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Trump: I’ll leave if electoral college votes for Biden

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The United States President, Donald Trump, has said that he will leave the White House if the electoral college votes for Democratic president-elect Joe Biden on January 6, 2021.

The President’s comments are the closest he has come to admitting defeat in election and set stage for college vote on 14 December.

Biden won the presidential election with 306 electoral college votes – many more than the 270 required – to Trump’s 232. Biden also leads Trump by more than six million in the popular vote tally.

The electoral college is due to meet on 14 December when each state’s nominated electors will cast their votes for the winner of the state’s presidential ballot. The votes are officially counted by Congress on 6 January.

When asked about Trump’s comments, Biden campaign spokesperson, Michael Gwin said, “President-elect Biden won 306 electoral votes. States continue to certify those results, the Electoral College will soon meet to ratify that outcome,” adding, “Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.”

Can Trump actually stage a coup and stay in office for a second term?

Trump has so far defied tradition by refusing to concede defeat, instead making a series of baseless claims about alleged ballot fraud and launching legal attempts to challenge the outcomes in several states such Pennsylvania and Michigan.

But desperate efforts by Trump and his aides to overturn results in key states, either by lawsuits or by pressuring state legislators, have failed.

Speaking to reporters on the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said if Biden – who is due to be sworn in on 20 January – was certified the election winner by the electoral college, he would depart the White House.

Trump’s comments, made to reporters at the White House after speaking to troops during the traditional Thanksgiving Day address to US service members, appear to take him one step nearer to admitting defeat.

Asked if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him, Trump said, “Certainly I will. And you know that,” adding that, “If they do, they’ve made a mistake.”

However, Trump said it would be “a very hard thing to concede” and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration, which is due to take place on 20 January.

It was the first time he had taken questions from reporters since election day, and at times he turned combative, calling one reporter a “lightweight” and telling him “don’t talk to me like that”.

Trump’s administration has already given the green light for a formal transition to get underway. But Trump took issue with Biden moving forward.

“I think it’s not right that he’s trying to pick a Cabinet,” Trump said, even though officials from both teams are already working together to get Biden’s team up to speed.

At one point he urged reporters not to allow Biden the credit for pending coronavirus vaccines.

As for whether or not he plans to formally declare his candidacy to run again in 2024 – as he has discussed with aides – Trump he didn’t “want to talk about 2024 yet.”

In late-night tweets, Trump complained that the media had not covered his news conference in the way he had wanted, saying the main point he had tried to make was that he won the election. Twitter flagged his comments.

Showing that he intends to stay in the political fray until the end of his term, Trump said on Thursday he would travel on 5 December to Georgia, a once solidly Republican state he lost narrowly to Biden, to campaign for two Republican Senate candidates.

Sources: Reuters and Associated Press

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News of Lawan as annointed presidential candidate shocked Buhari, say El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai says President Muhammadu Buhari was shocked when he was told Senate President Ahmad Lawan was the “anointed” presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said this on Thursday while responding to questions on a programme on TVC.

In June 2022, some hours before voting at the APC presidential primary, Abdullahi Adamu, national chair of the party, had announced Lawan as the consensus candidate for the party.

Speaking on Thursday, El-Rufai said Buhari was very clear about his position on the choice of a presidential candidate for the party.

He said, “The members of the national working committee called us and said that the national chairman had told them that the senate president is the anointed one.

“Again, the northern APC governors asked for a meeting with the President. We went to the President and said ‘Mr. President, this is what we are hearing; this is not what you’ve been telling us in the past two to three years. Is it true?’

“And the President expressed shock and said ‘I’m not part of this’. And right there and then, he summoned Garba Shehu to issue a statement that he has not anointed anyone. And he told us very clearly ‘I have not anointed anyone’.”

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S’Court dismisses PDP suit against Oyetola’s participation in Osun election

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Gboyega Oyetola

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to restore the nullification of the participation of forner Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and his deputy Benedict Alabi in the July 16, 2022 governorship election.

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Centus Nweze held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit and directed the counsel to the PDP Kehinde Ogunwumiju to withdraw it.

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The court held that the PDP could not, under the law,question the process leading to the emergence of Oyetola and Alabi as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

Recall that Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja had in a judgment on September 30, 2022, nullified the participation of Oyetola and Alabi in the governorship election on the grounds that their nomination forms were endorsed by an acting Chairman of APC, who was also a serving governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Justice Nwite’s judgment was set aside by the Court of Appeal, Abuja in a judgment in December last year, a decision the PDP appealed to the Supreme Court.

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No one in Aso Rock working against Tinubu – Lai Mohammed

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  • Says FG funding legacy projects with recovered Abacha loot

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says no official report of anybody in the presidential villa working against the aspiration of the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

He also said President Muhammadu Buhari would not deviate from his commitment towards ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible general elections.

The minister disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

He was responding to a claim by Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, that some persons in the Presidential Villa were working against the electoral success of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the coming presidential election.

He said President Buhari, being the main occupant of the Aso Rock Villa, had stressed times without number that he wanted his administration to deliver a credible exercise.

The minister said that if there were elements within the seat of power working against the victory of the ruling party, it has not been brought officially to his notice.

He said, “One thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is focused, determined to ensure free and fair elections.

“But I think with this administration, the most important person is Mr. President, and I think he has shown by words and by deeds that he is committed to free, fair and credible election. And fair, free, credible elections actually mean not favouring anybody or disadvantaging anybody.

“And everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear even as recently last Friday when he was in Daura, he said the same thing.

“If there’s anybody working against a candidate, we don’t know officially.”

He also responded to the Transparency International’s latest report, which saw Nigeria dropping five places in the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking.

He said, “We are not fighting corruption because we want to impress Transparency International or any organization whatsoever.

“We’re fighting corruption because we believe if we do not fight corruption, there’ll be no growth either in terms of the economy or even political. Therefore, what we do and what we’re putting in place to fight corruption is not because we want to be rated by anybody.

“If, for instance, what we’re doing catches the attention of Transparency International and they improve and give us better marks, so we’ll and go. However, I can assure you that we do not know what template TI is using.

“Whatever template they’re using is clearly oblivious of what this administration is doing, to fight corruption.

“Corruption fighting is not just by how many people have you arrested? How many people have you tried? How many people have you convicted? Of course, even in that respect, we have a very impressive record. Is it the EFCC or is it the ICPC?

“You see, if you look at what we’re doing even to make corrupt practices, almost impossible or difficult…I’ll just give you two examples. For instance, this administration, when funds were returned from the Abacha loot and other funds were recovered from the US, the UK, and Europe, this administration was that rather than pay these funds into the treasury and face the possibility of it being stolen or looted, the administration decided that we will put this money into a separate account and ask the National Sovereign Investment Fund to manage these funds, and we used this money for specific projects.

“And some of our legacy projects today actually are being financed from our money that have been stolen, which were returned and which we have kept. To me, this is one example of how to fight corruption. An example of how to ensure that people do not steal what has been recovered again.

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