‘Obi Is A Danger To Watch Out For’, Fayose Urges PDP To Negotiate With LP Candidate

 

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has called on the Peoples Democratic Party to negotiate with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, if it wants to stand a chance in the 2023 presidential elections.

Fayose, a PDP chieftain, made the comment during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Obi is a danger to watch out for,” Fayose said. “I don’t believe Obi will make 25 percent in two-third of the states. I am not against Obi, I love him and he’s a very vibrant leader. But based on my own permutations, he can’t make 25 percent.

“Obi is more of a chronic cancer to PDP.

“In the South-West, I don’t see how PDP will win. anybody deceiving us can continue to deceive us. I don’t see how PDP will win in the South-East. The South-South will be a combination of all interests.”

He described the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, as “a semi-cancer.”

“Reconciling or negotiating with Obi will be a good thing,” he added.

He also called for the PDP to negotiate with the party’s aggrieved Governors.

2023: Peter Obi Knows That He Can’t And Won’t Win – Soludo

A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

 

Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo on Monday tackled the presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi, in a lengthy opinion piece.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor said Obi knows he cannot win the 2023 presidential elections and is only playing a game.

“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win,” Soludo said. “He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know.

“The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!

“That many Americans may not like the fact that Joe Biden (79 years) and Donald Trump (76 years) are two frontrunners for president in their parties does not remove the fact that if both of them emerge as candidates, definitely one of them will be president in 2024.”

 

Read Soludo’s full statement below:

 

14th November, 2022

History Beckons and I will not be Silent (Part 1)

Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR

My attention has been drawn to some of the tirades on social media following my frank response during an interview on Channels TV regarding the “investments” Mr. Peter Obi claimed to have made with Anambra state revenues. Sadly, several of the comments left the issue of the interview to probe or suggest motives, inferred from my response on “investment” that I am opposed to Peter Obi’s ambition and therefore committed a “crime” for which the punishment is internecine abuse and harassment even to my family. Some people even suggest that the gunmen who went to attack a checkpoint at my hometown on Saturday 12th November but were gunned down was part of the mob reaction. I used to think that for decent people, certain conducts are off-limits, and that in Anambra, politics is not warfare.

Of course, as a Christian, I know that telling the truth can be very costly, even suicidal. Our Lord and saviour was crucified simply for telling the truth the people did not want to hear. I promised that I won’t be the usual politician, and will not knowingly lie to the people. I am not an Angel but rather than knowingly repeat the same deceitful character that politicians are known for, I would leave public office. It is a vow I made to my God and to my family. Only God knows how many days I will be on this seat but whether I am on it or not I will always say it as it is— knowing fully the suicidal consequences of telling the truth in a political arena, especially in a country where lying and deceit by politicians have become culture and celebrated as being “smart”.

Ideally, I should just have laughed off the infantile exuberances as many friends advised (I am used to this, having been in the ‘Arena’ for a while). I always re-read the quote “The Man in the Arena…” by President Theodore Roosevelt (1910) to remind myself of the burden of public office. Several well meaning Nigerians and Ndigbo called to advise that I should just ignore them. A respected Igbo elder-statesman who called, advised that I should just ignore what he described as “Peter Obi and his social media mob”. According to him, “everyone knows that he is going nowhere, but they are looking for who to blame”. After some 20 minutes of discussion, he advised that I should personally author a response— just for the records.

Everyone knows that I don’t follow the winds nor one to succumb to bullies, nor shy away from a good fight especially when weighty matters of principles and future of the people are involved. One lesson I learnt from my former boss and mentor, President Obasanjo, is never to be on the fence. I learnt that one must always take a stand: for better or for worse. I do so with every sense of humility, and leave history to judge. Most people have commended me for “tactfully avoiding being drawn into the Peter Obi issue” until now.  Since I am now being forced into the Arena on this matter, I have a duty and a right of reply, if only for the records, and to also give the social media mob something substantive to rant upon and rain their abuses for weeks. In this preliminary response, there are some things I will refrain from saying here because, in the end, February/March 2023 will come and go, and life will continue.

