An All Progressives Congress (APC) group under the auspices of Aggrieved Northern APC Christians has recommended that its members and their supporters back the Obi/Datti presidential ticket for the 2023 election.
The group in a statement titled “Why we have chosen to endorse the Obi/Datti ticket” signed by one of its leaders, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said it came to the decision of supporting the Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi and his running mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative tickets.
Describing the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket as satanic, the group said it is a deliberate and well-calculated plan to sow a seed of religious discord among Nigerians, adding that Northerners are their intended target.
It advised against voting for the APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu whom it described as a renowned Yoruba-hegemonist who championed the establishment of a Ministry of Regional Integration in each state government of the South-west geopolitical region and his running mate Kashim Shettima whom they quoted as once saying “restructuring my foot, let’s restructure our minds”.
The group said it believes that the Obi/Datti ticket will give Nigeria a breath of fresh air and the greatest opportunity to redeem the country from the quagmire into which it has been plunged by a recurring group of self-centered reactionaries.
Read the full statement below:
WHY WE HAVE CHOSEN TO ENDORSE THE OBI/DATTI TICKET
As one of the foremost critics of APC’s single-faith presidential ticket, and also in difference to those who have patiently waited for our guidance as to where to pitch our tent, after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative presidential tickets, we now wish to recommend the Obi/Datti presidential ticket.
We wish to briefly narrate some few reasons among many why we have endorsed this ticket and commend it to all Nigerians of good conscience who desire justice, equity and a harmonious co-existence of all Nigerians across tribes, religion and geopolitical regions. More over there is currently in circulation the fake news that I have thrown in my towel with the PDP. Nothing could be further from the truth. To me the PDP and APC are different sides of the same coin.
1 The APC same-faith is a deliberate, well-calculated plan to sow the seeds of religious and social discord among Nigerians. It is obvious that Northerners, in particular, are the intended targets and victims of this satanic plan. It is an indisputable fact that the whole of Northern Nigeria is currently mired in several intractable socio-economic problems due to the activities of several nebulous criminal groups. Agriculture, the mainstay of the northern economy, is all but abandoned because kidnappers and bandits have prevented people from venturing out of the safety of their homes. Interstate and intercity travel for either business or leisure have all but ceased not only due to un-motorable roads but more so for fear of kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of banditry. Our rural schools have all but closed for fear of kidnappers. Government-owned universities have closed thus depriving the children of the already impoverished Northern masses access to affordable higher education. Thus, our out-of-school and idle children have become easy targets for recruitment by bandits and kidnappers. And there is no solution in sight.
Then, out of nowhere this man Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a renown Yoruba-hegemonist, a man who championed the establishment of a Ministry of Regional Integration in each state government of the South-west geopolitical region which he bestrides as an emperor, and a man who was once quoted as saying “I do not believe in one Nigeria” (THISDAY, The Sunday Newspaper, April 13, 1997, page 9) comes up with a Muslim-muslim ticket knowing fully well that religion is the underbelly of Northern Nigeria. APC’s same-faith ticket is a ploy to further sow discord among Northerners using the most potent weapon of social discord – religion. As Karl Max once said – “religion is the opium of the people”. Nigerians from all shades of the society must see this Tinubu/Kashim same-faith ticket as a proposal from the pit of hell that can only be conjured by the most Machiavellian minds known to man and therefore must be rejected wholesome by all lovers of our country and its nascent democracy.
On the other hand, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, Tinubu’s Vice Presidential running mate is a man who once said “restructuring my foot, let’s restructure our minds”. For eight years he presided over Borno State at a time when Boko Haram was overrunning the state almost at will and restructuring the minds of its victims against Christianity and western education. The kidnapped Chibok and Dapchi girls and many more are now slowly trickling out of captivity in the Boko Haram indoctrination camps fully Islamized and carrying children born into Islam in captivity – a true example of “mind restructuring” if there ever was one. There is also this little matter of an allegation of a very close relationship or otherwise between the Vice Presidential candidate of APC and Boko Haram! And, which Christian can forget one Kabiru Sokoto the alleged Boko Haram kingpin accused of complicity in the Christmas bombing of St Theresa Catholic Church, Madallah that resulted in 44 deaths and 77 injured Christian worshippers? Or that the said Kabiru Sokoto was eventually arrested at his hiding place in the Borno State Government Lodge Abuja? Are Christians not justified in being scared of a government run by these duo?
