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Edo: APC campaign should be about Ize-Iyamo not Oshiomhole, Lukman advises

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…Lauds Akeredolu’s reconciliatory moves in Ondo

The Director-General All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, has warned that should the party allow sacked party’s national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to lead campaign for the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC may not win the September 19, Edo state governorship election.

In statement issued Friday in Abuja, titled, ‘Progressive politics –which way APC? the PGF DG cautioned that Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and seen as the face of the campaign if APC wants Edo people to vote for the party’s candidate.

“It is important that immediately following the resolution of APC’s internal leadership crisis with the emergence of Mai Mala Buni Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee, internal party debate is promoted on issues of strategies to bolster our electoral viability. This should not be taken for granted. The test for all of this is Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

“How our leaders are able to work as a united front and the messages of hope and how determined we are as a party to inspire citizens into voting our candidates should be the focus. In other words, our campaigns and our candidates must project the aspirations of the people and the feature our party offers.

“Without any doubt, the signal coming from Governor Rotimi Akeredolu SAN of Ondo state after emerging as the candidate of the APC is very encouraging and clearly consistent with the kind of progressive politics APC leaders should be promoting.
Immediately after the July 21, 2020 APC primary, notwithstanding that Governor Akeredolu won the primary election convincingly with 2,458 votes with his closest rival Olusola Oke who came second polling 262 votes, Governor Akeredolu has been going round, meeting all those who contested the elections with him and negotiating reconciliation.

“This demonstrate that governor Akeredolu is magnanimous in victory, at least within the party. With this, it should be expected that Akeredolu will approach the campaigns for Ondo governorship election based on a strategy of winning the votes of Ondo people. The message he seems to be conveying is that he respects the rights of the people of Ondo state to make their choice and he is offering himself as a worthy consideration to be the choice of the people.

“The reverse seems to be the case in Edo state. As opposed to reconciliation, it is loud drums of war that has taken over the airwaves in Edo state. Comrade Oshiomhole has relocated to Edo state and taken over the APC campaign and the campaign is proceeding in a manner that suggest the Edo state governorship election is an extension of the personal battle between the Governor Obaseki and Comrade Oshiomhole.

“The APC campaign is personalised around Comrade Oshiomhole and the candidate of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is an onlooker. The soundbite from the Edo APC campaign is so offensive to the point where Comrade Oshiomhole appear to be disowning almost every APC in Edo State between 2016 and now. To that extent, it simply means Oshiomhole is disowning himself, which may be why he went on his knee begging Edo people for forgiveness.

“We need to appeal to Comrade Oshiomhole to ‘calm down’. This campaign is not about his person. More importantly, we need to stress the point that part of the political vision of any progressive is that once elected into government, we commit ourselves to issues of agricultural development, jobs creation, education, health, infrastructural development, poverty eradication and rapid technological development.

“APC has ruled Edo state since the time of Comrade Oshiomhole as governor of the state. Up to today, whatever achievement Edo State experienced under Governor Obaseki, between 2016 and now, APC must own it, just like we should be able to accept some of the setbacks. Anything Governor Obaseki is able to achieve must be credited to APC as a party. Our Edo campaign should be able to raise the awareness of Edo people that had Governor Obaseki been in PDP, it would have been impossible for him to record any achievement.

“Based on the personalised way the APC Edo State campaign is being carried out, PDP all of a sudden is coming out very strongly to campaign for votes. If the Edo State APC campaign is to go ahead this way, when APC win the election who will run the affairs of the state as Governor? Is it Comrade Oshiomhole or Pastor Ize-Iyamu? If our party want Edo people to vote for our candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and be seen as the face of the campaign.

“Comrade Oshiomhole should take a backseat and play the facilitatory role our leaders play in all similar circumstances. Lagos state governorship election since 2007 present a good model. Without any doubt, our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may be argued to be very influential in the emergence of candidates, from Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akinwumi Ambode to our current Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. But once a candidate emerges, the responsibility of executing the campaign largely belong to the candidate on account of which the particular candidate become the face of the campaign.

“It is important that Oshiomhole endorse a situation where the party is able apply the Lagos model to the Edo State governorship campaign especially because we want the Edo people to be able to have confidence on our candidate, Ize-Iyamu and believe that when they elect him, he will be the one that will govern the state. The responsibility for ensuring that this is done rests with the Mai Mala Buni Caretaker/Convention Committee.

“Good enough, they have setup a National Campaign Council under the leadership of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Governor of Kano State. Governor Ganduje’s National Campaign Council should be able to assume leadership and take the necessary steps to redirect the Edo State APC campaign to have a clear progressive bearing. As part of those steps, it should ensure that APC campaign messages appropriate all development achievements recorded under the APC administration of Governor Obaseki.

“In addition, we must take steps to also cut the oxygen supply to PDP campaign, which is presenting our party and our candidate as promoters of violence. Our campaign for the Edo election should therefore amplify messages of peace and what we need to do to achieve that.
“Having come out of a very difficult crisis, our leaders and all our party members must be vigilant to ensure that our politics is not recklessly managed as to reduce us to the level of just working to win elections by all means. That is far from progressive politics. Our leaders did not make all the sacrifices they made to achieve the merger of 2013 and resolve our last leadership crisis just because we want to win elections by all means, including violent conducts.
“As progressives, our commitment to winning elections must be about earning the confidence of citizens. If anything, President Buhari should be our model at all times, especially when it borders on conducting political campaigns. It is to his credit that he never associates his political campaigns with violence since 2003, which is partly the reason he could host his political campaigns with mammoth crowd running into millions without any violent incident,” he noted.

