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Abaribe must retract ‘careless comments’ on Gov Bello, APC tells PDP

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to prevail on its Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, to retract ‘unprovoked utterances at the floor of the Senate’ against Governor Yahaya Bello and the people of Kogi state.

The ruling party said it is on record through a vedio in circulation that Senator Abaribe made ‘grievous and false verbal attacks’ discrediting governor Yahaya Bello before Senator Smart Adeyemi replied him.

The APC was reacting to a statement by the PDP asking Senator Adeyemi to retract and apologise to governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia state

But in a statement signed Monday in Abuja by the APC’s acting Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, the ruling party said “a careful perusal of the facts on ground shows clearly that Senator Adeyemi’s response was initiated by Abaribe’s unbidden and unprovoked utterances at the floor of the Senate.”

“We make reference to the deplorable video by Senator Abaribe against His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, which has been circulating on most social media platforms. As expected, the attention of Senator Smart Adeyemi was immediately drawn to the video by well-meaning kogites who were naturally disturbed by the falsehood of its contents.”

While explaining all the efforts made to get Abaribe to retract his attack on Yahaya Bello, APC said: “three Senators representing Kogi state, Adeyemi inclusive, approached Senator Abaribe, insisting that his false and malicious utterances were not just an assault on the Governor of Kogi State, but to all Nigerian youth who have ambition to serve our great country, Nigeria. They tried without luck to persuade Abaribe to retract the verbal and unwarranted attack on His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello particularly as the contents were in its entirety false and not a true representation of the Governor, or the state of affairs in Kogi.

“The senators approached him in a bid to remedying an already bad situation. But Abaribe vehemently refused to heed their call for peace. Rather, he insisted that he would not disassociate himself from the video, stating in what would appear to be calling their bluff, that Governor Bello should dismiss his ambition to run for any office come 2023 and clearly said that he will neither retract nor apologise.

“It is on record that Abaribe made grievous and false verbal attacks discrediting Governor Yahaya Bello. He personally admitted to this on the floor of the senate. How the PDP have conveniently edited this fact from the sequence of events is unbecoming, but characteristic of the party’s modus operandi. Indeed, if there is any apology to be tendered, it should be by Senator Abaribe who must retract every statement in the video currently trending, disparaging the achievement and the person of Governor Bello. Senator Abaribe’s utterances were not only false, irresponsible and malicious but most importantly, totally unprovoked. And on this note, we insist that he must publicly withdraw the false statements made by him, or be prepared to face the full brunt of the law.”

APC described Senator Smart Adeyemi as a high ranking Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a formidable track record and antecedents to show for it.

“Prior to coming to the Senate, he was a renowned journalist who served as the President of The Nigerian Union of Journalists for Two terms. The Distinguished Senator is popularly known for his interest in the protection of the masses and would NOT support a Governor who is not performing well.

“Therefore, Senator Abaribes utterances was not just an aspersion on himself, but other Senators representing Kogi State at the red chambers.

“On this note, the ‘strong warning’ issued by the PDP should immediately be directed at Senator Abaribe who should have considered his Governor and constituents before making false and
unbridled statements about a performing Governor of another State, worst still, refusing vehemently to retract and apologise.

“There is an adage that says that ‘anyone who does not want
insults must train his children’. For easy reference for Abaribe, the igbos also say that “anyone who fetches ant infested firewood must be prepared to receive lizards in his home”. Abaribe was
therefore mistaken to think he could peddle falsehood against a sitting and performing Governor on the floor of the senate without expecting an equal reaction.

“Senator Adeyemi’s remarks were as a result of Abaribes utterances which he refused to apologise for knowing full well that no content contained in the video was true. Having tried on more than one occasion to persuade Abaribe to do the honourable thing, without luck, Senator Adeyemi’s retaliation is naturally expected as he has an obligation to defend his state and his senatorial district against any perceived danger or false representation.”

The APC statement, however, demanded Senator Abaribe “publicly retract his untrue comments and immediately apologise and spare the people of Abia state the embarrassment they are currently facing with the whole world watching and noting the deplorable state of affairs in the state.

“What Governor Ikpeazu and the people of Abia state need to address more urgently is whether Abaribe is fit to continue to represent them at the Red Chambers as it has become evident that his inordinate ambition to succeed the incumbent Governor has overshadowed his moral responsibility to speak not just the truth, but also to speak responsibly at all times. This hostility instigated by Abaribe was not only mischievous but most unnecessary.

“Be that as it may, we have noted with great delight that the PDP acknowledged that the words of Senator Smart Adeyemi were respected by Nigerians while in the party. This has not changed as the credibility of his words is as a result of the integrity he has built over the years and his undeniable wealth of experience. Indeed, his words have become more formidable under the APC who are currently stirring the nation to greatness despite the huge challenges they met.”

