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Buhari’s old age stress comment to affect Atiku, Tinubu in 2023

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The Paradise Breaking News
Former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar (left), APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu (right). 

Two of the leading aspirants in the 2023 presidential election, Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar will be in their 70s by 2023.

Mr Tinubu will be 71 years old in 2023, while Atiku Abubakar will be 77 at the same time. The recent comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that at his age, he is struggling with the rigour of the office, has brought the question of age into the front burner of the national discourse on the 2023 race.

The 79-year-old President had said, “And about my age, yes, I see my colleagues, they are now resting and I assure you that I’m looking forward to the next 17 months when I too would have to be less busy.

“The age is telling on me. Working now for 6, 7, 8 hours a day in the office is no joke.”

In previous elections, rotation and religion were two predominant factors during elections. But the experience of Nigerians with President Buhari, who has had a series of visits to the hospital and long delays in government response which earned him the nickname “Baba go slow” have made age a focal point.

Despite the issue of rotation, Atiku, a northerner is expected to clinch the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, while Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State already has political machinery mobilizing for him across the country. If these two are given the ticket, one of them would be replacing Mr Buhari who would be in his 80s by the time he leaves office.

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode, an ally of governor Yahaya Bello, last Friday raised the issue of age during an interview on Channels TV.

“Of course, you have some that are younger than one another, you have some that are more dynamic than others. You have some that are more focused than others, you have some that are stronger and more decisive—I am a friend and believer of Yahaya Bello—there are others there,” the controversial politician had said,” he said.

This view on age is not only shared by Mr Fani-Kayode. Osita Okechukwu, a staunch supporter of President Buhari had in December appealed to Tinubu to back a “young Southeastern for 2023”, which will unite the south and the entire country.

The 69th birthday of Mr Tinubu became controversial in 2021, as many Nigerian expressed doubt on his real age. Wikipedia had to remove the editing option on Tinubu’s page.

Not just age that has become important, pandering to youths has become more important. As it stands, most of the candidates are above 50 years, hence, there has been a concerted effort to appeal to youths, particularly on social media.

The position of the present government on Twitter and cryptocurrency, in which the government placed different forms of restrictions, has spurred the desire to have a young President or someone who understands these issues.

Below is a review of Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Bola Tinubu of the APC. 

Atiku Abubakar (75)

The former vice president will be riding on his market economy stance.

Perhaps to deflate from the issue of age, Mr Atiku has been very active on Twitter, commenting on issues that appeal to the youths. And sometimes, jump on trending lingos and slangs despite being 75 years old. In the last election, he had Peter Obi as running mate.

Mr Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, was really popular among youths because of his pro-market stance.

Bola Tinubu (69 years)

At 69 years old, coupled with the recent hospitalization and the EndSARS resentment, Mr Tinubu appears to be unpopular on social media, however, his political structure remains strong.

The recruitment of Abdulmumin Jibrin, a former member of the House of Representatives from Kano seems to be paying off in terms of mobilization.

But recently, there appears to have been division within the APC supporters on Twitter. The group, popularly known as BMC or E-BMC are divided between those supporting Tinubu and those supporting Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President.

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Ohanaeze hopes that with time, govt’ll see need for State Police

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Prof. George Obiozor 1

Pan-Igbo social-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed its disappointment over government’s rejection of the proposal for State Police in Nigeria.

The reaction came after the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution this week rejected a bill seeking the creation of state police.

The House Committee scrapped the idea after 14 members of the committee voted against the amendment to section 214 of the 1999 constitution while only 11 others voted in support during a meeting to consider the bill.

Reacting to the rejection, National publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia hammered on the importance of having a State Police department, adding that the government would eventually see the beed for it.

“The issue of central police has already collapsed in Nigeria,” said Ogbonnia.

READ ALSO: ‘South-East wants political solution to Kanu’s case,’ Ohanaeze tells Buhari

“In a Federation, there ought to be multiple levels of security architecture, even down to the local Government Area. There is no Federation without multiple levels of security architecture. They compliment the central police.

“Here is the South East, that is why Ohanaeze supports the formation of Ebubeagu, they operate at local levels to compliment the central security architecture.

“They (Ebubeagu personnel) have a relationship with the rural communities and make the job of the central police easier because they understand the environment more than somebody from outside.

“Evidently, there is a need for them to complement each other. I want to believe that with time, they will understand the need for state police”.

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Ekiti Guber: Biodun Oyebanji wins APC primary election

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Biodun Oyebanji

The immediate past secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Biodun Oyebanji has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship direct primary election held in the State.

Oyebanji, who is widely perceived as Governor Kayode Fayemi’s anointed candidate, emerged the winner with 101,703 votes.

He defeated seven other aspirants who had earlier protested against the electoral process, and pressed for it to be canceled.

READ ALSO: Ekiti APC in disarray, as seven guber aspirants withdraw from primaries, blame Fayemi

They had claimed, among others things, that the Chairman of the APC primary election committee, and Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, had handed Oyebanji’s supporters the result sheets to write the results before the election.

The aggrieved governorship aspirants include: Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, Demola Popoola, Afolabi Oluwasola, Hon Femi Bamisile and Kayode Ojo.

However, Badaru noted that the election which took place across 177 wards was peaceful, credible and transparent.

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Buhari appoints Tahir new MD of NEMSA

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Buhari appoints Aliyu Tukur Tahir new MD of NEMSA

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Engr. Aliyu Tukur Tahir as the substantive Managing Director/Chief Electrical Inspector General of the federation (MD/CEI) of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).

The Honourable Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, who’s the supervising Minister of the agency confirmed this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja.

Jedy-Agba who congratulated the new MD charged him to see the new responsibility as a call to continue to do his best towards the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s power agenda.

He said Engr. Tahir whose appointment is for a period of four years and subject to renewal for another term will be sworn in on a date to be communicated.

Tahir is to replace Engr. Peter Ewesor who retired last year from public service. Ewesor was the pioneer MD of the agency and held the position for eight years, covering two terms.

The new MD who hails from Yobe State in North-Eastern Nigeria was until his appointment, the General Manager, Technical Standard and Inspectorate Services Department of NEMSA.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. He is a fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Power Engineers (NIPE), the Nigerian Society of ENGINEERS (NSE), the Institute of Electrical Electronics ENGINEERS (IEEE) as well a member of the Council of Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

During the Power Sector Reform Programme, Engr. Tahir served as the Secretary of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) Board.

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