On Osinbajo, Tinubu And The Purveyors Of Falsehood, By Ayodele Sylvester

When some politicians who are renown for looting Nigeria and causing her to bleed flew to Dubai in October, we all thought they went there to strategise on how the infrastructural projects and social programmes of the Nigerian government can be improved.

We were expecting them to come back to Nigeria to show us plans – even if insincere – of how the current infrastructural projects in the country can be expanded, but they came back with nothing less than one of the things they are known for: mudslinging.

One person they have tried so much to taint is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. They have tried everything from accusing him of embezzling public funds; to attempting to break the cordial relationship between him and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

A reliable source close to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hierarchy mentioned the plan to destabilise the South-West region by planting mistrust between VP Osinbajo and Asiwaju Tinubu.

We do not take Nigeria for granted and so we want to state the facts about their accusations.

The first thing is that the House of Representatives never accused the vice president of corruption or embezzlement of funds. The only accusation is that the funds he approved for the emergency situation in the North-East were not budgeted.

The truth, however, is that the funds in question, meant to pay for food supply to internally displaced persons, was an emergency and was approved in two tranches.

The first was N5 billion which was drawn via the National Food Security Programme, for which request was raised by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the facilitator of the programme, in a letter dated May 25, 2017.

This was at a time when the displaced persons and their host communities faced severe food shortages throughout the North-East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands.

It was at a time the World Food Programme (WFP) had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by more than 80%.

There was an immediate need to distribute grains to IDPs, and the only way to obtain the 30,000 Metric Tonnes required was to resort to the National Food Security Progamme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves.

The second tranche was N800 million approved for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for bagging, transportation, tracking, security, and contingency costs to handle the grains for the IDPs.

On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, these presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the then Acting President Osinbajo.

Now to the plot to create mistrust between Osinbajo and Tinubu and their supporters: the Vice President is not unmindful of his roots and will never bite the finger that fed him, or as the Yorubas say ‘A kii ge ika ti o ma a n funni onje’.

It was Asiwaju Tinubu who put Osinbajo’s name forward as the Vice President when then presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari asked him to nominate people for his running mate slot. Tinubu was asked to nominate three people, but he chose just one person – Yemi Osinbajo. For someone who has raised leaders in Lagos and other state in this country, and who could easily count 50 people worthy of the VP slot to pick just one shows the level of trust reposed on Osinbajo. That trust is not one the VP has ever broken or will ever break.

During his time as a commissioner in Lagos, Osinbajo was exceptionally known for integrity and loyalty, in and out of the office. Osinbajo’s loyalty is so legendary that he had to seek the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s permission and blessing before accepting the Vice Presidential candidate slot of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Nigerians can count on that loyalty from someone who took an oath of office to defend their rights. He has been loyal in his discharge of his duties in Abuja.
Those behind the plot to stain Osinbajo’s stellar life and record are PDP stalwarts in the South-West with friends in the APC who can’t stand Tinubu.

Yes, we have intelligence report that some high-ranking people in the APC are collaborating with ‘looting-minded ‘people in the opposition to cause a rift between Osinbajo and Tinubu.

Their next plan is to cause another rift between Osinbajo and President Buhari. They believe that once the cordial relationship between Osinbajo and Tinubu is destroyed, the Tinubu house will collapse.

The PDP sympathizers in the South-West mentioned in the plan are one of the ministers and governors, who fancy their chances in the 2023 elections should Tinubu part ways with Osinbajo and refuse to support him.
The plan is to demonise Osinbajo and project him as overly ambitious.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The congregation at the Olive Tree Parish of the RCCG can attest to his humility. So also can all the families he has interacted with, not only in his door-to-door campaigns in the run-up to the 2015 general elections and this year’s election, but also the many families he interacts with in his private time.

The PDP is behind the plot to split Osinbajo and Tinubu because of the desire to take the South-West in 2019 or 2023. These two people are the only problems they have in the region.

Their eyes are most likely on the more than N300 billion expected to be generated by Lagos State through the hard and smart work of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu camp. They have never had the interest of the people at heart.

Nigerians need to be aware that Osinbajo is a down to earth, humble public servant whose motivation is to serve Nigerians and lift the country to greatness.

•Sylvester writes from Lagos.

