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I Will Sign Electoral Bill If NASS Includes Consensus Candidates, Indirect Primaries – Buhari

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President Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated his readiness to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill after the National Assembly makes the necessary adjustments.

He, however, said such changes must include the addition of consensus candidates, indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election, as against the initial direct mode as the only option to conduct primaries by political parties.

The President made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Maupe Ogun and Seun Okinbaloye, which aired on Wednesday.
“All I said (is that) there should be options,” he said. “We must not insist that it has to be direct; it should be consensus and indirect.”

Asked if he would sign if the lawmakers effect the change in that direction, he affirmed, “Yes, I will! I will sign.
“There should be options, you can’t dictate to people and say you are doing democracy. Give them other options so they can make a choice.”

‘Why They Lost’

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors as part of the reasons for his decision.

In their reaction, lawmakers in the House of Representatives could not immediately take an action but they said they would adequately address the matter in January.

During a plenary in December, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had explained that the time was short to address such a sensitive issue.

At the upper chamber, the Senate also resolved to consult with the House of Representatives in January when both chambers would be in session.

While the lawmakers have yet to resume from recess or deliberate on the bill, President Buhari said it was wrong to force an option on the people.

Stressing the importance of allowing people to choose from available options, he relived the events that led to his election into office and ended the 16 years rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

“Personally, I do not support direct primary because I want people to be given a choice,” the President stated. “You can’t give them one option and think that you are being democratic.

Let them have three options – there is the consensus.

“PDP was so overconfident that they thought they would rule Nigeria till the end of time, but the opposition (parties) came together, and we overthrew them. Not as a result of direct primary, it is as a result of opposition parties coming together and fighting the PDP.

“It is because we agreed to come together. The fact that we came together gave us the success we had, and that was the mistake they made; that is why they lost.”

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‘I Will Continue To Campaign For Tinubu’, Buhari Says At Nasarawa Rally

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President Muhammadu Buhari and APC presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said he will continue to campaign for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu as the “next president of Nigeria”.

The President spoke before a crowd at the presidential campaign rally in Lafia Square, where he endorsed Tinubu; and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

‘‘I congratulate and assure you that God willing we are going to win through and through.

“As Tinubu said in his speech, I have known him for more than 20 years, and I will continue to campaign for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is a committed Nigerian and I believe he will give all his best to Nigeria,” Buhari said, according to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

The APC presidential candidate thanked the President for being the ‘‘poster boy’’ of his campaign.

‘‘Nigeria is surviving as a nation. Because of constitutional democracy we would have asked you to continue, but you said no, you are going back to Daura, your hometown,’’ he said.

Tinubu also used the occasion to chide those insinuating that he is having a frosty relationship with the President, saying, ‘‘Those who think there are cracks in our friendship and relationship would continue to be disappointed and have their short-term joy limited. Ours is not about the individual but about nation building, honesty, integrity and character.”

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‘Don’t Let Them Cheat Us’, Adebanjo Joins Obi’s Campaign In Abeokuta

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Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi and his Vice
Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his Vice
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The leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo on Saturday, campaigned for Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the ancient city of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He urged a crowd of Labour Party supporters at the rally to vote in Obi, warning that enormous suffering awaits Nigerians if Obi doesn’t win the February 25 presidential poll.

The nonagenarian, who was at the rally held at the Ake Palace Ground in the state capital alongside another Afenifere chieftain, Chief Femi Okunrounmu, amongst others, cautioned the people to come out on the day of election and vote, saying, “don’t let them cheat us”.

Adebanjo, who addressed the people in Yoruba, said, “Ensure you vote, don’t let them cheat us. What is on the ground is not about Ayo Adebanjo. No matter what happens, I can’t be affected. I am expecting God to call me home. Enormous suffering await us if we don’t vote in Obi.”

The 94-year-old elder statesman had snubbed the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu who is from the South-West geopolitical zone to endorse Obi, a former Anambra State governor, saying in the interest of justice and fairness all Nigerians should be Obi-Datti compliant.

Obi has enjoyed a wave of endorsements in the last couple of weeks including those of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Chief Edwin Clark of the Pan Niger Delta Forum; Dr Bitrus Pogu of the Middle Belt Forum, and Chief John Nwodo of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, amongst others.

Also speaking at the rally on Saturday, Obi assured the people of a new Nigeria built on rule of law, fundamental human rights, probity, and accountability if elected president come February 25.

The LP presidential candidate promised to fight insecurity and poverty while seeking the understanding and support of the electorate.

He also expressed his desire to put back the country on the path of growth and progress if elected.

Addressing the crowd, Obi said, “Help us to build a new Nigeria by lifting people out of poverty, by moving Nigeria from consumption to production.

“We want a Nigeria if students go to the university, four years will be four years, no more ASUU strike. We want a Nigeria where Nigerian youths will have jobs; that is the Nigeria we want.

“This election, let nobody tell you about tribe. Every tribe is hungry. No tribe buys bread cheaper. Let nobody tell you about religion; no religion buys bread cheaper – every tribe, every religion is suffering.”

The National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure while making case for Obi put the current socio-economic and political challenges at the door of the ruling APC. He subsequently called for a change of leadership of the country come February 25.

And as part of his visit to the ancient city, the LP presidential candidate and his entourage were guests of the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo where he sought royal blessings for his journey to the presidency.

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Ekiti Central: Give me Opeyemi Bamidele to Work with me in Abuja – Tinubu

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appealed to the people of Ekiti Central Senatorial District to vote massively for Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele to enable him (Bamidele) work with him (Asiwaju) in Abuja in the next administration.

Bamidele who is currently the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters is seeking re-election to Senate under the platform of All Progressives Congress.

Speaking at the Palace of Ewi Ado in Ado- Ekiti during the Presidential campaign in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Friday.Tinubu said that he has so.much in confidence in the competence, loyalty and integrity of Senator Bamidele because he has been working with him since 1992.

Bamidele was Legislative aide to the the former governor of Lagos when the later was in the Senate in the botched third republic.

He explained that Senator Bamidele understands legislative business very t considering his training in the United States of America, adding that he paid Bamidele’s school fees while pursuing his Masters degree in Law.

Tinubu added that Senator Bamidele knows how to talk to him on issues pertaining to the development of Ekiti  State, promising to give appointment to the person that is contesting against Bamidele.

He said, “Since 1992,  Opeyemi Bamidele has been with me , the other person that is contesting for Ekiti Central Senatorial district is my son too.Both of them contesting for the position are my son’s, but am begging you for Opeyemi Bamidele because if there is anything to address, if you want to talk to me , Opeyemi knows how to talk to me , if Kabiyesi sent message , Opeyemi is the one that knows how to talk to me.

“The other person that is  contesting against Opeyemi will be considered for appointment.  Opeyemi schooled in America, he knows about legislative business .

” Am not forcing him (Opeyemi) on you , but am begging you that you should give me  Opeyemi Bamidele to work with me in Abuja, the other contestant, I will give him appointment.”

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