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Exclusive: 2023: Sanwo-Olu In Race Against Time To Secure Second Term

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…Wary Of Receiving Ambode’s Treatment

…Why Tinubu’s Presidential Ambition May Pave Way For Him- Source

…Governor Focused On Delivering Governance Not 2023- APC Spokesman, Oladejo

…Sanwo-Olu Waiting For Green Light From Powers That Be, Says Jandor

By Our Reporter

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is now in what many described as the race of his life as he battles to convince powerbrokers in the State to give him another term in office.

Sanwo-Olu, in September 2018, emerged as a replacement for former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was abruptly denied a second term despite having a massive run of his first four years with several legacy projects dotting the length and breathe of the State within May 2015 and May 2019.

Ambode, who was alleged to have stepped on the toes of top politicians in the State, including his benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, seemed to have his second term all secured as representatives of Lagos State in the National Assembly, lawmakers in the State Assembly, 57 Local Government Chairmen, including several pressure groups from the All Progressives Congress (APC) openly endorsed him for a second term, even until July 2018.

But in a sudden twist of events, barely two months after the series of endorsements, it emerged that the party hierarchy had sealed Ambode’s fate to limit him to a single term as governor and had given its blessing to Sanwo-Olu as his replacement.

With the 2023 elections fast approaching, the fear of suffering the same fate is already gripping Sanwo-Olu, who sources said, has embarked on a ‘fasting and prayer’ session to soften the heart of the ‘kingmakers’ to give him the benefit of doubt.

A top source close to the powerbrokers in the State told Thepledge that while Sanwo-Olu may be lucky to land a second term, there are many variables that may work for or against him.

“He (Sanwo-Olu) is fasting and praying along with his family to secure a second term. The general feeling among the political circle is that he is more level headed than Ambode.

“Fate may work in his favour. One of the things to first consider is that he is more subservient to Tinubu than Ambode was. Ambode was more ambitious, bolder and more assertive than Sanwo-Olu.

“Even the political leaders in the state who though do not really have a say in the matter, are of the feeling that Sanwo-Olu might be lucky because he is not too assertive, he is not vindictive, that is what he has going for him.

According to the source, Sanwo-Olu knows the tide and knows the possibilities that could spring up, hence since assumption of office, has been careful not to rock any boat or step on toes.

“He has been faithfully abiding to every instruction given by Tinubu and this may work in his favour, the source said.

The source also alluded to Tinubu’s presidential ambition, saying that should the APC stalwart proceed with his quest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, he (Tinubu) might concede a second term to Sanwo-Olu on a silver platter.

“Tinubu has his eyes on Abuja. He is likely to be preoccupied with that ambition, which may favour him or not and it is likely to impede his control on Lagos and by so doing, he may allow the governor to go for a second term.

Even so, there are speculations in some quarters that Tinubu was also prepping his son, Seyi to succeed Sanwo-Olu. But our source told our reporter that the option may not be viable or feasible, owing to stiff opposition that has already greeted the plot.

“Another factor is that of his son, Seyi. Most of the leaders are vehemently opposed to this option and have subtly told Tinubu to refrain from throwing his son into the race. Apart from that, Senator Oluremi is not favourably disposed to this plan.”

The source, however, said Sanwo-Olu on his part is doing everything possible not only to win the heart of the party hierarchy but also Lagosians.

In the last one year, the governor’s style of governance has come under severe scrutiny from Lagosians, many of whom are divided on his performance in the last two years and five months.

While some Lagosians feel the governor has yet to live up to the hype that greeted his election campaign, others feel he may have been hampered by the unforeseen events the state witnessed in the last one year.

According to our source, Sanwo-Olu is not unaware of his unpopularity across a section of the State and is strategizing to change the narrative before the elections draw closer.

“The awards he has been collecting up and down is to show the public that he is popular even though there is really nothing to show on the ground like legacy projects. By the end of Fashola’s first term, it was obvious that he deserved a second term with the projects that Lagosians could see and feel the impact on a daily basis.

“Same can be said for Ambode, who within four years did a lot of legacy projects which till today Lagosians remembered him for. But the last two years, while not forgetting the challenges of 2020, Lagos is an economic melting point of Nigeria and therefore cannot afford any excuses. There is not much excitement right now in the State and it is not a good omen for Sanwo-Olu.”