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APC Primaries: Tinubu Backs Oshiomhole, Says Members Must Respect Party Supremacy

National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday in Abuja threw his weight behind Oshiomhole, expressing opposition to the moves to remove him from office.

Recall that four governors of the party, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State), Chief Rochas Okorocha (Imo State), Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara State) and Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), and scores of senior members have been up in arms against the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, calling for his removal over the primaries.

Tinubu, in a chat with State House correspondents  stressed that every member of the APC had the responsibility to respect the supremacy of the party.

According to him, those who lost out in the primaries should accept their fate instead of resorting to undermining the party supremacy.

He said, “We all have to respect the party supremacy. You were all here when we had the congress. We elected the new executives. The convention, we had it. The NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power.

“We surrendered our rights, all rights to the National Working Committee headed by Adams Oshiomhole that the National Working Committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections.

“We signed off for it. So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it. We gave three options – consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level.

“The next level is the stakeholders’ delegate and you have to be supervised by the National Working Committee of the party, national election committee of the party. That shows party supremacy or the freest option. The less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number, 1,2,3.

“If you win, you win and if you fail, go home. Then, appeal committee was set up to listen to all appeals – internal mechanism for conflict resolution. It was there. You cannot turn round against that. You cannot turn against all of that. No.

“Party is supreme. Party must be respected. Abuses will not do it and anger will not do it. It is party politics. Somebody will win and somebody will lose, too bad.”

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2019: APC Considers Tinubu To Chair Presidential Campaign Council

Ahead of the launch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign proposed for the third week of this month, the party’s leadership is considering its national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, as the chairman of its campaign council.

The council is to serve as the coordinating organ of the campaign of the party’s presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.

A national newspaper, THISDAY, reported that  Tinubu has been briefed on this proposal, and was one of the issues that was discussed during his meeting with Buhari yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said the source, is, however, proposed to continue in his position as the director-general of the campaign.

By the time- table of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ban on electioneering for presidential candidates would be lifted on November 18.

Tinubu, according to the source, is being proposed for that role because of his vast experience in electioneering, a talent he reportedly displayed during the 2015 campaign that brought Buhari to power.

“The president has so much confidence in Tinubu, and feels that he would be best suited to lead the campaign,” the source said.

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Lagos Guber: Tinubu, Ambode Set For Showdown

With less than 24 hours to the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election in Lagos State to choose candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election, the incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has vowed not to step down from the guber race.

At a meeting of leaders of the APC, at the Bourdillon, Ikoyi home of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the governor was reportedly said to have listed his achievements to convince the party leaders on why he should be given the party’s ticket, but his plea fell on deaf ears.

“Ambode was told in plain terms that the party will not support his second term ambition and as such should step down for the candidate the party members are clamouring for. But throughout the whole discussion and till the meeting ended, the governor stood his ground, explaining why he must run and that he will run if APC desires to win the state.

“He was busy speaking grammar when no single member at the meeting supported him. We wish him luck”, a source said.

The meeting however ended with a directive to the State Working Committee of the party to address a press conference today, Saturday at the party’s secretariat on Acme road, Ikeja where the preferred governorship candidate Jide Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Femi Hamzat will be officially presented to party members to vote for at the governorship primaries scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday.

A source close to the governor however said that, “Tinubu and his men are jokers, if they fail to present Ambode for second term, they will lose Lagos like they lost Osun, forget the eventual manipulation of the final result.”

“Ambode is the party’s poster boy, and that’s why President Buhari asked the SGF, Boss Mustapha to wade into the Lagos ticket issue but if they ignore even the president’s intervention, they will be doomed like Osun. Nigerians will see that Tinubu is overrated as has shown in Osun. You can see that the president had to send Fayemi, Oshiomhole and others to step into the Osun election, the presidential emissaries didn’t go to meet Tinubu and Aregbesola who were in Osogbo before they went straight to meet Omisore in Ile-Ife, that shows how less they regard him”, the source added.

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How Buhari, APC Leaders Led Ambode To Beg Tinubu, Aregbesola

Indications that the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, may possibly secure his second term ticket on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is coming true as leadership of the party, on Tuesday, appealed to the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to let go of the incumbent’s political sin.

