The addition of Fayemi, Amosun, and Nwajiuba increases the number of APC presidential candidates.
There were more entrants from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) into the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as a serving Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, joined Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to pick up nomination and expression of interest forms at the party’s secretariat in Abuja yesterday.
Ibikunle Amosun, the Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, informed the Senate of his intention to run for president, while Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi began his discussions with a visit to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun.
Also yesterday, supporters of former President Goodluck Jonathan, acting under the Youths Network for Nigeria Union, issued the former President a seven-day deadline to join the APC and launch a presidential run, or face having his private office picketed by its over 20,000 members. Another organisation, the Society for Good Governance, condemned the’smear’ campaign against Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), alleging that it was part of a broader plan to derail Buratai’s presidential bid in 2023.
At a demonstration in Suleja, Niger State, Jonathan’s supporters issued the ultimatum. The group, led by Ibrahim Saiki, claimed the ultimatum would take effect a day after the Sallah holidays, and members threatened to seize Jonathan’s office if he did not comply.
Senator Amosun encouraged his colleagues to attend his official declaration to stand for the president on May 5, at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, in a letter of notification and invitation to the formal declaration.
As the list of APC presidential hopefuls continues to grow ahead of the party’s May 30th presidential primary, Governor Bello said he is not afraid of Jonathan’s arrival, calling the former president’s decision to run on the APC platform a “good development.”
While proclaiming his ambition to succeed President Buhari on Tuesday, Cross River State Governor Benedict Ayade stated that if Jonathan enters the race, he will withdraw his bid.
Bala Mohammed, the governor of Bauchi State and a presidential candidate for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had stated that he would only consider stepping aside in 2023 if Jonathan expressed interest in running for the office.
Yesterday, Bello stated that the possibility of Jonathan’s goal does not frighten him. “That is the beauty of democracy,” he continued. In a democracy, anybody may support anyone, but I can assure you that our great party, the APC, has its own ethics, norms, and regulations, and I am certain that all of them are in my favor, and I am not afraid of anyone’s lineage.
Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, who was represented by Mr Chidi Wogu in selecting the nomination and expression of interest forms, stated that he has the capacity to govern the country, even as he advocated for power moving to the Southeast geopolitical zone.
“The President vowed that this time, everyone running for president must be under 60,” he continued, and “these young people banded together.” When I observed their earnestness, I decided to collaborate with one group, we raised the funds, and we came today to demonstrate our seriousness by being the first to acquire this form, and they found Nwajiuba credible and diligent.
“He’s been in politics for 30 years, unblemished, extremely humble, an open door policy legislator, and a detribalised Nigerian.” This form was created by people from all 36 states, and it also serves as an opportunity to make a case for Southeast president.”
The Minister stated that he had received requests from several groups to run for president. When he was provided with the nomination form, he stated that he was not required by the Electoral Act to quit as Minister.
“We are obligated by the Constitution to quit 30 days before the election.” Anyone can have a different point of view.”
Dr Chris Ngige, another presidential aspirant and Minister of Labour and Productivity, said he would not comply with a new directive issued by the APC’s National Working Committee requiring all political appointees aspiring to participate in the May primary elections at all levels to resign at least 30 days before the primaries, because he was not aware of such directive.
Ngige, who said he was unaware of the instruction, asserted that it was his constitutional right to compete for the country’s top post.
He said that he was under no pressure to quit since the March 18 ruling of the Federal High Court in Umuahia set down section 84(12) of the newly enacted Electoral Act 2022.
“I’m not sure about it. It’s the first time I’ve heard it from you. But, as I usually say, I’ll be governed by the terms and spirit of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution,” he told reporters.
Governor Fayemi has stated that the Yoruba are not ready for independence and instead wish to contribute to Nigeria’s peace, growth, and development. In his address at the Olubadan’s palace, the governor stated that the visit was to pay respect to the monarch and to seek Olubadan’s guidance, prayers, and support for his quest for the nation’s highest office.
“We are not ready for independence in Yoruba territory,” stated the leader of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, speaking in Yoruba. What we want is peace, growth, and development,” he says, adding that “the reasons some young people are upset are reasonable.” We do not wish to enslave others, nor do we want to be enslaved.”
He emphasized that the Yoruba have helped others who were not Yoruba to reach the pinnacle of political leadership in the country, and that it is fitting that the Yoruba back their son.
“My desire is a call to duty to establish a better Nigeria.” Though our youngsters may want to give up on Nigeria for a variety of valid reasons, “I believe Nigeria is still worth fighting for,” he said.
Yesterday, there was some uncertainty inside the APC National Secretariat after it was revealed that at least N43,000,000 had gone missing. The situation compelled party authorities to cease form sales while canopies constructed within the grounds were swiftly disassembled in an apparent attempt to prevent a repeat of such heinous behavior.
It was reported that $75,000 had gone stolen as a result of the throng taking advantage of the chaos at the secretariat’s main gate.
According to party insiders, the stolen funds are unrelated to the funds raised through the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms, since candidates are required to make deposits in the allocated account numbers before picking up their forms at the Buhari House.
“It is, in fact, $75,000.” You’re aware that there was a scuffle at the entrance as hopefuls and supporters attempted to get entry. When the money bundle was dumped, it vanished in an instant. The robber had disappeared with the envelope by the time security officers were informed,” a party insider claimed.
It’s unknown why the anonymous party leader brought such a large sum wrapped in an envelope to the party secretariat, which is normally crowded with goons, praise singers, and hangers-on.
“I can’t describe what the money was meant for,” one eyewitness told The Guardian. I’m sure it couldn’t have been used to purchase forms because such funds are deposited into the party’s bank account. Perhaps the individual brought the money only for the purpose of distributing it to party leaders.
“You never know.” According to reports, the envelope holding the money slipped when he was attempting to cover his phone. Before you say jack, the thieves vanished into thin air.”
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