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Patriotism Fueling My Presidential Ambition – Atiku |The Republican News

                                       Atiku Abubakar

Chidiebube Okeoma and Gibson Achonu, Owerri

Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, said that the desire to move Nigeria forward was the greatest factor motivating his desire to keep seeking to occupy the highest political office in Nigeria.

Abubakar, who spoke when he visited an elder statesman and Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, during his visit to Imo state in his ongoing nationwide presidential consultations, said that bad governance had taken Nigeria back.

The former VP, who came in company with his campaign organisation’s Director-General and a former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, and other members of his campaign team, said that he had the solution to the myriad of challenges confronting the country.

Atiku said, “Patriotism is the key thing. It is the thing propelling my presidential ambition. I want to move Nigeria forward. Patriotism is needed to move Nigeria forward.”

He said he was in the state to consult the leadership of the PDP in the state ahead of the party’s presidential primary.

Responding, Iwuanyanywu said “I will not retire from politics until Atiku becomes President. Atiku is the kind of president Nigeria needs. There is poverty in the land because of bad governance. The Igbo have been marginalised in this government, sadly, some Igbo people are still supporting Buhari.”

Similarly, Atiku accused the ruling All Progressives Congress of failing the aspirations of Nigerians.

Atiku stated this in Owerri, capital of Imo State,  while on a visit to the delegates and members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.  (Punch)

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BREAKING: Saraki Meets National Chairmen Of 45 Political Parties |RN

Senate President Bukola Saraki is meeting with chairmen of 45 political parties in his office at the Senate.

This was contained in a message on his verified Twitter handle, Bukola Saraki @bukolasaraki.

He had tweeted: “I am now meeting with the National Chairmen of 45 political parties at my office in the Senate.”

See the tweet:

(Punch)

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Presidential Poll: These Are Kingmakers Who Will Determine PDP Candidate

Obasanjo, Wike, Danjuma

OLUSOLA FABIYI looks at the power play within the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party and writes on those who will play significant roles in determining the party’s presidential candidate

The National Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians would determine the presidential candidate of the party in the February election. He may be partly correct because delegates who will vote at the party’s special national convention where the candidate will be elected are citizens of the county.

However, while the delegates will queue with ballot papers in their hands and the list of aspirants printed on them, they may not be there to exercise their personal conviction on who to vote. This is because each delegate is believed to have at least a godfather, whose bidding will be reflected on his choice of the party’s presidential candidate.

For the PDP and members of its coalition groups, the 2019 presidential election is too critical to be left in the hands of not too informed delegates.

A former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, expressed the seriousness he and his co-defectors associated with the election at the inauguration of the coalition’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.

At the event, he warned his group to know that its key members would be dealt with by the ruling All Progressives Congress if President Muhammadu Buhari returns to power in 2019.

Oyinlola, a retired general, asked his co-travellers in the plot to know that what they are involved in is like coup plotting.

“Coup is not illegal when it succeeds, but when it fails, plotters are hounded up in jail and later killed.  So, be ready and know the implications of what you are involved in,” he told his audience in a clear language.

Sometimes ago, when the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, led a delegation to visit former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the latter’s residence in Abeokuta, their host also sounded the same warning to his visitors.

To buttress his point, he was also said to have asked one of his personal aides to bring his already-packed bag,  which he said contains his drugs, few clothes and other essentials, ready to be arrested by the Federal Government over their decision to install a new President for the country in 2019.

“You know I’m used to it. I have been arrested before, I was tried for a coup that never existed and I was jailed. Therefore, I’m used to it. It is you who are not used to it. I’m telling you this to let you know that they will come for us if we fail in this task,” he reportedly told his astonished audience.

Such is the seriousness in the camp of the opposition as the nation prepares for the 2019 general elections. They believe that politics is a serious business that will be too expensive to be left in the hands of one person. Though many notable politicians have come out to signify their readiness to fly the party’s presidential ticket in the February election, their fate may have to be determined by just a clique in and outside the former ruling party.

Among those who have signified their intention to run are a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau; Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo;  a former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi;  a former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu (SAN ) and a former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido.

Others considered to be with the potent war chest to fight for the ticket,  but who have yet to openly declare their ambition are a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso;  Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal;  and the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.

