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FCT Minister receives 4,000 decampees From PDP, APGA

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About 4,000 party faithful have dumped opposition parties to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwali Area Council of the territory, ahead of the Federal Capital Territory Area Councils election, slated for February 2022.

The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, made the disclosure in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr Austine Elemue, on Sunday in Abuja.

Receiving the decampees, Aliyu assured them of justice and fairness amongst members of the ruling party and called on others who are yet to join to do so.

The minister, who described the event as a ‘harvest’ of over 4,000 members, expressed delight that most of the returnees are former leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the FCT.

Aliyu, therefore, charged them to use their political weight to ensure victory for the party come 2022 and beyond.

She, however, appealed to both old and new members of the ruling party to work together in peace and be law abiding and emphasised on the supremacy of party decisions.

“We are here today to receive over 4,000 of our brothers and sisters who have decided on their own to join the ruling APC.

“They came from various political parties especially the major opposition parties, the PDP and APGA. We appreciate them.

“They have keyed into the agenda of the second term of the incumbent chairman, the second term of credible governance, the second term of competent leadership, the second term of solid management of our common patrimony in Kwali area council”.

Aliyu, who explained that the occasion was not to kick off campaign for the council elections, however, tasked party members to support continuity in governance.

Earlier, the APC Chairman in FCT, Alhaji Abdulmalik Usman, revealed that some of the decampees are founding members of the All Progressives Congress before they jumped ship.

“Today, we are here to make another history, the history of receiving our brothers, some of whom we started this party together.

“Our brothers and sisters whom we struggled hard to form this party at that time. So it is welcome back home for these members sitting here today.

“We are here to receive these people back home. They travelled somewhere and they said the atmosphere there is not conducive for them.

“Coming back home, they are back to meet their brothers and sisters in good health and we have nothing against them than to receive them back to their house.

“We are not here to campaign because we don’t want anybody to indict our party,” he said.

Usman expressed the confidence that come February 12, 2022, the APC would win the entire six area councils and the 62 wards in the nation’s capital.

Responding on behalf of the decampees, Mr Usman Jiya, former APGA aspirant, assured party faithful that their return to APC was to consolidate on the achievements recorded by the incumbent chairman of Kwali area council.

Jiya assured all members of their dedication and team spirit in the forthcoming area councils poll.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of symbolic broom to the leaders of the decampees by the FCT Minister of State and the party chairman.

Other decampees include Salihu Kolo, former State PDP Deputy Chairman, Mr Habila Bwaba, former PDP State Vice Chairman, Maimunat Adamu, amongst others.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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