In a move to save his presidential ambition, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is set to meet Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over the crisis rocking the party in Kano State.
Tinubu had on Sunday met with Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, whose camp has been having a running battle with Ganduje over the control of the party structures in the state.
The former Lagos State governor singled out the leaders of the warring factions in Kano for reconciliation at a time when the just concluded congresses of the party had triggered a crisis in 13 states.
The meeting between Tinubu and Shekarau had raised dust in Kano, regarded as the votes’ bank of the ruling party.
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The congresses had polarised APC in the state into two with the governor’s camp being chaired by Abdullahi Abbas while Shekarau’s faction has Ahmadu Haruna Danzago as chairman.
The crisis reached its crescendo last Tuesday when an FCT high court gave a judgement upholding the parallel congress held by the Shekarau-led faction and voided the Governor Ganduje faction.
The battle between the camps assumed a violent posture on Thursday when thugs torched the campaign office of Senator Jibrin I. Barau. A petition has since been written to the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, indicting top shots in the governor’s camp including its chairman.
The camp loyal to Governor Ganduje led by Abbas had denied sponsoring the attacks.
Why Tinubu wants Kano crisis resolved
A stalwart of the party told Daily Trust that Tinubu waded into the matter as part of plans to advance his yet to be declared presidential ambition. The former Lagos State governor has been romancing with Ganduje since after the 2019 general elections.
Tinubu had last month visited an elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, in Kano, where he sought for the northern leader’s support towards the actualisation of his presidential ambition. Previously, clerics in Kano State had endorsed Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
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The source said internal wrangling rocking the party in Kano State would affect Tinubu’s ambition, hence his intervention.
“Tinubu’s interest in all of these is the number of votes that can come from Kano. A good politician cannot play with the number of votes from the state. Lagos and Kano are central to any politician’s presidential ambition. Combined votes from the two states are over two million and that is why Kano was determinant of the 2015 and 2019 elections,” the source who is close to Ganduje and Shekarau said, pleading not to be named.
Another source said power brokers in the APC including a section at the centre and some governors who are allegedly averse to the Tinubu’s presidential ambition, are fuelling the feud.
“You know some powerful personalities in Abuja have reservations on Tinubu’s presidential ambition, thus they see this as an opportunity to advance their course by decimating the camp of Ganduje,” the source said.
The upcoming meeting between Asiwaju and Ganduje
Contacted, the Kano State Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, said Governor Ganduje was also invited by the national leader of the party for the peace parley.
In a phone interview, he said; “Tinubu invited the two groups, both Malam Shekarau and Kano State governor to the reconciliation meeting. Asiwaju decided to hear from Malam first and subsequently hear from the governor and if there is any reason for reconciliation, then they take it from there.
“If you look at it politically and historically, there is always a contest or struggle for power after a second term. It happens during Shekarau and Kwankwaso.
“But at the end of the day, whether they are reconciled or not, the election will be conducted and Allah decides whoever emerges as governor, senator and what have you.”
Also Monday, the Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Lawan Musa, told Daily Trust that a notice of appeal has been filed against last week’s judgment that recognised the ward congress of Shekarau’s faction.
He added that they have also filed a motion for stay of execution and other motions, which he said they believe will tilt the tide in their favour.
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Shekarau met Asiwaju without our consent – G-7 sources
Sources in the camp told our reporters that Shekarau went to the meeting without the blessing of other members of his camp.
Operating under the G-7, the Shekarau’s camp has Senator Barau (Kano North), Rep Shaaban Sharada, Nasiru Auduwa, Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe, Haruna Isa Dederi, among others as key members.
One of the sources said the former governor was yet to brief them on the outcome of his meeting with the APC national leader.
“As far as we are concerned, the meeting was personal and not for our group because he went there without our permission and since he returned, nobody has been briefed.
“What I can tell you is that nobody can handover Kano to anyone come 2023. The state is bigger than anybody,” one of the sources said.
He emphasized that the crisis rocking the APC in Kano was “to solely free the party and open it up to all in the state. As it is now, many people are being side-lined. They are practicing politics of exclusivity and it is not good for our democracy”.
Another source said they would meet today. “There is the possibility of asking Shekarau to tell the world that he went to Lagos on his own,” he said.
A member of the Governor Ganduje faction, Engineer Ramat Ungogo, said the meeting was a sign that the governor’s side is winning in the ongoing crisis.
