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Newspaper review: PDP crisis worsens as Tinubu prepares for 2019 presidential run, LISTS running mate

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As the PDP struggles to put its house in order, the presidency has accused the opposition of trying to cause division between President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Yemi Osinbajo.

These and other news are the headlines on Nigerian newspapers for Tuesday, February 28.

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The presidency said some people were trying to promote division between Buhari and Osinbajo and they would not allow it, The Guardian reports.

President Buhari has been on vacation in the United Kingdom since January 19 and Osinbajo has been Acting President. Nigerians have been commenting on the situation, comparing the president and his vice, claiming that things are better now that Osinbajo is in charge.

Reacting to trending discussions, the special adviser to the president on political affairs, Babafemi Ojodu said the development was the handiwork of mischief makers who do not wish the country well.

According to him, Buhari remains the president of Nigeria, he is more experienced and has been in the game longer than the vice president.

He said Osinbajo consults the president on daily basis concerning major decisions.

The same people who said we never had an economic team, no policy, nothing are the ones saying this. It is the policies we are now implementing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.

“There is nothing that has been done since the vice president started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. “A good example is the Niger Delta initiative. The president called the vice president and said I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta, meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefit of Nigerians,” Ojudu added.

The Nation reports that Ojudu cautioned against reports on social media, saying it is fast becoming a factory for fake news.

He was reacting reports of some clerics in Katsina state claiming that the president was poisoned.

Ojudu cautioned people in the media to be careful what they pick from social media in Nigeria as a lot of things posted can never be true.

For example, they said somebody kept N77 trillion somewhere; imagine that. What is the total value of Nigeria’s economy that because of somebody keeping N77 trillion, therefore, some people want to poison him so that they can inherit the money.

“I mean we have a president that nobody in this country can question his integrity. As a young officer, a middle officer, a senior officer and as a head of state till now, nobody has been able to tarnish his image or come up with anything,” he said.

The presidential aide said fakeness has almost become global and universal and those who want to destabilize the country come up with all kinds of stupid stories.

In other news, the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is tearing the party apart, The Punch reports.

Its lawmakers can no longer speak with one voice on who to support between the national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, and the national caretaker committee led by Ahmed Makarfi, which was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt last week.

In Ekiti State, where Governor Ayodele Fayose is a vocal supporter of the Makarfi-led faction, a member from Ekiti, Mr. Olamide Johnson-Oni, is for Sheriff.

The Kaduna state chapter of the PDP has vowed never to support the Sheriff and members of his national working committee.

The party described Sheriff’s reinstatement by the appellate court as an act of impunity, which was against the constitution of the party.

The party secretariat, which had been locked since May 2016, was forcefully opened by Sheriff and his supporters last Friday, but the sacked caretaker committee led by Markafi asked him to vacate the party’s national secretariat immediately.

Meanwhile, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has been holding a series of meetings and consultations for his bid for the presidency in 2019, This Day reports.

Sources close to him disclosed that he has developed an elaborative strategic plan to make a bold bid for the coveted office and he is putting together a team in preparation for the race.

According to sources, Tinubu has had a change of mind and abandoned his initial plan of aligning with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to build a mega party to take on the APC in 2019.

He decided not to leave the APC which he played a pivotal role setting up in 2013 and leading it to a historic victory in the 2015 elections.

Already, Tinubu’s team has penciled down three names as possible running mates, a source close to the APC leader disclosed. They are Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Senator Abu Ibrahim who represents Buhari’s Katsina south senatorial district, and possibly the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II.

On the front page of Vanguard is the headline: “Naira rises as CBN pumps $180m into forex market

Another $180 million has been injected into the foreign exchange market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This has prompted the naira to further appreciate by N10 against the dollar in the parallel market.

Since last week when it unveiled new measures to boost dollar supplies in order to halt naira depreciation in the parallel market, the CBN has injected about $541 million into the foreign exchange market.

Details of the foreign exchange supply showed that the apex bank injected $100m into the wholesale forwards segment of the market and sold an additional $80m into the banks specifically for the settlement of dollar demand for school fees, medicals and Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), among others.

The naira has appreciated by N70 against the dollar in the parallel market since last week Monday, when the CBN unveiled its new foreign exchange measures.

Before the measures were unveiled, the naira had depreciated to N520 per dollar. As at Monday, February 27, it had appreciated to N450 per dollar.

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