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President Buhari postpones Zamfara campaign rally

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President Muhammadu Buhari

As PDP Campaign DG Defects To APC, Meets President
President Muhammadu Buhari has postponed his campaign rally in Zamfara State, slated for tomorrow.

The postponement, it was gathered, is linked to the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently released the final list of candidates for the March 2, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly election without that of APC in Zamfara.

It was gathered that President Buhari’s advance team had already departed for the Zamfara rally before the news reached their leader midway into the journey asking them to return to Abuja.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina confirmed the postponement.

However, speaking to State House Correspondents on the development, Senator Kabiru Marafa expressed shock at the cancellation.

“I am not aware of the cancellation of the APC Zamfara rally; honestly because I was not told. Like I said, I just submitted a proposal, which I think, would serve the interest of our party, the president and our people.

“We don’t have candidates for now because of the political impasse that characterised Zamfara State in the last few months and the president is billed to be in Zamfara on Sunday, February 3.
Because of the rumple between disagreeing parties, we felt it is better Mr. President suspends his visit to Zamfara.

“After all, we are there; we can campaign for him; he knows us; he knows our individual capacities; there is no point bringing all the factions under one umbrella, because once the president is there, if you like the president and you are with him, you will like to show your face.

“However, we feel it is avoidable; but you cannot come to the president with just one single suggestion. So, I just put my opinion across; that if it is a must; maybe the party has fixed Feb. 3 for the visit, then we want to excused because there is no way President Muhammad Buhari will go to Zamfara and my face is not seen and people will not ask questions and I think it is not fair just to be absent like that.

“We are not doing what we are doing to impress anybody; we have already gotten all the necessary trust and belief from Mr. President even if he is not there, we will do the right thing. But if the party or the Presidential Campaign Council feels they must be in Zamfara on Sunday, we and our supporters want to be excused and we will conduct our own rally for the president on a different date and we will televise it live on NTA so that everybody can see; so let everybody show his support in Zamfara not to come together and then everybody will be claiming victory that I pulled this crowd. Let everybody stand on his own.

“The most important thing is that we all believe in Mr. President and we all like him and we will support him and we want him to win; so let us work individually, and February 16, we will all converge on the box and show what we can do but let the people of Nigeria see us individually.”

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organisation in Gombe State has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Alhaji Bala Bello Tinka (alias Tinka Point) met with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja, on Thursday night, where he pledged allegiance to the APC, and also vowed to bring his political weight to bear on the election of the President for a second term in office.

Coming exactly a fortnight to the presidential election, the defection of Alhaji Tinka, the Presidency in a statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday said, deals a massive blow to the PDP in Gombe.

PDP currently governs the state, and has done so since 2003. President Muhammadu Buhari campaigns in Gombe today, and Alhaji Tinka is expected to formally join the APC, alongside others, during the event.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has tasked visiting members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN, to partner with his administration in the task to tackle the menace of fuel smuggling.

The National Executive Committee of IPMAN led by its President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, was in Aso Rock, Abuja yesterday on a courtesy call on President Buhari.

The President who decried the smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighboring countries, lamented that the problem was a serious economic sabotage.

The President who commended IPMAN for the plans to construct refineries, also hailed the body for its efforts, which has ensured the availability of petroleum products all year round.

Earlier, Okoronkwo announced that the body had at its earlier meeting agreed to endorse President Buhari for a second term.

He noted that IPMAN controls about 80% of investments in the downstream sector of the oil industry, has over 50 thousand members scattered throughout Nigeria with more than 2 trillion investment in the oil industry

“Mr. President, let me assure you that we are ready to work more closely with you to summount other hurdles in the industry as we have great confidence in your inspirational leadership.

“By virtue of this, I want to assure you our dear President that all members of our great association are solidly behind you – one hundred percent and are unshaken in our resolve to ensure your re-election bid.

Okoronkwo applauded the President’s support to the oil sector, which has led to the elimination of fuel scarcity, which had characterized previous administrations.

“This is indeed an indication of your managerial capability, sagacity and experience.

“In the same vein we are committed to ensuring that this good work continues as we pledge our own contributions to ensure the continuous free flow and distribution of petroleum products across the country without any hitches.

“It is on record that before your emergence, petroleum products distribution was a big racket riddled with high wired scam and decadent corruption.

“The perennial fuel scarcity was the noticeable symptom of this malaise. But when you came on board that evil network of graft in the sector was dismantled and the nation is better for it as there is unhindered products availability year round.”


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