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Jonathan finally joins APC in Bayelsa ward, set to recontest for President

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President Goodluck Jonathan has formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a bid to recontest for President in 2023.

This comes hours after disowning a nomination form purportedly procured for him by a northern group.

Following reports that a coalition of northern socio-cultural groups, basically of Fulani extraction, purchased N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the APC for the former President to contest for President again in 2023, Jonathan swiftly rejected the presidential form purchased for him on Monday.

Speaking through his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said it was an insult for the group to have bought him the form without his permission.

But according to the News Agency of Nigeria, a credible source in Jonathan’s camp said the former President has finally decided to vie for the top office again.

Jonathan lost to the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NAN that the former president has formally joined the APC after registering at his Otuoke Ward in Bayelsa.

He is expected to submit the duly filled forms on Thursday.

“Several bigwigs of the party have also been calling Jonathan to pledge their loyalty and support to the former president,’’ the source said.

The source told NAN political correspondent late on Wednesday that some influential African leaders had called Mr Jonathan earlier on Monday to advise him “to contest the election in the interest of Nigeria”.

“At least three top African leaders called the former president on the matter. They all urged him to run.

“One of them specifically told him that it didn’t make sense travelling all over Africa settling disputes only to shy away from leadership responsibility in his home country.

“Another reminded him of the implication of failing to put the experiences he garnered as a former Nigerian president and as a continental statesman to good use,” the source also said.

According to the source, some of the African leaders told Jonathan that Nigeria was passing through challenging times and in need of “a unifier like Jonathan at this time’’.

The source did not disclose the names of the African leaders.

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Nnamdi Kanu’s US lawyer, Bruce Fein challenges Buhari’s minister to public debate

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Bruce Fein, a United States, US, lawyer of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has challenged the Nigerian Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami to a debate.

Fein challenged Malami to a debate on a national television over the legal right of the South-East to agitate for Biafra.

In a series of tweets, the US attorney said Malami would have accepted defeat if he turned down the challenge.

According to Fein: “I challenge Attorney General Malami or his designee to debate me on Nigerian television. Topic: The legal right of Biafrans to self-determination.

“My opponent can use two words to every one of mine. Malami concedes defeat if he scampers away from my challenge.”

Kanu is being held in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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