Tinubu Visits Uzodimma, Says APC Is Positioned To Win Presidential Poll

A file photo of APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu.

 

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu on Friday visited the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma where he expressed confidence that the party will retain the presidential seat.

The former governor of Lagos State, who spoke after the meeting with Uzodimma in Abuja, said the visit is part of the APC’s plans to win the presidential race in the 2023 general election.

But Tinubu did not make comments about his choice of running mate. On the same day, the APC had named Kabiru Masari as the party’s vice-presidential candidate to beat INEC’s June 17th deadline.

“Ibrahim Kabiru Masari is our vice presidential nominee. He was the Welfare Secretary of the APC under Oshiomhole (former national chairman of the party),” a chieftain of the party Kabiru Faskari said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “He is a well-known politician in Kaduna State and his name has been submitted.”

Kabiru, is, however, believed to be a ‘standing in’ running mate.

2023 Presidency: I Am The Voice Of Young People – Yahaya Bello

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a presidential aspirant and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Sunday said he is the voice of the young people.

The governor made the assertion on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, a few hours before the commencement of the presidential primary election of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

READ ALSO: 2023: Oyo Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan Dumps PDP For APC

“By June this year, I will be 47. I am still the young of the young people, the voice of the younger generation, the voice for the women, the voice for people living with disabilities, and the voice for Nigerians irrespective of religion, region, or tribe because we have demonstrated it in Kogi State,” the governor said.

A file photo of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

If the APC gives him the opportunity to fly its flag next year, the Kogi governor boasted that he will defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

He claimed that he would be celebrating his victory by 2 pm on the day of the presidential election if the APC gives him the ticket.

Bello also spoke on his plans to revamp Nigeria’s security challenges, recalling that when he came on board as Kogi on January 27, 2016, the state was experiencing security challenges.

When asked if he has the solution to Nigeria’s security challenges, the governor did not directly answer the question.

Rather, he explained that he has demonstrated his ability to solve tackle insecurity based on his experience in Kogi State.

“I have demonstrated that well enough in Kogi State. By the special grace of God, we are going to achieve it within the first 12 months of Governor Yahaya Bello’s presidency,” he added.

Hayatu-Deen Withdraws From PDP Presidential Primary, Says Contest ‘Obscenely Monetised’

A file photo of Mr Mohammed Hayatu-Deen .

 

A presidential aspirant under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mohammed Hayatu-Deen has stepped down from the race, describing the primary election contest as “obscenely monetised”. 

He announced his withdrawal in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayo, the day the main opposition party is holding its presidential primary election.

“I have been a keen observer of Nigerian politics for so many decades, but have not been opportuned to actively participate in party politics due to my engagements in managing critical public and private institutions, among others,” he said in the letter dated May 27th. 

“I have observed with great concern and sorrow the recent rapid deterioration of all aspects of our national life – characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, monumental oil theft, corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strifes and near collapse of public services and public institutions.

“During my recent nationwide trips, I came face to face with angry and hungry youths, children, boys, and girls abandoned by their states who ought to provide them with education and vocational training. These had become the recruiting grounds of criminals, religious and political extremists.”

The former managing director of the now-defunct FSB International Bank reiterated his decision to join the presidential race, saying he “planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse”.

According to him, one of his dreams is to end insurgency in the country and also halt the “incessant closure of our universities and other public institutions due to strikes”.

“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but in order to serve our country,” he explained.

“It is therefore based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetized.”

READ ALSO: INEC Extends Deadline For Party Primaries By Six Days

‘Shifting The Goalpost’

The PDP emblem.

 

He thanked his supporters and well-wishers for believing in his dreams and pledged, however, to work for the party.

“Finally, as a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, I will continue to avail myself and my teeming supporters at all times to ensure the victory of our great party,” Hayatu-Deen added.

His withdrawal is the latest twist in the PDP presidential primary contest. Earlier in the week, a former Governor of Anambra State Peter Obi had defected from the party and days later, joined the Labour Party.

Hayatu-Deen’s decision came hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) extended the deadline for the conduct of presidential primaries. Following the move, the All Progressives Congress (APC) fixed a new date for the party’s presidential primary poll.

But the PDP,  Nigeria’s main opposition party, lambasted the electoral body for the decision, saying it amounted to changing the goalpost in the middle of a game.

