2023: Northern PDP presidential consensus arrangement fails as Tambuwal pulls out

Ahead of the forthcoming presidential primary election, the initial presidential consensus arrangement for northern aspirants in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has collapsed.

To this end, the Governor of Sokoto state and PDP presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal, has pulled out.

This was disclosed in a press statement by the Tambuwal Campaign Organization (TCO) on Saturday night in Abuja.

The terse statement signed by Nicholas Msheliza, Director Organisation and Mobilisation for TCO, reads, “The attention of Tambuwal Campaign Organization (TCO) has been drawn to a news item that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Gov. Bala Muhammad of Bauchi state have emerged as consensus candidates from amongst the four of us announced at a meeting in Minna, Niger state.

“This is, to be candid and forthright, not correct.
The correct situation is that the team met on Wednesday 20th April, 2022, at Bauchi Governor’s (lodge in Abuja and had a review meeting; and, unanimously agreed that the consensus arrangement was not working.

“The team further agreed that Sen. Saraki should come up with a draft statement on how to communicate this decision to the Nigerian public. This was the last time that members of the team sat and mutually agreed on anything. The proposed meeting to review and vet the statement scheduled for 10 pm of the same day was aborted unilaterally by Sen. Saraki via a WhatsApp message.

“However, on Thursday, 21st, 2022, same Sen Saraki circulated yet another WhatsApp message suggesting that members of the team should head to Minna for a meeting on Friday, Gov. Tambuwal reached other members of the team and informed them that he stands by the decision of the team that the initiative is not working. This is the reason Gov. Tambuwal was absent at today’s (Friday) meeting in Minna. As a result therefore, the outcome of the Minna meeting has no consequence or any implication on the aspiration of Gov. Tambuwal, who had earlier on informed his colleagues of maintaining their agreed position that the initiative has collapsed.

“Members of the public should be reminded that what was canvassed for was a consensus candidate and not consensus candidates.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Gov Tambuwal has submitted his Presidential nomination forms and now that the quest for a consensus candidate out of the four has clearly collapsed, will go ahead and face screening and indeed contest the PDP presidential primaries.

“This is in consonance with his acclaimed outlook as a pan-Nigerian candidate, with pedigree of national service as the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, life member of the Body of Benchers and now in his second and final term as Governor of Sokoto state.”


Capacity Building Workshop: Minister,APC National Women leader, seek support for female aspirants

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen and the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Betta Edu, has called on party leaders, governors and other stakeholders to rally around all female aspirants in their different states and ensure they emerge candidates of the party in their different positions.

This was disclosed at the APC zonal and state women leaders strategy planning and capacity Building workshop held in Abuja.

At the workshop, Dr Edu announced that as part of her programmes for Nigerian women, she would embark on low cost housing scheme for less privileged women in the party, empowerment for women from polling unit to national.

According to Edu, the party’s decision to give out free forms to female aspirants and many other considerations should serve as incentives and motivations to the aspirants, noting that sales of forms begins on Tuesday .

Her words: ” I am.particullarly happy to have my fellow women here and other party leaders across board. This workshop is meant to prepare our Zonal and state women Leaders  to be ready for the elections as the primary election is here.

“Am also using this opportunity to call on our Governors  and other key stakeholders in their various states to ensure that all female aspirants win the tickets to represent the party at the polls.

” We are willing to partner and ensure that women occupied a good number of elective and appointive  positions in line with the 35 percent affirmative action.

” I have also begun plans to initiate the door to door mobilization for INEC Registration, financial empowerment, a low cost housing scheme for the less privileged women amongst us.”

On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, said that women are ready this time to work with one another under the leadership of the brand new Women Leader, promising that women would be Empowered going forward. She called on women to rise to the occasion asking state and zonal women leaders to unite with one voice to project female candidates while working for them to be successful. She encouraged women to shun violence and love one another. Furthermore she called on men to support women rather than beat or kill them.

