APC Leaders, Tinubu To Meet Buhari In Daura Today

President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to meet All Progressives Congress chieftains at his country home in  Daura, Katsina state today, a day after he received the party’s governors.

Those expected to meet with President Buhari at his private resident in Daura are leadership of the party as well as APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

NAN reliably gathered that the APC leadership and top chieftains of the party would be converging in Daura to commiserate with the President who recently lost two members of his extended family in Daura.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Niyi Akande had on Feb. 13 met with President Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 According to source, the second meeting of Tinubu with the president in Daura on Saturday might go beyond mere condolence visit.“Look, in the next few weeks and months the president will continue to receive different groups and organisations whose sole aim is to put much pressure on him to declare his intention for re-election in 2019.

“So, those Nigerians calling on him to seek reelection would continue to seek audience with the president with hope that he will finally agree with them to sustain continuity in APC-led administration, come 2019,’’ the source said.

According to the source, which preferred to remain anonymous, the meeting between the president and the APC chieftains might also deliberate on some socio-political matters affecting the country.

NAN

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Nigeria’s Downstream Top 10: Adenuga, Tinubu, Dantata, Ogah Lead the Pack

The Top10 magazine, Nigeria’s foremost publication that celebrates the top of the best in all areas of endeavor, has come out with a list of Nigeria’s top 10 indigenous oil tycoons fueling the country, under the title, “Nigeria’s Downstream Top 10”.

The latest edition of the magazine focuses on the top 10 players in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, with emphasis on their stakes and investments in the sector.

Top on the list are telecom and oil magnate, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Chairman, Conoil Nigeria Plc; Wale Tinubu, Group Managing Director, Oando Plc; Sayyu Dantata, Group Chairman, MRS Holding, owners of MRS Plc; Femi Otedola, Chairman, Forte Oil and Zenon Oil and Uche Sampson Ogah, Founder of Masters Energy Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Masters Energy Group.

Others on the list are Dapo Abiodun, Founder, Heyden Petroleum Nigeria Limited; Best Anekwe, Chairman of NIPCO; Gabriel Ogbechie, Chief Executive Officer, Rainoil Nigeria Limited; Nkechi Obi, Executive Vice Chairman, TechnOil Nigeria Limited and Mahmud Tukur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eterna Oil Plc.

Mr. Tony Iji,  publisher of  The Top10,  said in a release that, “In line with our tradition of celebrating 10 leading lights in every sector of the society, this edition of the magazine   focuses on the top 10 Nigerian oil investors driving the value chain of the downstream sector of the industry”. He said the major criteria for selection were market leadership of the operators, investment in infrastructure, as well as contribution to industry growth and economic development of Nigeria.

“It’s our considered view that the aspiration of the federal government to make petroleum products available across the country would have been a mirage without the necessary cooperation and collaboration of the downstream operators who have invested massively in all areas of the downstream operation to ensure product availability”.

He said as the primary driver of the Nigerian economy, the oil sector deserves special attention, hence the decision to celebrate investors who represent a positive force towards the actualization of the aspiration of value chain optimization through investment in the industry.

“Our intention, therefore, is to identify and celebrate the top 10 market leaders who have made the difference in the optimization of the Nigerian downstream petroleum value chain”, Iji said. “These market leaders comprise oil tycoons with huge stakes and massive investments to build enormous operating capacities in various aspects of the business, fr0m processing and storage, to distribution and sales”.

 

 

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2019: PDP Reveals Plan To Woo Tinubu, Obasanjo, Atiku, Others

Ahead of the 2019 Presidential election, the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation Committee, Nyesom Wike has revealed the party’s readiness to woo former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to ensure it regains the lost presidential seat.

Wike made this known in the latest issue of ‘The Interview,’ a monthly magazine published by Azu Ishiekwene.

He also listed Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso as one of the many APC Chieftains to be wooed.

In the same vein, the governor vowed that he and Rivers people would do everything to ensure PDP emerges victorious in the state come 2019 election.

“The whole thing boils down to sincerity and commitment. We said if things would not happen, all of us would go down with it. That was the driving spirit for us and that is what we are going to repeat in 2019.

“If the Federal Government is going to kill all of us, so be it. Because we know what they have planned and their strategies and so when it is time, we will face the APC squarely in this state. Just watch,” he said.

 

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Chibok Girls: Tinubu Hails Buhari, Says President Won’t Rest Until All Girls Are Set Free

National leader of the All progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday hailed President Muhammadu Buhari over the release of 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls.

Tinubu said he is sure that President Muhammadu Buhari will not rest on his oars until all the Chibok girls in captivity have been rescued.

In a statement by his Media Office, Tinubu said: “The news of the release of the 21 Chibok girls came to me as a delightful relief. I congratulate the families of these young ladies who have endured so much anxiety and pain on account of this horrendous experience. I am also grateful that these budding young stars now have the opportunity to again pursue their dreams and aspirations. I know there is road to recovery and readjustment ahead, but I am confident that the support of their families, our communities,and the assistance of our many collaborators at home, and internationally provide the tools required for this.

“I also congratulate and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his steadfastness and dogged effort in ensuring the release of these girls. I salute our gallant men and women in uniform who continue to make sacrifices on our behalf and have remained focused in the hot pursuit of the terrorists.

“I commend all Federal Government agencies- the DSS, the NIA- and indeed our lawmakers and our other partners who remained dogged and worked assiduously to secure this release.

“It is a great day for our nation and humanity when as shown there, we demonstrate that every life is vital and must be fought for, no matter what it takes. I know that the joy of this outcome will inspire and encourage the government and all concerned to do everything within human possibility to secure the release of our other daughters who are still in captivity.

“This President, I am assured, will not rest on his oars until all the girls in captivity are freed and returned to their families.  Security and ending the Boko Haram insurgency remains atop the agenda of the APC-led government and I am happy that the evidence is there to see that progress is being made on this front.”

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APC Imbroglio: Is Bola Tinubu guilty? By Abiodun Komolafe

Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s call on John Odigie-Oyegun to resign as National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) for allegedly derailing from the path of progressives continues to generate diverse opinions in the polity. The call, rather than being misconstrued by Tinubu’s antagonists should be seen for its altruistic value and content. It is about saving the soul of a ruling party that is still in its embryo.

But, while waiting to see how circumstances eventuate, some questions keep bothering me and if they are answered dispassionately, they may help put the understanding of the issue in proper perspective. Before all else, was Tinubu wrong in endorsing a candidate? Better put, did he, as the National Leader of a foremost party, do something he ought not to have done by allegedly asking all the aspirants to  work for  his preferred choice (Punch, September 3, 2016)? Also, and, in fairness to the facts, is Tinubu gradually losing out in Nigeria’s political space and what is the way out? As a matter of fact, what has become of the ruling party in so short a space of time and where lies the place of its founding fathers in all of  this?

Well, while I may be insufficient at supplying answers to these troubling  questions, until proven otherwise, I hold the notion that Odigie-Oyegun was either misunderstood, misrepresented or  used  by some principalities higher than him. Again, until there is evidence to the contrary, I am also of the firm belief that President  Muhammadu Buhari is too decent a leader to be  involved in this  messy and rather childish tricks that take nobody anywhere.

