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I’ve better qualifications, track record, exposure than my rivals – Tinubu

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I’ve better qualifications, track record, exposure than my rivals – Tinubu

Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu late Thursday met with some Christian clerics under the aegis of the Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria.

He told the clerics that he is better positioned to enhance the fortunes of the country than any of his rivals.

According to him, his choice of a Muslim running mate was beyond religion and other sentiments but based on a conviction for service.

Shedding light on his plans, Tinubu said, “How will Nigeria develop? How do we banish hunger? How do we improve the insecurity and how do we eliminate killing one another, and shedding blood on innocent citizens? That is what we must take to the office and not our religion.

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“My intention is clear. Not in religiosity. My intention is to develop this country, to bring prosperity to our country and I have better qualifications, better track record, better exposure, better vision than any of my mates.”

On the choice of his running mate, Tinubu said; “When the shortlisted names came, I looked at the characters on the list, their backgrounds and everything and here is somebody (Kashim Shettima) who is so brilliant, so committed, who, during the crisis in Borno protected Christians.”

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He then urged Nigerians to shun religious sentiments, saying; “Let us develop intellectual inclusiveness to build an understanding on which way Nigeria.”

In his comment, the Chairman of Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria, Archbishop John Praise said; “We are not committed to endorsing anybody, but you should ask your conscience and from what you have heard and from the explanations, he (Tinubu) has given to us, to make your own judgment of who will better rule and handle the country.”

A chieftain of the party, Senator Grace Bent from Adamawa State expressed optimism that Tinubu’s victory will usher in a new dawn for the body of Christ in the country.

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APC plots to shortchange Christians – Ex-SGF Lawal alleges

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APC plots to shortchange Christians – Ex-SGF Lawal alleges

Immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal has said that the Christian politicians in Northern Nigeria would remain steadfast in their stand for justice, equity and fair play in the 2023 political dispensation in the overall interest of the nation.

According to him, any nation or political dispensation built on injustice would crumble because justice and equity settle all other disputes.

Lawal in a statement in Abuja on Sunday titled, “Why we are doing what we are doing”, was pleading with Nigerians to understand the position of the Northern Christian politicians on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.

He said neither the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, nor his running mate, Kashim Shettima and the political party has ever seen anything wrong in their choice of same faith ticket for 2023 to make peace or assuage the feelings of Northern Christian politicians.

The statement reads, “Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon (Yakubu) Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC.

“I now want to respond to this. We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because, in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such.

“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.

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“There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.

“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.

“It seems that Bola/Shettima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is a division within the Christendom on this matter.

“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people while also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.

“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.

“Everyone, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “Christian” organizations that churn out falsehoods to the public.

  INEC allocated 33,000 votes to me in 2019 – Sowore

“It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.

“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government.

“The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.

“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.

“The other key positions, the Senate President, Speaker, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President, have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions, respectively.

“Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Representatives member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies.

“In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.

“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra?

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“If Kashim Shettima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government?

“Let us make no mistake; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.

“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.

“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind.

“So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north.”

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Bayelsa APC chieftain John Lyon known for flaunting wealth arrested for kidnapping

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John Lyon

John Lyon, popularly known for flaunting loads of money on social media, has been arrested by police detectives for allegedly belonging to a kidnap syndicate operating in Bayelsa.

Mr Lyon, accused of being responsible for several high-profile abductions in the Niger Delta region, was tracked and nabbed at the weekend, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The suspect had on several occasions identified himself as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Bayelsa, on his Facebook page.

His elder brother, David Lyon was the former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 Bayelsa gubernatorial election.

Although, David was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), his victory was invalidated by the Supreme Court which ruled that his running-mate, Degi Eremienyo Wangagra, submitted a fake certificate to the electoral body.

  NNPP candidates dump Kwankwaso, back Tinubu in Osun

The court immediately ordered that Douye Diri of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was the runner-up in the exercise be issued a certificate of return by INEC and subsequently sworn in as Bayelsa governor.

Peoples Gazette saw a video showing the alleged kidnapper, kneeling on the bare floor while being handcuffed and interrogated by persons who sounded like police detectives.

