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NigeriaAt60: We ‘re proud of her accomplishments -APC governors

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, under the auspices of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have said that they are proud of the accomplishments of the country as a democratic nation.

In a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja by the PGF Chairman and governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the forum however appealed to all politicians and parties to embrace the new political culture of accepting the outcome of electoral results.

“On this auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, the PGF wishes to join President Muhammadu Buhari, all our revered leaders – traditional, religious, organised private sector, labour, civil society, women, youth, persons with disabilities, political leaders across all our political parties – and indeed all Nigerians to celebrate this historic day.

“We in particular commend and congratulate the Nigerian people for their resilience and faith in a united democratic Nigeria. 60 years of independence and nationhood were years with moments of rasping experiences.

“Coming out of these years as a united country gives us all the reasons for celebration, most especially because we are today emerging as a stable democracy having been in our Fourth Republic for 20 years now with six successful general elections.

“Therefore, emerging as a stable democracy, we can say with confidence that the growing confidence of our people to our fledgling democratic system of governance is indisputable.

“As governors elected on the platform of our party, APC, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles that democratic governance should lead to improved welfare for the mass of our citizens. This imposes a responsibility on all elected representatives to work for policies that promote the
wellbeing of citizens.

“Guided by the manifesto of our party, since 2015, our governments in all our states controlled by the APC and at the federal level have remained focused, implementing pro-people initiatives across all sectors.

On this occasion of our 60th Independence Anniversary, we want to specially celebrate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, for being a source of indiscriminate leadership at this point in our national life.

“At a time when partisan affiliation is expected to influence political choices both with respect to government initiatives, beneficiaries and location, President Buhari is providing indiscriminate leadership ensuring that all Nigerians from all parts of the country irrespective of all our differences receive equal treatment.

“Under the leadership of President Buhari, our politics is today being refined to ensure indiscriminate development of all parts of the country. In addition, the President is inspiring all of us in APC to change our political culture especially in relations to electoral contests.

“Unlike what obtains in other parties where the operative culture is to manipulate electoral contests to produce set outcomes, the environment in our party, APC, is being made more liberal. With such a liberal atmosphere, combined with impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a governing party, our electoral probability, in all elections, is even.

“We win or lose elections depending on our ability to convince electorate to vote for our party and our candidates. And when we lose in a fair contest, we concede defeat and congratulate the winner.

“This is the next level politics already in play, championed by APC. We appeal to all politicians and parties to embrace this new political culture in Nigeria. We are proud of our accomplishments as a democratic country and as a political party and hereby restate our commitment to make all our states models of good governance with records of rapid human development and progress founded on the principles of social democracy in line with provisions of our party constitution and manifesto.

“We shall continue to take all the necessary steps to roll out programmes in our states that will facilitate development of synergy, experience sharing and collaboration. We felicitate with all Nigerians and reiterate our commitment to the democratic development of Nigeria, while putting in place programmes to improve the welfare and living conditions of all Nigerians.

“This is the basis of our programmes for massive infrastructural projects both at federal levels and all our states. We congratulate all Nigerians on this 60th Independence Anniversary and pray for many more years of democratic development!” PGF noted in the statement.

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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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