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2023: No automatic ticket for new decampees – APC

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  • ‘Plot to make Jonathan president conspiracy against South’

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it has not granted an automatic ticket to former President Goodluck Jonathan who is being rumoured to be planning to defect to the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-south, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, also described alleged scheme by some northern leaders to return the former President to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to reclaim power at the centre come 2023, adding that the party would also win 28 of the 36 states across the federation.

The APC said the waiver granted new entrants and defectors into the party does not exclude them from undergoing nomination processes of contesting for positions in the party and as its flag bearers in general elections.

APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, made the declaration in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

He said defection into the party by any person does not confer the status of an automatic candidate of the party on such individual.

Akpanudoedehe, who was reacting to a misrepresentation of his views on the waiver granted new entrants and defectors by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at its December 8, 2020 meeting in a television programme, said all party members, irrespective of the status of the person, must go through the party’s nomination process as outlined in its constitution.

He maintained that the waiver by NEC was not restricted to anyone.

According to the Secretary, “the waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

Akpanudoedehe recalled that the party’s NEC resolved and granted waivers to persons who have recently joined the party and those desirous of joining the party in the nearest future to contest for positions in the APC and as party flag bearers in general elections.

He explained that by the NEC resolution, “new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by the APC” but not the status of automatic candidate of the party.

According to the Secretary: “For the records, in my recent television interview reaction to the rumoured plans by former President Goodluck Jonathan to join the APC, my statement was that NEC resolution was a blanket waiver to ALL new APC entrants, including the interviewee.

“The waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

‘Plot to make Jonathan President deceitful, conspiracy against South’

A South-south founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, described the ongoing scheme by some northern leaders to return former President Jonathan to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

Eze, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the plot was a packaged trick by some northern leaders to make Jonathan President for one term and retake power in 2027 thereby denying the southern part of the country a complete term of eight years.

Eze said that the northern schemers knew that with President Muhammadu Buhari successfully completing his second term by 2023, the South, in all honesty and fairness, would produce the next President.

But to truncate a southern eight-year rule, the schemes intended to feature Jonathan for one tenure in 2023 thereby throwing the 2027 presidential election open for a fresh zoning  arrangement and contest favourable to the North.

Eze urged all Nigerians to speak up and condemn such a dastardly act that might plunge the nation into unprecedented chaos.

The APC chief, however, claimed that Jonathan had rejected the plan, describing the former President’s rejection as consolatory.

He said: “This plot is an unacceptable insult on both Jonathan and the entire southern political class as if we lack credible political leaders from the South that can turn the fortunes of this country around.

“It is imperative to commend Dr. Jonathan for reading through the deceit of these leaders, trashing their dishonest entreaty and ensuring that his political feats and present status as a great promoter of democracy is not ruined, tarnished but kept intact by keeping these undemocratic elements at bay.

“I am very glad that Dr. Jonathan has done his best to keep these undemocratic forces at bay, who are hell-bent to deny the South the chance to preside over the affairs of this country according to the terms of power rotation between the North and the South, not minding that the northerners have through the military and democratic dispensations governed this country to their heart contents.

“Funny and sad enough, same leaders who ensured that Dr. Jonathan was not reelected in 2015 are the same crop of leaders that are doing everything to lure him back to finish whatever that  is left of him politically.

“As much as I am not a supporter or sympathiser of Dr. Jonathan and his type of politics, as I was one of those who ensured he was not reelected, I will not sit and allow his haters drain the little integrity left of him.

“Luring him to contest the 2023 does not  in any way wash him off the sins and reasons behind why he was not reelected in 2023, but a careful ploy to portray the Southerners as lacking better and credible leaders to improve on the fortunes of the country.”

Eze also commended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for insisting that he would not support Jonathan if he decided to contest the 2023 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Eze said if Jonathan allowed himself to be fooled by those luring him, he would face the worst political defeat in 2023.

He advised Jonathan not to allow himself to be used as an object of division and tension in the country, appealing to him to continue to enjoy his 2015 feat, which earned him an international figure.

By Jide Orintunsin, Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja; Mike Odiegwu, THE NATION

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PDP gives Obasanjo 48 hours to clarify comment on ‘regrettable’ choice of Atiku as VP

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to clarify his recent comments on regretting picking Atiku as vice-presidential candidate in 1999.

