…El-Rufai denying Buhari to run away from APC’s monumental failure —MBF
…They’re smelling defeat, resorting to ING —PDP leader
…APC govt unravelling, imploding —Kachikwu
…Presidency, APC keep mum
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, yesterday, caused a stir in the polity, ahead of next week’s presidential poll, saying he no longer believed in the quality of leadership around President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming that a Presidency cabal was working towards an Interim National Government, ING.
But both the Presidency and All Progressives Congress, APC, kept mum, as efforts to get their reaction last night proved abortive.
El-Rufai, in an interview with Premium Times, said the leaders around President Buhari resorted to ING after failing to get either Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and Senate President Ahmad Lawan to succeed Buhari.
His comments elicited knocks from the Middle Belt Forum, MBF; the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Presidential Candidate, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu; and a top leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
However, efforts to get the APC and the party’s presidential campaign council to speak on the issue proved abortive as the leaders declined comments.
Leadership quality around Buhari
El-Rufai, who has been outspoken, especially regarding the naira redesign policy of the CBN, claiming that some “Villa elements” were working against the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, told Premium Times, that he no longer believed in the quality of leadership around President Buhari.
Premium Times shared a snippet of the interview on its Twitter handle on Sunday. “I believe in Buhari, I still do and I will never stop, but I no longer believe in the circle around him and the quality of decisions and actions coming out of that leadership,” El-Rufai said.
Buhari cabal eyeing interim govt
According to the Kaduna State governor, some non-state actors have their eyes on an interim government as an outcome of the ongoing presidential election process.
Speaking on the people and forces he characterised as elements whose patterns and conduct are consistent with plans to subvert or topple a civilian-to-civilian transition after the next presidential election, he said: “It turned out that some of the wildest stories of conspiracy to derail the transition at best for APC to lose, preferably for the whole system to result in no election, leading to an interim arrangement began to rear their heads.”
He refused to name these “elements” because they are not worth the conventional Nigerian appellation of a political cabal.
The notion of a powerful cabal, according to him, admits a level of sophistication and discipline, which the group around President Buhari lacks.
“I have no problem naming them. I’m not afraid of anybody. But for me, naming them is giving them traction. They are nothing. They are not capable of winning elections. They have no idea of electoral or political legitimacy. They can only hide behind the likes of President Buhari to achieve their objectives,” he said.
On contentious issues around President Buhari and Tinubu, and the perceived mixed signals from the president’s lukewarm attitude to Tinubu’s campaigns, he insisted there are no mixed signals.
“President Buhari considers the APC like a child he conceived and held in pregnancy for 18 months and gave birth to. He will never, I am ready to stake my neck and my life, President Buhari will never work against the APC. He will never work against the candidate of the APC even if the candidate is the devil himself,” El-Rufai said.
The governor insisted that the president is “a party man and an establishment person whose support for Asiwaju Tinubu is sure.”
Painting a picture and illustrating the operational mode of some disgruntled power-hungry cliques within the party that he admitted is hurting the APC, he said: “What is happening is that there are people around the president that had their presidential candidates. They had two candidates that they preferred to succeed Buhari – Godwin Emefiele from the South and Ahmad Lawan from the North – and they got neither.”
Some farmers reportedly purchased the APC presidential nomination form for Emefiele but the central banker did not contest the primaries.
On his part, Senate President Lawan contested and came fourth behind Tinubu, former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, told a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, a few hours before the primaries that Lawan was the consensus candidate with Buhari’s backing. The Presidency denied the move and said it was not backing any candidate.
They’re smelling defeat, resorting to ING – PDP leader
Attempts to get official comments from the main opposition Peoples’s Democratic Party, PDP, to el-Rufai’s claims were futile.
None of the PDP officials approached was willing to speak on the record, dismissing the whole saga as an internal affair of the APC.
However, a PDP leader, who spoke toVanguard off the record so as not to appear to be “taking sides in “APC’s civil war” said: “For all intents and purposes, Governor Nasir El-Rufai is trying to be clever by half. Himself and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu are not only aware but are neck deep in the plot.
“They are smelling defeat so they are working on the interim government thing as a fallback plan since the plan has been exposed. El-Rufai is trying to play the whistleblower to insulate himself and Tinubu, his paymaster from the fallout of their evil plan.”
El-Rufai denying Buhari to run away from APC’s monumental failure — MBF
The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, said Governor El-Rufai is desperate to run away from the monumental failures of the APC, which he is part of, by trying to distance himself from President Buhari’s policies.
National President of the MBF, Dr Bitrus Pogu, said: “Governor El-Rufai has always been mischievous and selfish. Under former President Obasanjo, he was accusing everybody outside that government. When he joined ranks with the people who eventually formed the APC he started saying all sorts of things against the PDP, where he belonged at the time.
“Today he is in the APC where he is one of their notable leaders and the APC has failed woefully, he is desperately trying to distance himself by saying Buhari is this and that. “He forgets that he has also performed badly in Kaduna State. People have lost their lives and lands taken over and all of that. Remember, just before now, this same El-Rufai said the governors are the leaders in the North. He is not a person you can rely on. So you can forget about his statement and let posterity judge him.”