2. Surely, APC’s same-faith ticket is intended to shame Christians and bestow on them and their religion a second-class socio-political status in their own country. In particular it is a validation of the discrimination and oppression being meted out on Northern Nigerian Christians where they are now denied employment, promotion, contracts, and admission to read prestigious and marketable courses in government-owned schools simply on account of their religion. It is no wonder then that Alhaji Bola Tinubu thinks that the Bible is a book of jokes from which he can freely construct his “jokes” like his “Poisoned Holly Communion” and “Speaking in Tongues” jokes. If he is man enough, I challenge him to ridicule the Holy Quran even once as he freely does the Holy Bible. This guy has no respect for Christians and Christianity at all.
3 This APC ticket goes against the grain of Nigerian politics which in practice (if not in law) has always sought to achieve a religious balance in its politics and governance. It is worth noting that all the other seventeen political parties fielding presidential candidates have gone the way of established conventions and practices by fielding different-faith tickets. Truly except for its incitement to social disharmony, there is no sense at all in APC’s same faith ticket.
Furthermore, in our quest for justice and equity in the socio-political and religious space of the country, it is obvious that only the Obi/Datti ticket has the potential of speaking to the genuine clamor for power shift to the South-East and at the same time speak to the cry of marginalization by our people of the South-East. Obviously, a Christian/Muslim presidency like the Obi/Datti one will be most appropriate at this stage of our political journey more so since we are now transiting from a Muslim/Christian presidency. It will also achieve the regional shift of the presidency from the current NW/SW to a SE/NW presidency as popularly being canvassed . This is justice; this is equity. This is political engineering at its best and one that engineers peace and harmonious co-existence of the various socio-political and religious classes of our nation.
5 Nigerians should also resist the temptation of being ruled by the same set of courtiers who are recycling themselves, their children and their friends in a monarchal fashion, in and out of government to the exclusion of other segments of the society. This trend has resulted in these disastrous consequences in which we now find ourselves – impoverished, unsecured, divided, severely underdeveloped and massively unemployed with a widening gulf between the rich and poor of the society. A keen observer will not fall to notice that APC is a transmutation of Action Group/UPN that is dominated by the children or grandchildren of those who once run and ruined the Action Group while the PDP is a transmutation of NPC/NPN similarly dominated by the children or grandchildren of the people who once run and ruined the NPC. A government of either APC or PDP will only be a recycling of the same class of people who have been running and ruining the country from independence to date. Is it any wonder that Nigeria has remained static?
The Obi/Datti will give us breath of fresh air and the greatest opportunity to redeem our country from the quagmire into which we have been plunged by a recurring group of self-centred reactionaries.
6 There is a also this palpable fear and anxiety over a possible transition of the current presidency from one Fulbe to another – same tribe, same religion, same region, same courtiers. This has given rise to a heightened fear of a possible perpetuation of a Fulbe hegemony in the country. Besides, there is the perception by many Nigerians that the Fulbe are the main actors in the banditry and kidnappings currently ravaging the country. Therefore, there is a widespread perception that another Fulbe-led government will not have the inclination or political will to address the country’s security challenges seeing as a majority of the perpetrators are its kindred.
There is also this perception that appointments by the current government are driven more by ethnic and religious cronyism than by Nationalistic considerations. This has given rise to a fear of a possible perpetuation of this trend by another Fulbe-led government. Both APC and PDP presents us with these horrible options. The Obi/Datti ticket possesses a great potential to wean us from these problems.