Having said that, Nigerians will agree with me that, on a good day, the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State is a rare privilege for APC to present itself as a party of choice to the electorate.  It is also an opportunity  to  test the waters  a la Nigerians’ acceptance of its policies and programmes, preparatory to 2019. With the situation of things however, one can only pray it would not mess it up  on the altar of some  unbelievably self-inflicted wounds. From all indications, Mimiko as the Contestant-in-Chief  looks well-prepared for the battle ahead and this ought to have spurred the opposition into going into the race with a formidable team for the overall purpose of enriching our democratic process. With Eyitayo Jegede, from a Senatorial District which, among other considerations, is noted for having the largest chunk of voters, as People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s governorship candidate; and John Ola Mafo, from an axis notorious for political characterizations similar to Alimosho in Lagos State, Oke Ogun in Oyo State and Florida in the United States of America, tentatively as Jegede’s deputy, the battle line is already drawn! While the import of these should not be lost on objective observers, we also need to bear in mind that Goodluck Jonathan, as fate would have it, is no longer in power. Impliedly, November 26, 2016  will most certainly follow a path different from the experience in Ekiti and Osun States in 2014. Little wonder the outgoing  governor  has been running ‘upandan’ to bung  any  inadequacy that  is  within his powers.

Kazi Shams was right when he described “half a truth” as “a whole lie.”  From a state of denial to an overflowing scourge of anger, the troubling truth is that we deceive ourselves a lot in this country and this  adds more confusion to the course of questions! Much as we would pretend not to know, life itself is full of lessons. It is also full of surprises. But, if care is not taken, one may concentrate more on the ‘surprise’ aspect of life to the detriment of its lessons.  Anyway, since memories are real, those who wish to be unnecessarily emotions- and sentiments-driven should pause a bit and ponder the roles of Pharaoh in the life of Joseph (Genesis 45:46);  King Xerxes in Mordecai’s (Esther 10:3);  Melchizedek in Abraham’s (Hebrews 7);  the Widow of Zarephat in  Prophet Elijah’s (1 Kings 17: 7-16);  and ask Nigeria’s exceptionally good liars and professional pretenders what they would do better should they find themselves in Tinubu’s shoes before casting the first stone.

Again, if history is an oracle we must consult in order to determine the future, then, we  need  not  forget in a hurry that, once upon a recent experience in Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida, in crude and rude connivance with some military top brass, not only endorsed Olusegun Obasanjo, they also ensured that he succeeded Abdusalami Abubakar as Nigeria’s president.  Adams Oshiomhole stood by Godwin Obaseki at the just-concluded governorship election in Edo State. Even, Rotimi Akeredolu, the man in the eye of the storm, reportedly  had his campaign  “bankrolled by Atiku Abubakar and some APC bigwigs”  (Vanguard, September 28, 2016). But for the luxury of time and space, one can go on and on! So, who’s fooling who?

To some schools of thought, Tinubu ought to have read the tea leaves correctly, especially, given that  the contestants paid to obtain Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms. Well, since the rules of natural justice are so fundamental that they don’t have to be legislated, Odigie-Oyegun’s  interview in Punch, August 21, 2016, has, in my considered opinion, settled that!

Yes!  Nigeria is in challenging times and conventional prescriptions for her  ailments ought to be of interest to us as  Nigerians. But,  in  the  midst  of  the  monstrosity of the corruption that has tragically become Nigeria’s defining characteristic, Tinubu  comes about as one leader who has given deep meanings to democracy. Like him or hate him: he is a politician who has attained an unprecedented level of political sophistication that can radically influence the perception of governance  in  this once-so-beautiful-but-now-badly-damaged microcosm. His  gift of being able to make the right choices is superb as one could see in his preference for Babatunde Fashola and Rauf Aregbesola as Lagos and Osun State Governors respectively. With the benefit of hindsight, Fashola not only performed, he eventually became the APC poster  boy in the last election. And while Aregbesola, on his part, has succeeded in unselfishly redefining governance in my home state, he is also patriotically preparing the ‘Land of Virtue’  for the future and, when its fruits blossom   forth,  they will be to the gapes of Nigerians.

Another  worthy  example of Tinubu’s ability to identify talents is his choice of Akinwunmi Ambode as Fashola’s successor. Surely, Ambode’s ongoing silent revolution in modernizing Lagos, especially,  with the expansion of road networks and redesigning of bus stops to ease traffic congestion, is a step in the right direction. Kudos must also be given to this forward-looking Nigerian  for making Buhari’s  aspiration possible after three futile attempts. And, do we need to discuss the success of his business ventures? Without being immodest, facts on ground have already spoken! For the patriotism he has expressed as well as his enormous contributions to the development of democracy in Nigeria, methinks this sagacious and perspicacious politician deserves encouragement, not disparagement; and solidarity, not brickbats.

From my perspective, politics as a game of interest and numbers  goes beyond vote  casting and party affiliation. Maybe that’s why some people see politics, especially in Africa, as ‘the shortest road  to  financial  freedom.’  The point I am trying to make here is that though, the system in vogue in Nigeria may at the moment be defective and frustrating, all through history, those who who came out of it smoking were those who were able to master  its ‘by-the-minute’ difficulties, frustrations, and, not unexpectedly, its success stories while those who could not  have always had themselves to blame.  And that’s the real deal!

Finally, let’s pray that life, times, even travails of  Bola Ige would treat our leaders to some salient  lessons in season.

May powers and personalities, assigned to derail Nigeria’s beautiful destiny, wither!

 

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

 

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Between Tinubu And The Many ‘Brutus’ In APC, By Maxwell Adegbenro

I am a Shakespearean. I enjoy his work. I’m developed by his tales. Depth of his works and the energy spiced into it is my fantasy. That’s a proven fact.

It was one of Shakespeare work “The tragedy of Julius Cesar Is A Tragedy” that first drew me congruous to the word ‘betrayal’ and it’s ever hitching resonation. Records has the book written in 1599, where tragic narrative of Romans Senate claimed the life of one of her ruler Julius Cesar.

The Julius Cesar and Marcus Junius Brutus historical rivalry focuses on ambition, betrayal and power. Since then nothing portend greater fear to me than the self-afflicted ambition of a man is willing to make anyone or anything a sacrificial ladder to mount the saddle.

The good thing about WS story though mixed with a bit of fiction is that it help give perceptive rationality to notoriety of issues in sphere of human life politically, socially and economically. Shakespeare drew her curtain from Roman history. He built castle of art and literature for global shape.

Cesar and Brutus were close friends and brothers. Exactly that make the betrayal  one of the vicious character found in man. Fair or not, history of ceasar’s death can not be warped disjointedly from Brutus, who at the time could not but fuel the palace coup, before drawing his dagger and stabbed Cesar. The book prognosticated how transient the love for power could cuff a man from his faith and blood.

To this action, dismay Cesar was gutted as blood was spilled. Caesa cries, “Et tu Brute?. Meaning “You too Brutus? Lo, Then fall Caesar.” The rest is history.

Cesar’s story have figuring resemblance to the ailing division rocking the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, where gauged gang-up against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was cleverly carried out to whittle his powers or relegate his strength by those who feel his weight is a burden. That is make believe foregoing narratives anyone could draw from the barefaced onslaught aimed at the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President, alluded to be the brain behind his husband achievable ambition.

