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Northerners against restructuring are selfish – El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has condemned fellow northerners opposed to restructuring, saying that they are doing so for selfish purpose.

He pointed out that there was a difference between the position of Northern Elders Forum against restructuring and northerners as a region.

The governor argued that there are over a 100 million northerners whose interests were at stake and stressed that whatever advantages an individual was getting for might not apply directly to the entire North.

“We have the highest number of out-of-school children. We have the highest poverty rate. We have the lowest JAMB cut-off rate. So, what are the advantages in the North in the current situation?

“As the governor of Kaduna State, I have had to look at these issues and try to see how I can get the people of my state up on the ladder. I think you need to differentiate the knowledge from a few and the voice of the silent majority,” he said.

El-Rufai, however, regretted that certain people present restructuring in a derogatory way in a manner that portrays all the northerners as backward people.

He said, “The way some people present restructuring is so insulting and derogatory. We should have an honest conversation on what is working and what is not. We don’t have anything to benefit making derogatory remarks against a particular group of people because of restructuring.

“If there are northern leaders today by virtual of the fact that I am a governor, I must be there. So, who are these northerners against restructuring? Who are they? Who are they speaking for?

“So, let us have a very honest, unemotional conversation without looking down on people or insulting them or framing them” he noted.

El-Rufai, who is also chairman of the APC Restructuring Committee, said the draft bill produced and submitted by his committee in January 2018 was stepped down for fear of politicisation ahead of 2019 general elections.

But he was quick to add that some interested members of the ruling party were making frantic efforts to get the draft bill presented to the National Assembly for consideration before the end of the tenure of the present administration.

The governor said the committee made some recommendations and a draft bill available for onward transmission to the National Assembly, which every lawmaker could take up and sponsor as a private bill.

He said, “We do not need executive bill to start action on the draft bill submitted by the committee.”

He insisted the position of the party and the President to see the draft bill passed into law, adding that consideration of the bill would soon take off.

On insecurity in the southern Kaduna, the governor said the violence in northern Kaduna was more devastating than the insecurity in southern Kaduna as perceived by the public.

He, however, did not give details concerning the real causes of the violence, promising that he would make himself available only if a separate session would be arranged to discuss the issue.

El-Rufai argued that population could only be controlled through the education of the girl-child.

He said, “There is a lot of debate on that because countries that have tried to curtail demographic growth like China have now reversed themselves. Singapore even pays you to have children.

“The current thinking in the developing economics is that population growth is not bad if you can ensure that population growth rate is faster and the population is educated and healthy.”

Politics

Yobe North: Lawan thanks God for victory at Supreme Court, says ‘democracy at work’

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has described as victory for the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Supreme Court Judgement affirming him as Yobe APC Senatorial candidate.

He stated this while briefing newsmen on Monday, in Abuja, after the judgment was delivered by Justice Centus Nweze of the apex court.

Mr Lawan while thanking God for the victory, said: “Let me start by thanking God for his blessing and of course, what had happened today in the Supreme Court.

“The judgement on Yobe North particularly, is a victory for APC in Yobe and generally APC across the country.

“What happened was democracy at work and the courts gave their various judgements and of course, the supreme court gave the final judgement.

“I want to at this point, commend the supreme court and of course, the judiciary generally for making this kind of judgment to strengthen our democracy.

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“This is because it is not only for politicians to work and strengthen democracy it is all of us and all the institutions have their roles to play. So I commend them.”

He further thanked the APC for “taking this matter to the supreme court.

“So today, it is a victory for all of us involved. I am the symbol but the victory is for our party the APC and for democracy.”

Mr Lawan also thanked his colleagues in the Senate for their support, love and for partnership.

He said: “I want to recommit myself that I will lead well.

“We will always be appreciative of our colleagues who gave us the mandate to lead the ninth National Assembly.

“We will be looking at Feb. 25 when the Presidential and the National Assembly elections will take place.

“By the Grace of God, Nigerians will vote APC once again. On the 25th, the Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu will be voted in as President of Nigeria by the grace of God alongside Sen. Kashim Shettima who is the Vice Presidential candidate.

“When it comes to the senatorial and House of Representatives, you know what it will be. It will be a landslide majority for the APC and the same thing for the House of Representatives.”

The supreme court on Monday affirmed Lawan, APC senatorial candidate for Yobe North.

In a majority judgment delivered by Justice Centus Nweze, the apex court allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature.

Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen, who presided over a three-member panel of the appellate court, gave the affirmation in an appeal by the APC challenging the decision of Justice Fadimatu Aminu of the Federal High Court Damaturu.

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Justice Aminu of the Federal High Court had on Sept.  28, 2022, declared Machina as winner of the primary election organised by the party on May 28, 2022.

However, having lost the APC presidential primary to Bola Tinubu, the party opted for Mr Lawan to replace Mr Machina.

But Mr Machina insisted that he would not withdraw for the Senate President.

In the face of the controversy, the APC submitted the Senate President’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as its senatorial candidate for Yobe North.

Not satisfied with the decision of his party, Mr Machina headed to court to seek redress.

Specifically, Mr Machina in his suit, asked the court to declare him as the validly elected senatorial candidate of the APC for Yobe north Senatorial District.

Justice Aminu had nullified the parallel primary election that produced Mr Lawan on June 9, 2022, insisting that the National Working Committee of the APC conducted a valid primary election on May 28, which was won by Bashir Machina.

Consequently, the trial judge ordered the APC to forward the name of Machina to INEC as the authentic winner of the primary election for Yobe North.

