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*VP to delegates: I’m well prepared for the job, choose the right leadership

*Visits scene of Kano explosion, condoles with victims, families

*You’re a loyal, committed deputy to President Buhari, a successful vice president – Gov Ganduje to VP

Nigeria has all it takes to become a truly great nation more than it is now, and efforts must be made to choose the best leadership for the country in the 2023 elections, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this yesterday during his meeting with stakeholders and delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State, continuing his nationwide consultations.

Earlier Tuesday morning in Abuja, the Vice President was formally presented with the award for Leadership Person of the Year 2021 at this year’s Leadership Newspapers’ Annual Conference and Awards ceremony.

Before he proceeded to the venue of his interaction with the APC delegates and stakeholders in Kano, the Vice President stopped by the scene of Tuesday morning's explosion in Sabon Gari area of the State, to commiserate with the families of victims and people of the State.

During his interactions with APC stakeholders, the VP observed that the delegates can make the difference in setting the country on the right course for 2023 while emphasizing his capacity and readiness to make a difference as president if elected.

“Nigeria can be really truly greater than this. We have everything to be great. Anything that you want in this country, you can get it. But we must make the efforts ourselves to choose the right leadership. All I can say to you is that your role as delegates, is important, especially in the coming primaries and elections

“All the experience that God has given me, having served as Vice President for seven years, is so that when the opportunity arises, I will use it for the service of this country. I am very well prepared for the job. And you are the people that are going to make that difference. You and I working together can make a difference in this country.”

Noting that Nigeria has the potential to be among the greatest countries in the world, the VP said, “If God helps me and I become president, we will change this country for good.”

Speaking at the explosion scene earlier, Prof. Osinbajo condoled with the governor and people of Kano over what he described as a very sad and unfortunate development.

Commiserating with the families of victims and the injured, the VP said, “we are here just to say how deeply regrettable this incident is, and to pray that the Lord God Almighty will comfort the families of all of those who have lost their lives.  And to say that the peace and security of all individuals and all residents in our States are the responsibility of all.  We pray that this sort of terrible incident will not repeat itself.”

Prof. Osinbajo received a warm welcome to the State on arrival by the State Governor, Umar Ganduje, and other State government officials, as well as an exuberant reception from residents on his way to the venue and at the venue of the delegates' meeting.

The VP’s convoy was heralded on the streets of Kano, amid singing, dancing and supporters hailing the Buhari administration and the VP. Residents waved and supporters lifted their banners, everyone in a joyful mood as the VP acknowledged cheers every step of the way and at every stop with an impressive turnout everywhere.

Welcoming the VP to the State, Governor Ganduje described him as a “committed second in command” and loyal deputy to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Having been a deputy governor for 8 years and now governor for seven years, I know it all, what it takes to be a deputy. I congratulate you for being a successful deputy of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” said the Governor.

Advocating for zoning, the Kano State Governor added that Nigeria’s next president in 2023 should come from the Southern part of the country. “We believe in that and respect that and we shall vote for that.”

*“Your Excellency, thank you for coming to Kano, which I can say is your home, because you have visited here several times," the Governor said.

Similarly, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, added that the vice president is renowned for his commitment, dedication, and for patriotism.

“Above all, we have known Osinbajo for loyalty. He is a loyal deputy to our own father, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is, therefore, my wish that Allah will continue to guide you, protect you, and keep the APC united,” Doguwa stated.

The Vice President also visited the homes of the revered late nationalist, elder statesman and politician, Mallam Aminu Kano, and Alhaji Yusuf Ali, former ANPP  Chairman.

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Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant Bala Mohammed yesterday said the success of Amotekun in the Southwest has dispelled the fear of restructuring.

He and Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal were in Gombe to lobby for PDP delegates’ support.

Mohammed said if elected President, he would embark on restructuring that will ensure devolution of power to the states and the local government to improve the quality of lives of the people.

“Some of these issues of mistrust and suspicion will be done away with if we discuss. Let’s take for example, the state police.

“It has nothing to do with shortchanging any section of the country; it is just about delegating power to the states.

“It has been done in the Southwest. The Amotekun is improving their quality of life. What has it got to do with encroachment on the power of the federation? Nothing.

“In fact it will reinforce the structure of the federal government because it will make life and property safe and secured and it will not remove anything from the federal government,” he said.

He said as a bureaucrat, he will bring his experience to bear, in terms of making good policies and programmes and will not be doing it blindfolded because he is tested and trusted.

Mohammed said: “I will bring policies and programmes that will create wealth, that will open up the economy, and that will look inward, rather than outward.

“That is what we need and I will do that with humility and with tact and knowledge.”

On the separatist agitations, Bala said he would make them see the futility of breaking away from the country.

