***Says his ambition not blind to step on Buhari’s toes but into his shoes
Former Lagos State Governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed to the party’s senators to support his presidential ambition.
At a crowded meeting with about 30 APC caucus in the Senate,
Tinubu who took time to narrate his ordeals in the fight for democracy, made it clear that his visit was to seek support and partnership of the lawmakers for the realisation of his presidential ambition in 2023.
He asked them to back his ambition based on his capacity and experience.
He said, “Why am I here? I came for your counsel, partnership and support. Nigeria has come to that stage where we need a change of baton. Mr President is rounding up his second term.
“Election is coming up in February. We have various programmes that I don’t have to restate here; nomination process, primary process and all of that.
“I can’t do it by myself and I can’t do it by sitting at home, expecting that many personal friends that I have here will do it for me. I believe jointly, we can do it. You can back me successfully for the nomination of my lifetime ambition.
“If the counsel of wise men is anything to go by, ‘if you want to go fast, do it alone, but if you want to get there successfully, definitely, go with a team’. I’m asking for that teamsmanhip here today. Get me over the hump of the nomination process and from that, get me to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I want to beg you to look at my capacity and experience. I’m just an unusual candidate in the period. I’m perhaps the only one who had been in the Senate, had been governor and is aspiring to become president.
“By pushing me over hump when you support me vigorously, you have created a greater power that will pave the way for Nigeria’s progress.
He told the Senators that despite of cases of being stabbed at the back, his belief in God will see him through in his presidential ambition.
Without mincing words, the former Lagos governor said his ambition is not blind to push to step on the toes of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He however, made it clear that he intends to step in to the shoes of the President in 2023.
He also appreciated efforts of the Ahmed Lawan led Senate in promoting unity and peace through its legislations.
Reminding the Senate of the lessons in the first stanza of Nigeria’s first National Anthem, Tinubu charged the Senate to continue to legislate in support of the country’s stability and unity.
He told lawmakers that personal sacrifice, selflessness was part of his principles which aided the formation and survival of the APC.
He cited the example of when he was asked to list what he wanted politically and he declined and insisted that he was satisfied with the success recorded in the merger.
According to him courage is very necessary for leadership as he made reference to the recent electoral act amendment where President Muhammadu Buhari had wanted section 84(10) deleted which the Senate rejected overwhelmingly saying that the President of the Senate demonstrated courage in leadership
“You did it recently there was a bill before you that wants alteration. I watched you sitting as President, I saw the gavel in the hands of the Senate president, he puts the question, the Nay was quiet yes was loudest and he explained.
“That is courage, that is the courage that the nation needs. The Senate president I will continue to respect you the rest of my life.”
“The senate President, you have shown unusual leadership since you assumed the leadership of this senate
You have navigated the mine field in the effort of putting our country together unity in diversity. How I wish you use that unity and diversity for our prosperity
“I have seen the harmonious relationship with the executive, I have seen the cordiality between the national assembly and the executive as something germaine to national development and progress.
“It is crucially important that you do your job in the atmosphere of no intimidation or bully. You have been doing that. You are careful as a team leader to build a very successful team that is navigating this country very well in the right direction
“Democracy does not thrive when both arms of the Government are not in tandem with the spirit of nationalism development and fairness to all.
“You represent various constituencies. I know how fast you want Nigeria to grow economically but I know the hurdles on our way.
“I know with adequate communication, effective strategy the assembly will work and the only way we can progress and make a better Nigeria. “We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the next generation, we owe it to our children to be able to fashion a new order, think out of the box, be sincerely committed to our unity, unity in diversity, prosperity, for growth and emancipation of many Nigerians.”
“In democratic governance our party APC was united in 2015, I was a very active part of the merger
“When the constitution of APC was being written they called me to ask what do I wanted, I said I have given it all, I will be satisfied with anything you call me or any name you assign to me as long as this merger is successful I have a prospect, I have a future and I have an opportunity to excel “Somebody ran to me telling me they say you are the party leader but that party leadership is not defined yet, that I should intervene. I said I have not seen anything to intervene. Leave them to do their job.
“I was with President Muhammadu Buhari and he is somebody who gives you a job without interfering so I did not go to intervene.
“They call me party leader, they did not define the role, I looked for leadership meaning as I know it and I will continue to play that role. They didn’t define it in our constitution I will continue to accept it.”
He said he called audience adding that he was grateful to lawan and the senators for the honor.
