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Emefiele: People are free to have heart attack over my ambition

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Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has reacted to his presidential ambition in relation to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari asking him and other political appointees to resign on or before May 16.

Although he promised journalists who approached for comments that there would be news later, he said anyone was free to have heartache over his ambition.

He spoke on Thursday after meeting with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

This came 24 hours after the President had asked all political appointees with ambitions to vie for any position in the 2023 general elections to resign.

He however did not disclose the agenda of the meeting with the President.

When asked for his reaction to the President’s directive that appointees interested in 2023 election should resign, he said, “There is no news now, but there will be news. You heard me, I said there is no news but there will be news.”

When further told that international community as well as Nigerians are interested in his position as regards the presidential directive, the CBN governor said he was not bothered by their concern and that he was having fun while those concerned are free to have heart attack.

He said, “Let them have heart attack, its good to have heart attack. I am having a lot of fun.”

Emefiele had on Monday approached Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for an Order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Attorney-General of the Federation from preventing or hindering his participating in the process of the presidential election slated for February next year.

Specifically, he argued that by virtue of being a public servant he could not be barred from participating in the political primaries of political parties by Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

He submitted that Constitutional provisions stipulated that he can only resign his appointment as Governor of CBN 30 days to the presidential election which he is interested in contesting.

Among the court processes he filed before the court was an application for maintenance of status, which he predicated on the fact that he would be prejudiced against or hurt if the court does not restrain the defendants from taking any step that would jeopardize his desire to contest the presidential election.

Arguing the motion for maintenance of status quo, Emefiele’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that Emefiele “is in a delimma” as to whether he can run in the forthcoming presidential election.

The Federal Government on Wednesday through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, issued a circular directing serving ministers in the cabinet, heads of government agencies, ambassadors and other political appointees of the administration having political ambition in 2023 to resign from the government.

The circular was dated May 11, 2022 with Ref. No.SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/173.

The circular was addressed to all serving ministers, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, National Security Adviser, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service and heads of extra-ministerial departments, Directors-General/Chief Executive Officers of parastatals, agencies and government-owned companies among others.

Mustapha in a circular said President Muhammadu Buhari had observed and noted the expression of interest and intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council, Heads of Extra-Ministerial departments, agencies, parastatals of government, ambassadors and other political office holders to contest the upcoming Presidential, Gubernatorial, National and State Assemblies’ elections.

He said the President had directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.

Politics

Ex-chief of Air Staff, Abubakar, wins Bauchi APC governorship ticket

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A former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, has emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State.

Abubakar served as chief of air staff from 2015 to January 2021 when President Muhammadu Buhari replaced him and other service chiefs.
The President later appointed him as Nigeria’s ambassador to Chad. He has resigned from that appointment.
Abubakar polled 370 votes to clinch the party’s ticket in Bauchi.
Halliru Jika, senator representing Bauchi central, polled 278 votes to place second.
Nura Manu got 269 votes, Musa Babayo had 70 votes; and Mahmud Maijama’a secured eight votes.
Similarly, Umar Mohammed Bago, House of Representatives member, has won the APC governorship ticket in Niger State.
Bago currently represents Chachanga federal constituency in the house of representatives.
The lawmaker won the governorship ticket after polling 540 votes.
Idris Malagi and Sani Ndanusa polled 386 and 84, respectively, to place second and third in the exercise.

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AbdulRazaq clinches Kwara APC guber ticket, talks of beating own record

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Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state was Thursday evening reelected as the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 General elections.

The governor was the sole aspirant in the exercise that took place inside the Banquet Hall of the government house, ilorin where 965 delegates were expected to vote for him.

At the end of the exercise, Chairman Governorship/ House of assembly primaries sent by the National leadership of the party from Abuja ,Prof Emmanuel Dandaura who led the team that supervised the election said that there were 961 valid votes, and 4 invalid votes.

Professor Dandaura asked whether there was complaint from anyone to which there was no response. He therefore declared the governor as the gubernatorial candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship elections.

Governor AbdulRazaq in his acceptance speech assured that he would not take the support of the delegates and other stakeholders in the ruling party for granted.

He noted that,”2023 is the year to make it clear to the doubting Thomases that the revolution of 2019 was not a fluke”, stressing that “It is the year to reaffirm our decision to reclaim our dignity and have a state that serves everyone equitably.

“We must therefore keep what is left of our patrimony, and by all democratic means avoid a relapse to the years of the distress, Governor AbdulRazaq said.

He also said that, “between 2019 and now, the trajectory of Kwara State has changed. We have registered a bold presence in the comity of decent and respected states. We have positive strides and indices in education, health, access to water, improved youths engagement, gender mainstreaming, support for farmers and the vulnerable, and rural development to show for our mandate.”

Today, he said, that ” no part of Kwara State is left without government presence. Our politics has also evolved. The destiny of Kwarans is no longer tied to any particular person. That is the bold message from our primaries.”

Governor AbdulRazaq however said he’s not perfect, saying, “Are we perfect? No, we are not. What is not debatable is the magnitude of progress that Kwara has made over the last three years. We can only beat our own records of achievements.”

He also said, “So, we will campaign on our records of improving the lots of our people and reasserting the leadership position of Kwara State.

“We will campaign on our record of courageously opening up the democratic space for all. We will campaign on our records of courageously opening up our books for public assessments in our strong belief that perfection belongs to God alone. In doing so, we are steadily improving the old system and achieving more efficiency.”

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Politics

Tinubu, Kwankwaso, Ekweremadu may lead regional parties

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Tinubu, Kwankwaso, Ekweremadu

Ahead of the presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress, indications have emerged that a former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and national leader of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, may spearhead regional parties pending the outcome of the primaries that would take place this weekend.

Meanwhile, Peter Obi has been discussing with the NNPP but has not joined the party, The PUNCH learnt on Wednesday night.

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A source close to Kwankwaso, who was reacting to speculations that Obi had joined the NNPP after leaving the PDP, said, “It is not official, but that rumour is going on. I’m not sure if he (Obi) has reached out to us. You know his resignation was just today (Wednesday). But I know they have been discussing it with Kwankwaso even before now.

“What might happen is that the politics of 2023 might turn to regional politics. The NNPP is already strong in the North. There is a possibility that Ike Ekweremadu, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Peter Obi might form an alliance under another party in the South East.

“If Asiwaju Bola Tinubu doesn’t get the APC ticket, he might also go back to South-West with the Social Democratic Party. So, these three parties might become the big parties representing the regions in 2023.”

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