The ruling All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants from the South-West are expected to hold a final meeting in Abuja today (Saturday) to decide on the way forward, Saturday PUNCH can confirm.
The seven presidential aspirants from the South-West are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ajayi Boroffice; a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and fiery Lagos cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare.
Also expected at the meeting are governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo). Some ministers of South-West extraction are also expected to attend the parley.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the meeting would hold at the Abuja home of a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, around 8pm.
Impeccable sources told our correspondent that the discussion would border on South-West unity and reach a possible consensus.
One of the aspirants, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We will all be meeting at Chief Osoba’s home by 8pm in Abuja. Everyone is expected to be present. We will all sit together and discuss the need to ensure that the South-West gets the ticket.
“However, all of us will be asked to be truthful with one another and see who among us has the best chance of winning the primary. Then if anyone is willing to step down to boost the chances of the South-West, then this will be encouraged.”
Saturday PUNCH gathered on Friday that intense lobbying by some northern governors to ensure that the APC gives its presidential ticket to a northerner had unsettled the South-West bloc of the party.
This was said to have caused Tinubu’s outburst at a meeting with Ogun State delegates on Thursday, where he insisted that the APC must give its ticket to a Yoruba man and that he must be the favoured candidate.
Okorocha, Ohaneye, Onu, other S’East aspirants in closed-door meeting
Presidential aspirants from the South-East had an emergency meeting on Friday to deliberate on a consensus aspirant for the region.
The frontline aspirants from the region are Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; a former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; the only APC female in the race, Mrs Uju Ken-Ohanenye; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; and Ikeobasi Mokelu.
Although their last meeting took place at the Maitama home of Okorocha days before his house was raided by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the venue of their Friday meeting was unknown.
A source had told The PUNCH that just as the South-West leaders, the Igbo aspirants had resolved to consider throwing their weight behind one of their own ahead of the convention. The source disclosed that all the presidential hopefuls in the region were meeting almost on a daily basis.
Ohaneye confirmed the report in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Friday.
Asked if the South-East aspirants agreed on any form of consensus yet, she stated that it would form the highlight of their meeting by evening. “That is actually what we are doing today (Friday). We are looking at getting a consensus representative,” she said.
When reminded that politicians like Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, and Orji Uzor Kalu had thrown their weight behind Lawan, she insisted that they were not at the forefront of the campaign.
“We are talking about APC aspirants. Those people you mentioned are not. We are focusing only on the South-East aspirants. On what grounds are they standing for the South-East?”
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LAGOS STATE CHAPTER OF NIGERIA UNION OF PENSIONERS ENDORSE ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU FOR PRESIDENT AND BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU FOR SECOND TERM
The Lagos State Chapter of Retirees and Pensioners Association on the 30th January, 2023 made an open declaration in support of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the second term bid of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at NECA House, Alausa CBD ,Ikeja.
Prior to the declaration of support, the members of the union had in their hundreds took a walk of about 200 meters in which various banners were displayed showing inscriptions in support of the All Progressives Congress candidates.
Representing the Governor was the Secretary to the State Government Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji who thanked the gathering for deeming it fit to throw their support behind Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
She reminded them of the need for all registered voters to have their PVCs collected.
On her part, Mrs. Ajibola Ponle who is the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions highlighted the positive impacts the State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu had made and what he is doing in the state in the area of Infrastructural Development, Education, Health, Transportation and many more.
Other speakers were Mr. Kola Peregrino the Deputy Director General who represented Mr. Tayo Ayinde the Director General of Independent Campaign Council. Peregriho attributed the successes recorded in Lagos State as the brainchild of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He submitted that Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has truly performed beyond expectations since he assumed office three and half years ago.
Furthermore, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Union Lagos State chapter Ms Agnes Sesi addressed the gathering in a more pragmatic way, saying the Lagos State workers remain far ahead their counterparts across the country in terms of governmental support. She was bold on this because according to her, she compares notes from time to time with other states’ Labour Union leaders. She, therefore, urged the pensioners to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president and work for the re-election bid of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
Also, in his remarks, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners Lagos State enclave Rev. Remi Johnson acknowledged the steadfast commitment of government to the plight of pensioners. He advised all his colleagues – pensioners to get their Permanent Voter Card (PVCs) and vote for the candidates of All Progressives Congress in the coming elections.
