President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to only 10 states in Nigeria is just to consolidate the victory of the An All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election, as the party is already coasting home, former National Organising Secretary, Ussiju Medaner, said on Tuesday.
Since appearing at the flagoff of the party’s campaign in Jos on November 15, Buhari, had not appeared in any of Tinubu’s campaigns, sparking off speculations that he was not in support of the APC candidate, prompting the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), to issue a statement, last week, debunking the insinuation and announcing that he would be campaigning in 10 states along with Tinubu.
Against the backdrop of an attack by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the President’s decision to join Tinubu’s campaign in just 10 states was not surprising, but a confirmation that he was foot-dragging with support Tinubu, Medaner said on Arise Television that the decision was to look at what had been done in those states and what was left to be done.
He said: “You know the president has given a directive to the Federal Executive Council members, that’s the ministers, about the campaign. If you look at it, I think it’s a strategy to make the campaign take shape. Right now, the campaign has taken shape and governance has not suffered.
“And adding value to the campaign, when you talk about that, you should remember the president right from 2003 to 2016 and 2019, actually has that value and has his supporters intact. So it’s just to consolidate what has been gained.
“If you look at it horizontally and vertically, the campaign now is taking shape and it has gone very far. If you take the 10 states that he has chosen to go, you know in politics you have to look at the numbers, you have to look at your strengths, you have to look at where to augment.So I think the president choosing those states is to go and loom at them, look at what has been done in those states and look at what should be done to the people.”
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BREAKING: Atiku disowns Bwala! *Says, he never worked for me
Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, formally washed his hands of Daniel Bwala, spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDP-PCC), who worked with him as the official spokesman for the 2023 presidential campaigns.
The former VP, spoke against the backdrop of what looks like a switch of loyalty to President Bola Tinubu, underscored by his first visit to the Presidential Villa, in Abuja on January 10 and most recently on January 29 in Paris, where the former Governor of Lagos State, and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was on a “private visit.”
A clarification statement from the Atiku Office, on Tuesday maintained that Bwala was a former spokesperson of Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation and not a former aide to the former Vice President, adding: “It is important that the media and the general public take corrective note of defining Mr. Daniel Bwala as an aide to His Excellency Atiku Abubakar.”
The statement, continued: “Bwala offered his services and support to the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation as a spokesperson – and it was a position he held during the last presidential campaign. Subsequently, and after the election, the need for a campaign spokesperson has terminated, and Bwala has moved on with his career.
“This, therefore, serves as notice to the media and the interested public to desist from defining Bwala as an ex-aide of Atiku Abubakar. We duly urge the public to henceforth recognize, introduce, and define Daniel Bwala by his current vocation and alliance.”
Apata: I’ll never be a mole for a non-performer like Obaseki
“I want to clearly and unequivocally state that I have absolutely no knowledge of the protest of Sunday, February 4, 2024, at LP’s Edo State secretariat in Benin, nor have I sanctioned or approved it in any way. The baseless rumours and insinuations that have been mischievously circulated that the protesters carried out my bidding are totally false, unfounded, and quite frankly ridiculous.”
These were the exact words of Olumide Apata, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), as he dismissed insinuation of being a mole, of Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State.
Apata, aspirant of the Labour Party (LP) for this year’s governorship election in the state, said he would never be a mole, agent, place-holder, or surrogate of the “poorly-performing” Edo state governor, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Labour Party (LP) in Edo.
Maintaining that the opposition LP was the party of choice in Edo, with many persons flooding it daily in the state and other parts of Nigeria, given its being people-centered, Akpata, an indigene of Benin Kingdom, told reporters that he would emerge victorious, both at the February 22 primary election and the September 21 governorship poll in the south-south state.
He stated that he would not be a political harlot, stressing that if he did not get LP’s governorship ticket this year, he would remain and join other well-meaning members to build the party, but declared that LP in Edo must put its house in order, for the best person to emerge the standard bearer of the party.
The governorship aspirant, who had practised Law for 30 years, stated that with his integrity, maturity, excellence and track record of impressive performance, especially as NBA’s president, his pedigree and antecedents, there was no way he could be the sponsor of last Sunday’s protest by some LP’s members at Edo secretariat of the party in Benin, and earlier attack on the National Youth Leader of LP, Anslem Eragbe, in the Edo state capital.
“As a loyal and dedicated member of LP, who has invested significant time, energy, and resources towards building and strengthening the party across Edo State since I joined, it is both laughable and utterly despicable that I would be linked to any kind of violent protest at the party’s secretariat in Benin. These bogus allegations and rumours are likely emanating from certain quarters within and even outside the LP that are opposed to my emerging as the party’s governorship standard bearer in the February 22, 2024, primary election.
“In their desperation, they have resorted to underhand tactics and smear campaigns to undermine my widespread credibility, acceptability, and support base within and outside the party in Edo State and across the country. This is yet another ludicrous attempt to unjustly give a dog a bad name, to hang it.
“I want to categorically state that I, my campaign organisation, supporters, and well-wishers do not engage in, encourage, or sanction any kind of violence or unwholesome conduct. These puerile allegations are the products of malicious minds that are aimed at unfairly and irreparably tarnishing my hard-earned reputation, image, and rising popularity as a foremost governorship aspirant of choice within the LP in Edo State.”
Emphasising that he was never and would never be a violent man or be associated with it he said: “As a lawyer of more than 30 years, I fully understand that peaceful protest is the fundamental right of every Nigerian citizen, guaranteed by the constitution and upheld by the courts of the land. Law-abiding citizens of Nigeria have a right to freely associate and protest, provided that this is done peacefully and legally, without threatening lives or property.
“If some persons have, however, acted unlawfully, in the course of the alleged protest, I strongly urge that they be promptly reported to the appropriate law-enforcement agencies for proper investigation and possible prosecution, as provided by our laws.
“I reject all insinuations and rumours linking me or my supporters to the purported protest. I remain focused and steadfast in the pursuit of my governorship aspiration in a lawful and peaceful manner, upholding the principles of tolerance and justice.”
The governorship aspirant also stated that he had confidence in the discerning wisdom of members of the LP, Edo people, and indeed Nigerians to reject all forms of violence, propaganda, and deceit while stressing that united in diversity, a greater Edo state would be built.
February 21, 2024 7:23 am
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