At the outset, let me state that this exhibition of desperation, intolerance and attempt to bully everyone who expresses the slightest of dissent is reprehensible. This is Hitler in the making. When the revered Arch Bishop Chukwuma stated that in Enugu State, they were not obedient, he was ferociously bullied on social media. Any dissent is tagged a saboteur or, in my case, it could be that I want to contest for president after office or that I am envious of Peter Obi. Soludo envious of Peter Obi? Totally laughable! But this is the same person I was asking to return to APGA in March 2022 and contest for president and yet envious or doesn’t want him to be president. This is madness! Seriously speaking, the obdurate attempt to muscle the republican Igbos to maintain the silence of the graveyard is antithetical to everything Igbo. It is not who we are. Insulting other ethnic groups and religions or denigrating others is certainly not the path to Aso Rock. If this is not checked, it may indeed endanger the future political and economic interests of the Igbos.

In his time, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the undisputed all time leader of the Igbos but he had his arch rivals and even independent candidates won landslide elections against his party, NCNC, in Igboland. Obafemi Awolowo had stiff opposition among the Yorubas while Ahmadu Bello had his share of opponents in the Northern region. Today, no one has accused Afenifere or other strong presidential candidates from the South West of being “anti Yoruba” because Tinubu is a frontrunner, nor has anyone accused Kwankwaso and several other Northern candidates of being “anti-North” for not supporting Atiku. As a full blooded republican Igboman and democrat, I reject this despotic intolerance.

Yes, I fully understand the anger of some urban and Diaspora youths and some Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the trajectory of the country or with the candidates of the major parties and wished other options. Not knowing much about others, some see Peter Obi as the contrast they wished for. I get the point. But this is a democracy: the minority will have their say, but the majority their way. Translating anger and social media agitation into political outcomes requires humongous work.

For full disclosure, let me state that Peter Obi and I are not just friends, we call ourselves “brothers”. But we have political differences: he left APGA for PDP after his tenure as Governor while I have remained in APGA since 2013. During the last two governorship elections in Anambra in 2017 and 2021, he led the PDP campaigns but APGA won landslide in both elections. By the way, in 2016, he visited and proposed that I defect to PDP and contest the 2017 election against the incumbent Willie Obiano, but I declined. After my victory in November 2021, he called to congratulate me as I did to him in 2010. That is the Anambra way: we fight fiercely during campaigns but share drinks at the next social events. After all, it was the great Zik of Africa who taught us that in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies but only permanent interests.

We sat next to each other during the Emeka Anyaoku lecture at Nnamdi Azikiwe University on 8th March, 2022 and I made an offer for him to return to APGA and contest as its presidential candidate. Yes, I did. In my mind, it was time for Igbos to organize their region politically before stepping out to bargain power with other organized coalitions. On his part, he tried to convince me that he expected APC to unravel while PDP would be the “only one” standing. We debated and he proposed that we could meet later to discuss further. He attended my inauguration on March 17.  A few weeks later, he requested and I obliged him to use the Anambra State government house facility to launch his presidential bid under PDP.  I was surprised to read in the news later that he had defected to LP (a party with literally zero structure), thereby attempting to weaken the same PDP he saw as the saviour a few weeks earlier. He paid me a courtesy call as the presidential candidate of LP, and we had frank discussions.

During our meeting, I reminded him of my proposal to him to come and contest under APGA. More importantly, I told him (possibly to his surprise) that I did not make the proposal in the belief that he will win in 2023 but that it would give us the opportunity to get our people organized as a bargaining force, with him leading the effort since I was busy as Governor (my immediate predecessor, Willie Obiano had indicated to me that he was not disposed to contest an election). We noted that we were in opposing political parties and in response to my direct question as to how I might help him, he requested that I should just ensure a “level playing field” and let the people decide. In fidelity, my government has provided the atmosphere for him and his supporters to operate freely in Anambra without any molestation (compare with treatments to LP even in other South East states), and allowed his billboards which are, in many places, wrongly placed almost on the roads.  As a person, I have several shortcomings but being petty is not one of them. We have shown him tremendous goodwill—which he did not extend to the same Labour Party when he was Governor (Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, as LP governorship candidate in 2013 was denied the use of Ekwueme Square for his rallies).

