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I Have Forgiven Ambode, But My Loyalists And Party Elders Are Saying No To His 2nd Term Ambition – Tinubu

Peter Okunoren

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National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is currently in a dilemma over the fate of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who is seeking a second term in office as Governor of Lagos State.

Sources said while Tinubu, after entreaties from many prominent Nigerians which include President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-president President, Yemi Osinbajo, religious leaders and monarchs said he has forgiven Ambode, he added that his foot soldiers in the Mandate Group, the most influential political group in the state are insisting they have had enough of the governor.

According to sources, Tinubu met Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC in Abuja on Thursday over the fate of the embattled governor.

Oshiomhole, it was reported appealed to Tinubu to consider the negative impact the political crisis in Lagos state will have on the fortunes of the party in the forthcoming general election, saying it will be a disaster if APC loses Lagos to the opposition.

” Oshiomhole told Tinubu to forgive Ambode of whatever offence he may have committed. He said the timing is wrong given the fact that the general elections are just a few months away”.

” However in his response, Tinubu pointedly told Oshiomhole that while he has forgiven the governor, his loyalists and party elders are insisting that there is no going back on their resolution not to renew Ambode’s mandate”.

” Tinubu said without the party leaders in Lagos, he himself is nothing and therefore he cannot afford to go against their wishes”.

Also yesterday, Babajide Sanwoolu, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC in Lagos State said Tinubu will not ask him to step down for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Addressing a press conference in Watercress Hotel, Ikeja, Sanwoolu said Tinubu is a true democrat who will not impose anyone on Lagosians, adding that it is the reason he canvassed for direct primaries where all party members will have a say in who governs them.

He said that he is the race to give Lagosians proper representation and improve on the things on the ground.

“Your question is if my national leader asks me to back down, what will I do? You see, I really don’t know which side of the divide you want us to stay”.

” Sometimes, people will say this man (Tinubu) is imposing and that he is not allowing aspirants to come out, that there is no internal democracy but this man (Tinubu) is a Democrat, he will allow democracy to rule and thrive”.

“My aspiration has nothing to do with an individual, my national leader is my national leader. He is our national leader, his passion is about Nigeria and not Lagos alone”.

“The movement we have started is a participatory democracy and so, there is no basis for it (for Tinubu urging him to drop his ambition). He (Tinubu) being a Democrat, will allow the process to go on without any rancour”.

“On September 25, by the grace of God, the entire APC delegates will vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the governorship candidate to represent them in the 2019 general elections”

On the Mandate group who is his major backer, “Mandate is not a political party, it is not the only Mandate that we are pushing, it is assumed that you have to come out from a particular house, territory”.

“I will not be a governor for Lagos Island or Lagos Central, I will be governor for Lagos State. We will ensure we have a participatory government, we will ensure that we listen to you, so that you are included in the things we want to do differently for the people” he said.

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JUST IN: CCT Grants Suspended CJN, Justice Onnoghen Bail As He Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Peter Okunoren

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal, Friday granted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, bail on self-recognition and, adjourned to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.

This development followed an oral bail application made by the defence counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, after Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the six count-charge preferred against him by the complainant – the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The six count-charge were subsumed that aside allegation that he failed to disclose his assets as prescribed by law, FG, in the charge that was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, equally accused the CJN of operating foreign bank accounts.

It also alleged that contrary to relevant laws regulating the conduct of public office holders, the CJN, maintained a domiciliary foreign currencies account that comprised use of Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account.

However, before the tribunal proceeded with the matter, Uche pleaded that the order or warrant of arrest slammed against his client be vacated.

In his words, “We are here for the arraignment but before the tribunal proceeds, it will be recalled that there are applications pending.

“It was the view by way of the majority decision of this tribunal that the defendant must appear.

“And here is the defendant. But may I plead that the order of the bench warrant be discharged before proceedings “.

In reaction, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar conveyed approval but said it would be on the condition that the CJN makes himself available whenever needed.

Also, after the vacation of the order of warrant of arrest and Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the aforesaid charges, Uche, again rose to apply for an adjournment over which the prosecuting counsel, Musa Ibrahim did not object.

On this premise, the tribunal chairman acceded to the application and adjourned the case to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.

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Nnamdi Kanu Calls Off Election Boycott, Asks Igbo To Vote En Masse On Saturday

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Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called off the election boycott in the south-east region of the country.

