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Identify, engage protesting groups’ leaders, APC chieftain tells party

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Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Salihu Moh. Lukman, has advised the leadership of his party to urgently set up a strategic committee to recruit identified leaders of interest groups, including the leaders of the protest movement as part of efforts to end the ongoing agitation.

The PGF boss said APC must resist the lazy approach to present the protest as being influenced by political opponents.

In a statement he signed Sunday in Abuja, Lukman said the current ongoing youth protest across the country, calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police otherwise popularly known as #EndSARS protest, highlight some levels of citizens frustration, especially by the young people in relation to engaging initiatives of government aimed at resolving societal problems.

“As a party of change, APC is blessed with many energetic young people. Part of what must be done for APC to be able to reposition itself and attract the new strong energy of our young people is to ensure that the current process of rebuilding the APC is tailored to recruit our young people. In particular, a special strategic committtee to recruit identified leaders of interest groups, including the leaders of the protest movement by young people should be considered ahead of the membership registration exercise that is about to commence. Part of the medium to long term plans should be to try and develop new approaches to political leadership recruitment, which at the moment is unplanned.

“The days ahead will be decisive in determining whether our leaders can take steps to affirm the credentials of APC as a party committed to social change. The ability of our leaders to develop sophisticated structures and strategy, which can earn the trust and confidence of our protesting young people is facing a big challenge.

“All committed members of the party should rally round our leaders to support them to put in place the needed framework to resolve all the problems facing our young people and accordingly bring to an end to the #EndSARS protest. This should strengthen the process of orienting the politics of our party towards social change, which will confirm our progressive credentials.

“It is such a difficult reality. Yet, government and our party must do everything possible to resolve the problems and end the protest.”

The PGF boss also appealed to the protesting youths: “especially the underground leaders to see beyond the protest by taking the necessary steps to win landmark political concessions, which should include access to opportunities for leadership responsibilities by young people.

“Part of what this generation of young leaders must avoid is the unfortunate repeat of the mistake of our 1990s generation of activists when with all the political opportunities after a difficult prodemocracy struggle, in 1998/1999 we failed to take advantage of political transition and participate in politics.

“Not even appeals to our leaders by no less a person than revered Nelson Mandela when on two accessions as President of Republic of South Africa he sent former President Thabo Mbeki, the as Vice President of South Africa with the appeal to Nigerian prodemocracy activists to engage the transition process as part of the diplomatic mission to facilitate military disengagement from Nigerian politics. Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, Mr. Femi Falana, Mrs. Ayo Obe among many others are alive to confirm or refute the efforts by Mandela to convince Nigerian activists to take advantage of the 1998/1999 transition to be part of the emerging political leadership of this Fourth Republic. The rest as is often said is now history. After the difficult struggle to end military rule in the country, at a defining moment when we should mainstream ourselves as part of the political leadership of the country, we came up with theories of ‘democracy without democrats’ and disparaging our political class as ‘Abacha politicians’.

“If our protesting youth failed to convert the current protest to opportunity for access to political leadership responsibility, the resourcefulness of our youth as exhibited during this protest will be wasted. In fact, if there is anything capable of guaranteeing that the legal framework of “Not Too Young To Run” will lead to more political participation of young people, it is the current protest. But that is only possible if the negotiation around the current protest by our young people is broadened to issues of political participation. How can our leaders and APC achieve this? It is important that we are able to convince our leaders to recognise that opening the space for young people to actively participate in politics is necessary and compellingly in the overall interest of our democratic development as a nation.”

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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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