Someone reminded me that a mob has no head and hence cannot reason. The same Peter Obi was one of those who told Ndigbo that APGA was the vehicle through which Igbos would organize to engage the rest of Nigeria politically. He was said to have sworn to Ojukwu and publicly that he would quit politics the day he leaves APGA. The rest is history. When he was the Vice-Presidential candidate under PDP in 2019, the emotive train then dubbed the ticket “the Igbo project”. As then chairman of planning and strategy committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I cautioned for a more pragmatic approach but the emotive blaze of the time held sway. We were vindicated afterwards.

By the way, APGA is Nigeria’s third largest political party today (after APC and PDP, it is the only other party with a state governor and third largest presence at the National Assembly). And some people have the temerity to suggest that APGA’s candidate should “step down” for Peter Obi as the “Igbo candidate”. I wonder when Igbos met to choose a candidate. They even argue that afterall APGA supported President Jonathan and did not field a candidate then. Well, the fact as I was told was that no candidate showed interest under APGA then. Besides, APGA’s unwritten rule then was to support the party at the centre — which, if we apply this time, should actually be APC. But we have our own candidate. Recall that all the political parties had their primaries during the same period. Once Peter Obi realized that he won’t get the presidential or vice-presidential ticket of PDP he ran to Labour Party (a political party known as a transit camp for aspirants who lost primaries in APC, PDP and APGA), and the chorus by a vociferous minority now is that LP has become the “Igbo project”, and the APGA candidate who emerged the same time as Peter Obi should “step down”. Ridiculous! Now I truly understand that a mob cannot reason.

When will Ndigbo understand and learn politics, especially of Nigeria? When Bola Ahmed Tinubu defied the political wind of the time and stood out as the “only man standing” in AD and later AC (before ACN) against a sitting president of Yoruba descent, no one accused him of being “anti-Yoruba”. Indeed, everyone recalls that both Tinubu and President Obasanjo disagreed politically, and probably still disagree—but none is being accused of being “anti- Yoruba”. Under Tinubu, the South West strategically organized under a different political party, the ACN and went into a formidable alliance that kicked out a sitting president (in Africa?), and that alliance is not broken yet. Igbos, in their frenzied Nzogbu nzogbu politics, have sadly found themselves in a political cul de sac. Tragic indeed! When will my people smell the morning coffee?

Let me now address the substance of my response during the interview, and I stand by what I said. On record, I doubt that any governor in Nigeria has paid as much tribute to his predecessors as I have done during campaigns and in office. I always said that ALL of them did well and to the best of their abilities. Yes, Peter Obi was governor for 8 years (2006 -2014) during a period of unprecedented oil boom and prosperity in Nigeria (Nigerian economy was growing at average of 6-8% per annum, and oil price was highest during this time). I have seen all kinds of funny comments and interpretations regarding what I said about the value of his “investments”. Some refer to SabMiller and bandy all kinds of figures as to how the investment of $12 million is now worth less than $3 million. Of course, there is room for legitimate debate about the logic or quality of the investments. For example, people might differ as to the propriety of using taxpayers money to promote a company in which one is a shareholder in the name of “investment”, or even whether so called “savings” are warranted when there were dozens of schools without roofs or classrooms, or local governments without access roads or hospitals without doctors/nurses. A Bishop recently publicly advised that I should please try to construct the “Ngige type of quality roads”, stating that the ones done by his successor (that is, Peter Obi) had washed off, while Ngige’s remained. I promised and we are delivering quality roads that Anambra has not seen before.

For sure, prudence in public resource management is desirable and we are opening new frontiers in that area. People will however differ as to whether saving money in the bank account is a KPI (key performance indicator) for a government where poverty is escalating except where its institutions for absorption are weak or where the government has no robust/big agenda for transformation. Governments exist to save lives, not to save money. We can debate and differ on this— (by the way, I know when/how it is appropriate to “save” as I built Nigeria’s foreign reserves from $10 billion I inherited to all time $63 billion, and even after paying $12 billion to pay-off Nigeria’s external debt and going through unprecedented global financial crisis, I still left behind about $45 billion— Go and verify!).

Funny, in the rabid frenzy to grab every straw, they cut a clip during our governorship debate where I was stating vital statistics and they claimed that I was “praising” Peter Obi then while committing a crime now by “criticising” him. Hahahaha! Well, it is true that I said during the debate that, according to National Bureau of Statistics, poverty in Anambra actually grew (from less than 25% in 2005) to about 53% under Peter Obi in 2010/2011 but fell under Willie Obiano to 14.78% in 2020. Yes, poverty more than doubled under Peter Obi and more than 50% of Ndi Anambra were in poverty under him. Go and verify! I am Governor, and sitting on privileged information which I will not want to use against a political opponent. But on matters of facts, I will always state same as is. As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time but never all the people all the time. Enough said for now!

