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Buhari, govs may clash with Tinubu over Ambode



The crisis over who becomes the next governor of Lagos State could drive a wedge between the presidency and some state governors on the one hand and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his loyalists, on the other.

Tinubu is believed to have withdrawn support for Ambode’s re-election in favour of a former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The party leader however has been under intense pressure to have a change of heart.

The governors were said to have urged the Presidency to prevail on Tinubu not to ridicule Ambode, whom they fondly refer to as ‘Governor General’.

A cabal in Aso Rock, consisting mainly of northern elements, is also backing the same agenda.

On Tuesday, during a rally for Gboyega Oyetola, APC’s Osun State governorship aspirant in Saturday’s election, Buhari, some governors and party leaders pleaded with Tinubu and his close ally, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, to give Ambode a second chance.

Ambode meanwhile held talks with Buhari behind closed doors in Abuja yesterday.

The Guardian learnt that the visit to the Presidential Villa might not be unconnected with the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday.

Tinubu, in Osun, was said to have called for the meeting to seek the views of Lagos stakeholders on Ambode’s fate.

The incumbent reportedly sought to update the president on the latest developments, particularly the outcome of the GAC meeting.

APC governors were in Abuja Wednesday night and had urged the president to intervene.

Sources within the party said Buhari is worried that the trouble in Lagos may affect his second term ambition, if the rift between both men is not resolved.

They noted that the president is concerned that the southwest region is key to his re-election, following his dwindling popularity in the southeast and south south, and the gale of defections to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the north.

They said the president is relying on the southwest.

And if Lagos is allowed to drown in crisis, the ripples may affect other states in the region.

Buhari hinged his argument on the premise that, since Ambode does not stand accused of lacklustre performance, his sins should be forgiven, they said.

The sources added that Buhari could invite all parties in the Lagos crisis including the powerful Mandate Group and some southwest APC leaders to Abuja next week, with a view to resolving the matter.

A member of the party in Lagos however insisted there is no going back on Sanwo-Olu’s ambition, unless Tinubu plans to self-destruct.

“It is political suicide for Tinubu to allow Ambode to go for a second term.

This is because of the way the governor conducted himself and sidelined party members since he emerged,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu is going ahead to attend the screening scheduled to hold in Abuja today, he said.

As at the time of filling this report, members of the Mandate Group maintained that Ambode’s exit is a done deal, stressing that under a democratic setting, a president lacks the powers to dictate who becomes governor in any state.

Credit: The Guardian



Ganduje Absent As APC Inaugurates Screening, Appeal Committees For Ondo Governorship Aspirants



The ruling All Progressives Congress has sworn in a seven-man committee to oversee the screening of the 16 governorship aspirants who bought the N50m nomination forms to participate in the April 20 primary election in Ondo State.

The inauguration, which took place on Friday at the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja, had some members of the National Working Committee in attendance.

The party’s National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and the National Secretary, Ajibola Basiru, were, however, absent at the oath-taking event administered by the Deputy National Organising Secretary of the APC, Nze Chidi Duru.

The screening committee is headed by a former Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Joshua Lidani, while a former member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola, was sworn in as his Secretary.

Other members of the committee include Pastor Jones Erue, Chief Second Bakor, Magaret Duru, Prof. Chukwudi Ledirick and Abdul Balogun.

All the officials were asked to take the oath together along with another five-man Screening Appeal Committee which has the senator representing Kogi Central, Oseni Yakubu, as the chairman.

Other members of the appeal committee include Emmanuel Ekeh, Pious Idele and Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.

Addressing journalists after the oath-taking ceremony, Duru explained that the screening of aspirants before every primary election is in line with the Constitution of the party.

He said, “You are chosen to partake in the exercise of the 16 aspirants who purchased the forms from Ondo State. We believe you will conduct it with due diligence, discipline and, also course, fairness that the work demands. Unfortunately, I don’t envy you because it was meant to be a two-day exercise. But an additional day was added to the Eid-el-Fitr holiday. So we had to compress the two days into one, which means that you will work round the clock to complete the exercise within the timeframe that we projected.

“We are also looking to basket each aspirant into certain categories to enable the work to be flawless and reasonably organised. It is also important to stress that the work of the Appeal Committee starts immediately after the screening concludes their own. We at the secretariat will also help the midwife with most of the things you require and hand them over to the Appeal Committee. Then you can go on with the clearance. The work is intertwined.

“If there is any request or support you need, we will be more willing to render such support. All the files of the aspirants will be made available for you to look at and scrutinise to make your point. I am happy to tell you that the committee at this point stands inaugurated and I wish you the very best of luck.”

Ganduje and Basiru were also absent from the oath-taking of a seven-man committee to oversee the screening of the 12 governorship aspirants who bought the N50m nomination forms to participate in the February 17 primary election in Edo State which took place in February.


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Obasanjo, Jonathan Have Failed PDP – Sowunmi



…Says He Expects Former Presidents To Resolve Protracted Conflict That Has Plagued The Party

A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Sowunmi, has expressed disappointment that some of the founding fathers of the party are looking away while the party suffers a haemorrhage.

The ex-Ogun PDP governorship aspirant, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday, said he expects former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan to have stepped in and resolved the protracted conflict that has plagued the party before the 2023 elections.

Some PDP lawmakers in the House of Representatives recently called for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Umar Damagum, accusing him of working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Led by Ikenga UgoChinyere, the “60 lawmakers” questioned why the party leadership has stayed silent on the political situation in Rivers State and instead watched President Bola Tinubu intervene.

Sowunmi attributed the calls for Damagum’s removal and other strife within the party’s leadership to the “Wike problem”. He lamented that the PDP dealt with problem of the then Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, before the last general elections and still grapple with same phenomenon one year after the poll.

The PDP chieftain expressed sadness that the internal wrangling within the PDP has lingered beyond the 2023 presidential poll.

Sowunmi said the founding fathers of party should step in and reconcile warring partymen to consolidate the gains of the party.

“A 25-year-old institution is supposed to be one of the legacies that one of the most populous black nations will tell the world that we can also run this thing,” he said.

“I’m disappointed that the founding fathers, the Jonathans of this world, the Obasanjos of this world and co, I am disappointed that they are looking at the platform that gave them the opportunity to lead, I am disappointed that they are looking it bleed.”


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Edo: Philip Shaibu Can Still Become Governor -PDP



The Lagos State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Philip Aivoji, has said the impeached ex-deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu can still become governor.

Aivoji urged Shaibu to be patient with the PDP despite his impeachment.

He made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

The Edo House of Assembly on Monday impeached Shaibu following the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

The relationship between Shaibu and Governor Godwin Obaseki, went sour when the former indicated interest to succeed him as governor. The development led to a parallel party governorship primary in February.

Consequent upon Shaibu’s removal, Obaseki immediately appointed and swore in 38-year-old Omobayo Godwin as his new deputy.

Reacting, Aivoji said that Shaibu should remain in the party in spite the development, and never to consider leaving the party at all.

He said: “What we are concerned about is winning Edo back for PDP. The impeached deputy governor needs to be patient and hand over everything to God.

“Whatever happens, no one ever can tell, he (Shaibu) can still become the governor in a future. He should not leave the party.

“That is my advice because it is the party that brought him up. When he became the deputy governor, there were millions of people who could have become the deputy governor before the party picked him.

“Since this has happened, he should look for a way of mending fences to actualise his dream of becoming the governor. He can still become the governor.”


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