Director of Organisation, All Progressives Congress (APC) in an interactive session with the Zonal and State Women Leaders of the APC, spoke on the Guideline and Processes of the Party Primaries and fielded questions on the forthcoming primaries.

The women further resolved to work together to increase female participation, across board, at the National and State Assemblies by ensuring that women have two (2) out of five (5) delegates (Adhoc) in every ward and one out of the three in the LGA.

Another resolution adopted was to demand for effective women representations in employment, in National and State, appointments and board levels.

The immediate past women leader , Hon Stella Okotete was also at the event.


You can’t conduct primaries without membership register, INEC to parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has warned political parties wishing to conduct their primaries within its timelines to prepare and submit their membership registers to the Commission or risk running foul of the law.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the charge Friday in Abuja at the second regular consultative meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs.

According to him, only one out of Nigeria’s 18 registered political parties have fulfilled that important aspect of the law.

“Let me also seize this opportunity to remind political parties that by the provision of Sec. 77 of the Electoral Act 2022, each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy and to make such register available to the Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses and conventions.

“So far, only one political party has complied. It is a mandatory requirement of the law and all parties are required to comply. Doing otherwise is like going into an election without the register of voters. There can be no credible primary or general election without a credible register of voters”, he said at the meeting.

Giving an update on the number of parties that have notified it of their dates for primary election, Yakubu said 14 political parties have now notified the commission.

“As you are all aware, the Commission released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election a day after the Electoral Act 2022 was signed into law. The next activity under the Timetable is the conduct of party primaries by political parties. So far, 14 parties have submitted their notices and schedule of primaries to the Commission.

“As required by law, the Commission shall monitor the primaries in the constituencies where the parties intend to field candidates. This means that the State offices will be heavily involved in the exercise. I urge you to exercise our monitoring responsibility with absolute neutrality. There are sanctions for violation of the law and you should know this and warn our staff accordingly”, he stated.

The INEC boss also added that inspite of the security challenges, stakeholders must remain resolute in the determination to conduct the 2023 General Election as scheduled.

He said; “In doing so, every eligible Nigerian must be given the opportunity to vote, including citizens in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Happily, the Commission has a standing policy on IDP voting which has been periodically reviewed. In the light of the security challenges around the country and guided by the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission will immediately review the policy to ensure that no internally displaced Nigerian in any part of the country is disenfranchised. The issue of IDPs is one of the issues to be discussed at this meeting.

“The Commission is confident that our security agencies have the capacity to deal with the security challenges ahead 2023 General Election. Fortunately, we have started the preparations for the election early. There is therefore ample time to deal with the current situation to enable the Commission and all stakeholders to deploy nationwide for the election. We will continue to work with the security agencies for a peaceful electioneering and conduct of elections. To this end, the Commission will hold high-level meetings with the security agencies and consultations with stakeholders immediately after the forthcoming national holidays”.

(Vanguard News)

2023: Why academics, professionals must participate in campaigns – Osinbajo

Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on academics and members of other professional bodies to participate actively in the task of making Nigeria a better place for all.

Osinbajo stated this when he received a team of 13 professors from the six geo-political zones under the aegis of the Progressive Intellectuals Advisory Group (PIAG) at the State House in Abuja who came to endorse his presidential ambition.

“These days, you find all sorts of pretenders claiming expertise in everything under the sun without any real expertise. So, it is important that academics do not vacate that space to allow all sorts of people to begin to postulate on practically every issue,” he said.

“One of the most important things I recall when I served first as Attorney General of Lagos State was that it is so important for those of us who are in academics to participate because not only are we among the more knowledgeable groups, we have also done more work.

“The path that you (the group) have chosen is a very crucial one because in the future, more intellectual groups will take the responsibility that is really theirs. And I think that for those of us who are from the academic community, it is a privilege that we have, being the intellectual crème de la crème of our society, and this comes with responsibility,” he said.