Presumably, Bola Tinubu enemies want the hold of power. They agree to match up their despotic desire for mere parochial assumption that his strength would no longer be feather to contain afterall by 2019, and thus chose to malevolently attack his interest, personality using the walls he gladly erected. Gutted at that: Asiwaju fired back, called for his party Chairman resignation and the ripple is seemingly becoming an unending chapter.

The last words of Julius Cesar explained that Caesar may not have known just how much treachery was knocking until his dying minute. When Cesar died ancient Rome fall. Same as Tinubu, whose enemies within that party including his erstwhile protégée are pressured to out-skirted his banner from the field of party drive, and direction.

You too Oyegun? Is the question Tinubu or any of his leftist gladiators that know about the politicks that gave John Oyegun the soon to be wrecked boat to paddle if not salvaged from the wreckers. Brutus and Oyegun are alike at this. Unlike Tinubu, his ambition has never consummated his principle and philosophy.

Cesar had so much confidence in Brutus until he knew he must die for it. The mistake was Cesar truly, but the shame is Brutus. However, Tinubu is facing the ambush of his political life, and may not have to die for it. This is sad episode for the party prepped to differ by same Tinubu who walked the sun, waxed his energy and sacrificed his intellectual strength to deliver what will forever be regarded as upturn in Nigeria political history.

This is especially so given the hybrid of his contribution which is down to staking his ambition.  Little did he know the wall of people around him – the trained protégée and disciples may have cracked and couldn’t take any shot bullet for him. At this, the depth of his conviction of a new Nigeria under change ideology may have been shallowed by desperate intentions of his co-builders. Against all hope, Tinubu believed in hope of a desirable nation.

The many Brutus are among us with blood-reeking dagger of betrayal.

With this spat-venom of betrayal thrown at ‘Egunla’ by the Brutus in the party,  those predicting the fall of APC are not out of forthright predication. The saboteurs are apparently on a mission to send Tinubu out of the home he built with both his financial status and intellectual credentials. Failed attempt at that. So vicious of character and the interest they represent. Such act is not only dastardly willful but monstrous. The act is capable of killing the party vision and mount road block at government’s direction on the back of assurances the party rode to power.

Et tu, (You too) John Odigie Oyegun, who lately surfaced amongst team of other Brutus. Sordid reports of pockets of violations, breach of confidence, trust, wholesale of bellyaching betrayal likened to his leadership as National Party Chairman has been confirmed by the slandering reaction that attended to it.

The party, APC is indeed at the thick of it: repulsively, a period of repressive betrayal, gang-up, conspiracy is too apprehensive of the soon to be sold electoral promises outlined for the people of Ondo. The leadership of the party is not considering loosing against Mimiko again for the second time. The party flag bearer, Rotimi Akeredolu attitude and issues with the state party is quite irascible to the dream of achieving Alagbaka in next month election.

With the party rancor bitting hard without Presidency arresting the situation, it is now more beneficial to betray your benefactor for a plate of political favour from alter of administrative gravity than to stay on principle. Things has gone so awkwardly distasteful that politicians can now sell their birth rights for political and economic gains.

This isn’t the first, and is far from been the last in our democratic institution. I have read enough contribution of progressive leaders of the era where principles of friendship and relationships was an enviable credential of building formidable and lasting political theory. And Ofcourse, One of them is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Hearing the name Bola Tinubu in recycling tide would remind Nigerians of the contributions of the former Two-term Lagos Governor towards the birth of change as enjoyed by the cabal.

Experiencing this at this crucial economic ligament posit a great danger to the confidence repose on the party by Nigerians who are sick and tired of promises without result. It won’t be long before the future of our Country is threatened by the mischievous desperados. The greatest treachery is the onlooking attitude of other party leaders that rode on the collective struggle achieved.

Tinubu wouldn’t know the Brutus would go out this early after him since he is not seeking office for himself; that has long been sacrificed.  The change project is without a wheel, Ofcourse there is a captain but what can the captain do without a wheel. To have come after Tinubu this early no doubt means the spoils of 2019 elections would be uninteresting to recant.

we should all fear the Brutus……

Maxwell O.Adegbenro
Writes From Lekki Lagos
Bendtner009@gmail.com

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How Tinubu Nominated Osinbajo As Buhari’s VP – Bello

If the revelation by Secretary to Lagos State Government (SSG) TUNJI BELLO is anything to go by, President Muhammadu Buhari’s biographer Prof John Paden has created a distortion of historical facts in his book, “Muhammadu Buhari: “The challenges of leadership in Nigeria”.  The former Lagos Environment Commissioner said the American author got it all wrong in his claim that   the President chose Prof Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate for the 2015 presidential election above All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his successor Babatunde Raji Fashola. In this article, Bello, who was part of the process that threw up Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate, gives his account.

Nothing strengthens deceit more than silence. And on an occasion like this, one often wonders why some people twist events and history in order to legitimise a mission. While ruminating over why this should be, it is not impossible to embark on introspection by thinking out so many possibilities that politics is replete with. This line of thought is informed by laughable events of the last few days.

The news media have become agog with false story as to how Vice President Yemi Osinbajo came to be. During the launch of a book: “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria”, a biography on President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday, 3rd October 2016, Nigerians were fed with half truths by the author, Prof John Paden, on how Osinbajo became the Vice President of the country. I don’t know how the author came about his story, but he totally got it wrong because what he wrote basically is based on falsehood that reeks of deliberate misinformation and mischief.

I know how Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo because I was part of the process that midwifed his nomination. In mid-December 2014, it was a Saturday morning after President Mohammadu Buhari had been picked by All Progressives Congress (APC), at the party’s presidential primaries at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos. I received a phone call from Asiwaju to see him that morning. On my way to his house, I discovered that a car at a reasonable distance was that of former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dele Alake, who was, ostensibly, heading towards Asiwaju’s house in Ikoyi. Asiwaju must have called him too for that task that could be explained underneath.

As soon as we arrived, Asiwaju quickly asked us to join him in his car as we headed to a Guest House. At the Guest House, the former All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Prof Yemi Osibajo and one renowned pastor joined us.

At the meeting, Asiwaju related to us the urgent need to pick a vice presidential candidate for the APC. He advised that we immediately discard the idea of his being nominated for the vice presidential slot as it was no longer possible to pick a muslim-muslim ticket. This he reasoned made sense if indeed we were to be realistic in our bid to defeat President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election. He reasoned that what was important and imperative at that time was to look for a good Christian nominee to complement President Muhammadu Buhari.

I remember Baba Akande responded to his aversions that he would still have preferred that Asiwaju should be the running mate since it had been done before. Baba Akande was obviously referring to the MKO Abiola/Babagana Kingibe nomination. Asiwaju responded by distinguishing the political equation then from what was before us at that point in time. He foreclosed that scenario as no longer possible. We all voiced our opinions, and at the end of the day, it was resolved that we had to get a Christian candidate.