While they are expected to traverse the length and breadth of the country to seek votes from the delegates, the deciders of their fate may nevertheless be a few, within and outside the party.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO

He’s been described by many adjectives.  Some are complimentary while others could be full of disdain for the former military head of state and a two-term president. But instead of sitting by and get burdened with the comments of those who have resentment for him, Obasanjo has remained hardened in his unwavering conviction that President Buhari’s performance since he assumed office more three years ago, remain everything but unsatisfactory.

He has said that allowing Buhari to remain in office after four years will mean a reinforcement of failure.  Like a soldier that he is, when Obasanjo is convinced about a cause, he puts in everything in him into it. That is why even though he has torn his membership card of the party that brought him into office, Obasanjo has returned to the political battlefield to strategise with other like-minds just to achieve their aim of getting a replacement for his junior in the army. With his involvement in the formation of the coalition that involves 39 other political parties and associations, it is evident that Obasanjo will be one of those who will determine the standard bearer of the PDP,  which is the dominant political party in the coalition.

T.Y. DANJUMA

Like Obasanjo, Theophilus Danjuma is a retired general. He played a prominent role in the conspiracy that brought Buhari into power. He was said to be one of the major financiers of the APC campaign. The unabated killings in the country, particularly in his native state of Taraba, is believed to have created a wedge between Danjuma and the Buhari government.

Recently, the former army chief openly expressed his frustration about the killings of his kinsmen when he alleged that there was collusion among the security agencies and the killer Fulani herdsmen. He told the people in an unambiguous language, to embrace self-defence.

Danjuma, who is believed to be stupendously rich, hardly talks but when he does, the contents are so heavy that he cannot be ignored.  That was why even the Presidency and the army authority were forced to react to his allegations on the killings.  While the Presidency waved the allegation aside and denied it, the army was forced to set up a probe panel to investigate it.

Danjuma seems not to care about the ranting of the military and the Presidency over that, as he is said to have joined the “brave patriots” to search for an alternative and acceptable candidate that will slug it out with Buhari next year.

CHIEF OLU FALAE

He is not a member of the PDP. In fact, he is the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party.  Naturally, he ought to be concerned about how his party would win the presidential election. That, however, is not the case. Falae, who was a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, played a prominent role in the formation of the coalition that was put together with the sole aim of removing Buhari next year.

He has asked all the political parties involved in the coalition to bury their individual ambition and join hands and present a single candidate for the battle. Going by his presentation at the inauguration of the coalition at its national secretariat last week Thursday in Abuja, and since the PDP remains the largest political party among the partners, Falae is expected to be carried along and also contribute on who would fly the PDP flag for the coalition.

NYESOM WIKE

“Wike the wicked,” as he’s called by his admirers because of his frankness while speaking on national issues and politics in his home state, Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, will also be a major player in the PDP presidential candidate selection. Apart from being a governor of an oil-rich state, Wike is also one of the major financiers of the party. He played a major role in the installation and the sacking of the erstwhile Acting National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff.  Wike was also at the forefront of the election of the current National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus and the majority of members of the party’s National Working Committee.

The former minister of state for education is also believed to have a close rapport with the majority of the present and former leaders of the party.  With his deep purse and involvement in the bid to rescue the party from the Ali-Modu group who had all defected to the APC, no discussion can hold on who will be the presidential candidate of the PDP and the name of Wike will not be mentioned.  Some people are nevertheless speculating that he is nursing an ambition of becoming the running mate of one of the aspirants.

IBRAHIM BABANGIDA

A former head of a junta in Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida, does not in any way, qualify as a Democrat going by his past actions and records. Unfortunately, the self-styled “evil genius” is among those being consulted as the PDP begins its tortuous journey to get a credible presidential candidate. His palatial home in Minna, Niger State has since become a Mecca of the sort for politicians from the PDP, seeking relevance in the new dispensation.  He is said to be in touch with some powerful people in the country to pick a candidate for the PDP, whose presidential ticket had eluded Babangida himself in the past.

UCHE SECONDUS

They call him “total chairman” because of his alleged unalloyed loyalty to the party and his friends, Uche Secondus, the national chairman of the party will be saddled with the responsibility of taking a decision with others, in deciding the party’s presidential candidate.  Since he assumed office in December 2017, Secondus has carried on with his job meticulously. His style of leadership, which has been described as unique because of the silent way he carries out his job, has yielded many fruits. His ability to convince Obasanjo to back the PDP’s search for a presidential candidate has been described as unparallel diplomacy.  Such diplomatic moves that also made a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George to reconcile with Obasanjo and bring them together, is expected to manifest in the party’s continued search for a presidential candidate.

