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2023 Presidency: Yoruba groups divided over Tinubu, Obi, others



Ahead of the 2023 presidential poll, major socio-cultural and political organisations in the South-West are currently divided over which of the leading political parties and presidential candidates to support for president.

The leading presidential candidates include Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

In separate interviews with Saturday Sun, the groups were not on the same page on which candidate they would support for President.

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) said it has made its position known prior to the presidential primaries conducted by various political parties that the next president of Nigeria must come from the South.

In a telephone interview with Saturday Sun, the Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide asserted that the council would throw its weight behind Tinubu to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year.

He noted that the council would back Tinubu because he has contributed immensely to the nation’s development, saying the former Lagos governor was competent to serve as president of the country.

Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has, however, ha never hidden his preference for the South East to produce the next President of Nigeria. But it could not be immediately confirmed whether his position is the same as that of the entire organisation. Saturday Sun reached out to some chieftains of Afenifere on the issue. But they said they would not make comments on the stance of Pa Adebanjo for the 2023 presidential poll.

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All efforts to contact the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Jare Ajayi, on his mobile phone for the official position of Afenifere on the issue failed.

The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), on its part, said it was more concerned with the issue of restructuring of the country.

Iba Gani Adams, who is the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, and who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Alhaji Kehinde Aderemi, said the group was only interested in the restructuring of Nigeria such that true federalism would be practised in the country. He said the group had never been a political one and would not dabble into politics.

“Aare Adams has been advocating restructuring of Nigerian into regions like we used to have in the past in this country, which made each region to develop at its own pace, have state police, have control over its resources and so on. This is what we stand for. We are concerned about security and cultural promotion of Yorubaland. We are not politicians.”

The Leader of Apapo Egbe Alaabo Ile Oodua (Homeland Defence and Security Initiative), Dr. Victor Taiwo, also told Saturday Sun that the organisation was apolitical and only concerned about adequate security of lives and property in Yorubaland.

The apex Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), which spoke through Mr Maxwell Adeleye, noted that the group had no faith in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. He explained that the IOO had been fighting against the conduct of the 2023 general elections, maintaining that it would not support.

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Tribunal verdict, victory for democracy and Enugu, says Gov Mbah



Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter 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”.

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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.

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“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.

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Gunmen kill ASP, Inspector in Enugu



Gunmen yet to be identified have allegedly killed two police officers in Enugu State in an ambush.

The officers were killed when the hoodlums ambushed a mobile police patrol team Wednesday evening.

The incident happened at about 7:30 pm along the Udi-Ozalla Road as the Operation Restore Peace Enugu team was on routine patrol.

The victims were identified as Danjuma Joseph, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Inspector Abu Elamaje.

The source hinted that they were rushed to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla for treatment but were confirmed dead by doctors on duty.

Another officer, Inspector Udeme Udomeng, who sustained bullet wounds, was treated and discharged.

Daily Sun quoted a source in the command as saying that “MINE and other command tactical teams reinforced at the area of incident on cordon and search operation for possible arrest of suspects. Further development shall be communicated.”

It is unclear whether the policemen were killed by the kidnappers who have been on rampage in different parts of the State or another set of hoodlums.

The Advocate reports that about eight security operatives were ambushed and killed in Imo State last weekend.

Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe on the development was unsuccessful by press time as he did not answer the calls.

A text message sent to him has also not been replied as of the time of filing this report.

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BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses Edeoga, LP’s petition, affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor



Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah

…Edeoga’s petition lacks merit

The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has upheld the election of Dr. Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 election in the state.

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.

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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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