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2023 drama: APC ‘offers’ Abia to Abaribe as Tinubu vows ‘I’ve never lost election’

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, John Akubo, Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Gbenga Salau (Lagos)
14 April 2022   |   3:23 am
All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday, urged Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to leave the opposition Peoples Democratic Party...

Manager explains why ‘every’ senator is endangered by state govs
• Opposition presidential aspirants race to court party organs

All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday, urged Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to leave the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to actualise his political ambition.

Abaribe, who is eying the PDP governorship ticket in Abia State, had been caught in the web of a zoning formula, which favours Abia Central and Abia North senatorial districts, given that his Abia South district had already taken its turn.

The event was a valedictory session to mark the exit of Adamu; Deputy National Chairman (North), Abubakar Kyari; and Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Hassan Muhammad Nasiha.

APC governors

Bola Tinubu meeting with APC governors led by Atiku Bagudu in Abuja on Monday, April 11, 2022.

Capitalising on Abaribe’s governorship ambition, Adamu said: “Some of you are the best materials this country can have but you are in the wrong camp. It is in my heart of hearts…those of you who are willing to reach out to a higher pedestal, our hands are open and we are stretching the hands to you.

“I assure you, among you, there is the best governor Abia State ever had. Among you, there is a good governor to be, that is being denied. Come over. We are very humane, very fair; we play according to the rules of the game.

“I assure you that I will continue to cherish our relationship. I hope and pray that you will see the light and come over to APC.”

THE highpoint of the session came when the senators remembered the sobering political chess games in their home states, which powerful governors could swing against them.

Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta) spoke the minds of his colleagues, noting: “The first test for you will be to protect those who are here. Not me, because we are not in the same political party.

“Everyone is in danger, one way or the other. Yesterday, (Tuesday), this place was very scanty because everyone is in danger. So, I will urge you, particularly the APC national chairman, as you go there, please, to protect those who are in danger.

“You know how it is done. Those of us, on this site, will be watching with keen interest. We know who you are. We know what you can do. Try your best for all of us.”

Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) also spoke in the same vein, saying: “Now that we have people from here (Senate) as leaders of the party, you have the responsibility. It is not about us, it is about the Senate. It is not about Ndume being a senator from Southern Borno, but about protecting the position of the Senate.

“You know that the rate of turnover is very worrisome. It is not because the legislators are not performing. We need you, the chairman, to protect the institution. And this institution is made up of individuals with wealth of experience. Nigerians are expecting a lot from the institution.”

THIS was as a former Lagos State governor and APC presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu, declared he had “never lost a single election”.

He made this known in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday, during an event tagged: ‘Retrospecting Democratic Journey in Nigeria’, organised for Speakers, Deputy Speakers, ex-Speakers and ex-deputy Speakers of Houses of Assembly. The theme was: ‘The Legislature, Changing Times and Nigeria’s Democratic Journey’.

Underscoring his credentials, Tinubu said: “As I need Nigeria, Nigeria needs me. I have been a good example of grit…daring, and resourceful, and I have never lost a single election. In the face of tyranny, I have survived the struggle for democracy – the twist and turns of it, including living in exile.

“I have contributed immensely, more than any other person running today. I equally have it better when it comes to legislative experience. I am married to a senator and I have allowed her to practice her religion.”

AS Tinubu extolled his potential, the 17 PDP presidential aspirants intensified efforts at wooing members of the party’s organs as the May 29, 2022 date for the presidential primary gets closer.

Key issues dominating the campaigns have remained insecurity, poverty and zoning.

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki was blunt in his meeting with members of the party’s Board of Trustees, stressing: “This is where Nigeria is today. As we struggle with insecurity, we are struggling with the economy. The economy is weak. The country is broke. I am not exaggerating.”

Former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, who met the National Working Committee, warned against attempts to jettison the zoning principle, as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

He said: “Democracy, being a system of rules and order, depends on strong institutions for its sustenance and success. When a system can no longer defend its rules, it will enthrone the reign of might as against the rule of law. My appeal is that PDP should defend Section 7 (3) (c) of its constitution.”

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State told party leaders he is not in the race to become President of Northern Nigeria but a true Nigerian president. He added: “I am going to have a knowledge-driven administration and do away with an exclusion, division and sectionalism.

MEANWHILE, the Christian Association of Nigeria (Youth Wing) has warned political parties, especially APC and PDP, against fielding presidential candidates and running mates of the same religion.

While supporting the clamour for a rotational presidency, the youths maintained that a Christian/Christian ticket or a Muslim/Muslim ticket would not be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice.

The group made the submissions in a communique signed by its Chairman, Belusochukwu Enwere, and Secretary, Bako Elijah, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting, held in Abuja.

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