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BREAKING: CAN opposes Christian-Christian, Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in 2023

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Samson Ayokunle

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned political parties to bury the thought of Christian/Christian tickets or Muslim/Muslim presidential tickets in 2023.

The President, Samson Ayokunle spoke on Thursday when CAN leadership met with Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege at the National Assembly.

Ayokunle told politicians not to heat up the polity with utterances as campaigns commence.

Ayokunle advised them to always remember there is already tension across Nigeria due to insecurity

“We urge that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket”, he said.

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Ayokunle expressed disappointment with the economic downturn and its consequences on the people.

The CAN President called for quick actions and policies that will cushion the effect.

“Unemployment is at an unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislature in calling the attention of the executive, more robust and daring efforts are required

“Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods”, Ayokunle added.

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Atiku/Wike peace talks run into fresh hitch

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
  • Adamawa gov: We’re making progress

  • Rivers gov’s camp: Nothing concrete yet

The latest emissary of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on moves to resolve their differences may have departed Port Harcourt empty handed, The Nation can now reveal.

Mr.Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Atiku’s home state of Adamawa, arrived at the Rivers State capital on Thursday at the behest of the former vice president to pacify Wike.

Fintiri left Port Harcourt on Friday morning and told reporters in Yola,the Adamawa State capital yesterday that progress  was being made in the reconciliation process.

“I’ve just returned from Rivers State where I met with my brother Governor Wike and I can assure you that we’ve started talking and very soon we’ll be crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” Fintiri said.

He added: “Politics is all about discussions, meetings, give and take; and I can assure you that the reconciliation process is going well and PDP will come out of it successfully.

“We are focused and the reconciliation is up and progressing. I am the chairman of the reconciliation committee between Atiku and Wike on Atiku’s side, and I can assure you that we will get over it very soon.”

He said he was in a good position to help resolve the disagreement between Atiku and Wike because “I am an embodiment of both men.”

He spoke of ‘encouraging signs’  from the Port Harcourt meeting  but also conceded that the task was a difficult one.

Wike, according to him, has contributed enormously to the growth of the PDP and wondered  whether the Rivers State governor would allow all his contribution  to the party go down the drain if he failed to support Atiku for the 2023 polls or dump the PDP for APC .

“Who are his friends in the APC? Are you telling me those who are now romancing with Wike love him? “ he asked.

“I can assure you that with God, the party will put its house in order before the 2023 elections.
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“Even Wike knows he has been by far the biggest investor in the party. Can he now walk away from all of his investment?

“We recognise he loves his people and I can assure you that he will have a fair deal if it comes to that, just to put the crisis behind us.”

However, political sources told The Nation in Port Harcourt yesterday that Fintiri may have exaggerated the success of his  mission to Rivers State.

One of the sources  confirmed that Fintiri was indeed in Port Harcourt on Thursday and met behind closed doors with Wike.

The source said the meeting did not achieve much because while it was ongoing some anti-Wike forces in  Atiku’s camp  scripted a report that the governor had removed all PDP flags in the Government House.

Said the source:”Fintiri is Wike’s friend. Atiku sent him on Thursday to talk to the governor. They met behind closed doors. But you know that day something happened:the same anti-Wike forces in Atiku’s camp sponsored a post on social media that the governor ordered his CSO to pull down all PDP flags in Government House.

“I don’t think the meeting achieved its desired results and that was why the governor spoke out on Friday. Fintiri left the state on Friday morning. So, everyday people behind Atiku are widening the crack and these people are very close to Atiku.”

The source  said it was the same complaint the governor made to Atiku when both of them met recently in the Abuja home of a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana.

“But I believe that soon they will find common ground to resolve their differences. Atiku should do more in calling his attack dogs to order,”` he said.

Another source said: “The crisis is not unusual in any party. But I have the confidence that it would be resolved and the party members will move on in peace. It is not a matter of Atiku paying a visit to Wike.

“This is a matter of the ability of the elders of the party and leaders of the party to do the right thing. If the party could survive the Sheriff’s era, it can resolve any issue that comes.

“I believe that the governor and the other leaders of the party especially the presidential candidate will be able to find a common ground and many party members believe that too. Both aggrieved parties have good intentions for the survival of the PDP.”

Yet another source drew attention to the statement made by Wike about Atiku on Friday during the inauguration of the Rivers State   House of Assembly Quarters.

According to the source, the tone of the governor on that day did not suggest in any way that  both camps had made up.

Among other things, Wike said: “I have kept quiet and busy delivering dividends of democracy for my party to win election; people are busy plotting how they will win election, but others are busy trying to see how they will lose election.

“If they lose election nobody should call my name. I have told the candidate, you will lose this election and you will win this election because of people around you. Anybody who knows me knows that if I was going to court, I would have gone to court within two weeks after the primaries because it is a pre-election matter and after two weeks you can’t go to the court.

“The legal adviser of the party called me and I told him you know there is  mischief going on;  you know me very well if I am going to court it is not those kind of lawyers I would have used and I don’t even know the lawyers. I want to tell the candidate (Atiku) that it is his group that are doing all these things. Let the world hear.

