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Dogara insists S’East, N’Central must have principal officers

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The factional groups of the All Progressives Congress at the House of Representatives again refused to shift ground on Thursday on how the principal offices in the House should be shared.

The Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, is leading one of the groups, while former Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, heads the other faction.

It became apparent since Wednesday that the peace committee chaired by the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, had been unable to get the warring sides to reach a compromise.

Findings showed that the stalemate in the discussions to reconcile the two sides only pointed to the possibility of conducting caucus elections to elect the majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy whip of the House.

The group led by Gbajabiamila had insisted that any considerations outside the recommendation of the APC’s leadership on the sharing of the seats would not be entertained by its members.

The party had written the speaker that the South-West should produce the Majority Leader; North-West, Deputy Leader; North-East, Chief Whip; and South-South, Deputy Whip.

“That is where we stand; there is no other suggestion or purported agreement that is acceptable to us.

“We have made this point clear enough many times,” the group stated on Thursday.

It also insisted that by convention and the rules of the House, the two new members from the South-East were not qualified to hold principal positions, “being first timers who have no cognate experience as members of the National Assembly.”

The group added that the lack of qualification of the two members alone had defeated the argument of zonal representation “or Federal Character, which in itself is not justiceable. “

But, reacting on Wednesday, the spokesman for the 8th Assembly Consolidation Group, Dogara’s backers, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the group had been magnanimous in conceding all four positions to Gbajabiamila’s.

He noted that it was only fair that the group should consider the interest of other zones besides the South-West and the North-East, in sharing the seats.

“In the election of the House principal officers, every geo-political zone of Nigeria deserves to be represented and it is embarrassing for some members of the House to dismiss the issue of equitable representation as ‘hogwash,’” he added.

Jibrin also dismissed the argument that the South-East lawmakers did not have cognate experience to occupy any of the positions.

He also asked why the Gbajabiamila group believed that the North-Central, which produced 33 members, did not deserve to have a seat.

Jibrin claimed that a member attained cognate experience soon after inauguration, adding that the rule was applicable to contesting a presiding officer’s position before inauguration.

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POLITICS

Former Senate President Saraki declares for presidency

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Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has indicated interest to contest Nigeria’s presidential election in 2023.

The former Kwara governor made this known on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Saraki asserted that he has a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.   He said, “Earlier, I replied to a follower of mine on Twitter who like thousands of you has been clamouring for a united front to #RescueNigeria.

  “As we prepare for the journey ahead, I hope we can all join hands to get the ticket of our great party, PDP, and build a nation that works for all of us.  

“Join me to make our communities safer and provide real opportunities for you and your families. I have a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.  

“Let’s build a new Nigeria that works for everyone!”   Saraki is the latest politician to have indicated interest in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in office next year.

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2023 presidency: Miyetti Allah denies backing Tinubu to succeed Buhari

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Tinubu Visits Aso Rock, Says Buhari Is An Exceptional Leader

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refuted reports that it endorsed ex-Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu for President.

The body said the position of individuals on who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 should not be regarded as a general one.

MACBAN National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma issued a rebuttal on Wednesday.

The scribe stressed that the association respects the ambition of all aspirants and was yet to pitch its tent with any of them.

“The attention of MACBAN headquarters has been drawn to stories in the media claiming that we have endorsed the presidential aspiration of Sen. Ahmed Tinubu.

“We want to make it clear that the association has not endorsed any candidate. Those who endorsed Tinubu are doing so as individuals.

“MACBAN should not in any way be dragged into the politics of endorsement at this stage,” Ngelzarma said.

On January 10, Tinubu formally informed Buhari of his desire to become the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer.

On Tuesday, the party chapter in Lagos accused opponents of making unsubstantiated claims scuttle the APC leader’s bid.

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2023: Obasanjo turns down PDP’s request

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he would never return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying he has retired from partisan politics.

The ex-president, who renounced his membership of the party in 2015, stated this when he received the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and other stakeholders who paid him a visit on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to sources, the visit was targeted at returning the former president to the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

But, Obasanjo, while addressing the stakeholders, said he had vowed to remain as a statesman. He, however, said PDP would always be part of his life.

He said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life.

“Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman.”

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