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Why I won’t support northerner as APC presidential candidate – Lalong

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Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong

The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said he is backing the presidential ambition of a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amachi, saying he won’t back any of the aspirants from the North.

Lalong made the declaration in Jos when Amaechi was in the state to woo delegates in the state ahead of the party’s primaries.

Lalong said Amaechi had contributed immensely to the state in no small measure and would receive full support from Plateau leaders, including former Speakers of the House of Assembly, and current state lawmakers.

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Saturday, Lalong was quoted as  saying, “Amaechi has all the qualities of a good leader, and would save the country from its insecurity problems, as well as bring development to all parts of the country, adding that Plateau State has benefited a lot from Amaechi and it’s payback time.’’

Lalong stressed that Amechi had all it takes to tackle insecurity in the country. He said Ameachi had relationships with the security experts and the former security chiefs and would engage them.

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He recalled that Ameachi helped party chieftains in the northern states, especially Plateau State, to join and register with the APC. He also said that the former minister spoke for the state at the Federal Executive Council meetings whenever it needed the urgent intervention and approvals from the Presidency.

“Sir, you invested in Plateau State, that is why you are going to reap in Plateau State. We came back, we had security issues, you were our minister. For most of the approvals you saw from the President, it was this man (Amaechi) that was pushing for us. Amaechi was our minister, not minding that he is from Rivers State. We got almost everything.”

Lalong disclosed that he received ample support for his re-election bid from Ameachi, He also said “They mentioned railway, but you brought Shipper’s Council to us, you restored back our inland container to us, so many things that you did. As I’m talking, the first set of people you took to China, seven of them are Plateau boys, and very soon they are coming back as experts in engineering. We can go on and on.

“We had already taken a decision; all former members of the Houses of Assembly took a decision that wherever you go, we would follow you. So, if you calculate the number of former Speakers that we have in Nigeria, I think you already have 30 per cent votes,” he said.

Also, the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sande, declared bloc support for Amaechi.

“I have the privilege to move this historic motion and say categorically, that members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas, we have super delegates and national delegates, all represented today, and what I’m doing today is an endorsement by the delegates of Plateau State,” Sande said.

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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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