The event was facilitated by the Directorate of Grassroots Engagement of Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu-Shetima and Sanwo-Olu-Hamzat (ICC) ably led by Hon. Ladi Balogun.
Dignitaries who witnessed the endorsement were Secretary to the State Government Mrs.Folashade Sherifat Jaji, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions Mrs. Ajibola Ponle, Commissioner for Physical Planning Dr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, Deputy Director General ICC Mr. Kola Peregriho, Chairman NLC Ms. Agnes Sesi, Chairman Nigeria Union of Pensioners Lagos State Rev. Remi Johnson, and Director Directorate of Grassroots Engagement ICC Hon. Ladi Balogun among others.
Sponsored Protests Cannot Change Your Status As Sacked State Governor
– Osun APC chairman Tells Adeleke
The Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has told Senator Ademola Adeleke to leave up to the reality of his Friday’s sack as the governor of the state by the virtue of the explicit judgement of the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
According to a statement issued by the Acting State Chairman of the APC, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in Osogbo yesterday,, the sponsored protests of both Adeleke and his party, the PDP, which were shamelessly staged in some of the states yesterday could only worsen their case instead of adding positive value to it at the appelate court.
Lawal stated that it was strange and unbelievable that Adeleke and his party could choose the option of denigrating the judiciary simply because the tribunal judgement did not go their way.
The state acting APC chairman said it was saddening that the sacked Governor Adeleke could be applauding and commending his sponsored protesters who went out to inflict inconvenience and violence on the inhabitants of the state under the guise of protesting the tribunal judgement that was not in the favour of the PDP candidate.
Lawal hinted that his own appraisal of the Adeleke-sponsored protests was an unmistakable conclusion that the sacked governor and his party are bad losers who are thinking that they can whip up the undeserved sentiment of the people in order to curry unmerited favour from the court of the public.
The state acting APC chairman said that the Adeleke sponsored protests were without any effect as there is no nexus between justice and sentiment because the law will always take its cause without the heavens coming down.
He reminded the embattled Senator Adeleke that it should dawn on him by now that he remains a sacked governor until the contrary is stated by a court of competent jurisdiction which is the Court of Appeal in this circumstance.
Lawal stated that no matter the magnitude of Adeleke’s sponsored protests and vilification and denigration of the judiciary, his current status as a sacked governor has the stamp of the law of the land.
The state acting APC chairman stated that whoever has recommended the sponsored protests for Adeleke to make up for his terrible loss at the tribunal is bereft of qualitative advice needed for someone like him who has crashed from his fraudulent political height that was witnessed at the tribunal on Friday.
In his words: “One needs not be a soothsayer to observe and conclude that you have lost this political battle and there is no known political short cut for you to get out of this self-inflicted political conundrum which has irredeemably defied any known remedy.
“I must expressly state here that it is still within the purview of your fundamental human right to approach the Court of Appeal for redress instead of sponsoring violent protests in some states across the state.
“Based on the Friday’s tribunal judgement, it is absolutely illegal for Adeleke to be talking about any mandate as the authentic election results of the July 16, 2022 governorship election has expressly shown that the PDP candidate has no mandate to flaunt to talk less of claiming any.
“It should be known that the incidence of over-voting, basis upon which Adeleke was purportedly declared the winner by the INEC as established by the tribunal, is nothing but unfair play which if left unturned is capable of setting a very bad precedent for our democracy.
“Adeleke should emulate the spirit of sportsmanship and maturity such that was displayed by the APC and Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola having felt cheated, chose lawful and legal way through which they became victorious today”, Lawal counseled.
The state APC acting chairman stated that the protests were by the sacked governor’s sponsored thugs and not the electorate who have been happy and joyous all over the state over the judgment.
Sooko TAJUDEEN LAWAL, Acting Chairman, Osun State APC.
VIDEO: JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS
Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.
The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.
We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.
We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.
While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood of potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.
We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.
Hon. Seye Oladejo
Lagos State APC Spokesperson
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