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Tinubu Visited me to Seek Support for Presidential Ambition – Yakasai

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A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has revealed that he would support the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023.

Tinubu had on Wednesday visited the elder statesman at his Abuja residence.

A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has revealed that he would support the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023.

Tinubu had on Wednesday visited the elder statesman at his Abuja residence.

Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had in October inaugurated the South-West Agenda 2023, a political movement mobilising support for Tinubu to contest the 2023 presidential election.

Tinubu, who celebrated his 69th birthday in March 2021 and commands an arguably large following of political loyalists, has been reported to nurse presidential ambition in 2023, even as political debates get intense for a southern president after the eight-year regime of the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is from Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.

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Between July and October 2021, while Tinubu was in the United Kingdom for a knee surgery and physiotherapy, over 50 politicians, including the President, six governors, dozens of senators and House of Representatives members, visited him at his London home and turned the place to a Mecca of sort.

In October, the Northern Caucus of House of Representatives, led by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, had also paid a get-well visit to the APC leader in London and declared support for Tinubu’s reported 2023 presidential ambition.

Friday, 96-year-old Yakasai said he had earmarked two politicians to support for Presidency in 2023.

He, however, said he has no intention to join politics but he has the constitutional right to back any candidate of his choice.

Asked whether he planned to join the ruling party after Tinubu’s visit, Yakassai said, “I don’t want to join any (political) party but I can support a candidate of my choice. I have said it way back in 1951 that I will not be a party member but I will support a candidate of my choice.”

On the APC leader’s visit, the elder statesman said, “He (Tinubu) just came to visit me but actually I have two of them (presidential aspirants) that I have earmarked right from the beginning and I made a vow that any one of them who came to ask for my support first is the person I would support. Tinubu is the first person.”

See also  Tinubu and 2023

When asked whether Tinubu told him he would be contesting for President in 2021, Yakasai said, “He (Tinubu) did and he asked for my support.”

Yakasai, however, said he didn’t disclose to Tinubu, during the visit, that he would support his ambition.

He also said that interested aspirants must first scale the hurdles of primary elections in their various political parties “then we will begin to compare them.”Punch

POLITICS

2023: North East Group Beckons on Akpabio to Run for Presidency

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By Mohammed Muktar Umar, Bauchi

A political pressure group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North East, under the aegis of the North East APC Vanguard for Buhari, has called on the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to run for the presidency on the platform of the party in the 2023 general election.

The call was made by the group in a press release signed by its chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed and made available to newsmen in Bauchi.

The group stated that the former Akwa Ibom State governor performed extremely well when he served as governor, adding that he was doing well even now as a cabinet minister.

This, the group submitted, showed a clear example of leadership on the part of Akpabio, whom it described as the only trusted person from the Southern part of the country and a focused leader.

“It is now time to support people from the South among which Godswill Akpabio is the only trusted person. He is a sincere and focused leader that has the youth, the people and the country at heart. 

“We call on him to come out and declare his interest to contest for the president of our dear country come 2023. We will support him fully.

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“We have already started consultations across our states; our leaders have already shown love and concern for Akpabio because of his track records in the development, unity and progress of Nigeria. Akpabio is the leader that this country needs at this material time,” the group stated.

It added that the former Senator, who represented Akwa Ibom South senatorial district in the National Assembly, has all it takes to lead Nigeria to the promised land. 

According to the group, Akpabio was the leader and the right man for the job come 2023, who could lead Nigeria without rancour or discrimination, adding that the minister was not only a philanthropist but also a  nationalist. 

In his words, the chairman stated that  “Akpabio has all it takes to lead this country to the promised land, realize the dream of our past leaders. Akpabio is the leader and the man for the job come 2023.

“Akpabio is a highly composed person that can lead this country without rancour or discrimination.  He is a philanthropist and nationalist. He is fit for the office.”

The Vanguard chairman then informed that members of the group would soon storm the office of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to present a letter of intent to support Akpabio to him.

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POLITICS

APC Denies Zoning Party Positions

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Ahead of the February 26 convention, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied zoning party positions.

The National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator James Akpanudoedehe, while addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, said the committee has not taken a position on zoning.

He described the report in some sections of the media that various party positions had been zoned as falsehood.

The secretary said, “We are also here to rebuff the fake news going round the social media that we have zoned party offices, we are yet to meet on the issue of zoning.

However, in a statement signed by Akpanudoedehe at the end of the Party’s 19th regular meeting on Wednesday, he said they considered and adopted the timetable/schedule of activities for the convention.

He said sale of forms to all aspirants vying for national offices would commence on February 14th.

See also  2023: I'll Run, Tinubu Tells Buhari. Says his Ambition is Life-long One
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BUSINESS

Lai Mohammed Plans Fact-finding on State of Petroleum Subsidy Removal

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said he will need to consult with relevant agencies to know the exact position of government on whether or not fuel subsidy will be stopped this year.

Mohammed, who spoke with newsmen yesterday after the weekly virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja, explained that he was going to initiate a fact-finding process to determine the state of things on the removal of petroleum subsidy following the announcement Tuesday by Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, that President Buhari had not told anyone to remove fuel subsidy.

When asked to clarity the issue since the 2022 budget has no subsidy provision beyond June 2022, the minister said he needed to consult with the relevant government agencies to determine the exact position of the subsidy removal question.

“As for the removal of fuel subsidy, I think you will give me time to consult with relevant departments and ministries and I will get back to you,” he said.

Last October, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had announced that the federal government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022 as the government looked towards a complete deregulation of the sector.

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She had said: “In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year. The second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry.”

Reacting to Ahmed’s position after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday, Senate President, Lawan, told newsmen that President Buhari had not directed anyone in his government to implement the removal of petroleum subsidy.

But he also conceded that subsidy was a big burden, noting that a solution had to be found to it.

“Well, it will be of interest to Nigerians to hear what I’ve come to discuss with Mr. President among several other things.

“Many of us are very concerned with the recent agitations, protests and many citizens were so concerned, our constituents across the country are very concerned that the federal government will remove the petroleum subsidy. And for us, as parliamentarians, as legislators representing the people of Nigeria, this must be of interest to us.

“And we’ve just finished our recess, we had gone home to our constituencies and senatorial districts. And we felt the pulse of our people. And I found it necessary to visit Mr. President, as the the leader of our government and our leader in the country, to discuss this particular issue of concern to Nigerians, and I’m happy to inform Nigerians that Mr. President never told anyone that the petroleum subsidy should be removed.

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“I know and I agree that the subsidy is very heavy. But I think we must never transfer the burden to the citizens,” he said.

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