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Gbajabiamila Tinubu

*Wale Edun, Bagudu also in high consideration for key roles

*Soyinka advises president-elect to either restructure Nigeria or fail
*Insists nation won’t cease demanding change

Ahead of his takeover on May 29 as the 16th President of Nigeria, the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has already begun team building, with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said to have been penciled in as his Chief of Staff.

Also believed to being considered for some serious roles in the coming administration are his former Commissioner for Finance, Wale Edun and the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, among other familiar faces currently being identified for different roles.
This is as a renowned playwright and popular Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has warned Tinubu against failing to restructure the country, saying it was the only way out of the current national ordeal.

Soyinka, who spoke in some of the snippets released of his exclusive interview with Channels Television, further maintained that Nigerians would never stop demanding restructuring, hence, it was the way to go.
However, in readiness for his administration’s take-off next month, THISDAY gathered that Gbajabiamila, has already begun to discharge the duties of the chief of staff to Tinubu, having unofficially resumed with him in France, with a view to working out processes and plans, including calendarising his activities.

“He has technically resumed with him in Paris, and they are trying to work out process and plans,” an insider told THISDAY, adding that the president-elect was already looking at building national security and economic team.
According to the source, Tinubu has appointed Edu and Bagudu into his economic team, which he considered a critical sector requiring attention immediately he assumes office.

The source hinted thus: “Wale is supposed to be the coordinator of the economy, either as Finance Minister or the CBN governor. It is not clear yet what his plans are for Bagudu. But he has also been penciled in and is going to be operating at a very high and serious level in the administration.”
Meanwhile, Soyinka, has insisted that if Tinubu wanted to succeed as president and given the state of the country, then, there would be no alternative to restructuring, an idea Tinubu also pushed as opposition and progressive before his party gained power.
For years, there have been several calls for restructuring in Africa’s most populous nation, including the demand for the establishment of multi-level policing to curb Nigeria’s rising crime rate.

Last year, Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation, Americas (NIDOA), argued that by restructuring the nation, Nigeria’s diversity in religion and culture would be leveraged as a positive force for development.
The group maintained that the 1999 constitution was enacted by a decree of a former military head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, without recourse to the Nigerian people.

Among top Nigerians that have also urged the government to restructure included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, nonagenarian, Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku and Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
But, in what appeared a major step forward last week, Buhari appended his signature to the decentralisation of the country’s electricity grid as well as the prisons service. Also included for decentralisation in the new law is the country’s railway service.

However, speaking during an interview on Roadmap 2023, a Channels Television’s programme that highlights election issues and tracks personalities, Soyinka said the government of Tinubu must place a renewed focus on the persistent calls for restructuring the Nigerian federation, a position the president-elect had long embraced when he was in the opposition and projecting progressivism.

He explained that otherwise, Tinubu’s programmes and policies would face serious challenges if his advice was not heeded.
“Whomever it is, must understand that the people of this country will not cease demanding a restructuring of this nation. New voices are being heard and they are more powerful than before. They are not just whining voices, they are voices based on actualities.
“We have failed in so many directions and they are saying, ‘let us try in this direction’ and you cannot ignore it. Otherwise, even your economic policies will fail, your infrastructure and transformation will fail. We will just go back threading the same old spur,” he stated.
Soyinka further noted that a mould had been broken during the just concluded elections.

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2023 Northern Presidency Failed Because Peter Obi Left PDP – Okowa




The outgoing Delta State Governor and 2023 vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa has stated that a northerner could have succeeded President Muhammadu Buhari if Peter Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

According to Okowa, the PDP had analyzed and concluded on how to present a northern candidate, with a southern running mate as the best way to counter the All Progressives Congress (APC) from getting massive bloc votes in the 2023 elections.

The party threw its presidential ticket open with a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar eventually emerging as the PDP candidate.

However, the Delta State Governor said the decision of Obi to join the race for the ticket threw up southeast and religious sentiments and his eventual decision to dump the party for the Labour Party affected the votes of the PDP.

He made the submission during a chat with journalists on Sunday in Asaba.

