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2023: Saraki eyes Senate in Kwara as Presidential bid suffers setback

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The presidential ambition of the former President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has suffered a serious setback with the endorsement of another former President of the Senate, Iyorchia Ayu as the national Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Ayu’s emergence followed hours of continuous meetings by PDP stakeholders of Northern extraction in Abuja.

With consensus endorsement of Ayu as the national Chairman from the North Central zone, ahead of its October 31 national elective convention, possibility of Saraki emergency as the party’s presidential candidate is hopeless.

Investigations revealed that prominent political actors in the PDP have schemed Saraki out of recognition in view of the presidential contest given his perceived unpopular status in his home state, Kwara, where he has lost hold of the political space.

According to a reliable source, Saraki has settled for the return to the Senate from his home state. If he returns he will be eyeing the Senate President seat again as part of a gentle man agreement to solidify the party.

Moments before the commencement of a caucus meeting at the Benue State Governors Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, Saraki’s closest political ally, Abubakar Baraje, issued a statement rejecting the zoning of the position to the north central.

In the statement titled, “We Want North Central to Produce President, not Party Chairman,” Baraje who was a one time acting National Chairman of the party, said irrespective of which zone in the north produces chairman, qualified persons from the north central will contest the presidency come 2023.

The former PDP chairman accused party leaders outside of the north central of trying to foist the chairmanship position on the zone for reasons best known to them.

He noted that the people of the zone would aspire to produce the next President of Nigeria and that it has produced five national chairmen already for the party while there is a zone in the North that is yet to produce a substantive national chairman.

“We have noted that some leaders outside the North Central zone are scheming and exerting a lot of energy to push the national chairmanship position to the North Central Zone to ensure that the post is not in their zone. If the chairman eventually comes from the North Central Zone, it is just an extra for us. Presidential aspirants from the zones will still vie for the post.

“Let it be noted that it is our position in the North Central zone that we stand by the earlier announcement by the party leadership that the presidential ticket will be free for all qualified aspirants to seek. We believe the party should respect its publicly declared position.

“It is not in the interest of the party for leaders to impose their will on the people. Leaders must consult widely and ensure that their decisions reflect the will and aspiration of the people on any issue.

“The issue of how we source the leadership of our party and who flies the flag of the party in the general election should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people. Leaders must act in the best interest of the party and the nation. Anything short of that is courting needless crisis,” the statement said.

However, the caucuses of the party in the three geopolitical zones in the North had on Wednesday produced three zonal consensus candidates – Ayu (North Central), Ibrahim Shema (North West) and Suleiman Nazif (North East).

But at an enlarged meeting of the Northern caucus held at the Bauchi Lodge in Abuja, yesterday, Ayu was picked as the consensus candidate of the region a decision the Saraki camp sees as a plot to scheme the former Senate President out of the presidential race.

Announcing the emergence of Ayu, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State said the stakeholders were united on the consensus candidate to win the 2023 general elections.

“There is no vanquished, there is no victor in this meeting. We all came out united,” he said.

In his remarks, Ayu assured stakeholders that he would run a purposeful party.
He called on the party leaders to join him to reposition the PDP with a view to ensuring that it bounces back stronger and takes over the Presidential Villa in 2023.

He said that under his leadership, no one could use money to buy his conscience and no single man would own PDP.

Another source in the party said Ayu emerged based on a gentleman agreement that his selection won’t preclude anybody from the zone from contesting the presidency. Whoever loses out of the contest also has an offer of either Senate ticket or a political appointment that will be discussed with the eventual Presidential candidate in a bid to neutralize bad blood.

The source also said it was after the agreement was reached that Ayu’s endorsement for the chairmanship position was sealed. He is from Benue state in the north-central of the country.

Contenders for the presidential ticket of the party from the North include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Waziri Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, former Senate president Bukola Saraki, former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

According to the report, with the northern region on the verge of producing the PDP’s national chairman, political analysts speculate that the party may zone its presidential ticket to the south not without Atiku Abubakar giving a fight.

Politics

Tinubu, Akande backing of Fagbemi, reconciliation moves unsettles Saraki led Kwara PDP

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The endorsement of Prince Sunday Fagbemi as Kwara State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the first Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, is now generating ripples especially within the PDP in the state.

The expected defection of prominent stakeholders of APC in Kwara to Bukola Saraki led PDP has also been aborted by leaders of the party at a meeting of the concerned stakeholders with Tinubu in Abuja on Tuesday.

Investigations revealed that some stakeholders who seem to have irreconcilable ambitions have been cautioned after information of their several meetings and negotiations with the opposition on their likely defection leaked with the National leaders reiterating that genuine reconciliation is the first step.

The report reaching us has now confirmed the involvement of the aforementioned leaders in brokering absolute peace in the party ahead of the 2023 election.

This development is not going down well with the Saraki led opposition who are leaving no stone unturned to unseat the present Governor and are now restrategizing following the outcome of the peace meeting with Asiwaju Tinubu in Abuja which gives a green light to reconciliation in Kwara APC.

It would be recalled that Prince Sunday Fagbemi visited Asiwaju Tinubu and Chief Akande on the way forward towards enhancing the unity of the party in Kwara with the National leaders assuring him of their full support in his effort to reconcile all stakeholders of the party.

According to a reliable source, similar meetings will begin to hold in a few days at the instance of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande to further solidify genuine reconciliation among stakeholders of the party in Kwara.

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Tinubu, Akande back Fagbemi, support reconciliatory moves

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The Kwara State Chairman elect of the All Progressives Party, APC, Prince Sunday Fagbemi have been receiving the support and recognition of national leaders of the party, ahead of his official inauguration.

This development is a fallout of the recent visits to the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja and that of the first interim national Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande at his country home, in Ila Orangun.


Fagbemi had in the last week visited the leaders of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande on the need to appease the aggrieved members towards enhancing the membership strength and stability of the party.

The leaders, at separate meetings with Fagbemi and his team have endorsed his Chairmanship, commending him on his reconciliatory moves and promising to assist him in appeasing the warring groups in the interest of the party.

“The leaders advised that all waring factions must come together in order to preserve their hard earned victory after many years of misrule in the state, emphasizing on the need to carry all warring factions along,” Fagbemi stated.

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Group commends Saraki on Bisi Fakayode, Kwara Efura’s leader election as PDP Senatorial Chairman

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A Kwara south group, Kwara Mobilizers, has commended the People’s Democratic Party’s national leader, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki for his endorsement of Comrade Bisi Fakayode as Kwara South Senatorial Chairman of the party.

The group in a statement issued, and signed by its Secretary, Olalekan Adefila, said Fakayode as the leader of “Kwara Efura,” a radio advocacy group, which sponsors a weekly radio programme on a national radio station, has committed financially and morally towards reshaping the political configuration in favor of the PDP.

“This is indeed a pay back time for a political leader who is doing alot in pursuit of reclaiming power for the PDP.

“We commend our leader for recognizing commitment and hard work, as this gesture will encourage others to contribute their own quota towards enhancing the membership drive of the party, ” the group stated.

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