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Gov. Yahaya Bello declares interest to contest for 2023 presidency

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Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has declared his intention to contest for president in 2023.

Bello said his decision to contest for president is driven by concerns of some Nigerian youths and women, both at home and abroad, who are clamouring that he should run in 2023.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust , Bello said it will amount to disappointment and betrayal of confidence and trust by Nigerians if he tells them no.

” Nigerians are behind all these calls and clamours that I should run for president in 2023. Nigerian youths and women, both at home and abroad, are clamouring that I should run in 2023. They want to pull me out of my cocoon at all cost. Of course I have been listening to them; and like I said, at an appropriate time we will give a definite answer. But one thing is sure; it will amount to disappointment and betrayal of confidence and trust by Nigerians if I tell them no.”

He added that two-third of the various state houses of assembly across this country are calling on him to run.

“I will not disappoint them, by the grace of God. It is their right and opinion to clamour that I should run, and I don’t think they are committing any offence. So there is no need to reprimand them or anybody.”

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POLITICS

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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