“The consequences will be grave for the country. And of course, we have to look at that,” PDP spokesperson Mr. Debo Ologunagba said at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, the venue of the PDP primary poll

“The bedrock of democracy is certainty of elections and the fact that the rules are clear to every participant, and you cannot shift the goalpost in the middle of the game.”

APC Postpones Presidential Screening Exercise

A file photo of the APC flag.

 

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed the screening of the 25 presidential aspirants slated for Monday, May 23rd.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Felix Morka, announced the postponement in a statement issued on Sunday night, although no reason was given for the change in plan.

Morka added that a new date for the screening exercise will be communicated to the public shortly, without mentioning any specific time.

“The Screening Exercise for Presidential Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) earlier scheduled to be held on Monday, May 23rd, 2022, is hereby postponed,” the terse statement read.

“A new date for the exercise will be announced shortly. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”

Key aspirants that have submitted their forms include Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu; ex-Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

READ ALSO: Nwabuoku Replaces Idris As Accountant General

Others are Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Ebonyi State counterpart, Gov. Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; ex-Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba and former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani.

Similarly, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; ex-Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima; former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Imo State governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha and former Ogun state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosu are also not left out.

This is the second time that the APC National Working Committee will shift the date of the presidential screening after it failed to hold last weekend.

Umahi Absent As South-East APC Presidential Aspirants Meet

South-East APC presidential aspirants meet at the residence of Senator Rochas Okorocha in Maitama, Abuja on May 22, 2022.

 

Ahead of Monday’s screening, South-East presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) met behind closed-door on Sunday with Governor Dave Umahi missing. 

The meeting was held for over two hours at the Maitama home of the lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: Lawan Refutes Reports Of Withdrawal, Says He Will Emerge APC Candidate

In attendance were the former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Science and Technology minister, Ogbonnaya Onu, ex-Senate President, Ken Nnamani and the party’s female presidential aspirant, Mrs. Uju Ken-Ohanenye.

However, Umahi was conspicuously absent. It is however unclear why the governor was not present.

The aspirants agreed to work with any one of them picked by the ruling party to fly its presidential flag come 2023

They also reacted to the zoning formular, saying they hope the APC will do the right thing by giving the presidential ticket to the southern part of the country.

According to them, there is no division among the aspirants from the South-East.

2023: Osinbajo Meets Osun Delegates, Vows To Hit Ground Running As President

Osinbajo during a visit to Osun State on Friday, May 20th, 2022. Photo: [email protected] akandeoj

 

Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said he has acquired the experience, understanding, and knowledge to hit the ground running from day one if he becomes the country’s President.

Osinbajo stated this on Friday in Osogbo, Osun State, while addressing party delegates as part of his national consultation visit ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential primary election.

He said although it takes one and a half to two years for a new person in government to understand the system and start to perform, in his own case, the almost eight years spent as vice president has positioned him to start working from day one.

“You all know why I’m here. The reason for my being here is because I have put myself forward as a presidential aspirant. I have served for eight years in government and I understand what it takes to govern this country,” he said.

“I have the knowledge, understanding, and experience to govern this country. I can hit the ground running from day one if I become the President of Nigeria. Everybody in government knows that it takes even a governor up to one year to understand the nitty-gritty of government.”

READ ALSO2023: Osinbajo Visits Imo, Continues Presidential Campaign

‘We Are Proud Of You’ 

Osinbajo is promising to hit the ground running if elected Nigeria’s President. [email protected]

 

Prof. Osinbajo acknowledged the achievements of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, the progressive nature of members of the APC in the state, and the struggle to ensure that the Osun was being governed by the party.

Speaking during the event, Governor Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Benedict Alabi, appreciated Osinbajo for his visit and the recognition of the works and achievements of the administration.

“I want to start by appreciating the Vice President. On our way to the Palace, he sighted some of the good works of Mr Governor,” he stated.

On his part, the state Chairman of APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun, hailed the Vice President’s record of achievements through President Muhammadu Buhari.

Famodun said: “We are proud of you in the past seven years for serving us and all the achievements through Mr President. We have here 23 out of 26 members of the House of Assembly, all local government chairmen, party chairmen, and secretaries, as well as party leaders. We are represented from our different segments”.

