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Defection: Call Umahi to order, AESID urges Buhari, APC



…Condemns false accusations against Anyim, Egwu, others

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to urgently call governor Dave Umahi to order so as to avoid crisis in Ebonyi state.

The group was calling the government’s attention to what it called “accusations, threats, harassments, intimidation and open protests being orchestrated” against some elders and leaders in Ebonyi state since the formal defection of governor David Nweze Umahi from the People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress last week.

In a statement signed and made available to newsmen Sunday in Abuja by its President, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, the group also cautioned that the heads of security agencies in the state should not allow themselves or their men to be used by Governor Umahi to cause mayhem in the guise of working to unravel and perhaps, prove his false alarms against eminent elders and citizens of Ebonyi state.

The group urged the security agencies in the state to exhibit the highest level of professionalism and caution in order not to be used by powerful state actors.

“As a body with the passion for growth, economic prosperity and a mandate of holding every leadership in our dear state accountable at all times, AESID once again ask the Buhari-led government, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and indeed, all heads of Security formations to not only call Umahi to order but also investigate his attempts to cover up his plots to destabilize our peaceful state with his false alarms.

“This group is sincerely outraged by the media-publicized latest accusation coming from the Chief Security Officer of the State, Engr. Umahi wherein he copiously alleged that the former Senate President, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim and the first Executive Governor of the State, Sen. Sam Egwu alongside other elders in the state were engaging cultists and some IPOB members to start killings and causing crisis in Ebonyi state in the name of fighting Ebonyi state government and the Governor.

“Knowing the pedigree and background of these men of repute especially in helping to make Engr. Umahi emerge as the governor in 2015, AESID hereby condemns this early false and unwarranted alarm raised by the Governor who even shot himself on the foot by admitting: “I am not saying that this information is true or not but I need to raise an alarm because lives will be lost.

“For it is our wisdom that Umahi having selfishly jumped out of the PDP ship to the ruling APC ostensibly without thoughtful consideration, diligence and proper consultation and now obviously scared that he must be threading on a lonely path having not convinced any of the NASS members and a majority of the PDP elders and stakeholders to join him, may now be preparing the grounds for the crises he had earlier boasted in the media last year that he would cause in our dear peaceful State through these phantom and obnoxious allegations.

“The spurious alarms being raised by the Governor should therefore be seen as a preparatory ground for perhaps, his future plans to destabilize Ebonyi state and this is why we urge the federal government and all its organs and mechanisms to call Governor Umahi to immediately order, having been lucky to have gotten the massive support of the masses twice especially through the help and assistance of the men he has publicly vowed to fight, he shouldn’t leave a legacy of violence and crises that could lead to the loss of life or the spillage the blood of any Ebonyian.”

The group said it is surprised that even as the Chief Security Officer, Umahi could make “such unsubstantiated, reckless, unfounded and unguarded statements in the media against the elders and stakeholders just to curry public empathy and obviously set up his aides in particular and unsuspecting members of the public in general against the our elders and leaders in Ebonyi.

“With the increasing wave of sacks and threats to his appointees who he presumes are loyal to these PDP elders and leaders, we are more befuddled by his pretences in the media that he is not forcing people to join him in APC.

“A man who has sacked not less than 100 aides who are all loyal to the PDP leaders and elders and dissolved boards, agencies and parastatals headed by the same elders that refused to follow him to the APC cannot therefore pretend that he is not the one fighting his elders and former leaders and thereby, stoking the embers of war in our peaceful Ebonyi state.

“AESID is also aware of the threats being faced by the former Publicity Secretary of the APC that recently defected to the PDP, Mr. Nwoba Chika Nwoba who is currently facing allegations of receiving and selling a Sienna car as gift from the Umahi government. The narrative suggests that the government tried to use the said Greek gift to bribe and therefore silence the young critic of Umahi’s administration. We ask security agencies to protect him also as he has the right to freedom not only of association but to also hold his own opinions on issues of governance.

“We wish to note that this is the most bestial politics of vindictiveness ever played in the over two decades history of our dear State wherein one man and his family is desperately anxious to control everything and everyone in the State almost including the air that humans breathe. This era, as the Holy Book recorded shall also pass and he should remember that the security of lives and property of Ebonyians is the oath he took in May 29th last year and it is yet legally binding on him till 2023 when his tenure constitutionally expires.”

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2023: ‘Buhari’s successor can come from any part of Nigeria’ – 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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Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema sworn in as President in rare victory for an African opposition leader



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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Uche Secondus Suspended As PDP National Chairman



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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