He appreciated the group’s endorsement of his presidential ambition, saying: “If there is any sort of endorsement that has given me particular joy, it is this one; because if one is endorsed by professional colleagues, people who live their lives by critical analysis and evaluation; it is worth celebrating.

“These matters are not to be taken lightly. For a professor to say that he supports a political cause, it is a weighty matter indeed, because you are aware that a lot of reflections go into it.

“But when you have 13 professors all over the country, saying they are aligned to one cause, I am greatly humbled. It is one of those things that doesn’t happen often.”

While expressing appreciation, the Vice President expressed hope that the academics would “work together to make a significant difference for our country.”

In his remarks, the leader of the group and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Shehu Adamu, said the visit was to intimate the Vice President on activities of the group to support his ambition to become Nigeria’s President.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of Al-Kalam University in Katsina, Professor Nasiru Musa Yauri, said: “We have decided we will not fold our arms; we will do whatever it takes to actualise the PYO 2023 project.”

Also speaking, the Head of Political Science Department at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Anambra state, Professor Chukwuemeka Jaja Nwanegbo, said, “the academic community would not  sit back and watch the political terrain disallow you from emerging. So, we want to work with you, other professionals and students to actualise your bid.”

Other academics at the meeting include Prof. Yahya T. Baba, Usman Danfodiyo University in Sokoto; Prof. Mashood Omotosho, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Associate Prof. Philips Okolo, Director of the Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Niger Delta University; Prof. Shola Omotola, Federal University Oye Ekiti; Prof. Sheikh Danjuma Abubakar, IBB University, Lapai; Associate Prof. Abdullahi Jibrin, Federal University Lafia; Associate Prof. Atelhe George, University of Calabar; Prof. Saleh Mohammed, Federal University Kashere, Gombe State; Prof. Haruna Lawal Modibbo Adama, University of Yola; and Prof. Ike-Elechi Ogba, Ebonyi State University.

With little resources, we’ve done much, Nigerians forgetful – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned of tougher security measures in restive parts of the country, with review of operations and strategy, reassuring Nigerians that the efforts that resulted in relative peace in South-South, and rescuing of North-East from the hold of terrorists would be ramped up.

He also said the administration had done much amid scarce resources, describing Nigerians as being forgetful.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the President noted that the major security challenges have remained in the North Central and North West, saying, “We are going to be very tough.’’

“I will like us to reflect on what the situation was before we came in. How many Local Government Areas were under the control of terrorists in the North-East?

“In the South-South, we all know what the situation was; now we have relative peace. With the resources at our disposal, we have done very well.

“People are very forgetful. Our main problem now is in the North West and North Central. People are killing one another in these places, what for? We are going to be very tough,” he said.

President Buhari urged party members to be more mindful of the pitfalls that led to the ouster of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

“The PDP thought that only time could remove them, and the time actually came. They thought it was impossible to lose elections,” he added.

President Buhari recalled that the APC was formed by a merger of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), some members from All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new PDP, which was a faction of the then ruling party.

“We put together a committee with clear terms of reference on how to remove the PDP from power. The PDP thought it wasn’t going to be possible. But it happened,” the President said.

President Buhari told new members of the National Working Committee (NWC), which had been delegated powers of NEC for a period, to work towards keeping the party together by creating more room for discussions.

“There’s no time to develop differences among ourselves. We have no time for that,” he added.

The president commended the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and all its members “for offering themselves to serve the party at a critical moment in utmost satisfaction despite all the attendant challenges, and for organising the National Convention that produced the NWC.

“I must also sincerely thank all the aspirants for their desire to serve but had to withdraw their aspirations for the over-all interest of our Party. I consider it an honour to my person and an unwavering sacrifice for the unity of our great party as we approach the coming elections.

“I plead with all aspirants who were not elected to put in efforts in support of the leaderships of the Party to achieve our goal of success in the forthcoming elections. Furthermore I am pleading with all litigants to withdraw cases against the Party and put faith in party mechanisms.”

