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2023: Obi playing ethnic card to get votes, says Keyamo

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The minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, has accused Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), of concocting a WhatsApp message to be seen as a victim of ethnic agenda.

Keyamo, the spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, made the remark in response to a video clip where Obi is seen reading a message asking south-westerners not to vote for him.

The LP presidential candidate was at a parley when he read out the message purportedly from a “Tinubu group” which said: “Yoruba shine your eyes o, if you vote for Peter Obi, it is automatically voting for seaports in south-south and south-east.

“The Igbos will stop coming to Lagos state to invest, rather they will go to Delta and Rivers states, they may even stop building houses in Lagos. It will affect a lot of Yorubas.”

But reacting in a statement on Monday, Keyamo said the group Obi referred to does not exist, adding that he lacks ideas on how to tackle the country’s challenges

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“We wish to state that it is obvious Mr. Peter Obi deliberately concocted that message and circulated that offensive video himself as a campaign strategy in order to come across as a victim of some kind of ethnic agenda, whereas in truth, he is the real agent provocateur of an ethnic agenda,” Keyamo said.

“As the takeoff date for campaigns draws closer, Mr. Peter Obi has suddenly realised that Nigerians are beginning to burst his bubbles as his messages are bereft of ideas, depth and clear-cut solutions to our challenges.

“His messages are only full of false data and highfalutin jargons in what is clearly a disingenuous ruse to distract a scrutiny of his empty records as a Governor of Anambra State and nothing else. Hence his easy recourse to playing ethnic card and fanning the embers of hate.

“We find it utterly disgusting, demeaning and insulting to the sensitivities and sensibilities of Nigerians for a Presidential Candidate of the ilk of Peter Obi to make such a video parroting a spurious, unverified and sham message that has the potential of deepening our fault lines as a nation and further promoting ethnic tensions.

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“This is completely unbecoming of a Presidential Candidate that hopes to unite this country. Again, we note that Mr. OBJ’s latest stunt is consistent with what is now widely perceived as his adoption of hate as campaign strategy, having consistently failed to rein in his known and i

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Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council

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The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.

In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”

On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.

Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.

 

The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.

The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.

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Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.

The statement:

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.

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“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”

 

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Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list

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Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.

In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.

Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.

But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.

“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.

“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.

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Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.

He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.

But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.

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Newspaper Headlines Today: Benue residents flee as flood takes over homes

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1. Residents of flooded areas in Benue State have fled their homes as a result of the flood. Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Dr Godwin Oyiwona said on Friday that the flood had risen to a level of 11.1m on the seasonal flood gauge on river Benue.

2. The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party took a new dimension on Friday with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, making a series of allegations against the Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, among others. Wike accused Ayu of receiving a N1 billion bribe. Ayu and Atiku have refused to react to the allegations.

3. Geng Quanrong, the Chinese man accused of killing Ummu Buhari (Ummita), will be served Chinese meals. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) made the confirmation as his trial gets underway. Kano Correctional Centre spokesman, Musbahu Kofar-Nassarawa said Quanrong was not expected to eat ‘gabza’, a meal for prisoners.

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4. The three policemen abducted by some gunmen in Ogun State have regained freedom. It was gathered that the cops, who arrived Ogun from Zone 2, Onikan Lagos for an investigation, were captured in broad daylight yesterday along the Wasinmi road, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun.

5. Some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State have been abducted in an attack along Kaduna-Kachia highway in Kaduna State. It was gathered that the attack happened at a place called Tashar Icce, which is some meters from Kujama community in Kajuru Area of the State.

6. The federal government has told the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the National Industrial Court ruling and call off its seven-month strike. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the advice while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja.

7. The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, accused the former Senate President, David Mark, of working against him during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential primary election. During a chat with some selected journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday, Wike said David Mark was part of those who plotted his defeat.

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8. Following weeks of anxiety and serial postponements, the presidential campaign council list of the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was released with several notable names of party chieftains missing. The 422-man list has names of political heavyweights, including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors, as well as serving and past public office holders.

9. Against the backdrop of recent visit to All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate Bola Tinubu in Abuja, by some notable actors, the National Executive Committee of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, has warned its members to desist from doing anything that would jeopardize the interest and purpose of the guild.

10. Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo was yesterday, charged with ‘improper and/or violent conduct following the incident where he appeared to knock a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand. The incident happened at Everton’s Goodison Park after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat last April.

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