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Ambode Dares Tinubu, Says I won’t Step Down, As APC Leaders Endorse Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat Joint Ticket

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The battle for the soul of Lagos State took a strange twist yesterday when Governor Akinwunmi Ambode boldly told a meeting of leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Bourdillon, Ikoyi home of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he will not step down for their preferred candidate in the 2019 governorship race in the state.

The meeting chaired by Tinubu and called under the banner of Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) the most powerful clique in Lagos APC also had in attendance outgoing governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, his newly elected successor, Gboyega Oyetola, Ambode and other members of the 22-member council.

According to Saturday Sun, “Ambode was told in plain terms that the party will not support his second term ambition and as such should step down for the candidate the party members are clamouring for. But throughout the whole discussion and till the meeting ended, the governor stood his ground, explaining why he must run and that he will run if APC desires to win the state.”

The governor was said to have listed his achievements to convince the party leaders who equally failed to shift ground. “He was busy speaking grammar when no single member at the meeting supported him. We wish him luck”, a source added.

The meeting, however, ended with a directive to the State Working Committee of the party to address a press conference today, Saturday at the party’s secretariat on Acme road, Ikeja where the preferred governorship candidate Jide Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Femi Hamzat will be officially presented to party members to vote for at the governorship primaries scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday.

The Ambode camp, however, appears determined to enter into full battle with Tinubu and his men. A source close to the governor told Saturday Sun yesterday that, “Tinubu and his men are jokers, if they fail to present Ambode for the second term, they will lose Lagos like they lost Osun, forget the eventual manipulation of the final result.”

“Ambode is the party’s poster boy, and that’s why President Buhari asked the SGF, Boss Mustapha to wade into the Lagos ticket issue but if they ignore even the president’s intervention, they will be doomed like Osun. Nigerians will see that Tinubu is overrated as has shown in Osun. You can see that the president had to send Fayemi, Oshiomhole and others to step into the Osun election, the presidential emissaries didn’t go to meet Tinubu and Aregbesola who were in Osogbo before they went straight to meet Omisore in Ile-Ife, that shows how less they regard him”, the source added.

The Ambode camp had hoped that yesterday’s meeting will end in their favour but was shocked by the insistence of the party leaders that the governor must step down.

 

BIG STORY

Nigeria Yet To Receive Ventilators From US, A Month After Trump’s Promise — FG

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The federal government says it is yet to receive ventilators from the US.

On April 28, US President Donald Trump, during a telephone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari, promised to send ventilators to support Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

Speaking at the presidential task force briefing on Thursday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said the ventilators are yet to arrive in Nigeria.

He said there is no specific date for the arrival of the medical items, and that the information will be made public once the ventilators are received.

“On when the ventilators promised by President Trump will arrive, to the best of my knowledge, they have not arrived. When they do arrive it will be made known to the public,” he said.

On the efforts made by the information ministry in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Mohammed said there has been increased community sensitization against the disease.

He said there has been a series of jingles played on radio stations to enhance rural engagements.

“In addition, we also have support from 40 community and campus radio stations across the country awaiting our jingles,” he said.

“Our aggressive and sustained campaign on the Social Media has gained traction, in the last five days alone some of the videos we posted have been viewed over one million times.”

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Buhari Came To ‘Steal, Kill, Destroy’ —- Fani-Kayode

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A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has described the five years of President Muhammadu Buhari as “disastrous.”

He disagreed with Special Adviser to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, whose weekly column argued the President’s emergence, saved the nation from collapse in 2015.

Fani-Kayode, on his verified twitter handle, said Buhari’s emergence has plunged the nation into a deeper abyss.

Responding directly to Adesina’s tweet, the former Minister said: “Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death, and destruction.

“He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.”

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BIG STORY

Lagos BRT Increases Fares By 50%

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Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the Bus Rapid Transport, have said fares will increase by about 50 percent.

The company on Thursday said it got approval from the regulator of the sector, the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, to increase the fares.

Earlier, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the company withdrew its services on Monday due to losses caused by the new guidelines of government which restricted the number of commuters on BRT to 20 per trip instead of 70.

The BRT Managing Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, told NAN that the management of the company would resolve the issues after a meeting with the government.

After the meeting, Tinubu said an agreement had been reached for the fares to be increased.

He said, “We are going to increase our pricing effective from Friday, May 29 (today). We agreed on this after our talk with the Lagos State Government.

“Everywhere commuters are paying N200 for a trip, it is going to be N300 and everywhere commuters are paying N300 per trip, it is going to be N500.

“We are increasing our fares. We have secured the permission of the regulator, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.”

He said the number of passengers on the buses would also be increased to 42, with no passenger standing on buses as against 20 earlier approved by the government.

The LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Kola Ojelabi, confirmed the development.

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