7 Finally, as the political campaigns advance towards the election dates, the tendency to divide the country along regional, tribal and religious affiliations is gradually beginning to manifest. We can see very clearly that the APC having woefully failed in its original plan to instigate a form of jihad which it had sought through its same-faith ticket in order to capture the moslem votes, has now resorted to a tribal card. The battle cry is now “it is our turn” tribal card in the South-West. The PDP on the other hand, seeing new opportunities in APC’s failed jihad strategy is tending towards adapting both the religious and ethnic strategies of APC in the North.
Nigerians must be awake to these very dangerous campaign trends because any of the political parties that comes into government by pandering to ethnic or religious sentiments may not be able govern successfully and might further accentuate the social cleavages.
Men of good conscience should therefore look to opportunities that unite rather than divide us. Only the Labor Party presents this opportunity. We therefore call on all patriots to labor for our country in this presidential election. Nigeria’s future is at stake in this presidential election. Obi-Datti is the only way to go. All other ways lead to perdition.
2023: Enang accuses South-South Govs of siphoning N950 billion oil fund
The Directorate of Parliamentarians of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South- South geo-political zone, has accused the six governors in the region of misappropriating N950 billion that accrued to their states as proceeds of excess crude oil sales and 13% derivation.
Director of the group and governorship candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom State, Sen Ita Enang who made the accusation at a news conference in Abuja, said the governors shortchanged their respective states through low rate discounting at various banks.
Enang therefore, called on the Houses of Assembly of the affected states, to thoroughly investigate the action of their governors and commence impeachment proceedings against those found culpable.
He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had paid the said money as arrears due to the oil bearing states between 2004 and 2019 as well as derivation arrears from deductions made by NNPC from 1999 to December 2021.
Enang said that while Akwa Ibom State had collected a total sum of N133.5 billion, it had an outstanding of N277 billion to collect but had already discounted the fund at low rate in banks for ridiculous loans.
According to the document circulated to journalists during the news conference, Rivers State Government has collected N116 billion from the arrears of oil monies and N229 billion as outstanding while Delta State State, collected a total of N125 billion but had an outstanding balance of N253 billion.
Similarly, Bayelsa State has collected N104 billion and has an outstanding balance of N209 billion was also being discounted by the State Governor for ridiculous loans.
According to him, Edo State has collected the sum of N13 billion so far and has N37 billion outstanding payment which is also being discounted through loans in some banks.
He however, said that Cross River State Government was not in the fleecing game due to insignificant accruals the State had been getting.
His words: “Total money collected by Cross River State from oil money arrears is N1.4 billion while outstanding payment is N1.2 billion. Exposures being made here today on how the Governors of the South South States , have been squandering oil earnings , are to get the people of the respective states informed ahead of the 2023 general election that they should reject their party , the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the 2023 general election.
“We want impeachment proceedings to be carried out against them by their respective State Houses of Assembly if their members truly loyal to the people. We however thank the Governors for their kleptomania which will surely make candidates of their party to lose elections next year.”
Finally, Obaseki’s Men Lose As Appeal Court Endorses Edo PDP List
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP aspirants for political offices in Edo State aligned with Governor Godwin Obaseki have again suffered a setback following the Court of Appeal judgment which sacked the list of the governor as candidates of the party.
The judgment which emerged on Friday, November 25 averred that the appellate court set aside the judgment earlier won by the Obaseki aligned candidates and returned the candidates aligned to the mainstream of the party, otherwise known as legacy PDP as led by Chief Dan Orbih, the National Vice-Chairman, South-South.
It would be recalled that the Obaseki inclined faction of the party had won a court judgment that removed the candidates earlier listed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The candidates removed belong to the Orbih faction and were those who emerged from the primaries the INEC claimed to have observed.
The development led the Orbih faction to lodge an appeal at the Court of Appeal Benin which in its judgment set aside the ruling that foisted recognition on the Obaseki led faction of the PDP.
