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PDP North-Central Zone touts Bukola Saraki as 2023 presidential candidate

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Chieftains and stakeholders in the North-Central zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have resolved to produce sole candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Prof. Yorwuese Hagher, a stakeholder and leader of the Movement for North Central Presidency, hinted that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki would be the zones’s sole candidate.

He told newsmen in Lafia that the zone was working towards the objective.

Prof. Hagher, former Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada who described North- Central zone as the bleeding wound on the conscience of Nigeria, said it was time for the zone to lead the country.

According to Hagher, the zone has been a cord which holds the country together in difficult times since independence, and has been supporting other zones to produce presidents.

“Out of the country’s six geo-political zones, three have produced presidents – the Northwest, the Southwest and the South-South, the North-Central, the Northeast and the Southeast are yet to produce presidents.

“Today we are happy that North-Central PDP resolved to produce one presidential candidate and that candidate will become eventually the president of this country,’’ he said.

Prof. Hagher said Sen. Saraki would be the candidate and described him as a young man with wealth of experience at every cadre of governance.

He said Saraki would bring his experience to bear by restoring Nigeria to where it belongs.

In his remarks, Mr Theophilus Dakarshan, North-Central PDP Chairman, also noted that the zone had been instrumental to the emergence of presidents since the First Republic.

“The North-Central zone has in the past given its unflinching support to other zones; we appeal to other zones to reciprocate the gesture,’’ he said.

Mr Abubakar Baraje, former PDP Chairman, called on the party to support Sen. Saraki as the sole presidential candidate for 2023 to salvage the country.

“I have not come to sell Bukola Sarki. I have come to sell the idea of one candidate for the North-Central; and the only candidate is Bukola Sarki.

“Saraki will no doubt make a good president because he has demonstrated that clearly when he was governor of Kwara and as Senate president.

“Saraki will turn the economy of this country around,’’ Baraje said.

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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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