President Buhari also congratulated the new National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and the entire NWC members.

He felicitated with party leaders and members for successfully conducting the Ward, Local Government, State Congresses, and the National Convention, in compliance with the Party Constitution.

In his remark, the APC Chairman, Senator Adamu, appreciated President Buhari for always working for the unity and survival of the party, assuring that the NWC will further unite the party, and ensure victory at the polls.

“We must succeed, failure is not an option,’’ the APC chairman said.

The NEC meeting was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers of the National Assembly, APC governors and state party chairmen.


2023: Afe Babalola calls for polls’ suspension, urges FG to adopt interim government

Legal icon and elder statesman, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN),  has proposed an  interim government  to succeed  the current administration at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.

Babalola, who is the founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUA), Ekiti state, stated this Monday at a media parley in Ado-Ekiti.

He said the interim government should be in office for six months to chart a new course for Nigeria.

The silk also said the 2023 elections should be suspended until Nigeria has “a new-look peoples’ Constitution which should provide for part-time legislators and non-executive president.”

Babalola further said members of the interim government should be drawn from all living former presidents and vice-presidents; some selected ministers and governors and delegates of prominent professional associations.

“The professional associations could be the Nigeria Medical Association, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Academic Staff Union of Universities and Civil Society Organisations,” he added.

The elder statesman noted that such delegates should be elected on zero party basis.

He said it was regrettable that the current 1999 Constitution, foisted on Nigerians by the military was no longer in tune with the realities of the day.

“The same Constitution has made politics become not only very attractive, but the only lucrative business in Nigeria today.

“What this means is that any election that holds under the present scenario will end up producing transactional and recycled leaders, with no ability to turn things around,” he said.

The university proprietor advised that the new Constitution which should be coordinated by the interim government, should spell out rules and regulations on improved qualifications of those contesting elections.

He added that the new Constitution should provide for part-time legislature and not full-time, considering the attendant waste of resources.

“The new Constitution should also provide that there shall be no salary, but sitting allowances only for lawmakers.

“It should provide a true federal system of government, instead of the expensive presidential system of government. I suggest parliamentary system of government, with a unicameral legislature.

“The new Constitution should also provide a body at the local, state and federal levels to screen all aspirants on the sources of their wealth and means of livelihood, criminal record which includes pending suits,” Babalola said.

The legal luminary added that any person that would become the president of Nigeria should not be older than 60 years of age and must have a varsity degree.


Lagos GAC Okays Sanwo-Olu For Second Term

The dream of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to get a second term in office got the seal of approval of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) on Monday.

According to Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the governor was also given pass mark for staying through to the developmental agenda of Lagos.

He tweeted, “Breaking news: Lagos GAC gives nod to Governor @jidesanwoolu’s second term bid. The Governance Advisory Council at a meeting in Lagos today gave pass mark to Sanwo-Olu for staying through to the developmental agenda of Lagos. Congratulations dear boss!”.

GAC, the apex body within the state ruling political class of All Progressives Congress (APC) approved second term for Sanwo-Olu at its meeting this afternoon at State House, Marina.

With the APC governorship election primaries slated for May 27, the speculation on whether Sanwo-Olu will get a second term has become rife among the business and political elites in the state, especially members of the APC.

Governor Sanwo-Olu has not picked his nomination forms for the election apparently waiting for official endorsement of the party chieftains.

It would be recalled that his predecessor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode failed to secure a second term in office because he fell out of favour with the party structure and GAC members despite the popular sentiments that he performed very well enough in office to deserve a second term.

Breaking: Marafa denies joining PDP together with Yari

Senator Kabir Marafa
Former Senator Kabiru Marafa on Sunday denied reports suggesting that he has together with former Zamfara state governor Abdulaziz Yari decamped to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

On Sunday, PDP chairman in Zamfara said the opposition party has reached agreement with both APC stalwarts and that their formal declaration would happen soon.