Osinbajo had earlier visited the Ataojas of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, who wished him well on his ambition.

The monarch urged Osinbajo to facilitate the completion of all abandoned Federal Government projects in the state before the forthcoming general elections.

2023: Reject Northern Presidential Candidates, Vote For South – Southern, Middle Belt Leaders

A file photo of a ballot box.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the southern and middle belt leaders have asked Nigerians to reject northern presidential candidates from political parties and vote for those from the southern region.

The call was made on Friday after a meeting of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A southern candidate’s emergence should be in the interest of justice, equity, fairness, and political inclusiveness, a statement signed by Edwin Clark, Afenifere’s Ayo Adebanjo, Middle Belt’s Pogu Bitrus, George Obiozr’s Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and PANDEF’s Emmanuel Essien, added.

The leaders argued that any attempt by political parties to field a northern candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year could obstruct national unity.

READ ALSO: 2023: Osinbajo Arrives In Imo To Continue Presidential Campaign

They, therefore, warned that the “reported permutations by the main political parties to foist Northern Presidential Candidates on the nation would be a grave misadventure, with grim consequences on national concord and harmony.

“Therefore, calls on all delegates of all political parties, and true lovers of democracy, as a sacred obligation, to reject Presidential Aspirants, or Candidates, from the North, and only vote for those from the South in the Party Primaries.”

The regional leaders also asked, “all politicians and professionals from the South not to accept, on any account, the position of Vice President, as that would amount to a shameful committal of present and future generations of Southern Nigeria to senseless political vassalage”.

See the statement issued by the leaders below:

A Meeting of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) was held on Thursday, 19th May 2022, in Abuja under the Chairmanship of the Leader and Elder Statesman, Chief Dr. E. K. Clark, OFR, CON.

 

  1. Delegations of the constituent Organisations of SMBLF were respectively led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afenifere (South West); Professor George Obiozor, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide (South East); His Excellency, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (Rtd.), Leader and Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President, Middle Belt Forum (Middle Belt); as well as Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE, National Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF (South-South).

 

  1. The Meeting was also attended by former Governors, Ministers, Federal and State legislators, top politicians and professionals from the Southern and Middle Belt regions, including His Excellency, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Oba Oladipo Olaitan – Deputy Leader Afenifere, Potter L. Dabup, D.I.G (Rtd.), Chief John Nnia Nwodo, former Minister of Information & former PG Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike, former Minister of Education and Health, Professor Anya O. Anya, Chief Gary Igwariwey, former PG Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR, Secretary-General Ohanaeze Ndigbo, HRH Eze Cletus Iluomanya, Chief Dr. Simon Okeke, former Chairman of Police Service Commission, Professor G. G. Darah, Senator Inatimi Rufus-Spiff, Solomon Asemota, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, Ambassador Ozo Nwobu, Chief Supo Shonibare, Chief Edozie Ezeugwa, Eze Dr. Ibe Nwosu, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Professor Charles Nwekeaku, Chief Hon. Olivia Agbajoh, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Hon. Keftin Amuga, CP Iorbes Ihagh (Rtd)- PG MUT, Dr. Mrs. Esther Mangzha, Mrs. Beatrice Eze, National Treasurer Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Jibrin, Chief Mrs. Chika Ibeneme, Elder Mac Emakpore, Chief Douyi Douglas-Naingba, Chief Ominimini Obiuwevbi, Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo, Engr. Ben Akaakar, Dele Farotimi, Dr. Katch Ononuju, Debrah Ogazuwa, Olutola Mobolurin, Christopher Aba, Audu Samuel Riko, Hon. Jonathan Tsaku, Joshua Bawa, Akwa Jeremiah and Ken Robinson, among others.

 

  1. The Meeting deliberated extensively on the State of Nation, particularly the worsening insecurity; the 2023 General Elections; and recent troubling developments in the polity.

 

  1. Arising therefrom, the Forum:

 

  1. Firmly reiterates its stance on the Principle of Zoning and Power Rotation between the North and the South, as the basis on which the Nigerian Federation has, since Independence, been premised.

 

  1. States, unequivocally, that the Zoning and Rotation of the Presidency of Nigeria are fundamental to the future existence of the Country.

 

iii.            Accordingly, condemns, in strongest terms, obvious schemes by the two main political parties, the PDP and APC, ahead of their Presidential Primaries, to jettison the time-honoured principle of Rotation, which has traditionally served as the glue holding the Federal Republic of Nigeria together.