In the one minute, 29 seconds video, Mr Lyon, barely clad in a boxer, confessed to the crime though he claimed he had only participated in only two of his syndicate’s kidnap operations.

He also pleaded for mercy, claiming that his wife had just put to bed and delivered of a baby.

  INEC allocated 33,000 votes to me in 2019 – Sowore

In the video, The Gazette noticed the voice of a man in the background claiming he was one of Mr Lyon’s victims while noting that the suspect must have kidnapped more than two persons.

The man claimed he once fell prey as Mr Lyon and his gang abducted him and threatened to “waste” him if he would refuse to pay ransom for his release.

A search conducted on Mr Lyon’s social media page (Facebook) showed that the suspect once worked for Sterling bank between 2008 and 2014.

His social media posts showed him flaunting luxurious items and displaying wads of dollars while asking his followers to “hustle for their money.”

There are pictures of him posing at different social gatherings, posing with security details.

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Police spokesperson in Bayelsa, Asinim Butswat, confirmed Mr Lyon’s arrest on Sunday, saying the suspect is currently in custody.

Ms Butswat said the command would provide full details of his arrest to the public on Monday.

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2023: Atiku will get 65% of Benue’s votes despite Ortom’s support for Wike, says party chieftain

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2023: Atiku will get 65% of Benue’s votes despite Ortom’s support for Wike, says party chieftain

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will get 65 per cent of Benue State votes.

In an interview, Mr Chila, a grassroots mobiliser,  said despite Governor Samuel Ortom’s support for his Rivers counterpart, Governor Nyesom Wike, in the power tussle within the PDP, Mr Abubakar would garner 65 per cent of the state votes.

Mr Ortom had said unless Mr Wike was appeased, PDP would risk losing the state votes during the 2023 presidential election.

However, Mr Chila said regardless of whatever action Mr Ortom would take during next year’s general elections, PDP and its presidential candidate would win elections in the state.

He said that from 1999 to date, PDP has become very entrenched in Benue.

He added that because PDP National chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, is from Benue, it made it imperative that nothing could change the voting pattern in the state.

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“You may wish to know that my governor, Ortom, is also a candidate for the senatorial election in next year’s election. Interestingly, the presidential election and that of the National Assembly come up on the same day.

“So, with Gov. Ortom’s fate tied to that of Vice President Atiku Abubakar, it is impossible for PDP to get less than 65 per cent of the state’s total votes cast.

“And with our son, Dr Ayu as the national chairman, PDP has the bragging rights for the maximum votes from Benue State,” Mr Chila noted.

Mr Chila, who contested the party’s ticket for the Kwande/Ushongo federal constituency, explained that being a predominantly agrarian state with more population in the rural communities, no other political party could achieve rural penetration more than PDP.

He expressed confidence that with the security and economic challenges facing the country, including Benue, the state would vote for Mr Abubakar, who has the capacity to address the challenges.

  INEC allocated 33,000 votes to me in 2019 – Sowore

“We need stability, and security, and Benue State voters know that the only man that can pull Nigeria back from the precipice is Abubakar.

“The former Vice President is not coming to the presidency as a learner but will bring his wealth of experience to bear on national reconstruction.”

On the calls by some PDP stakeholders for Mr Ayu to resign, Mr Chila said those making the calls were either mistaken or mischievous, saying Mr Ayu emerged through a foolproof process that was not controversial.

He said telling Mr Ayu to quit when he had not committed any impeachable offence amounts to questioning the very rudiments of democracy.

“Ayu has not committed any offence. Therefore, anybody asking him to leave office is indirectly calling for the proscription of PDP, which is not attainable in a democracy.

“People should look beyond Ayu as an individual, he represents that party on account of the mandate freely given to him.

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“If I may add, what would be the compensation for North-Central if Ayu resigns?

“The North-Central has been making sacrifices for the growth and stability of PDP.

“Do we have to wait for 24 years before being considered for the presidential ticket, why must we throw away the consolation prize of national chairman?” Mr Chila asked.

(NAN)

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