Secondus will, however, be expected to carry members of his NWC along in this task. But going by the strategic post he occupies, the national chairman will not be asked to second the motion for the selection of the PDP candidate, he will be duly involved.

SERIAKE DICKSON

The Governor of Bayelsa State is not seeking a re-election and this puts him in a good stead to navigate with other party leaders to search for a formidable candidate for the party.  Besides, Dickson is also presiding over a rich state whose resources will be useful for the presidential campaigns.

EMMANUEL UDOM

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State is another PDP leader with a deep purse. Though he is said to be having a silent running battle with his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the governor is said to be a serious party man. While some of his fellow governors from the PDP who are hardly seen at the party events, Emmanuel has been one of the formidable forces behind the position of the party today as a formidable alternative to the APC. The selection team will definitely not asked him to excuse them when the final decision on the PDP presidential candidate is going to be taken.

IFEANYI OKOWA

A former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori may be involved by proxy. His state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, may represent his interest as the former governor has yet to begin to dabble into national politics since he returned from London where he served his jail term having been convicted for corruption. He, nevertheless, still determines the political direction of the oil-rich state and what happens at the party at the centre.

ALIYU GUSAU

One of the prominent members of the military known in their circle as the “master spy,” Gusau, a former National Security Adviser, has remained a close ally of both Obasanjo and Babangida since he left service.  He is said to be among the informal group searching for an alternative to Buhari.

OTHERS

There are others who are expected to also be involved in the search.  These include the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminent Abubakar Sa’adu and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido.  Though said to be the father to all, some analysts believe that there is no way Tambuwal would defect to the PDP and nurse a presidential ambition without consulting the Sultan. For Emir Sanusi, the defection to the PDP by Kwankwaso has put him on the spot.  This is so as Kwankwaso was the governor of Kano State who installed him as the Emir despite the stiff opposition to his emergence by the then ruling party.

The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose, may fall to the category, but the defeat suffered by the PDP in the state governorship election may have deflated his ego.  That notwithstanding, Fayose is still expected to be involved in the exercise.  (Punch)

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2019: Nasarawa APC Pledges Loyalty To Buhari |The Republican News

Buhari-new-pix4

President Muhammadu Buhari

Linus Oota, Lafia

Stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress ( APC ), in Nasarawa State, have vowed to stand by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 presidential election despite the wide gale of defections across the country, saying that they would swim or sink with him.

Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura stated this, on Thursday, on behalf of the stakeholders, at the Government House, in Lafia, while addressing them of the party’s commitment to ensuring the return of president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Those in attendance were Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and all the members of the National Assembly of APC from the state, all governorships aspirants under the APC in the state, all members of the state assembly of APC, top state government officials in the state.

He appreciated members of the party from the state at the National Assembly and in the state for standing by President Buhari despite the challenges.

They all vowed to stand by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure he is re-elected in 2019, adding that the APC will deliver Buhari in the Northcentral Nigeria despite the exit of Benue and Kwara states from the party.

Also speaking, Sen. Adamu said those who defected from the party have seen their failures in the party, adding that they are battle-ready for them.

National vice chairman, North Central of the party, Alhaji Sulieman Ahmed Wambai, on his part, urged the supporters of the party in the state to remain the focus, adding that in the next three days, about three PDP governors in the East will join APC.

All the stakeholders spoke in firm support of the party in the state to ensure that President Mohammadu Buhari returns back to the office in 2019.  (The Sun)

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2019: I’m Going To Contest For The Seat Of The President – Donald Duke

Donald-Duke1

Former Governor of Cross Rivers, Donald Duke

Another high-profile candidate has announced he wants to stand in next year’s presidential election in Nigeria but held off declaring which party he would represent.

Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross Rivers, told AFP: “I’m running. I am sure many, many will join.”

Duke is a respected politician who was in charge of Cross Rivers for eight years until 2007 and is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But he has been linked to a movement backed by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who has fiercely criticised Nigeria’s incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

Obasanjo said in January that Buhari, whose fitness to govern has been questioned after he spent months in London last year being treated for an undisclosed illness, needed a “deserved rest”.

