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2023: S’West, not S’East deserves APC Presidential ticket — Yakasai

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Salihu Tanko Yakasai

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and former Special Adviser to the Kano state Governor, Salihu Tanko Yakasai has faulted agitations for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023, saying he believes that the Southwest, as opposed to the Southeast deserves the party’s presidential ticket.

Popularly known as Dawisu, Salihu is the son of elder statesman, Second Republic Presidential Aide and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai. He spoke on Friday on a breakfast television show, The Arise Morning Show monitored in Abuja.

Making a case for rotational presidency, Yakasai also challenged the Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi to explain if the APC has promised him its presidential ticket since he premises his reason for ditching the Peoples Democratic Party PDP on the grounds that the country’s main opposition was averse to having a president from the East.

He said; “This is a very crucial issue not just for the APC but for Nigerians and the political stability of the country. I am of the view that, particularly in the APC, that power should rotate to the South and even in the South, I am of the opinion that the candidate of the APC should come from the Southwest in particular. And I have my reasons for saying that.

“The reason is simply.   I know  what the southwest in particular  contributed to the victory of the APC in the 2015 elections. Even in the formation of the party, they contributed immensely and even if you look at the major contenders in the APC, they are from the Southwest. So, I see no reason the rest of the party should not put its weight behind any candidate of their choice from the Southwest in particular in order to produce the next candidate for the APC in the general election.

“I think what has heated the polity recently is the remark by the Southern Governors Forum which they have made twice but which is unconstitutional. Apart from one Governor from the North who has indicated his interest, there has not been any such indication from the APC as a party that it wants to retain power in the North and that is why I fault the Southern Governors. That gentleman agreement has been there since 1999 and I see no reason  it should not be upheld in 2023

“I am saying that for APC, it has to go to the Southwest. I am a northerner, I know where we came from in the elections in 2015. So, I see no reason  the APC as a party should not support any of the candidates from the Southwest because they are the biggest contributors to the victory of APC.

Igbo Presidency 

“Gov. Dave Umahi should tell us if APC has promised him and other governors from his region if they are going to give the ticket to him or them in 2023. I think that question should be put to His Excellency because his reason for decamping was that PDP was not going to give power to particularly the Southeast. Then, has there been any move or assurance by the APC that they are going to give a candidate from the Southeast? Because as far as I am concerned, I have not seen any indication that the APC is going to field any candidate from the Southeast and I don’t think that is going to happen. Even if Southwest does not get it, to be honest, I don’t see the APC giving it to anybody from the Southeast, maybe South South perhaps, but definitely not the Southeast.

“In the Southeast, they keep agitating individually but they have not come together collectively to show a unified front to the rest of the country that they are indeed ready for this presidency. There is no unity among the governors, there is no unity among the political elite and there is no unity among the followers. And unfortunately for them, they do not have the numbers which means that they need the support of one or two regions”, Yakasai added.

On Nigeria’s brand of democracy and his travails under the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, the younger Yakasai said he is not an enemy of the president.

Until February 2021, Yakasai was the media aide to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, but was relieved of his appointment for criticizing the President Buhari Administration on the rising insecurity in the country.

He was later arrested and detained by the State Security Services SSS for expressing his opinion on the security situation on social media.

Yakasai said; “We can look away from so many issues like the lack of development, the economy etc, but when it comes to the issue of insecurity which has spread all over the country and for which we have given enough time for the government to do what is important in securing lives and property, unfortunately we don’t see that translating into anything tangible on the ground. Even if they are doing anything behind the scenes, that has not translated to results on the ground and I felt personally that this is something we cannot keep quiet about.

“A lot of people think that I am being sponsored or that I am doing someone’s bidding. But I am not. I did not come up one day and said I wanted to cast the government and the president in bad light. No. I woke up and saw the news of 300 kids that they have been taken away from their school. What is a normal human being supposed to do, for crying out loud?  I have two daughters and one son. And  that was not the first time. It has happened a number of times and as a parent, I felt that it was not right and something has to be done. I worked for the president. I was his returning officer during his first election in 2003. I have supported him. I am not an enemy of the president. I am not an enemy of this government but there are things that we need to get right. This is six years into the administration and we need to start delivering results and closing some of these major issues that we are facing and unfortunately we are not seeing results”, he added.

Omeiza Ajayi, Vanguard News Nigeria

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BREAKING: CAN opposes Christian-Christian, Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in 2023

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Samson Ayokunle

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned political parties to bury the thought of Christian/Christian tickets or Muslim/Muslim presidential tickets in 2023.

The President, Samson Ayokunle spoke on Thursday when CAN leadership met with Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege at the National Assembly.

Ayokunle told politicians not to heat up the polity with utterances as campaigns commence.

Ayokunle advised them to always remember there is already tension across Nigeria due to insecurity

“We urge that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket”, he said.

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Ayokunle expressed disappointment with the economic downturn and its consequences on the people.

The CAN President called for quick actions and policies that will cushion the effect.