Ungogo, who is the Chairman of Ungogo LGA, said if Tinubu had invited Ganduje, it would have been interpreted as though “father and son are combining to deal with Shekarau”.
Tinubu’s media aide, Mr Tunde Rahman, pledged to call our correspondent when his comment was sought on why his boss was interested in Kano.
He was yet to call up till the time of going to press last night.
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Ganduje’s faction authentic – APC
The national leadership of the APC yesterday insisted that the congresses attended by its delegation were authentic. The party also said it was yet to receive and study the recent High Court judgment recognising Shekarau’s faction as legitimate in the state.
Speaking with newsmen on Monday in Abuja, Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, said the party did not send parallel state congress committees to the state.
“We are responsible leaders of the party and we won’t like to comment on a judgment that we haven’t seen.
“All I can tell you now is that we are going to apply for a certified true copy of the judgment. We haven’t seen it. We need to study the judgement.
“We didn’t give letters to two committees! How could we have done that? We won’t put fire in our own house. We know the people we gave the official letter to go to Kano and conduct the official assignment. That is the team we will accord recognition to,” he said.
In a separate interview, Barrister Auwal Ibrahim, who led the team that conducted the congress which produced the displaced Abdullahi Abass as chairman, told newsmen that the congress attended by Governor Ganduje was the authentic congresses.
There was no comment from Shekarau’s camp as the number of his media aide, Dr Sule Ya’u Sule was not going through.
Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7
A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.
Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.
“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.
Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.
Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.
The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.
I Left APC Because My Rival At Primaries Abused My Father – Buhari’s Nephew
Honorable Fatuhu Muhammed, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, says he dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) because his rival abused his father.
Daily Trust had reported how Muhammed, son of Buhari’s elder brother, exited the ruling party.
The lawmaker, who represents Daura/Mai’Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State in the National Assembly, failed to secure his re-election ticket after polling 30 votes, while Aminu Jamo, his rival secured 117 votes.
Since the primaries, there have been clashes between the camps of Fatuhu and Jamo.
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Speaking with one of our correspondents last night, Muhammed said he left APC because his rival abused his father.
“I received an audio recording where their candidate (Jamo) called my father, Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffalo, by name and abused him. Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffallo and President Buhari are of the same father and mother.”
“Out of the 26 children born by their father, they are the only males that are from the same father and mother. So, abusing my father is abusing the president.
“So, I said since the issue has gone beyond politics to denigrating the dignity of my parents, I cannot take it any longer, and it is not binding on me to stay in the party, so I decided to leave,” he said.
APC Denounces ‘Vote-manufacturing’, Unveils Omo-Agege’s Running Mate
PA chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochei, has said that the era when politicians and political parties could speak authoritatively about winning a coming election was over due to the reforms in the electoral process, particularly by the new Electoral Act in the country.
Ochei, executive director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the new electoral law would prevent the “manufacturing of votes” by political parties.
The former speaker of the Delta legislature stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Asaba shortly after formally unveiling the APC 2023 deputy governorship candidate, Hon Friday Osanebi, before the leaders of the party in Delta North senatorial district at a meeting held in Asaba on Saturday.
On APC’s taking over Delta from the PDP in 2023, the former speaker said, “Well, at the end of the day, Deltans will decide. I’m not sounding boastful because there are no longer times when a political party can beat its chest and say it will win an election; because with the new Electoral Act, it’s one-man-one-vote. You don’t have votes being manufactured anywhere like it was in the past.”
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He added, “Having said that, I do know that Deltans have a choice – they will have a choice in 2023 – and they will definitely vote for the APC.”
The meeting, attended by various party leaders, also had in attendance candidates for national and state assemblies positions in the 2023 general election.
Before proceeding to a closed-door session, the party leaders stated that “the real game” had just begun as the APC was “on a rescue mission” in Delta, which the PDP allegedly mismanaged since the return to democracy in 1999.
Ex-Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Director-General of Delta State APC 2023 Governorship Campaign Organisation, Godsday Orubebe, assured that the APC would the victory of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in the 2023 governorship election.
Orubebe lamented although he was “one of the most loyal members of the PDP,” he was not accorded much respect, especially with the refusal of the party to zone the 2023 governorship to Delta South senatorial district before the gubernatorial primary election.
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