It was at this point that Asiwaju reminded us to be fast in coming up with an option because he felt other geographical zones are also jostling for same position reiterating the need for the Southwest to get it as a must. Asiwaju audaciously told us for that left for him, and if he were to pick anyone, he would suggest Prof Yemi Osinbajo. That Osinbajo, apart from being a brilliant legal luminary, is also a committed progressive and democrat. And having been married to the late Obafemi Awolowo’s grand-daughter, it would not be a problem selling him to the old political establishment of Southwest for acceptance.  He asserted that Alake and I, having served in his cabinet could attest to the great works he did as attorney-general during his, Asiwaju’s administration as Governor of Lagos State. He also reasoned that the second major factor in favour of Osinbajo was the fact that he is a strong Christian and one that he is already a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

READ: EXCLUSIVE: How Tinubu Outsmarted Amaechi, Oshiomhole, Others to Present Osinbajo as Buhari’s Running Mate

In the long run, Osinbajo’s nomination was well received by all of us at that meeting and Prof Osinbajo was asked to start detailing with us, further strategy sessions to which he brought out his laptop and we all commenced a brainstorming session. The rest of the discussion was to strategise on how to contain other likely opponents from the Southwest zone before proceeding to Abuja to battle other regional zones in the coming nomination.

The meeting did not finish until about 9.00pm when we returned to Asiwaju’s residence in Bourdillon. By the time we returned to his house, there were about six serving governors already waiting to see him from different parts of Nigeria.

What is particularly sad now is that the book launch of the president was deployed to create a make-believe story that puts the society at a disadvantage of history. One would have thought that now that the progressives, through an uncommon alliance in 2015, created an upset by defeating, for the first time in the country’s history, the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), it might be taken as given that the role of all active participants in the exercise would be correctly recorded. But surprisingly and painfully too, such an avenue was used to create a historical distortion of facts.

If a political adversary had done that, one would not have been disturbed. This is because at the end of the day under such circumstance, the goal is usually to create a make-believe story that puts the society on a wrong side of history. But now that the progressives, through an uncommon alliance in 2015, created an upset by defeating, for the first time in the country’s history, the then ruling (PDP), it might be taken as given that the role of all active participants in the exercise would be correctly recorded. But surprisingly painful is the fact that an historical distortion of facts is coming from an unexpected quarters at this early stage of progressive politics.

It becomes more of a matter of concern when a renowned intellectual writes a book and begins to redefine events in his own way by abashedly evading facts that are bellowing in the public space in order to re-create a world of make-believe for his audience. Sincerely, such an act understandably becomes a matter to ponder seriously.

Let us stop here. It is not all clothes that can be dried in the sun.

TheNation

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Tinubu Gives Insight Into The Formation Of An Opposition Party That Defeated PDP

All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has given insight into how attempts by opposition parties to form a coalition against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed in 2011 and how the parties successfully fused ahead of the general elections of last year.

He spoke while reviewing a biography titled: “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenge of Leadership in Nigeria”, written by Prof John Paden, an American author and a lecturer in international studies.

The public presentation of the book took place at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja and was attended by the high and mighty in the country.

Below is the review:

This authorised biography of Nigeria’s Leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, attempts a broad characterisation of the different stages of his life and professional career.

Essentially, the book explores how his professional career, his personal life and prior experiences in government shaped and prepared him for the momentous assignment he now has.

From the book’s pages, we see a man who has lived his life on assignments that always intersected with vital moments in the nation’s history. He was a man on assignment, when, in the military, he served bravely in a civil war to keep Nigeria united.

He was on national assignment when he became military head of state in a well-intentioned effort to straighten things out, and set Nigeria on a better path. When he ventured into politics and competed for the Presidency, culminating in his 2015 election victory, he was still on assignment, showing that there was no other way for this nation to go but the way of democracy, no matter how difficult the path may be.

Now, as a sitting President, he is on an assignment, against time, to undo the wrongs of nearly two decades of bad governance.

Such is the life of this man, always in the public eye, doing things in his different, disciplined and Spartan way. From this compelling narrative, neatly demarcated into three parts and 24 chapters, the reader is able to glean the quintessential Buhari.

The historical bent of this rendering, no doubt, makes for an educative and informative reading. The book is a timely narrative.

Buhari’s credential as a transformative leader, who has evolved into a committed democrat, is secured in this narrative. The Nigeria project, which occupies the center stage in the book, has been Buhari’s life.

Prof John Paden, the author of the book, was on point when he observed that political leadership was critical in keeping Nigeria moving and developing.

The search for that astute political leadership is what produced the Buhari presidency. That same search is what must propel this presidency forward.

The forward, written by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, captures the very essence of the book. No one is more qualified to evaluate President Buhari, from the past to the present, other than Gen. Danjuma. As a senior officer to Buhari, they both enjoy a professional and personal friendship, unparalleled in our history. His words confirm that Buhari was a man prepared for leadership ahead of a time like this.

The formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is an important event that the book addresses. The merger was the result of teamwork, belief in the democratic will of the people and a commitment to national purpose.

Many of us invested ourselves, our heart, body, mind and soul in this project for national salvation. Many did not want it to happen and fought to undermine the good we sought to accomplish. Many others straddled the side lines, neither completely in, nor completely out, but waiting to see how the prevailing winds might blow before making their move.

Muhammadu Buhari never wavered for one moment on this journey. Proving to be a focused leadership, he acted with single-minded determination that showed no fear or doubt in the rightfulness of the cause we pursued. I know this for an unassailable fact because I was there with him, every step of the way, to fight against, what the realists told us, were un-surmountable odds.

Yet, our determination for reform beat their smart calculations. The desire for a better country was more powerful than their incumbent might.

So many people made contributions that made the historic merger possible. It would be impossible to give each person the accolades they deserve in a concise work such as this one. However, it is an account that we must begin to chronicle fully, and with care, for it is the story of when reform came to the land. Here, I must say that this book makes a good initial contribution toward this objective.

Indeed, the APC is a party born of the quest for democratic good governance. In essence, the party is the embodiment of a democratic promise made between its members as well as a democratic vow made to the public. The APC genesis is truly a historic and an engaging one.

I, therefore, crave your indulgence here to give a bit more insight.

In forming the ‘new’ party, we had three challenges. The first was learning the right lessons from the aborted attempt at political cooperation in 2011. Fortunately, both the ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) and CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) regretted our inability to conclude a pact in 2011.

We agreed that there would be no recrimination over what did not happen before. We agreed there would be an intensified effort to forge the united effort that eluded us in 2011.

In 2011, both parties wanted cooperation, but became stuck whether that should take the form of an alliance or outright merger. This difference gave rise to another one, regarding how the vice presidential candidate, who would run with the (then) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, would be selected.

Despite numerous good-faith demonstrated in attempts to resolve these issues, time ran out on finding a solution. In retrospect, we all were perhaps a bit too inflexible and did not realise the extent to which cooperation and flexibility were needed to establish the reform we all wanted.

The result: each party went its own way in 2011. However, the talks of 2011 would foreshadow the discussions, beginning in 2013, which led to the successful merger forming the APC.

Talks mainly between the CPC, led by Buhari, and the ACN, led by myself, later joined by the ANPP (All Nigeria Peoples Party) and the progressive wing of APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance), would go more smoothly and would reach the desired finish-line this time. There would be a merger and there would be a presidential candidate agreeable to all. A winning combination had been joined.

It would give the PDP, which had boasted of 60 continuous years in power, more than it could handle.