Where do we go from here? I listened to my friend Gov El-Rufai on TV explaining why the northern governors decided that power should shift to the South. According to him, they asked themselves what would their founding fathers—Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa or Aminu Kano have done in the circumstance. Today, I ask my people, Ndigbo: do we ask what Azikiwe or M.I. Okpara or Akanu Ibiam would do in the present circumstance? I worry that Ndigbo as Nigeria’s foremost itinerant tribe and with the greatest stake in the Nigerian project does not yet have a strategy to engage Nigeria—politically! Every four years, we resurface with emotive Nzogbu Nzogbu political dance (“it is our turn dance” but without organization or strategy) and fizzle out afterwards while others work 24/7 strategizing and organizing.

Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama! That many Americans may not like the fact that Joe Biden (79 years) and Donald Trump (76 years) are two frontrunners for president in their parties does not remove the fact that if both of them emerge as candidates, definitely one of them will be president in 2024.

As my brother, I wish him well and even pray for him. I told him during his courtesy call that my prayer is that himself or Prof Umeadi of APGA would win, why not? That is from my heart, but I also told him that my head and facts on the ground led me to know that it’s probability is next to zero (what I cannot say before you, I won’t say behind you). So I already told him my opinion. Indeed, there is no credible pathway for him near the first two positions, and if care is not taken, he won’t even near the third position. Analysts tell him you don’t need “structure” to win. Fantasy! Of course, LP won governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun on social media and via phantom polls, while getting barely 2,000 votes on ground. Creating a credible third force for presidential election in Nigeria requires a totally different strategy and extreme hard work.

Of course, Peter Obi will get some votes, and may probably win in Anambra state— as “home boy”. But Anambra is not Nigeria. If he likes, I can even campaign for him but that won’t change much. From internal state by state polling available to me, he was on course to get 25% in 5 states as at August this year. The latest polling shows that it is down to four states, and declining. Not even in Lagos state (supposed headquarters of urban youths) where Labour Party could not find candidates to contest for House of Reps or Senate. The polls also show that he is taking votes away mostly from PDP. Indeed, if I were Asiwaju Tinubu, I would even give Peter Obi money as someone heading one of the departments of his campaign because Obi is making Tinubu’s pathway to victory much easier by indirectly pulling down PDP. It is what it is!

The current fleeting frenzy, if not checked, will cost Ndigbo dearly for years. The South East has the lowest number of votes of any region, but it is also the only region where the presidential race might be a 4-way race (it is a two-way race in the other 5 regions) thereby ensuring that our votes won’t count in the making of the next president of Nigeria. Afterwards, we would start complaining that we don’t get “what we deserve” or cry of marginalization. During the 2019 presidential election, the five South East States were united for PDP but contributed merely 1.6 million votes to PDP which was about the votes that Kano state gave to Buhari. The emotions might run to heavens but politics-power is about cold calculations, organization and building alliances for power. In a democracy, it is a game of numbers. So far, I don’t see any of these— and 2023 might again be a wasted opportunity for Ndigbo! What is our Plan B when Peter Obi loses in February 2023? Some people prefer that we should play the Ostrich while Peter Obi toys with the collective destiny of over 60 million Igbos. Yes, you pray that he wins, but what if he fails as he is certain to? The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. As the saying goes, only those who Plan can control the future. Ndigbo, wake up and smell the coffee!

What would Zik of Africa or M.I. Okpara do in this circumstance? Our founding fathers understood that in politics, you don’t get what you deserve but what you bargain/negotiate, and you negotiate with your organization and VOTES. Not social media militancy or bullying (where over 90% of actual voters are not on social media)! Our fathers built alliances with other major political parties in other regions (not with socio-cultural groups that don’t command any votes), and Ndigbo were in the reckoning in the first and second republics. After the elections, we will see how many votes any of the leaders of the socio-cultural groups will get for Peter Obi from their wards. Sometimes I even sense a conspiracy to nudge us on a path to nowhere thereby further pushing us into irrelevance, and I pray that I am wrong. Just my two cents!

