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2023: AESID asks security agencies to probe Umahi over provocative comments

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The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has condemned in totality statement credited to the Ebonyi state governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi in which he reportedly vowed to sponsor crisis in opposition parties to make room for a fight while he sips champagne in the comfort of his bedroom.

The governor was said to have reportedly made the statements during his ruling party’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) state congress held recently at the party’s state secretariat in Abakaliki and yet to be refuted.

But while responding to what it considered a crisis threat comments by the governor, the AESID in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its president (World-wide) Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, urged the Inspector General of Police, Director of State Security Service (DSS) and all other federal security agencies not to take such statement for granted.

The Ebonyi indigenous association also demanded a retraction and a public apology from the governor.

“We at AESID which to condemn in its wholeness the subtle resort to violence or any form of crisis as being preached and propagated by Governor Umahi ahead the contest by aspiring and suitably qualified individuals to succeed him in 2023. The threat is for want of more suiting adjectives obnoxious, vexatious, insensitive and highly provocative coming from the number one citizen of our beloved state which is adjudged to be one of the most peaceful in the country.

“We wish to observe that firstly; the said assertion is quite unfortunate coming from Governor Umahi who in the build up to his battle to outwit and arm-twist his erstwhile boss, elderstatesman and immediate-past Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi was allowed by his peace-loving predecessor and indeed Ebonyians in general to freely declare his intention, grab the State’s governing Party, PDP’s ticket and successfully emerge the Governor of our dear State in such a time without any threat to crisis or violence.

“It baffles common sense, profound reasoning and good conscience that the State’s Chief Security Officer could sound this awful in his desperate bid to produce his successor come 2023. In our keen estimation, Governor Umahi has therefore by this unguarded assertion shown himself the common enemy of the same very people he was elected to serve.

“It is indeed, surprising to us just like the generality of Ebonyi people that Governor Umahi has continued in his absurd dictatorial tendencies without caring a hoot to understand and even appreciate the crucial constitutional roles played by opposition elements and political Parties in any democratic governance. This best explains his abhorrence for criticisms no matter how constructive and has consequently led to his constant war with the opposition elements and the media who only strive their best to hold him accountable to the people.

“But what exactly is Governor Umahi who has since his ascension to power made himself a political bully of sort by his records and antecedents afraid of, if we may ask, could he be afraid that Ebonyi workers who we understand he pays half salaries would definitely be the first constituency to mobilize against his preferred choice in 2023? Or the retirees we are reliably informed he allegedly embezzled their pensions and gratuity? Or the middle-class he has almost completely wiped out of the system?

“Is he afraid that the traders and artisans he muzzled will mass up against him in 2023? Is he also afraid that the serving and numerous sacked cum suspended aides including former political officeholders who he has made poorer by design and wicked machinations through the non-payment of their lawful entitlements will plot his humiliation and downfall? What about the Anambra, Imo, Abia and Enugu businessmen and women he forcefully confiscated their shops, intimidated and harassed? Is he also afraid of their anticipated pay-back?”

According to the statement, already, there are visible signs that the Anambra kingmakers such as money-man, Authur Eze, Cletus Ibeto and others have started deserting the governor.

The association, however demanded “a retraction of these threats and a sincere apology within 48 hours to the peace-loving people of Ebonyi State who has already seen enough under his leadership and watch. We will not sit idly and watch Umahi put a State which our fore-fathers collectively fought hard to be created destroyed or put in flames via the negative, vituperative and inflammatory comments of a supposed Chief Security Officer.

“We therefore urge the Director of DSS in Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police and indeed, all federal security agencies never to allow these boastings of Governor Umahi who is a Chief Law enforcer go without some level of scrupulous investigations to avert whatever may be the evil that such plans to engineer crisis may bring on the people. We therefore call on them to invite and question him on the import of this dreadful assertion before his aides or supporters hide under same to unleash mayhem on innocent Ebonyians all in their bid to please his motives.

“While we urge Ebonyi people to remain calm, peaceful and also very watchful, we however implore all and sundry, particularly the Nigerian government to hold governor Umahi responsible for whatever crisis that may befell the state ahead of the 2023 general elections which is still about three years ahead!”

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2023: ‘Buhari’s successor can come from any part of Nigeria’ – Sheriff

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Sheriff

… says APC must work harder than ever before to gain the confidence of Nigerians in order to retain power beyond 2023.

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked Nigerians to choose a leader with capacity irrespective of where he or she comes from.

The leader, he said, can hail from any part of Nigeria as long as he can bring succour to Nigerians.

He made the statement in Abuja while receiving members of an All Progressives Congress (APC) pressure group, Frontier for Equality Leadership and Good Governance, on Thursday in Abuja.

The group had visited the former governor to ask that he contests for the position of APC National Chairman.

While he asked Nigerians to discard ethnicity and religion when choosing the next president, he said competence should be the main focus of Nigerians in making a choice.

“Unless we believe in ourselves as a nation, and believe all of us are equal and believe that a good leader will emerge from any part of the country, regardless of religion, tribe or where he comes from, we will not succeed in getting the country we dearly love.

