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Fourteen months to the next presidential election, there are indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have President Muhammadu Buhari-Asiwaju Bola Tinubu ticket, as one of its jokers for the 2019 election.

Competent sources close to The Redeemed Church told Daily Sun that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, may have indicated to the church authorities that he would not be averse to a return to pastoral life.

He is a senior pastor of the church conglomerate.

Although president Buhari is yet to officially declare his bid for re-election, apart from a recent declaration that he may seek Nigerians’ votes again, it was gathered that Osinbajo’s replacement with Tinubu is being mooted as a way to have a solid South West support for the APC, in the face of a South East-South-South alliance in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Competent sources said the APC and Buhari tendencies in the party, which want another victory in 2019, reasoned that it is important to rally the South West behind the president.

It was gathered that towards this end, the Buhari tendencies recommended that a more popular politician from the South West should pair with the president in 2019.

The name of Tinubu came up as it is believed that he is the only singular South West personality who could effectively mobilise support for Buhari and the APC in the zone.

Those pushing for this said with South South and South East strongly behind PDP, the APC needs the South West to counter-balance the structure in the South. Tinubu’s VP candidacy is believed to guarantee this.

Those in the know revealed that the recent rapprochement between Buhari and Tinubu was geared towards “concretising the arrangement” of having two of them as presidential and vice presidential candidates in 2019.

Daily Sun gathered that until recently, the relationship between Buhari and Tinubu was frosty. Afraid that this may jeopardise Buhari’s re-election, the president’s political strategists recommended the wooing of the former Lagos governor.

Sources revealed that the wedding of Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s daughter in Lagos, recently, paved the way for emissaries from the Buhari camp to meet with Tinubu.

After the Lagos meeting, during Saraki’s daughter’s wedding, Tinubu was invited by the Presidency to grace the public presentation of a book on Buhari’s achievements. Thereafter, Tinubu accompanied Buhari on a trip outside the country, where further meetings on 2019 elections were held.

Apparently, after weighing the options, the Buhari-Tinubu ticket came into consideration.

Meanwhile, Tinubu’s camp has denied the existence of any such arrangement.

Although efforts to get Tinubu’s media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, to speak on the development proved abortive, a senior member of Tinubu’s camp said: “we dont have anything to say on the matter now,” but added: “let’s talk more on this later in the day.” That was yesterday.

He, however, refused to get back to our reporter as promised. Several calls to his mobile line were not asnwered.

This is not the first time the APC would moot the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

In the run up to the 2015 election, Tinubu left no one in doubt that he was desirous of running with Buhari. It was gathered that Buhari, at the time, had also conceded to Tinubu before some party chieftains, but, some powerful forces in the party, including Saraki, frustrated the plot.

Saraki would later lend credence to this fact in April 2016, when he tried to explain why Tinubu was after him.

He said: “… I have also been accused of helping frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as president Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate. But, I have no problem with anybody. My concern was that it would not be politically smart of us to run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“I doubt if we would have won the election if we had done this, especially after the PDP had successfully framed us as a Muslim party. I felt we were no longer in 1993. Perhaps, more than ever before, Nigerians are more sensitive to issues of religious balancing. This, my brother, was my original sin. What they say to themselves, among other things, was that if he could conspire against our ambition, then, he must not realise his own ambition as well. For me, however, I have no regrets about this. I only stood for what I believed was in the best interest of the party and in the best interest of Nigeria.”

Later this year, Tinubu also confirmed what had long been dubbed mere speculation when he revealed that Saraki and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, worked against Buhari’s plan to make him his running mate, in the run-up to the 2015 presidential contest.

Tinubu, in the book “Against the Run of Play,” written by the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay, Olusegun Adeniyi, which was presented to the public this year, said Saraki, El-Rufai and other senior members of the PDP, who joined the APC, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections, were the ones who instigated Buhari and some APC chieftains not to pick him as running mate.

He said: “What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes, but, we accommodated them.

“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the party and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices. But, they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because, at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor (Tunde) Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate.”

Also, Osinbajo’s men refused to respond to calls and SMS sent to them for comments.

As at the time of going to press, Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, had yet to respond to the SMS sent to him, including telephone calls.

But, a source close to Osinbajo’s camp told Daily Sun, “you guys are just underrating that man. Don’t underrate Osinbajo; he is capable of being his own man when it matters most.

“Are you aware that that period Buhari was sick, when many thought he won’t return, moves were on to make the VP run in 2019, with a northern candidate? So, how will you now conclude it will be easy to just shove such a man aside? Have you also thought of what the reaction from the Christian community would be? All these are things that will come into play, in taking this decision. Till then, let’s leave it at that for now,” the source said.

 

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Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

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JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

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The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

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Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

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The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

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