Recall that the National Leader and the Governor has been at loggerheads, with Tinubu supporting a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, ahead of the September 29 primary to select the party’s flag-bearer.

At a meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and some APC governors on Tuesday after the mega rally for Gboyega Oyetola, APC’s aspirant in Saturday’s Osun State gubernatorial election, the Guardian reported that the party’s leadership pleaded with Tinubu to let go of his grievances and allow Ambode return for a second term.

It was learnt that former governors of Osun and Ogun States, Chief Bisi Akande and Aremo Segun Osoba, started the peace overture, as they led Ambode to entreat the national leader.

The move might have been pre-planned, as Ambode rarely attends such occasions. His appearance in Osogbo, alongside his wife Bolanle, therefore gave rise to this suspicion. Sources said Tinubu, out of respect for Akande and Osoba, promised to let pass his grouse. But with a condition: his political loyalists in Lagos, who have made up their minds that Ambode must go, must be consulted.

The two advocates then led the incumbent to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is perhaps the closest loyalist of Tinubu. On the advice of the former governors, Ambode was said to have prostrated pleadingly, while the Osun governor expressed his grudges and those of Lagos party members. He also explained why the members insisted they wanted Ambode out.

One of the sins Aregbesola noted was Ambode’s alleged moves to destroy his (Aregbesola’s) political structure in Lagos West, especially in Alimosho. He said Ambode kept him waiting for several hours when he visited the Lagos government house. He further accused Ambode of vindictiveness towards party members that aided his emergence as governor in 2015. Aregbesola however reportedly promised Akande and Osoba that he would look into the matter.

At the meeting with Buhari and the APC governors, sources said Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu led the plea with Tinubu. “It is not in the culture of Hausa people to prostrate. What we normally do is express respect to our elders or leaders by saying Ranka Dade. But today, I am going to break that protocol,” he reportedly said, and prostrated.

Unable to hold his emotions, the national leader burst into tears, at which point, Buhari stood up, moved closer to Tinubu, and implored him to give Ambode a second chance.

Consequently, Tinubu called for a meeting of the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) to hold yesterday, the outcome of which would determine the incumbent’s fate.

 

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Why Tinubu Is Better Than Saraki, By Ololade Otayemi

The recent statement by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in which he spoke about the defection of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; and the quick response of Dr.  Saraki to some of the claims contained in the release has reignited the constant brickbat between the duo. The supporters of both politicians constantly lock horns over which of the two is considered a better politician and leader.

Readers would recall that even as members of the same political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu’s loyalists in Lagos were in the habit of attacking and mocking Senator Saraki, especially during his travails at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT); just as Saraki’s associates have also thrown a generous amount of dirt on Tinubu.

While Saraki supporters have always used his emergence as Senate President, against the wishes of Bola Tinubu and other APC leaders, as evidence of his political sagacity, something they believed portrayed him as a better strategist compared to Tinubu. The supporters of former Lagos State governor on the other hand have consistently maintained that Saraki is not and can never be the ‘political equal’ of Tinubu and that it’s even an insult to compare the Jagaban with Saraki.

Be that as it may, I must confess that even though I love Saraki largely because of his obvious good mastery of the political game and his impressive ability to outmaneuver his adversaries; it is however on the basis of developments in the States both politicians lead that I would love to examine their ingenuity and achievements as leaders of their people. It’s also on this basis that I want the reader of this piece to determine who among the duo is a better politician.

In terms of corruption perception, overbearing domination of the politics of their respective States and the anti-democratic practice of imposition; Tinubu and Saraki are one and the same. But that is as far as the similarities between the two go. Immediately one considers the abilities of both men to recruit competent individuals into positions and also support them to record commendable achievements; a mark of differentiation begins to set in.

While people point to the number of high political achievers that Tinubu has promoted, Senator Saraki has also within his own right elevated certain individuals to political limelight. But you only need to juxtapose the development in Kwara State to what is obtainable in Lagos to know that it’s either Saraki has not supported the best of his followers to serve the people of that State or that no one within his camp actually possesses the competence level of the Tinubu ‘’boys.’’ From Babatunde Fashola to Akinwumi Ambode, Lagos has sustained an impressive record of governmental performance, thanks to Tinubu’s excellent nose for good governorship material.

The same cannot be said of post-Saraki Kwara where his successor has so much debased governance that most average guys in that State are now printing posters to run for governor.

