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Help me achieve my ‘life time ambition’, Tinubu begs Senators

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***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)

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Discordant tunes as Obi/LP clash over purported endorsement of Abure

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***Obi says he did not endorse any leadership, as LP counters him

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General election Peter Obi may be embarking on a collision course with the party over his motif for the visit to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday along with his supporters.

Apparently piqued by how his visit was portrayed to be an endorsement of the Julius Abure-led leadership, Obi on Wednesday morning clarified that his visit to the Party’s secretariat on Tuesday was not to endorse the leadership but to engender reconciliation.
A statement by Peter Obi Media Relations (POMR) spokesperson Dr Yunusa Tanko indicated that the visit was more of reconciliation not an endorsement of any leadership as it was being portrayed.
In a swift reaction, the LP national publicity Secretary Obiorah Ifoh in a counter statement described Obi’s new statement as a twist of the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate to the leadership of the party.
He said Obi and Abure are on the same page over reconciliation in LP as he warned against any attempt to twist well intentioned visit.
Obi’s spokesperson statement reads,
“Obi’s visit to Labour Party yesterday was not to endorse anybody, but occassioned by his reconcilliatory move. Julius Abure in his speech stated clearly how Obi came to the office, and Obi in his speech clarified same, while preaching peace, and his mantra ‘pursuit of better Nigeria for the poor’

“Leadership of NLC/TUC Political Arm Commorades Titus Amba and Chris Uyot who were informed of Obi travelling out today, hence will honour thier invitation, also met with him, and extensively discussed same peace move with them.

“Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family, and not to support one against the other.

“In all his meetings with with all stakeholders, he has always maintained peace, and urge not to lose purpose which is to free Nigeria suffering and pain.

“The LP standards bearer plans to continue meeting with critical stakeholders, and groups to achieve all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.

Ifoh statement reads,

“The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been called to a statement issued by the spokesperson to our National Leader, Peter Obi titled, ‘Obi visits to LP, Reconciliatory, not endorsement…’ Dr. Tanko Yinusa wherein he tried to twist the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on the leadership of the party.

“As a party we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. “This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week titled ‘Triumphant Resumption of Abure led NWC’ wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Peter Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful National Convention of the party held in March. But to us as a party we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.
“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government that will liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its Political Commission to understand that we are not the foe, and to see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria.
“They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the Labour Party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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Okonkwo accuses Abure-led LP of being equally yoked by corruption as APC

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***Says he is suspending his association with the party

Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, has alleged that the national convention organized by Julius Abure which returned him as Labour Party (LP) national chairman is nothing but criminality and corruption.

He stated this when he announced he was suspending his relationship with the Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of the LP.

According him, a new Nigeria is the priority, adding that he prefers to lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Okonkwo, who was the spokesperson for the Labour Party Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, in a post via his verified X account on Tuesday, said the current Abure-led National Working Committee of the Labour Party is another incompetent and corrupt association, just like the All Progressives Congress (APC) he left before.

The post reads: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing than winning doing the wrong thing.

Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported National Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party APC because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

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Obi, Otti, LP Lawmakers to storm Akure for Ondo guber election campaigns

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***Party Receives Boost From Aggrieved Aspirants from APC and PDP

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Governorship Primaries in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Ayodele has declared the resolve of Party to take back Ondo State in the forthcoming coming Governorship elections of the state billed for November 2024 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Olusola Ayodele to have made the declaration when he Addressed the Southwest Leadership of the Party on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ayodele who conducted the Ondo State Governorship Primaries of the LP in Akure a fortnight earlier stated that all preparations by the Leadership of the party to win the Ondo Governorship elections have been concluded with the formation of a proposed Southwest Task Force on the Ondo Governorship elections .

According to him, the Task Force being put together comprises key leaders of the party in the Southwest, who have been charged to mobilise a high-powered National Campaign Team of the Party for the Governorship elections to reenact the LP – Mimiko victory and 8 years good governance of Ondo State

He said, “To lead the Ondo National campaign committee is Mr Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and Mr Alex Oti, Governor of Abia State. They are to be supported by all LP Senators, Reps Members, State Lawmakers and other key leaders of the Party in the country with formidable solidarity from key members of the Obidient Movement in diaspora.”

While clarifying the rumour about the possibility of the party conducting a substitution primaries for the Governorship candidacy of the party, Ayodele said “this would only happen, if the current governorship candidate of the party decides to withdraw from the race during the substitution window created by INEC and if the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party also finds governorship aspirants who have the required competence and capacity as possible replacement to fly the governorship ticket of a mega party like the Labour Party, especially, a party which has ruled Ondo State for 8 years before”

Ayodele said although some aggrieved frontline governorship aspirants, especially from the APC and PDP are already discussing the possibility of crossing to Labour Party with the Committee, it is only the National Working Committee of the Party that can sanction such discussion before the close of the substitution window of INEC. He however applauded the youths, students and the masses of the people in Ondo State for remaining steadfast with the Party.

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