“We must put our differences aside and look for leaders from anywhere.

“If the man that will bring succour to Nigeria is coming from a mountain in Ogoja (Cross River), we should go and look for him. If it is in the extreme end of Adamawa, we should go and look for him. If he is coming from the end of Anambra, we should go and look for him. We must do soul-searching and look for a leader,” Mr Sheriff said.

Leadership cross

The former governor also warned Nigerians against criticising their leaders and asked that prayers be made for them.

“When I see people criticise leaders on what they know nothing about, I pray for them because you will only know the challenges of this country when you are saddled with responsibility. When we have leaders we should pray for them that God will intervene, we should not curse our leaders.

“If you must blame any leader you must look at the followers, what have we done? To help our leaders to be strong – and we have to do soul searching.

“Everyday we wake up with a different challenge and these challenges are not only for our leaders, we must understand that, it is for all of us,” he said.

APC’s burden

Mr Sheriff who was once the National Chairman of Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, stated that the APC might have lost the trust of Nigerians.

READ ALSO:  Anambra 2021: Stella Oduah dumps PDP for APC

The party, he said, “must work harder than ever before to gain the confidence of Nigerians in order to retain power beyond 2023”.

He noted that by the end of the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, “the APC would have to work extra-hard to gain a fraction of the 12 million votes which the Buhari administration carried over the years”.

In response to the group’s for him to contest for the national chairmanship of the APC, he said he would only contest “if the position is zoned to the North-east”.

Mr Sheriff’s comments comes amidst uncertainty as to where the presidential ticket for the APC will be zoned to.

Although he is yet to officially declare his intention to run for the position of chairmanship, PREMIUM TIMES had reported him saying his decision to contest is largely dependent on how the position is zoned by the party.

“…Whether I will run for the office or not will be determined by what the caretaker committee takes as a decision on where the leadership of the party will go. Whether it will go to another place or it will remain in our zone.

“If it goes to another zone, I will not contest. But if it stays in our zone, I will contest,” he had said.

He is among other key political players jostling for the position.

Others are former governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura; his counterparts from Borno and Gombe, Kashim Shettima and Danjuma Goje, who are also serving senators; former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari; a former member of the House of Representatives from Bauchi, Ibrahim Baba; and a former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Abuja, Sunny Moniedafe from Adamawa State.

The party is expected to hold its national elective convention before the end of the year.

It is, however, not clear when Mr Sheriff and other aspirants will publicly declare their intent to contest.

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International

Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema sworn in as President in rare victory for an African opposition leader

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Zambia’s newly-elected president, Hakainde Hichilema, has been sworn into office after pulling off a stunning rare victory for an African opposition leader.

Hichilema was inaugurated Tuesday morning at a ceremony attended by leaders such as Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Malawi leader Lazarus Chakwera.

Zambia’s second female Vice President Mutale Nalumango was also sworn in during the ceremony.

Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu in a landslide by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia.

It was a stunning turnaround for the politician known as HH — Hichilema spent several months in prison in 2017 for what were widely seen as politically motivated treason charges. The charges were dropped under intense international pressure.

After initially indicating he may challenge the result, Lungu addressed the nation following the elections, saying: “Based on the revelations issued at final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.

Despite conceding defeat early, Lungu was booed by some of the crowd as he made his way to the stage at the packed Heroes stadium in the capital Lusaka to hand over power.

Hichilema called Tuesday “a new dawn in Zambia,” in a tweet ahead of the ceremony. “As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much,” he added.

An example for Africa

Opposition leaders from other African countries were also invited to the event.

Nelson Chamisa, opposition leader in Zimbabwe, told CNN: “This is a significant and fantastic for what is possible for the future of Africa. Zambia is an inspiration to stubborn laggards in democracy. Strong institutions are key for effective power transfer and smooth transitions,” he said in a statement when asked about the significance of today’s inauguration.

Chamisa added that Zambia is an excellent example to be emulated on the continent.

“Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular needs leaders not rulers, strong institutions – not strong men. Leaders must lead and leave, serve and go. Zimbabwe must be free and Democratic. Freedom can be delayed but never denied,” he said when asked what the message for Zimbabwe is.

It is the third time that power has shifted peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since the southern African country’s independence from Britain in 1964.

There was a huge turnout of mostly young people, some who came dressed in their academic robes to protest lack of employment post graduation.

Joseph Kalimbwe, a youth representative of Hichilema’s UPND party told CNN

Young people gave us the vote. Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote. It was a huge turnout and it was very personal to them. They want to ensure the mistakes of their parents were corrected. They have voted for our leader on basis he has better policies and ideas and can strengthen our state institutions.”

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Politics

Uche Secondus Suspended As PDP National Chairman

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Court suspends Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman

 

Uche Secondus
Uche Secondus

The leadership crisis currently rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, worsened on Monday as a High Court in Rivers State has restrained Uche Secondus from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.

The order was given by Justice O. Gbasam at the State High Court sitting in Degema local government area of the State on Monday.

The judge who gave the order, also approved the suspension of Secondus as a member of the party pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The order followed a complaint brought before the court by some aggrieved members of the party.

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