Buhari, who like Obasanjo previously headed a military government, had shown a poor grasp of the economy, foreign policy and Nigeria’s complex internal politics, he added.

Another former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida has equally implied Buhari should step aside instead of seeking a second, four-year term, saying “analogue” leaders should make way for “digital” rulers.

– ‘Zoning’ –

At 56, Duke is so far the youngest declared candidate, just behind the outgoing Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose, also of the PDP.

Another PDP presidential hopeful, former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, is 71, while Buhari, who looks likely to win the All Progressives Congress ticket unopposed, is 75.

Nigeria recently lowered age limits for political candidates to reflect changing demographics in Africa’s most populous nation and usher in younger leaders.

Duke said: “It’s ridiculous to have a leadership with people of 75 or above in a country where the age average is 21 or 22 years old.

“They can’t be in touch with the people and their reality.”

Since the return to civilian rule in 1999, Nigeria has rotated the presidency between the mainly Muslim north and the largely Christian south in a process known as “zoning”.

The 2019 elections are expected to see two northern candidates, including Buhari, and the PDP has already said its candidate would be from the north.

Where that leaves Duke’s candidacy is unclear — if he plumps for the PDP — but he said “zoning” was not a constitutional imperative.

“It has been imposed by people who want to use it to their own advantage,” he said.

“I’m not running as a southerner. I’m running as a Nigerian, I want to represent the nation as a whole.”

Asked about his programme, he said he wanted to revitalise the economy, which has struggled to emerge from the worst recession the country has seen in 25 years.

“Buhari caused the recession. He didn’t know what he was doing and people (investors) left, there was a lack of confidence.”    (Punch)

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PDP To Buhari: Your Defeat In 2019 Is Inescapable |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA

 

buhari-new-pix

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be ready to accept defeat in the 2019 presidential election.

The party wants the president to also respond to issues raised by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank in an open letter to him on Sunday.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement noted that given all indices, including those released by the presidency, have shown that Nigerians are ready to vote President Buhari out in 2019.

“Indeed, with the degenerated economic, security and social situations in our nation under his incompetent and anti-people administration, in addition to the spate and weight of direct disapprovals from Nigerians and international bodies, President Buhari knows that he is now swimming against the tide,” the PDP stated.

The party said President Buhari has betrayed the trust of the ordinary people, particularly in the north, especially with scandalous revelations that he is not indeed pro-poor and uncorrupt as they were made to believe in 2015.

It ‎accused the president of aloofness to the plight of citizens and the failure to initiate and implement any development project in any part of the country.

‎”Today, the electorate has come to terms with the fact that the promises by President Buhari and his APC are all a big scam.

“In fact, our investigations have revealed that President Buhari never intended to fulfil any of his promises. This is because, three years down the line, our president cannot even boast of any clear-cut implementation blueprint on his promises.

“Instead, our dear president and his cronies acquired a life of opulence, going on foreign tastes and swimming in an ocean of corruption, while millions of Nigerians who voted him into power are abandoned to languished in poverty and bloodletting occasioned by the APC misrule,” PDP said.

The party noted that‎ the need for President Buhari’s response to Timi Frank’s letter become imperative given the weighty issue of humongous corruption, intimidation of citizens, erosion of freedom, constitutional breaches and persecution of citizens under the guise of fighting against corruption raised by the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary.

It commended Timi Frank for his boldness and courage and urged other public-spirited persons in the APC to withdraw from the party and rally round other well-meaning Nigerians in the repositioned PDP.

“We implore them to come and join hands with other Democrats, who are daily working on the modality to rescue the soul of our nation from the stranglehold of the APC and the Buhari presidency,” the party added. (New Telegraph)

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2019: Nigerians Poorer, Grossly Divided Under Buhari, APC, Says Obasanjo |RN

By Kunle Olayeni

buhari-and-obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said that Nigerians were poorer and more divided under President Mohammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) than ever before.

Obasanjo also announced the adoption of African Democratic Congress (ADC) as the political platform for his Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) to contest the 2019 general elections.

He declared that the ADC, which is among the 68 registered political parties in the country, would bring about desirable change in the nation’s polity, consolidate democracy and stop the re-election bid of Buhari.

