Northern Governors Ask APC To Zone Presidential Ticket To South

A file photo of the APC flag.

 

Governors of the All Progressives Congress from the northern region have asked the party to zone its presidential ticket to the south.

In a statement signed by 11 Governors, they said it was a question of honour for the APC.

The Governors asked all Northern aspirants in the race to withdraw in the national interest.

“This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate,” the Governors said.

READ ALSO: Tinubu, Other Presidential Aspirants Meet Buhari In Abuja

See the full statement below:

Statement by Northern States’ APC Governors and Political Leaders

APC governors and political leaders from the northern states of Nigeria today met to review the political situation and to further support our Party in providing progressive leadership amidst our national challenges. During our discussions, we welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation to governors and other stakeholders to contributeto the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.

After careful deliberation, we wish to state our firm conviction that after eight years in office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 elections should be one of our teeming members from the southern states of Nigeria. It is a question of honour for the APC, anobligation that is not in anyway affected by the decisions taken by another political party. We affirm that upholding this principle is in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country.

We therefore wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states. We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries. We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.

The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms. This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.

Signed, 4th June 2022:

1. Aminu Bello Masari Governor of Katsina State
2. Abubakar Sani Bello Governor of Niger State
3. Abdullahi A. Sule Governor of Nasarawa State
4. Prof. B.G. Umara Zulum Governor of Borno State
5. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai Governor of Kaduna State
6. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya Governor of Gombe State
7. Bello M. Matawalle Governor of Zamfara State
8. Simon Bako Lalong Governor of Plateau State
9. Senator Aliyu Wamakko Former Governor of Sokoto State
10. Dr. A.U. Ganduje Governor of Kano State
11. Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu Governor of Kebbi State

Ukraine Says Russia Using ‘All Its Power’ To Capture Eastern City

Smoke rises in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fightings between Ukrainian and Russian troops at eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on May 30, 2022, on the 96th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

 

Ukraine said Saturday its forces were managing to push back against Russian troops in fierce fighting in Severodonetsk despite Russia “throwing all its power” into capturing the strategic eastern city.

At least seven civilians were reported killed in the Lugansk region where Severodonetsk is located and in the southern city of Mykolaiv, while a revered wooden church was reported to be on fire because of the fighting.

Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said in an interview posted online that the invading forces had captured most of Severodonetsk, but that Ukraine’s forces were pushing them back.

READ ALSO: AU Head Says ‘Reassured’ After Talks With Putin On Food Shortages

“The Russian army, as we understand, is throwing all its power, all its reserves in this direction,” said Gaiday.

“Our soldiers have managed to redeploy, build a line of defence,” said the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, in a televised interview broadcast on Telegram Saturday.

“We are currently doing everything necessary to re-establish total control” of the city, he added. But he acknowledged the situation was “quite difficult”, with street fighting and artillery exchanges.

Russia’s army claimed some Ukrainian military units were withdrawing from the city.

Severodonetsk is the largest city still in Ukrainian hands in the Lugansk region, where Russian forces have been gradually advancing in recent weeks after retreating or being repelled from other areas, including around the capital Kyiv.

‘Put Russia in its place’

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions forced to flee and towns turned into rubble since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an all-out assault on his pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

Western powers have slapped increasingly stringent sanctions on Russia and supplied arms to Ukraine but divisions have emerged on how to react.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday Putin had committed a “fundamental error” but said Russia should not be “humiliated” so that a diplomatic solution could be found.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reacted Saturday by saying such calls “only humiliate France” and any country taking a similar position.

“It is Russia that humiliates itself. We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives,” he said.

Despite diplomatic efforts, the conflict has raged in the south and east of the country.

Ukrainian officials announced Saturday the death of four foreign military volunteers fighting Russian forces but did not specify when or under what circumstances they died.

The International Legion of Defence of Ukraine, an official volunteer brigade, named the men and published photos of them, saying they were from Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and France.

The deaths of the two men named from the Netherlands and Australia had already been reported and France’s foreign ministry said Friday a French volunteer fighter had been killed in combat.

Ukraine also reported two victims from a Russian missile strike on Odessa in the southwest, without specifying if they were dead or injured.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had struck a “deployment point for foreign mercenaries” in the village of Dachne in the Odessa region.

It also claimed a missile strike in the northeastern Sumy region on an artillery training centre with “foreign instructors”.

Fears over food

Apart from the human toll, the conflict has caused widespread damage to Ukraine’s cultural heritage.

On Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported a large Orthodox wooden church, a popular pilgrim site, was on fire and blamed Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said “Russian artillery again hit” the church, adding bombardment earlier this week had “killed four monks and severely wounded four others”.

Russia continues to prove “its inability to be part of the civilised world,” Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said in a statement.

Russia’s defence ministry blamed “Ukrainian nationalists” for the blaze and said its forces were not operating in the area.

The church was built in 2009 on the site of another church that was blown up in 1947.

Russian troops now occupy a fifth of Ukraine’s territory and Moscow has imposed a blockade on its Black Sea ports, sparking fears of a global food crisis. Ukraine and Russia are among the top wheat exporters in the world.

The United Nations said it was leading intense negotiations with Russia to allow Ukraine’s grain harvest to leave the country.

Putin said Friday there was “no problem” to export grain from Ukraine, via Kyiv- or Moscow-controlled ports or even through central Europe.

The UN has warned African countries, which normally import over half of their wheat consumption from Ukraine and Russia, face an “unprecedented” crisis.

Food prices in Africa have already exceeded those in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and the 2008 food riots.

After a meeting with Putin in Russia Friday, the head of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall, said he was “very reassured”.