For me, the true determinant of a great mind and by extension a good politician and leader is the ability to discover other like-minded individuals that would not just sustain his legacies but also build on it. That is exactly what Tinubu did in Lagos.

For Saraki to therefore command the sort of regard Tinubu has today, he needs to do more than just promoting his personal attributes as a smart political strategist. Kwara is the number one assessment criteria for Saraki as the political leader of that State, and unless he discovers within his own camp someone with the knowledge and brilliance that matches those of the ‘Tinubu boys’, Kwara in its present form would continue to de-market Saraki in national politics.

In conclusion, it suffices to say that for anyone seeking a valid pointer to the superiority of Tinubu over and above Saraki, a look at how the successors of both men have managed the affairs of their respective states is all that is needed to arrive at a tenable judgement on their capacities as leaders.

While Fashola, and now Ambode, have entrenched Tinubu’s name as a capable leader who also knows how to discover people with capacity for impressive performance; it is doubtful if the governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatahi Ahmed, has given Saraki the opportunity to lay claim to such a gift.

 

*Otayemi, a public affairs commentator, writes from Lagos.

 

 

 

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Saraki, Tambuwal Left APC Because They Wanted Automatic Tickets, Says Tinubu

National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has opened up on the recent defections in the polity, saying Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal among others left the APC because the party could not offer them what they wanted.

He said on Sunday in Lagos that the defectors wanted automatic tickets and sharing of the national wealth which the governing APC could not guarantee.

The APC leader unfolded his mind in a lengthy statement he personally signed, entitled “They Go Away Because We Go the Right Way”.

According to him, the defectors “left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets, sharing of the national wealth and other offices and privileges”.

Asiwaju Tinubu asked the people to go beyond the debate on the numbers in the Senate of House of Representatives, saying “we must pull back from the shallow headlines to recognize that something fundamental is at stake.

“Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor”.

Speaking specifically on the Sokoto governor’s defection, the APC leader said: “Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.

“But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it”.

On Senate President, he said: “Much the same for Senate President Saraki. Returning to the PDP, he harbors dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate”.

He added: “For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds. This man stands as Nigeria’s Number 3 citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got laws passed.

“However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs”.

The full statement reads:

‘THEY GO AWAY BECAUSE WE GO THE RIGHT WAY’

“The defections of some people from the APC have generated sensational headlines and exaggerated talk as to what their departures foretell for the APC, the party to which I belong. Some have predicted the demise of the APC. Those who hope for our decline will be disappointed by the inaccuracy of their desires. The days, months and years ahead will bury such errant forecasts for these predictions are born more of bitterness than of objective analysis.

Much of the attention has centered on which party now controls this or that state and which party maintains a majority in the National Assembly. These considerations are important to members of the political class and the electoral calculations of the political parties. But these calculations cannot be all there is. We must be careful not to reduce our horizon to a mere accounting of elected officials moving from one party to another.

“Many in the political class believe this score keeping between the parties encompasses all that is important. For such people, the mere holding of office is the sole objective. The quality of governance they provide means little to them. Yet, there are greater things at stake than the fortunes of individual politicians. The people of Nigeria focus their attention on something materially different than this narrow political game.

The people are more deeply concerned with the quality of governance they experience than with the intense cunning by which the political game is played. They are more interested in helpful policies than in the tempests created by politicians in pursuit of personal ambitions. That which provides a better life in a more prosperous nation is what beckons to them. That which shines in the eye of the political opportunist is dross to the average person.

“We must pull back from the shallow headlines to recognize that something fundamental is at stake.

Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor. The corruption of the past is ending; for it must end if we are to fulfill our collective purpose. With this correction, less public money will be diverted to private benefit. More will be afforded to the causes of the people. The economy is being transformed so that the average person will have a better chance of finding a better life.

“We move toward a more democratic union. The old days where a handful of uninformed men and those with deep pockets decided everything for everybody are being swept away. The will of the people can no longer be ignored. Those who would be the masters over the people must now be public servants. A party or elected official may no longer rule over the people. They must govern for the benefit of the people.

By so doing, the arc of our national progress is shaped. Not everyone is happy with this trajectory. As a whole, the political class must relinquish some of its power and wealth so people can enjoy a more equitable portion of the national enterprise.