“I will make them contribute even more to the centre. I will restructure the country, reinvent the country, reconstruct the country. In the sense that the periphery will be powerful,” he said.

Tambuwal said if elected as president, he would ensure protection of lives and property.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives Speaker spoke at the PDP secretariat in Gombe.

“I have provided all that needed to be provided for security agencies. So far, I have provided over 500 vehicles for the security agencies.

“Whatever support they require we give them. Under my leadership (as president), I will do all that it takes to support security services in the states.”

Tambuwal said as one who has transversed various communities in Nigeria, he has the magic wand to turn things around for the better.

“Poverty is all over and it is ravaging our land; we have the men, women, youth, we have the human resource and in Gombe we have the natural resources in abundance.

“Why are we wasting time to explore the oil that we have in Gombe and so many resources that we have underneath?

“Why are we not utilising the Dadin-Kowa dam that can generate hydro-electric,” Tambuwal said.
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Chief Rotimi Amaechi

An All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, has promised to grow the nation’s economy by revamping the agricultural sector if he wins the primary and gets elected in 2023.

Amaechi, the immediate past Minister of Transportation, in a statement, said one of the woes of the nation’s economy was the shift from agriculture by successive governments to service economy.

He spoke at a consultative meeting with delegates of the APC in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

He also met with the State Governor Abdullahi Sule to inform him of his plans to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Amaechi, a revamped sector will in turn help in creating wealth and employment opportunities for the masses.

“I will fight to change the economy by focusing on agriculture. I will also invest in the manufacturing and productive industries.

“The problem of Nigeria is that we moved into the service industry and we have refused to pay attention to production.

“So, you see somebody producing chicken, he doesn’t have a processing factory, he doesn’t have an abatoir that will kill the chicken, process it and sell it as a finished product.

“If you have a processing factory you will employ more hands. So, we will depend on states like Nasarawa that have very high level of practice in agriculture, and that will change the face of Nasarawa State,” Amaechi said.

Amaechi further appealed to the delegates to shun politicians with deceitful tendencies who would come to them for votes.

He appealed that they (delegates) should consider his (Amaechi’s) track record of achievements over the years in public service and vote for him for a better Nigeria.

“I have come to beg you to elect me because you are the most important politicians now in APC. Don’t be deceived by politicians who would come here to speak English.

“I have worked with two of your governor.  I have the capacity to deliver. Check my work in the ministry of transportation, I delivered Abuja-Kaduna railway.

“I started the  Kano-Kaduna railway, I started the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, I completed the Warri-Itakpe railway and completed the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

“I changed the face of the maritime sector, so I am tested and I am trusted. All I can say to you is to go out on that day and vote for me,” Amaechi said.

Earlier at the Government House, Lafia, Amaechi recounted his achievements as Rivers Governor in the area of security, noting that he would replicate the feat if elected.

Responding, Gov. Sule, who extolled the virtues of the former Minister, said, “Sir, you don’t have to sell yourself to me at all. I may know you more than you think I do.

“One introduction about you that was not done is the doggedness of who you are, you are a dogged fighter.

“You fought to emerge as the chairman of the governor’s forum,  you fought to become the Rivers Governor,  everything about you, you fought to get them.

“So, today you are fighting to be the President of Nigeria, I wish you well.  The most amazing thing is the intimidating team you have been able to put together, a lot of people in your team are well known to me.

“And one thing about our party is that we have competent aspirants and I was happy when you mentioned that even among the aspirants in the party you are the most competent,”  Sule said.

Politicians and associates who accompanied the former Minister included Sen. Ayogu Eze; former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; former DG NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside and former Acting Governor of Abia, Stanley Ohajuru.
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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has visited Kaduna in furtherance to his campaigns, seeking delegates and peoples support in actualising his ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president in the coming 2023 elections.

Abubakar, interacting with the Peoples Democratic Party’s delegates on Tuesday at the party’s secretariat, promised to address issues of power devolution to states and local government areas (LGAs).

He explained that the Federal Government was over burdened and too strong, which he believed by devolving power to states and LGAs, would ease its pressure and ensure effective administration.

“There is need for powers and resources to be devolved to states and LGAs for them to effectively do their work.

“My view is for the Federal Government to be small in size,” Abubakar said.

He promised to work with state governors, national and state assemblies that would be elected, to amend the constitution for more powers and resources to states and LGAs.

He also promised to end insecurity and revive Nigeria’s economy through resuscitating moribund industries.

He urged the delegates to support him in the primary elections.

On behalf of the PDP elders, former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, said PDP believed Atiku had the ability to deliver Nigeria.
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Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has promised to navigate Nigeria’s way to prosperity, if elected in 2023.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, made the pledge on Tuesday in Ilorin while addressing Kwara delegates at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Ilorin.

