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Afe Babalola to FG: Suspend 2023 Elections, Set Up Interim Govt

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Afe Babalola

•Says no good leader can emerge under current constitution

•Claims Nigeria now bankrupt, naira on free fall

•Suggests president, govs shouldn’t be above 60 years

Legal Icon and founder, Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), yesterday, advised the federal government to suspend the 2023 elections and allow a 6-month interim goverment after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure that would give a new constitution that would tackle insecurity, economic, political and other ills bedeviling the nation.

Periscoping the country’s high poverty and currency devaluation in the international market, Babalola, who declared that Nigeria now faced imminent bankruptcy due to alleged gross mismanagement by corrupt leaders, leading to free fall in naira’s value, maintained that no good leader could emerge under the current constitution.

He has also recommended a new constitution that would peg the age limit of those seeking to be president, governors and members of the National Assembly at 60.

Babalola said this in ABUAD at a press conference he addressed  and entitled: ‘Postpone 2023 Elections: Six Months Interim Government After Buhari’s Government’.

The Senior Lawyer lamented  that Nigeria had shed enough tears and blood due to increasing cases of killings, kidnapping and banditry, without responses from those at the helms of affairs, saying the 2023 remained the best opportunity to chart a new course for the nation.

Babalola said: “I decided to talk, because this country is now different from the one I used to know. That is why we need a new constitution after President Muhammadu Buhari that will spell out rules and regulations on the qualifications of those who are qualified to contest elections.

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“I believe that whoever is seeking elections as a president, governors and National Assembly members should not be more than 60 years, with good and sound health, sound education, experience, good human relations, friendliness and firmness, vision and mission, among others.

“The new constitution shall provide for part time legislators and not full time and the attendant wasting of resources, who will be collecting allowances and not salaries. Proposes federal system of government rather than presidential system and a parliamentary system with a unicameral legislature”.

On the fast nosediving economy, Babalola bemoaned that the country was gradually collapsing, arising from poor management of the economy, saying the naira, which was N199 to $1 in 2015, has marked up to over N570 to a dollar.

“The external debt, which was $10.7bn in 2015 is now over $38 billion. The government is borrowing more, spending more, but earning less revenues. The worse thing is that the debt servicing level is also rising.

“In 2020, Nigeria was ranked as the poorest country in the world with over 50 per cent of Nigerians living in extreme poverty while over 70 million Nigerians are in urgent need of life saving assistance.

“I am of the firm conviction that moneybags now control the lever of powers. If we allow the present constitution beyond 2023, what we will be getting is recycling leadership, who will continue the old ways.

“We need a constitution that will throw up young, brilliant, dedicated  people to save this country. We can’t get all these under the present constitution.

“We need a new set of leaders in our nation. Leaders, who will not see themselves  as Mr Know-All and who will not see themselves as above anyone,” he said.

Babalola, therefore, added that no good leader could emerge under the present deformed and weak constitution, adding that, the leadership couldn’t afford to toy with the destiny of the nation by conducting elections that would not yield positive results.

THISDAY

Politics

Peter Obi to speak at Chatham House Jan 16

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Peter Obi

The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has been invited to speak at Chatham House about his presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 election.

Obi, former governor of Anambra State, is to attend the event slated for January 16, 2023 in London, the United Kingdom.

In a tweet on Thursday, Chatham House Africa announced the invite , saying, “Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: In conversation with @PeterObi“The second of our events examining #Nigeria’s 2023 elections and political developments will take place on January 16, 2023.

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Obi’s rival, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu had on Monday, December 5 made an appearance at Chatham House in London, where he revealed some of his plans for major sectors like defense, economy, education, and technology.

Tinubu’s performance at the event keeps generating mixed reactions with many knocking him for delegating questions to his campaign members who were with him at the event and others praising him for what they described as an exemplary leadership trait.

Vanguard

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I’m not merging with any candidate, party – Kwankwaso

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Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Senator Musa Kwakwanso, on Thursday, described the promoters of his rumoured merger with another party as failed politicians.

Kwankwaso said this while speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta, shortly after he addressed the NNPP members at the party secretariat in the state capital.

The NNPP presidential candidate denied that he planned merger of the party with other political parties ahead of next year’s election.

Kwakwanso said, “That’s absolute nonsense. You see we believe that we are not above the three or four parties in this country, but by 2023, next year, by the grace of God, the NNPP will win the election at national and all other levels.

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“So, these are people who are failed politicians who have nothing to tell Nigerians other than to spread unnecessary rumour of a merger.

“Merger is already gone. We have our candidates. In all the parties, everybody is campaigning. So, disregard that nonsense.”

Kwankwaso however lost his temper when he was asked if he would step down for any candidate, saying, “don’t ask me that rubbish.”

While addressing members of the NNPP, the presidential candidate pledged to strengthen the Nigeria’s armed forces with one million recruits, if elected president.

He added that his government would grant education at all levels to citizens and place priority on youth and women empowerment.

The State Chairman of the party, Olaposi Oginni, warned Nigerians against returning the All Progressives Congress into power both at the state a d federal levels.

Oginni said, “Only lunatics would vote for the APC.”

He said due to the level of sufferings and poor economy under the APC government, no Nigerian was expected to vote for the ruling party in 2023.

Punch

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Thugs allegedly loyal to Governor Wike attack Rivers PDP presidential campaign boss’ residence, destroy vehicles

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Political thugs allegedly working for the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike have invaded the residence of former Rivers South-East Senator, Lee Maeba.

The house located at GRA, Phase 3 axis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was invaded by thugs on Thursday morning.

Maeba is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state.

A source said the hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Governor Wike, destroyed many cars, including an SUV, while occupants of the house including Senator Maeba’s relations fled the scene.

It was learnt that the hoodlums also shot indiscriminately and injured some occupants of the building during the attack.

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“About 200 hoodlums loyal to Governor Wike attacked the residence of Senator Lee Maeba this morning. They destroyed vehicles and injured some occupants,” the source said.

Since Governor Wike lost the presidential ticket of the party to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party has been factionalised.

This followed allegations made by the governor that the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu manipulated the process to favour Atiku, a fellow northerner.

He subsequently asked Ayu to resign from office but the national chairman has refused to do so amid the attendant crisis in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Wike-led Rivers government earlier revoked the ownership of a landed property belonging to Maeba in Port Harcourt.

When contacted, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the state police command said she wasn’t aware of the incident.

SR

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