Former President Goodluck Jonathan will only be joining the All Progressives Congress presidential race on the condition that he is endorsed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
Anything short of this would not be acceptable to Jonathan who served as deputy governor, governor, Vice-President and President on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party from 1999 and 2015.
Saturday PUNCH had reported in February that some northern emirs had reached out to the former President, asking him to contest. Jonathan had also stayed away from activities of the PDP, including the last national convention.
Former Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State had also stated that it was unlikely that Jonathan was still a member of the PDP as he was no longer involved in the party’s activities.
On Thursday, however, posters of the ex-President flooded the national secretariat of the APC on Blantyre Street, Wuse 2.
On Friday, youth and women groups demonstrated outside of Jonathan’s office in the Maitama area of Abuja.
The demonstrators, who arrived in five large buses, held up placards some of which read, ‘Jonathan, Please Run’, ‘Jonathan, do the needful’, ‘Jonathan for 2023’, ‘Jonathan Declare Now’ and ‘Goodluck Please Come Back, We Love You’.
A spokesman for the group, Mayor Samuel, who is also the Convener of the Youth Compatriots of Nigeria, said, “We were deceived and brainwashed by those who claimed they could do it in 2015.
“Now, we know better, under Jonathan the minimum wage could buy one or two bags of rice. What do we have today? We are begging President Jonathan to forgive us, we have realised our mistakes; we want him back to complete what he started.”
Jonathan subsequently invited the leaders of the protesters for a private meeting. After the brief meeting, the ex-President addressed the demonstrators outside, advising the youths to run for office instead, adding that the constitution had been amended as far back as 2018 in order to give youths a chance to contest.
The ex-President said he was not sure if he would run. He, however, asked them to ‘watch out’.
“Yes you are calling me to come and declare for the next election, I cannot tell if I’m declaring. The political process is ongoing just watch out. The key role you must play is that Nigeria must get somebody that will carry young people along,” the former President added.
However, a top source in the APC told Saturday PUNCH that the former President was seeking an assurance that he would be handed the party’s Presidential ticket.
The APC chieftain, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Jonathan has already been President before. So, the APC cannot offer him anything except the Presidential ticket. Imagine him contesting against Osinbajo and Tinubu and losing? Wouldn’t that be disgraceful?
“So, he has made his position clear. If he is to come to the APC, he must be given the assurance that he will be given the party’s ticket. That is his demand.”
The source added that the former President may be sold as a “compromise candidate” amid the raging zoning debate in the country.
“Jonathan is the only Nigerian alive that can promise to serve only one Presidential term and abide by it because he is limited by the constitution. If he serves one term, then power returns to the North. It is also not an easy decision but I can assure you that President Buhari will have no qualms with a Jonathan Presidency,” he added.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the APC National Working Committee would give special waivers to select aspirants based on the powers conferred on it by the National Executive Committee.
Section 31.3 of the new APC constitution titled ‘waiver’, reads in part, “Subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee may, in special circumstances, grant a waiver to a person seeking a national party office, who is otherwise not qualified under this constitution if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the party.
“Subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee may, in special circumstances, grant a waiver to a person seeking the office of President, Vice President, governor, deputy governor, senator, member of the House Representatives, who is otherwise not qualified under this constitution if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the party.”
The Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act state that anyone contesting a presidential election must be a member of a political party which will sponsor him as a candidate. However, both the constitution and the Electoral Act do not prohibit non-party members from participating in a primary.
However, a member of the party’s NEC told Saturday PUNCH that waivers would be on a case-by-case basis.
Jonathan’s Spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, did not respond to calls.
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SCRAP METAL DEALERS IN LAGOS STATE DECLARE TOTAL SUPPORT FOR ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU AS PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU FOR 2ND TERM
Thousands of Scrap Metal dealers in Lagos State have vowed to deliver massive votes for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the re-election of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and all APC candidates across the State.