“My background is in accountancy and finance, that is what I went to the university for, Chicago State University I was a distinguished scholar, I won many awards and I graduated with honours. I was recruited by the five of the big eight accounting firms , they offered me a job.
“I was exposed to may of big companies and corporate organization’s I was exposed, I was well trained and when I said it was time for me to go back o my country Moble transferred me, I came home,
“Don’t be surprised about the opposition and the lessons of life that you will learn as in this our journey of democracy together.
“Don’t worry about people stabbing you in the back, people running you into stumbling blocks, believing God, determination, consistency and perseverance will pull you through I will pull off through.”
On the women interest that were thrown out during the debate on the constitutional review for which the women blocked the national assembly gate, he said,
“I ran into a little ambush of women protesters but of course I went to the other gate interestingly affirmative action is good but you are being very careful not to jeopardize the constitution.
“Yes the interest of women is very necessary but for the APC we are doing our best and we will continue to do our best for the interest of women, may be they will get this message of the national assembly in the spirit of democracy.”
Responding, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said that the APC Senate Caucus was a central and fundamental pillar of the party.
“This caucus has remained committed to the party, shown resolve to our manifesto to work within us and the Executive.
We have achieved so much because of the APC caucus.
“From 2019 that this caucus showed loyalty, commitment and purposeful orientation to ensure that our victory from 2015 and 2019 as a political party are fully utilised for the benefits of Nigerians.
“This party needs the kind of commitment that APC members have shown in the country.
“APC must continue to be progressive in our actions. 2023 is going to be a year for APC again. By Feb. 25 when the Presidential Election will take place, by the grace of God, APC will have the victory that is required.”
On the leadership crisis in the party, Lawan said that “Recently we have had difficulty because of misunderstanding between some of our members and the party had been thrown into a temporary confusion.
“I thank God it is over now. It is very clear that our party is back on tract that in the next two weeks, our national convention will hold and a new set of leaders will emerge.”
Lawan thereafter wished Tinubu well and success in “this enterprise” and the recognition you have given to the APC Senate Caucus is well appreciated.
“All of us wish you well, wish you success in this and in the affairs of fighting for APC to continue to be the ruling party, Nigeria justifiably so, your excellency, we are with you.
Former senators on his entourage included Adadayo Adeyeye (Ekiti), Abu Ibrahim (Katsina) and Iyola Omisore (Sound)
Akpabio brags about South South capacity to deliver for Tinubu in 2027
***Says, Akwa Ibom votes for APC in 2023 surpassed all that of 5 south East States
The President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio has boasted that the entire South South States will resoundingly deliver victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027 to return President Bola Tinubu for second term.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday when the zonal Leadership of the South South APC ked by the National Vice Chairman Victor Giadom Paul him a courtesy call
He said the party in Akwa Ibom made it possible for Tinubu to secure the 25% requirement to win.
He said Akwa Ibom alone devered more than 800000 votes for APC which he said was more than the votes the five South East States gave to the APC
“You will be surprised that the votes from Akwa Ibom alone for the APC in the Presidential election was more.l than the total votes from the five states of the South East
“What it really mean is that recall when David Leon contested in Bayelsa State, he won resoundingly but he was not sworn in, that happened a day before swearing in and even this last one that Timipre Sylva contested we also did very well and we are now in court so I cannot comment of that. “That shows you the strength of the APC in the region and even when the PDP is the ruling party in Rivers State where the Chairman Victor Giadom comes from, we were able to win the presidential election Rivers State, I am talking based on data which can not lie.
“I want to say that with that giant step now that we have a senate President, I don’t see any reason why the entirety of the South South Region will not become APC. “The only way we can pay back the National leaders of our party, the only way we can show the President for standing by us in the South South to produce a sente President After 45 years is for us to make sure that in 2027 we will give him and the entire APC resounding victory in the 6 States of the South South region.
“We are steadily moving on, Cross Rivers State is 100% APC. Here and there some people will emerge either in the Senate or the House of reps and the House of Assembly but in the governorship and government of the State is totally APC.
“Akwa Ibom has the Senate President, so for you to have members of the House of Representatives it shows that things are about to happen.
“For you to have won the presidential election in Rivers State where the Zonal chairman comes from, means things are beginning to happen.
He said in 2019 APC won in Bayelsa State except for technical issues in the court.
