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2023: Jega, Bugaje, Abdulfatah, Utomi, Adeniran, others form political group

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National Assembly notorious for bribery –Jega

Ahead of the 2023 general election, some Nigerians of diverse professional background converged on Abuja, Tuesday, to express lack of confidence in the nation’s two popular political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They said the quest to rescue Nigeria from imminent danger informed the idea to form a coalition, which would serve as a platform to galvanise Nigerians across political spectrum to free the country from its current woes and give it a fresh lease of life.

At the national caucus Meeting of Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP), where a proposal for the Rescue Nigeria agenda was unveiled, participants at the event took their turn to express dissatisfaction with the current state of the nation and leadership under the present administration, saying the country could not afford to continue in the same direction of selecting its political leaders.

Those in attendance included a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Usman Bugaje; former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed; ex-Chairman of Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega; renowned Economist, Professor Pat Utomi; former Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran and two members of staff of the United Nations, Prof Terhemba Shija and Dr. Rose Indi Dalandi, among others.

According to them, The Rescue Nigeria Project, was founded on the premise that the problems of Nigeria emanated from poor leadership, adding that the deepening crises in the leading political parties were all the more the reason the re-calibration was necessary.

They noted further that any attempt to rescue Nigeria from its troubles must first rescue it from the current leadership recruitment mechanism that seemed to leverage on money and connection or ethnic sentiments and no premium on knowledge or competence.

In his welcome address, the National Coordinator of the group, Usman Bugaje, described the current leadership recruitment mechanism in Nigeria as a threat to national development.

His words: “We have been unable to exit the leadership conundrum precisely, because the leadership recruitment mechanism in our political parties is so flawed that, except for accidents, they are incapable of producing competent leaders with the requisite knowledge, discipline and commitment to make a difference. We are living with, or better still, groaning under the consequences of this folly.

“The challenge is how to introduce a set of criteria or better still re-calibrate the recruitment mechanism in our political parties to prioritize knowledge, competence and character.”

Ahmed, former Kwara governor, said the various separatists agitations in the country were fueled by the level of divisiveness at witnessed today.

He said: “A new platform should be put in place to take us out of the current quagmire if we must survive as a country. We are starting with a Rescue Nigeria Project, which we ultimately hope to drive into a strong coalition. And we to see this generating ideas and new ways of doing new things.”

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Aregbesola boycotts Akande’s meeting with Osun APC elders’ caucus

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Rauf Aregbesola

Mninister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola On Tuesday shunned a meeting held at the Ila country home of the ex-Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, to discuss party unity.

The gathering was a meeting of the Osun APC Elders’ Caucus designed to unite party members.

It was gathered that when one of the conveners of the meeting raised the issue Aregbesola’s absence, one of the conveners of the meeting, reportedly explained that the ex-governor was duly invited.

Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, it was learnt that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, said many party members were aggrieved as a result of the 2018 Osun APC Governorship primary. He appealed to the elder statesman to assist in reconciliatory efforts before the next cycle of elections.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Akande, said the elders met regularly to discuss party issues, until the advent of COVID-19 last year.

He said, “the meeting had always existed, but because of COVID-19, the meeting had not been held for a very long time. It is the beginning of elders’ activities to move the party forward in Osun.

“We are doing all our best to resolve every crisis. I can assure you that there will be no crisis within our party before the election. We come from different constituencies in Osun and we are going back to let our people know we have started to be more active than before.”

Asked who would be flagbearer of the party in the next year’s governorship poll in Osun, Akande said, “I don’t know who our candidate may be in the forthcoming guber election, but I can assure you that our candidate will win the election in 2022.”

On the issue of the zoning of the APC 2023 Presidential ticket, he said the South will square up with the North, and “whoever becomes our candidate will win the presidency.”

Those at the meeting include: Senator Iyiola Omisore, ex Osun Deputy Governor, Titi Laoye-Ponle, ex deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, ex- Health Minister, Dr. Isaac Adewole, among others, commenced around 11:15 and ended around 1:30pm.

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I will become next Nigeria president come May 29, 2023 — Yahaya Bello

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Yahaya Bello

Following calls to join the presidential race, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said he has all the qualities needed to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come May 29, 2023.

The governor made his intention known while featuring on Arise TV programme on Monday.

According to him, he is ready to take over from President Buhari considering his good track record in Kogi.

“By the grace of God when I would have [been] sworn in as the president and commander-in-chief taking over from Buhari on May 29, 2023, Nigeria will have a heave of relief,” he said.

When asked if he’s ready to listen to the calls of some young Nigerians calling him to contest for president come 2023, the Kogi governor answered; “When I assumed office in 2016, I inherited a state that was largely divided along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.

“I inherited a state faced with a lot of crimes and criminal activities. I was faced with a state begging for leadership. I inherited a state that required the binding of youths, women and all inclusive governance.

“But today, Kogi is more united than ever before. If what I was able to achieve in Kogi is desired at national level.

“If Nigerians across board; youth, women, leaders and followers seeing my leadership style, uniting the people, bringing in experts, adding value to governance, prudent and sincere way and manner of utilisation of our resources and getting the results, balancing the equation, which is most desired in the country today. If this multitude is yearning and calling me to come and serve this great nation in the year 2023 after president Muhammadu Buhari, I will say, yes I’m ready.

“Serving Nigeria in that greater capacity will serve the interest of the people of Kogi, Nigerians, Africa and even black race than I remaining the executive governor of Kogi.”

The Kogi governor, however, rejected calls for zoning and rotational presidency, adding that Nigeria needs a competent leader who can unite Nigerians and solve the problems facing the country.

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2023: 6 APC govs oppose Tinubu’s presidential ambition — Dayo Adeyeye

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National Chairman, South-West Agenda for Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambition, codenamed (SWAGA) 2023, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye has disclosed that 16 All Progressives Congress (APC) governors are covertly supporting the presidential aspiration of the former Lagos State governor.

The party currently has 22 governors under its platform.

Adeyeye, a former Minister of Works (state), said this while inaugurating the factional executives belonging to SWAGA group across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.

The former minister said: “Bola Tinubu will be the next President of this country and one of us will become the governor in Ekiti State. I am happy that the new executives have passion for this group and this will lead to action and, eventually, victory for all of us.

“APC leaders and members across board are using their money to fund SWAGA. Members are not after money. Let me tell you this, 16 governors are now backing Tinubu for president and they are no longer afraid, after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State openly supported us when we did the flag off in Lagos.”

On the new parallel executives inaugurated by SWAGA, the former Minister said: “Those that were inaugurated today (yesterday) are the authentic APC executives in Ekiti. The party at the national level brought out a guideline that people should come out and queue to vote for the ward and local government congresses, but these people didn’t come out.”  

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