“They are the ones plotting all these things thinking that they would spoil my name. You cannot. The other day they said I removed all PDP flags in Government House. We are supposed to be talking about how you will win election, not about these people. They are not doing him any favour, rather they are trying to make him not to win election.But if that is what they want, I wish them good luck.

“But after my commissioning of projects nobody should say Wike has started. When I start, I have been on my own, they are looking for my trouble. Allow peace to reign. If you say your mother will not sleep, you too you will not sleep at the appropriate time.

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“I told Atiku the other day, all these governors you think are good with you what happened in 2019? Nobody wants to say the truth. Today instead of plotting how to win an election, they are talking about Wike. Wike is not important, why are you worried? Allow Wike to rest.”

Asked last month in a television interview to confirm  claims by Atiku that he had reached out to him, Wike  said: “When people tell lies, it is most unfortunate. Some senators called me and said Atiku Abubakar said he sent Saraki to me. That is unfair. It is not correct.

“I was in Spain, Bukola came to me and said ‘my brother how do we settle this problem?’. I asked, ‘were you sent by Atiku Abubakar’?, he said no. I said okay, ‘what do you want me to do? Look at the issues’. He said he didn’t know this and that. He said the matter was serious”.

He recalled that prior to the primaries, Atiku visited him in Port Harcourt to solicit his support, and wondered whether Atiku no longer knew the road to his house after winning the ticket.

Wike said: “Abubakar has never reached out to me.Forget about sending scavengers.Some of them will call my friends and say tell your guy to support us. It has reduced to that level. Some of them, I don’t know, would call me and be begging me not to leave the party. Who is talking about leaving the party?

“Atiku Abubakar came to my house and asked me to support him. So he doesn’t know my house again? Now, people I don’t even know are calling me to support him. They are trivialising issues. No way. I will not accept that. Atiku Abubakar cannot say he has sent somebody to me. Let one person say he was sent to me by Atiku Abubakar.

“Every day I read on newspaper you sent a committee to come and see me. I love this party and I have remained committed and I have been able to build this party. I am not one of those who are running around the presidential candidate. They are all scavengers looking for how they will survive.”

Atiku and Wike’s disagreement stemmed from the former vice president’s choice of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate in preference to the Rivers State governor.

The Nation

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Kano Gov’ship: Declare Me PDP Candidate, Abacha Tells INEC, PDP

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Mohammed Abacha

Mohammed Abacha has asked a Federal High Court in Kano to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop his substitution as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State. 

Abacha, in his counter affidavit, has also challenged the submission of Jafar Sani Bello, who came second in the primary, that he was not a member of the party because he was duly issued with a waiver and screened as a member of the political party.

The originating summons brought by his lawyers, J.Y. Musa (SAN) and Reuben Atabo (SAN), also has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Sadiq Aminu Wali, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and Alhaji Shehu Wada Sagagi as defendants.

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Abacha contends that he won the PDP primary which was held on May 25 and was monitored by INEC by polling 736 votes against the 710 scored by Ja’afar Sani Bello before his name was substituted with that of Wali.

He wants the court to restrain the PDP and its state chairman Sagagi from parading Wali as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.

He argued that INEC was precluded from “recognizing and publishing the name of the 2nd defendant (Wali) as the gubernatorial candidate of the 3rd defendant (PDP) having issued to the plaintiff (Abacha) the certified true copies of the list of winners of the primary election of the 3rd defendant (PDP) in Kano which is monitored and which contains the name of the plaintiff as the governorship candidate of the 3rd defendant in Kano State.”

The case has been adjourned to September 12 for the hearing.

Daily Trust

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Worries In PDP As Wike Gives Tough Conditions, Romances With APC

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Governor Nyesom Wike

Even though the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike met in Abuja with a view to finding a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis rocking the party, the meeting was yet to achieve anything.

Instead of solutions, tempers seem to have flared since the two top opposition figures met at the residence of the former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, in Abuja.

Daily Trust Saturday reliably gathered at the weekend that Atiku’s camp may have resorted to working towards the 2023 general elections without the support of the Rivers governor, especially following his recent romance with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Some party stakeholders loyal to the former vice president and the candidate of the PDP were said to have held a meeting with some PDP stalwarts from Rivers State. Some of those touted to have attended the meeting were former governor of the state Celestine Omehia, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Austin Opara and Senator Leo Maeba.

Worried by the development, the Rivers governor responded by striping the politicians of any garb of political paraphernalia in the state. While Maeba was removed as the Chairman of the governing board of the state owned Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Austin Opara and Celestine Omehia were removed as leaders of the PDP in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area and Ikwerre Local Government Area respectively.

The removal of the top leaders of the party from their positions, Daily Trust Saturday learnt, was as a result of their alleged secret romance with Atiku. The trio were said to have attended several meetings with Atiku without “clearance” from Governor Wike.

The thinking among those close to Atiku, Daily Trust Saturday learnt, was that some of these politicians could be used to divide the votes in the state in the event that the peace overtures by the Atiku camp fail to yield any positive result.