After the successful merger and the birth of APC, it was time to pick a flag bearer. At the Lagos convention, President Buhari emerged as the new party’s choice in a transparently-honest process.  His speech to the convention was greeted with ovation, even by those who had opposed him.

In that speech, he said to the delight of all who heard, and I quote him:

“I can’t give you a pocketful of dollars or naira to purchase your support. Even if I could, I would not do so. The fate of this nation is not up for sale. What I will give you, and this nation, is all of my strength, commitment, sweat and toil in the service of the people. What I can give you is my all”.

This set the tone for the campaign to come.

But first, there was the sticky issue of selecting a running mate. After careful study and discussion, it was agreed that we should field a religiously-balanced ticket given the sensitivities of the moment.

Based on this conclusion, the name of Yemi Osinbajo, renowned law professor and former Lagos State Attorney-General during my tenure as governor, was proposed as an excellent running mate.

Osinbajo was also a pastor in the largest church in the entire country, and this would answer those who wrongfully tried to paint Buhari as intolerant.

From these events, you can see a portrait of President Buhari as a democrat, more adept, than many would think, at the nuances of coalition-building and political partnership.

During the campaign, he surprised many by his agility and the broad canvas on which he operated.

In tracing the evolution of Buhari, the national leader, the author’s assertion that military rule is based on the power its holders can wield, while civilian rule is based on the legitimacy derived from elections, is a point with which I dare not debate.

Buhari’s career embodies this, hence his transition from being a military ruler to being a civilian leader, who subjected himself to the rigors and uncertainty of elections four times. Thrice he patiently went to court, seeking redress from electoral manipulation.

The author, quite accurately, remarked on the Buhari victory equation, as flowing from Northern grassroots support and coalition-building with the Southwest as well as with other tendencies.

Prof Paden, in the book, succinctly explains the transition from the Buhari in uniform to one in civilian garb. He notes that in terms of style of leadership, Buhari as a young military head of state was in a hurry.

However, now that he is older and given his experience, he is “slow but steady” in his approach to governance. The author juxtaposes Buhari’s military career and his political career adeptly, weaving them together in a tapestry that evokes the image of a man, who, from day one, had been destined for leadership.

President Buhari made three electoral promises: Security, Corruption and Employment. On security, success has been recorded in decimating Boko Haram. On corruption and the rule of law, Buhari continues to plough new ground.

Chapter 19 of the book titled: “Corruption and Law” is a good examination on his fight against corruption. Unemployment has been a stubborn problem, made even more difficult by the oil price-driven recession, but this administration has shown its commitment toward achieving the structural reform that will bring a durable solution to this and other economic challenges.

On the whole, the book is an important one. It is a logically-presented account of the emergence of the current political dispensation with President Buhari as its central protagonist. The author tried to achieve many things within a relatively small space. He succeeded in the main. He let the reader get a view into the family roots, life and experience of President Buhari. He also told the story of his professional career as a military general. The story of his political career and the journey to the presidency was told in a straightforward manner.

Finally, he attempted a quick evaluation of the President’s first year in office. The author covers a vast amount of territory with an economy of words, yet he manages to give a feel for Muhammadu Buhari, the man. Therein lies the success of the book.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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Buhari Is A True Democrat With A Slow And Steady Approach To Governance – Tinubu

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a true democratic who is “slow but steady” in his approach to governance.

He spoke on Monday during the launch of a book — ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, written by John Paden, a professor of international studies — at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Tinubu, who was one of the reviewers of the book, also said Buhari was a disciplined and focused person right from his youthful days till the present time.

He stressed that the President was in haste to bring changes as a young leader.

“During the campaign, he surprised many by his agility and the broad canvas on which he operated,” he said.

“In tracing the evolution of Buhari, the national leader, the author’s assertion that military rule is based on the power its holders can wield, while civilian rule is based on the legitimacy derived from elections, is a point with which I dare not debate.

“Buhari’s career embodies this, hence his transition from being a military ruler to being a civilian leader, who subjected himself to the rigors and uncertainty of elections four times. Thrice he patiently went to court, seeking redress from electoral manipulation.

“The author, quite accurately, remarked on the Buhari victory equation, as flowing from Northern grassroots support and coalition-building with the South West as well as with other tendencies.”

Tinubu said: “This authorized biography of Nigeria’s Leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, attempts a broad characterization of the different stages of his life and professional career.

“Essentially, the book explores how his professional career, his personal life and prior experiences in government shaped and prepared him for the momentous assignment he now has.

“From the book’s pages, we see a man who has lived his life on assignments that always intersected with vital moments in the nation’s history. He was a man on assignment, when, in the military, he served bravely in a civil war to keep Nigeria united.

“He was on national assignment when he became military head of state in a well-intentioned effort to straighten things out, and set Nigeria on a better path.

“When he ventured into politics and competed for the Presidency, culminating in his 2015 election victory, he was still on assignment, showing that there was no other way for this nation to go but the way of democracy, no matter how difficult the path may be.

“Now, as sitting President, he is on an assignment, against time, to undo the wrongs of nearly two decades of bad governance.

“Such is the life of this man. Always in the public eye, doing things in his different, disciplined and Spartan way. From this compelling narrative, neatly demarcated into three parts and 24 chapters, the reader is able to glean the quintessential Buhari.”

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Crisis Brews In APC As Tinubu Asks Oyegun To Resign

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All progressives Congress (APC), has demanded the resignation of John Oyegun, national chairman of the party.

Tinubu made the demand in a detailed statement he released on Sunday night, following the controversies that heralded the emergence of Rotimi Akeredolu, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), as candidate of the party in the Ondo state governorship election.

Akeredolu was declared winner of the primary on September 3, after he polled a total of 699 votes — ahead of Olusegun Abraham, preferred candidate of Tinubu, who polled 635 votes.

Olusola Oke, another lawyer, came third with 536 votes, while Ajayi Boroffice, senator representing Ondo north, came fourth with 471 votes.

The victory appeared to have suffered a setback when the APC appeal committee recommended the annulment of the primary, citing controversies about the delegates’ list.

However, the panel was overruled on Wednesday, as the party forwarded Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its candidate for the election, billed for November 26.

“The NWC struck out the report of the appeal committee which had earlier recommended the cancellation of the September 3 election,” Akeredolu said.

“The party’s apex decision making organ averred that Appeal Committee’s report was prejudicial and largely perfunctory as its decision was based on unsubstantiated allegations and spurious claims of electoral manipulations.”

For his alleged role in the manner of Akeredolu’s status, Tinubu has accused Oyegun of “safeguarding the fraud done in Ondo by perpetrating a greater fraud, arrogating to himself the right to submit the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to INEC as the candidate of the party”.

He particularly said Oyegun tricked the party’s national working committee (NWC) into a prayer as the meeting neared its end, and “used the prayerful interlude” to secretly excuse himself from the meeting and submit Akeredolu’s name to INEC.

 

For this and many other alleged actions of fraud, Tinubu said: “To rescue the party, Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same time.