Sall added Putin was “committed and aware that the crisis and sanctions create serious problems for weak economies”.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov repeated the government’s appeal for the swift delivery of heavy artillery in a telecast address to the Globsec-2022 forum on international security Saturday.

He was asked if Kyiv’s forces could push the Russians out of the country by Christmas if they got the equipment they had asked for.

“I cannot forecast definitely what month we will kick them out, but I hope — and it’s absolutely a realistic plan — to do it this year.”

AFP

Buhari To APC Presidential Aspirants: Consult, Build Consensus, Produce Formidable Candidate

President Muhamamdu Buhari met with APC presidential aspirants at the State House in Abuja on June 4, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged all presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress to consult among themselves, build consensus and produce a formidable candidate for the party.

The President addressed the candidates at a State House dinner in Abuja on Saturday.

“I wish to remind you that our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges,” the President said, as quoted in a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina.

READ ALSO: Northern Governors Ask APC To Zone Presidential Ticket To South

“Ahead of the Convention, the party machinery has screened and found all aspirants eminently qualified. Recognizing this fact, the Screening Committee has, amongst others, recommended that consensus building through consultation, be intensified.

“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”

The meeting was held behind closed-doors.

Focus on victory

The President said the meeting was a continuation of the on-going consultative process aimed at ensuring a smooth and strategic emergence of a standard bearer, who will lead the APC to a resounding victory in the upcoming presidential polls.

“Looking at this assemblage of personalities and considering your rich pedigree of accomplishments in life, I have come to the conclusion that our party, the APC, is rich in human resources and also that our nation is blessed with capable people that can successfully steer the ship of state into the future,” President Buhari said.

He added that with his first-hand knowledge of the demands of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the expectations of the citizens, “I must salute your courage and your selfless spirit, in volunteering to serve in the highest office of the land.”

The President added: “Our party, the APC, has won two successive presidential elections in 2015, first when we were in the opposition and in 2019 when I sought re-election. Both processes were achieved through unity of purpose, strategic alignment, consultation, fairness, determination and effective leadership. In both instances, national and party interests were overriding factors in our deliberations and decision-making.

“The 2023 General Elections are fast approaching in a global, regional and national environment that is constantly changing and challenging. This demands that our party should become more aware of the changing environment, be responsive to the yearnings of our citizens, re-evaluate our strategy and strengthen our internal mechanism so that we would sustain the electoral successes.

“I am pleased to note that the party, recognizing the significance of all these demands, has over time developed several democratically acceptable processes and policies, that promote consultation, internal cohesion and leadership to facilitate victories at the polls.”

The President recalled the consultation he had held with stakeholders “that would help the electoral fortunes of our party, beginning with the State Governors. This is the second in the series and I still look forward to meeting with party stakeholders. These steps are being taken to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party are sustained and to provide direction.

“Amongst others things, I reminded the APC Governors of the need for the party to proceed to the 2023 Presidential elections with strength, unity of purpose and to present a flag bearer who will give Nigerians a sense of hope and confidence, while ensuring victory for our party. I extend a similar reminder to all of you distinguished aspirants.”

Saying the APC will on Monday June 6, 2022 commence its national convention during which one candidate will be picked by delegates to fly the flag of the party for the 2023 Presidential Election, President Buhari said he was aware that there is anxiety among party members about the outcome of the process.

“Given these circumstances, I charge you to recognize the importance of the stability and unity of the party, which cannot be overemphasized,” he said.

The President assured that in the interest of the nation and the party, he would continue to provide effective leadership during the transition processes and on-going consultations, “until we successfully make the choice on the candidate that will fly the flag of our party for the presidential elections and make the party stronger. I seek your support in this all important responsibility.”

Earlier, National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had promised that all stakeholders of the party would be reached in the consultation process.

Responding on behalf of the aspirants, former Governor of old Abia State and immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, and Vice President, ‘Yemi Osinbajo, thanked the President for his leadership and guidance, pledging that they would hold the consultations as counseled “for the unity and strength of our party, the APC.”

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No APC Presidential Aspirant Has Been Disqualified – Adamu



 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Adamu, has said none of the party’s presidential aspirant have been disqualified.

Chairman of the party’s presidential screening committee, John Oyegun, had on Friday said only 13 of the 23 aspirants were cleared after its scrutiny.

READ ALSO: APC Not Happy With Tinubu’s Outburst In Abeokuta, Says Adamu

But speaking to reporters on Saturday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Adamu suggested all 23 were still in contention regardless of the screening committee’s verdict.

“I want to say very clearly that no aspirant has been disqualified,” Adamu said. We have the report. It’s like sitting for an exam. And even if you pass, there is a grading; there is first class, second class upper, second class lower, and a pass.

“The President has invited all of them to dinner today.”

Tinubu, Other Presidential Aspirants Meet Buhari In Abuja

President Muhamamdu Buhari met with APC presidential aspirants at the State House in Abuja on June 4, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari met with presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Saturday.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has been in the news recently for his comments at a campaign event in Abeokuta, was also present.

The meeting was held behind closed doors.

READ ALSO: APC Not Happy With Tinubu’s Outburst In Abeokuta, Says Adamu

Earlier, National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, said none of the party’s presidential aspirant have been disqualified.

Chairman of the party’s presidential screening committee, John Oyegun, had on Friday said only 13 of the 23 aspirants were cleared after its scrutiny.

But speaking to reporters on Saturday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Adamu suggested all 23 were still in contention regardless of the screening committee’s verdict.

“I want to say very clearly that no aspirant has been disqualified,” Adamu said. We have the report. It’s like sitting for an exam. And even if you pass, there is a grading; there is first class, second class upper, second class lower, and a pass.

“The President has invited all of them to dinner today.”

 

See more photos from the meeting:

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