“That shows clearly that APC has come to stay in the entire South South,
“Edo State the APC governor took government house into another party and so election is coming next year, we expect the chairman to double his effort with all of us to be included in the campaign and ensure we get back what belongs to us. “Your visit is timely and I believe strongly that working together with you, APC can only be stronger in the South South Region
“On our part, we are working across party lines to support President Tinubu, all the senators of the South South are determine to give Tinubu the support so that he can succeed irrespective of party affiliation and that is a good sign
Nasarawa govt berates PDP over protest against Appeal Court judgment
From Daniel Abel, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state against blackmailing the judiciary over Nasarawa governorship tussle.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr, Peter Ahemba, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lafia.
The reaction followed the recent protest in Lafia against the Appeal Court governorship election judgment by a group purported to be coalition of indigenous people of Nasarawa State.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, November 23 had set aside the judgment of the tribunal of Oct. 2nd and declared Sule as the winner of the election.
The governorship elections petition tribunal on Oct. 2, annulled the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared David Ombugadu of PDP as the winner of March 18 election.
The governor’s aide described the protest as the shameful step against the judgment of the Appeal Court by a group hired by the PDP.
Ahemba added that the decision of the Appeal Court was a true reflection of the popular mandate freely given to the governor by the electorates on March 18.
He explained that the government has confidence in the judiciary and believed that justice would be served at the Supreme Court.
He further explained that when the PDP was declared at the tribunal nobody protested, rather, the governor challenged the decision at the appeal court.
He advised PDP and its candidate to also challenge the outcome of the appeal court as they cannot takeover power through the backdoor.
“The same party that was crying of external interference on the governorship dispute in the state is now calling on President Bola Tinubu and international communities to interfere,” he added.
Credible election in 2027 under APC, Tinubu is a mirage, Timi Frank tells Nigerians
Nigerians should not expect free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2027 under the administration of President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has said
Frank made the call in his reaction to the just concluded off-cycle governorship elections in three states of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Frank in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, indicated that the level of electoral fraud, manipulation and rigging witnessed in Kogi and Imo states especially, points to the fact that no credible result can come out from future exercises.
“The elections were nothing to write home about and to imagine that it was the first set of elections conducted under the watch of President Tinubu. What happened in Imo and Kogi is a clear indication of the kind of elections Nigerians will witness 2027.
“Our electoral system is presently in dire straits under our highly compromised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has now graduated from rigging by manipulating the INEC Result View (IReV) portal and the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) to writing results of polling units before the people cast their ballot.,” he said.
Frank who is the United Liberating Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, lamented that when INEC which is now a rigging department under APC has finished manipulating results, the judiciary which is unfortunately now the legal department of the ruling party, will simply legalise what the electoral body has done.
Besides, security agencies that were meant to protect voters and arrest riggers also take part in the rigging. The police, and other security agencies are now a security department in the APC.
He insisted that the brazen level of rigging in Imo and Kogi was not surprising because Tinubu himself was installed President through rigging and other acts of impunity which the judiciary validated.
Frank said: “It is sad that when our democracy in Nigeria is meant to be progressing, it is rather retrogressing. Nigeria is now the worst country in terms of compromised election results compared to other African countries.
“We don’t make improvements, we don’t make progress. Things are getting worse. So in 2027, if Nigerians do not take the bull by the horns to fight to restore credibility in our electoral system we’ll continue to have elections where the will of the people will not count. This is even so when the APC has appointed 10 of their card carrying members as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the INEC.
“This anti-democratic and unfortunate development is a clear indication that the conduct of the 2027 elections will be a formality to endorse only APC candidates either as freshers or for second term in their various offices.
“So if Nigerians want change, they should wake up and do the right thing, like other nations have done to defend their democracy.”
According to him, now that all the institutions of government that are meant to defend democracy, have practically compromised, “if we are not careful, Nigeria will turn to a one party state.”
He added: “It’s quite disappointing for a man, who under in the PDP regime was always crying, that the party wanted to turn Nigeria into a one party state, is unfortunately the one that is practically poised to officially turn Nigeria into a one party state like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Cameroon that have been under one party rule for decades.”
He lamented that opposition governors have compromised their parties and have failed to perform their role as opposition because of harassment and blackmail.
He added: “So the opposition governors, especially the PDP governors, have turned themselves into praise singers because they have been blackmailed them to jettison their role as leaders of opposition in the country.
“That’s why some of us have decided to bear the pains by doing everything in our power to legally defend our democracy and our country from turning into a one party state.
“We have commenced mobilising Nigerians especially in diaspora to save the country from the hands of election riggers and make sure our democracy stands.
“If we don’t stop Tinubu and APC, they will turn Nigeria into a one party state like Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Uganda.”
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