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‘Aso Rock rocks as Tinubu, Osinbajo, others told to forget primary, adopts Jonathan as candidate’

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The Aso Rock cabals and All Progressives Congress power brokers in the Muhammadu Buhari government have reached out to presidential aspirants contesting on the platform of the ruling party to step down and support former President Goodluck Jonathan as the consensus candidate, SaharaReporters reported exclusively.

The controversial platform claims the cabals, comprising some members of Buhari’s extended family and associates, are led by the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura.

They are said to have the ears of the president, as well as influence policy-making and select those who get major appointments.

Recall how SaharaReporters had recently reported Jonathan met with Daura and other cabal members in Abuja where he was promised the automatic ticket of the APC.

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The consensus method will entail President Buhari anointing him, while other aspirants will step down as it was done during the March 26 national convention of the APC, which produced Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the chairman of the party.

Multiple sources told SaharaReporters on Saturday that all other aspirants had been notified not to expect any primary election next week.

The party had on Friday postponed its special convention for presidential primary for the 2023 general elections from May 29 to June 6.

The aspirants were also informed that Jonathan had been adopted by the President.

The move has caused division among party leaders, governors and other stakeholders who felt the former President did not deserve the ticket.

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“There is internal war in our party, APC as all aspirants got notification that Goodluck Jonathan is Buhari cabal’s adopted candidate, imagine the insult,” a source told SaharaReporters.

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“All the aspirants have been notified not to expect party primary next week Friday as the cabal around Buhari have chosen Jonathan as the consensus candidate of the party.”
Some of the aspirants include Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi, a former Minister of Transportation.

Other presidential aspirants are former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; ex-Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba and former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani.
Similarly, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; ex-Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima; former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Imo State governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha and former Ogun state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun are also not left out.

Meanwhile, SaharaReporters learnt that that most of the aspirants especially Tinubu and Amaechi have vowed to test their popularity at the primary election regardless of the decision of the Aso Rock cabal.

Jonathan was Nigeria’s vice-president between 2007 and 2010 and became the president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He later completed the latter’s tenure.

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Jonathan won the 2011 presidential election but lost his attempt to secure a second term in office in 2015.

SaharaReporters had in the past reported how the Aso Rock cabal was pressurising the former President to defect to the APC.

He was said to have surprised the Northern elite and the cabal by his disposition to the Buhari presidency despite all the dirt and campaign of calumny thrown at him and the PDP before the 2015 presidential election, which gave Buhari an unprecedented victory over an incumbent.

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It was learnt that some cabal members had also been impressed that despite the Buhari government’s glaring failure, Jonathan had not openly criticised his predecessor or his administration, much unlike ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had written open letters condemning the Buhari government and also verbally berated it at any opportunity.

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SaharaReporters learnt from sources that the establishment of ‘Almajiri’ schools by Jonathan to reduce a large number of out-of-school children in the North also scored the former president good points in the eyes of the northern cabal in the APC, especially with most of it now rotting away, even under a Northerner as president.

Jonathan had recently rejected the presidential form of the ruling APC purchased for him, purportedly by a group of supporters from the northern region.

Speaking through his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said it was an insult for the group to have bought him the forms without his permission.

However, sources had told SaharaReporters that claims by the former President that he did not authorise the purchase of the multi-million-naira forms are far from the truth.

“Contrary to his denials, former President Goodluck Jonathan gave over N200 million to the governor of Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru, to purchase the APC nomination and expression of interest forms for him,” a source privy to the arrangement had told SaharaReporters.

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Excitement as court reinstates Bwacha, Binani as APC guber candidates for Taraba, Adamawa

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The Appeal Court sitting in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State has set aside the judgement of a Federal High Court, that earlier nullified the victories of the All Progressives Congress (APC) guber candidates for both Adamawa and Taraba States.

The candidates Aishatu Binani and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, it would be recalled were recently warned by the Federal High Courts in both states to desist from parading themselves as the party’s governorship flag bearers for their respective states.

While that of Bwacha was necessitated by the suit filed by one of the aggrieved aspirants, David Sabo Kente, that of Binani, as noticed by TheHeute , was instituted by the former boss of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

In the ruling, the presiding judge, was observed to have also ruled out the request by Malam Nuhu Ribadu for the conduct of another fresh primary in Adamawa.

