The National Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said the idea of a northern president in 2023 will not fly.
According to him, the arrangement for rotational presidency in Nigerian politics had become conventional even though qualified citizens from all parts of the country were entitled to run for the nation’s top job each election circle.
It would be recalled that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai had suggested that zoning of political offices based on region should be de-emphasised because Nigeria could not continue on that path.
Reacting in a press statement on Monday, Okorie said: “I have always had the position that Nigeria does not have constitution that has provided for rotation of power. But, at the same time, the rotational arrangement has become conventional. It is that rotational convention that made it easier for President Buhari to defeat a sitting president in 2015 because 2015 was widely perceived as the turn of a northerner to become president. Since President Buhari towered above every other person from the North, he won.
“In the build up to 2019, the UPP as a party – the party I lead – we knew that any person running for president from the South would be swimming against the tide. So, we decided to allow the North to complete its eight years, by not fielding a candidate for the presidential election, and that was what happened.
“It is that same convention that Nigeria would observe by 2023. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop any person from the North wishing to run, but the person will never be able to win the presidential election. Such persons will be like those southerners who ran in 2019 and never stood any chance of winning.
“Owing to the fact that it is not a law, anybody can run. The likes of El-Rufai can run, if they wish to do so. But, if El-Rufai is able to win Kaduna State, he should thank his stars. Buhari with all his qualities and following in the “North was not able to win on three previous occasions. But when Nigerians said it is the turn of the North, forces came together to mobilise support for him. In the South, the Southwest especially played a key role in making sure that he won.
“If for anything, the contest for leadership in 2023 will be between the Southwest and the Southeast. But, if equity has anything to do with politics, it should be the turn of the Southeast, considering the fact that the region has not produced any elected leader since independence.
“Anybody who believes that the next president would come from the North, based on what El-Rufai is insinuating, is indulging in wishful thinking. I can tell you categorically that the idea of a northern president in 2023 will not fly.”
I’m One Of The Good Things That Have Happened To Imolites — Gov Uzodinma
Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has stated that he is one of the good things that have happened to the people of his State.
Uzodinma said this while speaking about his plans for the people of Imo state, as his four years tenure begins.
The governor revealed that he is well experienced in governance, and promised not to lead the state into an accident.
“One of the good things that have happened to my people is Hope Uzodinma, a driver who has learnt how to drive, unlike someone else who is trying to drive a vehicle with a learners permit. An accident is not going to be a surprise when with such person.
“The Imo people will get freedom, that sign of relieve would now relax our brain into agreeing that we can now move as a state. I have a team preparing the road map for development and environment where people can feel safe to go about their business. I am not going to office to do trial and error.”
BREAKING: Akpabio Dissociates Self From Rerun In Essien Udim
Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio has dissociated himself from any happenings at the rerun election in Essien Udim local government area.
Akpabio said his decision and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress(APC) to stay away from the supplementary election was sacrosanct, and therefore should not be linked to the exercise in any way.
The minister was responding to insinuations in the social media linking him to pockets of violence and irregularities at the rerun in his area.
A statement issued to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said, “The news flying about linking Senator Godswill Akpabio to any rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government Area is fake.
“It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.
“The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Rt Hon Nse Ntuen and Rt. Hon Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.
“And just yesterday, the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Hon Ini Okopido at a widely publicized press conference announced that the APC will not participate in the rerun elections.
“So on what basis would any sane human being link Senator Akpabio to whatever is happening in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
“As I write Senator Akpabio is not even in Essien Udim. He’s in Uyo. He has no interest whatsoever in what is going on there and had advised his supporters to heed the call of the State APC and boycott the elections”, he said.
Ekong in the statement said reliable information indicates that there is a plot by the PDP to use it’s thugs to cause mayhem and link it to Akpabio, who is not even at Essien Udim.
“We have however gathered that PDP some sponsored thugs were planning to carry out a sinister plot during the rerun elections and link it to Senator Akpabio. Security agencies should be on the watch out for miscreants and sponsored thugs, apprehend them and visit the full weight of the law on them.
