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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”.

BIG STORY

APC In Ondo, Who Do We Send? —- Moyo Odunlami

Peter Okunoren

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In the last couple of weeks, the race for who would win the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket has been on in earnest and many wonders who would emerge at the primaries scheduled to hold July 20.

Asides needing a creditable candidate, Ondo APC is in dire need of rescue and ultimate restoration. Presently, the word on many lips is that among the list of 12 candidates, one man that distinctly ticks all the right boxes is Olusola Oke; he is marketable, beloved, and honorable.

Not a man new to the intrigues of politics, Olusola Oke, in many quarters has been known to be a bridge-builder, a party man, and an excellent patriot.

Having previously run against the last two governors of the state and graciously accepted defeat, his reemergence is like that of a phoenix ready shine from the embers of the political turmoil in which APC has been embroiled in over the last few months.

Asides being a well-loved, quality scion of Ondo, Oke’s right to candidacy does not only stem from his political know-how, but he has also built key friendships and partnerships that would bring unimaginable goodwill, both to APC and Ondo as a whole.

No doubt, the emergence of such a man as the APC gubernatorial candidate would do much to repair the reputation of the party as a beacon for good governance in Ondo State.

Oke as APC gubernatorial candidate would also recall lost party members who had previously decamped. He would be the rallying point for all, including those who are certain to decamp from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo.

Ondo APC is a party in dire need of a facelift and the reality is that Olusola Oke is the man, the only man that can restore it to its old glory, breathe new life into it, and ensure that the party retains its supremacy in the Sunshine State come October 10.

Moyo odunlami writes from Alagbaka Akure

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ganduje Heads 49-Member APC National Campaign Council For Edo 2020 Elections

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The Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a 49-member high-level National Campaign Council for the September 19 Edo State Governorship Election.

The council chaired by Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has four state governors, the Deputy Senate President and two former National Chairmen of the party among others as members and Hon. Abbas Braimoh to serve as Secretary.

Party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said the appointment of the council followed the approval of the National Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni.

Details shortly…

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BIG STORY

Lagos East: Ambode, Ashafa, Gbadamosi, Jostle For Late Osinowo’s Senatorial Position

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No fewer than 13 members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State have reportedly indicated interest in contesting for the by-election to fill the Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate.

The former occupant of the position, Bayo Osinowo, died on June 15, 2020 after a brief illness said to be connected with COVID-19.

Our correspondent learnt that among leading candidates for the position in the APC are a former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former occupant of the position, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, a former House of Representatives member, Dayo Alebiosu-Bush, a former Lagos commissioner, Tola Kasali; and the Director General of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri.

For the PDP, the leading candidates include a former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Babatunde Gbadamosi; the last PDP flag bearer for the position, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi; and a public relations expert, Adedipe Shobajo.

The spokesperson for the Lagos PDP, Taofik Ganiu, said his party would ensure it fielded the best candidate.

He said, “What is operating in the PDP Lagos now is that we are set for any election. For the Lagos senatorial district by-election, we want to field our strongest candidate who will not be rejected by Lagosians. There are seven aspirants already.

“We are also happy to note that a lot of the APC chieftains are making plans to have us as a platform. We are aware that the APC national body is endorsing somebody and other aspirants are aggrieved. So, our doors are wide open for them to take advantage of it.”

Ganiu said the greatest asset of his party was its plan to end godfatherism in Lagos, adding that the coming by-election would be an opportunity for the PDP to showcase its best hands before claiming the state come the 2023 general elections.

However, the APC spokesperson, Seye Oladejo, said the ruling party was still mourning the death of Osinowo, aka Pepper.

He said, “At the level of the party, nothing is happening now. It’s barely two weeks that we lost Pepper. Humanity should come into play here irrespective of anybody’s ambition. So, nothing is happening.

“But I can tell you that it’s going to be in the public domain when the time is right; it will not be hidden.”

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