Eleven days to presidential polls: Tinubu storms Aso Rock, meets Buhari again
Less than two weeks to this year’s presidential election, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is again meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The duo reportedly met at the President’s official living quarters inside the Villa, shortly before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which Buhari, chaired, though the reason for the parley, was not made known.
Observers, however believe it might not be unconnected with issues around the election, where the President had openly thrown his weight behind Tinubu’s quest to replace him for the nation’s number one job.
Buhari subsequently joined the weekly FEC meeting, to preside, at about 10:40am, approximately 40 minutes later than usual, as the meeting is usually scheduled to kick off from 10am.
The Nation, quotes a source as saying that the President was actually late to the FEC meeting, besides his meeting with Tinubu, exactly 11 days to the crucial polls, might have been as a result of his decision to stay back to monitor the outcome of the Supreme Court’s case against the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the naira redesign policy, which was eventually adjourned to Wednesday, February 22.
At the weekly meeting were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Justice, Abubakar Malami, Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Others were, Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello Education, Adamu Adamu, Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, as well as Ministers of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri, Budget and National Planning Clement Agba among others.
BREAKING: Tribunal to Atiku: Our court, not a stadium for entertainment! Nails live broadcast
Justice Haruna Tsammani, on Monday killed the attempt by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic (PDP) and Peter Obi, his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, both presidential candidates, respectively in the February 25 election to get Nigerians watch the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, currently sitting in Abuja, live.
The court court, ruling on the plea that originated from the former Vice President, who had argued that it would give integrity to the process and was later joined by Obi, in a unanimous ruling, held that the application was without merit, adding that televising court proceedings is not provided for in any extant law in the country.
Tsammani, Chairman of the five-man panel of Court of Appeal Justices, sitting as PEPT, who read the lead ruling, while adopting the arguments of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, his All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which declared him winner of the election and which also railed against the move, agreed that it would not make the outcome of their decisions any cleaner.
To him, the court sitting in public did not mean that it should sit in a stadium or in marketplace and that there was no way televising the proceedings could advance the interest of fair hearing for parties or advance the interest of the petitioners in relation to issues raised in their petition, adding that granting the request by Atiku and the PDP could trivialise the serious business of the court.
BREAKING: Kalu’s Senate presidency quest runs into trouble, suffers APC hammer
Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip of the Senate, may be kissing his quest to lead the National Assembly in Nigeria by becoming 10th session Senate President goodbye, if the attempt to strip him of his All Progressives Congress (APC) identity succeeds.
Kalu, seen as one of the front runners for the nation’s number three citizen, was among the party stalwarts suspended by the ruling party on Thursday, alongside Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State.
Alongside former Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo; Director General Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu and former Commissioner in Enugu state, Joe Mammel, the APC bigwigs, who had earlier been slammed with their fate shortly after the 2023 general elections, had their suspension sustained by the party’s South East caucus.
The ratification of the suspension of the chieftains from Enugu and Abia States, who were initially slammed for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities, according to the APC Zonal Secretariat came after South East Executive Meeting on April 16, 2023.
Ijeomah Arodiogbu, National Vice Chairman (South East), who gave the reason for the action, as the need to enforce discipline in the party, in order to strengthen APC in the zone, listed other names to include: SA to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Flavour Eze, former chairman of the party in the state, Ben Nwoye; former deputy state chairman, A. C. Udeh; Obodoeze Ocho; Chukwudi Igwe; Kingsley Uduji; former Military Governor of the state, Joe Orji; Maduka Arum (A.K.A Mama) and Chidera Obed.
Others suspended alongside Kalu in Abia, included Sam Nkeire, Uche Sampson Ogah, former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, amongst others.
Ezeanyawu Michael, spokesman of the party in Enugu State, while stating that it was the right thing to do, said: “I want to further use this opportunity to call on the APC leadership, at both the state and national levels, not to relent in its efforts to rid the party of saboteurs.”
Senate Presidency race: Akpabio visits Buhari, says my track record speaks for me
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday emerged from a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock villa in Abuja, with a definite message to Nigerians – I will introduce something new, if elected as the new Senate President.
Akpabio, who left as the Minority Leader after losing his return bid in 2019 to take up appointment as Minister of Niger Delta, flaunted his credentials as governor, where he claimed to have made significant contributions to infrastructure, stating that he would be an “uncommon transformer” as the head of the nation’s legislature.
He told State House Correspondents after the meeting: “It is well known that Akpabio is a results-driven individual. You will remember that when I was a governor, I made significant contributions to infrastructure, education, social issues, and human empowerment.
“I intend to bring a lot of reforms into the senate, in the ways and manners we do business, to assist the next administration to succeed. We will be very thorough in doing everything; we’ll bring about loyalty to the constitution.
“The restiveness that we are seeing across the nation, we’ll do our best to make good laws and to assist the administration to bring about policies that will empower the youths of the country. I made that promise even on the convention day that being a man who used to turn boys into men and who still does, that I will like to work with the incoming president, who has also shown that example in Lagos state as a governor and thereafter as a leader of the APC in Nigeria.
“So, the youths are in for a very good time, in terms of empowerment, there will be no time for slacking and we’ll restrict a lot of them from being lured into criminality, into brigandage and all that.”