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Political Aspirants In APC Will No Longer Be Endorsed From Abuja — Buhari

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari says political aspirants will no longer be endorsed from Abuja.

Buhari said this on Saturday after he revalidated his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his constituency in Daura, Katsina state.

It is an unsaid tradition in Nigeria for ”the powers at Aso Villa” to influence the choice of political aspirants in party primary elections.

Buhari’s statement is a departure from the usual.

The president also accused the Nigerian elite of harassing his government.

Buhari, who had earlier called on Nigerians, especially the elite to be fair in their criticism of his administration, said they (elite) “are not interested in rating the competence” of his administration despite its efforts.

“The problem is that I will like especially the elites to please be reflective. When we came, where we were, the resources available from them, and the condition of the infrastructure. I was contrived to go over it several times to tell Nigerians that between 1999 and 2014, let them check with the NNPC, let them check with the governor of Central Bank, production was 2.4 million barrels per day and the average cost was $100 per barrel. So for a year’s daily production, Nigeria would earn having 2.4×100 dollars every day. But look at the condition of infrastructure, you know this better than I do,” Buhari said.

“I know I went to every local government of the country in my three consecutive attempts to become the President. You know the road more than I do. You know the condition of the rail, the railway is dead. Now look at it everywhere we go, what did they do with all these monies?

“When we took over the administration, production went down to about half a million barrels per day, the price collapsed. We had to do what is called a bailout, wherever we got the money from. Upon all the money from 1999 to 2014 we gave out money from the Centre to pay salaries. No, Nigerian elites are not interested in rating the competence but they are interested in harassing us with all efforts we are making.

Speaking on the essence of the registration and revalidation exercise, Buhari said his objective was to ensure that the party is returned to the people at the grassroots by starting from the bottom-up.

“No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party. Without any incentive, they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you, and the party will feel secure and comfortable because the old-time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available,” he said.

“You, who are in the field in charge of your constituencies, you have to make efforts to convince the elites to please give us the due relevance and respect we deserve that we are working so hard with limited resources.”

Abdul-Azeez Adediran, a politician and founder of CORE Media Group, had said the nationwide membership registration exercise of the ruling party will curb intra-party rigging and imposition of candidates.

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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POLITICS

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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POLITICS

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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