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2023: Obi’s rising popularity among youths worries Atiku, Tinubu’s camps



Indications emerged on Sunday that the camps of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and that of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), are jittery over the rising popularity of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), among the youths.

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the three major political parties, APC, PDP, and LP, are currently strategising to lure youths, who constitute the larger percentage of the voting population into their fold.

 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which just concluded its Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise across the country in its latest report disclosed that about 71% percent of the 12.2 million newly registered voters are youths.

According to the statistics released by the electoral umpire, about 8.7 million are between the ages of 18 and 34 while about 2.4 million are between the ages 35 and 49.

Those between ages 50 and 69 are about 856, 017 while about 127, 541 are over 70.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, the presidential election has always been a twohorse race between the APC and PDP.

However, it appears it will be a different scenario in the 2023 presidential election with the entrance of Peter Obi who is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, had already purchased the PDP presidential form but withdrew from the race few days to the primary to join the Labour Party.

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Since then, support for him has grown tremendously with many youths pledging to work for his victory in next year’s presidential election.

Daily Independent gathered that the three parties in their bid to win the 2023 presidential election are currently working assiduously to curry the support of youths and also engage in youth-centric campaigns when INEC lifts the ban on political campaigns by September ending.

A credible source in the Labour Party said former President Olusegun Obasanjo who in recent times has raised the alarm over myriads of unresolved problems under the APC-led administration is working round the clock to amass support for the party and Obi in the 2023 elections.

Speaking with Daily Independent, Festus Asiriuwa, a chieftain of the PDP, said while many youths have shown interest in the 2023 presidential election, it cannot be said that all of them joined because of Obi or will vote for Labour Party in the election.

“Yes, I saw the INEC statistics about 71 percent of newly registered voters being youths but the truth is that are all these youths supporters of Obi? While it is true that Obi has resurrected Labour Party from the dead and he will divide the votes in 2023, it is wrong to say all the youths who recently registered are for him.

 “Do you know the number of youths also clamouring for Atiku and Tinubu? So, let’s just wait and see but I can tell you, this will be the most interesting election we have ever seen”.

Bashiru Apapa, Deputy National Chairman of the Labour Party, said the party will win the 2023 presidential election given Obi’s growing popularity, especially among the youths. Speaking during a sensitisation for Labour Party members in Ekiti State, Apapa said, “There are some people who you may not believe are coming up to support Obi; some leaders up to heads of state are in support of Obi.

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Many governors, more than five of them, are supporting the party underneath. We don’t want to mention their names for now.

 “It is because of the way Obi performed before. Again, not all of them believe that Nigeria should continue the way it is going now.

 They want change, better and positive change for that matter, not like the other change we experienced in the past.”

On its part, the South-West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA’ 23) on Sunday said despite the rise of the Labour Party, the 2023 presidential election is a two-horse race between Atiku and Tinubu.

Otunba Bosun Oladele, National Secretary of SWAGA, said most supporters of Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, are only making noise on social media and making movements without motion.

According to him, the recently concluded Osun governorship election and the primaries held across the country few weeks ago have proven that social media noise does not translate to votes during elections.

He said, “I will say the 2023 presidential election is just a two-party race.

 It is between APC as the ruling party and the PDP as the major opposition. The situation is so clear. We can take a cue from the just concluded Osun governorship election.

 The so-called third force, Labour Party, ended up with just over 2,000 votes while the other parties have hundreds of thousand votes.

“If you recollect, where was Peter Obi before now? He was in PDP after he left APGA. Majority of his supporters are from PDP.

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That is not to say that some others that are undecided before wouldn’t have pitched their tent with Labour Party just as they would have done with APC and PDP too.

“There has been so much movement without motion for Labour Party. Most of their noises have been on social media.

The last primary election shows clearly that social media followership does not translate to voting power during the real election. You can ask some of the social media gladiators.

“So, I believe sincerely that our job is cut out for us. Our opponent is also cut out for us.

Their camp is being depleted as we speak. Peter Obi left PDP; Kwankwaso also left PDP and more will still leave for APC. The 2023 election is a battle between Asiwaju Tinubu and Atiku and I strongly believe that APC will win”, he said. (Daily Independent)

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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on Kogi APC guber primary Oct 23



• Usman Ododo and Smart Adeyemi
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC Governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.

Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the All Progressive Congress, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11.The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.

The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which stated that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.

However, the appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.

The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to October 23, 2023, for judgment.The representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Usman Ododo include Chief Anthony Adeniyi (SAN) Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) and M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN; respectively.

The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu Guber Election, a do or die game for Nsukka – Ezea, Senator-elect

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SDP begs President Tinubu to halt attacks, carnage in Kogi



• Kogi SDP Governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday begged President Bola Tinubu to stop the incessant attacks and carnages occasioned by the governorship electioneering in Kogi State.

The Director General, New Media, SDP Campaign Council, Mr Isaiah Ijele, made muricthe plea during a news conference in Lokoja on Wednesday.

Ijele said that innocent citizens are being maimed and killed across the state by sponsored political thugs.

He alleged that members and supporters of the SDP Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka, were constantly under attack, allegedly sponsored by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But the APC Campaign Council’s Spokesman, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, had denied sponsoring any attack against SDP supporters in the state.

Ijele, in his recounts, said: “There were gun shots through the night of Tuesday in Anyigba and Ankpa towns where houses and property of innocent SDP supporters were vandalised and destroyed.”

“Our campaign Coordinator in Anyigba and his family were victims as they were chased away from their house and property destroyed, including his motorcycle in Tuesday night attack.

“As it’s now two persons are missing as a result of the attacks being unleashed on Ajaka’s supporters across the Kogi East.

“We are under siege, given the intimidation, harassment and attacks on us simply because of the humongous support our governorship candidate is enjoying in the state.

“As law abiding citizens, we are appealing to the President and the Inspector General of Police to come to our aid by calling Gov. Yahaya Bello to order.”

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The spokesman added: “Election is not a war nor do or die affairs, but a game of numbers based on candidates’ pedigree and acceptability before the electorate.”

According to him, nobody has the monopoly of violence but that courtesy demands that people of Kogi should be allowed to peacefully choose the person they want to govern them on Nov. 11.

The director general said that Bello’s administration has failed the citizens, who he claimed has decided to vote in Muritala Ajaka to rescue the state from poverty and hunger.

“We want the quick intervention of the President to save the lives of innocent citizens before they are brutalised and destroyed by sponsored political thugs,” he pleaded.

Responding to the allegations, Fanwo, the APC spokesperson, debunked the SDP’s claims, saying: “We are a Government and our priority is to protect all the people of Kogi State, irrespective of political leanings.”

Fanwo said that all allegations without proof are as good as no allegations.

“As a Government, our concern and responsibility is to create an enabling environment for all to pursue their normal businesses.

“The SDP is a nest of funny birds that cry by the pain of their losses rather than the action of anyone.

“We won’t glorify them and we won’t be dragged into their frivolities, gasping lies and lack of direction,” he said.

On its part, the Kogi Police Command’s Public Relation Officer, SP Williams Ovye-Aya, said that he was yet to be briefed on the alleged Tuesday night attacks by the Respective Divisional Police Officers in Anyigba and Ankpa towns.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu Guber Election, a do or die game for Nsukka – Ezea, Senator-elect

He however promised to furnish the public on the development. (NAN)

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Nnamani loses as tribunal affirms election of LP Senator, Kelvin Chukwu



•Former Governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani
National Assembly election tribunal sitting in Enugu has struck out the petition filed by the former Governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, challenging the election of Senator Kelvin Chukwu of the Labour party.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Chukwu, who replaced his late brother murdered during the campaign ahead of the February 25, 2023, as the winner of the Enugu East Senatorial district election. He scored over 69,000 votes to defeat Chimaroke Nnamani who secured about 49,000 votes.

Not satisfied, Nnamani alleged that the election was marred by over-voting, irregularities, election malpractices and non-compliance with the electoral guidelines and petitioned the tribunal and urged the tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the election or cancel the election.

Giving its ruling today (Wednesday), the tribunal which consists of 3-man panel led by Justice Nusirat I. Umar unani upheld Chukwu’s victory and awarded a cost of N500,000 against the petitioners in favour of the three respondents, Kelvin Chukwu, Labour Party and INEC.

The three man honourable Justices unanimously dismissed the petition for being vague, lacking in merit, incompetent, generic and academic exercise.

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