THE FULL STATEMENT

The APC, a party born of the quest for democratic good governance, is under critical threat by those who managed to be in the party but never of it. From the party’s inception, the principles of democratic fairness and justice were to guide APC internal deliberations. Party founders realized that only by intramural fair dealing could the party remain faithful to the progressive ideals that we presented to the Nigerian electorate as our governing creed. If the party could not justly govern itself, it would find it difficult to establish and maintain just government throughout the nation. 

In essence, the party was the embodiment of a democratic promise made between its members as well as a democratic vow made to the public. Evidently, some errant members believe promises and vows are mere words to be easily spoken and more easily broken. Chairman John Oyegun has breached these good pledges in a most overt and brazen display. In doing so, Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few naira. The party was supposed to buttress APC members elected to government at all levels. Because of Oyegun’s conduct of our affairs, the party is rapidly becoming an albatross to those it was meant to help.

Oyegun’s comportment regarding the Ondo State primacy will become the textbook definition of political treachery and malfeasance of the basest order. In early September, the state primary was held. A purported winner was named. Having faith in the ways of the party, Tinubu publicly accepted what he assumed to be a verdict honestly derived. As a democrat, one must face the possibility of defeat and accept such as outcome with as much grace as one would embrace victory. One of the few bright spots during the conduct of the primaries was Jigawa Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar

He chaired the primary convention with decorum and impartiality. He was unaware that a tampered list had been slipped into the process.
Indeed within hours of the announcement, news began to filter in that gravely disturbed me. Credible allegations of fraud troubled the waters. The delegate list had been materially altered by someone in a strategic position to so do. The names of over 150 valid delegates were excised to make room for an equal number of impostors. This was not a clerical error. The alteration was willfully executed that the primary would be directed toward a chosen end that bore nothing in common with the will of most state party members. A cunning few had tried to deceive the many into believing they were outnumbered.

A conspiracy to steal the Ondo primary had been uncovered. Fortunately, the grand deception afoot had been unable to cover its tracks fast enough. Truth began to cry for justice.

Several candidates filed petitions contesting the result. The party established an investigative board to review the evidence. In a two to one decision, the panel found the delegate roster had suffered tampering. The panel recommended that a new primary should be held using the valid delegate list. This recommendation was tabled before the National Working Committee (NWC).

After many hours of deliberations spanning several days, a final vote was held by the NWC. Before hand, NWC members agreed that the decision of the majority would become the stance of the party. Such is the way of democracy. The NWC voted six against five to cancel the fraudulent results and hold an honest primary. For a moment, it seemed the party would restore its integrity by giving democracy a chance. However, those who sought to scam an entire state would not let the vote of 11 people spoil their enterprise.

After the NWC vote, a noticeably agitated Chairman Oyegun proposed the NWC engage in prayer before concluding the meeting. Adhering to this chairman’s request, NWC members began to pray. Seeing that the others had taken his bait, Oyegun used the prayerful interlude to secretly excuse himself from the meeting. Contravening the NWC decision and in violation of all rules of fundamental decency, Oyegun decided to safeguard the fraud done in Ondo by perpetrating a greater fraud. Oyegun arrogated to himself the right to submit the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to INEC as the candidate of the party.

Truth has finally come to light. There exists a regressive element in the party that cares nothing for the progressive ideas upon which this party was founded. They joined the APC because it was the best ride available at the time. Now they want to guide the party into the ditch. They want to turn the party into a soulless entity incapable of doing good, just like they are. When such a person tastes power, they shed all good restraint. They come to abuse the trust given them as if they are the owners of that trust and not its mere custodians. These people did little to build the party but now will do much to wreck it.

Such a man is Oyegun and those who conspired with him to sabotage justice and democracy in Ondo. Our party was to stand for change. Oyegun and his fellows seem to be on a different wave length. They are the cohort of Unchange. The APC wants to guide Nigeria into a better tomorrow. Oyegun and the cohort of unchange want to pull Nigeria back into the past where rigging and vote stealing were the old and new testaments of politics. They want the people to think that there is no alternative to their reactionary system of skewed politics and imperious government. Thus, they seek to turn the APC into a factory of the very political malpractices the people soundly rejected in the past election. To choke the APC in this manner is to kill the chance for progressive reform for the foreseeable future. Much more than the Ondo primary is at stake. Oyegun has revealed his team’s game plan: It is the destruction of progressive politics and governance on behalf of the people.

As party chairman, Oyegun was supposed to protect our internal processes and be an impartial arbiter, a person in whom all had confidence. Instead, he donned the garment of a confident man, duping the NWC, the party, and INEC in one fell blow. He has robbed APC members in Ondo State of the chance to pick in a fair manner who they believe is the best candidate.

As such, he has broken faith with the party and probably has broken a few laws. The consequences of what he has done are more expansive than a man of his scope can fathom. There must is a powerful and sinister arm at work to compel a man of Oyegun’s age to steal the decision of the party in a manner so crude that it would embarrass even the commonest thief.

With strong expectation, we await a response to Oyegun’s wrongdoing from those who clamored so long and loudly about Tinubu’s alleged role in the Ondo primary.

Leading into the primary, a prominent lawyer from Ondo published lengthy missives alleging that Tinubu was a malicious hand intent on rigging the primary. His letters spoke of his great love for democracy and justice. Though Oyegun has assaulted democracy in a most public and vulgar way, this lawyer’s prolific pen will remain stilled. He dare not publish a word about this travesty. His silence will be sign for all who care to decipher its meaning.

The plan was to point the accusing finger at Tinubu. With everyone focused on Tinubu, they would have distracted all attention from the heist they had set in motion. As fate would have it, the trickery they hoped to conduct in the shadows has come to light.

Thus, Oyegun was forced to undertake his desperate fraud in broad daylight in order to salvage the wrong initiated under the lamp of darkness. Those who so actively attributed imaginary wrong to Tinubu now stand dumb and mute in the face of confirmed impropriety. They remain silent for reasons they cannot divulge. Oyegun and his ilk turn out to be gangsters adorned in the tunic of party authority.
Oyegun has engaged in the strange math where five is greater than six. This smacks of how the PDP conducted its affairs and orchestrated its own downfall. Tinubu disparaged such malpractice when it was not in his party. Tinubu surely disowns it now that it has invaded the party he helped bring to fruition.

Tinubu has consciously refused to hold any official position with the party to avoid the perception that he was trying to control all and sundry. Tinubu has even kept his peace for some time despite many things that happened within the party that were not quite right. He exercised this forbearance because the party is young. A collective endeavor cannot avoid the mistakes and errors of organizational newness and evolution.

Yet, the wrongs Oyegun committed had nothing to do with newness or the mistakes occasioned by the path of reform. His actions are in the nature of the old wrongs that have afflicted our national politics much too long. If Oyegun wants to walk backward into the past, he has every right to it. However, he has no right to drag the party or any of us with him. Against our choosing.

The informal title of national leader of the party was given to Tinubu at the onset which he accepted it as a sign from those who wished to recognize my contributions to the party’s formation. It is an honorific title which he has been proud to wear until today. I would rather not have any title yet reside in a party that honors democracy than hold a title in a party that says it honors me but that treats justice with indecency. I find greater honor and comfort where democracy and fairness are found and respected.

