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2023 presidency: El-Rufai gives conditions for North to support southern candidate

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has shed more light on the position of Northern Governors Forum on power shift.

He said southern leaders must be ready to have a dialogue with the North on who should contest the 2023 presidential election.

At a meeting in Kaduna on Monday, the northern governors had said rotational presidency was against Nigeria’s Constitution.

They said this in reaction to the demand of their southern counterparts who had demanded that their region must produce Nigeria’s next president.

El-Rufai who spoke with journalists, said no one should assume that they could sit in Lagos or Port Harcourt and decide what the North should do or who they should vote for.

He said if the South wanted power, it should be prepared to sit with the North and negotiate with them, then agree on who should be voted for but not use compulsion to demand power shift.

“We are not saying there cannot be rotational presidency; it can be done but you have to come and sit with the politicians in the North and have a dialogue and then we agree to give our support to the South but no one has the right to sit in Lagos or Port Harcourt and say whether northerners want it or not, they must relinquish power to the South, that is wrong, it is not how we do politics and in fact, it is foolish.”

El-Rufai was one of the first governors to suggest a power shift to the South.

In 2020, he had said it would be in the interest of fairness and unity for the North to relinquish power to the South after eight years under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari’s second tenure will end in 2023.

After El-Rufai, similar statements have been made by other northern governors such as Babagana Umara Zulu of Borno State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.

However, some of the governors were part of the meeting of the Northern States Governor’s Forum in Kaduna which on Monday.

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Court strikes out suit seeking to nullify Adeleke’s nomination as PDP candidate

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit seeking the nullification of Ademola Adeleke as the Osun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 26 election.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked the legal right to file the suit.

The plaintiff in the suit, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP and Adeleke before the court seeking order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to the electoral body on grounds of alleged unlawful action.

The plaintiff had complained that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by the PDP on March 11, 2022, as against March 14 to 18 specified in the INEC guidelines.

The plaintiff had therefore asked the court to declare the submission of Adeleke’s name as illegal, unlawful, null and void and be set aside.

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Muslim-Muslim ticket: No leader can Islamise Nigeria, says FFK

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  • Tinubu returned schools to missionaries, granted land to mega churches

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says he has “prayed about” the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and is sure that the country cannot be Islamised.

Indeed, he expressed confidence that those given the ticket currently to fly the flag of the APC in the 2023 presidential election  would defend the rights of the Christans.

Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, picked Kashim Shettima, the former governor of Borno, who is also a Muslim, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

This has generated heavy criticisms from key stakeholders, particularly the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Before joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, on several occasions, had accused the APC-led Federal Government of Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country.

Asked to comment on the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket in the light of his previous comments, the former minister said since he joined the ruling party, he had realised that the party had “completely changed”, adding that the claim of Fulanisation of the country had been thrown out of the window.

Fani-Kayode said it is not about the faith of the presidential candidates but their individual abilities.

He said, “We spoke about Fulanisation; that has been thrown out of the window now because power has been shifted to the South by the APC, the party we accused of that.

“Secondly, we spoke about Islamisation. Since I joined APC, I realised that, like I said earlier, things have completely changed; a situation whereby in this country today we have, no less than 20 Christian governors. The whole of the South-West has Christian governors, except for Osun State, which has now changed because we have a Christian governor who is coming in.

“A situation like that tells you clearly that the country cannot be Islamised and neither is our party APC interested in that. What is happening as far as I’m concerned is this: we have reformed and are moving forward.

“Same faith ticket was a challenge but we looked into it. I prayed about it, I consulted, I spoke to Kashim because all along my position has been – it all depends who the vice-president is.

“It is not about the faith. It is about the individual and if the individual is a Muslim that I can live with, I’m prepared to live with that. I spoke to this man and Tinubu.

“The candidate himself returned schools to the missionaries in Lagos something that had not been done before. The candidate gave land to so many of these mega churches in Lagos when he was governor and since that time they have been granted licences to build churches.

“Go to the North; the vice, that is Shettima himself, I met him for over three hours, we discussed. I looked into the man’s eyes and raised a number of pertinent questions which I needed to be satisfied with and I was satisfied with his answers.

“He has built more churches in Borno State than any other before him and since that time and he won the confidence of many Christians. So the issue of Islamisation no longer arises.”

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Bode George attacks Tinubu again, says everything him is bundle of lies

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George, has attacked the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, saying everything about him is a “bundle of lies.”

He said Tinubu did nothing to alleviate the pains of residents of Lagos State while serving as a governor for two terms.

George spoke with Channels Television last night, saying, “I absolutely have no qualms, no quarrel with Tinubu; but all I know is that everything he has said he was or his name is this or his school is that, it’s a bundle of lies.

“I’m a bona fide Lagosian. We knew what Lagos was like, and Lagos remains the commercial nerve centre, not only in Nigeria but in the whole of West Africa. What has this fellow done to us?”

He challenged Tinubu to open up on the ownership of Alpa Beta company.

He said the APC presidential candidate should tell Nigerians how much the company had allegedly stolen from the Lagos State Government.

He said, “I have asked a very simple question and none of them has been able to answer it. Who owns the Alpha Beta company? How much has the Alpha Beta company stolen from the coffers of our treasury in Lagos State? What has he done to alleviate the pains of the people of the state?”

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