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2023: North Will Back Any Credible Candidate From Any Region – NEF Declares

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2023: North Will Back Any Credible Candidate From Any Region - NEF Declares
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2023: North Will Back Any Credible Candidate From Any Region – NEF Declares

Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum, Ezeife knock NEF over comment on Igbo agitation

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has declared that it would back a candidate from any region for the 2023 presidential election.

Spokesman of the forum, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, stated this in an interview with Daily Sun at the sideline of the fourth Malam Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

He, however, said the north would not accept a presidential candidate thrown up for the 2023 poll by a political party on the basis of regional consideration.

Ahmed, in a paper delivered at the lecture on behalf of NEF, entitled: “The President we want” warned that the north would turn its back to any party that deliberately tilts advantages to presidential candidates from particular regions in the 2023 electioneering.

“We don’t want the president to emerge as a product of ethnic or religious pushes. We don’t want a president that will be answerable to a portion of Nigeria. We won’t accept it,” he said.

He flayed moves by a section of the country to occupy the presidential office through violence, saying it was counter-productive to peace and unity efforts. He said the current situation in the country does not require a leader produced by cohesion or secession threats.

2023: North Will Back Any Credible Candidate From Any Region – NEF Declares

“The next president should emerge from a credible election from any part of the country but he or she must be first and foremost a Nigerian president. The north would back any credible candidate from the region who understand the problem, possess capacity to solve them (challenges) and can build bridges across the country.”

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Ahmed said the north was concerned about the violence in the South East as much as it was worried by insecurity in parts of the north.

He, however, said the north would not be cowed by threats of secession ahead of the 2023 election.

“We don’t want organised violence or threat to produce the president of Nigeria. Secession is a bad option for South East. It is not in the best interest of this country or anybody.”

He asked self-determination group, IPOB, to stop the violence in the region.

“Why should the Federal Government allow IPOB to strangulate five South East states? If this administration do not have the capacity and willingness to ask this question, to deal with this problem, then the next administration should do so.”

Meanwhile, pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and former Anambra State Governor, Dr Chukwuemka Ezeife, have knocked Ahmed over his comment that the north would not accept any presidential candidate from any political party for the 2023 election if such candidate emerged on the basis of regional consideration.

Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said NEF spokesman by his statements and pronouncements has over time shown he does not love Nigeria.

Ogbonnia said Ahmed lacked the knowledge of Nigeria’s political history as all the country’s presidents since 1999 were products of regional agitations.

“Many patriotic Nigerians have discovered that from all his remarks Dr Ahmed does not love Nigeria. He should know that all Nigeria’s presidents since 1999 emerged due to regional agitation. President Olusegun Obasanjo emerged due to the massive agitation by the South West after the election of Chief Moshood Abiola was annulled. Based on the agitation, the rulers at that time in their wisdom conceded the presidency to the South West. After the Obasanjo presidency, the north agitated that it was their turn and that agitation produced President Umaru Yar’Adua. Of course, the agitations from PANDEF and other South South groups during the Yar’Adua gave rise to the amnesty programme to the Niger Delta militants and also produced the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Even the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is a product of collective agitation by the north.

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“So, it is clear that the NEF spokesman doesn’t know what he is saying and he has no knowledge of Nigerian political history or political science. Agitation is part of democracy. The agitation by the South East for example or any other region is a way of expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo. Well-meaning patriotic Nigerians who understand the need for the continued corporate existence of Nigeria should concede the 2023 presidency to the South East because it is an agitation that is asking for equity and justice.”

Reacting, President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Pogu Bitrus, said the statement only showed that the north was afraid of southerners taking over from Buhari. He said the statement was insulting to other Nigerians because the issue of credibility was not an exclusive preserve of the north as there were qualified candidates to rule Nigerians from all over the country.

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He also dissociated the Middle Belt from the statement saying: “Even in the north, they are not speaking for us because we are Middle Belters and we are not going to play second fiddle to anybody. All the falsehood they have been adducing about the population, which doesn’t exist, will be exposed with time. But, as far as I am concerned, his statement means he is afraid of a southern Nigerian taking over from Buhari because they know they have committed a lot of atrocities. I want to advise them to get out of that fear and become true Nigerians.”

