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Tinubu in Niger Delta push, holds talks with Tompolo, others

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PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continued his push for votes in the Niger Delta region yesterday with a visit to Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramotu Kingdom, Delta State.

Yesterday’s visit, during which the presidential candidate met with leaders and stakeholders in the kingdom located in Warri Southwest Development Area, came less than one week after he visited the state for a campaign rally in Warri town.

Among his hosts was ex-warlord and former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a. Tompolo.

Receiving Asíwájú Tinubu in his palace, the Pere of Gbaramotu showered praises on the APC candidate and prayed for his success in the presidential election.

The traditional ruler urged Tinubu to ensure the establishment of a deep sea port in Gbaramotu, industrial park in Ogidigben and good roads and bridges leading into the kingdom, if he emerges victorious in the 2023 presidential election.

In his response, Asíwájú Tinubu promised to work to speed up the development of the region, saying he would engage in regular consultations with the leaders to emplace initiatives and projects that would help the region.

“I’m one of you. My wife is a daughter of the Niger Delta. Your in-law is also your son. No be so?’ the APC presidential candidate asked in Pidgin English to which the mammoth crowd yelled, “Na so!”

He added that what the people needed was a honest leader.

Tinubu said: “You need honesty. You need the man who knows the road. That man is me!

“As promised, we will not be far away from you. We will carry you along. We will consult with you regularly.

“Our brothers here, we will embrace them for the development of the area, the community of Gbaramatu and other associated communities.

“I promise you economic development, progress, jobs for our youths, a

promised tomorrow that is certain, and a renewed hope.

“Please, pay attention to the danger of destruction of pipelines, petroleum facilities. People are leaking gas. They are dangerous for our health, for the fishes you eat, everything you do.

“Let us see that improvement, that commitment and you will see what we will do with the savings.

“We will encourage you. We will keep our promises. We will be with you and carry you along.

You mentioned the deep sea port, the roads, the bridge, the university, the industrial park at Ogidigben. These are the things that came to your mind.”

Tinubu also took a swipe at the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.

He said: “As I stand before you, there are few of us left running.

“One says he is Atiku. How many times has he been running? He is always on the run and this time, tell him to go and sit down. Enough is enough!

“The other one, he thinks na statistics we go chop. His line of arithmetic, no Indian can solve it. To mention his name is a disgrace to me. Wrong arithmetics, wrong statistics, that’s not what Nigeria needs.”

“The man standing before you will implement whatever he promised. You need honesty, you need commitment to perform. I embody both.

“I know the road and I will carry the Niger Delta people along. We will consult your leaders for the development of Gbaramotu Kingdom and other associated communities.”

He said he was aware that the Warri-Escravos/Gbaramotu Road had been awarded, pledging to ensure the completion of the road by getting the contractor involved to deliver on the project.

He also said if that elected, the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Development Commission will serve the full purpose for which they were established.

Tinubu was accompanied to the kingdom by the Deputy Senate President and APC governorship candidate in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje and Mai Mala Buni of Kano and Yobe states; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources Timiprey Sylva; Minister of State, Labour Festus Keyamo; and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole.

Others on the entourage included former Governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon; former Minister of State, Niger Delta, Elder Orubebe; APC Chairman in Delta State, Elder Sobotie and a party chieftain in the state, Ayiri Emami.

The high point of the meeting was the conferment on the APC presidential candidate of the Iyelawei of Gbaramotu title, meaning the torch bearer of the kingdom. It was his second traditional title in two days.

On arrival at the palace of Oboro, Tinubu and his entourage were treated to exchange of pleasantries rooted in customs and tradition.

The APC candidate and his team were presented with kolanuts in demonstration of love and hospitality from the people.

Others on Tinubu’s entourage also received various titles.

Omo-Agege said he accompanied to the palace the candidate who would make the difference in the lives of the people of the Niger Delta because “he is progress and development-oriented.

“He knows what to do because he had done it before. He is our hope to change the fortunes of the region.”

Atiku, Obi no match for Tinubu —Asari Dokubo

A Niger Delta activist, Asari Dokubo, yesterday threw his weight behind Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate is miles ahead of other contenders for Aso Rock.

“For the presidential election, I am with Tinubu because I saw what he did in Lagos State and the legacies he left behind,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

As far as he is concerned, Tinubu was instrumental in the development of Lagos State and helped to turn the fortunes of the former Nigerian capital around

Dokubo said: “Lagos has transformed from what it used to be, like a big ghetto, a junkyard to a global centre and one of the biggest economies in the whole of Africa.

“Somebody kick-started it; somebody laid the foundation,” he said.

According to him, those claiming otherwise should also know that even in the biggest cities across the world, there are people who are not okay with the government.

This, he maintained, is expected in a place like Lagos where the APC flag-bearer has succeeded in laying a good foundation.

While he noted that other contenders like Labour Party’s Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) are former governors and in a similar league like Tinubu, he said Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not have such a credential.

“Atiku has actually never actually handled executive power. He was a spare tyre. He was a vice president,” Dokubo said.

The Niger Delta activist said though PDP, Labour Party and the APC’s manifestoes are all great, execution depends on individuals as he maintained that Tinubu is the best choice for the presidential position.

Tinubu will rule Nigeria for eight years – Sule

Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule, said yesterday Tinubu

will rule Nigeria for eight years after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Governor Sule stated this while speaking in an interview with Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.

According to him, “Tinubu is going to rule this country for another eight years after Buhari. He is going to win by the grace of God. All the factors and everything, looking forward, is showing that Tinubu is going to win.”

