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Lawal, Dogara Contemplate Decamping from APC over Muslim-Muslim Ticket

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A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, and ex-Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, may be on their way out of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Lawal disclosed this in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday.

Lawal and Dogara have been critical of the decision of the APC to settle for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in the 2023 elections and recently vowed to mobilise Northern Christians to reject the Tinubu/Shettima joint ticket.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent, the ex-SGF said the agitation against the Muslim-Muslim ticket was nothing personal but a representation of the wish of a people who are part of the Nigerian nation “demanding for fair and equitable representation.”

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According to him, no decision has yet been made on whether or not to quit the ruling party.

He added, however, that “what we are doing is for the sake of Nigeria. Of the 18 political parties in the country, we are talking to the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party. It is only the APC that has rejected us; the other 17 parties have not. So, those three are in the foreground of our discussion for now, but no decision has been taken.”

Taking a swipe at the supporters of the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Lawal noted that the fact that MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe ran on the same-faith ticket in 1993 is not sufficient to replicate it in the Nigeria of today.

“Yes, Abiola and Kingibe did it but was the election not annulled? Have these people bothered to find out why the election was annulled? I am a member of the APC but we are the voices of those who have been mistreated. Since it is too late to form our party now, we are evaluating the options before us.

“We are open to listening to parties that are receptive to us. You know, some people are friendlier than others. Whatever the outcome, we will let you know but to tell the truth, we are in talks,” he stressed.

When contacted, Dogara’s media aide, Mr Hassan Turaki, declined to speak on whether his principal is in alliance with Lawal in considering their continued membership of the APC.

The Punch

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Naja’atu Mohammed Accuses Aisha Buhari of Being Part of Aso Rock Cabal

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A former Director in the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Naja’atu Mohammed, has said that the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is part of the cabals in Aso Rock.

This follows the statement made by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, that some Aso Rock cabals were working to frustrate the victory of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in the forthcoming elections.

She said this Monday morning while featuring on Arise TV Morning Show.

Mohammed said unlike El-Rufai, she was not afraid to mention names.

“Let me tell you one of the cabals is Aisha Buhari. Aisha that is talking is part of the cabals. We knew the cabals of the late Abba Kyari. When she started talking of the cabals, she didn’t have the guts to come and name names. For the first time in Nigeria, I started to mention names.

“She (Aisha) reinforced what El-Rufai said. El-Rufai said ‘the cabals in the villa’, she confirmed it. She is also part of the cabals. I am trained not to say the details. We are trained to leave names. You have to have the guts to give names,” she said.

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Supreme Court Affirms Lawan As Authentic APC Candidate for Yobe North

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The Supreme Court has affirmed the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Yobe North in the forthcoming 2023 general election.

In a majority judgment delivered on Monday, the apex court allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature.

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Atiku Support Group Accuses Wike of Arresting Members in Rivers

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The Atiku Support Organisation has alleged that about 30 of its members were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in GRA, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Sunday afternoon.

The National Publicity Secretary of ASO, Victor Moses, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed and issued on Sunday.

In the statement titled ‘Release our members wow, Atiku Support Organisation tells Gov Wike’, Moses said the meeting was part of preparations for the the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to hold on February 11.

He said some of those arrested were state and local government leaders of the organisation, alleging that the officers may have acted on the instructions of the state governor, Nyesom Wike.

The statement partly read, “Earlier today, Sunday, at about 2 pm, armed police officers in about six Toyota Hilux marked Intelligence Unit and acting on the instruction of the Rivers State Governor surrounded plot No 3 popularly called White House in Omerelu Street, by Salvation Ministries Headquarters, G.R.A., Port Harcourt, where state and local government leaders of the Atiku Support Organisation were holding meetings as part of the preparations for the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to be held on 11th February 2023.

“Realising the armed men were sent to stop the meeting, some members escaped through the fence, sustaining wounds caused by barbed wires.

“Over 30 of our members, state and LGA leaders, most of whom are women, were arrested and taken away in two white Hilux of the intelligence unit, while about four Hilux heavily armed with police have sealed up the meeting venue. The said No 3 Omerelu Street, GRA, is directly behind the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.”

The statement added that none of the phone numbers of those allegedly arrested was connecting.

The group called on Governor Wike to release its members with immediate effect, adding that Wike must end “his do-or-die politics of bitterness and stop instigating violence in Rivers State against Atiku Abubakar’s supporters.”

The group also called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order the release of its members and put a end to what it called “political rascality” in Rivers State, and “to avert Governor Wike’s instigated bloodbath in the state during the election,” adding that “Rivers people should and must be allowed to make their political choices freely.”

When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she had not received such report.

Efforts to reach the state Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, proved abortive as he did not pick several calls
put across to his mobile telephone.

He had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

The Punch

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