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Ex-Governors Mount Pressure On Danjuma Goje To Accept Buhari’s Candidate, Lawan, For Senate President

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Some former governors are mounting pressure on their former colleague, Senator Danjuma Goje, to accept President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Ahmad Lawan for Senate president, The Nation reports.

The President is believed to have met Goje on the matter.

According to reports, Lawan, who is the Senate Leader, is forging ahead. He met yesterday with some senators-elect and pleaded with them to give him a chance.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) former governors, including some of them who are senators, have opted to back Buhari’s decision on Lawan.

Some of the former governors include Ahmed Sani Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Abdullahi Adamu, Aliyu Wammako, George Akume, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Kabiru Gaya and Godswill Akpabio.

It was gathered that the ex-governors appreciated the “cautious approach adopted by Goje to his aspiration without ruffling feathers but they felt he should defer to the President”.

The ex-governors have sent a delegation to Goje to reconsider his position.

Although two of them were with Goje on Saturday for what was termed “ a social gathering”, it was unclear whether they were the ones who spoke on behalf of their colleagues.

A former governor, who pleaded not to be named, said: “It is true we are trying to avoid cracks in APC over the Ninth Senate President and some of us have met on the President’s choice and how to prevail on Goje to sacrifice his aspiration.

“I can tell you that some of us have opened talks with him. We are talking to him; we are mounting pressure. We also decided to send a delegation to him.

“As a matter of right, Goje is qualified to lead the Senate but we do not really want him to disagree with the President. And he is not a leader who believes in confrontation.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Our intervention is just a follow-up to the audience between the President and Goje.”

“The former governor of Gombe State is yet to make any categorical statement on his ambition.”

Goje, it was learnt, told Buhari, who persuaded him to support Lawan, that he would “get back to him”.

“Goje has not returned to the President on what he intends to do,” a source in the Presidency said.

The Lawan Group is, however, waiting for Goje’s response before arranging a meeting between the two leaders.

Another source said: “Since a presidential intervention is already involved, we have deliberately asked Lawan to leave the initiative to President Buhari. The truth is that the President’s meeting with Goje underscored the enormous respect he has for the ex-governor.

“Lawan is ready to meet with Goje but after the elders and the ex-governors have brokered a deal.”

Lawan and members of his campaign team last night met with some senators-elect in Abuja on his aspiration.

The senators-elect are in the second batch of those to benefit from the induction course which was packaged by the National Assembly management.

A source at the session quoted Lawan as saying: “Give me a chance, I will provide quality leadership, I will carry every Senator along in whatever I do.”

A Senator-elect said: “The campaign team of the Senate Leader reached out to some of us across party lines. I am new, but I am impressed by his experience on legislative business. Let us see how it goes.”

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POLITICS

APC May No Longer Exist In 2023 After Buhari’s Tenure —- Rochas Okorocha

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Senator representing Imo West District in the National Assembly, Rochas Okorocha, has expressed fears that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may cease to exist when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

The Senator, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also lamented that his sacrifices to expand the membership base of the APC in the South-East was repaid by the party with evil.

He said, “I have never thought of leaving the party but what happens next will be determined by time.

“My only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari if the ongoing injustices are not addressed.

“Unlike other governors from the North that rode on the name Muhammadu Buhari to power, the name Buhari had a negative effect on my campaign for the second term.

“But I was determined to overcome that because I knew what we stood to gain.

“If anything, the party repaid me evil for good. There was no challenge I did not face or bad name I was not called in my state.

“They brought in people who fought me when I was building the party at state level to fight me over the control of the party. I don’t want to talk about it but my party did not treat me well.”

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POLITICS

APC Rejects Senator Kalu’s Sack By Abia Tribunal

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The Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the judgement of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, which nullified the election of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday.

Recall that the National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia had nullified the election of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, for Abia North Senatorial District.

Delivering its judgment on Monday, a member of the three-member tribunal, Justice I.P.C Igwe, said that the petitioner, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, successfully proved his allegation of substantial non-compliance with the electoral guidelines.

Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Kalu, who contested the Feb. 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioner told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

However, Comrade Benedict Godson, Publicity Secretary of APC in Abia, in an interview with newsmen, Monday in Umuahia, the state capital, said the party leadership vehemently reject the decision of the tribunal.

He urged all Abians, APC supporters and ever dedicated followers of Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu’s political history to remain calm as every legal procedure will be followed to appeal the judgement.

Godson, “We reject the judgement of the tribunal completely. We call on everyone, Abians, party supporters and the ever dedicated followers of OUK political history to remain calm as every necessary legal means will be applied to appeal this judgement”.

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BIG STORY

Tinubu To Sanwo-Olu: Make The People’s Welfare The Cornerstone Of Your Administration

Peter Okunoren

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Friday told the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make the welfare of people the cornerstone of his administration’s programmes.

He stated this at the retreat organized for members of State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries.

According to a statement issued by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, Tinubu also urged the current Governor to work hard to achieve the programmes of the party in the state.

“Many books on leadership and administration have been written by great thinkers which focused on the talent of individuals.

“But, is leadership about talent alone? I say no. Talent can only give you the opportunity to shine and get recognition among your peers. But it cannot pave the way for success.

“Talent without character is an effort to nowhere,” he said.

Also present at the cabinet retreat was the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, another former Governor of the state.

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