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2019 Elections: Atiku Is My Good Friend But We Will Send Him Into Retirement On Saturday —- Tinubu

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A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said on Thursday in Lagos that the party would send the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, into retirement on Saturday for the good of Nigeria.

Tinubu said this in a statement made available by his Media Officer, Tunde Rahman.
He said: “This election is more than a contest between two men, President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, for that one exalted chair.

“Look, I have made no attempts to hide my friendship with Atiku. We are friends before this election and hopefully we will be friends after Feb. 16 when he goes into retirement.

“For the good of Nigeria and even the good of Atiku himself, we will do well to send him into retirement on Saturday.

“Perhaps, we should also send Obi into retirement along with his boss come Feb. 16. Perhaps together they might manage to discover the place where they might learn compassion for the common man.”

Tinubu said there was not much good that could be found in the policies and programmes announced by the PDP.

He said: “Atiku’s answers to our economic challenges are to shrink and restrain government from being the active catalyst toward a diversified economy that assured broadly-shared prosperity through the just allocation of wealth and reward according to sweat and toil put forth by the Nigerian people.

“They seek an unfair, unjust and unequal Nigeria. Their definition of Nigeria is a nation run by the greedy, for the profit of the rich, at the command of the mighty.”

Tinubu said the objective of the APC was to remake Nigeria into a great nation.

He said: “Our vision is the opposite of theirs, Unlike the PDP, we, the APC, are anchored to the proposition that every Nigerian is entitled to equal access and sufficient economic opportunity so that he may use his talents, skills and committed exertion to carve for himself and his loved ones the decent and good life every human being seeks.

“The ordinary person is not to be shortchanged of the fair dividends of his honest sweat and diligent labour simply because he may be poor or because the powerful and wealthy want more.

“Because of the APC’s concerns for the struggles of the average person, we launched beneficial social welfare programmes such as the school feeding programme, Trader-Moni and N-Power.

“As such, we have made progress caring for our most needy and vulnerable through these and other innovative and unprecedented policies. These programmes are of the type all great nations do for their citizens.”

Tinubu said the APC was not satisfied by what had been accomplished, saying what had been done was but the opening phase of a more ambitious undertaking.

He said: “We have just begun to fight poverty and reform this economy on the scale required. Though we have helped millions, several millions more are needed to end poverty’s stranglehold on their lives.

“We must expand the scope and reach of our social welfare programmes to encompass those other people who have been denied access to the productive economy through no fault of their own.

“Additionally, we must put idle hands to work to build a modern infrastructure that will energise agricultural output in rural areas and foster labour-intensive industrialisation in our growing cities.”

The former governor of Lagos State said the second term of President Buhari would be dedicated to changing the structure of the economy for the better.

He said: “We must amend our national economic architecture to unlock the full potentials of our people and our land. To me, this is the core mandate of government for and of the people.

“Throughout the campaign, we have talked about taking Nigeria to the Next Level. To me, this Next Level is informed by forging a new partnership between government and the governed to create a more just and prosperous economy for all.

“The beginning of this new partnership is already taking shape. As stated before, we have initiated a first phase of social welfare programmes.”

Tinubu urged the people of South West to join APC in implementing the Next Level agenda.

He said: “The South West has always been at the vanguard of progressive governance in Nigeria. Today should be no exception to this historic role we have played.

“I ask the people of the South West to join the APC so that we attain the Next Level by implementing this bold and good new partnership built on the following pillars: power, infrastructure, housing, industrialisation, agriculture and social security.”

Tinubu said that the coming elections were a choice between progress and retreat.

He said: “The future is uncertain until we enter it. February 16 is Election Day and on that day Nigeria shall step into its future.

“How you vote on that day will determine whether we walk into the future in a manner that guides our subsequent steps toward the national greatness that calls to us or will we walk into it backwards as if feebly trying to reinvent the past.

“One road leads to a certain replay of the economic injustices of the past. It is a road well-worn with familiar pitfalls and setbacks built into the very nature of it.

“The other road provides the truest, brightest chance for us to enter into our hopeful future but only if we are brave enough to believe in our capacity to improve our nation.”

Tinubu urged Nigerians to vote for President Buhari for a secured future.

He said: “This is the future we must enter. This is the future the APC champions. This is future you must choose on Election Day. Vote for yourselves by voting for President Buhari.”

Tinubu urged Nigerians to conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the elections to ensure a violence-free exercise.

He said: “In the exercise of our civic duty at this historic and important moment, I ask that you conduct yourselves with utmost tolerance and in equal peace towards both political ally and political opponent.

“Let us show the world that we know the true meaning of democracy. On Election Day let not an angry hand be raised against any Nigerian.

“No matter our political differences, let us remember we are of one land and of the same national family.

“This election shall be free and fair and conducted without the arm of violence. For this is as Nigeria and our democratic exercise must be to achieve the excellent destination intended for us.”

POLITICS

PDP Asks INEC To Declare Tambuwal Sokoto Gov-Elect

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Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to save its time and resources by declaring Aminu Tambuwal winner of the election held on March 9.

The party, which stated this while reacting to claim by the umpire that it was under pressure to declare the governor winner of the polls, said given the margin of victory recorded on the first ballot, there was no reason not to declare Tambuwal duly elected.

Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Our position has not changed and we insist that His Excellency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal should be declared winner of the governorship election in Sokoto State.

“If we go by the figure of votes collated so far, the governor has satisfied the provisions of the law because he won clearly in almost all the local governments of the states.