It is not too late for Ohanaeze Ndigbo and progressive Igbo leaders to pre-emptively start charting a pragmatic future for Ndigbo in Nigeria after the elections.  Armchair social media analysts can have the luxury of fantasizing with wild speculations. Right or wrong, they earn their pay and with no consequences. For us as leaders, the lives of tens of millions are at stake. We have a historic duty to act and being silent or politically correct is not an option. For starters, Ohanaeze should study the report of my committee (planning and strategy) in 2019. It may still be relevant today. Second, Ndigbo should seriously study the MoU signed at the Yar’Adua Centre in 2010. The leader of Igbo Political Association, Chief Simon Okeke and our members are still there. Thirdly and for me, Ndigbo should strategize and bargain especially with the TWO candidates likely to be president on at least four central issues:

  1. A) Lasting peace and security in the South East, including the release and engagement with Nnamdi Kanu.

B)South East Economic transformation agenda and the FGN’s Marshall Plan for the South East as promised since the end of the Civil War (the post war ‘reconstruction’). We appreciate the Second Niger Bridge and recent contract for MTN to reconstruct the Onitsha-Enugu expressway. But the rail-lines to the five state capitals, speedy access to the sea, highways linking South East to the North and South South, addressing our existential threat as gully erosion capital of Africa, Free Trade and Export Processing Zones, etc.

  1. C) Restructuring Agenda for Nigeria that devolves powers/resources to the subnational entities and in which it would no longer matter where the President comes from.
  2. D) Levelling the playing field for the unleashing of the private sector and the full participation of Ndigbo in the economic and governance space; etc.

To conclude, let me once again wish my brother Peter Obi good luck. He should have fun and enjoy the fleeting frenzy of the moment. But he must moderate the desperation as exhibited by his social media mob. There is a limit to propaganda. A mob action often reflects the character of its leader. No one has a monopoly of social media violence, and no one should play God. Life won’t end by February/March 2023.

I hope that after February 2023, Peter Obi will return to APGA (the party that made him everything he is politically) as I offered him on 8th March, 2022 and begin the hard work, if he truly wants to be president of Nigeria. It won’t happen by desperately jumping from one party to another or by unleashing a social media mob on everyone who slightly disagrees with you. I decided to pen my views personally — again for the records. On this, I don’t mind being a one man minority. As history beckons, my conscience and sense of duty to my people dictate that I should never be silent. I will happily accept the judgment of history for standing by the truth!

 

Townhall: Kwankwaso Open To Restructuring, To Avoid Security Votes If Elected President

 

Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso and his running mate, Bishop Isaac Idahosa, on Sunday attended a people’s townhall meeting in Abuja.

The townhall meeting was part of a series organised by Channels Television with support from UK Aid, Hope Action Progress for Women and Youth in Politics, Situation Room, Yiaga Africa and the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL).

Leading presidential candidates are expected to feature in the series.

On Sunday, Kwankwaso tackled questions on security, economy, education, health among other key topics.

Punishment and reward

Speaking on security, Kwankwaso, advocated penalties for security breaches such as that which resulted in the July 5 attack on the Kuje correctional facility in Abuja.

He stated that nobody in Nigeria should be over and above the law.

“One of the issues that we’re having, in our opinion, today in Nigeria is that everything goes. Nobody is punished — 100 people killed, 50 people killed, one person killed. That’s the story,” he said.

“A place was broken; so many people escaped. It doesn’t matter, and so on and so forth. There must be the issue of penalties. There must be an issue of reward. If you do the right thing, you would give the necessary reward. If you’re wrong, you are wrong.

NNPP Presidential Candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso at Channels Television's The People's Townhall 2023 in Abuja on November 13, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
NNPP Presidential Candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso at Channels Television’s The People’s Townhall 2023 in Abuja on November 13, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

“These are some of the things that are already in our manifesto or blueprint. In the first place, it must be prevented. Even from the official versions we hear, there were so many missing links.

“We were told that many of them, according to the information, people were being seen around for a long time. And that is what even happened with Boko Haram.”

Open to state police

On state police, the NNPP man said he was open to the restrucuring of the nation’s security architecure.

