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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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2023: Tinubu Is Qualified To Be President —- Lagos APC

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State has said its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is qualified to be the president of Nigeria in 2023.

Giving reasons, the party said Tinubu’s commitment, resourcefulness and pedigree put him in good stead to lead Nigeria.

The newly-elected Secretary of State Party, Lanre Ogunyemi (Secretary) said this during a press briefing in Lagos to unveil newly elected executives.

Ogunyemi, speaking on Tinubu’s rumored presidential ambition, said the former governor has a right to aspire to be president in 2023 whether he has informed the party or not.

The Party’s secretary added that it was left to Nigerians to accept him when the time comes.

Ogunyemi said, “Tinubu has all it takes to lead this country and he has all the fundamental rights as a Nigerian to aspire.

“It’s now left for Nigerians to accept or not. It’s now left for the party to decide who they want as the presidential candidate come 2023.

“Whether he has briefed us or not on his aspiration, whether he is expressing any body language, whether people are against it or not, we are sure that he has everything to lead this nation.”

It will be recalled that governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai days ago said the southern part should be allowed to become president in 2023 after President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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BREAKING : APC Takes Over Imo House of Assembly As Speaker, 7 Other Lawmakers Dump PDP

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At the plenary today in Imo State Assembly, 8 PDP House Members defected to the ruling party APC, thus enabling it to take control of the House leadership.

They are:

1. Hon. Dominic Ezerioha
Oru West State Constituency

2. Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri
Oru East State Constituency

3. Hon. Kanayo Onyemechi
Owerri West State Constituency

4. Hon. Kennedy Ibe
Obowo State Constituency

5. Hon. Uche Ogbuagu
Ikeduru State Constituency

6. Hon. Crown Micheal
Ihitte Uboma State Constituency

7. Hon. Eddy Obinna
Aboh Mbaise State Constituency

8. Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins
Isiala Mbano State Constituency (Speaker, Imo state house of Assembly).

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Bode George Joins 2023 Presidential Race

Peter Okunoren

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Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, has joined the 2023 presidential race.

Freedom Online learned that the former governor of old Ondo State joined the race after three meetings held in Lagos, London in UK and Berlin, Germany.

George, the Director-General (D-G) of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Campaign Organisation in 2006/2007, is still in London “strategizing and meeting some prominent Nigerians on how to actualize the ambition”, said a source.

Although he is still a member of PDP, it is still not clear on which political platform George, the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, will launch the ambition.

Before leaving Nigeria for the London and Berlin meetings, Freedom Online learned that a former President and former Head of State had already endorsed the move to make George succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

This move is based on the partisan calculation that the presidency will move to the South-West.

Some members of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization led by nonagenarian Reuben Fasoranti, are also believed to be backing George’s ambition.

Freedom Online learned that present at the London and Berlin meetings were a former Senate President, a former Chief of Naval Staff, a retired General who had issues with President Muhammadu Buhari when he was Head of State between December 31, 1983, and August 26, 1985, a prominent power broker during the administration of a former president, a former governor of a state in the North-East and two ministers during the Yar’Adua administration.

Freedom Online learned that George, an experienced administrator, orator, and politician, will unveil his presidential plans in the middle of 2020 and “the real fireworks will start in 2021”.

A source disclosed that three committees – Finance, Strategy, and Contact – had already been set up, headed by the former Chief of Naval Staff, a former Minister, and a former South-South governor.

George is a prominent Lagosian, very close to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.

A prominent Lagos Prince, Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu, who also confirmed the development, declared that “people may believe it is a joke now but when reality dawns on them, they will wake up.

The truth is that some prominent Nigerians have resolved to back Chief Bode George in the race for 2023. This is real and authoritative. In fact, a group, The Pathfinder Consortium, is already working underground as a foundation for a bigger and more robust national platform to actualize this presidential ambition.

“We can say 2023 is still far away but at the same time, it is not too far. Many stakeholders want real change in the country, politically and economically. This is not about PDP or APC. This is about Nigeria.

“I only attended the Lagos meeting. I was not part of the ones held outside the country so, I can’t really give you details of what happened there. But, I can only tell you that this is a pan-Nigerian movement”.

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