All Progressives Congress (APC) Thursday named Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong as the Director-General of its presidential campaign for the 2023 elections.
APC National Chairman Senator Abdullahi Adamu said this while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The APC chairman was accompanied to the State House by the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
He said Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN), was appointed the interim spokesperson for the APC presidential campaign council.
Answering a question on how the party arrived at the choice of Governor Lalong as the Director-General of the party, the APC chairman said it was based on his ability to deliver.
He said the party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket for the 2023 elections is a positive development for the country’s politics.
“Yes, we have been hearing concerns being expressed. In the APC, we believe very strongly that no matter what description, no matter what faith you will associate with any one of our candidates, we are first and foremost Nigerians.
“There is no doubt in the fact that we have people whose stock trade is on some of these religious issues. Just like you have people expressing fears or concerns about a Muslim-Muslim ticket, there are Christians that welcome it as a positive development in Nigerian politics. They are Nigerians,” he said.
The APC chairman said the party recognised the concerns and would put them to rest before the election which is seven months away.
Adamu said: “We are extremely sensitive to some of these sensitivities of fellow Nigerians or fellow members of our party. But the fact of the matter is, one issue does not determine a candidate or determine victory.
“The party has taken a very careful deep look at the Nigerian situation and the political space. And we believe very strongly that notwithstanding the expression that we’re hearing, we will be working on amicable solutions to the sentiment and we’re very sure by the grace of God we’ll put them to rest before the elections.”
Also speaking, the vice presidential candidate, Senator Shettima, said the same-faith arguments were the machinations of a petrified opposition.
Citing the Ribadu-Bafarawa presidential ticket of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 general elections, Shettima urged Nigerians to focus on issues and not the faith of the candidates.
“In 2011, the presidential candidate and the vice-presidential candidate of the ACN. Both of them were Muslims. Nobody raised an eyebrow. Now, the opposition has seen a winning combination and they are petrified, deep down to the marrow of their bones.
“We will not trade in insults, lies and mischiefs. We have established a track record of excellence. Let our opponents show what they have done in their respective states. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s discuss issues.
“How to propel this nation to greatness is much more important than playing on the sentiments of Nigerians. Poverty knows no religion or ethnicity, insecurity knows no religion or ethnicity,” he said.
…TSO’s coordinator too
In a related development, the Tinubu Support Organisation (TSO) has unveiled Hajiya Mariam Buhari as new national coordinator.
The group also announced Mrs. Ayodele Fatunsin as the new deputy national coordinator.
Announcing the new appointments Thursday in Abuja, TSO’s national secretary, Otunba Gboyega Bada said: “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the political spirit, the moving force that every political party reckons with it. He is the easiest product for us to market. As of today in the present-day Nigerian democracy, the first person you talk about is Asiwaju. He is a political strategist; he is a builder of men, a financial guru.”
Eulogising the leadership acumen of the APC flag bearer, Bada said:”There is no other person than the Jagaban of Africa who has touched the lives of many, not only in Lagos but across and beyond the country and that is why APC decided to designate him as the National Leader. If you mention the relevance of anybody in politics, it is to the people.
“If you have any issues in Borno, Asiwaju will ask you to go and meet so so people, the same thing in the east, the same thing in the west. So, he has that capacity and a strong political force; political spirit in politics.”
The TSO leader further said ahead of next year’s election, the group had carried out a restructuring that would enhance the performance and delivery of the presidential aspiration of Tinubu as President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
Announcing the new leaders of the group, Bada said: “Today, we decided to have a sort of restructuring to enhance our performance. We must increase our communication within and outside the organisation, and our collaboration with other groups propagating the emergence of our principal as the next President of Nigeria.
“In this regard, we now agree that a small restructure and the appointment of a National Coordinator and a Deputy National Coordinator is the only thing that has changed.
“There is a unanimous decision that Hajiya Mariam Buhari, wife of the Deputy Governor of Katsina State be appointed as the National Coordinator. We need someone who has that capacity, who can move, who has unhindered access not only to our principals but to all regions, leaders in APC and other groups because in the Tinubu Support Organisation, we are looking for voters; voters where we can find and that is the reason for appointing her as the National Coordinator.