In the lead judgement delivered by Tunde Oyebamiji Awotoye , JCA, the Court of Appeal resolved 4 out of the 6 issues in favour of the Legacy candidates and as such declared that the Appeal was meritorious and therefore allowed.
The court also set aside and struck out suit no FHC/C5/78/2022 which earlier declared the Obaseki’s group candidates as the authentic candidates) because of incomplete transmission of records that made the court not to have jurisdiction over the appeal.
The decision of the Court of Appeal siding the Orbih list could be further challenged by the Obaseki faction in continuation of the turf battle between the governor and his former allies PDP who collaborated in the fight against the APC in the Edo governorship election of 2020.
Fixing Nigeria Is No Rocket Science-Obi, lists criteria
The Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi has said to fix Nigeria is not rocket science but requires extraordinary commitment from the people and their leaders.
Obi’s view is contained in his remarks at the weekend at the Annual General Meeting AGM of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA in Calabar, Cross River state.
At the conference with a theme; “Housing and Design Excellence for National Development”, the LP standard bearer listed what he called 4Cs; -competence, capacity, credibility and commitment as critical requirements to turn the country around.
“We must aspire to put in place a leadership that is imbued with competence, capacity, credibility and commitment. These 4 Cs, are leadership competencies required to turn Nigeria around”
He noted that, “What is grossly missing in Nigeria’s leadership, governance and economic realm is the lack of efficiency. Good governance and a prosperous and stable economy are routinely anchored on sectoral and holistic pursuit of efficiency”
He told the Architects that Nigeria has high and severe housing deficit to the point that the country needs 28 million houses to be built to meet the national needs and by estimation this will cost about 60 trillion naira.
He said that what his Presidency will do if given the mandate is to partner with a professional body like the NIA and create the enabling environment via the right of making laws; regulating and preserving of property; employing the force of the community; and public good.
The dearth of vision and commitment in our political leadership over time is having effect in all sectors, noting that, “what is grossly missing in Nigeria’s leadership, governance and economic realm is the lack of efficiency. Good governance and a prosperous and a stable economy are routinely anchored on sectoral and holistic pursuit of efficiency.
According to him, “if I and Datti are hired by Nigerians on February 25th, 2023, we will pursue intangible assets of good governance, rule of law, security of lives and properties but for this to happen there must be elite consensus on critical national interest questions.
“We are also aware that our existing national infrastructures are decrepit and crumbling. We are housing challenged. We have as a nation been inconsistent in our infrastructural planning and funding. This is an area we must tackle urgently.
Obi further remarked that as a first step their Presidency must start with rethinking the fundamentals of our nationhood and how to collectively unite and secure Nigeria and move it from good to great.
“Good governance simply translates to eight critical governance values, namely; a government being Accountable, Transparent, Responsive, Equitable and Inclusive, Effective and Efficient; and adherence to the rule of law, as well as participatory and consensus-oriented governance.”
With the mandate of Nigerians the Obi-Datti administration, from its inception, will continue to encourage investment in infrastructure—housing, energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors.
“We are eager to quickly close the infrastructure gap between now and 2030. That is the Nigeria we want in place by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target year.”
Obi also charged the Architects to bear in mind some fundamental requirements of their profession in contemplating on “Housing and Design Excellence for National Development” which includes Design for the future and economic and social wellbeing; to think of demographic in our designs; Design and build for public good;
Our buildings must be accessible to People with disabilities; Our buildings must reflect our culture and heritage; We must manage funding for building; Give primacy to maintenance culture; and finally NIA must protect its institutional integrity
Finally, he then reminded the NIA members of the new mantra of his campaign message,
“in the mission to rescue Nigeria, there is no tribe, religion, or class. Indeed, there can be no conscientious objector.”
2023: Enang accuses South-South Govs of siphoning N950 billion oil fund
Finally, Obaseki’s Men Lose As Appeal Court Endorses Edo PDP List
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