This declaration was made on Sunday at the New Garage Busstop (Odo Iyaalaro), near Ojota by the teeming members of the association. The event was organized by Grassroots Engagement Directorate under the leadership of Hon. Abdulbaq Ladi Balogun.
The Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor who also doubles as the Director General of Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat (ICC), Mr. Tayo Ayinde commended the leadership of the organization and the massive turnout of their members.
He reiterated government commitment to making available a conducive environment for business activities in the state. In his words; ‘ The Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration is performing wonders across the State and if returned to power, he will do more.’
He assured the leadership of total support from the Government, Mr. Ayinde used the opportunity to enlighten the gathering on how to vote correctly especially with the new BVAS system.
The chairman of Independent Campaign Council, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku appreciated the members and leadership for conducting themselves very well. He charged them to go all out and vote for APC candidates in the coming elections.
Delivering his speech, the chairman of the Scrap Metal Dealers in Lagos State, Comrade Adewale Adedotun thanked the Director General, the Chairman and all that came with them. Adedotun declared that the group has no other party to support but APC .
Dignitaries at the event were Mr. Tayo Ayinde (Director General ICC), Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku (Chairman ICC), Hon. Kafilat Ogbara (House of Representatives Candidate for Kosofe Constituency), Hon. Okanlawon Sanni (House of Assembly Member Kosofe), Hon. Mayosoore Ogunlewe (Chairman of Kosofe LGA), Hon. Ladi Balogun (Director, Grassroots Engagement), Hon. Olumide Olayomi, Hon. Bode Olaniyan among others
Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo/Hamzat Independent Campaign Council (ICC)
INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN COUNCIL FOR TINUBU/ SHETTIMA AND SANWO-OLU/ HAMZAT BUYS JAMB (UTME) FORM FOR 2000 STUDENTS
The Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat (ICC) purchased Joint Admission Matriculation Board – Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination form for 2,000 students in Lagos State.
As the promising teenagers are looking forward to a brighter future, the Independent Campaign Council (ICC) is poised to give helping hands, particularly the indigent students.
Championing the distribution of the UTME forms among the young people today 2nd February, 2023 was the Directorate of Education of the Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu-Shetima and Sanwo-Olu-Hamzat ably led by the Director, Dr. Adeyinka Olarinmoye.
Speaking at the event, the Director General of ICC Mr. Tayo Akinmade Ayinde congratulated the vibrant young people and their parents. He admonished the students that getting a free form does not give them licence to be lazy.
Mr. Ayinde noted that great people are hard working people and for young people to excel,they must be diligent in all they do .
Some of the highlights of the event were giving gift items to students who excelled during a brief quiz competition. The Director General also gave gifts to some of the parents who accompanied their wards to the venue.
Dignitaries at the event were Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Director General of ICC, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, Chairman of ICC, Director, Education Directorate of the ICC, Dr. Adeyinka Olarinmoye among others.
In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners
…carpets Governor Adeleke for poor governance
All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took his message of Renewed Hope to Osun State on Thursday where he assured the people and party supporters of his commitment to create jobs for the unemployed and make credit available for business owners.
Speaking in Yoruba to a mammoth crowd of people who thronged the venue of the campaign rally at Freedom Park Osogbo, Tinubu said his administration would empower the people with the skill that will make them employable while ensuring that the youth will no longer spend years in university due to lecturers’ strike action, stating that his pledge to the people will remain a biding covenant.
“I make a social covenant with you today that the unemployed among you will get job. Those with no skill will be provided the relevant skill that would put food on their table. When we get to government, we will make soft loans available for market women and business owners.”
Taking a swipe at the current Peoples Democratic Party government of Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State for poor governance of the state, the APC presidential candidate charged the people that APC administration will soon return to continue the good work.
“They were given a little opportunity to rule for some months and they started misbehaving, killing and creating unrest in Osun state.”
From his prepared speech which he didn’t get the time to read, Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner by the governorship election petition tribunal.
