Some elements in Aso Rock working against Tinubu – El-rufai
...it makes no economic or political sense to change naira now
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says there are some “elements” in the seat of power, Aso Rock, working against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He said this on Wednesday when he appeared on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television breakfast programme.
According to him, these persons are aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the APC presidential primaries.
This is coming a week after the ruling party’s presidential candidate said there were plans to stop him from winning the election.
Tinubu had said fuel scarcity and naira redesign were targeted at him.
El-rufai said those working against the APC candidate were more powerful than all the G5 put together and control critical government agencies.
He however refused to reveal their identities.
He said these elements were hiding behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to do what he thinks is right.
He said, ”I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.
“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.
“In fact, I had a discussion with the President and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200bn for federal roads and then spend N2tn on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.
“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the governor of the central bank for the currency redesign; but no. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as president. He did this; the Buhari, Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”
Anti-Tinubu groups protest in Abuja, demand interim govt
Protesters opposed to the declaration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s president-elect on Thursday took to the streets of Abuja demanding the invocation of an Interim National Government.
They urged Presidential Muhammadu Buhari to put the ING in place before leaving office on May 29.
They protested under the aegis of the National Youth League for the Defence of Democracy and demanded the immediate arrest of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by the State Security Services SSS.
They carried various placards with different inscriptions.
They asked foreign embassies in Nigeria to immediately revoke the visas of 15 INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Those they want sanctioned RECs of Lagos, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Niger, Jigawa, Kano and Imo states.
Others are Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Katsina and Edo states.
Addressing journalists at the Unity Fountain where the protest started, one of the leaders of the group, Dr Moses Paul, said the interim government is expected to appoint a new INEC chairman and conduct a fresh election that would produce a befitting President for Nigeria.
He said, “We are citizens of Nigeria, lovers of Nigeria, standing on the path of our constitution and citizens’ rights. We are here particularly to address the greatest crime that has happened in the history of the world and in Nigeria. People were burnt in Kano; people were shot in Rivers, and we have seen the greatest inhumanity happen in Lagos State in the course of this election.
“Two demands we are making; we are asking the President of this country to immediately arrest and prosecute the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who has committed the greatest fraud in the history of humanity. We need him arrested and prosecuted.
“Our number two demand is that we are asking that an interim government be put in place. We are saying that, because we do not want President Muhammadu Buhari to continue, his tenure is ending, so as a father he should put in place an interim government so that the interim government will now appoint another INEC chairman who will conduct a free and credible election and produce a befitting President for our country.”
When asked to provide other options if the two demands were not met, one of the co-conveners, Anngu Orngu, said they are harmless Nigerians “but we will use every other civil and lawful means to make sure that our demands are met”.
“We are here as frustrated Nigerians and the fundamental rights of Nigerians have been trampled upon by Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC and we are here calling for his immediate resignation. We have also requested that the DSS should arrest him, and he should be prosecuted by the EFCC.
“We are calling on the DSS to arrest Mahmood immediately, the EFCC should investigate him and we are also calling on the Nigerian Judiciary because those concerned are already in court, particularly the presidential election of February 25, we are calling on the judges in Nigeria that we want justice to prevail.
“We have been to the US Embassy, we have been to the British Council in Nigeria, and we have also submitted a letter to the French Embassy, calling on them to advise the Nigerian government that the Nigerian people are not happy. We the young people of this country are not happy over what is happening in our country. We may be peaceful now but when you push even a goat to the wall, the goat may bite,” he added.
In one of the letters made available to journalists and addressed to the United States Embassy, the protesters called for sanctions against the INEC chairman.
The letter read in part; “The conduct of the elections is in substantial none compliance with the extant legal framework.
“These criminal actions of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu have led to the dampening of the revived spirit of youths who in anticipation of a country that works for all, turned out in their large numbers to vote, some for the first time in their lives, for their preferred candidates only to be greeted with violence and subversion of their collective will.”
Labour Party dismisses Keyamo petition, says accusations baseless
Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party has dismissed the petition filed by Festus Keyamo, a spokesman for the President-elect, Ahmed Tinubu, calling for the arrest of the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, over alleged treasonable felony as a desperate attempt to gain political relevance.
The spokesperson for the LP PCC, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said this in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.
The group was responding to Keyamo’s petition to security agencies to arrest the LP candidates for allegedly preparing grounds for insurrection against the Nigerian state over the declaration of Tinubu as president-elect.
Tanko said, “Datti is a free citizen of this country and entitled to his fundamental right of freedom of expression.
“Datti never called for insurrection or any act envisaging treason.
“Keyamo talked about healing, which means Nigeria is sick; that means he recognised that the February 25th which announced his principal as the president-elect and the March 18 state elections were marred with blatant rigging, high-level violence, voters suppression and intimidation orchestrated by his party.
“Surprisingly Keyamo who claims to be a ‘patriotic citizen’ closed his eyes to the ethnic and tribal vitriolic by his party and their supporters against Non-Yoruba in Lagos.
“The so-called “patriotic citizen” didn’t report MC Oluomo who told Igbos not to vote in Lagos.
“After the shameful Chatam House appearance of Keyamo’s principal, his principal was recorded telling key supporters to fight, snatch, grab and run with ballot boxes which were exactly what happened in the elections. Why didn’t Keyamo the “Patriotic citizen” report to the DSS?
“Keyamo is just making baseless accusations, he’s a known rabble rouser and chatterbox who doesn’t want to lose political relevance before his paymaster who has now seen him for what he is which is a political paperweight who has achieved nothing as a minister except posting fake news to rile up the polity on social media.”
PDP suspends Fayose, Ayim over alleged anti-party activities
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended former Governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Ayim, over alleged anti-party activities.
The party also suspended a former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, and two others over the same allegation.
The National Working Committee (NWC) said Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State had been referred to a disciplinary committee.
Other suspended members are Dennis Ityavyar (Benue) and Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara).
A statement issued on Thursday by the PDP spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said the decision to refer Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee over his alleged anti-party activities was taken after a “very extensive review of the affairs of our party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017)”.
He said the suspension of the four members was with immediate effect.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders, and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” he said.
Fayose’s suspension came days after he mocked Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto for losing the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 governorship election.
He had also said anyone planning to “unseat” President-elect, Bola Tinubu through the court was “daydreaming”.
The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is challenging Tinubu’s victory at the presidential election tribunal.
Anyim had declared support for Francis Nwifuru, APC governor-elect in Ebonyi, days before the governorship poll in the state.
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