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Wondering why the appellate court had earlier nullified Binani’s victory, the judge immediately directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to as a matter of urgency recognize Binani, as the gubernatorial candidate of APC in Adamawa State.

The same ruling was observed to have been implied to Bwacha, who is the incumbent Senator representing Taraba South.

When reached via a telephone, the elated Bwacha told our state correspondent that the court ruling is a victory for all Tarabans who have been yearning for a change in the state.

Describing the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, he beckoned to all the aggrieved members of the party to put their personal interests aside for the growth of the party.

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Also speaking, Bawacha’s campaign Director General of Media and Publicity, Aaron Artimas, said with the court ruling, the party’s guber candidate is now at liberty to flag off his campaign.

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Lauding the sense of maturity displaced by the teaming supporters of Bwacha and the party at large, he urged them to close ranks and work as a family for the party’s victory in the forthcoming elections.

Supporters of the party from both states who also bared their minds to DAILY POST through a telephone interview, thanked the judge whom they described as a courageous judge.

At the time of filing this report, it is not yet clear whether Nuhu Ribadu and David Sabo Kente, would proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling.

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Osun: Don’t betray youths -Adeyanju writes Ademola Adeleke

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A socio-political activist, Deji Adeyanju, has cautioned the Osun State governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, ahead of his inauguration on Saturday.

Adeyanju cautioned Adeleke against betraying youths and the people of the state in the running of his government.

He reminded Adeleke that youths and people of the state used their platforms to resist the attempt to thwart his emergence “through rigging which led to your eventual emergence.”

The Abuja-based lawyer described the governor-elect as a “man in touch with the realities of the time and one committed to doing right by his people and state.”

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He stressed that Adeleke can “build a transcendental legacy, train the leaders of tomorrow and sustain the trust of the young demographic who are now driving political portends and conversations more than at any other time in our political history.”

The activist maintained that no government bereaved of quality youth representation can be taken seriously.

Adeyanju stated this in an open letter to Adeleke titled: “Open letter to Governor Elect Adeleke as history beckons on him.”

Read the full letter below…

Dear Governor Adeleke,

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Mr. Governor-Elect, in a few days time, a moment in history will be made with your swearing-in ceremony as you officially transit from a Governor-Elect to the sitting and serving Governor of Osun state. I must extend my congratulations once again to you for the uncommon feat of unseating an incumbent even as your emergence epitomizes a victory for democracy and a reflection of the preference of the good people of Osun State.

This is a testament of your grit, resilience, forward planning and clinical execution over the uninspiring leadership of the outgoing governor. The people of Osun state spoke in one resounding voice and rewarded your resilience with the highest stewardship in the land. It now behoves on you to reciprocate the support of the people by justifying their choice at the poll through people-driven governance, accountability and accessibility by those who have invested their trust and confidence in you.

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The task before you is one of great enormity but not impossible with the right team and political will. It will exert on you the usual temptation of the glitz of public office that overwhelms those with a simple mind and those given to the hubris of their whims. But it is, however my belief, one shared by the overwhelming number of the people of Osun state who gave their votes to you, that you are a man of focus who will not betray the aggregate hopes of those who have put their confidence in you and that you will not renege on your campaign promises nor stray from the noble path.

In particular, the young men and women of Osun state were at the forefront of your campaign and emergence, overcoming the pecuniary temptations of the opposition to hand you a resounding victory. The measured metric of any government is largely how it carries its young populace along not just in tokenized gestures but in entrusted positions of authority as parts and parcel of government. I will strongly advise that you make young people the cornerstone of your government.

This is how to build a transcendental legacy, train the leaders of tomorrow and sustain the trust of the young demographic who are now driving political portends and conversations more than at any other time in our political history. Indeed, no government bereaved of quality youth representation can be taken seriously in these times.

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One can vouchsafe that Osun state is blessed with youths of uncommon competence who have proven themselves in public or private service. It is your job to discover them and give them roles to rebuild the state. The choice of such youths must not be made lightly, and much must be taken into consideration, such as ideology, personal competence, popular acceptance, and capacity and integrity. It is to these ones that the overwhelming young men and women of Osun state will look up to in a measure of their relevance to you and your government. I have no doubt that you will act right by them as this is at the heart of the support you enjoy amongst many of us in the civil society space.