Oyegun has done the irredeemable. His coup is an insult to party and to patriot, to reason and to the reform agenda of this government. To remain silent would be to admit the defeat of the reform and progressive change many have labored to bring forth. While the forces resistant to change and reform are strong, Tinubu dare not submit to them. Tinubu encourages all party members not to submit to them. If we acquiesce in this wrong, the one greater than this shall cascade upon us.

Oyegun’s transgressions are a warning. He is but the mercenary of forces that seek to return the nation to the old ways. If they get away with this infraction, no telling what or whom they will undermine tomorrow. Much is at stake. On the chopping block, lies the future of the political party in which the majority of voters had placed their confidence. To rescue the party, Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same time. If Tinubu is to choose between John Oyegun and progress toward a better Nigeria, the choice has already been made. For those who care about the party, who care about Nigeria and its chance for a better tomorrow, now is the time to stand against this brewing evil before it grows to encompass all we have built and all we hold dear.

Tinubu Media Office, TMO.

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Tinubu, PDP And Road To 2019: You Are 100% Wrong Uncle Dele Momodu By Fejiro Oliver

If the facts are contrary to any predictions, then the hypothesis is wrong no matter how appealing.

David Douglass
If there are ten men I hold in high esteem when it comes with the dribbling of the pen, it’s Dele Momodu. I grew up reading him and since I picked up the pen as a professional journalist, writer and growing poet, I still drink from his fountain of knowledge.

In various write-ups, he has aptly predicted the political mathematic of the nation and his answers were always right, even if not in same formula which he solved it with.

His latest piece titled ‘Tinubu, PDP and road to 2019’ kept me glued to my tablet, despite various Whatsapp pings that needed my urgent response. I was just focused on reading to the end the captivating wordings. If it was written by a young writer like me, I would easily pass it off as a Public Relations work for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to remain relevant in 2019, but this isn’t the case. This is one write up where Uncle Dele Momodu completely goofed!

Momodu in his article gave the entire glory of Muhammadu Buhari winning the 2015 general elections to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Yorubas. He drew a conclusion that if Buhari must win 2019 election should he decides to run again; he will need the sole support of Tinubu and the Yorubas. No Uncle Momodu, this is not true.

For the records, the Yorubas gave a little above Six Hundred Thousand to Buhari and in all of this votes, former President Jonathan scored the required 25% in all the South West States, and had a good outing. He roundly defeated Buhari in Ekiti State. As a matter of fact, it was a near 50:50 vote in the Yoruba States during the 2015 elections. To conclude that Buhari needs Yorubas to win the 2019 election is a slap on his own kinsmen who rallied round him. It is also a slap on the Yoruba race to tie their political and voting destiny who is but a man with control in Lagos and Osun States.

Two factors were responsible for Buhari’s victory; the influence of the social media youths who packaged a dictator as a democrat and the Northern votes. The votes of the Yorubas were insignificant to his victory. Tinubu’s role in his emergence ended the very day the All Progressive Congress (APC) concluded their primaries. From there, the social media folks whether they took money or not from the party held the ace. The youths who were angry over the immigration exercise, Chibok Girls and many other atrocities of the past government vented their anger by voting out GEJ, not because Tinubu told them to do so, but because they just wanted to experience new person and party in government.

Uncle Momodu was entirely wrong when he wrote that Nigerians will be comfortable with a Muslim Muslim ticket if Buhari fields Tinubu as his running mate or Buhari supports Tinubu as President but fields Nasir El Rufai as his running mate. I do not want to believe that he agreed with himself while writing it. Citing 1993 elections when Moshood Abiola chose Baba Gana Kingibe as his running mate is one error that even an average Nigerian knows can never work. Which El Rufai? The one that sent a law regulating religious practice or the one that is fast fading after the camera show in his first year in office?

The scenario of 1993 is not same with 2019, when everyone is religion conscious. In 1993, even if a Christian-Christian ticket was chosen, Nigerians would still have voted them. They were just eager to send away the military junta. What are they eager about this time that they will allow soap enter their eyes by voting for a joint Muslim ticket? May I remind Uncle Momodu that the PDP has already zoned the Presidency to the North, thus any attempt for APC to take away the Presidency from the North will automatically means a return to power. Testing the waters to see how Nigerians will react if Tinubu is chosen as a running mate to Buhari or chosen as Presidential candidate is DOA (Dead on arrival).

Ascribing any glory to Lagos State in the victory of Buhari is another error by Momodu. The strength of Lagos does not lie in its indigenes but non indigenes. This fear was captured by Tinubu during the last election. Let us set the record straight. Who controls Lagos does not control Nigeria, despite its economic importance to the country. Economies do not vote but people do. This is why Kano, Bauchi, Borno, and the North will always be the deciding factor in every election, since they have the population. It took just Kano State votes to deflate the huge votes of Rivers and Akwa Ibom State during the last elections. If Lagos was such a powerful factor, Olusegun Obasanjo who lost Lagos in 2003 won’t have won.

The 2019 election will NEVER be decided by Tinubu or the Yoruba. It will be decided by angry Nigerians who are already fed up with the ‘Change’ mantra. The elections will be decided not by politicians but solely by the wailing wailers and hailing hailers. The North will be another deciding factor again. But the ultimate deciding factor will be the South South and the South East if they agree to team up to give a bloc vote to the PDP; then we should be ready to have PDP back at the Federal level. This is not impossible, as the party candidate will come from the North, thus leading to divided votes between Buhari or any APC candidate they chose. The field will now be left entirely for South South and South East to decide. Osun is as good as gone to PDP with Rauf Aregbesola poor governance just as Ekiti State is a walk over. Ondo State and Ogun will no doubt be divided but for Lagos State where the economy of top business men have crumbled, due to Buhari’s poor economic policies that have driven many families out of work, it will be protest votes against APC. For Lagos therefore, it’s a win for the PDP.

For Goodluck Jonathan returning as President, it’s a no deal. For PDP, it’s a Northern candidate and if they are serious of a comeback, then he must be a Muslim as well NEVER a Christian.

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver is Editor In Chief of Secrets Reporters News, Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.

 

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Tinubu, PDP And The Road To 2019 By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, you must be wondering what this title is all about. Please, calm down, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, one of Nigeria’s iconic politicians, is not about to dump his party, APC, for PDP, the party he fought hard with others to sack from power just last year.

The reason for bringing PDP into this article which largely concerns the Tinubu conundrum is very simple and straight-forward. PDP has suffered calamities upon catastrophes since General Muhammadu Buhari sacked President Goodluck Jonathan from office. It is hard to imagine, or believe, that a party that held Nigeria by the jugular for 16 solid years could attain meltdown so soon and almost disappear into oblivion.

One would have expected PDP, despite its electoral misfortune, to provide a formidable opposition to APC and keep President Buhari on his toes but that has not been the case. APC has wasted no time in sending PDP to an early grave by throwing poisonous darts at it from every angle.

The war against corruption has been a most veritable weapon with stupendous impact used by APC to scatter most of the PDP apparatchik to the winds. The strategy was to weaken them by showcasing the humongous corruption that was perpetrated and perpetuated during their reign. The PDP brand was thus obliterated in a jiffy. Many of their bigwigs confessed to nefarious and horrendous crimes of looting and brigandage. They coughed up or vomited incredible sums of cash.

All entreaties and shouts of a vengeful witch-hunt against President Buhari fell on deaf ears. The more they screamed the more they were horse-whipped into submission and made to weep bitterly.