Speaking on the chances of Sanwo-Olu getting a second term, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Lagos, Oluseye Oladejo, told Thepledge that the governor was firmly focused on delivering his mandate to Lagosians, hence was not distracted by the possibility of missing out on a second term.

“I don’t think I should really speak for the governor and I believe at the appropriate time, the governor will answer that question. Besides, INEC has not signalled that serious campaign should start yet for the 2023 polls. You will notice that even Asiwaju himself has not spoken out, it’s just huge number of people across the country who believe in his credibility and the fact that he will deliver to move our nation forward.

“In that vein too, I think at the appropriate time, Mr. Governor will speak out and we will know exactly where we are going to. You will also notice that Mr. Governor, as a matter of policy for him has refused to be distracted by the intrigues of politics, he has concentrated more on governance which is quite commendable.

“He remains the governor of the entire state and not just the APC, even though it was the platform via which he came into office. At the appropriate time I believe it will be explicitly clear, the position of Mr. Governor on 2023,” Oladejo said.

Also speaking, Olajide Adediran, Convener of the Lagos4Lagos group, a fast-rising group within the fold of the APC, said the incumbent governor has not indicated interest to run for a second term for the reason that he has not been given a green light by the power brokers in the party.

Adediran, fondly called Jandor, however, said he and his teeming supporters remain focused on the task of taking over Lagos come 2023.

“The governor that you mentioned, I can’t recollect that he has indicated interest to run for a second term. If there is any body or any group that has signified interest to run, it’s us and it’s because we are not waiting for anybody to tell us what to do, every other person is waiting to be called or to be given the directive. So all I can say is that we are doing this to be governor of Lagos state, not just a party flag bearer.

“If you have seen our strategy, you will see that from day one, since the last six years we started this race, we have been doing like tomorrow is the general elections. So, one thing that is so certain that we continue to assure our teeming followers, which they know is that we are going to be on the ballot,” he said.

Asked if he be willing to square up against Sanwo-Olu in a free and fair primary contest, Jandor said, “Of course, you have said it all, in a free and fair contest why not.”

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Dessers Opens Goal Account As Mexico Pip Super Eagles 2-1 In Friendly

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It was not the best of starts for new head coach, Jose Peseiro, as the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to El Tri of Mexico in an international friendly game at the AT & T Stadium, Dallas, USA, in the early hours of Sunday.

Cyriel Dessers opened his goals account for the Eagles after drawing them level with a powerful header.
1xBit

The Super Eagles are now winless against Mexico in six meetings, losing three and drawing three.

Up next for Peseiro’s side is another friendly against Ecuador on June 2.


Mexico bossed the early exchanges as the Super Eagles struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Santiago Gimenez then gave Mexico a deserved lead on 12 minutes as his initial effort from a headed pass hit Uzoho and bounced off him into the net.

Andres Guardado almost doubled Mexico lead as he met a long pass but saw his effort parried away by Uzoho.

In the 31st minute Uzoho was called to action again but he made a brilliant save to stop a well struck shot by Guardado.

Before the start of the second half Innocent Bonke went off injured and was replaced by Katsina United’s Faisal Sani.

Mexico continued from where they stopped in the first half and almost doubled their lead early in the second half but Semi Ajayi cleared away a dangerous cross for a corner.

The Super Eagles drew level on 54 minutes through Dessers whose downward header off a delightful cross from Bassey was too strong for the keeper to hold.

Just two minutes later the Mexicans went 2-1 ahead after Troost-Ekong slammed a cross into his own net.

Terem Moffi should have equalised for the Eagles after receiving the ball inside the box but saw his shot miss the target.

Few minutes later Roberto Alvarado received a pass inside the box but could not keep his shot down.

With six minutes left the Mexico almost extended their lead through Diego Lainez but his low shot took a deflection off Troost-Ekong and went out for a corner.

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2023: I Will Restore Unity, Bring Sense Of Belonging To All Nigerians, Atiku Vows As He Emerges PDP Presidential Flagbearer

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…Tinubu Congratulates Atiku, Welcomes Former VP To Presidential Contest

…Worthy Candidate, Says Shehu Sani

North Will Always Outsmart Southern Nigeria On Election’, Nigerians React

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has pledged to unify the country following his victory in the party’s primary poll. 