This is the correct and perhaps inevitable course Nigeria must pursue. To their credit, many politicians see the need for reform and even champion it. Yet, there are those in the political class who scheme against collective improvement. They seek to halt progress toward a fairer nation. They seek to hold to the old ways. The difference between the two parties and why some people returned to their PDP conclave must be seen in this light.

“This is more than competition over numbers. What rests in the balance is not whether one party has more elected officials on its roster, but which party has the right mindset and policies to reform Nigeria that she may become what goodness demands of her. We are in locked battle to define the future of this nation and the quality of its governance. This battle pits one party, the APC, with all of its imperfections, that seeks national reforms against another party, the PDP, which symbolizes the perfection of the most selfish designs of the most selfish politicians among us.

This moral battle informed the recent defections. Those who belong to that PDP mode of thought could find no permanent comfort in walking the path of progressive reform and progress. All the things we have inaugurated such as school-feeding programs for poor pupils, social security for poor families, affordable housing programs, greater access to credit for small businesses and greater access to education and health care, these things the defectors could not well abide. They detested President Buhari’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) innovation because it barred them from mis-directing funds into a maze of unaudited accounts from which they could siphon as they pleased. Buhari cut off their clandestine illicit spigot.

“These politicians see accountable good governance and lifting of the common person as the tearing down of their quest for great riches and power.

Even more so, they detested the APC drive toward greater internal democracy. They bristled when we demanded that congresses and conventions be held; they had demanded giving themselves automatic extension in their positions. They privately erupted as the APC decided that direct primaries where all party members vote on the party’s nominations should be the way of the future. The injection of greater democracy meant a decrease in their ability to manipulate end results. Politics will be ushered out of the backroom and given to the people to whom sovereignty genuinely belongs. These men could not countenance such transformation. They saw it not as the gift of democracy but as an obstacle that complicated their self-interest. They left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets, sharing of the national wealth and other offices and privileges.

“Their defection statements swell with high-sounding words and the attempted grasp of lofty ideals. While I shall refrain from being so coarse as to call these statements counterfeit, I must invoke a sufficient level of common sense for the protection of all. Anyone who accepts their statements at face value will quickly experience buyer’s remorse. Their attempt at fine notions aside, what compelled these people was galloping yet blind ambition.
Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination. But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it.

“Much the same for Senate President Saraki. Returning to the PDP, he harbors dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate.

For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds. This man stands as Nigeria’s Number 3 citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got laws passed. However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs.

“The rest of the defectors were given similar assurances by the PDP as to their offices. The APC refused to make such bargains as they are part of the ancient regime; these bargains are not of our democratic new way.
There is nothing wrong with ambition. Without a degree of ambition, we would never strive to improve and develop ourselves. But ambition, restrained by nothing but itself, is a dangerous commodity. Unwedded to social conscience, it leads to ruthlessness; it is the father of the deception that leaders are meant to lord over instead of to serve the populace.

In the final analysis, the reason for the defections is as clear to see as it is crooked in its motives. The APC seeks to reform governance and politics. However, many powerful people believe the established system assures their maximum benefit. Progressive reform would defeat them. They must fight reform and never be allied to it. Thus, they had to leave the APC.

“In a fundamental way, the APC may be better for their exit. It would be untrue to say their departures did not generate concern. As the air clears and we can better assess what is lost and gained by their exit, I can truthfully say the APC will be better off because they are gone.
We can now focus more wholly on democratic governance inside and outside the party. Inside the party, we have adopted direct primaries to discourage corruption of the democratic process. Regarding public policy, we can now better articulate our progressive stance without having naysayers among complaining that we are going too far or that the good we seek for the people ought not to be done.
We can more decisively push for the jobs program, expansion of social security for the poor, affordable housing programs and a viable mortgage system, national infrastructural program that will provide adequate power and potable water, basic health care for all, and educational reform. Each of these is important in itself. In combination, these objectives shall reshape the very landscape of our political economy. They shall bring fairness and prosperity where none has been. They will give the average person a government that serves them and the land that they deserve.

“But this prospect means a large segment of the political class will oppose the APC. We, as a party, must have the courage to accept this reality. Having decided to place the public welfare above the private welfare of the few, we must forge ahead no matter the foes aligned against us.