 

  1. Warns that the reported permutations by the main political parties to foist Northern Presidential Candidates on the nation would be a grave misadventure, with grim consequences on national concord and harmony.

 

  1. Therefore, calls on all delegates of all political parties, and true lovers of democracy, as a sacred obligation, to reject Presidential Aspirants, or Candidates, from the North, and only vote for those from the South in the Party Primaries.

 

  1. Calls on all politicians and professionals from the South not to accept, on any account, the position of Vice President, as that would amount to a shameful committal of present and future generations of Southern Nigeria to senseless political vassalage.

 

vii.          Further insists that, in observance of the principles of justice, equity, fairness and political inclusiveness, the South, and particularly, the South East Zone, being the third leg on which Nigeria’s political trajectory had revolved, should produce the next President of the Country in 2023. Insists that this would bring the Igbo quest for full reintegration and reconciliation, since the end of the Civil War in 1970, to full realisation.

 

viii.  SMBLF commends a number of northern governors who have demonstrated great patriotism by their public support for the rotation of the presidency to the South; to name a few, Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR of Kano State. While equally urging other well-meaning northern leaders, who believe in the oneness of Nigeria, to support this cause, because therein lies the unity and progress of Nigeria.

 

  1. On the worsening state of insecurity and rampaging violence across the country, Forum warns that Nigeria is plummeting into a state of total disorder and lawlessness, with attacks on innocent people resulting in kidnapping, loss of lives and destruction of properties happening in different parts of the country almost daily.

 

Sadly, the Federal Government and its Security Agencies are not doing enough to arrest the situation, whereby people can no longer travel safely either by road, rail or even by air to Kaduna State in particular.

 

It is not only frightening but unimaginable that despite the heavy presence of military commands and installations in the State there could be such security challenges.

 

Cites the bombing of the Kaduna-Abuja bound train over 60 days ago as well as the brazen attack on motorists on the Abuja-Kaduna Road about two days ago. On both occasions, innocent lives were lost while several people were wounded with many abducted. Undesirably, most of those who were kidnapped are still in the terrorists’ captivity after 60 days.

 

  1. Forum condemns, in unmistakable terms, the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a student of the College of Education, Sokoto, by her Muslim schoolmates and the wild spread of violence that engulfed the state, following the arrest of two of her killers. Denounces the worrisome disregard for the inviolability of human life by terrorists, criminals and religious extremists in the country.

 

  1. Likewise, strongly condemns the recent burning to death of a young man, a Sound Engineer, by commercial motorcyclists in Lagos, as well as the spree of killings and wanton destruction of properties and businesses owned by Southerners, particularly the occurrence, few days, at Dei Dei Market in Abuja.

 

xii.          Decries the unabating killings and destruction of livelihoods in the Middle Belt Region, especially in Southern Kaduna, Southern Borno, Southern Gombe, Benue, Taraba, etc, and the inaction of the Federal Government to live up to its Constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of its citizens.

 

xiii.         Classifies these killings and pervasive acts of aggression on the indigenous people, being perpetrated by elements of Islamic Extremism and Terrorists, as cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Meeting cautions that these bellicosities and deliberate programs to exterminate the indigenous populations of the Middle Belt are, by implication, acts of aggression against the rest of Nigeria, and would not be tolerated any further.

 

xiv.           Deplores the inhuman plight of the 1,700 indigenous people of Southern Kaduna driven out of their homes and have now become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for over five years as well as several other Internally Displaced Persons in different parts of the country, left to live in conditions that impinge on their human rights as citizens of this Country. Hence, calls on the Federal Government to, without delay, facilitate the return and reintegration of these Nigerians into their Communities.

 

  1. The Meeting resolved to resist, through all legitimate means, the barefaced attempts by religious fundamentalists to impose on the rest of us, a Nigeria of “one country, different laws”.

 

  1. The Meeting reaffirmed the commitment of the people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt to the RESTRUCTURING of the Country, in tandem with the Principles of True Federalism, as was established by the Founding Fathers of Nigeria.

