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2023: PDP has nothing to campaign against Tinubu in Yorubaland – Bode George

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Former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olabode George, has, lamented that the party has nothing to campaign against the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the South-West.

The PDP chieftain stated this on Friday while speaking on The Morning Show on Arise TV.

Although he did not directly mention Tinubu’s name in his remarks, he, however, alluded to the difficulty PDP will encounter in campaigning against the presidential candidate of APC if South-West is not given a national role in the party’s structure.

His words, “But how do I go on the campaign trip in the South-West and tell the people that look, we are ready and you must vote for our candidate? We must realise that the opposition party has its own presidential candidate from the South-West and he (Tinubu) will tell them (voters) I have the presidential ticket, what does the PDP have on its ticket for South-West?

“Let’s assume the south has the presidential ticket, vice presidential ticket and chairmanship position, how will our PDP brothers from the north take it? Will they be happy? All I am saying is to ensure justice and fairness and if they say they don’t want it, history will be on the side of the truth.

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“And if at this age I can’t tell the truth, then what am I doing in politics? It is not a matter of forcing Ayu out. Remember, Ayu himself stated and I quote him: “If the presidential candidate emerges from the north, he will resign as the chairman of the party to allow the balancing”. We are simply just saying “let us be mindful and don’t let us overdrive this,” he said.

George’s concern comes on the heels of his backing for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

According to him, Ayu’s resignation became imperative to ensure balance in the party. He argued that Ayu’s resignation will help PDP convince Nigerians as the right party to vote for during next year’s election.

He said the calls for Ayu’s resignation was in line with the constitution, saying the PDP chairman had himself promised to resign from his position if a northerner emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.

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However, George reiterated that zoning is more important now than it was in 1998/1999.

The elder statesman, who noted that he had been part of the party’s system for a long time, said he knew what was right for the party.

He said, “In fact, the need to have zoning now is more important than in 1998/1999. Maybe some of these people don’t understand the concept that led to the thought processes of our founding fathers. Because it is an unwritten law it is up for debate and I hope we have the opportunity to put it down in writing and everybody will be able to read it.

“Those saying they don’t believe in it (zoning) and don’t want it are saying that because they don’t understand what brought about it but I am talking because I was part of the system from the very beginning and we have a saying from my part of the world that when you have old people in any association, they (old people) always make sure they correct the mistakes of the young ones and I am trying to refer us to that concept (zoning) that was established and brought about sanity to the nation.

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“Now that we are trying to manoeuvre the concept that came from us to suit certain purposes and personal ambitions, it is going to drive us to the canvass and that is what I am saying.

“We are not asking Ayu that he should be zoned out or forced to resign. We are asking for this in the sense of oneness and inclusivity for him to throw in the towel and let us balance the top positions. We are going to campaign in my zone and we want our party to win. If it is not going to affect the party, I won’t bother,” he said.

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Ooni’s new wife adds colour to Olojo festival

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The new wife of Ooni of Ife, Mariam Ajibola, on Saturday stepped out with her husband, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for the first since she got married to the royal father on Saturday as the annual Olojo Festival got underway in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Mariam, who attended the event with her husband, and other dignitaries that included; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun state Deputy governor, Benedict Alabi, among others, was dressed in all white attire, and was seen speaking with the royal father as different groups paid homage to the Ooni during the ceremony.

The new Yeyeluwa of Ife is attending Olojo, a major cultural celebration in Ile-Ife, during which Ooni will adorn ‘Are crown,’ for the first time as Ooni’s wife.

The new queen was ushered into Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife at 8pm on Tuesday, September 6 by her mother and other members of her family from Kogi and Kwara states and since then, she had not attended any public outing.

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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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