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No APC leader complained about Buhari’s appointments – Lai Mohammed

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The National Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed in this interview in Lagos said by the time President Muhammadu Buhari makes his full appointments, all sections of the country would have been taken care of.

During the week, the President  made some top appointments that have been generating negative comments from the people of  the South West and South East, alleging that the President did not abide by the policy of federal character. What’s your reaction to this?
That is not true. Nigerians must be patient with the government regarding appointments. President Buhari will make about 2,000 appointments and by the time he completes necessary appointment, I assure you that no part of this country will complain again. People should not expect the government to balance the appointments from day one. I believe there are still more appointments to be made by the president. He has appointed less than 50 people so far and as I’ve said earlier, those that have just been appointed are people known to the president as competent and corrupt-free. They are the people that are familiar with President Buhari. They are people he could vouch for their integrity; they could be described as tested and trusted individuals. The president has to start somewhere, and as I’ve said, this is a government that has its focus and wanted to redeem electoral promises and take Nigeria to the desired level of development.
I think at this juncture in this country, we need re-orientation, we need to think more about citizenship and not indigeneship. The government has  mauch work to do because of the level of the rot it met on ground. I believe this should be the focus of the people and rally round the government to make life better for all Nigerians irrespective of one’s state or tribe. We should not lay much emphasis on things like religion, section, tribe and the likes. These are what were promoted in the past that drew the nation backward for long. So, on the appointment, I assure Nigerians that by the time President Buhari completes the appointments of those that will work with him, Nigerians will understand and appreciate him.

 

But, it was reported that some leaders of your party, the APC were unhappy about the recent appointments?
Not at all. There was nothing like that.

Former Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi and his ex-Lagos counterpart, Babatunde Fashola were touted to be Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff respectively, but were not to be. Could this be as a result of alleged corruption in some quarters against them?
I think it will be very unfair to say both former governors were not made Secretary to the Government of the Federation or Chief of Staff as a result of allegations that cannot be substantiated. To me, that is a mere beer parlour gossip.

The President has been accused in some quarters of being selective, partisan and witch-hunting with his probe action. What’s your view about this?
The basic truth is that only those who have something to hide. Those who have skeletons in their cupboard are complaining about the government’s probe action. If one does not have something to hide, why complaining? It’s obvious there are corrupt people everywhere and in all sectors. It is natural to see or observed that more Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members are being called upon to answer questions about what they have done because their party was in power for 16 consecutive years and Nigerians are witnessed to what they did to their country. Buhari’s administration inherited an empty treasury, the immediate past government owed salaries at federal and state levels. It was dexterity of the current administration that averted what could have been a serious industrial crisis. It’s obvious the last government mismanaged the nation’s economy. It was Buhari’s government that bailed out some states that have financial crises. Where are the billions made on behalf of the country in the last six years? The chunk of these money ended in private pockets and accounts here at home and overseas countries. That was the reason for the probe. So, those who are shouting selective or witch-hunting are not being truthful.   The rot that took place under PDP’s administration was unbelievable. By the time the probe action starts, people will understand better. However, I don’t see anything selective or witch-hunting in the current war against corruption. Muslims and Christians have been quizzed. APC members have been quizzed. PDP members have been quizzed. Contractors have been invited for questioning. On the contrary, it was the corrupt people that are fighting back with their loot. They have lots of money to thrown around.  They wanted to frustrate President Buhari’s war on corruption.
They sponsored series of opinion on pages of newspapers and used some columnists, but I assure Nigerians that the president is not perturbed. He is ready to wage the war and win. He is not going to be distracted.

President Muhammadu Buhari will clock 100 days in office soon. How would you rate the performance of his administration so far?
It is too early to judge this government. But, one can say this is a government that is focused, determined and connecting with the aspirations of the electorate. This is one government that is set to redeem electoral promises. The government has embarked on tackling insecurity, corruption in the economy and to bring looters of the commonwealth to book. President Buhari’s administration has succeeded in doing the tangible and intangible. The government has given Nigerians right to dream and hope. This is a government that frowned at corruption and led by a man who lives by example. On the tangible side, Buhari’s government, within 100 days in office, has rallied regional, continental and global support to wage war against Boko Haram. He has appointed new Service Chiefs that took the fight to the insurgents. The decision of President Buhari to move the Service Chiefs to the theatre of war has helped the country tremendously. It boosted the morale of the Nigerian Army. In a nutshell, Buhari’s government has brought back honour and glory to Nigeria. The government spent less than 100 days in office and has lots of positive achievements to point at. Nigerians should rally round the government to achieve more.

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POLITICS

2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.

Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.

El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.

“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.

“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.

“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.

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2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu

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Amosun denies stepping down for Bola Tinubu

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.

Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.

There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.

But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”

According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”

While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”

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Women affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen withdraws from senatorial race

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Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has dropped her senatorial ambition.

Tallen made this known in a statement she issued on Monday.

The minister had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) form to contest the Plateau South Senatorial election.

According to her, after consultations with her constituents, she has decided to withdraw from the race.

The statement read in part: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat, mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.”

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