“While we believe that we will listen to the people, we will do the right thing, at the same time, we will follow due process,” he said. “This is not something that the President will sit in his bedroom and announce the change of constitution to insert the issue that affects the relevant clauses in the constitution.

“We are ready to follow due process as long as Nigerians are interested in that. But on the other hand, we believe most of these things coming up are as a result of government failure. Once everything is going well, all these things will die down.”

Security votes

Kwankwaso also promised to put an end to the allocation of security votes for the sitting president.

“For the eight years I was governor, I have never taken one naira on the issue of security votes and I have inherited governments there were taking N10m in a day seven times, ten times. In fact, at a stage, we had a record of 12 times because the governor can only approve N10m so they would take N10m times whatever number they want,” he said.

Townhall_meeting_Kwankwaso
Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

“The only thing that we did not publish for the eight years I was governor was the money given to the security agents but we have the record. So, security votes, in my own opinion, is a big way of stealing money because that is why I have never done it; if I have the opportunity again, there would not be anything like security votes in the presidency.

“So, we have seen cases where a lot of money is been siphoned in the name of security votes and nobody can defend it and, in my opinion, I think that should be stopped using whatever means because it’s only a good way of taking cash from the treasury”

No indiscriminate borrowing

On the economy, Kwankwaso argued that Nigeria has enough money to take care of every of its citizens.

He said this while answering questions on indiscriminate borrowing which has set back the country’s economy in recent years.

He claimed to have repaid all debts he met as governor in Kano without borrowing, boasting of replicating same at the federal level.

He said, “There is so much money in this country, anybody who says there is no money either he doesn’t know or he wants to be mischievous. There is enough money to take care of each one of us in this country; we have done it in Kano in 1999 to 2003, we met a lot of debts, we paid the debts after eight years. When I went back I met debts of hundreds of millions of US dollars, and we settled them before I left in 2015.

“I’m talking of borrowing money either from banks or individuals, we have never borrowed. So I believe that that can be replicated to a very large extent at national level. I will not say I will not borrow but if they are important things pay themselves, not to borrow to pay salaries, handle current expenditure and so on, I believe there is even more than enough money in this country to handle that.”

NNPP Presidential Candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso speaking at Channels Television's The People's Townhall 2023 in Abuja on November 13, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Kwankwaso also said that if elected president he would negotiate with Nigeria’s creditors to reschedule payment of debts so that government can have money to take care of other things.

“The situation as we are being told now is that whatever we are getting as our resources, as our money in this country is not even enough to service our debt, I think that is what we have heard. Now the issue is that any responsible government day one will sit down with all the people, creditors and see how they can be rescheduled, there has to be negotiation.

“You cannot be collecting all your resources and paying interest to the creditors, there has to be arrangement to make sure that you are given a breathing space so that you can start bringing in the good things that are necessary for the country to move forward,” he added.

 

See tweets from the townhall below:

 

Peter Obi: Why Labour Party Was Denied Use Of Stadium In Edo – Obaseki

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Friday defended his government’s decision not to approve the use of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium for a Labour party rally in the state.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the Governor said the notice for approval arrived too late.

Mr Obaseki said the government received notice 24 hours to the event.

“The tracks for that stadium are still under warranty,” he said. “The pitch has to be maintained in a certain mould. So it’s not just another facility you can use without preparing.”

 

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Obaseki’s party, had used the stadium for a rally on October 22.

He said the PDP met the conditions for using the stadium.

“And the only reason why we allowed the PDP rally was because it was also used as an opportunity to commission that facility. Otherwise most other rallies are held in other large grounds around the city.”

Mr Obaseki said he was disappointed with the Labour party.

“I thought they were more serious,” he said.

‘We are on ground’

Many believe the government’s decision to refuse the stadium’s use for the Labour party was due to Mr Obaseki’s fear of Peter Obi’s rising political profile.

Mr Obi is the presidential candidate of the Labour party in the 2023 elections.

Mr Obaseki dismissed such an idea on Friday.

“They can show us virtually but not on the ground,” he laughed.

“We are on ground. We’ll see. It’s February 23rd.”

Huge turnout

Meanwhile, a large number of people showed up on Friday as Obi visited Edo state.

Mr Obi, who had been in Abia State on Thursday, said he was grateful for the reception.

