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2023: Tinubu’s Loyalists Kick As APC Chiefs Settle for Christian Candidate From South After IBB ‘Endorsed’ Kalu.

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2023: Tinubu’s Loyalists Kick As APC Chiefs Settle for Christian Candidate From South After IBB 'Endorsed' Kalu.
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2023: Tinubu’s Loyalists Kick As APC Chiefs Settle for Christian Candidate From South After IBB ‘Endorsed’ Kalu.

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidency in concert with the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are said to be considering a Christian from the Southern part of Nigeria as their presidential flagbearer.

This is coming after former Head of state, Ibrahim Babangida publicly recommended Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for Presidency in 2023.

Orji Kalu, Ahmed Tinubu However, the proposal has not gone down well with loyalists of Asi­waju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the party, who are insisting that religion should not be a criterion in selecting the presidential candidate of the APC.

Daily Independent had few days ago reported that in a bid to en­sure cohesion within the party, the presidency has enlisted fact-finding group to carry out background checks on those seeking to become the party’s presidential flagbearer ahead of the 2023 elections.

Also, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, APC CECPC, had said the party will come up with a consensus and agree­able presidential candidate that will fly its flag in 2023.

A reliable credible source in the party told Daily Inde­pendent that the general be­lief in APC at the moment is that in a bid to foster unity and togetherness in the party, the zoning between the North and South must be honoured.

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He also said there are oth­ers who strongly believe that the issue of religion should also be considered, especially among Christians and Mus­lims, the two major religions in the country He said if President Bu­hari, a Northerner and Mus­lim, can settle for a Christian vice president from the South in 2015, then it is imperative that a Christian presidential candidate from the South will emerge in 2023 and that person will choose a Muslim running mate from the North.

“That position is very true. There is a strong belief in the APC now that the next pres­idential candidate must be from the South. We can’t af­ford to gamble with another Northerner after President Buhari has served for eight years. However, there are also others who are of the view that if the candidate must come from the South, the person must be a Christian”.

That is how it has always been since 1999. Obasanjo, a Christian, and Atiku Abu­bakar, a Muslim, ruled from 1999 to 2007. The late Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from the Northern part of the country became president in 2007 and Goodluck Jonathan, a Chris­tian from the South was the vice president.

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“When Yar’Adua died, Jonathan became president and he chose Namadi Sam­bo, a Muslim from the North, who was former governor of Kaduna as his vice. When President Buhari became APC presidential candidate in 2014, he almost settled for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Muslim from the South, but even within the party, there was uproar against a Muslim-Muslim tick­et and he had to settle for Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a Christian”.

“I don’t think the situation will change in 2023. There are some people who are already grumbling that will another Muslim take over from Presi­dent Buhari in 2023 even if the ticket is zoned to the South? These are issues we are con­sidering and it is important it is given utmost attention because all indices matter in politics, especially for a country like Nigeria”.

However, according to Daily Indepen­den, the devel­opment is already causing ripples as loyalists of Tinubu have vowed to resist it, saying what the party stakeholders are canvassing is that the zoning agreement between the North and South should be respected, and not religion.

When contacted, Hon. Bo­sun Oladele, a former mem­ber of the House of Represen­tatives, who is the Secretary of the South-West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA) 2023, a political group seeking sup­port for Tinubu’s emergence as president in 2023, said reli­gion should not be a criterion in determining who becomes the next president of NigMeria.

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He said, “I think religion shouldn’t be criterion in se­lecting our presidential flag bearer. What we should con­sider is the ability to deliver. That should be the major criterion. If we are looking for a Christian, any pastor so-called should be the president.

“If we are talking about Muslim, any Imam should be the president. If we are talking about politics, it is a pity that we are trying to put the cart of religion before the horse of politics. So, religion shouldn’t be a criterion at all. Ability to deliver and provide good leadership is what we should consider.

“Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world but how far has our claim to being religious tak­en us? We close down ware­houses, shut down factories because of churches that are not promoting businesses, and because of beliefs that are not leading to developmental strides.

“In the same warehouse turned churches, we gather and start praying so that we can have jobs. Is that not an irony? So, if we keep empha­sising religion all the time, we will be sacrificing develop­mental politics. So, my take is that religion shouldn’t be a criterion.”

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket - APC
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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says former president, Goodluck Jonathan, will not be handed an automatic ticket to contest in 2023 if he joins the party.

