Amid the rumoured presidential ambition of former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, members of the House of Representatives from the north have endorsed his candidacy for 2023 presidency, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.
Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been rumours and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.
A delegation of the northern caucus in the House, led by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, had on Friday visited Tinubu in London where he has been receiving treatment for the last three months.
On the entourage were the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata; Chairman, House Committee on the Army, Abdulrazak Namdas; Blessing Onuh, daughter of former President of the Senate, David Mark; Sada Soli, among others.
A member of the delegation told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity that the visit was to endorse Tinubu for President.
The lawmaker said, “We in the North (House of Representatives caucus) are kind of endorsing his candidature because he is a national leader and you know that he is aspiring (allegedly). Whether you like it or not, he wants to be President of this country. So, we felt that if the northern caucus of the National Assembly – in the House of Reps – would come to see how he is recuperating, we thought that it would mean so much.
“He really appreciated our coming because he said he rated our coming second after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari. He mentioned that governors and others came but this is a mini Nigeria in the House of Reps, for the entire northern caucus to find time to come and see how he is faring.
“He stood up and walked. I’m sure you have seen the video. I think he has recovered; he is not doing badly at all – this is not politics. I think because of his age, he has to still go for physiotherapy and things like that. These are things that will take time for him to fully do some politicking. He will soon come back to Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, in one of the videos from the visit, which has gone viral on the Internet, the lawmaker representing Guevara/Suleja/Tafa Federal Constituency in Niger State, Lado Suleja, called Tinubu “Mr President.”
The lawmakers were seen accompanying Tinubu to a waiting car, during which Suleja said, “Mr President, see you soon,” and the ex-governor replied, “Thank you.”
Speaking on the visit, the source added, “I will not say he is speaking for the caucus. Lado is his loyalist. He has been Tinubu’s loyalist for a long time, we know that. It was Lado that made that statement. All of us – even me – wish he is our President.”
When asked to confirm Asiwaju’s endorsement, Ado-Doguwa stated that it was a ‘get-well visit.’
He said, “I am neither the leader of the delegation nor come as the Northern Caucus, perhaps not the right person to answer your question. But on a personal note, I can tell you that I was on this mission to simply pay a ‘get-well visit’ to the National Leader of our party, the APC, like many other Nigerians have done, including Mr President. My religion and tradition allow for such visits to the sick.
“I, therefore, stand bold to say that I wish Bola Ahmed Tinubu well and pray for his fast recovery. I am further glad to say that I met him in an improved and very encouraging health Condition.”
Anambra Guber: IPOB declares sit-at-home on election day
Anambra state governorship election may suffer serious setback as the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared total lockdown in all states in south East from November 5 to November 10, to compel the federal government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has fixed the Anambra gubernatorial election for November 6, 2021.
But in a statement issued by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said, “Following the adjournment of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to 10th of November 2021, by the Federal High Court Abuja, it demanded all lovers of Biafra and Biafrans to sit at home from 5 to 10 November to ensure that their leader is released.
“We the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafra land from 5th of November to 10th of November except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God, Chukwu Okike Abiama, if the Nigeria Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 2021” he stated.
IPOB said its leader Nnamdi Kanu must be released unconditionally on or before November 4, 2021 “because he has not committed any offense known to any law.
According to the group, “failure to release Nnamdi KANU on or before November 4, 2021 there will be one week Sit-At-Home beginning on November 5, 2021 till November 10.”
Daily Trust reports that Kanu was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja on treasonable felony and terrorism charges.
The fresh seven-count charges against Kanu followed his arrest and extradition from Kenya after he jumped bail.
Kanu, however, pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
2023 presidency: Tinubu support group launched in Abuja
A support group for the 2023 presidential campaign of Bola Tinubu has inaugurated states’ steering committee in Abuja.
It also unveiled the “Asiwaju legacies” at the national secretariat of the TSG in Maitama, Abuja.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari when the latter’s tenure expires in 2023.
The Abuja event is coming two weeks after the APC national leader spent over three months in London, where he was said to have undergone surgery.
All groups supporting Tinubu in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were present with a large crowd at the launch.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon James Abiodun Faleke, who delivered a keynote address, said the APC must prepare grounds for an orderly transition of power to another APC government in 2023 by fielding Tinubu as a presidential candidate.
He said, “Our party and government must snap victory from the jaws of these challenges. It is not the time to experiment with inexperienced experts. It is not the season for those who can talk but have no history of walking their talk.
“To secure the votes of the majority in 2023, we must present a candidate that knows where the shoe pinches the average Nigerian, not just because he has been but because, as the governor of the most difficult, most complex state in Nigeria, he put smiles on the faces of the poor by convincing the rich to join the government to chase poverty from the streets.”
Faleke also said, “That man is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos, Lagos State. Our party is therefore lucky that it does not need to go on a wild goose chase for the man to fly our party’s flag in these challenging times; a time when the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must go to the person who can continue to end banditry, to crush kidnappers and engage separatists so that our people can live in peace and prosperity.
“We have discovered a man who is ready to sacrifice all he has for his fatherland. It is now clear that the meeting of minds between him and President Buhari is grounded in their circumstances.
“Just like President Buhari left power in august 1985 but continued to mark the higher standards of the progressive military in government, the image and relevance of our man of the moment soared in public consciousness despite his unofficial status.”
16 APC Governors backing Tinubu for 2023 presidency – Adeyeye
Former Minister of Works and National Chairman, South West Agenda for Tinubu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, has said 16 governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress are solidly supporting the presidential aspiration of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Adeyeye disclosed this when he inaugurated the parallel APC ward and local executives in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The former Senate spokesman, who spoke on Thursday, said the Governors have a keen interest in the actualisation of Tinubu’s presidential bid.
He explained they were queuing behind the APC stalwart because of his administrative acumen, mental capacity, rare leadership quality and unequalled political structures which cut across the six geo-political zones.
The former Minister noted that the Office ofthe President was too important to be given to a political Lilliputian without structure, adding that Tinubu is perfectly suitable for the plum position by all standards
He said: “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be the next President of this country and one of us will become the Governor in Ekiti State.
“I am happy that the new executives have passion for this group and this will lead to action and eventually victory for all of us.
“APC leaders and members across board are using their personal money to fund SWAGA. Members are not after money.
“Let me tell you this: 16 governors are now backing Tinubu for president and they are no longer afraid after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State openly supported us when we did the flag off in Lagos.”
Speaking on the parallel executives, the APC chieftain said its congresses were authentic, describing the Paul Omotoso-led executives elected by a group loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Saturday as mere impostors.
He said: “Those that were inaugurated today are the authentic APC executives in Ekiti.
“The party at the national level brought out a guideline that people should come out and queue to vote for the ward and local government congresses but their people didn’t come out.
“They were inside a room concocting names under the guise of consensus.
“But SWAGA members filed out.
“We have the video clip that we will present.
“What they did on Saturday, October 16 was a nullity and a complete waste of time.
“We knew what we did for Fayemi to win in 2018.
“He couldn’t have won on his own because he has no popularity.
“I know that they can’t buy you with money, you are for SWAGA.
“This government has finished, don’t let them deceive you with positions.
“Only the Fayemi’s Tokantokan group is enjoying the dividends of what we did, others are sidelined.
“It is now shop alone, die alone.
“Even many of those with appointments are aggrieved.
“Many will shock them during the governorship primary.
“We are now using direct primary.
“They can no longer sleep because the party now wants direct primary, owing to the fact that they are not popular.”
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