their preferred candidates for the position of national chairman. Some of the presidential aspirants were able to expand their lobbies to some of the influential people around the President and perhaps succeeded to convince President Buhari to nominate Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the position. And shortly after the election of Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC, negotiation for the emergence of a so-called consensus presidential candidate was activated.

“It may also be important to remind Nigerians that the scheming around emergence of a so-called consensus candidate was ridiculously stretched beyond the APC to include people like former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. These were never members of the APC. But with the active collaboration of some influential people outside the APC, some sophisticated mobilisation of so-called ‘hundred eminent businessmen, political, media and civil society leaders, including 14 current governors, 13 former governors as well as three former senate presidents’ commenced around April 2022.

“Gradually, this scheming shifted and was entrenched within the APC. By May 2023, when the party began to sell its nomination forms to aspiring candidates, forms were purchased by some APC leaders for former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele.  Eventually, when these schemers couldn’t succeed in popularising both former Jonathan and Emefiele as possible contenders to emerge as consensus presidential candidates for the APC, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan was recruited and promoted. It is on record that Adamu, on the eve of the convention that birthed Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential flag bearer, announced to NWC members that Lawan was their consensus candidate of the party.”

Continuing, the Kaduna-based politician explained that aggrieved members of the NWC along with some progressive governors rose against the move.

Lukman disclosed that part of the plan promoted within the APC to attempt to popularise the choice of Lawan, as a consensus candidate, became the focal point after the opposition Peoples Democratic Party elected Atiku Abubakar, a fellow northerner as presidential candidate.

“This is completely inconsiderate of the popular agitation for power shift in the country. It is also insensitive of the potential instability that the choice of another northerner emerging as President of the country could cause. Ahead of the APC National Convention, APC governors from the North had already declared their opposition against a northerner emerging as APC presidential candidate.

“Combinations of all of these in so many ways contributed towards tilting support of many APC leaders towards Asiwaju Tinubu. Certainly, Asiwaju Tinubu’s personal quality, given his track records both as a businessman, politician, and elected Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 were also there. He has over the years proven himself as a fighter for democracy. This is one characteristic that has defined him and perhaps strengthened him to survive many personal attacks on his person and his integrity. The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo investigated him on many of the issues that are being used to smear his name such drugs. Renown radical lawyer and human rights activists, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, challenged his academic credentials unsuccessfully in courts. Many journalists and activists questioned his integrity but were not able to establish any proof.

“Again, thanks to President Buhari, the contest for the presidential candidate of APC was thrown open and Asiwaju won with a wide merging,” he stated.

When asked to react to the revelation, the Publicity Director of the APC, Bala Ibrahim, told our correspondent that the party had moved on and wouldn’t like to delve into an issue that could reopen old wounds.

“Whatever happened before the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the candidate of the APC is something that should left in book of history. Now, he is the candidate of the party and it is the collective will of the same party. Everybody is putting his hands in the deck to see to it that Tinubu is successful,” he said.

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ONLY MENTALLY-CHALLENGED PEOPLE WILL VOTE APC – AYU

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PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu

The Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, on Monday, urged Nigerians not to waste their votes by voting for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on Monday during the PDP presidential campaign rally in Benue State, the main opposition party chairman claimed that only people with mental problems will vote for the APC.

Ayu said, “All of you know that you have suffered in this country in the last eight years APC, only somebody who has a mental problem will vote for APC. Do not waste your vote.”

Speaking on the PDP internal crisis, Ayu said reconciliation moves were ongoing and that the PDP leadership was in talks with aggrieved party members.

“The party is not divided. There are a few members who have grievances. We are talking to them. We want to make sure they come back and work with us fully. One week is enough to change everything. This thing has been going on and I want to assure you that we’ll receive everybody back,” he said.

He also appealed to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to join the PDP campaign train and participate in activities that would guarantee PDP’s victory during the presidential election.

“I am appealing to my younger brother, Gov. Ortom to come back and join us so that we will fight to rescue Nigeria. Gov. Ortom has nowhere to go, his only house is the PDP and anytime that he comes, we shall be more than happy to receive him land all the PDP governors.

“We want all our candidates, all our governors to be with us because if you allow APC to win this election, you will regret it.”

Ortom and other four aggrieved PDP governors have been calling for the resignation of Ayu after the party’s presidential primary last year.

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ORTOM SHUNS ATIKU CAMPAIGN, AYU SLAMS GOV

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, his deputy, Benson Abounu, commissioners, aides and the 22 local government chairmen of the state were absent at the campaign rally of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Benue is being controlled by PDP with the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, hailing from the state.

Leading the campaign rally for Atiku in the state are former governor of the state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former president of the Senate, David Mark, and the three senators representing Zone A, B and C; Suswam, Orker Jev and Abba Moro, were in attendance.

Also, the party governorship candidate and his deputy, Titus Uba and John Ngbede, respectively, and some state working committee members attended the rally.

Speaking at the rally, Ayu appealed to Ortom, who had not shown support for Atiku, to join hands with the party to be able to rescue the country.

Ayu said that he met with one of the G-5 governors, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, two days ago and also urged him to work with them.

According to the PDP chairman, there is no division in the party.

Ayu said, “What we have is some of our members who are aggrieved but we are appealing to Governor Ortom to come back and join us to rescue the country. Governor Ortom has nowhere to go. We have already resolved our issue with Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu. I was with him two days ago and he has agreed to work for the success of our party.”

Atiku, while speaking with the mammoth crowd at the rally, promised to ensure that the crisis between the people of the state and Fulani herders would be resolved if voted into office.

He said, “I am the umbrella of Tiv people worldwide. If you vote for me, I will make sure peace return to Benue State. I will come to the state and make sure Fulani signs a peace pact with the people of the state.”

Atiku also promised that the $10m promised in his blueprint would be injected into the economy to create jobs for the youth.

He further assured the people of Benue State that he would fix the federal roads that pass through the state, just as he promised to reopen the railway line that passed through the state and ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities no longer embarks on strike.

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