As if that was not bad enough, PDP engaged itself in a war of attrition and became a house divided against itself. It was only a matter of time before it crumbled like the proverbial cookie does. Today, PDP has become its own worst enemy with the brickbats being thrown at one another by members of what used to be touted as the biggest political party in Africa. How are the mighty fallen!

The aim of my piece this week is to attempt what I did in 2014 when I wrote a permutative article titled ‘In Search of Mathematicians’. That was how I predicted a win for Buhari when many pundits still doubted such possibility. I intend to do so again in this column by painting a picture of what to expect in 2019. If you think that year is still far away, perish the thought.

The battle for the next Nigerian Presidential election started as soon as the last one was lost and won. The hurly-burly of the elections had not yet settled down when the potential gladiators picked up their gauntlets in readiness for the next combat.

The ruling party APC has suffered its own casualties as a result of its self-immolating wars of anticipation. What do I mean? The new men of power are already thinking ahead and wondering who may be too ambitious within their own fold. Any of such recalcitrant and ambitious rebels must be cut down to size, no matter his or her contribution to past victory and glory. Without mincing words, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, is the first victim and he has suffered massive collateral damage on account of suspicion. APC itself has suffered almost fatally in the process. The only thing holding it together for now is the fact that it is the party in power and thus presumably has limitless opportunities to distribute largesse to the army of party operatives and their cronies.

By this time next year, as this government enters its third year in power, reality would begin to set in and President Buhari will begin to discover and see original animals in human skin.

I foresee and predict a re-alignment of political forces from 2017. President Buhari will be encouraged and persuaded to run a second term by those who are currently profiting from his government. It is only normal and it is their legitimate right. Nothing stops the President from seeking a re-election within our Constitution. The only snag is that many politicians are going to gang up against him because they see him as an outsider in politics who has benefitted from their massive support but in return has been messing things up for them.

If the President remains stoically stubborn and refuses to play ball with politicians, he would have to fight dirty to win his ticket. It seems to me that he would have to do everything to retain the loyalty of one man by all means, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is almost impossible for any candidate to become President of Nigeria without the overwhelming support of the Yoruba and their current generalissimo, Tinubu, in particular.

Tinubu derives his stranglehold on power from his iron grip on Lagos. Lagos is a microcosm of Nigeria. Whoever controls Lagos owns the commercial nerve-centre of Nigeria, just like the California of America. Tinubu has been very lucky in that his anointed candidates, Babatunde Raji Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, have been very cerebrally successful. The current Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, is already set, after just one year in office, to surpass all expectations.

According to impeccable sources, Buhari may therefore be forced to risk and pick Tinubu as his running-mate if push comes to shove. Tinubu’s protégé, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is the current Vice President, who comes with intimidating credentials but may not have enough political muscle to deliver enough votes to the kitty. The dilemma for Buhari is whether he should buck the trend set by his predecessors, starting from Shehu Shagari, and jettison his Vice President, especially when a cordial and mutually respectful relationship exists between them. In addition, Osinbajo has been doing exceedingly well and he is seen as one of the few shining lights of this Administration.

There is also the fact that Prof Osinbajo is a highly regarded and esteemed senior Christian figure and the President has needed him to silence those detractors that consider him an Islamic fundamentalist.

However, I believe that the controversy that could ensue from a potentially volatile Muslim/Muslim ticket may have been fixed substantially. Firstly, there is a precedent set by Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola the acclaimed winner of the 1993 elections who picked a fellow Muslim, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, as his running-mate and still won in Nigeria’s freest and fairest election to date. Secondly, though Tinubu is a devout Muslim, his beloved wife is a hard-core Christian and a top-notch member of the same Redeemed Christian Church of God as the Vice President. Thirdly, there is the fact that Tinubu supported a Christian, Akinwunmi Ambode, as his anointed candidate for Governor of Lagos State, a deft move calculated to pacify those who may wish to foment religious crisis and conflagration then and in the future.

Tinubu is believed by many to have served Nigeria meritoriously and selflessly by suppressing his own personal ambition for that of others and it is believed that the kingmaker deserves a chunky reward the next time around if he so desires. He is acknowledged as being one of the most knowledgeable leaders in Nigeria today and a lot of people feel that his background in business and politics could bail Nigeria out of the economic quagmire of the moment. He is known to be a practical politician who knows how to make the world better for most people.

If the hawks succeed in getting Buhari to snub Tinubu because of his perceived threat to the President himself, the APC may split like PDP did before the collapse of the Jonathan Presidency.

One potential candidate is hovering in the wings and that is the Turaki of Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has never hidden the fact that he wants the Presidency by all means. My next permutation is that the former Vice President and Tinubu who are two of the three most powerful and influential politicians in APC today (the third is Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki with his firm control of the Senate) may combine forces to thwart a Buhari re-election bid. They have been old allies since the time of Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. If they join forces, it may therefore spell doom for those seeking the re-election of President Buhari.

After the seeming lull in the Buhari-Tinubu love, it seems the recent appointments given to some of Tinubu’s acolytes appear designed to assuage his feeling. But would this be sufficient to bury the combustive ambition of a man who believes he still has so much to give to his country?

The third option which also involves Tinubu in the mix is one on which for a variety of reasons Buhari chooses not to run again. Without doubt, there are several other forces contending for power in case Buhari decides not to seek re-election. In this category, Tinubu’s name still features prominently. No one can deny the ability of Tinubu to transform Nigeria the way he did in Lagos. It is presumed that Buhari may generously want to pay Tinubu back for the support he gave him. He may also want to leave a lasting legacy and shed the toga of an ethnic jingoist by handing over to a Southerner. If this happens, I foresee the visionary Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, a core Buhari loyalist, becoming Tinubu’s running-mate, notwithstanding that this is another Muslim/Muslim ticket. Many APC loyalists believe this combination may fly.

There is a fourth option and this is coming from the direction of PDP. The theory here is that PDP can still spring a surprise on Buhari and pay him back in his own coin. The PDP apologists believe the North has lost more under Buhari despite allocating many political appointments to the region. They are of the opinion that former President Jonathan did more for them and gave them access and respect than their own man Buhari who they accuse of being standoffish. This is the reason that many Northerners, apart from his kinsmen in the South South, have become the biggest promoter of PDP.
In case you think Jonathan is dead and buried politically, perish the thought! He still holds the biggest ace in PDP. In fact, many in PDP today see him as their best candidate in 2019 because some of his transformation agenda are beginning to come to fruition. They are hoping and banking on Buhari becoming so unpopular that Jonathan would be sorely missed by Nigerians who would practically beg him to come back.

The rising profile and the promotion of Jonathan in the international community is part of that systematic way of re-polishing, repackaging, redefining and preparing him for a return to power. Every attempt to smear him with a tar brush would be rebuffed by his die-hard loyalists who see Buhari as someone trying to kill any future role for Jonathan as Nigerian President. They are totally committed to ensuring that Jonathan is well protected between now and next year when serious politicking would have reached a crescendo again. The hope is that as a former civilian President, he can bounce back to power like President Mathieu Kerekou did in Benin Republic, when he returned in 1996 after quitting in 1991.

Who knows tomorrow?

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