Thursday, 30th November 2023

2023 presidency: How Tinubu, Amaechi, Saraki, others woo delegates

By Leo Sobechi, Adamu Abuh, Sodiq Omolaoye, John Akubo (Abuja), Gloria Nwafor (Lagos), Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Mansur Aramide (Gombe)
09 May 2022   |   3:37 am
All Progressives Congress National Leader and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance to ensure lasting peace and stability...

PDP presidential aspirant and former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (right) with former PDP Chairman and former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, addressing journalists during a courtesy call by Saraki to Makarfi’s Kaduna home, at the weekend.

• S’East APC presidential aspirants may meet next week
• Groups explain why Adesina, Onu deserve the top job
• I wasn’t disqualified by PDP presidential committee, says Anakwenze
• INEC chairman distance self from race

All Progressives Congress National Leader and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country.

He also promised to address the reward system, if elected president, so that party members could get due recognition for their efforts.

These were the highlights of his discussion with APC delegates in Adamawa and Taraba States when he interfaced with them in the light of the party’s forthcoming primaries.

The APC leader first visited Yola, Adamawa State, where he paid a courtesy call on Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha.

Addressing delegates in Yola, Tinubu sought their support in his pursuit of the party’s presidential nomination, noting that he has the experience, skill and vision to lead Nigeria to a better future.

In Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, the APC leader urged party members to resolve their differences and forge a united front, saying unity is key to victory in the state.

ALSO, APC presidential aspirant, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, at the weekend, advised party delegates to vote wisely and not waste their votes at the party’s upcoming presidential primary.

Addressing delegates in Edo State, Amaechi urged them not to be carried away with the bevvy of aspirants from the ruling party, but to stay focused on the goal of voting a credible, experienced and performing aspirant like himself to fly the party’s flag.

He said: “Politicians will come to ask for your votes. But please, as South-South people, as politicians, as good people of Nigeria, don’t waste your votes.

“The problem with politicians is you. The elites have shown you that they are here to ‘chop money and you allow them. They will bring money here and say you should vote for them, and nobody will care to ask, ‘what was he before now? What was his performance?’ The economy they want to come and manage, how have they performed?

“Ask me, as Minister for Transport, I’m working hard to make sure that the Lagos-Calabar rail line begins and it will come through Benin. I can account for my part. So, when those in charge of the economy come to you for votes, ask them how they have managed the economy. As I’m here, ask me. If you ask these kinds of questions, they will not come forward.”

FORMER Senate President and PDP presidential aspirant, Bukola Saraki, urged Nigerians not to vote for an unfit president who would not be able to rescue the country from its problems.

Addressing Kaduna PDP delegates at the state secretariat, Saraki said:
“I am here to address our delegates in Kaduna State because, without the blessings of Kaduna, nothing will happen. It is God that made it so. 2023 is not a time to vote anyhow persons into power. We need a courageous man to lead Nigeria. I stood my ground as Senate President for things to work well.”

He promised: “I am a medical doctor and I will ensure free medical services to Nigerians. There is hunger in Nigeria. There is insecurity. I will make insecurity a thing of the past, especially in the North West.

“This is the time you need a Nigerian who is respected across the world. I am your own. I will fix Nigeria. Find the person who can unite Nigeria. I am that person.”

ALSO a PDP presidential aspirant, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, yesterday, said no aspirant could fix Nigeria’s problems better than he.

Addressing party faithful at the weekend in Gombe State, during his tour of the North East, preparatory to the party’s primaries, Hayatu-Deen said: “I am poised to harness Nigeria’s diversity in human, capital and natural resources to enviable advantage. We shall be unprecedentedly united for the progress of the country. These are my plans if given the opportunity to serve as the next president.”

THIS came as indications emerged that aspirants from the South-East zone could meet next week. An APC presidential aspirant, Dr. Chris Ngige, disclosed this over the weekend in Lagos, saying there is a possibility aspirants from the region could come up with a consensus candidate.

A GROUP under the aegis of Patriots for Ogbonnaya Onu, led by Prof. Hakeem Fawehinmi, said Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, has all it takes to bring about national prosperity if he is elected president.

Fawehinmi, a professor of clinical anatomy and biomedical anthropology of University of Port Harcourt, had led the group on a courtesy visit to the minister where he observed that Nigeria needs experienced and dynamic leadership to pull her from the brinks.

He said: “Nigeria, at this precarious time, needs a detribalised leader that will foster unity, put the interest of all Nigerians above sectional interest, fight endemic corruption frontally, tackle widespread insecurity pervading the land headlong and prosper the lives of its citizenry through economic emancipation and job creation.

“Among the contenders that have openly declared their intentions to contest, these requisite attributes stand Onu out as the most formidable with sterling performance over the years.”

SUPPORTERS of the President of African Development Bank (AfDB) and former Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, have explained why he is best suited to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mohammed Saleh, who spoke in Abuja, on behalf of 28 support groups, after picking up expression of interest and nomination forms, to enable Adesina contest on the APC platform, maintained that the AfDB boss has the wherewithal to solve Nigeria’s multifaceted challenges.

According to him, “Adesina is a man of proven integrity and experience. He has done so much for Nigeria as Minister for Agriculture. He has solved the problems of so many farmers and created so many jobs by solving corruption in the agricultural sector.”

Saleh, who was wary of the fact that Adesina is apolitical, expressed optimism that Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) would grant him a waiver to contest the ticket of the party.

ALSO, United States-based medical doctor, Nwachukwu Anakwenze, described false and malicious reports purporting he was disqualified by the David Mark-led presidential screening panel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He urged those spreading falsehood about his disqualification to allow the party’s appeal panel to release its report and recommendations for the May 28 primary without injecting unfounded speculations.

In a statement through the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Comrade Eric Oluwole, Anakwenze enjoined his support groups to remain calm, assuring that despite the delayed clearance, he remains in the race for the PDP presidential ticket.

Oluwole said: “As Director-General of the campaign organisation, I don’t have any option but to clear the minds of Nigerians about fake news designed to paint my principal black, because of his rising popularity and chance of clinching the ticket to represent the party in the presidential election next year.”

MEANWHILE, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has described calls in some quarters urging him to join the 2023 presidential race as ridiculous.

Noting that such would never happen, Yakubu said INEC remains an independent umpire committed to free, fair and credible elections.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC boss, Rotimi Oyekanmi, yesterday, said: His (Yakubu’s) constitutional responsibilities as Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Federation and Returning Officer for the presidential election are onerous enough for him to even contemplate straying into extraneous matters at variance with the law, morality and his personal principles.

“The chairman will continue to discharge his responsibilities without affection for, or ill-will against, any political party or candidate.”