“We went further to agree that another woman is appointed too, from the south as Deputy National Coordinator. Let me also say that because of the exigency of the situation now we have to move TSO for better performance. The name of the Deputy national coordinator Mrs Ayodele Fatunsin.”
Accepting her appointment, Hajiya Buhari said: “I have been the northwest Coordinator of President Muhamadu Buhari in 2015 where I played a vital role. I worked and I have the recommendation, I have credibility and I have the result for then. So, this time around too, I am sure, I am capable to bring out massive results and massive votes for Bola Ahmed Tinubu In sha Allah.”
On her plan to deliver North-west, Buhari said: “Before the appointment today, I have already put together my structure for the campaign. I assure you and I have 100 per cent assurance for all Nigerians that North-west zone, we are going to deliver Asiwaju by the grace of God. My structure is already on the ground, I have gone far. I have reached the entire North-west zone. I compiled my structure both with the challenge of insecurity but In sha Allah we are going to succeed by the grace of Almighty Allah.”
Also, the PDP presidential candidate, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has appointed Senator Dino Melaye and Dr. Daniel Bwala as his campaign spokespersons. Bwala, a former APC chieftain joined the PDP last week.
A statement Thursday by Atiku’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said the two appointments took immediate effect.
The statement partly read: “Malaye is a politician and a member of the 8th Senate, who represented Kogi West Senatorial district. He hails from Ayetoro Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“Bwala, on the other hand, is a legal practitioner, politician and public affairs analyst. He hails from Borno State.”
KOGI GUBER: Former Dep. Gov Achuba endorses Muri, urges Kogites to reject Gov. Bello’s violence, 3rd term agenda
…Says Bello brought his cousin, Ododo of APC, to elongate his grip on Kogi resources
Ahead of the November 11 governorship poll, a former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, has declared his support for the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Yakubu Murtala Ajaka.
Achuba, who served under Governor Yahaya Bello, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), told journalists in Abuja at the weekend that he decided to back Ajaka because of his pedigree and capacity to retrieve the state from maladministration.
He charged voters not to be intimidated by the spate of kidnapping and killings that has permeated the state since the commencement of the electioneering.
Also, he tasked the people of Kogi East in particular to desist from causing mayhem against the people because of political gains.
According to him, Governor Bello brought his cousin, Ahmed Ododo, of the APC, to elongate his grip on the resources of Kogi State without any commensurate development.
“If this is allowed to go through, his wife may become our Governor in 2027. God forbid!!!. We call on all well meaning Kogites irrespective of political ethnic and religious divide to rise up and resist the evil seed being plotted in Kogi State.
“It has been 7 years and 8 months of reckless plundering of our state resources without any tangible legacy to show for his two tenures.
“Rather, all legacy projects by his predecessors has been sold off without reinvestment. I know as a matter of fact that about fourteen billion was paid to Kogi State by the Federal Government for a road constructed by his predecessor.
“Can the successor of Bello expect such legacy fund? It is like daydreaming to think so. He had the opportunity to write his name in gold but turned it down. He will be remembered for bad governance and violence perpetrated in Kogi State.
“Kogites have mastered your tactics and are at the game wisely. The result of the election come November 11 will prove to you that you have so much to learn.
“As you continue to receive decampees, we wish you state the disappointment that follows. Take note that your antics of violence and manipulation not withstanding, this time around will fail.”
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to be diligent in the discharge of their functions.
“We wish to call on INEC to be free and ensure that the election is free and fair. Thank God we have BVAS, Glory to God.
“Anywhere there are votes beyond what the BVAS has accredited the agents are expected to protest.
“On the issue of security, we wish to call on the inspector general of police and the chief of army staff to keep a close eye on Kogi.
“When I was a still the deputy governor in 2019, the State House of Assembly raised the alarm over importation of military software. What concerns a civilian government with military software? Sincere then, there has been killings and kidnappings. We cannot continue like that.
“We urge Kogites to face the evil and terminate it. November 11 is by the corner. We urge the people to reject bad administration through the ballots.
“We call on INEC to check what is happening. I want to ask the youths in Kogi East why have they accepted to be agent of the devil? They should stop destroying the property of their brothers and sisters. The intention of this is to make sure that the votes in Kogi East are suppressed.
