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2023: X-RAYING TINUBU’S CHANCES OF EMERGING AS NIGERIA’S NEXT PRESIDENT – SOLA ADEYEMO

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Theoretically speaking, the 2019 general elections averagely conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which gave the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari a second term of another four years should not be over celebrated by Nigerians. This is because, overtly viewing, Buhari has the back-up of strong willed, popular and well respected politicians who control the pysche of their supporters even at the expense of the supporters’ wills.

One of the pillars that held the president and his second term ambitions firmly is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Prior to the elections, the Jagaban Borgu did all in his capacities to campaign vigorously for the President’s victory over his main and major opposition candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
As the man in the face of this piece, Asiwaju Tinubu is being rumoured in certain segments across the country to be yearning for the coveted number one seat of the Akinola Aguda House in Aso Rock, Abuja. Though, Asiwaju has not formally come out to declare to Nigerians his intention to run for the country’s number one plum job, the activities and groundworks of his admirers and “haters” alike have, over the past few months generated heated controversies and debates in the political space of our country and beyond.

Whilst many are confidently beating their chests that Asiwaju Tinubu would never think of contesting for the presidency, let alone declaring such, some Nigerians in their own best opinions believe that the 3rd democratically elected governor of the Centre of Excellence remains the best man for the job, if he decides to throw in his cap in the presidential battle ring come 2023. This is if the presidency should be zoned to the South West. However, judging by overall public opinion and feelers being scooped from those in the know viz-a-viz close political watchers and strategists, Asiwaju Tinubu stands tall in overcoming all obstacles and “rocks of Gibraltar” that may stand his way during the 2023 polls. Why? You may want to ask;well, one must not conclude on what perhaps is still very inconclusive as yet.However, people should learn to belief in the policy of “never say never” in democracy or anything they do not have personal or direct control over in life.

To be candid, democracy is strictly a game of electoral numbers and the votes and wishes of the majority and not what the minority feels. That is why it is often said that, in democracy, the minority will have their say, but the majority will always have their ways, except it is not under a free and fair electoral contest. If this statement above could be put into consideration, then Tinubu may well emerge as Nigerian’s 16th president/commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Perhaps, if it’s the collective wish of the Nigerian masses, most especially majority of eligible voters of the country that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is their desired candidate for the presidency, so shall it be. Delving into some of the reasons for the anti-Tinubu campaigners which could be deduced internally; some are of the view that Tinubu does not have age on his side while some attribute his “almightiness” to his massive wealth, exposure and socio-political antecedents etc. But the question that we need to as ourselves on this three attributes are, when has age, wealth or political exposure of a man became part of the criteria that qualifies him or her for any electoral position. We usually define democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people thereby nature, status and exposure have never been included in this globally popular definition.

If leadership is about the disadvantages of age, wealth and exposure before such person could be considered for public office, then United States President Donald Trump and some very old African leaders, doing so well in their countries today, won’t ever be voted for by their people.

Be that as it may, those who do not want Tinubu to be Nigeria’s president come 2023 may also have their reasons. For instance, they perceive him as not being a perfect man and one with so many “baggages” and it is also a common belief amongst Lagosians that the ex-governor had practically bought half of the state with his stupendous wealth. This group of people also affirm that Tinubu has pitched his “boys” and “girls” in powerful offices from Aso Rock, to the National Assembly,various state government circles and States’ houses of Assembly. Thereby, using these men and women as cronies whenever they are needed. They also attested to the fact that Tinubu could conveniently get whatever he wants by from the presidency by simply snapping his fingers.

Now,with all the afore-mentioned, the Jagaban has more than enough enemies in his political career just like any other politician; but the amazing thing about him is the fact that despite all this flaws and down sides ,the gentleman is still waxing stronger – to the chagrin of his known and perceived enemies.

And for all purpose and intent, i think what Nigerians in general should know is that democracy is all about what the majority wants and not what the minority feels. Let me also say at the risk of stirring the hornet nest that the moral compass and social virtues of any leading political figure are also very key , but those not necessarily the sine qua non largely required to land one as the chief executive of a country; because at the end of the day, the will of the majority of the people and other factors will come into play in determining who becomes the President of the most populous black country on earth.

