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I Have No Intention to Pick APC Presidential Form– INEC Chair  

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By Jude Opara, Abuja

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has denied widespread speculations that he might be nursing an ambition to contest for the presidency in 2023 on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a statement on Sunday that it is inconceivable and unreasonable for anybody to call on the INEC Chairman to contest the 2023 Presidential election.

The reaction became necessary following widespread reports over the weekend, insinuating that the INEC Chairman may be next to pick the N100 million Expression of Interest and Nomination Form of the APC.

The reports gathered momentum when the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria procured the said APC form for the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who said he was yet to decide on the gift.


It could also be recalled that a coalition of groups led by Mohammed Saleh led of One Nigeria Group picked the forms on his behalf  Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AFDB) and former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina on Saturday.


Oyekanmi who said that the INEC Chairman remained committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible polls stressed that Yakubu was so saddled with massive constitutional responsibilities and tough assignments  as Chairman of INEC that he would not contemplate straying into the presidential contest.  

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“Our attention has been drawn to innuendoes in certain quarters that Nigerians should not be surprised if the INEC Chairman joins the Presidential race or urging him to do so. It is a preposterous proposition. It will not happen.

“The Chairman remains an umpire committed to free, fair and credible elections. His constitutional responsibilities as the Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Federation and Returning Officer for the presidential election are onerous enough for him to even contemplate straying into extraneous matters at variance with the law, morality and his personal principles. “The Chairman will continue to discharge his responsibilities without affection for, or ill will against, any political party or candidate.”

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Buhari Swears in Seven New Ministers, Announces Minor Cabinet Changes

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced minor cabinet reshuffle as he swore in seven new Ministers in the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected ministers swore in include Goodluck Opiah (Imo), Umar El-Yakub (Kano) and Ademola Adegoroye (Ondo). Henry Ikoh (Abia) Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekumankama Nkama (Ebonyi) and Odum Odi (Rivers).

NAN reports that six of the ministers replaced six former members of the federal executive council, who retired to participate in the last party primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while El-Yakub replaced the former Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, who was removed from office.

While announcing the reshuffle shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, the president approved Minister of State, Health, Sen.

Adeleke Mamora as new the Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of State, Works, Mua’azu Sambo also moved to the Ministry of Transportation as substantive Minister.

Umanna Umanna is now the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs while Minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has been moved to the Niger Delta Ministry as Minister of State.

Sen Gbemisola Saraki was moved to the Ministry of Mines and Steel as Minister of State while Umar El-Yakub is now the Minister of State Works and Housing.

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The president also approved Goodluck Apiah as Minister of State, Education; Ekumankama Nkama. Minister of Health; Ikoh Ikechekwu, Minister of State, Science and Technology; Odum Udi, Minister of State, Environment and Ademola Adegoroye is now Minister of State, Transportation.

NAN reports that before the swearing in, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of Mohammed Barkindo, the outgoing Secretary-General of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who died at the age of 63, on Tuesday night.

Those physically in attendance are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.

Other Ministers who  were also in attendance include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Education, Adamu Adamu, Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Others are, Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and Minister of State, Budget, National Planning, Clem Agba and State, Industry Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagun as well as all the newly sworn in ministers. (NAN)

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2023: Group Warns APC, Tinubu Against Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket

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Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a group under the aegis of Defence Watch has cautioned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tunibu against presenting a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the election.

The group made the appeal in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari titled: “APC’s Muslim/Muslim Ticket in Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: A Threat to National Stability, Regional Peace and Security’”.

The letter which was jointly signed by Alhaji Ahmed Adamu and Otunba Adeniji Adegoke, the group’s National Coordinator and National Secretary respectively, was made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

According to the group, the letter, was copied to all heads of democratic and security institutions as well as other international concerns in the country.

It said a Muslim-Muslim ticket would not only be a threat to national stability, but could also retard the country’s peace and security.

The group said presenting such a ticket as being proposed by the APC, would portray Nigeria as an Islamic and a sectarian nation.

It said, the pairing of two Muslims would be ultimately resisted by the country’s millions of practicing Christians, moderate as well as progressive Muslims and civic groups.

It added that ethno-cultural associations and enlightened members of the international communities could also protest such a pairing.

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“We are therefore calling on President Buhari to direct the security forces to do the needful by advising Sen. Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate and the party on the possible threats this action could pose to security in the country.

“It is pertinent to note the serious implications of the action with regards to security, especially when one rightly imagines that Christians will feel threatened with a Muslim/Muslim ticket.

“They may resort to pulpit preaching and mobilization of opinions across the Christendom,” the group added.

It further went on to reveal that civil society organizations and students would likely protest if a Muslim- Muslim ticket was eventually introduced into the polity in manners that might constitute security concerns.

The group warned on the danger such political arrangement could cause on the continental security.

It noted that West African Sub-region and African regional peace and security were basically predicated on the presumption of Nigeria’s political stability.

“We therefore implore you to use your good offices to weigh in on Tinubu and the APC to thread with caution and refrain from unyielding desire to foist on the nation a Muslim Muslim ticket

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Bello Forwards Three Commissionership Nominees  to Kogi Assembly for Confirmation

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Kogi State Governor,  Yahaya Bello has forwarded  names of three Commissionership nominees to  Kogi State House of Assembly for confirmation

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Onogwu Muhammed disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Lokoja on Tuesday.

He said that the nominees  are;  former Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, (Kogi West); Dr.

Zakeri Usman and Engr. Mohammed Abdulmutalab from Dekina and Okene Local Government Areas respectively.

The Information Commissioner, Fanwo had resigned his appointment to contest the Yagba West House of Representatives ticket of the All Progressives Congress but lost.

It was also gathered that Dr. Usman if confirmed by the assembly, will replace the former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu who was sacked by the Governor from office in April 2022, over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Meanwhile, Abdulmutalab will also replace Engr. Abubakar Ohere who resigned to pursue his senatorial ambition.

Ohere emerged the Senatorial candidate of the APC for Kogi Central Senatorial seat, and would be slugging it out with Barr. Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan, the candidate of the main opposition- Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

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