He praised Oyetola’s tenacity, diligence, consistency and determination, which made him not to give up until he got his stolen mandate back.
On his plans for Osun, Tinubu noted that the state, which is highly blessed with diverse resources, should be a destination for business and tourism across the country, promising to help achieve this if he becomes the president.
He said, “Osun is a beautiful state filled with virtuous, industrious and welcoming people. We will support Osun to become a manufacturing, industrial, agricultural and tourism paradise.
“You have fertile soil, abundant mineral resources, and a rich culture and history capable of attracting tourists from across the world.
“A vote for me is a vote to develop all parts of this state and this country. Rural areas will not be forgotten but will be developed to support more economic activities and create better lives for the people.
“At the same time, our growing urban population – you city boys – will enjoy decent jobs and a living wage.”
Tinubu urged the people of the Osun State not to be deceived by the empty promises of Peoples Democratic Party Candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi, saying both have nothing to offer.
While he said Atiku was only interested in stealing the nation’s resources and pocketing them for himself and his cronies, Tinubu likened Obi to the unprofitable servant who buried his talents, saying while Obi was Anambra State governor, he failed to use the state’s resources to develop it, rather saving them for no purpose.
“None of the other major candidates in this election have the capacity, integrity, knowledge or determination necessary to do what must be done. Only I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, am prepared and up to the task of leading this country, our cherished homeland, back towards its best destiny.
“Do not vote for the candidate of the poverty development party, Mr. Privatise, Atiku Abubakar. When, as the Vice President of this country, he had a chance to make a positive difference, he chose the lesser path.
“He chose to use his position to enrich himself, his family and his friends. He sold Nigeria’s most prized assets for a fraction of their value. In the name of privatisation, he stole from your future to enrich himself.
“Worse, he has learned nothing. He has gone everywhere telling the Nigerian people that he is coming back to finish the job. He has promised that this time he will not steal your prosperity.
“You should not believe him or his greedy co-conspirators. The nation does not need the return of its Privatiser-in-Chief. Reject him and his band of foul jesters. They have no serious plans for this country. They resort to cheap and vile antics because they have no substance, no solutions.
“Be equally wary of the false messiah, Mr. Stingy, Peter Obi. This man’s promises are bold and his boasts are plentiful. Yet, when he was given the responsibility to lead just one state, he was overwhelmed by it.
“He could only stash away the money he was supposed to be using to develop the state. All the people of Anambra could hope for was that whoever came next would have better ideas.
“A governor is not a banker, expected to hold fast to his customer’s deposit. Obi was expected to build good roads, schools and hospitals. He was supposed to pay the salaries of Anambra doctors, teachers and civil servants. He was meant to nurture and empower new leaders.
“In eight years, he achieved none of these things. He is no visionary leader. He is the man who proudly buried his talents because he knew no better. This man who could not even understand the proper role of a governor cannot be trusted as the next president. Reject him,” he added.
He also itemized further things his administration will do in the agricultural, educational and security sectors to give a befitting life to the people.
“Our farmers will be better equipped to feed the nation. In return, they will receive decent incomes with which they can better tend to their families in addition to tending to their land.
“Our educational reforms will equip talented youth with skills needed to be globally competitive. Our policies will open access to loans and business expertise to those wanting to start their own businesses.
“The bedrock of our national security shall be strengthened. We will better equip military units with tactical communications gear and all-terrain vehicles to give them greater communications and mobility to track down criminals, bandits and terrorists.
“We will upgrade our weapons systems and exploit aerial technological superiority to further identify, monitor and subdue the criminals, terrorists and bandits who would do harm to ordinary citizens,” he added.
At the rally were Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); former governors Kayode Fayemi and Adegboyega Oyetola, as well as former APC Interim Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, APC National Women Leader, Betta Edu and other party leaders from National headquarters and South West party leaders.
Tinubu Media Office
February 2, 2023
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