Atiku, a former vice president, polled 371 votes to beat his closest rival and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who scored 237 votes during the exercise held on Saturday in Abuja. Saraki polled 70 votes. Emmanuel (38), Mohammed (38), Anyim Pius Anyim (14), Mrs Tari Diana Oliver (1), and Sam Ohuabunwa (1) shared the remainder of the valid votes.

“I pledge to unify this country,” he said in his victory speech. “That’s why I refer to myself as a unifier.

“The reason I feel that unity is important is because APC has disunited Nigerians completely,” the PDP chieftain added. “I will work to restore unity and bring a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.”

The Adamawa-born politician accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of mismanaging the country but promised to fix the economy and tackle Nigeria’s security challenges.

“The PDP made Nigeria one of the most prosperous countries in Africa,” Atiku said. “We implemented economic reforms. The APC wiped out all those gains.”

Meanwhile, National Leader of All Progressives Congress and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has congratulated former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for emerging as the flag bearer of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, following the primary conducted at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday.

Tinubu commended Atiku for his patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s progress.

Tinubu also congratulated the other contestants for the orderly and peaceful way they conducted themselves and for pledging to rally round the winner, in the true spirit of democratic sportsmanship.

He expected the former Vice-president , who was also the 2019 presidential candidate of the PDP, to be his worthy opponent, by the Grace of God and the support of APC delegates, in the coming 2023 President election.

The APC National Leader said Atiku’s victory didn’t come as a surprise to Nigerians because of his vast experience as a statesman and veteran of many presidential contests from 1993.

While welcoming the PDP candidate to the race, Tinubu added that the coming election should be about issues that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians; bring peace, progress, political stability and solve myriad of sociopolitical challenges and insecurity currently facing the country.

“I welcome the victory of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the just concluded primary. I look forward to squaring up with him as a worthy opponent in the coming election. I have known the former Vice President as a formidable politician and a patriot who believes in the unity and progress of our dear country.

“ As we move further into the election season, I charge the PDP presidential candidate and all political actors across Party lines that we should make this election season one that is devoid of bitterness, rancour and strife.

“We should make our campaigns peaceful and issue based. Election season should be a festival of ideas that will uplift our country and improve the living condition of all our people.

“Unfortunately for the PDP, its candidate will be burdened to explain why Nigerians should give it another opportunity, after squandering 16 years at the central government, without much to show”.

“Nigerians are yet to forget the national ruin and mismanagement of our country for 16 years by successive PDP administration and this bad memory will dog the campaign of the PDP Candidate”

“ Nevertheless, I once again congratulate our former Vice President for his victory in his party’s primary.”

In the same vein, former Kaduna Central lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 presidential election.

Reacting to the development in a tweet on Sunday morning, Sani congratulated Abubakar for emerging as the winner of the contest.

The PDP chieftain and governorship aspirant was also at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, the venue of the PDP Presidential primary.

He wrote: “Congratulations to Atiku Abubakar.”

Also, Nigerians on social media have, however, reacted to Atiku’s victory as they expressed their different views.

One Yinkuzeh [@Yinkuzeh71] wrote: “PDP produced Atiku. Delegates can give him the ticket. But will his own kinsmen who are currently suffering under a fulani leadership elect another fulani man as president? He might end up a miscalculation on the part of Pdp.

On his part, PhilCollins_LFC [@PhilColins_O] said: “The North will almost always outsmart Southern Nigeria on election matters. Imagine Tambuwal waiting until the last minute to step aside for Atiku. Wike was busy attacking Peter Obi. APC is likely to go the same way except they learn from this. Meanwhile, #PeterObi to the rescue.”

A netizen, Amalinze the Cat [@DominicNonso96] accused Wike of hating on everybody. He said: [Wike hates everybody. And feels he can’t be touched. After 2023 handover, em go see something.

“Atiku would definitely pick a South Southern person Sha.”

Congratulating Atiku, one ZAKARI ALFA [@zakarialfa2024] said: “God Almighty Allah has done it for Nigeria and Nigerian as Atiku is officially declared the candidate of PDP for the next presidential election. Congratulations to all of us Nigerian.”

 

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Counting Of Votes Commences As PDP Elects 2023 Presidential Candidate

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Voting has ended in the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the emergence of the 2023 presidential candidate of the party.

The delegates from Abuja were the last to cast their votes last at the Abuja National Stadium venue of the PDP special national convention.

Next up will be the sorting and counting of votes.

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