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2023: Nobody’ll get our ticket on a silver platter, APC tells Tinubu

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said its 2023 presidential ticket will not be given to any aspirant on a silver platter.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, said this while reacting to the public declaration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s National Leader, in the 2023 presidential race.

With his disclosure to contest the presidency, Tinubu is likely to clash with his political ‘godson’, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is also believed to be interested in the presidential race.

Buhari had on Wednesday, during an interview with Channels Television, said he did not care who succeeds him in 2023.

Reacting to the declaration of Tinubu, Nabena said, “The APC will not give any of its members’ presidential ticket on a platter of gold; there are procedures so he (Tinubu) should continue consulting. The APC is not a come-and-take party. He should consult even those contesting with him.

“So consultations should continue and whoever emerges at the primaries will be the party’s presidential candidate for 2023,” the party said.

What I told Buhari – Tinubu

Responding to a question from State House reporters, Tinubu said he had formally informed President Buhari about his ambition to contest the presidential election

“I answer that with categorical yes. I’ve informed the president of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting.

“And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult. You’ll soon hear all you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I’ve informed Mr President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”

Asked what Buhari’s response was, Tinubu said: “That’s our business. He’s a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition, is a lifelong ambition.

“So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You’re running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it.”

Tinubu, while responding to a question that sought his views on a potential race between himself, Osinbajo, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in view of the presence of various support groups drumming support for them, he said: “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr President, and turn Nigeria better.

“I’ve done that with yielding commitment in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we’re doing.”

When asked about what Nigerians should expect from him if elected, he said: “You want my manifesto now? Not yet. Not yet.”

When informed about the views of some Nigerians that he should remain a kingmaker, he said nothing stops a kingmaker from becoming a king.

“I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That’s the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless you commit murder.

“So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception”.

On the forthcoming APC convention for which no definite date had been fixed, he said: “It is certain that we’re going to get it.”

On whether the convention would hold next month, he said: “Oh, well. I’m not a spokesperson for the party. And the president is the leader of the party. So, expect convention, maybe if that’s added to your own anxiety, or the other party’s anxiety is good for us. We get it and we’ll get it done properly.”

He said the National Assembly and the president must be encouraged to review the Electoral Act saying “Whatever they come up with is what we must comply with.”

“There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively. The great roadmap to success is the ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that it should be done. So, that to me, the electoral amendment point, we will still look at that collectively. And it is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously.”

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Senate ticket: APC justifies expulsion of Umahi’s rival

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APC expels Ann Agom-Eze

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi State Chapter, has said it expelled a factional senatorial candidate of the party for Ebonyi South, Mrs. Ann Agom-Eze, due to alleged gross misconduct.

The state party chairman, Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha, stated this while briefing journalists in Abakaliki on Sunday.

Okoro-Emegha said, “Mrs. Agom-Eze has recklessly disparaged herself too by eating back her words in an effort to satisfy her paymasters.

“How can a woman who voluntarily wrote, signed and submitted her letter of withdrawal from the senatorial primary that gave the Federal High Court, Abakakili the impetus to order for a fresh election still denies it in a broad daylight?

“Do you know that she also sworn an affidavit to that effect and all these documents are substantially available, including at the national secretariat?”

He added, “Since her expulsion from the party started in her Umudomi ward in Onicha Local Government Area of the state, even as your state party chairman, I cannot interfere with the decision because politics is a grassroots engagement.”

Meanwhile, a group, Ebonyi South Concerned Citizens, has kicked against Agom-Eze’s expulsion.

The group alleged that the state government, through its agents, coerced the Vice Chairman of Umudomi Ward, Mr Nwitte John-Eze, to sign a letter expelling Agom-Eze on Saturday.

According to the group, the same letter was, on Wednesday, rejected by the Ward Chairman, Ogbonnaya Ogboji.

The leader of the group, Ugochukwu Orji, stated this, on Sunday, in statement, titled, “Suspension saga about Princess Ann Agom-Eze: A mere fallacy, move that increases Umahi’s desperation.”

Agom-Eze came second in the APC senatorial primary for Ebonyi South zone held on June 28, 2022 and was joined in a matter challenging the state governor, David Umahi’s supposed qualification to still contest the ticket, after participating and losing the party’s presidential primary.