This struggle toward a better Nigeria is hard, described more by difficult obstacles than by smooth passages. Had reform been easy, the task would have already been accomplished. Powerful hands have gathered to halt our collective move forward. Not everyone wants a better Nigeria for all. Those who profit from the imbalances of the past are those who fear a fairer tomorrow.

Come the general election, the people will face a stark choice. If they want to relive the certain failure and inequality of the system the PDP had erected against their very interests, the people will walk the way of the defectors. If the people want to give themselves a better chance at an excellent nation they will adhere to the path elected in 2015 when they voted for reform and the APC.

“I believe in the collective wisdom of the people. They will choose the right way for they are Nigerians which means they shall do what is right and just”.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
August 19, 2018.

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2019: Defections Wont Affect APC’s Fortunes, Says Tinubu

National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described those who defected from the ruling party to opposition political parties as “saboteurs.”

Tinubu who spoke at a “stakeholders consultative meeting” at the party secretariat in Lagos, yesterday said the defections would not affect the fortunes of the party in the general election.

The former Lagos State governor said the victory of party’s candidates in by-elections in Bauchi, Kogi, Katsina and the Ekiti governorship election are indications that the party was still solid. He said the party would record another victory in Osun State next month because he has confidence in Governor Rauf Aregbesola who laid a solid foundation for the state. “We have seen the good work he is doing in Osun,” he added.

Tinubu took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for saying Nigerians should not support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid, saying the former president did not utilize the eight years he spent in power to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria.

He said foundation is crucial to any building and that it was the foundation his team laid during his tenure that made it possible for former Governor Babatunde Fashola and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to succeed.

He added that if Obasanjo had laid a good foundation in Abuja, Nigeria would not be in such a deplorable state. “He did not lay a good foundation and he is accussing President Buhari of performing below par.”

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Oshiomhole, Tinubu, Others Storm Akwa Ibom As Akpabio Defects To APC

Former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, formally defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday.

Among those who welcomed the former Akwa Ibom State governor into the ruling party were APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; National Leader, Bola Tinubu; Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, former Ekiti State Governor, Segun Oni.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

Thousands of supporters trooped to the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium for the defection rally.

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2019: Saraki In Talks With APC, Wants Automatic Return As Senate President

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki may have resumed negotiations with the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Saraki, on Thursday, alongside some APC Governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at the State House in Abuja.

The meeting was a follow-up to the talks with New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) caucus of APC being coordinated in the past few months by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

National leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, although physically absent at the meeting but may gave been briefed on what transpired at the meeting with Saraki.

Investigations reveal that the Senate President was frank in expressing his mind at the interaction with President Buhari.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “At least, for the first time, there was a frank session between the President and Saraki.

“He expressed disappointment with his humiliation by the government he fought hard to put in place. We were all sober while he relived his travails, because none of us would pray to be in such a situation.

“We understood with him but we felt it was time to forgive and forget in order to move forward.

“As part of preventing Saraki’s defection, we may offer him juicy terms including:

  • .Automatic return as the President of the Senate in 2019
  • .More consultation and inclusiveness in key decisions henceforth
  • .Mutual Executive-Legislature relationship
  • .Revisiting all issues raised by nPDP Caucus which formed the basis of talks in the past few months
  • .Reconciling with all aggrieved leaders of nPDP
  • .Avoiding a repeat of past mistakes which led to his humiliation

“We also appeal to Saraki to shelve moves to defect to PDP or any other party. We agreed that he has a better stake in APC than any other party.”

Asked if Saraki made any commitment, the source added: “There was none yet, but the atmosphere was cordial and hopeful.

“After the meeting, he even bowed well to the President.

“The session was the climax of talks in the past few months. As one of our leaders, we leave the final decision to Saraki to take.

“But one thing was clear from Saraki: he will want all commitments put into writing and documented in case of any breach in the future.

“To some of us who have been wooing him, such a demand is in order. It is a case of once bitten, twice shy.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “The final stage of talks with Saraki will still involve some of our leaders, like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is coordinating the reconciliation in the party.

“In fact, Tinubu has been briefed on the outcome of the meeting at the Villa and why he has to play a key role too.”

