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Scramble for Borno Deputy Governor seat intensifies

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Names of about five persons have been touted for a possible replacement for the late deputy governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, who died on Saturday

The late Mustapha left Maiduguri, the Borno State capital hail and hearty on August 14, 2015 to attend a convocation ceremony at the Modibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTEC), Yola, Adamawa State, only to be brought back in a casket the following day.

One of the contenders is Ibrahim Audu Miringa, a former member, Borno State’s House of Assembly and who, until recently, has was the chairman Borno State House of Assembly Service Commission.

According some opinions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), though Miringa, who is in his mid 50s, is older than Governor Shettima, who is 48, he has some qualities that match with that of the deceased deputy governor.

When he was in the state’s house of Assembly he was one of the most outspoken lawmakers.

It could be recalled that during his time, though he shared the same party (defunct ANPP) with the then Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, Miringa, from Biu local government, was a kind of one-man opposition in the all-ANPP assembly.

What may stand on his path to the office of the deputy governor of the state, is the belief that Gov, Kashim Shettima may not tolerate Miringa’s frankness.

Another name being bandied around as a likely replacement is Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa, one of the Southern Borno-born politician from Hawul local government area of the state, who has the uncommon record of being a permanent feature in the state’s cabinet since 2003.

If Shettima is looking for one politician, whose life’s ambition is to, some day become deputy governor, then Durkwa is the man for the job. Those who know him well say Durkwa has always aspired to be deputy governor since 2003, but the prevailing political calculus has hardly been kind to him.

As a commissioner in the state in the last four years, Durkwa’s supporters pushed hard for the the late Mustapha’s replacement, as they referred to him as the next deputy governor as the state matched towards the 2015 elections.

Rumours are making the rounds, that the former deputy governor to ex-governor Ali Modu Sheriff, for eight years, Adamu Yuguda Dibal is also being fingered as likely contender.

Dibal had in 2011 vied to become the governor of Borno State, but was not lucky at the primaries. He also in 2015 aspired to go for the position of the House of Reps which also did not turn our well at the primaries.

Governor Shettima had two years ago appointed him as honorary adviser on political affairs, a position he continues to hold. During Mustapha’s burial last week, Dibal was featured prominently as he patricipated in all the burial rites as well as reception of sympathisers in the official residence of the deputy governor.

Another influential name being mentioned within and outside Borno State Government House is Barrister Yakubu Bukar, the current head of Service (HoS) in the state.

He has been a solicitor of the Borno State government and permanent secretary Ministry of Justice before Shettima made him HoS.

Even though Shettima brought him to governance, it is not hidden that Bukar was a close ally of the departed deputy governor.

Another name being mentioned from Biu local government is Alhaji Abdu Usman, a retired permanent secretary, whose last office was the Ministry of Finance.

He is also a permanent commissioner at the Borno State Independent Electoral Commission (BOSIEC).

Though he is not a core politician, Usman, is largely known to be a man of the people, who is well respected and loved by his people from Biu local government.

Those who know him well enough attest that he always hosts a feast in his house every Friday after the Jummat prayers.

While working as civil servant, he has the credit of bringing up most of Biu indigenes especially by providing free accommodation and feeding to all of them while they were studying in Maiduguri.

If Shettima wants a man that would be respected and loved from Biu Emirate, then Usman it is.

.Governor Shettima has, however, revealed that he was yet to decide on who becomes the next deputy.

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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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