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I rejected Labour Party, APC guber tickets to support Peter Mbah – Ex-minister, Nnaji



A former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji has disclosed that he rejected a governorship ticket offered to him by the Labour Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, among other political parties in Enugu State because of his resolve to support the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah.

Nnaji was one of the aspirants for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial ticket in Enugu State. The election was won by Barr. Peter Mbah.

The ex-minister said the Labour Party, the APC and indeed other political parties approached him freely with their tickets after the PDP primary election.

He, however, said he turned them down having resolved to support the governorship aspiration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Peter Mbah ahead of the 2023 general elections.

He spoke in his hometown of Umuode, Nkanu East local government area when Mbah paid him a courtesy visit, noting that he remained a staunch supporter of the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer.

He stressed that he was bound by the memorandum of understanding (MoU) he signed with Mbah and other PDP governorship aspirants before the May 25, 2022, primary election to support whoever emerged from the party’s primary.

The former minister who recalled how many political parties pestered around him, offering their governorship tickets, said he emphatically told them he would not be contesting against Peter Mbah whom he had earlier assured of his support.

Citing the importance of leadership and integrity, Prof Nnaji said he would never join those working the opposite direction from their collective agreement, saying the letters of the MoU prepared by the Nkanu East Leaders Consultative Forum, a body which he led ahead of the primaries, and signed by the gubernatorial aspirants of the PDP in the state was binding on them and should serve as their conscience.

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According to him, “you don’t abruptly abandon your direction for another direction”.

Nnaji who went memory lane on how the journey towards the Nkanu East gubernatorial project was conceived leading to the voluntary signing of the MoU, said he was asked to lead the Consultative Forum that lobbied stakeholders and the people of the state to consider the state of underdevelopment of the council area, adding that he would never abandon the project for anybody.

“My colleagues on that journey are here. We bonded together. We worked hard. We consulted people, and we visited our governor as part of that. We visited him before we started and we visited him after we had finished to report to him. It was a very wonderful thing.

“And when he (Peter Mbah) was selected, I sent out a message and I stood by the message. You can’t imagine how many parties have been coming to me, offering me their tickets, and I turned them down. I told them we had an agreement and we all voluntarily agreed to honour it. I didn’t take the ticket of Labour Party. I didn’t take the APC ticket. I didn’t take the ticket of APGA. It’s all about principles. I went back to my business. I’m in support of what we agreed to do”, he said.

He added that, “I wasn’t unhappy when my brother (Dr. Peter Mbah) was selected. I was totally blessed as I did bless that night. That night I sent you a message congratulating you and pledging to support you. That agreement, that support stands.

“People say all manner of things on social media and if you’ve not been around in the political terrain, you’ll just swallow what you think to be the truth. If you’ve been around long enough there are things you don’t even need to respond to, listen to because they are just what they are.”

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While congratulating the Enugu State governorship hopeful, Nnaji said he would continue to work with him and further charged his followers and supporters to join the PDP moving train for the successful prosecution and successful outcome of the election.

Dr. Mbah in a handshake with Prof Nnaji during the visit

Speaking earlier, Mbah expressed his profound gratitude to Prof Nnaji for the reception and for his support, stressing that history would not forget the invaluable role he played in ensuring that the ticket came down to Nkanu East.

Mbah said: “when the eligibility argument was raging, when we had people from all parts of the state; we had people from the West who said it was their turn to become governor. We also had some people from Enugu North senatorial district clamouring. And in the East we were also ardently advocating we were blessed with people with capacity. At that point you took a very critical step. You did not only acknowledge that it was the turn of Enugu East senatorial zone, but you actually went a step further.

“The Nkanu East Leaders Consultative Forum was constituted and you became the face of that Consultative Forum. You had a mission and that mission was clear. That mission was that because you assumed that the issue of the next governorship coming to Enugu East was given, it was also very important to you that it was narrowed down. You went on arguing about years of deplorable state of infrastructure that we had to endure in Nkanu East.

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“You got people to buy into that mission and you went with your team talking to the political stalwarts that we have in Enugu State, convincing them on why it should be the turn of Nkanu East. You got people in the state to buy into this mission. That mission grew and became bigger than even the members.

“I also know that in the process when you got a lot of people who also became proponents of the mission, some of those people also began to take bruises because they believed in and argued for it. These are not people from Nkanu East but elsewhere.

“When on the 25th day of May, 2022, your wish and indeed of that mission which you led eventually came to fruition, I recall vividly that you were one of those who did a press release congratulating me and also pledging your unflinching support.

“I think it’ll be difficult for history to be written without posterity recognizing the role you played, if by the grace of God, we eventually become the next governor of Enugu State come May 2023.”



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.

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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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KOGI GUBER: Former Dep. Gov Achuba endorses Muri, urges Kogites to reject Gov. Bello’s violence, 3rd term agenda



Former Kogi Dep Gov, Hon Simon Achuba

…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.

Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, Kogi SDP Governorship Candidate

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.

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“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.

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“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.

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