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Deputy Gov, Five Others To Contest Guber Seat

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The Deputy Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo and five others have indicated interest to contest the governorship seat of the state. Others include Senator Kabiru Gaja , Alhaji Sani Lawan, Alhaji Bello Gwarzo and Alhaji Salihu Takai. But Governor lbrahlm Shekarau of Kano State, said the choice of Alhaji Salihu Takai as the flagbearer of ANPP in 2011 was done’ ‘to maintain the trust” within the party.

Shekarau gave the explanation on a live Radio and Television programme in Kano on Friday on the choice of Takai, a former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, as the party’s candidate.

He said the Takai was also endorsed by local government chairmen, members of the state and National Assembly elected under the platform of the ANPP.

“All stakeholders approved the choice of Takai in writing.

“And to exercise that power, I gave my blessings to him as my preferred candidate for the position,” Shekarau said on the programme as part of activities marking the Democracy Day.

He, however, said that the endorsement of Takai did not in any way foreclose the chances of other aspirants, saying every interested member of the party was free to contest.

The governor said the party would eventually select a candidate from all the interested aspirants either through consensus or primaries.

Shekarau’s endorsement of Takai has so far caused a lot of ripples in the party in the state.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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Afenifere, Ohanaeze, S’ South Harp On New Constitution

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Major socio-political organisations in Nigeria have demanded what they described as a “new people-oriented federal constitution” before the 2023 general elections, saying the 1999 constitution does not represent the interest of the masses.
They also unanimously agreed that the new constitution should provide for a “true federalism that heralds a restructured Nigeria,” while the 2023 Presidency should be zoned to the South.
These were the highlights of a communiqué issued at the end of the Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-Ethnic Peace Dialogue, with the theme, ‘Restructuring and 2023 Power Shift: Nigeria’s Make or Break Factor for Political Survival.”
The event which was held in Abuja was convened by Kennedy Iyere, the President of the Youths Off The Street Initiative, and his diaspora partners, in collaboration with ethnic nationalities and local non-governmental organisations.
Among participants at the programme, attended by over 300 delegates, were the leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Chairman, Igbo World Assembly, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze; President, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide; a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chief Kofoworola Bucknor; and President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Jonathan Asake.
Others were Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum, Senator Emmanuel Ibok; former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife; President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr George Obiozor; convener, National Consultative Front and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba; a political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; and a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
While insisting that “federal character should be used in federal appointments”, the elder statesmen charged the Federal Government to “urgently address the recurring security challenges in the country as part of the efforts to avert a second civil war and possible disintegration of the country.”
The mandate of the committee is to facilitate Nigeria’s constitutional restructuring and the country’s return to true federalism, while working to promote national unity, peace, ethno-political integration, religious harmony and national stability.
The communique reads, “The meeting asserts that Nigeria needs a ‘new people-oriented federal constitution’ before the 2023 general elections given that the current 1999 constitution does not represent the interests of the people.
“The meeting insists that the new constitution should provide for ‘true federalism’ that heralds a restructured Nigeria (and) calls on the Presidency to live up to its mandate of preserving lives and properties by contending with the current insecurity.
“The meeting demands the convening of an emergency ‘national conference ’ to take place in the Year 2022 to fashion out a new federal constitution on the way forward for the federating regions. The meeting agrees that the ‘2023 Presidency’ should be zoned to the South.
“We demand the amendment of the ‘Electoral Law’ to provide for electronic voting and real-time transmission of results before the 2023 general elections to provide for transparency, accountability and to allow the ‘sanctity of the ballot box’ and to reduce electorates’ voting apathy.”

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Ex-APC National Chairman Tasks Party On Responsive Leadership

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Chief John Odigie-oyegun, former National Chairman, All Progressives Congress APC), has charged the party’s leaders to be more progressive and responsive to the people.
He said this at the public presentation of a book”APC’S Litmus Test, Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change”, written by Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Congress Forum (PGF) in Abuja, yesterday.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime, and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change, “we should be responsive to it, we should address it, compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that the APC document on true federalism was still being worked upon before its release.
Odigie-Oyegun said the ideas of people from different parts of the country would be different up to the extent that they would want to go with the proposals in the document.
He said it was however, necessary, vital and mandatory in the interest of the survival of the country that issues regarding federalism were addressed.
“We cannot continue to allow the subject to become something that threatens our nation at any turn.
“So, the earlier we address it, the earlier we show that as a party we are responsive to the feelings of the people, the desires of the people and the wants of the people.
“It becomes easier then, to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today,”Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that for those at the formation of the APC, the uniqueness of its Constitution and its manifesto promised change was meant by all members with their hearts and beings.
He said unfortunately, the forces of economics had made things not quite the way it was planned.
The APC former national chairman said there was need for the party members to do everything possible to keep it not just alive but very virile.
He added that in spite of general belief, the APC was one party that had put together things that meant hope for the country.
He said the fact that things were bad and people were angry and hungry was not questionable, saying that these were worldwide phenomenon.
Odigie-Oyegun decried the current security challenge in the country.
“It is my hope that we will begin to get control of the security of this nation,” he said.

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