The matter, our correspondent gathered, is still pending at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

The Special Assistant on Media and Strategy to Governor Umahi, Mr Chooks Okoh, described as baseless and unfounded, the allegation that some people were offered N1million to sign Agom-Eze’s suspension letter, adding that she should approach the party leadership and sort herself out.

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PDP Crisis: Dele Momodu warns Wike to apply brakes before it’s too late

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Former presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu has urged Governor Nyesom Wike of River State to thread softly before it becomes too late. 

The remark is coming amid internal wrangling between the Rivers governor and the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Abubakar Atiku. 

“Many politicians survive only on power. My Brother, I love you. But someone must be able to tell you the truth. No General fights on too many fronts. Please, apply the brakes, before it is too late,” he said. 

Momodu made the plea in a statement titled, “My Kobo Advice to Governor Nyesom Wike,” which he issued via his verified Instagram handle on Thursday.

He said, “My dear Brother, good evening. I have watched you in recent months with trepidation. I’m scared about your inability to comprehend the country called Nigeria. You must have underrated how the owners of Nigeria operate. 

“I studied the biography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I was an insider in the June 12 1993 crisis, and a veritable witness to the tribulations of my great mentor, Chief Moshood Abiola. Closer home, you must have seen how your predecessor, Dr. Peter Odili, was stopped in his tracks in 2007.

“You’re certainly one of Nigeria’s best performing Governors, if not the best. Personally, I’m very proud of your uncommon achievements. I know you are very angry. It is your right to be. But I’m begging you in the name of God not to take decisions based on anger… Nigeria has been very kind to you. 

“Rivers State has been extremely generous to you. GOD has blessed you beyond imagination. You have such a beautiful family. Your people love you stupendously for services delivered to them. PDP has been your solid platform. 

“You should never destroy a bridge after crossing the river. Even if you no longer need the bridge, what of your friends and family? I pray you kill this excessive and perpetual ANGER. It is getting out of hand. Most people around you will keep quiet for fear of losing patronage,” he said. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Catholics want Lalong suspended

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Some members of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria have called for the suspension of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State from the church over his reference to the pope while defending his acceptance to serve as the Director General (DG) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.

Lalong, on Wednesday, told correspondents at the presidential villa, Abuja, that as a Catholic and papal knight, the pope had not told him that it was wrong for him to lead the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign team.

Following the comment, aggrieved Catholic faithful criticised the governor for bringing the church into disrepute and dragging the Holy Father into the murky politics of Nigeria.

But Lalong said his reference to Pope Francis on his appointment was out of reverence and not disregard for the Holy Father, Catholic Church or Christianity.

He said it was unfortunate that part of the interview had been excised and used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.

The President of the Concerned Catholics in Nigeria (CCN), Dr Ben Amodu, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said Lalong must tender an apology for maligning the name of the pope and the entire church.

He also said the leadership of the Catholic community in Nigeria must ensure that the governor was made to atone for his blasphemous statement about the pope and the Catholic Church in public.

Amodu said, “The fact that Governor Simon Bako Lalong, a practicing Catholic who supposedly knows that the Catholic Church is not involved in partisan politics, but still went ahead to insinuate that the pope is in support of his decision smacks a mockery of the revered Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world.

“The Concerned Catholics in Nigeria condemn such despicable conduct as it is not reflective of the stance of the pope and the Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world concerning the political permutations in Nigeria.” 

‘My reference to pope mark of reverence’

Governor Lalong, in a statement yesterday by his media aide, said it was unfortunate that part of his remarks had been used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.

He said, “My reference to the Holy Father, the Pope, was to emphasise that as a Christian born and raised in the Catholic faith, accepting the assignment given to me by my party, the APC, of which I am a founding member, does not in any way remove my faith in Jesus Christ or my commitment to the church in Nigeria and universally.

“Those who know me can attest to my respect for the church, Christianity and spiritual fathers of all denominations. They know my modest contribution to the growth of the church in Plateau State, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large and can testify to it.”

The governor further said he had high regard for Christians and church authority and would continue to work hard in promoting the interests of Christians and adherents of other religions based on love, justice, equity and fairness.w

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