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Leaders of the Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Borno Elders Forum, and Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, have jointly scored President Buhari low and have asked him not to seek re-election in 2019. The leaders met in Kaduna state yesterday where they issued a joint statement rejecting President Buhari as the candidate from the region in the 2019 election.

In a statement read by a member of the Northern Elders Forum and Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the northern leaders said almost three years into his administration, President Buhari has watched the economy, security and political fortunes of the region deteriorate. They added that little effort has been made to tackle the poverty that has continued to ravage the region and the entire country.

“We demand immediate and decisive steps to improve the security of lives and economic assets in the North by the federal and state governments. Too many communities are at the mercy of attacks from sundry groups of criminals who appear to have unchallenged access to space and weapons,” Baba Ahmed said

The communique read in part, “The Summit noted that despite notable successes by the administration against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, many Northern communities still live under its threat. In many other parts of the North, communities are routinely exposed to attacks from shadowy killers, and suspicion and anger at known and suspected killers are pitching Northerners against each other. Armed bandits terrorize rural communities almost at will, while kidnappings and abductions have assumed alarming notoriety as crimes. The nation’s security and law and order assets are stretched beyond points where they can’t provide even the most elementary confidence and protection of citizens.

The North has rarely been so exposed to multiple and varied threats. Since 2015, Northerners have occupied positions with the potential to make decisive differences in the economy, security or political fortunes of the region. The hopes that leaders who have exercised power since 2015 will reverse the abuse and neglect of the region in the previous decade have been betrayed.

Weak governance, gross insensitivity and unacceptable levels of incompetence have been compounded by battles of attrition in which northerners have sapped each other’s’ strength. Weak and incoherent responses to provocations from other parts of the country around the imperatives of re-visiting the foundations and structures of the Nigerian state have created the false image of a North without its own positions beyond survival as the parasite of Nigeria.

The Summit, having undertaken a thorough analysis of the state of the North and our communities, therefore urges all leaders, elders and communities to seek peaceful resolutions of conflicts between and among communities. Lives lost, injuries suffered, and losses incurred in any community must be redressed firmly and fairly. The roots of co-existence and inter-dependence in all Northern communities are much deeper than the barricades being erected around communities. All persons who are involved in killings and crimes against communities must be brought to book.

“The summit warns that no Northern politician should expect to be voted for in the next general election unless they demonstrate a willingness to champion a massive assault on poverty and underdevelopment in the North. In this regard, most political office holders from the North are hereby served notice that they have failed the test to lead the region towards economic recovery and growth.

The summit asserts the rights of all Northerners to examine all options in political choices they will make in 2019. The leadership selection process must be critically interrogated to present the best leader to Nigeria as a whole. No one should take the North for granted, and it is not for sale. It will resist shedding its blood for any candidate and will critically scrutinize all politicians who will seek our mandate. At this stage, all options are on the table, and politicians who have betrayed the hopes and mandates of our people should be prepared to suffer rejection, in the same manner, the votes of the North rejected the attempt to continue with impunity, corruption and indifference of the previous regime.”

POLITICS

There Was A Gentleman’s Agreement For ACN Bloc To Succeed Buhari In 2023 —– SWAGA

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The South West Agenda (SWAGA) group has said there was a gentleman’s agreement between the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that the Southern arm of the latter would produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor during the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.

SWAGA Vice Chairman, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, stated this while speaking with The Nation yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Akanbi, who represented Oyo South Senatorial District between 2015 and 2019, said leaders of both blocs, which were the major collaborators in the APC’s formation, had the gentleman’s agreement.

He claimed that the pact was not documented in black and white.

According to him, while Buhari was the CPC leader at the time, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was the ACN leader.

Akanbi said the agreement still subsists and that members of both blocs are aware of its validity.

The former lawmaker, who facilitated the inclusion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project in the budgets while he was at the Senate, explained that the reasoning behind the agreement was that such rotation, which would allow the Southwest to produce the next President, would keep Nigeria united.

“There was a gentleman’s agreement, though not written, between the then CPC and ACN on the rotational presidency. The thinking was that it would help keep Nigeria as one indivisible entity. We believe that the ACN had sacrificed a lot for the formation of the APC, therefore, Southern Nigeria should produce the next President.”

