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Nigeria’s VP, Osinbajo to announce 2023 presidential bid after APC convention

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Osinbajo joins 2023 presidential race

Nigeria’ Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo will launch his 2023 campaign immediately after the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention, slated for Saturday, February 26., sources close to the vice-president said.

Sources close to Osinbajo’s strategy team hinted at the weekend that in spite of the ongoing campaigns against his currently rumoured bid for the presidency by some interests in the South-west, where he hails from, Osinbajo had made up his mind to give the presidency a shot.

Even more instructive, inside sources claimed, was the fact that Osinbajo had received the blessing and the charge to go ahead with his ambition from his spiritual father and General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The source said, “Take it to the bank, he will run and he is declaring soon after the APC convention. All is set, including premium consultations already done. The coast is clear and the journey is looking good. I believe prof is also motivated by the increasing level of support from across the country, especially, the youths of this country.

“From the north to the south, tell me where he has visited recently and the charge has not been that he should contest? He has capacity, competence and knows what the issues are. Importantly, he can also sell them – I mean the issues. So, why will he not run? Why should the bitterness and envy of some minions stifle him?”

Osinbajo, who sources said was unfazed by the growing allegation of betrayal and the push for him to stand down his ambition for his former principal and supposed benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who had since declared his intention to run, was said to have described the attacks against him as the real motivation to take his chances.

The source added, “In fact, none of such bothers him. But he has done one thing though, he has called his supporters and pleaded with them never to talk down on Tinubu or engage in a mud fight with his support groups, even in the face of obvious provocation.”

Although Osinbajo has refused to officially talk about his aspiration, despite the growing support for him to succeed Buhari, he is said to have been holding high level consultations with prominent Nigerians, many of whom have encouraged him to give the aspiration his best shot possible.

Osinbajo’s motivation to run for the presidency in 2023 according to the sources stemmed from the first time he acted as president, when Buhari was away on medical leave to London, during which he took far-reaching decisions in the national interest. It was further gathered that taking active charge during the period provided the vice president both the confidence and impetus to desire to succeed his current boss.

An APC member, who is favourably disposed to Osinbajo’s aspiration, stated, “It may be right to admit he stands a really good chance to succeed President Buhari after eight years as his deputy. He is an insider, who has had the opportunity of seeing things from high and serious vantage position, especially, having acted before on behalf of his boss.

“Although that may not be enough to get the presidency of Nigeria, because I believe and I know there are some politics directly connected to being the president of Nigeria. But, how well Osinbajo fits into that conversation is another debate altogether. From the list of those currently strutting the turf, he stands a really good chance, except the election is not his to lose.

“But, file this away, he is contesting and would declare after the APC convention. I am aware of that. There’s actually no stopping him. The supports have been sweeping and encouraging and for him, this opportunity might just be once and might never come his way again. Sincerely, he has nothing to lose throwing his hat in the ring. After all, he is already a frontline aspirant.”

Asked if it was true that Adeboye had given his blessing, the party chieftain, who would rather maintain anonymity, stated, “I am not privy to that, but it’s also a simple logic. Osinbajo is a pastor in Redeem and Baba Adeboye would never leave one of his own to support someone else. I also believe he must have hinted him. Honestly, the days ahead will be interesting.”

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WHO issues fresh COVID-19 alert

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned countries that COVID-19 is not over.

Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said the reports of the decline in cases and deaths do not mean the end of the pandemic

Ghebreyesus spoke on Sunday in Geneva at the opening of the World Health Assembly.

The Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, has 194 member-countries.

At the meeting, the first in-person since 2019, Ghebreyesus advised health ministers not to relax.

“Is COVID-19 over? No. I know that’s not the message you want to hear, and it’s definitely not the message I want to deliver,” he said.

The DG expressed concern about increasing cases in nearly 70 countries in all regions with testing rates reduced.

Ghebreyesus added that reported deaths are also rising in Africa, the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage.

“It’s not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere. Only 57 countries have vaccinated 70 per cent of their population, almost all of them high-income countries,” he noted.

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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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