“We urge the general public to ignore infantile propaganda linking Senator Akpabio to anything that is going on in Essien Udim LGA in the name of rerun elections”, he maintained.
Atiku: Wike Lobbying To Join APC — Rivers APC Leaders Allege
The major stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 20 wards of Port Harcourt City council area (PHALGA) of Rivers State have accused Governor Nyesom Wike of desperately lobbying to join the APC, since the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not allowing him (Wike) to take over the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
They also disowned ‘the foot-soldier’ of Wike in APC, Igo Aguma, a two-term member of the House of Representatives, who hails from Ward 2 of PHALGA, accusing him of being a mole and a traitor, who had been pursuing personal interest.
The PHALGA stakeholders of APC, yesterday during a news conference, after their crucial meeting at Orogbum Civic Centre in Ward 2, Ogbunabali Road, Port Harcourt, insisted that the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, a former Rivers governor, remained the leader of the main opposition party in the state, with the members completely loyal to him and the APC.
The six-page communique was read by the leader of APC in PHALGA, Nnamdi Wuche, a lawyer, who was accompanied by a former member of the Rivers House of Assembly, Victoria Nyeche, and other critical stakeholders of the party.
The communique read in part: “The leadership of APC in PHALGA hereby dissociates the chapter from the reckless, ill-conceived and malicious conduct of one Igo Aguma against the leader of APC in Rivers State (Amaechi) and the APC. We wish to state that Aguma’s reckless behaviour in recent times came to us as a rude shock. Consequently, we hereby disown Aguma, Lasbry Amadi and their cohorts.
“We know as a fact that the Minister for Transportation has favoured Aguma in the areas of political appointments, contracts and financial support. It beats our imagination that the same Aguma will unleash such attacks on his benefactor (Amaechi) on the pages of newspapers.
“Aguma’s sojourn and success in politics were made possible by the Minister for Transportation through his appointment as the Commissioner for Sports in Dr. Peter Odili’s government. Aguma’s commissionership slot, otherwise known as ‘compensation slot,’ was given to his father, the late Sir Emmanuel Wonukwuru Aguma. Aguma’s presence in the 5th and 6th National Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives was also made possible by Amaechi, whom he now desperately seeks to destroy.
“Aguma has nothing to offer other than his desperation to destroy the APC in Rivers State, to pave way for his sponsor, Governor Nyesom Wike, who is desperately lobbying to join and take over the APC in Rivers State, which machinations we are now determined to nip in the bud.
“Aguma’s penchant for betrayal, insubordination and disloyalty to party leadership is legendary and dates back to the 2011 general elections, which ultimately led to his replacement by Hon. Ken Chikere. Rt. Hon. Amaechi remains the leader of APC in Rivers State, as severally acknowledged by Aguma and his cohorts.”
The former member of the House of Representatives (Aguma), while reacting yesterday evening through his media aide, Minikwu Samuel, described Wuche and other stakeholders of APC in PHALGA as impostors.
Aguma, who described himself as the leader of Rivers APC Third Force, alleged that Wuche and others who were at yesterday’s news conference were Amaechi’s praise singers.
He said: “APC in Rivers State, from the units to the state level, is structurally dead and non-existent in any way, executive and leadership-wise. APC in Rivers State has no functional executive at all levels known to law or the constitution of the party. The tenure of the former leadership of the party at all levels in Rivers state has elapsed. Congresses that should have produced a new set of executives, in line with the party’s constitution, have not been conducted and matters related thereto are proceeds of judgment of the Supreme Court and current litigation, which I (Aguma) am prosecuting.
“I wish to renew my call to the APC leadership to follow the constitution of the party and save Rivers APC from destruction by Rotimi Amaechi. This I state as a law-abiding member of our great party.”
Aguma also maintained that he remained a bonafide member and a statutory executive committee member of the APC from Ward 2, Unit 25 in PHALGA.
Wike’s reaction was sought through Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, from 4:13 p.m. yesterday, through text and WhatsApp messages, which he read, but he declined to react.
Calls were then put to the MTN line of the former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers Council (Nsirim), from 5:25 p.m., but the line was later switched off.