2023 Elections: Roundup of major political stories during the week ending December 9, 2022
The preparations for the 2023 general election, which many regard as very important in Nigeria’s political history, have continued to generate a lot of interest with the major political parties and actors trying to outdo themselves.
Some of the political parties and their support groups have intensified their campaigns and rallies both within and outside Nigeria in their bid to sell their plans and programmes to the voting public and influential groups.
Nairametrics in continuation of the series presents a round-up of some of the major political events in the country within the week
The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on December 5, 2022, made an appearance at the world-leading policy institute and think-tank forum, Chatham House in London, where he revealed some of his plans for major sectors like defence, economy, education, and technology.
- However, his performance at the forum has since been a subject of controversy as both praises and knocks trailed the former Lagos State governor from supporters and opposition members respectively.
- The opposition parties were left unimpressed by the candidate’s decision to direct some of the questions he was asked to the APC chieftains including the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, formally dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
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- This comes barely 48 hours after Dogara, who earlier in July 2020, left PDP and re-joined the APC, and some aggrieved northern APC leaders declared support for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
- This followed several months of political permutations as the Northern Elders Consultative Forum, including the Christian leaders in the APC in the North on December 2, formally adopted Atiku, after they had expressed their opposition to the Muslim-Muslim ticket by the APC.
- According to them, Atiku was adopted following the resolution of the Northern Christian leaders to work with their Muslim counterparts to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the same-faith presidential ticket of the ruling party.
The APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in laying to rest the controversy surrounding his academic records, revealed that he just received his original replacement degree certificate from Chicago State University.
- Tinubu made this known while answering questions during his appearance at Chatham House in London, where he was addressing controversies surrounding his age, school, and record in the private sector.
- He also said that he has so far refused to engage in debates with his fellow presidential contestants because he is marketable and as such would not allow groups or institutions to use him to make money.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Tuesday, December 6, said that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) won’t go on strike if he becomes the next president of the country.
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- Obi speaking at a state rally in Owerri, Imo State, said that his administration would dialogue with ASUU leadership to ensure that universities won’t be locked, adding that his administration would work with students and invest hugely in education, health and agriculture.
- The LP Presidential aspirant said, “If you make me your president and Datti my vice, ASUU won’t go on strike. We will dialogue with them. We will work with the students. The future of any serious country is dependent on its education and health sectors. I will invest hugely in those sectors if you elect us.’’
- However, this seems to contrast with the situation during his tenure as the Governor of Anambra State when doctors under the state’s employment were on strike for about 13 months.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, December 7, reiterated once again that the 2023 general elections would be free, fair and credible, as manipulations would not be allowed in any form.
- The President spoke at State House, Abuja, while playing host to the West African Elders Forum Pre-Election Mediation Mission, led by former Sierra Leonean President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.
- Buhari said, “That right is guaranteed. We are settling down, and making progress. People should vote for whomever they want, in whatever party. We shall not allow anyone to use money and thugs to intimidate the people. Nigerians know better now, they are wiser and know that it is better to dialogue than to carry weapons. Elections are even more difficult to rig now.”
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during an interview with BBC Africa, attributed his source of wealth to the real estate he inherited and subsequently turned around.
Tinubu, who granted the interview after his appearance at Chatham House in London, insisted that those who are critical of his source of wealth are envious of his achievements, adding that he has not taken any government appointment or government contract since he left office.
Dismisses allegation of getting a share of Lagos revenue: Tinubu, who was the governor of Lagos state from 1999 to 2007, also dismissed the allegation of getting a share of Lagos revenue, saying that his accusers have no proof of that.
On allegations that he was getting a share of the revenues Lagos was getting, he said, “Hey, excuse me, share, what? Have they proven it? The World Bank, (and) the International Monetary Fund have investigated the records in Lagos State. What’s wrong with them? It’s envy, envy, envy.”
The Labour Party in a major policy pronouncement said that if its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, wins the 2023 election, the country’s minimum wage can be as high as N80,000 to N100,000.
- The Deputy National Chairman of the LP, Ayo Olorunfemi, said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
- Olorunfemi said the party is looking at implementing N80,000 to 100,000 as the new minimum wage depending on the job as against the present N30,000 which he said does not reflect the reality of Nigerians.
Chatham House has also invited the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi to discuss his plans for Nigerians ahead of the February 25, 2023, presidential elections.
- Obi, former governor of Anambra State, is expected to attend the event slated for January 16, 2023, in London, the United Kingdom and is the second presidential candidate to be invited to address the global forum.
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Musa Kwakwanso, on Thursday, December 8, 2022, described the promoters of his rumoured merger with another party as failed politicians.
- Kwankwaso said this while speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta, shortly after he addressed the NNPP members at the party secretariat in the state capital.
- The NNPP presidential candidate denied that he planned a merger of the party with other political parties ahead of next year’s election.
- Kwakwanso said, “That’s absolute nonsense. You see we believe that we are not above the three or four parties in this country, but by 2023, next year, by the grace of God, the NNPP will win the election at national and all other levels.
- “So, these are people who are failed politicians who have nothing to tell Nigerians other than to spread the unnecessary rumour of a merger.
- “Merger is already gone. We have our candidates. In all the parties, everybody is campaigning. So, disregard that nonsense.”
The Rivers state government had alleged a plot by some unnamed persons to blackmail Governor Nyesom Wike, over the demands of the group of 5 governors, popularly referred to as G-5.
- The state government issued a stern warning to this group which it says is orchestrating a campaign of calumny against the State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
- The State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, who briefed journalists in Port Harcourt after the state executive council meeting, displayed a copy of a document said to bear the sinister plot by the people he describes as faceless and political detractors of Governor Wike.
The crisis in the Labour party took a new twist as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on Friday, terminated the appointment of its acting National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, and dissolved the Ogun chapter of the party over the role they played in the alleged expulsion of the Director General of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe.
- This is even as the NWC passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of its embattled National Chairman, Julius Abure, saying it has reviewed all the corruption allegations levelled against him and found him not capable.
Okupe and 10 members of the party were removed by the leadership of the Ogun State chapter of LP over alleged “non-financial membership status, political rascality and misappropriation of funds.”
The Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, accused the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of targeting the political class with the cash withdrawal limit policy unveiled by the apex bank on Tuesday.
- Controversies have continued to trail the planned policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to limit daily cash withdrawal for individuals to N20,000 daily and N100,000 and N500,000 per week for individuals and corporate bodies respectively.
- But Governor Fintiri, who was reacting to the new CBN policy during a campaign engagement in Kala’a, Hong Local Government Area, said it was evident that the policy by Emefiele was targeted at the political class.
- He said the policy coming shortly after Emefiele’s uneventful foray into politics which had been prematurely truncated, could only have been retaliatory given that the policy was likely to worsen poverty among the citizens.
Originally Posted By Nairametrics