After the meeting between Atiku and Wike, a source familiar with what transpired explained that the members of the board blamed Ayu for allowing the crisis to fester when he travelled abroad and also allegedly openly took sides with Atiku Abubakar before, during and after the presidential primary.

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He said: “How can the National Chairman of the party visit an aspirant a day or two after the primary and hail him for stepping down for the eventual winner and even calling him the hero of the convention, which means he wanted only one person to win. How do you expect the other aspirants that lost the contest to feel? Will they be happy?”

Findings by Daily Trust however shows that the Campaign Council may soon be set up as the party hierarchy were said to be disenchanted by the antics of the Rivers State governor in spite of their peace efforts.

Instead of working for peace, Wike has invited at least three top ruling party chieftains to commission projects in his state.

The governor had invited his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwolu, former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to commission different projects executed by his administration in the state.

Reacting to the governor’s political activities, Senator Maeba, an ally of Atiku, said the dissolution of the governing board of the polytechnic was as a result of his closeness to Atiku.

He said, “Wike is not hiding that he is fighting Atiku. He called a meeting of Ogoni people who are with him and told them to tell me that he will see how I will campaign for Atiku in this state and he is ready to fight to the finish.

“We don’t know what he (Wike) is planning to do because when campaigns start, we are qualified to campaign too. We are waiting to see how he will do it. This is a joke taken too far.”

Senator Maeba also confirmed the removal of former Governor Celestine Omehia and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Opara, as leaders of their party in Ikwerre and Port Harcourt City LGAs.

“Yes, he (Wike) called them and humiliated them before their people because we went to pay a solidarity visit to Atiku which we are supposed to do.

“All of us knew Atiku before him. Austin Opara has been in the House of Representatives since 1999. He was the deputy speaker when Atiku was Vice-President. That time Wike was struggling to be local government chairman. So, if Austin Opara has to take permission from him today to go and see Atiku, then something is wrong,” he stated.

On the allegations of politicians holding meetings in Abuja against Wike, he said “When you apportion so much right to yourself, then you are superhuman. Austin Opara was the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives when Atiku Abubakar was the Vice President. They attended caucus meetings together and National Economic Council Meeting.

“So, does it mean that Austin Opara who has been friends with Atiku for over 20 years ago will now start to beg Wike to go and see Atiku? So, he (Wike) is the one who doesn’t have respect for citizens.

“Like me, I met Atiku first in 1992 in Jos for the SDP campaigns. We started working together in 2003 when I became Senator. That time where was he (Wike)? When Austin Opara was working with Atiku, holding meetings, Wike was struggling to come to limelight.”

Meanwhile, the peace talk was said to have broken down over Wike’s insistence that the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, must go amidst other conditions.  

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Among the list of conditions by the Wike Camp which met on Sunday 31st of July to harmonize their position was that the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, must vacate his seat for a southern chairman to take over and give the party a semblance of national outlook, but Ayu and his people are said to be strongly opposed to leaving his seat.

According to Wike’s camp, the party had been hijacked by Northerners as the Presidential candidate, National Chairman, Chairman BoT and the chairman PDP Governors forum were all from the North, a development they were not pleased with.

Reacting to the efforts towards resolving the crisis, especially the call by Wike’s men that Ayu should vacate his seat, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba said: “The National Working Committee led by Ayu is united. I also believe the party is happy with him,” adding that anything contrary is in the realm of fake news.  

He said “When you have a family it does not mean absence of disagreement, but your capacity to take care of those disagreements makes the difference, that is why the PDP is a party.”

Also speaking on the protests against the National Chairman to vacate his seat because he has allegedly taken sides and lacks the capacity to lead the party to victory in 2023, Debo said, “We are a party of law and order and when you have a situation like that, you must be willing to hear people out. We take every view seriously because conflict resolution is a marathon, it is not a one hundred meter dash.

“We have a robust internal dispute settling mechanism. We are satisfied with the progress we are making; it is slow but surely, we will get there. We are committed to the interest of the party and more importantly the interest of Nigerians and we are on course.

Also, a member of the party close to the presidential candidate, told Daily Trust that though Atiku and Wike have met, it only marks the beginning of the reconciliation process and the road to peace.

He insisted that “many people don’t really understand how difficult mediation is, especially political mediation. All the parties must have faith in the process. Apart from that, everybody is watching and they can misinterpret your genuine intention and accuse you of partisanship and taking sides. But we are hopeful that the differences will be resolved soon,” he said.    

Reacting to the situation, Rivers State Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone, said the party is not surprised about Wike’s move because “it is a fact already known to many politicians and observers that Gov. Wike was thrown into his present panic mode ever since he failed in his desperate attempt to secure the presidential and later vice presidential tickets of his party in order to cover up financial and other atrocities he committed over the past 10 years as Minister of state for Education and presently governor of Rivers State for two terms, ending May 29, 2023.”

He said, “Governor Nyesom Wike’s predicament has not been helped by the inconclusive outcome of his offer to work for the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, in exchange for a safe landing and protection after the 2023 general election, having been convinced that Tinubu will defeat Atiku Abubakar of his party, the PDP.”

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