In an audio message made by the IPOB leader, Kanu also asked the Igbo to come out in their numbers and vote during Saturday’s presidential election.

Kanu had been calling on the Igbo to boycott any election held in Nigeria until the government agrees to a referendum regarding IPOB’s quest for a sovereign state of Biafra.

On Wednesday, just two days ago, he told BBC Igbo that IPOB will ‘shut down’ the south-east and ensure voting does not take place in the area.

In the broadcast obtained Thursday night, Kanu said unnamed individuals have met the demands given by the group before any election could be held in the south-east.

He said: “Earlier today, February 14, 2019, I received confirmation from our team that all of our pre-conditions played before those kicking off to call off the elections have been met. And in view of that, I hereby lift the boycott of elections.

“IPOB was very steadfast, we have fought a very good battle; we have made it very clear to all and sundry that we are very determined and this is victory for IPOB and for the emancipation of Biafra.”

Kanu expressed hope that those who agreed to the group’s demands will implement them.

He asked the Igbo to spread the “good news” but added the group’s resolve remains the same: a sovereign state of Biafra.

“We said it from the beginning, nobody should expect us to participate in any form of elections unless our demands are met. And I am glad to tell you that they have acceded to our demands and it will be fully implemented,” he said.

“I therefore ask each and everyone of you to take this good news to all our towns and villages that the boycott has been lifted. And we will all go about on the 16th of February to discharge whatever duties we have or whatever beliefs … for groups and individuals.

“Never again will they take IPOB for granted, and never again will people underrate our resolve. We have showed it to them and we shall continue to demonstrate it until Biafra republic is restored. I thank you very much and may God be with you.”

It is not clear who the IPOB leader is rooting for in Saturday’s presidential election.

But it is obvious neither of the two front line candidates – President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – has his support.

While he claims Buhari is “dead” and being replaced by a “clone” in Aso Rock, he says Abubakar is a Cameroonian by birth and does not have the constitutional right to run for president.

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Hot Iron Inserted Into Private Part Of LG Boss, Governor Demands Arrest Of Perpetrators

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The Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Awosola Awotunde, has been directed to fish out those who allegedly inserted hot iron inside the private part of the Vice Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.

Governor David Umahi gave the directive on Thursday, when the new police boss paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Abakiliki.

Umahi, who expressed bitterness over the incident, described it as “barbaric”.

He said: “The hoodlums inserted a hot iron inside the private part of the vice chairman, while they cut the tendons of some men in the area.

“I have demanded for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and would never allow the matter to go untreated.

“I will follow the matter up to any level, even reporting it to President Muhammadu Buhari because the victims were actually kidnapped.”

The governor said he always insisted on fairness and justice to all and had never abused his office to order that anyone be punished unjustly.

Umahi said: “I have always maintained that whether it is the Peoples Democratic Party or All Progressive Congress, among others, the life of every human being is important to us.

“I hate to see blood and your officers can attest that I have never supported evil.”

Umahi said he had always propagated the philosophy “that all perpetrators of evil must be arrested and prosecuted, even if they are my brothers or sisters.”

He pledged to cooperate with the new CP but insisted that his work would only be made tedious “if a man is made a woman.”

He said: “Where there is fairness, there is no crisis as someone without a gun can neutralise another with a gun by insisting on his right, which should not be marched upon.

“The main opposition party in the state boasts it would write the election result and use the federal might on us but I declare that we pay the federal might.

“Everybody owns the federal might and the present Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services do not break the law.

“We have actually prepared for this election with anti-terrorism trainings to guard against intimidation of the common man in the state.”

Governor Umahi further said he would on Friday expose a tape where a candidate of the main opposition party in the state revealed how they intended to foment trouble during the elections.

He said: “I also learnt they are bringing in thugs who are camped in Enugu but fortunately, I am paying one of them.

“I am trailing them and when they arrive in the state, we will round them up with the assistance of security agencies.

“Any of them that we apprehend on our own would be kept in the state until after the elections.”

Earlier, Awotunde thanked the governor for the reception and assured the people that the police would be nonpartisan during the elections.

He said: “The whole world is focusing on Nigeria and we are assuring all the political parties of a level playing ground during the elations.

“We would ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the elections, while also ensuring that no soul is lost during the exercise.

“We also pledge our loyalty to your government and would do our jobs as professionals.”

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