Obasanjo, who spoke at a press conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State, warned Nigerians against joining or voting for both the ruling APC and opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP) in forthcoming elections.

He accused the APC of gloating and revelling in unrepentant misgovernance and taking Nigerians for fools while also upbraiding the PDP for merely offering an apology without disciplining those who set the country on a course of ruin.

Flanked by former acting Chief of Staff to late President Umar Yar’Adua, Dr Gbolade Osinowo, and former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo, the former president said ADC remained the platform to move Nigeria “up and forward.”

He explained that the leadership of CNM, which he founded, agreed to adopt ADC after detailed examination, wide consultation and bearing in mind the orientation, policies and direction of the movement. In his address titled: “My treatise for future of democracy and development in Nigeria,” Obasanjo said though he would not join the party based on his earlier vow not to play partisan politics, he would continue to be “alive and active on Nigerian and African issues and interests” and also offer necessary advice.

The former president, who spoke extensively on the nation’s politics, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure strict control of campaign funding and transparent accounting of all funds utilised by individuals and political parties for campaigns.

Obasanjo accused the Buhari administration of dividing the country by “playing the ethnic and religious game,” adding that the nation had also been more insecure and unsafe for the citizens.

He said: “I will advise others to join this political party platform (ADC) to usher in a new dawn for Nigeria, but I may not be able to advise anybody to join PDP or APC no matter what window-dressing reformation they may claim.

“Although PDP would seem to have realised the mistakes of its immediate past of the last eight years or so, its present evolution would, by itself, not give confidence to well-meaning Nigerians who are interested in a new Nigeria in the hands of God that will have leadership, governance, development and values within our culture as its guiding principles with the attributes of honesty, integrity, patriotism, love, unity, industry, incorruptibility, good neighbourliness, faithfulness, trust, courage and love and fear of God held aloft.

“PDP offered an apology without disciplining those who set Nigeria on a course of ruin and some of them are still holding leadership roles in their party. Nigerians may forgive, but Nigerians should never forget; otherwise, they will be suffering from amnesia and the same ugliness may raise its head again. “APC, as a political party, is still gloating and revelling in its unrepentant misgovernance of Nigeria and taking Nigerians for fools.

There is neither remorse nor appreciation of what they are doing wrong. It is all arrant arrogance and insult upon injury for Nigerians. “Whatever the leadership may personally claim, most Nigerians know that they (Nigerians) are poorer today than when APC came in and Nigeria is more impoverished with our foreign loan jumping from $3.6 billion to over $18 billion to be paid by the present and future generations of Nigerians.

“The country is more divided than ever before because the leadership is playing the ethnic and religious game which is very unfortunate. And the country is more insecure and unsafe for everybody. It is a political party with two classes of membership.”

While acknowledging that good men and women are still within the APC and PDP, Obasanjo noted that “what must be done is to take what is best from all to come together on a new alliance platform that will take us to the promised land.” He said: “It is pertinent to make the point that PDP and APC are not actually made of men and women who are totally evil.

There are sprinkles of good men and women out there and among them. But as political parties and the government they led or they are leading in the last 11 years, they have failed and failure should neither be hoisted for embracement nor reinforced.

“Nigerians must keep their eyes wide open, their ears quite attentive, their minds very clear, their hands very clean and must not remain dumb in the face of atrocities and impunities of the governors against the governed.

“Those who govern us at all levels must be made to realise that it is our collective rights and sovereignty that they hold in trust for us and to be used for the good of all of us and with all of us having interest and having a stake in how we are governed. It is our God-given right and we must not allow the abuse of it.” Also in Abuja, the Leader of CNM, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, at a world press conference, said the decision to move in the ADC was an appreciation of the progressive credentials of the party since its formation and entry into the nation’s politics.

“You will all recall that in January this year, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, CNM, was formed by some of us across the country as a political platform to create a new generation of leaders for our country. National Chairman of African Democratic Congress, ADC, Chief Ralph Nwosu, described the fusion as the dawn of great Nigeria project. According to Nwosu, nation building could be a very daunting exercise but with good and committed leaders, the journey could be much easier.

“Today, our great country with 200 million population is in a dysfunctional state. Our biggest resources in human capacity and diversity seem to be weighing us down and tearing us apart.”  (New Telegraph)

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