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Ohanaeze To Present Presidential Candidates From S’East

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The Ohanaeze Ndi’gbo has indicated its readiness to present candidates from the South-East geo-political zone for the presidential election in 2023.
Several presidential aspirants have emerged from the zone, including former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; former Governor of Abia State and Majority Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, KingleyMoghalu, among others.
Leader of the socio-cultural organisation, Prof George Obiozor, while speaking on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television which was monitored in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said that it was only fair for power to rotate from North to South, and the South-East getting it for the first time in Nigeria’s history.
He said, “Definitely, the idea of the President of Nigeria from Igboland is an idea whose time has come. It is politically and morally justifiable. As a matter of fact, it is important that at this time in the history of Nigeria, we will take reasonable decisions in order to heal the nation; give every part of the country a sense of belonging, stop the bickering and reunite the country, and reinvigorate the spirit of nationalism.
“To be candid, we in Igboland are also ready to give you candidates and presidential aspirants that are competent, nationalistic, with the capacity to perform, with evidence of what they have done and what they can do for the rest of the country.
“Indeed, we are ready and all we are asking the nation is to obey the law of rotation in our history, which has been North and South and which created the balance – a political balance that has held our country together.”
Responding to another question on why the South-East should produce the next president, Obiozor said, “The statistics on presidents and creation of states and local government areas as well as National Assembly have shown that the zone deserves more.
“In order words, if you look at the Nigerian political calculations, it is designed in such a way that we are last in everything and we are also going to be last in all the zones in taking the presidency,” he said.
The retired ambassador also stated that people of the South-East are unanimous on the call for power to go to the zone after the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari.
”The whole idea of accusing Igbos of not being united is a gimmick and, in fact, a frivolous criticism because people who are very universal and individual istic cannot be controlled like cattle. Igbo have their strategy. When they find what they want, they unite,” Obiozor stated.
The Ohanaeze leader also called for amnesty for members of the proscribed Indegenous Peoples of Biafra and its detained leader, NnamdiKanu, who is being tried by the Federal Government.
Obiozor said, “We in Igboland have made it categorically clear that we prefer a political solution to it a dialogue and it is clear to the rest of Nigerians and we have repeatedly said it that the Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria. Therefore, what is happening can be handle political solution is the answer dialogue is the answer just like in the other sections of Nigeria.
”(In) some areas of Nigeria, people who behaved like Kanu have been forgiven, given amnesty, and reintegrated into the country. So also is what we are asking, for Mr President to use the prerogative of mercy to look into the situation in the South-East. Prerogative of mercy is exclusively the right of the President. We are not talking about the use of court or use of force. Use of force is dangerous to everybody and definitely, it will not solve the problem; it will make it worse.”
Obiozor added, “There is no ambiguity at all. When Mr President visited Igboland, we made the same statement. Several times, I, as President of Ohanaeze, including last week, made a similar statement concerning Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB. And I have made the reference that you are totally aware of. You saw South-South’s (Niger Delta) Avengers, MEND and the rest, and how the matter was resolved. You saw how even the present Boko Haram: those (members) who said they are reprinting and how they are being rehabilitated.
”The problem of federalism is that the sensitivity is very much on the surface. If you don’t do to others as you have done to one, you will have problems. That is what I mean by precarious balance which must be maintained by any leadership in a country like Nigeria. It is not anything strange; it is actually an honourable demand.”

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2023: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option

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Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southern 17 states have begun move to ensure that the presidential ticket is secured by an aspirant from one of the three geo-political zones.
In the alternative, they are also looking at a northerner with strong roots in the South.
The plan, according to sources, is to have a second strategy or an Option B, as it has become obvious that the party leadership will not yield to the demand for the presidential ticket to be specifically zoned to the South.
The Southern leaders are moving to ensure that their delegates vote only for either a particular southern aspirant or to adopt a northern candidate, who is not from the far North.
The strategy of the southern PDP leaders behind this plot is to ensure that the outcome of the PDP primary produces a win-win situation for the South, irrespective of where the candidates come from.
A chieftain, who spoke on phone, said: “We want to ensure that the South converts the disadvantage of the PDP refusing to zone the presidential position to the South in line with the rotation arrangement in the party’s constitution becomes a benefit to us.
“We will work to ensure that the South decides who the presidential candidate is, even if he is not from our zone.
“Southern delegates may come together and choose a northern candidate who has strong roots in the South. He must be somebody who has a close affinity and filial relationship with us. He must be somebody who understands the challenges facing the South and can run a government that is based on equity, justice and inclusiveness, and knows what it is to suffer injustice or the pains of the minority.”
“It is the reason why we will not support aspirants from the far North. We will rather support an aspirant whose zone has not produced any of the two positions in the Presidency. An ideal candidate for the PDP is somebody from either the South or the Northern minority.
“It is the only way we can show that without having a southern candidate; we can have a president who believes he owes the South and that the support of the southern delegates is instrumental to his victory. That means that if the South plays its card very well, it can produce a southern candidate from the North.”

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Buhari To Determine Malami,Other Returning Ministers’ Fate – Lai Mohammed

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President Muhammadu Buhari will decide the fate of those members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who made a u-turn on their political ambitions and continue to serve in the current administration.
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this Wednesday to newsmen after the FEC meeting at the State House, Abuja, said he will need to confirm from the president the status of the returning ministers on whether or not they have been reabsorbed into the cabinet.
He said: “The  question about ministers returning or not going, I think you need to give me more time so that I can tell you exactly what the situation is. Right now, I need to cross check. I need to confirm again from Mr President what the situation is. You see the final decision on who is going, who’s coming back, who’s not going lies with Mr. President.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; his Women Affairs counterpart, Dame Pauline Tallen; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, had earlier rescinded their decision to contest for elective offices in 2023.
Malami was physically present at Wednesday’s Council meeting, while Tallen and Sylva attended the meeting virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Ngige is said to be away on official engagement in Durban, South Africa, where he is attending the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) global conference on Child Labour.

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2023: Ganduje Refuses To Endorse Amaechi For Presidency

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Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has refused to endorse the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for the presidency come 2023.
Amaechi visited Kano on Wednesday as part of his consultations ahead of the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary.
The former minister had resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet to pursue his presidential ambition under the platform of the APC.
At the meeting, with other APC stakeholders present, Ganduje said Kano as a “swing state, will continue to swing.”
He added that Amaechi would know where the state eventually swung to at the right time.
TheTide source gathered that Amaechi, who had told the governor that the people in the APC already knew where Ganduje’s loyalty was, added that he was in Kano to convince him that he was the most qualified among the aspirants.
Our source recalled that when Amaechi visited the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, he was equally not endorsed as the governor told him former Governor Bola Tinubu was their rallying point.
Ganduje is also known to be an ally of Tinubu, who is also aspiring for the Presidency.
Meanwhile, Amaechi said he was more qualified than Tinubu, noting that the former Lagos governor had never been a minister, and even as a lawmaker, Tinubu only served for a few months.
He equally noted that he was more qualified than Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, adding that while Osinbajo was a commissioner in Lagos, he was already a Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.

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