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To betray the people of Osun state, particularly the youth population would be to betray the trust of people like us who have used their platforms to resist the attempt to thwart your emergence through rigging which led to your eventual emergence and one which will regrettably catalyse a reversal of that wide trust and support. We, however, stay avowed to your government as we share the conviction that you are a man in touch with the realities of the time and one committed to doing right by his people and state.

Congratulations once again, Your Excellency, the In-Coming Governor of the Great State of Osun, may God’s wisdom and knowledge guide your path.

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Stalemate: Aggrieved PDP govs weigh fresh options

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The five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party governors on Sunday met with other party heavyweights where they discussed fresh options as the hopes of reconciling with the camp of the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seems to be fading.

This is happening as the camps of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, expressed willingness to seek the support of the governors to actualise their aspirations.

However, speaking after their closed-door meeting in Lagos, the governors said the window of reconciliation with Atiku was still open.

At the meeting were governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former governors Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Donald Duke (Cross River), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), and Jonah Jang (Plateau).

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Also present were a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; Deputy National Chairman, South of the PDP, Taofeek Arapaja; Senator Nasif Suleiman; Senator Sandy Onor and Senator Sam Ohabunwa.

The meeting was held days after the governors unveiled the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara.

They had earlier held meetings in Enugu, Benue and outside the country.

The governors are at loggerheads with Atiku over the refusal of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.

Speaking at the meeting, Makinde said though he and his colleagues were the face of their struggle, it had the backing of the leaders and elders of the party who were present.

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He stated, “We are here this morning to hold a meeting of the Integrity Group within our party, the PDP. We have been of the G5 – that is, the five PDP governors. The G5 is all about the Integrity Group.

 “You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle, both the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces. We are in the South-West to review the situation within our party, to review where we are and to also look at what is going to happen in the coming elections.’’

Shortly after the closed-door meeting, Jang reiterated that they were still maintaining the stand they took at their last meeting in Port Harcourt.

 “After a careful review of developments in our party, we have decided to stand on the decisions we took in our Port Harcourt meeting. And we hereby reiterate that the window for reconciliation in our great party, PDP, remains open,” he said.

The governors then proceeded to George’s house in Ikoyi where Wike addressed the party faithful with promises of support for the candidates in the coming election.

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Our correspondent gathered that the Integrity Group would soon take a decision on the presidential candidate they intended to support if the expected truce with Atiku fails. Already, sources at the meeting said the group had reached a point where a major decision would be taken

Tinubu, Obi camps

Meanwhile, the Chief Spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, has said hat Tinubu is focused on consolidating his stronghold but will not mind exploiting the festering crisis in the PDP.

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This is even as Emeka Obasi, the media aide to the LP candidate says there is a chance that his principal could work with the PDP Integrity Group.

Keyamo and Obasi spoke in separate interviews with The PUNCH.

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Keyamo said, “I don’t know of any talks between APC and the G-5. At least, not to my knowledge. However, despite their quarrel with the PDP, as of today, they are still members of the party.

“Let me repeat it for the umpteenth time. For us, we are proceeding from the position of calculating our strength, without thinking of the quarrel or weakness of the PDP. We are not depending on it

“If after calculating our strength and the implosion continues in the PDP by the end of the day, we can then consider it as an added advantage, but not a factor to tilt the scale to our victory. It may make victory easier if they come through the door we have opened for them. Anything can happen. But we are not looking out for that possibility. We are just saying in politics, anything can happen.”

In the same vein, Obasi told The PUNCH that there is a chance Obi may be willing to work with the PDP governors if it will benefit the Nigerian people.

He noted, “There is nothing stopping that. It is a possibility. They can work together only if they are willing to work for the Nigerian people. But if it is not for the benefit of the Nigerian people, you will see him not aligning with it.

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“It is still three months to the election for anybody who wants to support him to do so. It is a democratic process. Nothing stops somebody from jumping camps any time anywhere. So they are free.

“There are things we don’t force. If somebody will support you, he is going to support you wholeheartedly. These are not anyhow politicians. They are governors who have their say, they are not people you force to support you. That is something that ought to be done wholeheartedly in line with their conscience.’’

“If you know my principal, he is somebody who likes to be open. He won’t promise you skyscrapers when he already knows what he can offer. For him, he can only offer what is good for the Nigerian people.

“Whoever wants to join him based on that principle is free. But to go and start doing political lobbying for somebody to him is a promise he can’t fulfil. It is not his style,” he maintained.

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