Also, Ezeife, said the position of the NEF spokesman was consistent with his mannerism. He, however, said the quest for the Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023 should start with getting the November 6 Anambra State election right.

“The Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 is needed to douse the political tension in the country, however, that is not our problem now. It is important to first ensure a peaceful Anambra State governorship election on November 6. If we get the right governor for Anambra State, we will get our man for the 2023 presidential poll, but if the election is rigged and we lose Anambra State to the wrong person, then it will be difficult for our hope for 2023 to be realised.”

He lauded IPOB for understanding the value of supporting the election by calling off their sit-at-home.

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Chris Ngige Affirmed By APGA As Anambra APC Leader For Supporting Soludo

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Chris Ngige Affirmed By APGA As Anambra APC Leader For Supporting Soludo
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Chris Ngige Affirmed By APGA As Anambra APC Leader For Supporting Soludo

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has affirmed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, as the leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Anambra State, for supporting Professor Chukwuma Soludo, the winner of the just-concluded November 6, 2021 governorship election in the state.

The National Chairman of All Soludo Support Group (ASSG), Chief Jude Emecheta, gave the affirmation over the weekend during the group victory party celebration of the November 6, 2021 election, held at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre Awka, the state capital.

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According to him, Ngige deserves to be respected for playing a mature opposition rule in the state, especially, during the governorship election.

“Ngige, in a goodwill message by his Media Office, shortly after the announcement of the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), congratulated the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a resounding victory at the poll, saying it is a victory well-deserved,” he said

Emecheta, who was reacting to the eleven political parties that have filed petitions against the outcome of the gubernatorial election that produced Soludo as the winner, advised the parties to sheathe their swords and allow the governor-elect, who massively won 19 local government areas at of 21 LGA in the state to concentrate on his development agenda for Ndi-Anambra.

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“Not that APGA is afraid to confront them in the court, but I am appealing to them, especially, Senator Andy Uba of the APC, to withdraw their petitions because I know and I believe, they will not succeed, because Soludo’s victory is a mandate from God and the good people of Anambra. They are only going to court to spend their resources and to show their political relevance,” he added.

Speaking further, Emecheta, who is also the Managing Director of Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency, urged members to pray for the party’s victory at the tribunal.

Present at the victory party celebration were Deputy governor-elect, Dr Onyekachi Ibezim; Deputy Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Dr Paschal Agbodike; Traditional Ruler of Umueri, Igwe Ben Emeka; the Convener of SSG, Mr Chinedu Nwoye; member representing Njikoka Constituency II at the state House of Assembly, Hon. Pete Ibida; Transition Committee Chairman for Idemili North Council Area, Mr Asha Nnabuife and members of the Support Group, among others.

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Taraba APC Stakeholders Threaten To Burn Their Brooms

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Taraba APC Stakeholders Threaten To Burn Their Brooms
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Taraba APC Stakeholders Threaten To Burn Their Brooms

The crisis rocking the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have taken a nosedive as some critical stakeholders of the party are threatening to collapse the entire party structure into another political party, following what they called negligence of the chapter of the party by the national leadership.

A stakeholder who spoke to our correspondent in confidence on Sunday said that the party has done very well in ensuring that President Muhammadu Buhari gets overwhelming support in the state since 2015 but was disappointed that the President has never reciprocated the gesture to the party.

He said that the failure of the President to appoint another Minister for Taraba several months after he dropped the then Minister of Power Saleh Mamman has shown clearly that the President may not have the interest of the party at heart especially now that the party is warming up for another general election.

“In 2015, the APC gave the President overwhelming support in Taraba. Infact, you will remember that the crowd that came out to welcome him was so much that it led to a stampede and the death of several persons. The only thing we got was the minister of Women Affairs who later left the party ahead of the 2019 elections. We went into that election almost naked. Even at that, we still have him landslide in Taraba.