A large crowd turned out for Peter Obi in Benin-City on November 11, 2022.
A large crowd turned out for Peter Obi in Benin-City on November 11, 2022.

 

“What an awesome and OBIdient crowd in Benin,” he said in a tweet. “I am deeply humbled by Edo people’s show of love and support.”

In Benin-City, Mr Obi visited the Oba of Benin.

He was also pictured with popular cleric, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

 

PHOTOS: Crowd Turns Out For Peter Obi In Edo

A large crowd turned out for Peter Obi in Benin-City on November 11, 2022.
A large crowd turned out for Peter Obi in Benin-City on November 11, 2022.

 

A large number of people showed up on Friday as presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, visited Edo state.

Mr Obi, who had been in Abia State on Thursday, said he was grateful for the reception.

“What an awesome and OBIdient crowd in Benin,” he said in a tweet. “I am deeply humbled by Edo people’s show of love and support.”

In Benin-City, Mr Obi visited the Oba of Benin.

He was also pictured with popular cleric, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

 

A large number of people spilled into the streets on Friday as presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, visited Edo state.  Mr Obi, who had been in Abia State on Thursday, said he was grateful for the reception.  "What an awesome and OBIdient crowd in Benin," he said in a tweet. "I am deeply humbled by Edo people's show of love and support."  In Benin-City, Mr Obi visited the Oba of Benin.   He was also pictured with popular cleric, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

A large number of people spilled into the streets on Friday as presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, visited Edo state.  Mr Obi, who had been in Abia State on Thursday, said he was grateful for the reception.  "What an awesome and OBIdient crowd in Benin," he said in a tweet. "I am deeply humbled by Edo people's show of love and support."  In Benin-City, Mr Obi visited the Oba of Benin.   He was also pictured with popular cleric, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

A large crowd turned out for Peter Obi in Benin-City on November 11, 2022.

Tinubu May Be Disqualified From Contesting If Alleged Drug Trafficking Case Goes To Court – Bwala

 

A spokesman for the Atiku/PDP presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala on Thursday said Bola Ahmed Tinubu may be disqualified from contesting the 2023 presidential elections over his connection to a drug trafficking case in the United States.

Bwala made the comment during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“I’m afraid that the conclusion of this case is that, from the eyes of the law . . . Bola may be disqualified from contesting if the matter goes to court,” Bwala said.

“Narcotics and money laundering, whether in Nigeria or the United States, is a criminal offence.”

Bwala was commenting on the controversy surrounding a document recently released by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The document contained evidence of Tinubu’s alleged involvement in narcotics and money laundering about 30 years ago.

The matter, which ended in a settlement, led to Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460,000 in one of the accounts linked to the former governor of Lagos State.

Spokesperson for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo on Wednesday argued that Tinubu was not indicted in the matter and had no case to answer.

‘Questionable character’

Bwala however argued that the issue at stake was a matter of character.

“For the Nigerian people, the source of the money is important, but there is still a cloud around drug related offences and drug related activity with somebody who wants to be the number one citizen of the country,” he said.

“Recently, there was a massive busting of cocaine in Nigeria. This idea of drugs and narcotics is a terrible case all over the world.

“And if someone has that questionable character and is elected as a President, what it means is that it will embolden people who are into those activities. That’s why the person has to come out clean.”

2023: Channels TV To Commence Presidential Town Hall Series

Presidential town hall series_2023

 

Multiple award-winning broadcast network, Channels Television, will commence its presidential town hall series for the 2023 elections on Sunday.

Leading presidential candidates are expected to feature in the series.

 

Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso and his running mate, Bishop Isaac Idahosa, are slated to open the series on Sunday at 7pm (WAT).

The town hall series is supported by UK Aid, Hope Action Progress for Women and Youth in Politics, Situation Room, Yiaga Africa and the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL).

 

You can watch the presidential series live on DSTV:420 | Sky UK: 518 | Live Stream: www.channelstv.com/live

2023: Kwankwaso Unveils Manifesto, Vows To Recruit 750,000 Into Military

A file photo of the NNPP presidential flagbearer Rabiu Kwankwaso. [email protected]

 

The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso on Tuesday said he will increase the strength of the nation’s armed forces to one million if elected by recruiting 750,000 personnel.

He made the promise during the presentation of his manifesto in Abuja.