But Marafa Sunday evening said, “All we know is that we are into negotiations with many political parties that have invited us to join them in the state.”

According to Senator Marafa, while speaking in an interview with Tambarin Hausa, an online Radio in Zamfara “…For now any news that said we have decamped is falsehood.

“All that I know is that there are lots of political parties, not only the PDP, that have invited us and wanting us to join and up till now we are still discussing with them.

“To the best of my knowledge up till now we have not reached a decision with anyone of them.

“…It is not true that we have decamped to the PDP, whoever said so has erred.

“In my capacity, I’m calling on people to discard any information about the issue from any person, untill they hear from us,…We have not yet reached at any decisions.”

Senator Marafa however said that it was necessary for him and Yari to decamp out of the All Progressives Congress (APC), “over injustices meted on us by the former leadership of the APC.

“We have no choice than to move out of the APC.”

Senator Marafa said the new national chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, did not look for him.

“Abdulaziz Yari, has told me that he (Abdullahi Adamu), has looked for him, they have discussed and I was told about the level of their discussion.

“…He has told me that he will travel and that I will represent him when to discuss on the matter, but till now I was not contacted,” he said.


2023: Osinbajo joins presidential race, meets 12 APC governors

After months of speculation and consultation, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday joined the presidential race ahead of the primary of the All Progressives Congress which comes up next month.

Osinbajo at a dinner he hosted at the Presidential Villa for the breaking of Ramadan fast (Iftar), the Vice-President informed the APC governors of his plan to succeed his boss, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), whose tenure as President ends in 13 months’ time.

It was learnt that no fewer than 12 APC governors out of the 23 were present at the meeting.

Some of the governors present include: Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).

“The VP invited all the governors to the meeting and has informed them of his plan to contest. He is also seeking their support ahead of the primary. Of course, the Vice-President has also informed President Buhari of his intention to contest. He will be formally announcing his candidacy on Monday (today),” said a top source.

The Vice-President is expected to release a video of his formal declaration on Monday on all social media platforms wherein he will seek the support of all Nigerians for his ambition.

Already, Osinbajo support groups have opened a campaign and strategy office for him in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.

Attempts to get a response from the Spokesman for the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, proved abortive as he neither responded to calls nor a text message on Sunday.

Osinbajo, who turned 65 last month, is a senior advocate of Nigeria and a former lecturer at the University of Lagos. He is also a senior pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

He began his public office career in 1988 as an Adviser (legal advice and litigation) to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ajibola, a position he held for four years.

The Vice-President was appointed Attorney-General of Lagos State in 1999 by then Governor, Bola Tinubu, and held the position till 2007, implementing several judicial reforms.

He was nominated as Buhari’s running mate in 2014 and was elected alongside Buhari in 2015. During his seven-year tenure as Vice-President, Osinbajo served as acting President for more than 120 non-consecutive days while his principal was on medical leave in London between 2016 and 2018

Osinbajo will be contesting the APC Presidential primary against Tinubu, his former boss; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Others in the APC who are rumoured to be nursing Presidential ambitions include: Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is also considered a contender.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Sunday, a human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo, who is an associate of the Vice-President and member of his support group, described Osinbajo’s candidacy as a dream come true.

When asked if Osinbajo contesting against Tinubu would not be viewed as treachery, the activist said Osinbajo had to put his loyalty to 200 million Nigerians ahead of his love for the former governor of Lagos.

Ajulo added, “Prof Osinbajo started his career in public office in the 1980s and has served under several distinguished Nigerians including under then AGF, Bola Ajibola, who was later appointed Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1991 to 1994.

“It was not only under Tinubu that he served. In fact, Tinubu identified his achievements and brought Osinbajo into his team. Buhari had lost three elections but won when he picked Osinbajo as his running mate.

“Osinbajo is who Nigeria needs at this point in time. He cannot sacrifice the well-being of 200 million Nigerians on the altar of loyalty to one man. This declaration is historic because he is the first Vice-President to declare and be accepted. He will make a formal public declaration on Monday. Just watch out,” Ajulo said.