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Issue Based Campaign: I Agree with Tinubu – Obi

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has thrown his weight behind the call by Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu for the campaign, whenever it starts, to be based on issues and not personality. Obi was reacting to the call by Tinubu, through his campaign organization, for the candidates and their supporters to base their electioneering on issues that would, in their words, “advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria”.

A statement signed by Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said the statement by APC advising candidates to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates,” exactly mirrored what Obi had propagated over the years.

He said if supporters were mindful of this, some articles published in some newspapers against Obi would not have been published, including those with offensive titles.

On the alleged fake Letter from the President of Ghana and the alleged request of 50 Billion Naira monthly payment, Obienyem said that while Obi was not bothered about their authenticity, it was wickedness to link them to his supporters, insisting that any publication from Obi’s group was always properly signed and the place it was coming from very clearly spelt out.

Obienyem also described as the height of mischief, the attempt to link his campaign to IPOB. In his words: “We know that things are not well in Nigeria. We know of the agitations in different parts of the country, our principal has always said what he would do with such organizations to stop their agitation and bring then back to Nigeria as one happy family. Rather than others say what they will do, they are here creating more problems by trying vainly and wickedly to link their follow contestants to some of those organisations.”

He expressed happiness that Nigerians knew the truth and that such gimmicks used to deceive them would no longer work.

Concluding, Obienyem said that right from Obi’s position as the Governor, he was not known for the habit of attacking people or building lies against others. Obienyem said Obi’s disposition was contrary to those of some of his opponents, whom, he said, actually originated most of those fake news, published them under false names and turned round to ascribe them to Obi or his supporters.

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Northern Christians Reject APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket

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** Say it is an agenda to Economically, Politically Marginalise Northern Christians

As Lawal, Dogara , others rally Northern Christians to reject Tinubu/Shettima joint Muslim-Muslim ticket

AHEAD of 2023 general and Presidential elections, Northern Christians have rejected in totality the Muslim/ Ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC that has produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the Presidential candidate and Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate, describing the action as an agenda to economically and olitically marginalise Northern Christians.

The decision which was taken Friday at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja during the APC Northern Christians Leader Summit in conjunction with Christians from the north is a serious indication that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate Sen Shettima Kashim would face the herculean task convincing christains of northern extraction to vote for them in the 2023 poll.

The Christian leaders have vowed that no Christian would vote for the present arrangement of the APC

Speaking as the Chairman of the event which has Christians drawn from the Nineteen Northern States, former Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Engr Babachir Lawal who noted that the Muslim-Muslim ticket was an extension of the exclusion of christains from the scheme of things in the country, however stressed that the measure would disrupt the peace and social development of the country, he argued that the Muslim-Muslim ticket remains part of the subterranean plot to Islamise the country.

Babachir who gave a detailed reference of the marginalisation of christains in the APC NWC, Federal executive council (FEC), state and federal owned institutions of learnings in the country, charged christains in not only the north but the entire country not to be deceived the APC leadership on the Muslim-Muslim ticket since matters of religion cannot be divulge from the politics of the country.

He said, “We are not the ones that started this fight. APC started it. They should be ready to carry this cross. We are open to discussion with whoever discuss with chrustain community in good faith.”

On his part as the Guest Speaker, former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara  who spoke in the same vein,  described as “hogwash” the argument that the choice of Shettima was based on consideration of competence rather than his religious leanings.

According to Dogara,  notwithstanding his love for Tinubu, the argument that christians votes would not count as that of the Muslims lacks any logical basis as Nigerians irrespective of their religious leanings had ensured the emergence of former president Goodlick Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo in the past.

(Vanguard)

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I Didn’t Endorse Tinubu – Pastor Bakare

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The General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has refuted claims that he endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for 2023 elections, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bakare who made the rebuttal in a statement debunking insinuations that he was working against the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the Muslim-Muslim ticket by Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

In a recent post on Bakare’s Facebook handle, he described the aforesaid allegations as absolute lies.

“My attention has been drawn to the viral but concocted and ridiculous statements credited to me, by some unscrupulous writers and bloggers. Amongst other things, I was quoted to have said that the agitations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), were ploys by the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to force a weak candidate on APC.

“In addition to this, I was alleged to have said that CAN wanted to lure APC into presenting a weak candidate. The spurious writers also alleged that I stressed that Christians are righteous people who behave like Christ, and that CAN are politicians who behave like PDP.

“As if the poorly strewn lies were not enough, I was quoted as saying that Tinubu is my candidate. Isn’t this the same Tinubu that I announced to all and sundry at the APC Presidential Convention that I was not stepping down for? He has suddenly become my candidate!

“I wish to state unequivocally that the statements are absolute lies. There was nowhere I granted anyone any interview, or preached on any platform, where I said the ludicrous statements. I challenge anyone who is in possession of the video or audio file of the statements to please put it in the public space.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I am a nation builder who will not in any way create real or imaginary division among the people of our great country, through the medium of political parties or religion.

“I therefore use this medium to ask everyone to disregard the alleged statements. The statements are not mine, and do not in any way represent my position. This is part of the lying propaganda of the mischievous ones seeking approval by deceit and at all costs. If the peddlers of this deliberate falsehood don’t desist from their highly condemnable acts, they will definitely have their day in court. Enough is enough“

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