The former president has been rumoured once again this week to be close to joining the party that defeated him in the 2015 presidential election.

He has denied the rumours of his possible defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the APC has fueled speculations by throwing him an open invitation to join, with a promise to waive restrictions on his qualification to instantly run for office.

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The party’s spokesperson, John Akpanudoedehe, further clarified the party’s position in a statement on Friday, September 17, 2021 that the offer does not include an automatic ticket for Jonathan or other new members.

2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election.

“All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

Jonathan was elected vice president in 2007, and later became president in 2010 following the death of President Musa Yar’Adua.

He won the 2011 election for his first proper term in office, but failed in his bid for a second term in 2015, losing to President Muhammadu Buhari who went on to win his own second term in 2019.

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With the incumbent president set to leave in 2023, there have been constant rumours that Jonathan is being tapped to replace him.

The PDP has lost three serving governors and numerous lawmakers and officials to the APC since last November, handing the ruling party momentum ahead of what’s expected to be keenly-contested 2023 elections.

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God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

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God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

Fani-Kayode once vowed that over his dead body, until Jesus comes, he would never join the APC.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who once said he’d rather die than join the All Progressives Congress (APC), says God has led him back to the political party he once labelled Almajiri Peoples Congress.

“A lot has changed over the last six years and it is important that we make the right choices and the right decisions at the right time, precisely if we feel as if we are being led by God to make those choices,” Fani-Kayode said, moments after his unveiling as an APC signing by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

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Fani-Kayode once described the APC as a “filthy, rat-infested sinking ship” and a “bloodthirsty, blood-lusting, accursed political association of Boko Haramists and Fulani herdsmen, genocidal maniacs, ethnic cleansers and mass murderers.”

God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

He had also said: “The PDP is my party, I would never leave the party. Until Kingdom comes, until Jesus returns, I will never join the APC.”

In recent times, Fani-Kayode had also gone on air to heavily criticize Buhari and call the president unprintable names.

Buhari, Fani-Kayode had said, “locked people up, he crated people, he killed people, carried people from the streets of London, turned Nigeria into a pariah nation…a man that looted PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund)…Buhari is very corrupt, he is a man that committed so many atrocities. This man destroyed the lives of so many people.”

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On what he now thinks of President Buhari and the APC after his defection on Thursday, Fani-Kayode said: “I spoke against Buhari from the outside, now I know him from the inside. I am not saying he is an angel or a demon.

“The APC I was talking about that time is not same today. Let’s focus on unity, peace and togetherness.

“There is a time to condemn and criticize people. There is also a time to come together, work together to achieve unity.”

Responding to a question on his remark that he would rather die than join the APC, the lawyer said: “Joining APC now is the away forward, despite what people may think about it.

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“APC is a liberal party. A lot has happened in APC over the years. The party has changed and the president has accommodated the change. Had the APC leadership not changed I wouldn’t have joined them.

“I am doing the right thing based on conviction and understanding. This is the right decision for me, love me or hate me, it will not take anything away from me.”

Fani-Kayode, who was the spokesperson of the PDP presidential campaign council in 2015, was led into the president’s office by the Caretaker Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, as well as Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has expressed concern over the sit-at-home order given by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

It noted that the development was adversely affecting its preparations for the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6.

The Anambra State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nwachukwu Orji, said this during the commissions ‘s Monitoring and Support Centre EMBER Zone Implementer Workshop, held in Awka, on Thursday.

He said, “Our preparations are on course, even with all the challenges we are facing, such as the attack on our state office on May 23rd and the sit-at-home which are eating into our preparation time, but we are doing our best.

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“Ad hoc staff are already being recruited online and we are interacting with the stakeholders and we are happy with where we are now and we are confident that come November 6, we will have a successful election.”

He said the commission would recruit no fewer than 25,000 ad hoc workers for the poll.

He insisted that sensitive materials for the election would be brought in from Owerri, Imo State, because of the destruction of the Awka office of INEC

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

Stakeholders had expressed reservations over INEC’s plan to import electoral materials from Owerri for the simple reason that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress National Campaign Council for the election is Governor Hope Uzodinma.

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In response, the REC said, “You know that the Anambra State INEC office was attacked on May 23rd and that led to the destruction of our store. Since that incident, we had to fall back on the INEC zonal store.

“INEC has zonal offices and for the South East, the zonal office is in Owerri and that is where we have been trying to remobilise for the election.”

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