 

  1. Done in Abuja, this 19th day of May, 022.

 

 

Signed:

 

  1. Chief (Dr.) Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, OFR, CON

Leader

 

  1. Chief Ayo Adebanjo

Leader, Afenifere

 

  1. Dr Pogu Bitrus

President-General, Middle Belt Forum

 

  1. Professor George Obiozor

President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide

 

  1. Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE

National Chairman, PANDEF

 

 

 

 

 

2023 Presidency: Tambuwal Woos Niger PDP Delegates, Pledges Inclusive Govt If Elected

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appeared on Politics Today on March 22, 2022.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appeared on Politics Today.

 

Ahead of the May 29 presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal has wooed Niger delegates, pledging an all-inclusive government if elected as Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Addressing PDP delegates in Niger State on Tuesday, Tambuwal, who is also the Sokoto State Governor, said he will ensure that all the 774 local government areas in the country benefit from his administration should he succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year.

READ ALSO: APC Inaugurates Screening Committees Ahead Of Primaries

The governor stated that he possesses the requisite experience and qualities of being a unifier, adding that his records in the House of Representatives can testify to the fact that he has the capacity to bring Nigerians together to enhance the development.

Regretting that Nigeria is divided along ethnic and religious lines, Tambuwal advised the electorates to vote for someone that has the confidence and technical know-how as well as the tenacity of purpose to move the country to a greater height.

He described the commissioning of the Baro Port by President Muhammadu Buhari as dubious, saying “Buhari played you 419.”

On his part, the PDP Chairman in Niger State, Tanko Beji, noted that they will only consider presidential aspirants that visited them in Minna as a mark of respect during the party primaries in Abuja.

I’m Ready To Be A Sweeper At The Presidential Villa If Lawan Becomes President – Kalu

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has re-echoed his support for Senate President Ahmed Lawan’s presidential ambition, noting that he is ready to be a “sweeper” at the Presidential Villa if the dream becomes a reality. 

The Senate Chief Whip said this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“With Ahmed Lawan, I am ready to be the sweeper of the place (Aso Rock). I don’t need to have a position if Ahmed Lawan is the president,” the former Abia State governor noted.

“I can sweep the Villa; my house is very close to the Villa. I can be the sweeper of the Villa; it is just a stone’s throw. I am not joking.”

According to the former governor, Lawan’s presidential ambition is gathering steam with some candidates ready to step down for the Senate President.

“I want to tell you, I have spoken to nine candidates running for president, and they are ready, already discussing to step down for Ahmed Lawan,” the lawmaker added.

READ ALSO: Don’t Take High Profile Defections To NNPP For Granted – Kalu Warns APC

‘Why Can’t They Support Us?’

A file photo of Senator Kalu and Ahmed Lawan.

 

Kalu, who said Nigeria needs strong leadership, believes that Lawan is the one that can give the country such.

“I have known him 41 years ago,” the Senator said. “We were roommates at the university. He is strong enough to give the Nigerian people what they are looking for.”

As far as he is concerned the Senate President played a vital role in stabilizing the Nigerian parliament. He said several bills have been passed by the lawmakers under Lawan’s leadership, a development Kalu said will be replicated at the Presidential level if Lawan wins.

While defending his decision to step down from his presidential race, he reiterated that the position ought to be zoned to the South East.

“We have supported South West. We supported President Obasanjo, we supported Vice President Osinbajo, we supported Vice President Jonathan for five years and we supported President Jonathan for six years. Why can’t they support us?” he asked.

“Any southerner that is not from South East and is coming to run for president is a betrayer. They are the ones betraying us.”

ASUU Strike: FG Working On A Funding Structure For Public Universities – Nwajiuba

The Federal Government is working on a funding structure for public universities in the country as part of moves to tackle the incessant strikes by lecturers in these institutions. 

This is according to the former Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba who noted that the government’s funding of public universities is unsustainable.

“I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

The presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election maintained that with the number of public universities in the country, these schools have to get new ways of making money to fund their institutions.

“Because you see, there are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them,” he argued.

“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable.”

READ ALSO: APC Inaugurates Screening Committees In Abuja

‘Point of Departure’

A file photo of the main gate of UNILAG.

 

Nwajiuba, who last week resigned his position in the cabinet to concentrate on his presidential dream, said “this (a new funding structure) is something I would implement if you give me your mandate to be president.

“I know that even if it is not implemented now, the universities autonomy law needs to be reactivated.”