“We are coming up with a lot of programmes, just make me your President. I know better how to do it. I know the way. I can navigate the way to prosperity for people and the nation.

“I can mentor your children for a progressive future. It’s your turn to produce the President. We’ll succeed in this one.

“You have shown me love and that you’ve made up your mind to give me your support.

“I’m here to show appreciation for your support. You have responded to the governor when he asked you where you would stand and you chorused your endorsement.

“I am just too thrilled. I appreciate your endorsement of my ambition,” Tinubu said.

He also promised to settle the lingering political crisis among factions in the state chapter of the party.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that members of the APC in Kwara have been embroiled in crisis since the inauguration of the present administration in 2019.

Tinubu appealed to all aggrieved members of the party to sheathe their swords for an amicable resolution of the crisis.

“We will settle the crisis. This is a family affair. We call on all aggrieved members to sheathe their swords and come back to the fold. We will settle it as soon as possible,” he said.

He appreciated the APC members in the state for endorsing him as their preferred choice, saying that he will not disappoint them if given the mandate.

Tinubu was received by the governor, his deputy, the three serving APC senators from the state, the state and federal lawmakers, among other personalities and party chieftains.

Earlier, Tinubu had earlier visited the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, in his palace.

The APC presidential aspirant, who commended Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara for leading a progressive government, promised to work with him to win a second-term ticket.

“The governor, a private person recommitted himself and became a politician that came to rescue the state and put the state on the path of recovery. It’s sure that he would be returned.

“We’ll continue to work together. Never will Kwara State slide back into the hands of termites. We know how to do it,” he said.

On his part, AbdulRazaq thanked Tinubu for being a worthy instrument that made it possible to take power at the centre from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“This is the first visit of the APC national leader after my inauguration as governor.

“We can’t thank you enough for helping us to take over power in the state. One good turn deserves another.

“It’s not about money, it’s about commitment. We thank you once again. Asiwaju, we’re very grateful.

“You’re different from some other presidential aspirants in another party from the state. Now, we are in good standing from the mess inherited from the past government in education, health, workers’ welfare and so on.

“Asiwaju did well in Lagos and captured the whole of South West. Do you remember how he fought Obasanjo. With Buhari he captured the whole of Nigeria,” he said.
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Senator Bola Tinubu

Former Lagos state governor and Presidential hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bola Tinubu has concluded plans to dump the ruling party, if the May 30 primaries are schemed against him, an associate of the former Lagos state government has said.

The associate who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Vanguard that the development was the reason former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal stated recently that Tinubu had plan B if APC primaries are manipulated against him.

Although, he noted that APC remains the primary platform Tinubu intends to actualize his dream of presiding over the affairs of the nation; other options including the SDP would be explored if the primaries come short of transparency and credibility.

“It is too early to ask if Asiwaju would leave the APC for another party. He is a big factor in APC, a party he helped formed, financed and nurtured into what it is today. We are not unaware of recent developments and attempts to insult a man who has paid his dues in the political evolution of this country. But that is not important for now. What I can tell you is that our leader, like other contestants, is looking forward to a credible process that would lead to the emergence of our flag bearer. But if that process is compromised, I can tell you for free that we will encourage him to explore other options.

“Yes, a lot has been said about SDP and Asiwaju. When we get to that bridge, we will cross it. SDP offered him a platform to become a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria years ago but for now, he is in APC and will remain there until circumstance dictates otherwise,” he said.

Tinubu is gunning for the sole ticket of the party alongside other formidable contestants such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonayya Onu, Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello among others. In an interview with the media a few months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had said that he would not reveal the identity of his preferred successor, lest he be eliminated.

Only recently APC chieftain and until recently a Presidential aspirant, Moses Ayom called on Babachir Lawal to withdraw his comment on Tinubu’s possible defection, labelling same as a threat to the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee, saying “right now, the NWC is the leadership of the APC and it should be given all kinds of support to succeed. The idea of indirectly threatening the NWC that Tinubu has another option if he is not given ticket should not arise at all. As a committed APC leader from the Middle-Belt, I call on Babachir to withdraw the comments and apologize to the party immediately.”
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*Nigeria needs a President in 2023 with experience - VP

*You're a visionary leader, Kwara Governor to Vice President

In a display of their admiration and support of his aspiration, the people and residents of Kwara State on Monday lined up the streets, all the way from Ilorin airport to welcome Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN to the State.

Prof. Osinbajo was in Ilorin yesterday in continuation of his consultations and interactions with delegates and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the party Presidential primaries on May 30.

The boisterous crowds were at the airport, on the streets, at the Emir's palace and at the venue of the Vice President's meeting with the delegates, singing, dancing and many bursting out in delighted surprise on citing the VP inside the Coaster bus that conveyed him and the State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

At several points, the Vice President’s convoy stopped briefly as the VP acknowledged cheers from the excited residents and groups displaying banners, showing support for the VP, much like in a festive mood.