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“Now again, after the 2019 elections, the President appointed someone who was little known in the party and he could not galvanize the party. But at least he was there. Sadly, we are facing the next general elections and there is no clear plan for the party. Several months after the President sacked the minister, Taraba state has remained with a minister and no serious national appointee. This is detrimental for the party.

“We had hoped that the President will look at the records and see those that actually worked for the party over the years and appoint someone who has the track record of bringing the people together so that all the issues bothering the party could be addressed and yet nothing is been done. So what is the point staying in the party? As it is, the party needs a leader apart from the state officials who can bring all the stakeholders together to sort out our issues and prepare ahead of 2023.

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Taraba APC Stakeholders Threaten To Burn Their Brooms

“I can tell you in confidence that already consultation is underway to move the party structure in Taraba to another party. What is the point staying when we are not appreciated and have been abandoned by our leaders? What is the motivation here when hard work and absolute loyalty counts as nothing? It is this same action that cost the party Taraba state governorship in 2019. We can not sit back and watch that happen again.

“To further worsen the situation, we learnt that some people in government are lobbying for some persons who are either not party members at all or are, at best, Fairweather members, to get tickets and appointments. What message are they trying to send to those that have worked faithfully and tirelessly for the party? So don’t be surprised if you wake up tomorrow to witness the death of the APC and birth of a new party in the state”.

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The APC has been through some challenging times in the state with some attributing it to a lack of clearly acceptable leader of the party at the state level who can bring all the stakeholders to a round table and sort out their differences in a manner that will be tolerable by all parties involved.

Another member of the party Alhaji Sani Umar noted that the reward system of the party seems to work well everywhere else except in Taraba state.

Umar said that “the APC does not consider Taraba chapter of the party for anything at all. As a state where the President won election back to back even though the PDP is the ruling party in the state, it is sad that we are not considered for appointments and other good things that come with been in leadership.

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Ekiti PDP describes council election as monumental fraud

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Ekiti PDP describes council election as monumental fraud
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Ekiti PDP describes council election as monumental fraud

The Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has discredited the recently concluded local government election in which the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) won all the chairmanship and councillorship positions in the 16 local government councils as well as in 19 newly-created Local Council Development Area (LCDA).

The main opposition party had boycotted the election, claiming that the APC is incapable of organizing any free and fair election devoid of violence.

The other six political parties however participated in the election. They include; Action Alliance (AA), African Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC), National Rescue Movement (NRM), and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

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The Ekiti State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Raphael Adeyanju, in a press statement made available to newsmen, in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, claimed that the results of the election and the obvious low turnout of voters have confirmed the opposition’s fear that the result had been predetermined by the APC.

“The reality in Nigeria today is that the APC cannot win any free and fair election in any state of Nigeria. That none of the six other political parties that took part in the council election was able to win a single councillorship position shows the desperation of the ruling party.

Ekiti PDP describes council election as monumental fraud

“Those parties were only used to give credibility to the local government election. We knew this, and that was why we kept away from the charade. Ekiti electorates have also understood the antics of the ruling party and refuse to be used, No wonder, the election recorded the lowest turnout of electorates in the history of Ekiti State. Events from across the state on Saturday clearly showed that the people of Ekiti have rejected the APC and its government,” he said.

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The PDP spokesman also described the conduct of election in the newly-created LCDAs as unconstitutional, claiming that since the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes only the existing 16 local government areas in Ekiti State, election in the 19 LCDAs is an aberration and a waste of resources.

Adeyanju said: “The creation of mushroom LCDAs is an act of political gerrymandering, which is a fraudulent creation of constituencies to favour the ruling party. It is an act that was carried out without proper consultation with all relevant stakeholders, especially the opposition parties.”

The PDP also alleged that Governor Kayode Fayemi has a penchant for creating LCDAs when his party is about to lose a gubernatorial election.

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“The APC government has as usual created the LCDAs to become a burden for the in-coming PDP administration in Ekiti State. We can see how the 16 existing local government areas have been under-developed by the APC government. They are all in a sorry state and have been left at the mercy of the predatory state government,” he added.

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