Let me also quickly submit here that, though, Tinubu must have played several roles in the political past of Nigeria via his membership of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) where he fought assiduously with other democratic like-minded progressives for the return of Nigeria to democratic rule before its realization in 1999, he might have a very tedious underground work to do peradventure he wants to contest for the 2023 elections in Nigeria despite his rich wealth of political experience, sagacity and leadership qualities including high level continental exposure, optimal financial muscle (which is an added advantage for his victory) and many more. Tinubu has at several times been compared with the likes of political and democratic legends like the late age Obafemi Awolowo, Owelle Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Aminu Kano and the late Bashorun MKO Abiola.

Whichever way the pendulum swings, political watchers and enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting 2023 general elections and just like ex-President Obasanjo would say, I Just Dey Siddon Look. Nigerians are sitting down, looking, gazing and following developments as regards the presidential ambition of Asiwau Bola Ahmed Tinubu come 2023.

Sola Adeyemo is a media entrepreneur and publisher of City News newspaper. He’s also the President of Coalition of Online Publishers in West Africa (COPUWA).

Email – [email protected]

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Just In: Lagos Assembly Pleads With Youth Over Planned Protest

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– asks Sanwo-Olu to organise stakeholders’ meeting

 

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday held a plenary session calling on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take major steps to avert the planned nationwide protest in the State.

 

The lawmakers, in a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ brought by Majority Leader Noheem Adams, noted the devastation caused by the EndSARS protest of 2020 in Lagos and urged the governor to organise townhall meetings with major stakeholders to fashion out ways to calm the youth and those who plan to support proposed protest.

 

One of the meetings, according to the motion of the House, should be held between the governor and elected political leaders including senators, members of the House of Representatives and state lawmakers while a second meeting should be held with traditional rulers, religious leaders, heads of market, those in the transport sectors and related stakeholders.

 

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said it was necessary for state governments to do the needful to calm frayed nerves and ensure protection of lives and property.

 

Dr. Obasa said Lagos was still grappling with the impact of the EndSARS protest just as he appealed to the youth to be patient with the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that is making effort to see a better Nigeria that would benefit the citizens.

 

The Speaker noted that Kenya is currently in a terrible situation adding that the crises in Sudan and Syria started in the same manner.

 

He commended the commissioner of police in Lagos, Adegoke Fayoade, for meeting with community heads over the planned protest.

 

Obasa called for an urgent meeting with all leaders, including religious, traditional and related organisations in the state for discussion that would help dissuade the youth from engaging in the protest.

 

Earlier in his motion, Hon. Adams (Eti-Osa 1) drew the attention of his colleagues to the planned protest.

 

“I want to plead with our people to shelve this protest,” he said noting that President Tinubu had shown that he is ready to listen to the citizens, especially as he has raised the minimum wage from N30,000 to N70,000.

 

On his part, Hon. Kehinde Joseph expressed worry that the proposed protesters do not have leaders who can be discussed with.

 

He urged for patience stressing that whatever is happening in the country “affects us all.”

 

Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh said President Tinubu understands the problem in Nigeria and was taking the right steps against the country’s collapse.

 

He also urged Nigerians to start focusing on governors because federal allocations to states have grown under the President.

 

Other lawmakers who spoke during the debates urged parents to persuade their wards from joining the protest or allowing themselves to be used to commit crimes.

 

 

 

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Rivers: Tensions Grow As Wike, Fubara’s Supporters Clash, Baby Hurt

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A baby was reportedly tear-gassed and became unconscious on Wednesday as supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, clashed with the loyalists of ex-governor Nyesom Wike in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the clash happened during a government medical outreach in the Eliozu community, Obio/Akpor LGA.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that trouble started when officials of the state Ministry of Health were carrying out a medical outreach for women at the Eliozu Health Centre.

It was gathered that no sooner had the programme started than some supporters allegedly loyal to the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, arrived at the venue to find out the reason for the gathering.

