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Buhari To APC: Intra-Party Rift Invitation To PDP Victory

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to put their house in order so that the ruling party can retain power in next year’s election.

He warned against the persistent differences, disunity and lack of agreement, which could put the platform in jeopardy during election.

President Buhari, who spoke on the challenges confronting the APC during an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), foreclosed the possibility of foisting party leadership on members by any kingmaker.

He acknowledged the disagreement among APC leaders, which is delaying the party’s National Convention.

The President also explained that he withheld assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021 because he wanted a botton-up structure that will give the power to choose party leaders to members.

He said the approach would give party members the opportunity to choose their preferred candidates from polling unit to ward, council area, state and national level.

The President urged the ruling party to learn from the mistake of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which made power to shift to the ruling party in 2015.

President Buhari said: “We have a timeframe we have to work because the four-year tenure is constitutional. It cannot be interfered by anybody. So, if the APC can’t agree, then, the opposition will naturally take over. What did the PDP do? They said the opposition could not come together, but when ACN, ANPP, CPC, APGA came together, before PDP realised it, they were off. They are still off. They can see it.

“My position is simple. I think I succeeded in trying to get my position understood in the sense that I said, we start from bottom upwards; from polling units to wards, to local governments, to states and then, to Abuja. So, the party, because I’m concerned about my party, the party, in all constituencies, they will know their leaders, coming up. Therefore, when they come to Abuja, they are likely to work together.”

He added: “There is no kingmaker from Abuja. No constituency is being dictated to. All constituencies are supposed to produce their leadership in our party. What other parties are doing is their own business, but we want to make sure that our party members understand that they are respected. It is from polling unit, to ward to local government, to state and after Abuja. So, those who want to be elected at any level, let them work for it. Nobody is going to appoint anybody”.

On the notion that suspected corrupt politicians from the opposition have been defecting to the ruling party to escape justice, the President said no corruption politician would go scot-free under his watch, even as members of his party.

He stressed: “I don’t like to accept that joining our party will check our insistence on accountability. We are very serious about people who aspire to lead at whatever level by their performance, by their integrity, both professional and personal.

“But the problem is that we have to work within the system. Even if you suspect individuals, unless there is evidence, there isn’t much we can do. So, really, it is the system that makes it possible for some people really to even be corrupt.”

“They can’t. Nobody can go scot-free as far as I’m concerned. Imagine what the opposition could do to me if there is something in my record. A lot of confusion could have been caused, but luckily, I think we try to find officers with integrity and that is the best thing for Nigerian leadership at all levels.

“Behave with integrity. If that is done, we will achieve better results. If that is not done, a lot of time will be wasted in talking, quarreling and making a lot of noise”.

President Buhari expressed optimism that the security situation can be resolved before he leaves office, pointing out that security forces are working hard as more equipment and ammunition are being procured.

He said: “The government is capable and is going to do it because members of the security, the Armed Forces and others, their own security depends on one Nigeria. So, no matter, when people are selfish, it is their self first. So, even for themselves, they better stabilise Nigeria and I believe they will do it.

“I know we’re short on resources. For example, dealing with the militants, if people bother to reflect on how we found the Northeast and Southsouth and how much progress we have made and acquiring some helicopters, aircraft, their maintenance, their ammunition, armoured cars, you know to counter effectively, the bandits. They cost money and they cost time for training and adaptation”.

Speaking on how age had affected his capacity as President, the President, who said the pressure of office had been tremendous, noted however, that he could not complain because he asked to be elected into the office.

He observed that many of his colleagues are now enjoying their retirement, adding that he hopes to emulate them in the next 17 months when his tenure ends.

President Buhari said: “Yes, I think COVID-19 has come to my rescue in the sense that the amount of people that you need to see you, can’t see you so that is losing no time. About my age, yes, I see my colleagues, they are now resting and I assure you that I’m looking forward to the next 17 months when I too would have to be less busy.

“The age is telling on me, working now for six, seven, eight hours a day in the office is no joke. Questions of executive council memos from as many states as possible to be considered virtually every week. So, really it is a lot of hard work, but I asked for it and I cannot complain”.

On sucession, President Buhari said: “Yes, because, look, as you know I have been a governor. I have been a minister and I’m in my second term as President. So, I have gone through the system and really, what else can I do with this country?

”I have given my best and I hope after I leave, Nigerians will reflect. I’m not expecting any appreciation. But, what I’m expecting is for Nigerians to say yes, this man has done his best. This is the most I’m expecting from Nigerians. But, it’s no joke. I’m telling you.

“Look at the problem we’re having in the Southeast now. How many police stations were taken over, weapons missing. We closed the border with Benin, we closed the border with Niger. But, we had to accept the reality that the weapons are coming from our own armories, police stations have been attacked and so on. So, the main problem is, I hope, i will leave a more secure Nigeria than what it is now”.

 

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Everything About You Bundle Of Lies – Bode George Attacks Tinubu

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George, has described the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as a “bundle of lies.”

George said everything Tinubu attributed to himself was a “bundle of lies”.

He said Tinubu did nothing to alleviate the pains of residents of Lagos State despite serving as a governor for two terms.

Speaking with Channels Television last night, George said: “I absolutely have no qualms, no quarrel with Tinubu, but all I know is that everything he has said he was or his name is this or his school is that it’s a bundle of lies.

“I’m a bonafide Lagosian, we knew what Lagos was like, and Lagos remains the commercial nerve centre, not only in Nigeria but in the whole of West Africa. What has this fellow done to us?”

The PDP chieftain charged Tinubu to open up on the ownership of Alpa Beta company.

He said the APC presidential candidate should tell Nigerians how much the company has allegedly stolen from the Lagos State Government.

“I have asked a very simple question and none of them has been able to answer it: who owns the Alpha Beta company? How much has the Alpha Beta company stolen from the coffers of our treasury in Lagos state?

“What has he done to alleviate the pains of the people of the state?” he asked.

 

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PHOTOS: Tinubu Arrives Abeokuta, In Closed-door Meeting With Ex-President Obasanjo

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Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, arrives Abeokuta to meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the latter’s Penthouse in the Ogun State Capital, on Wednesday.

Details of the meeting are yet to be made known but sources say it is not unconnected to Tinubu’s presidential bid and the need to get Obasanjo’s endorsement ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

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On this visit, Tinubu was accompanied by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, first interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, former Governor Olusegun Osoba, Otunba Gbenga Daniel among other dignitaries.

The trip to Abeokuta comes a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari received Tinubu and his running mate Kassim Shettima at the State House in Abuja.

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The duo were accompanied by the APC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

According to Adamu, the meeting was to brief the President and get his approval on the party’s plans regarding the campaign outfit and organogram.

At a briefing after the meeting, Adamu also unveiled Lalong as the Director-General of the APC presidential campaign organisation.

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2023: Real Reasons I Met Peter Obi, Wike, Others – Gov Ortom

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has justified why he met the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, among others.

Ortom explained that he is open-minded about receiving any presidential candidate regardless of party affiliation.

He spoke on Tuesday while addressing journalists after returning from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Obi had met with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.

Others at the meeting include former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko; former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; and former Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwanbo, among others.

However, Ortom said he couldn’t turn down a request to attend such meetings.

Ortom explained that he did nothing wrong by attending the meeting with Obi.

According to Ortom: “At the end, the solution to the challenges of Nigeria is what matters. Where we are today calls for all hands to be on deck.

“I am free to receive any candidate who comes visiting or seeking audience with me. I cannot say no when such request comes.”

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