By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The campaign group of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 polls, Mr Bola Tinubu, has described the endorsement of the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, as “worthless.”
On Sunday, Mr Obasanjo released a letter to announce his support for Mr Obi, but in a swift response, the Director for Media and Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Mr Bayo Onanuga, rubbished the endorsement.
Mr Onanuga declared that the former Governor of Lagos State would not “lose sleep over Obasanjo’s move, as Obasanjo is notorious for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.”
The group said it pities Mr Obi because it is “confident that Chief Obasanjo cannot win his polling unit and ward in Abeokuta for Obi in the coming Presidential election on 25 February, 2023.”
“From our records, President Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win an election in Nigeria since then.
“Not even in Ogun State can anyone rely on his support or endorsement to become a governor or Councillor,” the statement said.
Read the full response below:
We read with amusement the endorsement of Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his New Year message on Sunday.
Following calls by journalists from various media houses who asked for our reaction we decided to make this preliminary statement, though we didn’t consider the so-called endorsement to be of any value.
We respect the democratic right of former President Obasanjo to support and endorse any candidate of his choice in any election.
Except that he made it known formally in his new year message, any discerning political watcher in Nigeria knows that Chief Obasanjo’s preference for Peter Obi is expected. He had earlier stated his position at various public events, the last being at the 70th birthday anniversary of Chief John Nwodo, former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
We make bold to say that our party and candidate, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s move, as Obasanjo is notorious for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.
The endorsement is actually worthless because the former President does not possess any political goodwill or leverage anywhere in Nigeria to make anyone win a Councillorship election let alone win a Presidential election. He is a political paperweight.
He is also not a democrat anyone should be proud to be associated with.
We recall that in 2003 and 2007 general elections when he was a sitting President, Obasanjo used all the coercive instruments of State at his disposal to railroad people into elective offices against the will of Nigerians as expressed at the polls. In 2007, he declared the polls a do or die affair after he failed in his bid to amend our constitution to have a third term.
From our records, President Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win election in Nigeria since then.
Not even in Ogun State can anyone rely on his support or endorsement to become a governor or Councillor.
We pity Peter Gregory Obi as we are confident that Chief Obasanjo cannot win his polling unit and ward in Abeokuta for Obi in the coming Presidential election on 25 February, 2023.
Chief Obasanjo’s endorsement is not a political currency Mr Peter Obi can spend anywhere in Nigeria because he is not a political force, even in his part of the country.
Chief Obasanjo similarly endorsed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party candidate in 2019 against President Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku was walloped by Buhari with a wide margin in the election.
History will repeat itself in February as our candidate Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will equally beat Obi by a large margin.
We take a particular notice of the part of the endorsement statement where Chief Obasanjo said none of the presidential candidates is a Saint.
We want to state here that Chief Obasanjo is not a good judge of character. He is a man who considers only himself as the all-knowing Saint in Nigeria.
Over the years, Chief Obasanjo has also convinced himself that integrity, honesty and all good virtues begin and end with him.
January 1, 2023
Supreme Court Affirms Ahmad Lawan as APC Yobe North Senatorial Candidate
By Dipo Olowookere
The president of the senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, has been affirmed as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
At a ruling delivered on Monday, February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court nullified the candidacy of Mr Bashir Machina.
Mr Machina and Mr Lawan had been at loggerhead over the party’s ticket for the slot.
The Senate President had contested the APC presidential primary along with the eventual winner of the exercise, Mr Bola Tinubu, and was said to have pushed forward Mr Machina as a placeholder.
However, after he lost in his bid to become the presidential candidate of the party, he turned to Mr Machina, who refused to back down, stressing that it was his turn to represent the senatorial district at the National Assembly and that the Senate President never participated in the party’s primary.
The number three citizen of the country had earlier accepted his fate, but his party took the matter up until today’s judgement, which has restored his hopes of remaining in the upper chamber of the parliament.
Justice Centus Nweze, in the lead judgement, faulted the approach of Mr Machina in commencing the suit at the Federal High Court Damaturu division by way of originating summons and without oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud.
Boss Mustapha Not Working Against Tinubu—APC Group
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) known as the APC Mandate Defenders (AMD) has denied claims that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was working against the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Bola Tinubu.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of APC Mandate Defenders, Mr Ifeanyi Emeka, the organisation said Mr Mustapha supports the candidacy of the former Governor of Lagos.
He stated that the allegations made against the SGF by another support group of the ruling party, Concerned APC Stakeholders (CAS), were false, describing Mr Mustapha as a well-respected party leader who has great respect and close relationship with Mr Tinubu right from when he was the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for Northern Region and would not engage in any real or imaginary plot to sabotage the electoral chances of the APC and its candidate.
According to him, the SGF is preoccupied with the task of meeting the demands of the transitional period, which mostly rests on his office as a frontline secretariat for the presidency as the administration gradually winds down and does not have the time to work against Mr Tinubu.
AMD asked CAS to tell Nigerians how following due process in board appointments for federal government agencies amounts to sabotaging the electoral chances of the party and its candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
Recall that the SGF had advised Nigerians to be wary of scammers who use his name and office to dupe people while promising them non-existing government appointments.
“Therefore, we urge Nigerians and party members across the federation to ignore the allegation against Boss Mustapha as he cannot be forced into providing appointments to people by threats of blackmails as such responsibility rests squarely on the desk of Mr President and Commander-in-Chief.
“Associating such frustration with the campaigns of the presidential candidate of our great party, Senator Bola Tinubu, by CAS is a diversionary tactic against the overall interest of our party and Nigeria as a nation,” a part of the statement said.
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
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