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Umahi Declares for 2023 Presidential Race

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As has been widely expected, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2023 Presidential race.

According to the Governor, he has informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his ambition to contest the presidency on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC).

Governor Umahi’s action came barely 24 hours after the National Leader of the Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, took similar steps.

Umahi disclosed his latest move to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

  1. On what his chances chances are against the background that other big political figures had indicated their intentions to run for the same office, including Asiwaju Tinubu, the Governor said God would be the decider of the outcome of the race.

Umahi, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC, said he stands a chance if the APC throws the ticket open.

He said if he gets the opportunity, his presidency will replicate his efforts in Ebonyi, saying that he has a lot to show in running governance as a business.

The Governor also said he spoke with the President about resolving the security crisis bugging the Southeast region through political solutions.

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We Haven’t Zoned the Presidential Slot to Any Part of the Country, says PDP

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As permutations continue ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied zoning the presidential slot, saying a decision is yet to be taken on where its presidential ticket would be zoned to.

It also dismissed reports indicating that PDP had resolved to zone the presidential ticket to a particular region of the country.

Recall that former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, had, last week, told a group drumming support for the presidential ambition of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar that the party had resolved to field a northerner as its presidential candidate.

But reacting to the reports, spokesman for the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said: “This is completely misleading as it does not in any way represent the position of our party. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP emphatically and unequivocally states that it has not zoned its presidential ticket to any part of the country.

“The PDP is a political party founded on democratic principles and every action of the party, including zoning, is based on extensive consultations, discussions and consideration of all the issues as well as the various tendencies and interests across the nation, with the main objective of ensuring that the unity, peaceful co-existence and development of our nation are reinforced and promoted.

“The PDP, therefore, urges Nigerians, our teeming members and supporters to completely disregard the unfounded zoning claims as being peddled. Our party also cautions those behind the claims to desist forthwith.

“The PDP thanks Nigerians for the overwhelming interest they have in our party as their sure platform to rescue and rebuild our nation from misrule and urges them to remain united and focused as we join forces for the task ahead.”

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Andy Uba Wasn’t a Candidate in Anambra Governorship Election, Court Rules

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All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Anambra, Andy Uba, who has vowed to upturn the election of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was handed an unexpected knock out on Monday.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, nullified his participation in the 6 November election, declaring his candidacy illegal.

The ruling effectively denied Uba a locus standi to challenge Soludo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the June 26 primary of the party which produced Uba as its standard-bearer was not validly conducted.

The ruling ended what would have been some legal distraction for Soludo, a former Central bank governor, hoping to make a difference in governance in the state.

Chief George Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election had challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election that produced Uba as the party’s candidate.

Moghalu, who was the plaintiff, had sued the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo aligned with the plaintiff’s arguments that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.

Chief George Moghalu

He held that the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines.

“Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,” he said.

Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the Nov. 6 election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner of the poll outcome.

The judge, therefore, declared that the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary election, and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.

“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election,” he ordered.

Prof. Charles Soludo
Anambra Governor-Elect

According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.

“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he held.

He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.

Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as “crude and primitive,” ordered that the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded since the party failed to complied with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.

Moghalu had, in July, filed the suit at the court, seeking an order removing Uba and the APC from the list of gubernatorial candidates and political parties partaking in the Anambra governorship election on the grounds that the party failed to conduct a valid primary election.

He also demanded N122.5 million as damages, which include a refund for the fee paid for expression of interest and nomination forms and N100 million “for the breach of contract to commence and conclude primary election”.

INEC had picked Uba, winner of the APC primary election, as the party’s candidate.

In the affidavit in support of the suit, the plaintiff said the APC failed to conclude the selection and nomination process for its candidate for the Nov. 6 governorship poll.

He said the APC had chosen to adopt direct primary, which is why the party published the list of designated venues for the exercise.

Moghalu said the party received N22.5 million for the expression of interest form and nomination form, including from him, “to allow him to participate in the primary election exercise”.
He further said he was informed a day before the primaries that the APC electoral committee would address all aspirants and stakeholders in Akwa.
“Shockingly, on June 26, 2021, the said election committee was not seen anywhere in Anambra; no accreditation of voters took place; no voting and collation of votes occurred in all the 326 wards of Anambra state,” he said.

He said the committee “announced election results it did not conduct, and which fakery was credited to the 3rd defendant as the winner of the primary election scheduled for emergence as APC’s candidate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra”.

Moghalu also argued that the party did not invite the INEC in line with the law requiring the commission to monitor the exercise.

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