A group, known as the Northern Liberal Democratic Movement (NLDM) has called on the presidential candidate of the opposition New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to withdraw from the race for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
According to the group, the mood and opinion of stakeholders in the region and the country were in favour of Atiku who it stated was in a better position to win the contest irrespective of the former governor Kano’s decision.
This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja by the National Secretary of the movement, Hon Balarabe Ali Bello on Thursday.
In the statement, Bello stated that apart from the mood of the people of the region, the current reality is prompting scores of many chieftains and members of the NNPP to dump the party for the PDP across the region in anticipation of a likely Atiku victory in February.
The NNPP has in the last few weeks lost its chieftains to the PDP with the recent being the Deputy Governorship Candidates of the party in Niger and Yobe State, so also the state chairman of the party in Kaduna and the Zonal secretary of the party in the North East zone. These chieftains defected with scores of their supporters.
Prior to that, no fewer than 700,000 members of the party defected to PDP in Bauchi state, North East zone of the country prompting many stakeholders in the region to urge Kwankwaso to throw in the towel in favour of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar whom many see as well placed to win the February’s election.
“I am joining other well-meaning Northerners to urge our brother, His Excellency, distinguished Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to consider the overwhelming interest of our people and allow the Wazirin of Adamawa win the forthcoming elections.
“He is a young man who would eventually get his opportunities at the appointed time.
“The rate at which many members of his party are defecting to the PDP should serve as a clear signal to him to do the right thing in the interest of the people of the North and country,” Bello said.
Tinubu calls for calm on naira notes, fuel scarcity
By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Candidate, Chief Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to be calm co learning the scarcity of the new naira note.
He asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN not to be “dogmatic” in the deadline fixed for the old Naira notes to stop being legal tender.
In a press statement signed by the APC Presidential Campaign Council Director of Media & Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, Tinubu said, the masses are the ones suffering from the unintended consequence of the CBN demonetisation policy.
While appealing to Nigerians to stay calm, the APC Presidential Candidate further urged citizens to Nigerians to shun all acts that may destabilise the country in the face of the new naira and fuel scarcity that the country is facing.
He commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for the fuel supply relief being enjoyed in the Federal Capital Territory and urged the company to step up its act to bring relief round the country.
The APC Presidential Candidate promised to unite the country and improve the economy and security if elected.
“This is a challenging period in the life of our country when our people are made to stay on the line for hours to get fuel and even get their own money from the banks.
“I empathise with Nigerians across the country especially the poor masses who have been made to bear the brunt and pains of the CBN Naira policy and fuel scarcity the most.
“While government continues to work to solve these problems, let’s stay calm, maintain the peace and continue to shun and avoid any act capable of causing civil unrest and disharmony.
“What the opposition and enemies of democracy want is to create a state of national siege and tension that can disrupt the coming general elections and create an atmosphere of strife in our country.
“We must say no to them. We must be resolute and stand firm to protect our democracy by ensuring we hold our elections in a peaceful and orderly manner.
“I am in this race to bring renewed hope and prosperity to all Nigerians.
“There are no challenges that will be difficult for us as a people to surmount when we stand in unity of purpose.
“When you elect me, I will work to ensure security, economic prosperity, national unity and cohesion and we will together build a country that will be a source of joy to us all and a pride to every black person everywhere in the world,” Tinubu said.
Politicians enticing LP members with millions, says Utomi
A political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, on Tuesday said that politicians in some political parties were enticing officials of the Labour Party with millions of Naira to facilitate their defection before the presidential election scheduled for February 25.
While blaming politicians for the challenges confronting Nigeria, he said that the country had failed to build real political parties.
Utomi, convener of The Big-Tent, a coalition of political parties, social movements, and civil society organisations, in support of the presidential ambition of Peter Obi, stated these during the unveiling of the Independent Campaign Council Secretariat of TBT.
According to him, Nigerian youths that were tired of the terrible state of the country, discovered Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, adding that the LP would focus on improving the life of ordinary Nigerians, rather than serving the selfish interest of a few powerful elites.
“The focus of power over purpose has led to transactions of nature where people don’t seem to matter.
“As we speak, right now, some of those political parties have been paying millions and millions to Labour Party officials to decamp and join them. But they still forget that what we need is a new Nigeria that our children can live in happily without insecurity,” he stated.
While accusing the All Progressives Congress of lacking ideology, Utomi said the party appeared to have only set out to grab power.
He assured that if elected, Obi would move Nigeria from a consuming nation to producing nation.
Utomi said, “Our country needs to be renewed. It is easy to blame anybody for the problems of Nigeria, but it’s time to forge ahead, look ahead and forget yesterday. The naked truth is that yesterday has been costly, extremely costly.
“The country that was bequeathed to us by our founding fathers was a great country of promise. I am fond of reminding people of 1960.
“Obi talks all the time about going from consumption to production. But we started in 1960 with production.
“I like to remind people all the time that our founding fathers looked at their endowments and realized that the main reason Nigeria was colonized was the extraction of raw materials to move to Europe. But the colonialists did not bother or try at all to industrialise Nigeria.
“Indeed, at the time of self-government, there were technically two factories in Nigeria.
“However, the pace with which the young men and women who began to take charge in 1956/57 and the speed with which they moved us to production was unbelievable. I believe we can still achieve the same form of transition.
“Central to the challenge of development that we have is our failure to build real political parties. I believe, that was the beginning of the founding of the APC.
“In the founding of the APC, they focused on grabbing power over purpose which prevented a real political party from emerging and we’ve seen the damages that’s done to Nigeria.”
Nobody Will Get Buhari’s 1.9m Kano Votes Of 2015 – LP’s Baba-Ahmed
The vice-presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Datti Baba-Ahmed, has said the over 1.9 million votes President Muhammadu Buhari got in Kano State during the 2015 presidential election will not be won by any one candidate in the forthcoming election.
With 1,903,999 votes, Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated the Peoples Democratic Party’s Goodluck Jonathan who had 215,779 votes in the North’s most populous state.
“The northern Nigerian votes that were waiting to make up the difference which either of the two other runners-up were hoping to get, [it] turned out that they are not getting it,” Baba-Ahmed said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s special election programme The 2023 Verdict on Tuesday.
“The heavy punchers – Kano, for example – is now a watershed of what its votes used to be. In 2015, the 1.9 million votes of Kano, nobody can aspire to have that which of course Buhari punched Jonathan with the final blow. Nobody is going to get that in Kano.”
The LP vice presidential candidate argued that other battle zones in the North are Kaduna and Katsina.
Other factors he believed were working in his party’s favour include the rise of the youth in his home state of Kaduna, the increasing awareness of uniting Nigeria, and the non-indigenes all over Northern and Central Kaduna.
“We have pulled a lot of weight beyond the comprehension of the two runners-up,” he added.
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