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Battle for 2023 hots up Drop your ambition, let’s jointly fix APC, concerned stakeholders tell Tinubu, Kalu, Umahi

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AMIDST the apprehension over alleged plot to abort the scheduled February national convention date by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, a group, Concerned APC Stakeholders have cautioned chieftains who have declared their presidential ambition to speak out against what they perceived as unsavoury development within the party. 

Former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, had formally declared their presidential ambition after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari separately at the Presidential Villa this week. 

Former Abia State governor and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, had also dropped the hint of throwing his hat into the ring. 

Spokesperson of the group, Aliyu Audu, in a statement on Thursday maintained that the Concerned APC Stakeholders was disturbed about the silence of the presidential aspirants over alleged foot dragging of the Governor Buni-led APC CECPC to fix a convention date and venue. 

Audu alerted the aspirants that the APC might be a dead platform before the next general elections in the absence of concerned efforts by its top chieftains to call the caretaker team to order. 

The statement read: “The APC Rebirth Group, also referred to as the Concerned APC Stakeholders, has expressed worry over the recent declaration of interest by some members of the All Progressives Congress seeking the presidential ticket of the party ahead of the 2023 elections. 

“Although we understand that aspirants have the constitutional rights and are at liberty to declare their aspirations at any given time, we however are concerned with the present situation of the party, the very platform these aspirants want to use to realize their ambitions, which has been riddled with glaring challenges that portend danger ahead of the 2023 general election. 

“We then wonder whether it would not be more expedient and appropriate to first ensure that our house is well secured and ready for the ambitions of these aspirants? 

“For more than a year, stakeholders and members of the party have raised concerned and complained of the glaring mismanagement of the party by individuals who are bent on destroying the progressive platform in which so many Nigerians invested their hopes for the restitution of our country. 

“The APC Rebirth on the other hand has been on a constant campaign of drawing the attention of party leaders and members to the imminent danger ahead if some powerful but few individuals in control of the party machinery are allowed to continue to pilot affairs based on their selfish agenda, especially judging from the failures the party recorded in the recent past and the attendant consequences. 

“We have all along hoped that many of the party leaders would break their odious silence on what was appearing like a deliberate plan to turn the APC into an exclusive club of few individuals who have continued to do as they pleased with the party, ignoring every plea for retrospection and a return to the foundational principles that was the attraction for many Nigerians who have all along supported the party in the hope that the members would play a different brand of politics. 

“If the leaders have been in slumber all these while, you would expect that the public acknowledgment of President Muhammadu Buhari of the crisis in the party and his warning of a possible loss to the opposition if things continue the way they are, will ideally jolt everyone from their sleep. 

“Instead, silence has continued and campaigns for the highest office. We want to put it on record that their silence is no longer golden. The party must be returned to the right path, and the earlier our leaders speak out about these issues, the earlier and better for not only the success of the party, but also their ambitions.” 

 

Dele Momodu informs PDP of presidential bid, Ohuanbunwa joins race

Publisher and newspaper columnist, Dele Momodu, on Thursday officially notified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of his intention to vie for the presidential ticket of the party.

He was at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja to formally present his letter of intent to the national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

He said he did so because he could not become the president unless his political party first nominates him.

Receiving him in his office, the party boss welcomed him and assured that the PDP would provide a level-playing field for all aspirants.

Ayu expressed delight that Momodu has brought his political and media experience to the party and urged him to seek the support of the party members.

He said the party would support him if he emerges as its candidate and will expect all other aspirants to team up with whoever becomes the standard-bearer of the party.

Similarly, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Sam Ohuanbunwa, has formally apprised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of his intention to vie for its ticket in the 2023 presidential election, saying that if given the chance, he will lay a solid foundation for national unity

 

Group kicks over Umahi’s ambition

Barely forty-eight hours after the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi officially declared his presidential ambition, his move has received rejection in his home state.

Certain Indigenes of his state operating under the platform, Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) have kicked against Governor Umahi’s interest in the 2023 Presidency.

President of AESID, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, in a statement issued in Abuja, declared that Governor Umahi’s administration of the southeast state offers no cheering news and should not be considered a serious candidate for the exalted seat of the highest political office in the country.

Ambassador who acknowledged Umahi’s constitutional right to contest, said the governor has failed “to secure our tiny Ebonyi State with the consistent and reported attacks and communal clashes recorded under his administration, some of which are allegedly fuelled even by his political appointees.

“As we speak, thousands who were displaced by communal war in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state are yet to return to their ancestral homes, needless to speak of receiving any succour whatsoever from the Umahi administration.

“The thousands of victims who were also displaced in three communities in Ezza North LGA where he is lavishing public funds in building an International Cargo Airport remain displaced as they are yet to be duly compensated by the Umahi administration. Hunger and poverty have been weaponized by his government such that all might come to beg for crumbs on his table.

“Any wonder Ebonyi is now officially rated the poverty capital of entire Southern Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics.”

North-Central legislators pass vote of confidence in Buni, endorse Bello for president

AHEAD of the 2023 presidential election, state legislators in all the North-Central states have passed a vote of confidence in the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

The legislators also endorsed the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, for president in 2023, being the only person that had shown interest in the position from the zone. 

The lawmakers spoke with one voice at the end of a one-day extraordinary meeting of the APC States Legislatures from the six states of the North-Central, held in Abuja on Thursday, just as they encouraged the Kogi governor to continue to pursue his ambition, saying he remained the only person that the zone could rally round “for it to be counted in the power equation of the country.” 

They stressed that the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee needed the support and co-operation of all party faithful to reposition the APC for better performance and victory in the 2023 polls. 

The convener, who is the immediate past speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Honourable Ahmed Marafa, said the extraordinary meeting was convened to discuss the political future of the zone with respect to what he called the power equation in the country. 

He urged members from the six states of the zone to see reason why all well meaning men and women must come together and agitate for a fair share for the zone. 

Also speaking, the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Matthew Kolawole, who initiated the meeting over one year ago, commended the lawmakers for their quick response to the meeting, noting that it would go a long way to show their genuine efforts to look after the welfare of their people. 

He recalled that the zone had since 1960 been marginalised and neglected in the democratically elected leadership map of the country despite the endowed human resources in the area. He said it was time for all and sundry, irrespective of party affiliations, to rise up and join hands to agitate for a North-Central presidency come 2023. They called on all the leaders in North-Central to continue to pursue the North-Central presidency without prejudice to their personal aspiration.

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