Obasanjo had, while addressing a leadership mentoring session with selected students in Abeokuta, Ogun state, on Saturday, said picking a running mate when he wanted to become Nigeria’s president in 1999 is one of the mistakes in his life.

“One thing that has happened to me is that God has never disappointed me and that is very important. For instance, one of the mistakes I made was picking a number two when I was going to become president,” Obasanjo said.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, was vice-president during the Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007.

However, speaking on Monday at a media briefing in Kaduna, Walid Jibrin,
chairman of the PDP board of trustees (BoT), asked the former president to clarify his statement within 48 hours.

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“Our attention has been drawn to a statement said to have been made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, that it was a mistake for him to have appointed Atiku Abubakar as the Vice President in 1999,” he said.

Jibrin said although Obasanjo did not specifically mention Atiku’s name, the report of what he told his audience was such that he was referring to former vice-president.

“Obasanjo should come out and clarify the statement — whether he was misquoted or he meant what he said,” Jibrin said.

“It is when he makes that clarification that the PDP will officially reply him.

“One can assume that what he said may be correct, but we want to give him time up till tomorrow (Tuesday) or next (Wednesday). If he comes out to say he had been misquoted or he meant what he said on Atiku, you will hear the bombardment and I will break the egg.

“I will also tell Nigerians and the whole world who Obasanjo is, how Atiku assisted him to rule Nigeria, and how Atiku refused his third term ambition.

“It is, therefore, very important that we hear from Obasanjo openly.”

THE CABLE
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Why Kwankwaso can’t be running mate to Obi – NNPP chieftain Jibrin

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Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), will not be a running mate to Peter Obi, flag bearer of the Labour Party, a strong member of the NNPP, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has said.

The former member of the House of Representatives who spoke on Sunday in an interview on Channels Television, said Kwankwaso would be bringing far more to the table than Obi.
The NNPP and LP are currently discussing a possible coalition for the 2023 presidential election in a bid to defeat the two major political parties.
One talking point that has dominated the discussion is the choice of presidential candidate and running mate between Kwankwaso and Obi.
Kwankwaso’s candidacy is currently gaining momentum in the northern part of the country, while Obi is gaining popularity among the youths.
Speaking during the interview, Jibrin said the former Kano governor has an “edge” over other presidential candidates in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Asked about the alliance talks with Labour Party, he said Kwankwaso is more experienced than Obi and he will bring 70 per cent of the votes if they team up.
“It is public knowledge that we are in talks with Peter Obi. Of which, we believe that it would be able to take care of a lot of things. One, to address the issue of marginalisation of the South-East,” he said.
“Secondly, bringing someone with private sector background, of course, a lot of followership that he has among the youths but we are taking that cautiously because that has not been tested in terms of electoral value. From the surface, you are going to agree that he has massive youth followership.
“Very clearly, Kwankwaso will not be a running mate to Peter Obi. By every standard, Kwankwaso should be the presidential candidate. Kwankwaso has more political exposure and experience. He has a big profile when it comes to that. He has more experience politically on how to win elections.
“When you look at it in terms of equity contribution, in terms of votes, it will be about a ratio of 70 per cent to 30 per cent. We are looking at bringing in 70 per cent of the contribution.
“Even if it is business, Peter Obi is experienced in business, he knows that whoever is bringing the larger chunk of equity is expected to stay on board.”
Jibrin added that Kwankwaso is the “single most popular politician today in the northern part of the country”.

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Form coalition or lose to Tinubu — Deji Adeyanju advises Atiku, Peter Obi, others

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Deji Adeyanju

Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has reiterated that the national leader and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu will defeat other contestants at the polls next year except they form a coalition.

Adeyanju disclosed this on Twitter on Sunday while reacting to a journalist, Eniola Akinkuotu’s tweet.

This was not the first time Adeyanju will sound the alarm for the presidential flag bearers of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore to withdraw from the race but choose one that others will support.

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Akinkuotu had tweeted earlier that, “It’s too late for the opposition to come together. The deadline for mergers has passed. INEC has already begun printing ballot papers.”

But, Adeyanju who did not mention Tinubu said other unless other aforementioned presidential contestants agree and swallow their pride to work in unison, APC candidate will humble them at the 2023 presidential election.

Adeyanju tweeted, “Eniola my great brother, they can all meet and agree they will support either Obi, Kwankwaso, Atiku or Sowore. Everybody must not be on the ballot but if they go into the race with their ego, Convener of Agbado will humble them with Bullion Vans.”

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