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Just In: Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race

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Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, has withdrawn from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and has returned to work.

Recall that the Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.

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An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector.

“He promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form.

READ ALSO: Sylva, Ayade Pick APC Presidential Forms

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“He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector.

“He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation.

“The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over.

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“It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system.

“For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration.

“The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said.

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READ ALSO: Petroleum Minister, Sylva, NNPC Boss, Kyari Sabotaging Refineries Investigation, Reps Alleges

Meanwhile, Mr Horatious Egua, Senior Special Assistant to the minister on media, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work.

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Tinubu Ignored Me After Stepping Down For Osinbajo – Aspirant

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A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Nicholas Felix, has raised the alarm that the party’s standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has shut him out of his campaign ahead of the 2023 general election.

The youngest APC aspirant’s outburst came three weeks after the convention held at Eagle Square in Abuja.

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Felix had thrown his weight behind Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after he stepped down at the June 7 presidential primary.

Before he withdrew from the presidential race, Felix described Osinbajo as the ‘best man for the job’, adding that he strongly believed that he could turn the country around positively.

Against his expectation, Tinubu defeated Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and 11 other aspirants to clinch the party’s sole presidential ticket.

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“Asiwaju has not reached out to me. Neither has any member of his campaign team. No one has called me. I am about the only candidate Asiwaju has yet to meet. I don’t know the reason. Maybe it was because I stepped down for the vice president or didn’t support the idea of a possible Muslim-Muslim ticket,” he added.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

The APC presidential flag bearer had left the shores of the country for France on Monday.

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Tinubu departed Nigeria shortly after a closed-door meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the morning.

Although Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, did not state how long the former Lagos State Governor would be away, there were insinuations that his travel must have something to do with the consultation for his running mate.

When contacted, the spokesman of Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, “Unfortunately, we all know Asiwaju is not in town. But Nigerians are aware of how he visited all the aspirants after the primary. Perhaps (he) was not in town. Maybe he was in America or somewhere. I don’t want to join issues with him.

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“If Asiwaju has not reached out to him as he said, I am sure by the time he returns from France, he will cover up whatever gaps exist. I don’t want us to get dragged into that. It is possible that it is even an oversight. As a politician, he doesn’t neglect anybody or sees people as not being important. I am sure it wasn’t a deliberate act or hidden agenda on his part. Everybody is important to him.”

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2023: Why I Have No Regret Working For Abacha – Al-Mustapha

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Presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Hamza Al-Mustapha, has insisted he does not have any regrets working with late Head of State, Sani Abacha.

Al-Mustapha worked as the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the late dictator.

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Abacha was Nigeria’s president from 1993 until his sudden death on June 8, 1998.

Speaking on Channels Television on Friday, Al-Mustapha who was accused of plotting at least four coups from prison, insisted that serving Abacha was part of his job description.

“I have no regrets. When you join the Military, you should be open-minded to work anywhere.

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“You can be in the worst part of the country or world. It is my experience.

“My personal destiny took me to where I served. Wherever I serve, you will see the distinct difference.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

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“I have done so all my life and career.

“I never canvassed to be posted anywhere. They know what they saw in me and posted me to everywhere they took me. And I gave my life and made sacrifices that are indelible in the history of Military.”

Al-Mustapha won the AA presidential ticket in June ahead of the 2023 general election.

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He won the party’s primary with 506 votes, defeating his only opponent, Samson Odupitan.

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JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

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Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, did not meet in France.

Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, made this known on Friday, describing earlier reports as “fake news”.

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This is coming amid reports that Wike shunned the emissaries of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Turkey.

Following the division that rocked the PDP after Atiku’s emergence, there had been reports that Tinubu and Wike over issues concerning the 2023 presidential election in France.

There were also speculations that Wike and some PDP governors are aggrieved over the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate from the north.

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READ ALSO: Wike Receives Kwakwanso In Rivers

It’s time for South to produce president,” one of the aggrieved PDP leaders, Ayodele Fayose, said recently.

Rahman noted that though the APC presidential candidate holds Wike in high esteem, no meeting was held between them in France.

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The statement read, “We have seen a viral social media post made by one of the chieftains of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State and media reports emanating from same about a supposed meeting in France between APC Presidential Standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State,” the statement said.

“It has become imperative to set the record straight. Although Asiwaju Tinubu is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever.

“This, however, does not detract from the fact that the APC presidential candidate holds Governor Wike in high esteem.

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“And given the national and across-party line’s appeal of Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature, he will not hesitate to meet any important national leader when desirable.

“As made public earlier, Asiwaju Tinubu is in France for some important engagements. He will return to the country shortly.

“We would like, once again, to advice journalists to always cross-check their information with appropriate officers before rushing to press to avoid unintended errors.”

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READ ALSO: Again, Shell Speaks On Plan To Sell Nigerian Onshore Oil Assets

Wike’s Turkey trip sparks controversy

Wike’s trip to Turkey has sparked more controversy in the party as some of the governor’s loyalists have threatened to leave the PDP.

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Apart from the disagreement on North producing PDP’s next presidential candidate, there is also a crisis over the PDP vice-presidential slot.

Before the debunked report that the Rivers governor met with Tinubu, Wike’s had been seen romancing with some opposition politicians.

The governor had on June 24 hosted the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Port Harcourt.

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The visit occurred a day after the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, visited Wike, sparking speculations about their intentions and the Rivers governor’s plans.

Though Wike has refused to speak publicly since he lost the running mate slot to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, his recent meetings with political bigwigs have strengthened speculations that he may leave the PDP.

Wike was initially spotted with Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in Turkey. Another picture on Thursday showed the two governors and their Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, together in Turkey.

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Speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, hinted that some governors are unhappy with Atiku.

“Atiku should go to him (Wike). Why won’t he ignore their calls? Is that not an insult? Wike is a pillar in the party.

“Currently, Nobody in the party has contributed more for the party to move forward than Wike. If Atiku was not going to honour the decision of the committee, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that. You can’t do things anyhow and expect us to be happy,” Ortom said.

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But Atiku said efforts were being made to resolve the grievances of party members via his official Twitter handle, @Atiku, on Thursday.

“The Peoples Democratic Party will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.

READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: Tinubu Jets Out To France

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“Every governor, legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me. When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced,” he tweeted on Thursday.

 

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