“If you endorse it, your children will suffer it . You may enjoy it for now but later you will suffer it. Instead of using the money to develop the state, he has pocketed it. This time the voices of the people will be loud and clear,” he added.
Tribunal verdict, victory for democracy and Enugu, says Gov Mbah
…extends hands of fellowship to opposition
…restates commitment to campaign promises
Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has lauded the decision of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates challenging his victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election, describing the decision as victory for democracy and the people of Enugu State.
Dr. Mbah, who also extended hands of fellowship to the opposition candidates and their political parties, said the task to build Enugu remained a collective one, adding that he was committed to working with all, irrespective of political persuasions.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, had earlier in the day dismissed the petitions of the governorship candidate of the PRP, Chris Agu, and the candidate of the LP, Chijioke Edeoga.
Addressing the state, at the Government House, Enugu, Mbah said: “This is another memorable day in the anal of our dear state, as the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirmed the mandate, which you freely gave to us on 18th of March this year.
“This is victory for Ndi Enugu. It is also victory for democracy.
“It is a victory for massive development for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for exponential growth for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for Enugu’s greatness. It is a victory for the ban on Monday sit-at-home. It is also victory for our determination to restore water in all your homes in the next 68 days”.
While thanking God for making the victory possible, Dr. Mbah also commended the tribunal for painstakingly dissecting the petitions and “for coming out with fair and just decision that resonates with Ndi Enugu”.
According to him, “the verdict has further strengthened our confidence in the judiciary as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man”.
Extending hands of fellowship to his opponents, Mbah said: “There is time for everything under the sun. There is time to strive and time to unite. We all put ourselves forward to serve Ndi Enugu. The people have spoken and the tribunal has also affirmed. If service was the motivation, then it is time to rise above partisanship and come together because there is so much work to be done.
“Our arms are wide open and I beckon on my brothers, who ran this race with us, to join us in the onerous task of building a new Enugu State of our dreams.
“In the same vein, I enjoin all our supporters to be magnanimous in victory. Politics is over. Governance began on 29th May when we were inaugurated. It is time to unite”.
Governor Mbah, who reiterated his resolve to deliver on his campaign promises, further stressed that the tribunal’s decision was an elixir to do more, and urged the people to hold him to account on those promises.
“Once more, I immensely thank the good people of Enugu State, who not only believed in us, but also vested their mandate in us. Above all also above, they have stood by us every step of the way.
“I want to assure them that I will work for them with every fibre of my being. I stand by every campaign promise I made as espoused in our Statement of Purpose. I also stand by the Citizens Charter that I executed on my first day in office. The Enugu people should hold me to account. I will not let them down”, he concluded.
BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses Edeoga, LP’s petition, affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor
…Edeoga’s petition lacks merit
Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration on the grounds that Mbah wasn’t qualified to stand for the election.
He alleged that he forged his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC certificate and cases of over-voting in Udenu, Nkanu East and Enugu East local government areas.
The Tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano dismissed all grounds of petition saying his petition lacked merit.
The panel held that NYSC isn’t a requirement for contesting for the office of the Governor and there’s no where that the NYSC Certificate was attached to the documents Mbah submitted to INEC by the respondent.
On the issue of forging NYSC Certificate, the panel discountenanced all the evidences by the DSS, NYSC official and others because they weren’t in compliance with paragraph 4, sub-section 5D of the evidence act.
Only the witness of the pw26 which was described as a hearsay by the panel and those not help the petitioners and therefore resolved the issue of Certificate Forgery in favour of Mbah.
On the issue of wrong computation of results of the Labour Party in Udenu local government, the panel said they petitioners failed to prove his case and the witnesses they called gave the same report from different polling units and wards and wondered why their testimonies are the same even from different locations.
The panel also said that the witnesses presented by the Labour Party weren’t duly accredited agents by INEC and makes their testimony invalid.
The panel based on the witnesses from the right agents in 3 polling units, deducted 51 votes from PDP and added same to Labour Party.
The tribunal held that the deduction isn’t enough to Overturn the election of Mbah.
In Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East the panel cancelled the votes for all parties because the witness pw10 proved he was there and the right person.
In the remaining 11 polling units, the tribunal held that the witnesses didn’t sign the result sheet and their witnesses is discountenanced because they can’t prove they were party agents
After resolving all the matter, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
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