The former minister’s comment adds to the debates about funding for public universities in the country. Lecturers in these institutions have been on strike since February 14, pushing their demands, which include better funding for universities.

But the APC chieftain believes ASUU should reconsider strike as a means to press home their demands.

“In the last 20 years, we have had nearly 16 strikes. So, my position has not been that ‘Please, ASUU is talking rubbish’,” Nwajiuba said. “No, this is not true. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.

He, however, said, “the only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes cannot cure the problem.”

“We need our children back in school. It hurts parents; it hurts us,” the presidential aspirant noted. “My own children are here. I don’t have children in private universities.”

2023 Presidency: If Not South East, Let PDP Support North East – Kalu

File photo of ex-Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

 

Senator Orji Kalu has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to throw its weight behind a presidential candidate from the North East if the party will not give it all to hopefuls from the Southeastern region of the country.

In a statement on Thursday, Kalu was of the opinion that as the primary elections for political parties draw closer, it is important to pay attention to which geopolitical zone gets the presidential tickets of the two major political parties – the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the PDP.

He said, “if there is any zone that understands the pains of South Eastern Nigeria for being shut out of the presidential seat, it is its counterpart, the North East.

“The two zones remain the only zones that are yet to produce a president despite having the most capable hands to govern the country,” Kalu argued.

READ ALSOBuhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

“I believe in regional zoning and I will continue to repeat it as long as the issue of ‘Equity, Fairness and Justice’ is concerned. My reason is not only because it worked in 1999 when all the parties zoned their presidential tickets to the South West, but because it is the only true definition of fairness and equity.

“My clamor for the South East to produce the president after President Muhammadu Buhari was borne out of the enormous clamour and desire for the development and strengthening of our dear nation.

“I have also maintained that anything less than South East must be North East, otherwise it is hypocrisy and wickedness. The South East has given its full support to the South West and the South-South and when it got to the turn of the South East, the language changed to ‘Power is not given but taken’.

“In the absence of this clear non-agreement of the southern brothers to support zoning of the tickets to the South East, I wielded my support to the North East with the hope that justice is closer to the South East,” the lawmaker explained.

According to him, if in any circumstances, the PDP fails to give its ticket to the South East, he would encourage the party for fairness and equity to support the North East. He added that in that situation, the North East could produce candidates for the two major political parties.

While acknowledging that his position may not be palatable to ‘the theorists’ and to the few who are emotive to the core, the former Abia State governor maintained that the real “fairness, equity, and justice” is what he stands for.

The Senator in buttressing the reason for his stand regarding the 2023 presidency, said Nigeria is a large country where justice is the only means to strengthen the unity of the nation.

Buhari Ready To Resolve ASUU Strike ‘Once And For All’ – Presidency

 

Femi Adesina has said President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to resolve the lingering strikes by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) “once and for all”. 

The presidential aide made the comment on Channels Television’s Politics Today, arguing that the varsity teachers’ action dates back years.

“He (Buhari) appealed to ASUU to consider the plight of those young ones. It shows that the president is ready to have this matter resolved once and for all,” Adesina said during the show on Thursday.

He explained that President Buhari is seeking a lasting solution to the strike, maintaining that there have been industrial actions “under everyone”.

READ ALSOBuhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

Presidential Appeal

ASUU is accusing the government of not listening to their demands.

 

“Last week, I saw something on Facebook that Alhaji Shehu Shagari was appealing to ASUU to go back to class. Alhaji Shagari ruled 43 years ago. And he was appealing to ASUU to go back to school,” the presidential aide said.

“That shows you that this is an endemic issue. Left to the government, the students will go back tomorrow but then the issue has to be resolved conclusively so that in another six weeks, eight weeks, or six months, we don’t go back to where we are today.

“It would not vitiate the legacy of the president in any way because this dates back in time. It was there under Shagari; it was there under Buhari as a military leader; it was there under Babangida, and it was there under Shonekan — under everybody.”

Earlier in the day, Buhari had appealed to the striking lecturers to consider the students’ plight and call off the strike.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on ASUU to consider the plight of the students and call off the ongoing strike action,” Buhari said at the 19th National Productivity Day and conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit award held at the State House in Abuja.

“I also call on students to exercise patience as we try to address the nagging issues in our university system within the ambits of available resources.”