On his arrival at the State capital, the VP's first port of call was to pay courtesy to the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, to get the royal blessings and to also formally inform him (the Emir) personally of his aspiration to run for President in the 2023 elections.

Prof. Osinbajo noted that he is running for President because he believes the country needs a leader who has the experience and would be able to get the job done right from day one when sworn in on May 29, 2023 by God’s grace.

“Everything that has been given to me by way of knowledge and experience has been given to me by the grace of God and by the benevolence of this same country that we owe so much. So, this is why I am running for the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am mindful of the challenges that we have…, but I believe that the time comes for steadiness in resolving these issues. This is not the time for experimenting,” the VP stated.

He also thanked the Emir for his warm hospitality, his counsel and great affection over the years, even as he prayed for the Emir’s long life, peace and prosperity of his kingdom.

While receiving the VP, the Emir lauded the credentials of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo saying his track record is something to be proud of.

According to the Emir "your track record is something to be proud of, your track record is enough to give you success," adding that the VP has what it takes to do the job. The Emir then prayed for his success, while noting that the VP has a lot ahead of him.

"May God guide you and protect you,” the Emir prayed as he encouraged the VP saying, "we know you can do it."

The VP was accompanied to the Emir’s Palace by the Kwara State Governor Abdulrazaq, who had earlier received him, alongside other state government officials, at the Ilorin airport.

In the same vein, Governor Abdulrazaq praised the VP for his leadership qualities and for championing the welfare of ordinary Nigerians, including his role in supervising the Social Investment Programmes of the Buhari administration.

Noting that the SIPs have positively impacted the lives of many Nigerians across the country, the Governor said the Vice President is a man with great vision.

During his interaction with the APC delegates and stakeholders later on, the Vice President restated that, "today our country requires some experience (to run), it is not just enough to have capacity. You must also be able to hit the ground running from day one because we don’t have time. Our country now needs everything it can get to make sure that we are able to make progress quickly.”

Prof. Osinbajo further stated that "the only reason I am running is to serve this country. And I will be completely transparent and honest. And I will do the work, God helping me, every single day without any other desire but to make sure that our country succeeds.”

The Vice President urged delegates to make their choices with utmost consideration about "the destiny of our children. "This is (about) our future," he added.

His interaction with the delegates and stakeholders featured mainly a question and answer session where the Vice President responded to the many questions and comments of the stakeholders. He also took time to snap one-on-one photos with all the stakeholders present as has been the case in every one of his meetings in all the States.

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied adjusting the timetable for its primaries for the 2023 General Elections.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, made the denial in a statement on Monday, urging the public to ignore reports making rounds on social media.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story of purported adjustment to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Timetable/ Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Elections which is making the rounds on social media,” the statement read in part. “The story should be disregarded as fake news.”

Morka said the party’s activities for the 2023 elections would hold as earlier scheduled.

According to him, the governorship primaries will hold on Friday, May 20, 2022; state house of assembly – Sunday, May 22; House of Representative – Tuesday, May 24; Senate – Wednesday, May 25 and Presidential – Monday, May 30 to June 1, 2022.

Morka added that any change to the schedule would be communicated via the party’s official channels.

Based on the schedule released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 general elections, all political parties are to have held their primaries by June 3.
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Aminu Tambuwal

Ahead of the May 29 presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal has wooed Niger delegates, pledging an all-inclusive government if elected as Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Addressing PDP delegates in Niger State on Tuesday, Tambuwal, who is also the Sokoto State Governor, said he will ensure that all the 774 local government areas in the country benefit from his administration should he succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year.

The governor stated that he possesses the requisite experience and qualities of being a unifier, adding that his records in the House of Representatives can testify to the fact that he has the capacity to bring Nigerians together to enhance the development.

Regretting that Nigeria is divided along ethnic and religious lines, Tambuwal advised the electorates to vote for someone that has the confidence and technical know-how as well as the tenacity of purpose to move the country to a greater height.

He described the commissioning of the Baro Port by President Muhammadu Buhari as dubious, saying “Buhari played you 419.”

On his part, the PDP Chairman in Niger State, Tanko Beji, noted that they will only consider presidential aspirants that visited them in Minna as a mark of respect during the party primaries in Abuja.
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Members of the APC screening committee in Abuja.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday inaugurated Screening Committees for State House of Assembly aspirants across the 36 states of the federation.

This is coming about two weeks before the conduct of the party’s primary elections slated for May 30 ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The committee, inaugurated by APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari, is in charge of elections of the ward and state delegates that will elect governorship candidates and the presidential candidate of the party.

According to members of the committee, there are over 3,000 aspirants contesting for state house of assembly seats.