Three Nigerian groups are set for protests today at the United Nations headquarters in New as President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the UN General Assembly.
While two of the groups are protesting against the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the third group will demonstrate in support of the ex-military leader.
One of the groups comprising Yoruba Nation and Biafra agitators, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, is headed by Prof Banji Akintoye.
Also, activists under the aegis of TakeItBack movement have mobilised for a protest at UN headquarters in New York with demands.
The PUNCH gathered that the last group would be holding a pro-Buhari protest tagged, ‘One Nigeria March.’
Akintoye explained that NINAS’ protest tagged, ‘Million-Man Freedom March,’ was to show the world “the crimes against humanity, attacks on press freedom, free speech and other criminalities being aided by the Buhari-led government of Nigeria.”
He also said the agitators “are demanding the conduct of a regional referendum so that the indigenous people can decide on their nationhood”.
The renowned historian accused the Federal Government of sponsoring the counter-protest at UN headquarters, alleging that black foreigners living in the United States of America were “hired at $500 per head.”
Akintoye, in a statement on Thursday by NINAS Director of Public Communications, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, said, “Irrespective of the material and financial superiorities of these Lions, there’s no way they can defeat United Foxes in a democracy.
“The Friday Grand March in New York shall be historic; hence, the Nigerian government is jittery. The ring leader of government officials and a top Lagos journalist are now in New York to start hiring black people who will pretend as Nigerians to stage a pro-Buhari and One Nigeria protest to counter NINAS.
“But we refuse to be rattled. We shall not be intimidated. No oppressor has ever triumphed against the collective will of the people. The people are the government and power belongs to the people. The people make the constitution.”
TakeitBack Movement’s Global Director of Mobilisation, Gbola Owoborode, listed four demands for the activists’ protest, among which were that the leader of Independent People of Biafra and Yoruba Nation activists, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho, should be freed.
He said, “The regime should also free Sowore, unconditionally and drop all charges, of which he has been falsely accused.
“We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho and the over 300 #endSARS activists still under illegal detention, as well as an end to terrorism, kidnappings. and banditry that has completely ravaged the entire country.
“The resignation of the Buhari regime that is incompetent, lawless, despotic, nepotistic and corrupt. It has failed to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians which is their primary responsibility as a government. The Buhari Junta must go!”
Dogara Group Endorses Atiku for President
A splinter group of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north led by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has as adopted candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
The group under the platform of the Northern Leaders Consultative Forum comprising christians and moslems, adopted the PDP’s candidate, in a voice vote, after the report of its technical committee was presented to its members at a public forum on Friday in Abuja.
The report signed by the chairman of the Northern Leaders Technical Criteria Committee, Hon. Mohammed Kumaila and Secretary, Nunghe Kele, SAN, was presented by former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba.
“After a careful evaluation of all the issues highlighted above, we hereby recommend for the adoption of the PDP, to all lovers of democracy in Nigeria, for the 2023 presidential election.
However, this should be subject to getting the necessary assurance from the party to run an all-inclusive government, details of which shall be discussed with the leadership of the party in the nearest future,” Achuba read.
The Northern Leaders Inter-Faith Consultative Dialogue had on October 8 in Abuja, set up a sub-committee mandated to draw up a criteria to serve as a guide to the Northern Leaders Consultative Forum, in its quest to adopt and support one of the leading political parties in the 2023 presidential elections.
“After careful consultations, research and brain-storming, the subcommittee came up with the following analysis of the criteria used to arrive at and recommended a Pan-Nigeria platform for the main Committee’s consideration, endorsement and adoption.
Amongst the criteria used in selecting their choice of endorsement include factors such as presidential experience; requisite track record in public service, business and education; evidence of national penetration; religious and ethnic balance.
Other criteria include; pan-Nigeria and tolerance, reasonable popularity, physical fitness for the rigours of state as well as the existing structures of the selected political parties and current candidates for 2023 according to INEC records.
According to the report, Atiku came tops from a 15 points criteria used in assessing the four leading political parties; APC, PDP, LP and NNPP.
Atiku, who scored all 15 points criteria was followed by the candidate of the NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who scored 10 points and APC’s Senator Bola Tinubu and LP’s Peter Obi, who had 9 points each.
Chairman of the Forum, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon, Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the adoption said the group decided to go for a pan Nigeria presidential candidate, following the adoption of a Moslem-Moslem ticket by the APC against massive protest.
According to Dogara, “what will destroy Nigeria is not ethnicity but religion”, stressing that those passing statement relating to hate must be stopped before they destroy the country.
Dogara further maintained that same faith ticket does not align with the vision of a united Nigeria because it does not promote a collective sense of belongingness.
The group noted that since the APC was adamant with its same faith ticket, the group had no other choice than to jettison the APC and look for a party and candidate who represents their desire and expectations for the 2023 general election.
Improve Your Public Composure, Discipline in Communication, Baba-Ahmed Tells Shettima
By Eric Elezuo
The Vice Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed, has advised the vice presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima, to work on, and improved his public composure and discipline in communication the same way he improved his dress sense to public functions. He made the remarks, noting that the former governor of Borno State has become a “morally-bankrupt character” who is out of touch with reality.
Recall that Shettima’s dressing of oversized suit and sneakers when he stood in for his principal, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the Nigeria Bar Association conference in Lagos in August , was severally mocked across social media platforms. His defence of his actions were rebuffed by the mocking public.
In a conference held in Abuja on Thursday, Baba-Ahmed, accused the APC vice presidential candidate of having a penchant for belittling his political opponents in all his speeches, citing how he addressed the incumbent vice president, Yemi Osinbajo as an ice cream seller, and a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar as a pure water seller.
Baba-Ahmed’s statement, which was made available to the press read in part: “We congratulate Mr. Shettima on having improved his dressing, but equally remind him that he needs to improve on his public composure and discipline in communication.
“Shettima is called upon to speak kindly and more responsibly about all personalities if only to uphold long-established standards. Little wonder he has consistently put to shame the noble heritage of the great Bornu Empire, in his unguarded and uncultured public pronouncements, which expose his intellectual laziness and discomfort with empirical facts and arguments.
“Regular insults which have now become his trademark, have not spared the current Vice President whom he directed to go and sell ice cream, nor the former vice president whom he described as a pure water seller, a noble venture which serves the populace better than a certain white substance.
“It is pertinent to recall how Mr. Shettima at a recent public event belittled Atiku Abubakar’s educational qualification as well as the modest lifestyle of Peter Obi. Clearly Mr. Shettima is out of touch with reality and cannot understand that people like Peter Obi who have reached the heights in business and material achievement have long transcended the need for ostentatious display of wealth.”
Baba-Ahmed also petitioned the Abdusalam Abubakar-led Peace Committee to call to order the likes of Shettima as they have gone against the peace accord signed in September by all the political parties.
G5 Governors Are Entertainers, Says Osun Lawmaker
The lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, has said the Peoples Democratic Party is not losing sleep over the activities of the Integrity Group led by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A statement by his media aide, Sam-Segun Progress, obtained in Osogbo on Tuesday, said Fadahunsi stated this while speaking with journalists in Osogbo, Osun State.
The lawmaker also predicted landslide victory for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 poll, Abubakar Atiku.
According to him, Wike and members of his group have turned themselves to political entertainers to get attention and may end up losing relevance within the PDP fold, unless they retrace their steps.
He said, “We don’t have anything to fear (about the crises in PDP). They are now political entertainers who are entertaining their own subjects as slaves used to entertain colonial masters. When you destroy your house and you want to come my own house, I will not trust you.”