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Support Third Force to Rescue Nigeria, Utomi Tells Nigerians

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Chairman and Leader NCFront, Prof. Pat Utomi

The Chairman and Leader NCFront, Prof. Pat Utomi yesterday challenged Nigerians to support the coalition of political parties working together to form a third force that would end the reign of bad leadership in 2023.

Utomi, a professor of political economy, explained that a shift of mindset would be required to facilitate a new order of good governance, value for money choices and commitment to the dignity of the human person in Nigeria.

He gave the advice during a virtual conference of concerned professionals and members of New Fabian Society at the weekend.

He warned the professionals that they would take part of the blame for the state capture that brought Nigeria to the brink of State failure.

Encouraging them to support the third force, Utomi said the third force fulfills popular aspiration for the end of the current regime of dissatisfactory leadership in Nigeria.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support a third force that would fulfill the popular aspiration for an end to the regime of dissatisfactory leadership in Nigeria

He added that admitting guilt “is part of the mea culpa we must make. Peers that allowed accountants to participate in looting state treasury evidenced in the accusation of the Accountant General by the EFCC of N80 billion fraud, and health care professionals in reducing the health sector to a man-made disaster have become vicariously culpable.”

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He, therefore, said all should dirty their hands to prepare for a third force government that would focus on the people and not the need and greed of politicians.

Utomi assured the concerned professionals on the call that the painstaking effort to build a strategic alliance for the 2023 elections, beginning with the fusion of NCFront with the Labour Party and build on the fusion an election alliance with other parties which include the ADC, PRP, NNPP, NMR, SDP, APM and several others was bearing fruit.

Utomi, who said he had opened discussions with APGA before recent Supreme Court judgments regarding that party was much hopeful for progress.

He paid tribute to the Rescue Nigeria Project Coordinator, Dr Usman Bugaje, PRPs Halilu Bello and Prof. Attahiru Jega, as well as ADC Chairman, Ralph Nwosu for their untiring work in the construction of the third force.

He said the new Nigeria, which beckons from 2023, would profit from lessons drawn from the errors of the last 20 years.

He explained that the error had resulted in failure to fix the electric power problem and neglect of the need to move orientation away from revenues and revenue sharing to production, which has resulted in unprecedented unemployment.

The political economist added that the error has been feedstock for the current bazaar of violence and insecurity in the country.

He said it was time for Nigeria to be born again and begin afresh, saying professionals should propagate the values and programmes of the big tent partners which reflect the spirit of the founding fathers of Nigeria.

He assured them that Nigeria would rise up again, saying the big tent would employ the collegial leadership approach and announce before the end of next week the members of the presidential college that would collectively account to the Nigerian people for governance performance even though only one person will be called President.

Utomi urged Nigerians to reject the old way, which has led to lost glory and favour big ideas instead of big men, pointing out that to continue to follow a failed approach and hope for a different, preferable outcome is a good definition of insanity.

THISDAY

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PDP gives Obasanjo 48 hours to clarify comment on ‘regrettable’ choice of Atiku as VP

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to clarify his recent comments on regretting picking Atiku as vice-presidential candidate in 1999.

Obasanjo had, while addressing a leadership mentoring session with selected students in Abeokuta, Ogun state, on Saturday, said picking a running mate when he wanted to become Nigeria’s president in 1999 is one of the mistakes in his life.

“One thing that has happened to me is that God has never disappointed me and that is very important. For instance, one of the mistakes I made was picking a number two when I was going to become president,” Obasanjo said.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, was vice-president during the Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007.

However, speaking on Monday at a media briefing in Kaduna, Walid Jibrin,
chairman of the PDP board of trustees (BoT), asked the former president to clarify his statement within 48 hours.

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“Our attention has been drawn to a statement said to have been made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, that it was a mistake for him to have appointed Atiku Abubakar as the Vice President in 1999,” he said.

Jibrin said although Obasanjo did not specifically mention Atiku’s name, the report of what he told his audience was such that he was referring to former vice-president.

“Obasanjo should come out and clarify the statement — whether he was misquoted or he meant what he said,” Jibrin said.

“It is when he makes that clarification that the PDP will officially reply him.

“One can assume that what he said may be correct, but we want to give him time up till tomorrow (Tuesday) or next (Wednesday). If he comes out to say he had been misquoted or he meant what he said on Atiku, you will hear the bombardment and I will break the egg.

“I will also tell Nigerians and the whole world who Obasanjo is, how Atiku assisted him to rule Nigeria, and how Atiku refused his third term ambition.

“It is, therefore, very important that we hear from Obasanjo openly.”

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Why Kwankwaso can’t be running mate to Obi – NNPP chieftain Jibrin

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Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), will not be a running mate to Peter Obi, flag bearer of the Labour Party, a strong member of the NNPP, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has said.

The former member of the House of Representatives who spoke on Sunday in an interview on Channels Television, said Kwankwaso would be bringing far more to the table than Obi.
The NNPP and LP are currently discussing a possible coalition for the 2023 presidential election in a bid to defeat the two major political parties.
One talking point that has dominated the discussion is the choice of presidential candidate and running mate between Kwankwaso and Obi.
Kwankwaso’s candidacy is currently gaining momentum in the northern part of the country, while Obi is gaining popularity among the youths.
Speaking during the interview, Jibrin said the former Kano governor has an “edge” over other presidential candidates in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Asked about the alliance talks with Labour Party, he said Kwankwaso is more experienced than Obi and he will bring 70 per cent of the votes if they team up.
“It is public knowledge that we are in talks with Peter Obi. Of which, we believe that it would be able to take care of a lot of things. One, to address the issue of marginalisation of the South-East,” he said.
“Secondly, bringing someone with private sector background, of course, a lot of followership that he has among the youths but we are taking that cautiously because that has not been tested in terms of electoral value. From the surface, you are going to agree that he has massive youth followership.
“Very clearly, Kwankwaso will not be a running mate to Peter Obi. By every standard, Kwankwaso should be the presidential candidate. Kwankwaso has more political exposure and experience. He has a big profile when it comes to that. He has more experience politically on how to win elections.
“When you look at it in terms of equity contribution, in terms of votes, it will be about a ratio of 70 per cent to 30 per cent. We are looking at bringing in 70 per cent of the contribution.
“Even if it is business, Peter Obi is experienced in business, he knows that whoever is bringing the larger chunk of equity is expected to stay on board.”
Jibrin added that Kwankwaso is the “single most popular politician today in the northern part of the country”.

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Form coalition or lose to Tinubu — Deji Adeyanju advises Atiku, Peter Obi, others

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Deji Adeyanju

Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has reiterated that the national leader and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu will defeat other contestants at the polls next year except they form a coalition.

Adeyanju disclosed this on Twitter on Sunday while reacting to a journalist, Eniola Akinkuotu’s tweet.

This was not the first time Adeyanju will sound the alarm for the presidential flag bearers of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore to withdraw from the race but choose one that others will support.

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Akinkuotu had tweeted earlier that, “It’s too late for the opposition to come together. The deadline for mergers has passed. INEC has already begun printing ballot papers.”

But, Adeyanju who did not mention Tinubu said other unless other aforementioned presidential contestants agree and swallow their pride to work in unison, APC candidate will humble them at the 2023 presidential election.

Adeyanju tweeted, “Eniola my great brother, they can all meet and agree they will support either Obi, Kwankwaso, Atiku or Sowore. Everybody must not be on the ballot but if they go into the race with their ego, Convener of Agbado will humble them with Bullion Vans.”

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