NAN/dailynigerian

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Tinubu most suitable to succeed Buhari, says Afenifere

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Michael Ogungbemi

A pan-Yoruba socio-political group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the most suitable and capable candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday declared that Tinubu towered above all other candidates jostling for the plum position. The statement by its Ekiti State Publicity Secretary, Michael Ogungbemi, said the APC standard bearer remains the candidate to beat in the election based on his competence, experience, capacity, pedigree, strong political network, as well record of service.

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He said that the former Lagos State governor with his magic wand and the problem-solving policy thrust would help tackle headlong the problems of insecurity, poverty, youth employment, economic instability and other challenges facing the country.

Ogungbemi said Tinubu’s track record of performance in Lagos has been adopted as a reference point in Nigeria’s chequered political trajectory, hence, the APC standard bearer is the best to take the baton after Buhari’s exit.
The chairman of the Ajoni Local Council Development Area of Ekiti State said other candidates were bereft of any record to flaunt to convince Nigerians that they have better programmes than Tinubu.
The Nation
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Tinubu mocks opponents as Buhari leads campaign in Lafia

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President Muhammadu Buhari has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, as the next president of the country, declaring that he would continue to campaign for him.

President Buhari made the declaration in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, yesterday at the APC presidential campaign rally that had thousands of party supporters and residents.

The president confirmed Tinubu’s earlier statement on their over 20 years friendship, assuring Nigerians and the people of Nasarawa State that the APC presidential candidate would be a good president that would make the country better after him.

President Buhari assured party members and supporters that Tinubu would win the election.

In both English and Hausa languages, the president said: “I am happy to be part of the campaign today for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next president of Nigeria and Governor Sule for his second and final term.

“We will win through and through. I trust Tinubu’s dedication and service. I have known Bola Tinubu for more than 20 years. I will continue to campaign for him. He is a committed Nigerian and I believe he will give everything to make Nigeria better.

“He loves this country. He is a believer in Nigeria and I am sure he will do everything possible to advance the wellbeing of all of us as citizens. He will hold this country with trust. You should cherish him.

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“Those of you who are here, I urge you to go back to your friends and family to tell them to vote for him. We will all vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.”

In his address at the rally, Tinubu saluted the courage of the president who he said has continued to offer leadership with boldness and courage despite all the challenges, adding that the country would recover from its challenges.

Speaking further, the APC presidential candidate compared President Buhari with the former United States President, Abraham Lincoln, who also led his country in a time of crisis and still recorded huge achievements in infrastructural development like President Buhari has done for Nigeria.

On his friendship and relationship with the president, Tinubu said that those who have concluded there is a crack have had their joy cut short because their friendship is strong, enduring and about nation-building.

“Our president and leader of APC worldwide, it is a thing of joy that you are a poster boy for APC and Bola Tinubu today. Those who think there are cracks in our friendship and relationship will continue to be disappointed and have their short time joy dashed. Ours is not about individuals. It is about integrity and nation-building.

“Nobody ever thought a man in uniform will ever be a democratic, principled and honoured leader. Today, it is a thing of joy and honour to have you at the rally.

“For us who joined hands with you 20 years ago to reshape Nigeria, to fight corruption, to fight destitution, to fight failure and hunger, we are proud of your achievements.

“President Buhari faced the challenges of Nigeria courageously and squarely. You fought hard and worked hard. Nigeria is surviving as a nation and we believe because of constitutional democracy, we would have asked you to stay on, but you said no you are going back to Daura.

“You said there is more to do and you will allow other people to continue. There are few leaders who have faced some challenges, crisis like you did and continue to build infrastructure.

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One of them is Abraham Lincoln. You have joined such great men who can stay focused in the midst of distractions and enemies. You have tolerated criticisms, there is no labelling you have not endured, but today in Nasarawa you are celebrated, commissioning projects after projects.

“We can see true leadership, but we may not be able to read the mind of the leader. Today, I stand before you and make a pledge again that Nigeria will recover from all challenges. We are brave. We are resilient. We will focus on agriculture, we will build our mineral resources. We will turn the earth and our dust to money. We will work hard. We promise you. Your children and grandchildren will not have any regret about our nation and ourselves. Happiness, joy and prosperity will be part of our success,” Tinubu assured.

The National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke in Hausa told  the supporters the history of friendship between President Buhari and Tinubu, urging them to vote for APC because of the good job the current administration of APC in Nigeria has accomplished for the country and in Nasarawa State.

He later presented the party’s flag to Governor Abdullahi Sule as the governorship candidate of the party for a second term.

Also speaking at the rally, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said that Nasarawa State symbolised victory and peace, stating that what the people were witnessing was not just a rally, but a celebration of excellence.

He said that Buhari and Tinubu are two of a kind in character and commitment to nation-building.

In the same vein, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq joined the party’s National Women Leader, Betta Edu to mobilise women support for the presidential candidate.

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The Minister reeled out how Nasarawa State had benefited from the Social Investment Programmes of the APC-led administration, admonishing the people that only Asiwaju Tinubu would consolidate on the gains for them to continue to enjoy the benefits.

Plateau State Governor and Director-General of the Campaign Council, Simon Lalong, former Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, told the people to vote for all APC candidates in the coming elections.

Progressives Governors’ Forum leader and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to the campaign ground and spoke on their behalf.

Governor Bagudu told the people to continue to support APC administration and vote the party candidates in the general elections despite the current challenges of fuel and new naira notes scarcity caused by saboteurs.

Bagudu said: “The current challenges of naira and fuel scarcity are transitional issues. Opposition wants to cash in to de-market our party, but we are proud of President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements and achievements of APC governors in their states.”

The campaign rally attracted many party bigwigs, governors and former governors. Among those in attendance were Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, Governors Yahaya Bello, Babagana Zulum, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Sani Bello, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru and Dave Umahi.

Others were Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, former Governor of Borno, Alimodu Sheriff and former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole.

SUN

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