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I don’t belong to any party now – Obasanjo

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Obasanjo

Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said he was yet to formally join any of the political parties.

Obasanjo who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) six months ago, said he would rather remain a statesman for now.

The former president stated this just as he commended the developmental strides of the Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada. Obasanjo noted that the reduced friction experienced in the state under his (Wada’s) administration was commendable.

The former president who hosted a delegation from the state led by the governor at his Presidential Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, said despite his decision not to play active partisan politics anymore, he would continue to work with any Nigerian with good intentions and leadership traits.

He said: “Everybody is welcome. But, they must be with good leadership traits, with genuine intentions to improve the country.”

Obasanjo noted that contrary to the praises being showered on him for his performance as president on the PDP platform, it was important to emphasize that personality should be placed before the platform one represents to achieve desired goals.

According to him, “we should understand first that, not the party made the person, but the person makes the party. It is who you are that you bring into the party. Though for now I remain a “partyless” Nigerian, but, I will continue to welcome any Nigerian with good leadership qualities.

“It does not matter which party you are, either, PDP, APC, Labour, APGA, any party at all, as long as you are committed, sincere and a purposeful leader, I am ready for you. And that is what our brother is doing. I pray that this country will never be short of this type of people”.

Governor Wada described Obasanjo as a father of the nation, stressing that those who believed in him, would continue to learn from his commitment and dedication for the growth of the country.

“Everywhere we meet Baba, we learn a lot and we shall continue to learn from him. He is a father of the nation. He is a figure we admire. We pray that we all would be like him, because he is a committed Nigerian, who has devoted himself to the growth of the country. So, why not, if some of us decide to emulate him, be with him and appreciate him.”

Wada explained that the visit to Obasanjo was coming on the heels of his award as the best governor in the country, saying, “since we were honoured as the best governor yesterday, in Lagos, we deem it appropriate to come down to Abeokuta to report to our father, the little recognition we are getting.

“As you know, Baba Obasanjo is our father, our role model and shining example for the nation and the world at large,” the governor added.

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POLITICS

Wike meets PDP senators, Orubebe

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the Senate in Rumuepirikom, his country home in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The PDP delegation was led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda.

Also a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe met with Wike

Orubebe recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.

In attendance at the meeting were the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi; Shuaibu Lau, Danjuma La’ah and Barry Mpigi.

A Government House source said the senators arrived at the governor’s residence some minutes past 3pm and immediately went into a closed door with their host.

The outcomes of the separate meetings were not made public.

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ADC presidential candidate denies tax fraud allegations in US

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Dumebi Kachikwu

The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has denied allegations of tax fraud in the United States.

Kachikwu said this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Allegations of tax evasion, fraud against me untrue, politically motivated’.

The presidential candidate said the allegations were propagated by his political opponents who were unhappy with his victory at the ADC Presidential primary.

The Roots TV boss, therefore, asked supporters to ignore online reports that the US government had indicted him for tax evasion running into millions of dollars.

The statement read in part, “A few days ago, my campaign team received information that one of the aspirants who lost out in the just concluded ADC presidential primaries was planning a series of smear campaigns against me.

“I was therefore not surprised when I saw this story. Contrary to the information being peddled, I was assessed an additional $9m several years ago by the US Inland Revenue Service.

“This amount was reduced to $2m and when the IRS sued to collect the amount, my lawyers didn’t contest it and instead waited for a default judgement in order to go to the next stage which is making an offer in compromise to reduce the amount to be paid. This is a standard legal practice in tax matters.”

Kachikwu also denied allegations that he delivered a bribe to convicted US Congressman, William Jefferson.

The ADC candidate said rather, he was the one who reported the former Congressman to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The statement further read, “(The report) claimed I had delivered a $100,000 cash bribe to curry the favour of the former US Congressman.  This is another lie as multiple evidence abounds online clearly showing I was the victim who reported the US congressman to the EFCC and the FBI for defrauding my company.

“I have now instructed my lawyers to sue all digital media organisations who participated in the dissemination of this falsehood.”

The Roots TV boss said he was sure of victory in next year’s Presidential election.

Kachikwu, who is a younger brother to a former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, surprisingly defeated a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, to win the ADC’s Presidential ticket.

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Kwankwaso’s party gains one, Labour Party another as senators defect from APC, PDP

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Two Senators on Wednesday announced their defection from their former political parties to another party ahead of the 2023 general election.

The Senators are: Francis Ezenwa Onyewusi representing Imo East Senatorial district and Haliru Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district.

Their defection was made known by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan during a plenary on Wednesday.

While Senator Francis Onyewusi who is a first-timer to the Senate was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to Labour Party (LP), his counterpart in Bauchi was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before he defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The defected Senators cited injustice and inequity in their former political parties that made them fail the primary elections.

On Tuesday, three All Progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to other political parties.

Ahmad Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north; Lawal Yahaya Gumau, senator representing Bauchi north, and Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, all defected to other parties.

Kaita, who represents President Muhammadu Buhari’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside Alimikhena.Advertisement

Gumau defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), a party led by Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state.

The defectors have cited “marginalisation” and unfair treatment by their former parties as the reason for joining new parties.

Most of them were seeking reelection, but lost their tickets in their former parties.

The number of APC senators now stands at 66.

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