“What are they waiting for to declare him duly elected? We are a party that has respect for the laws of the land. So, we advise our members and supporters to remain calm because at the end of the day, victory is ours.”

Meanwhile, barely a week to the March 23 date for the supplementary governorship election in some states, pressure continues to mount on INEC to declare Governor Aminu Tambuwal the winner of the March 9 guber poll in Sokoto State.

There were indications over the weekend that the tension in the seat of the Caliphate may worsen if the incumbent governor who was enjoying a clear lead in the poll is denied victory.

A top politician from Sokoto who spoke on condition of anonymity, said tension was building up in the state over fears of plans to undemocratically stop Tambuwal for another term in office.

Our source alleged that though the governor appears to be the popular choice of his people as shown in the collated result of the guber poll, the power brokers of All Progressives Congress, APC, were bent on taking the state which they consider strategic to the party’s future political plans.

The source said: “The powers that be should declare Tambuwal as the authentic winner of the March 9 governorship election in Sokoto State. The collated result showed that he won the election by the simple majority, which is what the constitution provides. They should not set the seat of the Caliphate on fire.

“Remember that even President Muhammadu Buhari won his election by the same simple majority. He was declared winner, even when elections were yet to be conducted in areas where the exercise could not hold because of one reason or the other.

“A common man on the street of Sokoto knows that Tambuwal won the election. There were so many hurdles the APC which controls the centre put before him ahead of the election but he surmounted them all.

So, what they could not get democratically, they want by all means through the back door in collaboration with INEC.”

Over the weekend, this newspaper gathered that there were fears in the PDP, of a plan by the ruling party and INEC to repeat what happened in the Osun governorship election where the PDP lost to the APC under controversial circumstances.

A video recording between the INEC Admin Secretary in Sokoto and a collation officer which trended over the weekend further escalated fears of interference in the coming supplementary election.

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BIG STORY

Twenty-Four Hours After Quitting Politics, Gbenga Daniel ‘Agrees’ To Lead Supporters To APC

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A former Governor of Ogun State and the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has agreed to lead his supporters to the All Progressives Congress.

Daniel, who announced his decision to quit the Peoples Democratic Party and partisan politics on Saturday, revealed his latest decision on Sunday after a meeting with his supporters in his Aseludero Court in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Available reports have it that Daniel’s loyalists at the meeting with him on Sunday kicked against his decision to quit politics.

Led by his Special Assistant on Youth, Ifedayo Kayode, the supporters asked him to lead them to the APC instead of quitting politics.

They hinged their request on the fact that they had worked towards the emergence of Dapo Abiodun of the APC as the governor-elect in Ogun State.

Indeed a few days before the governorship election on March 9, 2019, Daniel had asked his supporters to vote for Abiodun instead of the candidate of the PDP, Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Speaking after the meeting on Sunday, Daniel said: “Basically, they (supporters) said I could resign from PDP.

“They said I must lead them to APC.

“And they also said I cannot retire from politics.

“That is the summary of what I heard.

“Now we have to take a look at it.”

Asked what his position is on the demands of his supporters, Daniel said: “What else can I say?

“My people have spoken.”

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POLITICS

BREAKING: Gbenga Daniel Retires From Active Politics, Gives Reason.

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Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has quit partisan politics.

He has also resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In his letter to the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, Daniel said he decided to leave the scene to “rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges.

“I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.”

Full text of letter below

The National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Wadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Street
Wuse Zone II, Abuja

Attention: Prince Uche Secondus

Mr. Chairman,

Resignation from Partisan Politics

This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.
My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges.

Preamble
My Political Journey so far

I joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State on Sunday, the 9th of September, 2001 at an event which was described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in our recent political history in the South Western part of Nigeria. We rose from that rally to create a highly robust and effective political campaign machinery which resulted in an electoral victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2003; this movement and vibration affected the politics of the region positively with a victory in five (5) states of the South West.

  1. I served as Governor of Ogun State for eight (8) years and our administration till today remains a point of reference in terms of physical, social, economic, educational and human capital development since the State was created in 1976.
  2. Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party ran into trouble waters towards the end of our administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.
  3. Meanwhile, the PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognized one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognized was on the INEC list. The candidates recognized by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party. Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognized and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party. This was the dilemma we found ourself as we approached the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
  4. Going forward, we have responded to the yearnings of our people and joined others in emplacing an administration that we believe will better serve the interests of our people than what currently exists. The rest they say is now history.
  5. I must say that looking back, I do not have any regrets over that patriotic choice and decision, especially as several of our citizens, leaders and stakeholders in the state and outside have commended that singular action. Many stakeholders within and outside Ogun State feel fulfilled, excited and grateful about our decision to join others in putting a stop to a regime that was believed to be against the collective and general welfare of our people.
  6. Let me also add, that in the last few months, I have had one of the rare privileges of traveling round the entire length and breadth of our great country on at least two occasions; the first being during my campaigns to become the National Chairman of our great party, and later as the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization (APCO).
  7. I must sincerely admit that in the course of all these travels, I have built a network of contacts, of friends and associates in a mutually rewarding relationships which I cherished most and greatly too. I am therefore persuaded that I have fewer points to make and prove in my Political journeys in partisan politics.
  8. My decision to quit partisan politics notwithstanding, I have decided to rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges; I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.
  9. Without doubt, I will miss the company of my friends and associates and all those relationships I built in the course of the years all over the country..
    While I crave for your kind understanding, accept assurances of my highest regards.

Yours faithfully,

Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FNAEng
Governor of Ogun State (2003-2011).

Cc:
His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON
Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP)

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