APC govt unravelling, imploding – Kachikwu
Also speaking, the presidential candidate of the ADC, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, said: “The APC government is unravelling and imploding and I expect that Nigerians are in for a drama series.
“Unfortunately for Nigerians, while desperate APC politicians fight over the soul of Nigeria, the country continues to fall and fail. Thousands are left stranded at ATMs across the country, bank networks are collapsing under the weight of increased electronic transactions, motorists are paying astronomical prices for fuel in different parts of the country and in injury time El Rufai finally confesses that an inept, clueless and anti-democratic cabal controls the affairs of our country. Any attempt to foist an interim National Government on Nigerians will lead to cataclysmic consequences for Nigeria. A word is enough for the wise.”
BREAKING NEWS: PDP’s Diri Wins Bayelsa Gov Election
The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, has been declared the winner of the State governorship election held last Saturday.
The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday.
Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.
Plateau: Protesters Storm S’ Court Over Sack Of Four PDP Members From NASS
Over 1000 protesters, on Monday, besieged the Supreme Court to register their displeasure over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sacked four members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, from the National Assembly, based on a pre-election dispute.
The placard and banner-wielding groups, under the aegis of Coalition for Justice in Africa, CJA, submitted a protest letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
According to the protesters, the appellate court, by its judgement, thwarted the wish of electorates in Plateau state, when it declared candidates that lost the National Assembly elections that held on February 25, as winners of the legislative seats.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest letter was submitted to the CJN, the National President of the CJA, Dr. Daniel Okwa, maintained that the judgement of the appellate court was capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said the group was at the apex court to seek the intervention of the CJN, alleging that the verdicts that removed all the PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The protest letter, which was obtained by Vanguard, read in part: “The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the judgment of the Appeal Court in Abuja is a case of injustice, else, how could one explain a situation where lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would boast and predict the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment even before the pronouncement.
“This is unacceptable and indicates that the justice regime in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs. What happened in Plateau State is an aberration of immeasurable proportion. There is a distinction between a pre-election matter and a post-election matter.
“The Supreme Court has established this fact on several occasions. It is now a wonder why the Appeal Court would act otherwise and in a despicable manner that tends to truncate our nascent democracy.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice entirely condemns the actions of the justices of the Appeal Court that sat in Abuja. They displayed insensitivity to the electoral choices of the people. This is a worrisome trend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must address.
“This is on the heels that the Judiciary, the world over, is regarded as the last hope of the commoner. This presupposes that it is the only place the commoner can get justice. The function of the Judiciary is not to twist the truth or fabricate facts but to interpret the law. The consequence of the interpretation of the law is justice.
“However, what played out in Plateau state negates the Judiciary’s position as the common’s last hope. The Judiciary is for sale to the highest bidder in Nigeria, if such positions could be taken without recourse to the implication of such on the psychological state of the people.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this protest to drive the point that justice in Nigeria should not be reserved for a section of the country or any political party. What happened in Plateau should not be allowed to stand or repeat itself. The implication of such is that the reputation of the judicial arm of government would be eroded.”
It will be recalled that the appellate court had on November 7, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, okayed the nullification of the election of a Senator and three members of the House of Representatives in the state that emerged on the platform of the PDP.
The panel based its decision on failure of the PDP to fully comply with a court that was made in 2022, which it said directed the party to conduct congress in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.
It, therefore, held that though the lawmakers won their respective seats during the National Assembly election that held on February 25, all the scores that were credited them, amounted to wasted votes.
It ordered that candidates that got the second majority lawful votes at the election, should be sworn in as winners of the legislative seats.
Canada’s Abuja, Lagos Visa Centres Open – High Commission
The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has said its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open for the processing of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.
The Canadian High Commission had on Tuesday announced the suspension of operations in its Abuja office following a fire incident at its generator house, which claimed two lives on Monday.
Nigerians had expressed fear that the operations suspension would hamper visa application processes.
But in a statement posted on its X handle on Thursday, the Canadian High Commission clarified that its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open and operational.
In the statement by its public affairs staff, Demilade Kosemani, the commission said, “As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear colleague from the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, please note the following information below:
“Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada clients: processing of applications continues. Regardless of the suspension of operations at the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, the Visa Application Centres in Abuja and Lagos remain open.”
Meanwhile, a travel agency, , TMT Travels and Tours Limited, has sympathised with the Canadian High Commission over the Monday tragic fire incident.
In a statement on Thursday the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Collins Onukwubiri, said, “We at TMT Travels and Tours Limited shares in the grief and sense of loss of the Canadian embassy in Abuja. The partial burning of the Canadian embassy in Abuja and the death of two workers there was most unfortunate.
“Canada, as a major player in the Nigeria’s travel and tours business, is an integral player in Nigeria’s economy. We know how devastating this unfortunate incident is to them but we want to say that we stand with them in this time and always. We specially condole with the families of the two persons who died in the process.”