Kwankwaso argued that increasing the size and capacity of the armed forces is one way he will address the country’s security situation.

The former Kano State Governor also said he will review the current fuel subsidy regime, which he described as very corrupt.

Obi Explains ‘Deal’ With Aggrieved PDP Governors

 

The presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi on Tuesday defined the ‘deal’ he has with some aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He was speaking in Makurdi during a visit to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

Mr Obi said he and the PDP Governors have a common interest in finding a better Nigeria amid increasing security threat and a humanitarian crisis.

“The only deal I have with them is that they are passionate about Nigeria,” Mr Obi said.

He criticised the All Progressive Congress for displaying a lack of leadership during the current crisis.

Mr Obi praised Mr Ortom for confronting insecurity challenges in Benue state at personal risk and comfort.

Ortom, on his part, advised Mr Obi to negotiate power with other leading presidential candidates with a commitment to serve the people.

The Governor said if he was not a member of the PDP, he would have been working for the Labour party candidate.

Some of the aggrieved PDP governors include Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikepeazu of Abia state, and Mr Ortom.

The governors have called for the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu to step down for a southerner based on a previous commitment.

With Mr Ayu insistent on continuing as Chairman, the Governors have withdrawn their support for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Some believe the aggrieved PDP Governors may support Mr Obi in the 2023 presidential elections.

 

2023: Tinubu Meets With Business Leaders, Vows To Revive Nigeria’s Dead Industries

 

The presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday presented his action plan to captains of industry and other key players in the private sector.

The town hall meeting and dialogue held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

He promised that his administration would revive Nigeria’s dead industries if elected in 2023.

Business leaders at the event include President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Coronation Capital, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and CEO of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe.

Others present at the meeting were Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima and Director-General of the Tinubu campaign, Simon Lalong.

Several Governors of the APC were also in attendance.

Why We Did Not Prosecute Tinubu For Certificate Forgery – Police

Bola Tinubu is the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

 

The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has told a Federal High Court Abuja that the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress,  Ahmed Tinubu, has no pending petition or criminal matters with the police anywhere in the country.

The IGP also clarified that Tinubu is not a suspect to the Nigerian Police.

The reasons why the police did not go after the APC Presidential candidate is contained in an affidavit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja by a counsel, Wisdom Madaki.

In a counter affidavit to a suit instituted by a Civil Group seeking order of mandamus to compel the IGP to arrest and prosecute Tinubu for perjury and certificate forgery, the IGP maintained that the police have no power to prosecute Tinubu without any known offence committed.

The IGP however admitted having two different petitions from a Civil Group, Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy requesting for arrest and prosecution of Tinubu for alleged perjury and certificate forgery related offences.

The IGP explained that the two petitions were predicated on allegations that had been adjudicated upon by the Supreme Court in 2002 in a suit filed by the late foremost human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi.

The affidavit averred that since the alleged perjury and certificate forgery had been resolved by the Supreme Court, there was no need for the police to reopen the matter.

Besides, the IGP said that police does not need any court order to make arrest and prosecute since it derives its powers from the Constitution and statutes.

The IGP is therefore asking the Federal High Court to dismiss the suit brought against him and the Nigeria Police Force for want of merit and jurisdiction adding that the plaintiff will not be prejudiced if the suit is dismissed.

At the day’s proceedings, counsel to the Civil group, Mister Eme Ekpu told Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo that the counter affidavit of police had just been served on him and he needs time to go through it and reply formally.

In a brief ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo granted the request and fixed January 19, 2023 for hearing of the suit.

The Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy had dragged the IGP before the Court over his alleged refusal to prosecute the presidential candidate of the APC over allegations bothering on perjury.

PHOTOS: Tinubu Meets With Business Community In Lagos

Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with the business community in Lagos on November 1, 2022.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with the business community in Lagos on November 1, 2022.

 

Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met with the business community and organised private sector in Lagos on Tuesday.

The town hall meeting and dialogue held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

Others present at the meeting include Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima and Director-General of the Tinubu campaign, Simon Lalong.

Several Governors of the APC were also in attendance.

 

See more photos from the event:

Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with the business community in Lagos on November 1, 2022.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with the business community in Lagos on November 1, 2022.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with the business community in Lagos on November 1, 2022.