We‘re living on extra time, 2023‘ll be more challenging – Sanusi

A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammadu Sanusi II, has warned that the country may sink further into more problems unless citizens were ready to take tougher decisions in the interest of the country.

Sanusi, the immediate past Emir of Kano and leader of the Khalifa of Tijaniyya sect in Nigeria, stated this Monday in Abeokuta, at the reception organised in his honour as part of activities marking the 80th birthday of Babanla Adinni of Egbaland, Chief Tayo Sowunmi.

“To be honest, we are living on extra time. In 2015, we were in a deep hole. In 2023, we will be in an even much deeper hole than in 2015.

“The challenges facing all those people who are struggling to be president, I hope they understand that the problems that they are going to face are multiples of the problems that were faced in 2015 and all of us have to be ready for difficult decisions and if they are not taken, we are all going to pay for it.

“But the solution is not for all of us to jump into politics, this country needs good politicians, it needs imams and pastors and bishops who are going to stand up and remind them (politicians) of the fear of God. It needs technocrats who are going to critique their policies, it needs traditional rulers who are going to speak as the conscience of the people, everyone has a role to play and we should try to play that role to the best of our ability.

“I think the most important thing is that we should continue to pray for our country that whoever emerges as President, Governors, Senators, members of the House, leadership at all levels that we get good leaders.

“And I think that we should also remind ourselves as Muslims and as citizens that we owe it to ourselves because we know that this country deserves better than we have been giving ourselves.

“Allah commands you that you place trust only in the hands of those who are capable of handling that trust. If you choose somebody who is incompetent to lead you, if you choose somebody who is weak to lead you, if you choose someone who is dishonest to lead you, you can only blame yourself because Allah says you should only give that trust and He also explains to us what it means to be capable of holding that trust, someone who has the competence to do the job and who can be trusted.

“Now, if we go and choose leaders who are not competent because they give us money or because of personal interest and I keep saying to my brothers in Tijaniyyaa that we should stop praying for people who come to talk to us to say come and pray for me to be Governor, come and pray for me to be President, they go and people go and read the Quran for them.

“We should look at all the candidates, we should choose the people that we think are competent and honest and then we decide who we want to pray for, not who comes to us with money or who comes to us to beg us, whether or not they come for us. And we should go and vote for them and we should pray to Allah that our sincere belief that these are the people who are in the best interest of our nation,” he stated.

While speaking on the forthcoming Presidential elections, the former CBN governor denied eyeing the presidency in 2023, saying he’s content being spiritual leader of the Tijaniyyah, even as he called on all presidential aspirants to be ready to inherit a sinking country.

He noted that he had served in various capacities both in the past and present, saying, “I will forever be grateful to Allah.

At 60, the Islamic scholar said, he had been blessed by Almighty Allah, stressing he prefers the Khalifa Tijaniyah position he occupies to being president.

Sanusi said: “When they tell me to go into politics, you are telling me to set aside one type of authority and look for another type of authority, to leave what God has given me and pursue something else.

“I am the first and only northern Nigerian to be Chief Executive Officer of First Bank since it was set up in 1823. In this same life, God has made me Governor of Central Bank. He has made me Emir of Kano. He has made me Khalifa of Tijaniyah. What am I looking for?

“If we all go into politics, who is going to make politicians to account? Who is going to stand up to tell them ‘you are going wrong’? Who is going to speak with the people and explain sometimes difficult policies that people don’t like, but which are in the long term interest of the people?

“People don’t understand the role we play as religious leaders, traditional rulers that they think we should go and be a Governor or President. To be honest I think that the role I play can be more than that of the President.

“To be Khalifa Tijaniyah, is an office that personally has proven the choice between that office and the Presidency, I will choose that office.

“I can only speak about what I want, what I see and what I think, but at the end, we all have to submit ourselves.”