 

 

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Osun 2018: Tinubu Backs APC’s Decision To Adopt Direct Primary, Says It Will Deepen Democracy

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has backed the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to adopt direct primary option to pick the party’s governorship candidate in Osun state.

The decision according to him is historic and capable of deepening democracy.

In a statement by his media office, Tinubu said the party’s constitution allows the use of both indirect (delegate system) and direct (participation of all card-carrying party members) in picking a candidate.

He said: “The decision of the National Working Committee approving a direct primary to elect the party’s candidate for Osun election is a ground-breaking step toward achieving this fine objective. By this decision, the party affirms its democratic inclinations.

“When the history of this moment is written, those looking back on this decision will say that it was an inevitable natural consequence of party evolution.”

The statement entitled ‘Internal Democracy: Improving the Nomination Process’ added: “From its inception, our party has held to principles of internal democracy and, by the open and fair conduct of our conventions, we have distinguished ourselves from all other political parties. While we have achieved more than others with regard to internal democracy, there is still more to be done in order to perfect our internal procedures and mechanisms.

“This consideration was a key factor in the election of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as party chairman. Core to that mandate is the improvement of democracy within the party so that we may become even better representatives of the people.

“However, I know differently. This decision took courage and conviction because it bucked the old ways in order to bring about something better and new. Comrade (Adams) Oshiomhole deserves commendation for leading the party toward greater democracy, which means increased participation of all party members in key decisions that affect them.

“The involvement of all APC members in candidate nomination will ensure that the party chooses the candidate of the people. It will also serve to galvanize the party membership for the general election that lies ahead.

“Moreover, direct primaries will serve as a future deterrent to those who might have tried to corrupt the delegate system of obtaining nominations. With that system, the temptation to ‘buy’ delegates was an ever-present weakness.  Now, such a venal undertaking will prove much too costly and uncertain to be entertained as feasible strategy.

“I am sure party members in Osun welcome this decision for it shines the rays of democracy more fully upon them. May this decision not be peculiar to Osun but stand as the new way of our party. The nation and the APC will both be better for it”.

 

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Ekiti 2018: Osinbajo, Tinubu, Others Urge Residents To Vote Fayemi

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has urged the people of Ekiti State to cast their votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in the July 14 governorship election.

Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday at the governorship flag off rally held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, to formally herald campaigns ahead of the July 14 poll.

According to him, Ekiti people stand to benefit a lot from the APC both at the federal and state levels if they elect Fayemi as their governor in the eagerly awaited poll.

He described Fayemi as a tested politician and administrator who has acquired enough experience to manage the resources of the state and provide quality leadership.

Osinbajo said: “God has chosen this lucky man (Fayemi) to bring good governance and purposeful leadership to the people of Ekiti State.

“On July 14, don’t look elsewhere but look forward to voting APC. APC is a party that means well for the people, APC is a party of progressive people.

“We have come here to give you a delicious soup in Ekiti; JKF (Fayemi) is that lucky man chosen to bring positive change to Ekiti.

“On July 14, vote JKF and Ekiti will witness progress, development and good governance.

“God has brought a blessed man, who is Dr Kayode  Fayemi. He will do Ekiti a lot of good if elected governor. He will bring development to your doorsteps.

“On July 14, don’t look back or side way, just look forward to a good future ahead of you by voting for Fayemi. APC is a party of progress.

“Let us vote for APC in this election. APC will help Ekiti to develop, because the PDP has outlived its usefulness.”

In similar development, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urged Ekiti people to elect Fayemi as their governor at the poll. He said Ekiti should not remain the lone ranger in the Southwest but should join the progressives fold.

Tinubu said: “This is the only place where change is necessary now, this is the broom revolution. Raising the broom is not enough, what is your value of coming here if you don’t have PVCs?

“If you really want progress, what is the essence of you staying here from morning till now without having PVCs.  Ekiti won’t go back to sadness and poverty.

“The PVCs represent your red card on the day of election. I want you to give PDP a red card on the day of election.

“We have been giving PDP yellow cards all this while but on the election day, we are giving them the red card.

“We took Fayemi to the federal level, he was Minister where Osinbajo is Vice President but Ekiti is now a lone ranger.

“This is your son, we have taught him, he is a friend of the President. We are going to do the election together

“He now understands the game. I want you to vote him 100 percent on July 14.”

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