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Insecurity: APC Govt At All Levels Have Failed — Ganduje’s Aide

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The Special Adviser to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Media, Salihu Yakasai, has said that the government of the All Progressives Congress at all levels has failed Nigerians in the duty to protect lives and properties.

Yakasai said this amid the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, which happened on Friday.

In a post on his verified Twitter handle, Yakasai lamented the security issue in the country, describing it as a shame.

“Clearly, we as APC government, at all levels, have failed Nigerians in the number 1 duty we were elected to do which is to secure lives & properties. Not a single day goes by without some sort of insecurity in this land. This is a shame! Deal with terrorists decisively or resign,” he wrote.

One Twitter user, @Jayb_10, criticized the northern elites over their attitude in the face of the situation.

He said, “The uncritical, appeasing, docile, and patronizing attitude of the northern elite when one of their own is at the helm is the north’s gravest undoing. It will continue to birth the massive underdevelopment that the north perennially represents. We’re in a mess!”

Yakasai who agreed with the Twitter user imagined what would have happened had it been the current situation was witnessed during previous administrations led by non-northerners.

“I completely agree. Hypocrisy is in our DNA. Imagine what’s happening in the North now was under GEJ or OBJ, sai dai ka ji ana makiyin arewa ne, makiyin musulmi ne, but here we are, being ravaged by all sorts of insecurity but no collective rage, sai useless lamentations. SMDH,” he wrote in response to @Jayb_10

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Stop Disrespecting Me Or I Will Work Against You, Fayose Threatens Makinde

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, warned the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, to stop disrespecting him or he will “work against” him (Makinde).

“If Governor Makinde continues to disrespect me, I will work against him,” Fayose stated on a PUNCH Live interview.

Of late, the leadership of the South-West arm of the Peoples Democratic Party has been embroiled in a crisis with Fayose and Makinde at the center of the ruckus.

Makinde, a first-term governor, is the only governor of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West zone while the other five states in the region are ruled by the governors of the All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on Wednesday, Fayose said he was amongst party chieftains who worked in 2019 to ensure Makinde emerged the winner of the governorship election in Oyo.

Makinde is constitutionally permitted to run for a second term in 2023 but Fayose warned him to retrace his step of he will work against his re-election.

The ex-governor of Ekiti, therefore, urged Makinde to speak out if he has anything against him.

When asked what the bone of contention between himself and the Oyo State governor was, Fayose said, “He (Makinde) is the one to tell you if there is any bone of contention. In this West, I am his brother, I am his father.”

Fayose stated, “When Makinde was to contest, I was the one that presented the flag to him and a red pen. It is a higher authority that hangs your rank, a senior officer hangs the rank of a junior officer, which means he saw me as a leader at the time I was giving him the flag at Ogbomosho.

“It was Governor (Rasheed) Ladoja that was holding the structure that we gave to him (Makinde), I was the only sitting governor at the time. I had the power to influence it negatively. Are you telling me the man that gave you a red pen has suddenly become your enemy? If he has anything against me, let him say it. Governor Makinde should take it easy.

“When they were contesting an election in Oyo State, I was the one giving him information about the senatorial election. I never slept all night. In his own election, I was with him in Ibadan. If he disrespects us, we will tell him that we have the capacity to… I am not his mate.

“If he wants peace, he should stop that nonsense, and I say it again, nonsense. I mean every word I am saying. I’m a responsible Nigerian. If we were born in the same family, I will be older than Governor Makinde by 10 years even if I was not the governor. I should be respected. I am a respectable figure in this country, forget any other story any other politician may say.”

Fayose also said he has no plan to join the APC or any other political party. “We need a certain level of honour, we need a certain level of principles to be able to lead in this country,” he noted.

“Even when I was supporting Governor (Kayode) Fayemi in Ekiti, I told them I can never join APC in my life. It was Governor (Segun) Oni that disrespected me and I worked for Governor Fayemi. If Governor Makinde continues to disrespect me like this, I will work against him. I don’t operate underneath; you know where you are with me. If Governor Makinde wants to hear the story of how he became governor, I will tell him,” the ex-governor added.

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