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Drama As Tinubu Dodges Questions, Delegates Entourage to Answer at Chatham House

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The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has explained why he delegated some members of the party to respond to questions posed to him.

According to the former governor of Lagos State, he adopted the delegation method “to show team-ship”.

Tinubu spoke at the Chatham House lecture titled: ‘Nigeria’s 2023 elections: In conversation with Bola Ahmed Tinubu’.

At the lecture, Tinubu after his opening remarks, assigned Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to speak on how his (Tinubu-led) government would address insecurity and asked the Director of Strategic Communication of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Aleke, to respond to the question on oil theft.

Tinubu also delegated a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, Wale Edun, to respond to a question on how he (Tinubu) would boost the economy if elected President in 2023.

Others, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi; APC National Women’s Leader, Dr Betta Edu; also answered questions.

Tinubu said: “Let me demonstrate here one of those philosophies and doctrines that I believe firmly in, it is team-ship, unbreakable team. To demonstrate that, I’ll assign it to my team.”

On education, Tinubu promised to provide student loans and reform the Almajiri educational system practiced in northern Nigeria.

On security, El-Rufai stated that banditry, terrorism, separatism, and oil theft require a new approach including increasing the number of security operatives.

“The numbers must change and the Bola Tinubu administration already has a blueprint which is embedded in our action plan to address this. We will scale up the numbers of the armed forces. We’ll ramp up not only the numbers but the training and the equipment,” the Kaduna State governor said.

Alake, on his part, answered the question on how Tinubu plans to lift Nigerians out of poverty if elected, and also curb oil theft in six months.

“The key to his policy for increasing economic growth is to enable the private sector to make the investment that will increase productivity, grow the economy, create jobs, and reduce poverty,” he said.

Also, Gbajabiamila responded to the question regarding Tinubu’s strategies on defence; the APC national women’s leader answered the question on healthcare delivery, and how to convert brain drain into brain gain for the country amongst others.

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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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