The venue is said to be near the residence of Amaewhule, who is the leader of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike.

But supporters of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, loyal to Fubara, who were at the venue allegedly stopped them from accessing the venue, leading to a heated argument and subsequent clash.

Following the fisticuffs, stones were pelted from several directions, as the medical outreach was disrupted abruptly.

A few minutes later, a team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the scene, firing teargas to disperse the opposing groups and quell the situation from getting out of hand.

It was gathered that a child was tear-gassed during the mayhem and became unconscious.

The situation led to the relocation of the medical outreach to a state-owned medical facility at the Waterlines axis of Port Harcourt where the programme was launched.

Reacting to the incident, the Obio/Akpor CTC Chairman, Chijioke Ihunwo, accused Amaewhule, of leading policemen to disrupt the outreach.

Ihunwo stated, “This morning there was an incident at the Eliozu Health Centre where the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, led some security men to disrupt a programme by the Ministry of Health.

“A few minutes later, some policemen came and started beating up our women, shooting tear gas at pregnant women who were at the Health Centre.

“We want to say that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will not be under siege. We want to call on the President, Bola Tinubu that the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of the FCT are tarnishing the image of your government.

“We are calling on you to rein them in so that Rivers State can have peace. Let the FCT Minister concentrate on his job in Abuja and leave our dear governor alone.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

Iringe-Koko, in a short message to our correspondent, said the police responded to a distress call over the scenario, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

She stated, “A distress call was received from the health centre in the Eliozu community today, 24th July 2024, where supporters of two separate political factions were engaged in a fight.

“The police responded by sending operatives to the scene to restore law and order.

“The police deployed anti-riot tactics, including the use of canisters, to disperse the crowds. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.”

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Protest: Nnamdi Kanu, Diaspora Voting Make List As Organizers Unveil 15 Demands

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Organizers of the planned nationwide protest, scheduled for August 1 to August 10, have unveiled their key demands from President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The nation’s economic situation has propelled citizens, particularly the youths, to plan a mass protest nationwide.

Despite efforts by the government to quell the move, the youths are insisting on embarking on the protest in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who is one of the organizers of the movement, forwarded the demands to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The looming protest titled, “Days of Rage”, “EndBadGovernance” is aimed at drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the economic situation of the country.

Among other things, the intending protesters want the FG to return the fuel subsidy, address issues in the power sector, release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, and allow for diaspora voting during general elections

According to Sowore, Nigerians are asking the FG to “Scrap the 1999 constitution and replace it with a people-made Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a sovereign National Conference followed by a National Referendum.

“Toss the Senate arm of the Nigerian legislative system. Keep the House of Representatives and make lawmaking a part-time endeavour.

“Pay Nigerian workers a minimum wage of nothing less than N250,000 monthly.

“Invest heavily in education and give Nigerian students grants not loans. Aggressively pursue free and compulsory education for children across Nigeria.

“Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and demilitarize the South East. All ENDSARS and political detainees must also be released and compensated.

“Rationalize public owned enterprises sold to government officials and cronies.

“Reinstate a corruption-free subsidy regime to reduce hunger, starvation and multidimensional poverty.

“Probe past and present Nigerian leaders, who have looted the treasury, recover their loot and deposit it in a special account to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure.

They are also demanding the “Restructuring of Nigeria to accommodate Nigeria’s diversity, resources control, decentralization and regional development.

“End banditry, terrorism and violent crimes. Reform security agencies to stop continuous human rights violations.

“Establishment of a special energy immediately to drive massive corruption-free power sector development.

“Immediate reconstitution of the electoral body, INEC to remove corrupt individuals and partisan hacks appointed to manipulate elections.

“Massive investment in public works and industrialization will help employ Nigeria’s teaming youths.

“Massive shake-ups in the Nigerian judiciary to remove cabals of corrupt generations of judges and judicial officers that continue denying citizens access to real justice.

“Diaspora voting”.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday appealed to Nigerians to shelve the planned protest, urging youths to keep faith and believe in the ability of his administration to transform Nigeria.

 

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