“Unemployment is at an unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislature in calling the attention of the executive, more robust and daring efforts are required

“Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods”, Ayokunle added.

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Anambra election: Corps members threaten withdraw from poll over IPOB order

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Some National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members in Anambra State have vowed to steer clear of the forthcoming governorship election over constant threats from the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

DAILY POST reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, often relies on corps members for the conduct of elections in all parts of the country. They are often used as Presiding Officers, PO and Assistant Presiding Officers, APO 1, 2 and 3 in most polling units during elections.

But sequel to the tension currently rocking Anambra State following moves by IPOB to halt the election, corps members serving in some local government areas of the state, told DAILY POST that they are not interested in taking part in the election currently being threatened.

DAILY POST recalls that IPOB had declared sit-at-home in order to halt the election, insisting that the Southeastern region does not need any election. It stressed that the Federal Government must call for a referendum which would determine the corporate existence of the country.

According to media reports, IPOB members are also angered by the continuous incarceration of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, since June 2021 following his rearrest from an undisclosed country.

Simon Ekpa, one of the supporters of the fugitive and an opinion leader in the Biafra struggle had via his social media handles, warned INEC against conducting any election in Biafra land (Southeast).

In a post on his Twitter and Facebook handles on Wednesday, the Finnish warned Igbo citizens to avoid the election. He said “tell Egbunike, others to stay away from Anambra election as Biafrans already decided there will be no movement or election in Anambra State on the 6th of November, 2021.

“DIG Egbunike should be ready to go down in the history as the policeman used by the Fulanis to instigate crises should in case he tries to enforce election in Anambra State by killing any Biafran.”

DAILY POST recalls that in a statement recently issued by the spokesman of the group, Emma Power, IPOB vowed to commence one-week sit-at-home a day to the election if Kanu remains in the DSS custody.

Speaking with DAILY POST, a corps member who identified herself as Ochanya, serving in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, expressed fear of attack on the election day, saying the recent killings in the state birthed by the IPOB’s sit-at-home, shows the potency of their threats.

According to Ochanya, majority of corps members in the local government have vowed to shun the election despite the assurances by security agencies to ensure that the election is crisis-free.

She said, “I don’t want to die. My life is very important to my family. We have all witnessed the wrath of IPOB while they were trying to enforce the Monday sit-at-home. Many residents here have lost their lives because they violated the order.

“I pity those going for the election just because of the stipends. Even to stay in the state during the election is still a concern to me If I have my way, I will travel back to Abuja before November 24.”

Also, Mr Kenneth, popularly known as ‘Coper Ken’ told our correspondent that his parents had warned him against taking any function in the election, stressing that his life is more important than the benefits attached to the exercise.

“I know there is going to be money for those who will risk their lives to conduct the election but I’m not greedy. My life is more important than any money. IPOB mean business. My parents had even warned me to steer clear of the election so I’m out”.

Another corps member from Awka North Local Government Area of the state, who identified himself as Adebayo Fayemi said he is still deciding whether to participate in the election or not despite going through the training. According to Adebayo, the level of tension in the area two days to the election may determine his decision.

“I am very sure that the election will hold and nothing will happen, but sometimes, the fear exhibited by others, affects my courage too. Of course, no body wants to die. If by the end of November 4, the security situation is not encouraging, I will have no choice but to stay at home on the election day”, he said.

An official of the scheme, (a local government inspector) who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said that corps members who volunteer to participate in the election, would be given adequate security.

According to him, NYSC will not impose the function on corps members who are not willing to participate.

DAILY POST recalls that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba had on October 14, ordered the deployment of a total of 34,587 police personnel to the state ahead of the election.

The IGP who made the development known at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, during the 2nd Strategic Police Managers Conference for Senior Police Officers from the rank of Commissioner of Police and above, also ordered the deployment of three Police Helicopters, technical capabilities of the Police Airwing, the Force Marine and the Force Animal Branch, and other operational assets to maintain peace during the election.

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Aregbesola shuns Akande’s meeting with APC elders’ caucus

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MINISTER of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola

MINISTER of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, was noticeably absent at a meeting held at the Ila country home of the ex-Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, to discuss party unity.

The gathering was a meeting of the Osun APC Elders’ Caucus designed to unite party members.

It was gathered that when one of the conveners of the meeting raised the issue Aregbesola’s absence, one of the conveners of the meeting, reportedly explained that the ex-governor was duly invited.

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Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, it was learnt that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, said many party members were aggrieved as a result of the 2018 Osun APC Governorship primary. He appealed to the elder statesman to assist in reconciliatory efforts before the next cycle of elections.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Akande, said the elders met regularly to discuss party issues, until the advent of COVID-19 last year.

He said, “the meeting had always existed, but because of COVID-19, the meeting had not been held for a very long time. It is the beginning of elders’ activities to move the party forward in Osun.

“We are doing all our best to resolve every crisis. I can assure you that there will be no crisis within our party before the election. We come from different constituencies in Osun and we are going back to let our people know we have started to be more active than before.”

Punch

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