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2023: Tinubu, Atiku not qualified to contest, S’East should produce next president – Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader



…Says Yoruba socio-cultural group will only support power shift to Southeast

For the umpteenth time, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of the Yoruba socio-culture group, Afenifere, has dared anybody with a superior argument to come out to challenge him on why it is imperative for the Southeast to produce the next president.

In this interview with Omoniyi Salaudeen, he reiterated his support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, declaring, “On principle of fairness and justice I stand”.


In the run up to the 2015 general elections, you maintained a strong opposition to the candidature of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). As his administration is gradually winding to an end, how would you assess the state of the nation as of today?

As I have predicted, until he goes away, nothing good is going to happen. He ought to have left five years ago, but because of the lethargy of the press to speak the truth to power, he is still there. The man has never proved to be competent or to be a democratic person. But you are all afraid to call a spade a spade. They are running a dictatorship under a civilian government. Who can face him in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and say no to dictatorship? Can the man who took the Yoruba to APC say no? Since 2015, how many times has he gone to Aso Rock? And how welcome was he? How many of the boys he took to Aso Rock are following him now? He is only after the interest of his children and children’s children.

Insecurity in the country is increasingly becoming alarming. Even in the Southwest, the threat of terrorists is looming. How would you situate the role of Amotekun in the maintenance of peace and security in the region?

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Does the man who took the Yoruba to Buhari support Amotekun?

Again, you have maintained the position of Afenifere on power shift to the Southeast. Are you not wearied of the criticisms leveled against you that you are campaigning against the Yoruba interest?   

I still stand firm on the position of Afenifere on power rotation. The Southwest has had its own fair share of power rotation. Power has been in the North. When former President Musa Yar’Adua died, it moved to the South-south. Former President Goodluck Jonathan from the South-south left and Buhari came in. Now, if it is coming back to the South, is it the Southwest that is supposed to come in? Are we the only region in the South? What is the equity there? Is the Southeast not in the South? Those who accept naira and dollar from him (Tinubu) can say what they like, but they should attack me on the basis of justice and equity.

Then, why do you prefer the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, to the candidate of the All Progressives Grant Alliance (APGA) which has a strong root in the Southeast region?

That is a question of choice. In fact, I don’t even know that APGA is putting up a candidate. Even if at all I am going to consider other candidates, I will still consider Obi. I have a right to choose a candidate. Those I won’t consider at all are the candidates from the Southwest and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar. It is a matter of principle.

As an elder statesman, you have seen it all. You know how politics runs. But putting all factors together, do you think Peter Obi can beat the candidates of the PDP and APC?

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I am talking of politics of principle. I know that Peter has not got the dollar of Tinubu neither has he got the dollar of Atiku. All I am saying is that he is better than the two other candidates. And I am not talking of the baggage Tinubu or Atiku may be carrying now. I am talking of the principle of fairness and justice. The moment you deviate from the politics of principle in this country, you won’t get anywhere.

Anyhow, somebody must win the election and the person who will ultimately win is that candidate who has the capacity to garner the highest votes. Does Obi have that capacity?

What is your standard of measurement?

That is the question I am putting to you.

(Cuts in)…You people are the ones who will suffer any wrong choice you make. I am already getting ready for my grave. But when the calamity comes, it is you people that will suffer. I stand on the principle I have laid down. I am not discussing whether Jagaban has the money or not. I am not discussing the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket. I am talking of the principle of fairness and justice. Based on rotation, the Southwest has had its own. Therefore, it is the turn of the Southeast except you don’t want to keep Nigeria in peace. Nigeria as a country is multi-lingual and multi-religion. So, we must operate on the basis of equity, which is why we are insisting on changing the present constitution. If we don’t put things straight, we will continue to suffer.

Yes, you have always maintained the need for restructuring. Now that candidates have emerged, what would you suggest as a way of extracting commitment from any candidate who may want to dangle restructuring to woo the electorate when campaign starts?

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That is what we are going to vote for. That is number one agenda. No development or security can take place until we do a restructuring of the country and have an acceptable constitution. By the time we go to campaign, these are the things that we will put before the candidates. I am directing the politics of the country to the politics of issues. Whether you are a rogue or you are not a rogue, whether you can go to America or you cannot go to America is not the question now.  When you go for an employment interview, the first question is your qualification for the employment. The qualification now is that those who have not done it before should have it on the basis of fairness and equity. Has Southeast had it before? No. Therefore, the Southeast should have it. Any other thing is a gang up. They say they want to go, we say they shouldn’t go. How can they be in a federation where they are sidelined? You can never have peace without justice. It is on that principle I insist that Jagaban and Atiku are not qualified to contest. As far as I am concerned, there is only one qualified candidate for this election. APGA candidate too is qualified, but he is not my candidate. My candidate is any candidate from the Southeast. I have a choice between APGA and Labour Party candidates. That is where Awolowo stood. By the time the argument comes, I will give you all the facts. Awolowo said it during the war that we must do everything to keep peace in the federation. So, let us come to that first. Quote me right, Afenifere’s stand is on the Southeast having it. (Sunday SUN)

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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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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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Tribunal sacks Kano Gov, Yusuf, declares APC’s Gawuna winner



The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, declaring the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 18 election.

Yusuf, who contested on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

While Nasir Gawuna, his APC rival congratulated him, the party proceeded to court.

On Wednesday, the three-man panel ordered withdrawal of certificate of return which INEC presented to Governor Yusuf and directed a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna.

The court deducted 165,663 votes from Gov Yusuf total as invalid votes, stating that the ballot papers (165,663) were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Details later…

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