On Peter Obi’s records in Anambra, compared to those of Tinubu, Governor Sule said: “The current Governor of Anambra State where Peter Obi was governor is the right person who will tell you what has happened during the period of Peter Obi.

“Today, I’m in a better position to tell you what and what because I have the files in front of me, what Tanko Al-Makura did compared with what you see on the pages of newspapers.

“So if you go back now to Anambra, look at what the Governor of Anambra is saying about Peter Obi, are you having the same thing with Asiwaju and the governors who came after him in Lagos? Is Lagos better looking today than Anambra? So there is no comparison and there is nothing to compare.

He said that in Nasarawa State, he does not know any Labour Party (LP) candidate for the 2023 general elections in the state.

“Today in Nasarawa State, you can go and check, who is the Labour Party governorship candidate? I’m not saying it with disrespect. You will not see him anywhere. I don’t even know his name. This is the party that is winning the election.

“Social media election is quite different from the practical election. LP had their flag-off in my state in Lafia, the state capital. We gave them a venue, the venue was a secondary school football pitch because we didn’t have the stadium ready.

“We didn’t have the other centre ready? There was nobody there. It was not full, not even 50% of the venue was full. That is the same party they say will win the election.”

APC storms Lagos for Tinubu/Shettima, Sanwo-Olu rally

The Lagos State Government yesterday announced traffic diversion for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential and governorship candidates, Bola Tinubu and BabajideSanwo-Olu.

The event is slated for today at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.

The rallies will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. according to the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde.

Lagos residents were asked to plan their movement around Teslim Balogun Stadium, Funsho Williams Avenue and Alhaji Masha.

Motorists on Funsho Williams/Western Avenue inward Lagos Island will be diverted to the Express Lanes at Barracks for people going to Costain, Apapa, Ijora, Victoria Island, Lagos Island, and off to Olumegbon for people going to New Lagos/Surulere.

Motorists on Funsho Williams/Western Avenue inward Surulere/Ojuelegba will be diverted to the Express Lanes/Stadium Bridge at Alaka for people going to Mushin, Palm Groove, Ikeja, Ojota, Ikorodu, and off to Bode Thomas and Eric Moore at Iponri Estate for people going to New Lagos/Surulere.

Movement on Masha Road to Akerele/Shitta junction and Funsho Williams from Olumegbon junction to Alaka would be restricted.

Oladeinde assured that human and vehicular movement around the affected areas would be regulated.

Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu get Independent Campaign Group in Lagos

An Independent Campaign Group (ICG) has been floated in Lagos State for the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the actualisation of the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Frontline politician and Christian leader, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, popularly known as Baba Eto, is the chairman of the independent group whose role will be complementary to the ongoing campaign of the Lagos APC.

Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, who led similar effort in 2018, is the Director General of the ICG. Ayinde will be overseeing the activities of all the directorates under the group.

The ICG was constituted for the mobilisation of voters at the grassroots towards meeting the target of five million votes for the party in the presidential candidate and to deliver votes across Lagos councils for the party’s governorship flag bearer.

Odunmbaku said the mandate of the ICG was to create a penetrating structure that would independently take the party’s campaign activities to the grassroots. He said the group’s mission was to operate from the grassroots to the top level.

He said: “Our work is a simple but technical one, because we operate from the grassroots to the top level. This Independent Campaign Group is an assembly of grassroots volunteers and mobilisers working for the actualisation of the presidential ambition of our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, and for the re-election of our performing Governor Sanwo-Olu.

“Everyone appointed into this group has been given the charge to engage Lagosians on our message. They have shown their readiness to work and take the campaign to the voters in theirs abodes. Our operation and activities are independent of the party’s ongoing campaign but we will be working in complementary to the campaign activities of the party.”

Heads of the 60 directorates in the group were sworn in yesterday at its office in GRA, Ikeja.

Bashorun Sikiru Alabi-McFoy is the Deputy Director General. Chairman of Conference 57 in Lagos, Kolade Alabi, is the adviser to the group.

There are four Assistant Directors-General for the ICG in the three senatorial districts, with Lagos West having two Deputy DGs to oversee the group’s activities in Badagry and Ikeja divisions.

Jubril Gawat, an influential social media user and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on New Media, leads the Directorate of Digital Communications.

Tinubu won’t take part in Arise News presidential town hall meeting —APC

The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday ruled out the participation of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a town hall meeting scheduled by Arise News TV for December 4.

A statement issued by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, expressed surprise at the invitation extended to Tinubu by the television station.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to an advertisement by Arise News in connection with a Town Hall meeting scheduled for 4 December.

“We are surprised that the TV station listed our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a participant, when there was no prior consultation with him and his aides and no consent of the candidate obtained for the advertisement.

“We deem this as professionally wrong and reckless.

“No media organisation should arrogate to itself the right to railroad any candidate to fit into its own agenda.

“As we said in an earlier statement, the busy and hectic campaign schedules of Asiwaju Tinubu will not permit him to honour all invitations from different radio and TV stations for debate and or Town Hall meetings hence our decision for him not to start with one media organisation and later ignore the others.

“In the absence of a unified and mutually acceptable all parties and all candidates platform, our candidate has been speaking directly to Nigerians since President Muhammadu Buhari launched Tinubu’s Action Plan for a Better Nigeria.

“Till date, over seven town hall meetings with strategic sectors have been held across the geopolitical zones, where the candidate and his running mate have spoken about their programmes.

“These direct engagements will continue before the election on 25 February 2023.

“We therefore urge Arise News to stop using our candidate’s name or portrait in its advertisement, forthwith.”

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