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Wike chides Atiku, Saraki, as he declares intention to contest for presidency

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Makurdi—Rivers State Goveror, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday has declared his intention to contest the position of the President of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections.

He called on national delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to sell their votes during the elections.

According to reports by Punch newspaper, Wike, who addressed the party delegates at the Government House, Makurdi, said most of the presidential aspirants from the party were responsible for its defeat in 2015.

The Rivers state governor who apparently took shots at the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki, said some of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the party left the party when it mattered most.

He said, “Let these people who are interested in presidency in the PDP tell us their contributions. You claimed to be one of the founding fathers of the party, but you left and came back; you have become an ordinary person in the new PDP.

“If you form a company and run away because the company is not doing well, then you come back and found that it is now doing well, will you want to come and take over?

He further said, “Some people want to use Nigeria to get back their private businesses. Let them mention their private sector that survived. Is it bank that your father had?

“Everybody is an employer of labour; even me I have 50 people in my house. So everybody has been employing people according to his capacity.

“In 2015, most of these people made us (PDP) to lose the election.”

Wike said he had stood firm for the party through thick and thin, adding that he had contributed immensely to the growth of the party.

“I have spoken truth to power. I don’t have problem with anybody but have to tell them the truth. Umahi and others abused me because I told him that you cannot take our mandate away.”

He added, “As a governor, I have performed well. I can go anywhere with my shoulder high. How many of them have challenged this government (APC)?

“If I become president, we will take security as priority because the main purpose of government is protection of lives and property.”

Earlier, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who lauded the contributions of his River State counterpart to Benue State and towards the displaced persons, said that the people of the state would support his aspiration.

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Buhari has reduced insecurity in Nigeria, says Tinubu

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England—The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari, has reduced the insecurity challenge he met on the ground in 2015.

Punch reports that Tinubu said this during an interview with BBC, which was published on Tuesday.

Questioned about how he would tackle insecurity, considering it has persisted, Tinubu said, “It has reduced. I will defend him.

“Then, 17 local governments and about four states where we had flags of foreign jihadists in Nigeria. That is no more. That is long gone.

“To start chaos is easy. To bring normalcy and redecorate is more difficult. Here we are, Buhari has degraded but not completely eliminated ISWAP.

“They will talk briefly of lethal weapons and ammunitions and technology equipment that could have helped with the clean up of those.

“The West is yet to feel comfortable enough with a Buhari administration to sell us the arms and technology necessary.”

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People want to use me to make money—Tinubu explains why he snubs debates

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London—The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said those inviting him for debates are only trying to use him to make money because he’s a marketable individual.

Channels Television reports that the former governor of Lagos State said this at Chatham House in London on Monday, barely 24 hours after he snubbed a town hall meeting attended by three other candidates in the 2023 presidential race.

Fielding a question from the audience on why he snubbed debates, Tinubu said, “I see myself as a marketable individual. You want to use me to make money and I’m saying no.”

On controversies surrounding his age, school and time in the private sector, he said, “At the time of birth, I was dated March 29, 1952, in the family record. Then, I don’t think I had decided to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not even that I would go into politics.

“I’ve had a very good record in life. My record is consistent in the university they questioned. They’ve now confessed that they wasted their money and their time. The record is there, and the transcript is there showing March 1952.

“I’m not claiming another father, I’m Tinubu and Tinubu proper. If they want a DNA, they could as well request for one.

“One of them was even accused of not being a Nigerian citizen, I didn’t touch that area.

“Equally, it remains the same. Chicago State University where I graduated has attested to that. Now, I can announce that I have received my original replacement degree certificate from them.

“Deloitte trained me as an accountant. Mobile Oil has attested to my outstanding record. I got to the pinnacle of my career in the private sector. Who among them can brag about that?

“Yes, you want to wrestle with the pig, you’ve got to live with the dirt. That’s what I’m doing. I got into politics knowing fully well that it is muddy water. Smog will come, and you will have to live with the dirt and make sure you are upright to finish the job.”

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Dogara joins PDP from APC after declaring support for Atiku

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Abuja —Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Channels Television reports that Dogara was received into the party during the presidential campaign by the party’s presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in the nation’s commercial capital, Lagos State.

This comes 48 hours after a group led by Dogara, the Northern Leaders Consultative Forum adopted Atiku as the preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 election.

On December 2, the group consisting of Christian and Muslim religious and political leaders in the north said after evaluation of all the presidential candidates, Abubakar is “the best”.

“It is evident that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is heading for implosion and extinction; hence, it cannot be the party for now and in the future, because of its rejection to embrace inclusiveness in a diverse country like Nigeria. After the 2023 elections, APC may be dead and buried as a political party,” the group said.

“While the duo (NNPP and LP) may emerge as strong contenders in the political arena in the future, from all indications, PDP appears to be the best option to adopt and support.

“All it takes is to sustain and tackle some of the problems and challenges this country faces.

“Certainly, with proper consultations and inclusive appointments, which is mindful of the federal character principle with a sincere consideration of diverse issues such as religious affiliation, geographical location, and ethnic identity, which many believe will enhance justice, fairness and equity, after a careful evaluation of all the issues highlighted above, we now recommend the adoption of the PDP to all lovers of democracy in Nigeria for the 2023 presidential election,” the group said.

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