According to Okowa, the northern presidency would have succeeded if Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

“I belong to the PDP and for me as a person and for the majority of the people in the PDP, they believed that our pathway to victory was to have a northern candidate and a southern vice,” he said.

“Why? Because we were not a majority.”

“The only thing that turned our reasoning out was when Obi came out from the south-east and there were a lot of feelings that came in among the Christians.

“So it ate very deep into our votes and that is what led to the loss of the elections,” Okowa added.

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There’ll Be No Excuses, I’ll Live Up To Expectations -Tinubu



Bola Ahmed Tinubu

As Buhari bids colleagues good bye
—Presidents of Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa on ground for inauguration

President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Sunday night, told Nigerians that he applied to be the President, hence, he would live up to expectations and deliver on his promises.

The President-elect said he would set Nigeria back on the path of growth, poverty, and policy inconsistency notwithstanding.

Asiwaju Tinubu spoke at the Inauguration Dinner/Gala Night, organized by the Presidential Transition Council (PTC), at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He that though there are many issues confronting the country, including corruption, poverty and policy inconsistency, none of them would be an excuse for nonperformance by his administration, saying there will be no excuses for failure.

According to him, “To the many Heads if State present here, our brothers and sisters, celebrating with us, I thank you, but I want to say clearly for us to take away, what lessons has Nigeria democracy taught the rest Africa, if not the whole world.

“Resilience, determination, courage, love in diversity, though our tongues and tribes differ. Byb tomorrow afternoon, my predecessor is heading to Daura, on the border with Niger, but I have told him not to worry, he will still get a knock on his door. No matter how short a man is, he will see the sky. I will still be able to find him when I need his help.

“Here is a country that has stumbled a number of times, but has never faltered. We can be squeaky like old mama’s car, but we will never break apart. We are just a unique country.

“We must fight corruption, poverty, inconsistencies in policies and many other problems confronting us, but don’t pity me, I asked for the job, I campaigned for it, no excuses, I will live up to the bill deliver. I promise you” he said.

In his speech, the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, thanked the dignitaries who have come to honour Nigeria, stressing that the success the country just achieved with the election, which produced the incoming set of leaders.

He said that the electoral process has given power back to the Nigerian electorate.

He said, “I congratulate fellow Nigerians who have realized their power that their votes count. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to fly to my base and go back to my cows and sheep, which are much easier to control than fellow Nigerians.

“Your Excellencies, Heads of States and Government, and their representatives that have come to share this day with us, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank very much and I say good bye to you and wish us the best of luck”, he said.

Earlier, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, in company of Tinubu, incoming First Lady, Senator Remi Tinubu, Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima and his wife unveiled a book titled “Renewed hope, Greater together”.

Some of the world leaders seen at the colourful event included the Presidents of South Africa Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burundi, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic, Gabon, the Prime Minister of Morocco, Vice President of Venezuela and many more.

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Obi Not Planning Protest, Won’t Attend Tinubu’s Inauguration – Aide



The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, says it will be ‘extremely weird’ of him to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Obi, who spoke through his aide, Tai Obasi, also denied planning a demonstration ahead of today’s inauguration of the incoming President.

The rebuttal is coming on the heels of speculation that the former governor of Anambra State and his Obidient movement would stage a protest close to Eagle Square to register their displeasure over the Federal Government’s insistence on having the President-elect inaugurated.

Obasi said, “I don’t know where that report is coming from. We don’t know anything about it or who are behind the proposed protest. But I can categorically tell you that my principal is not aware of anything.

“He is Obi and his followers are Obidient. I agree that on some occasion, they may act on their own, no matter how you tell them to keep calm. These guys are angry. They are not happy about how everything was manipulated against Obi who has given them so much hope. They followed him and waited for him all the way.”

Asked if his principal will be attending Tinubu’s inauguration following reports that political parties and their presidential candidates were sent individual invitation, Obi’s aide said, “My principal is a very humble and reasonable man who is always looking for peace and unity of the country at all costs. But it will be extremely weird for him to attend a ceremony of a man whose election victory he is challenging in court.

“My principal cannot act that weird and unreasonable. I can’t confirm if he receives an invitation to the swearing-in ceremony. But I am telling you that you can’t see him there.”


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