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Anambra Election: Politics Of Denomination Looms Today As Soludo, Uba And Ozigbo Fight Tough To Succeed Obiano

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Anambra Election: Politics Of Denomination Looms Today As Soludo, Uba And Ozigbo Fight Tough To Succeed Obiano
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Anambra Election: Politics Of Denomination Looms Today As Soludo, Uba And Ozigbo Fight Tough To Succeed Obiano

Anambra election: Soludo, Uba, Ozigbo in tough battle to succeed Obiano, as insecurity overwhelms StatePublished on November 6, 2021 By Joe Chukindi

Today, November 6, eligible voters in Anambra State will hit polling units across the 21 local government areas of the state to elect a new governor that will take over from the incumbent, Willie Obiano.

Obiano is expected to take the exit door from the government house, Awka next year, having successfully completed his two terms as enshrined in the constitution.

The state is already fully charged with heavy security presence, just as the euphoria of going out to elect a leader is very high among the electorates.

Though 18 candidates are jostling for the number one seat, political pundits have identified three political parties as the most dominant in the race, while the candidates of those parties have also been adjudged to be the most popular among them, and one among them is most likely to emerge as the next governor of the state.

However, there are factors that will determine the advantages and disadvantages of the Anambra governorship candidates this Saturday. Among them are political parties, backings from top politicians, popularity among the people, religious denominations, antecedents and even financial standings of the individual candidates.

The three most popular political parties in the state; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are also fielding very widely accepted candidates in the persons of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Mr Valentine Ozigbo and Senator Andy Uba.

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On the other hand, Soludo, who is running on the platform of APGA already has some advantages. His party – APGA is currently in power in the state. He is also lucky to have been endorsed and vigorously campaigned for by the incumbent governor, Obiano.

Uba on the other hand also has the luck of running on the platform of the ruling party in the centre, the APC. Many believe he will use such status to either manipulate or garner votes.

The dominance of religious politics is a strong factor in the state. The Catholic and Anglican churches dominate the politics of the state, with the Catholic having an upper hand. This has brought silent rancour that many candidates have leveraged to push their aspiration. While Andy Uba is of the Anglican stock, Soludo and Ozigbo are Catholics, just as all three candidates are from same local government area, Aguata.

There have been news of Andy Uba being the only candidate of Anglican stock, and will be using the opportunity to curry favour.

The antecedents of all the three leading candidates may also make or mar their chances, considering that the people may vote according to how relevant a candidate was, as at the time of holding a past office, which two of the candidates among the three are known to have held offices. But one area where all the candidates seem to have strength is financial stability. Though some of the candidates are far more accomplished than others, they cannot also be denied the right of being money bags in their own right.

Prof Chukwuma Soludo

Strength – He is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which is seen to be a dominant political party in the state. He is highly popular in the state, and his antecedents at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where he worked as the governor and helped to turn things around in the banking sector is one of his major strengths. His education, cerebral nature and strength of ideas are also to his advantage. He has a cult following among people of all levels, age and status.

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Weakness – The only weakness which Soludo has, which in fact is also part of his strength, is the avowed resolution of the incumbent governor to deliver him as the next governor. Though this is also his major strength, his opponents use it against him, saying that such may amount to bringing back god-fatherism, which has long been done away with in the state.

Mr Valentine Ozigbo

Strength – Being a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is one of Ozigbo’s greatest strengths. Though many believe he is new in politics, having been a banker and business mogul all along, his ability to wrestle power away from known names in the party during the primaries is his biggest strength, such that he is today rated ahead of other candidates. He is known to be very cerebral in thinking, and also very innovative. His age, and religious denomination (Catholicism) are all to his advantage.

Weakness – Ozigbo is not known to have any visible weakness, as he has discharged himself creditably since he arrived on the Anambra political turf. However, the support he enjoys from the former governor of the state, Mr Peter Obi has been misinterpreted as that of a godfather and godson relationship, and has been used many times over to taunt him as one who is taking Anambra back to the era of political god-fatherism.

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Senator Andy Uba

Strength – He is running on the platform of the national ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and has a lot of bigwig politicians behind him from across Nigeria, and people in the presidency. Uba is not in short supply of money to prosecute his election, and has successfully wooed most prominent politicians in the state, including top office holders to his party. What is Uba’s greatest strength is the fact that he is a great political thinker, and as always his taciturn self, he never boasts, nor openly discloses his political strategies, until he plays them. He is an Anglican, and considering the fact that Catholics have been dominant in the politics of the state, it may be the turn of his church to rally round him and produce a governor.

Weakness – Uba has a past about Anambra politics that is not so palatable to the ears, and has been severally accused of being responsible for the misfortune that befell Anambra between 2000 and 2006, when public properties were destroyed, and a former governor of the state kidnapped and mandated to resign from office. He is not also gifted with oratory, so, whatever his plans for the state are; he finds it difficult conveying them in simple and understandable language.

Although the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has called off its planned sit-at-home exercise, today’s election is likely to witness a low turnout due to the ongoing insecurity in the southeast region.

Stay with us here as we update you all the events of today

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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill

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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill
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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill

…says Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the bill.

The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance has mounted pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law saying Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the bill into law.

The group in a letter submitted to President Buhari dated December 6, and signed by SaMBA General Secretary, Marcel Ngogbehei, said the proposed amendment has addressed the issue raised in the amendment of the Electoral Bill passed by the eight National Assembly.
The Alliance reminded the President of his pledge in January 2019, while inaugurating the APC presidential campaign council in Abuja, to leave a legacy of credible elections in Nigeria and stated, “that this is the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.”
SaMBA urged all relevant stakeholders, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people so that the lessons gleaned from the recent use of technology during the Anambra and Edo state elections are not lost and ensure that every Nigerian who has registered for the coming 2023 elections are able to retrieve their voters’ card seamlessly to avoid the incessant case of disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

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The letter titled “Re: Take Advantage of The Electoral Act Amendment Bill to strengthen our Democracy”, reads:

“We the members of the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) urge you to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

“We recall that on November 9, 2021, the House of Representatives and the Senate chambers passed into law amendments to the Electoral Act.

“The most topical items of amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestants and the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria.

“The need was also identified for the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deemed fit towards the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria.

“The President will recall that majority of Nigerians had described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria has had in a long time. This is also the view of the SaMBA, whose press statement dated 23rd September 2021, strongly urged the Senate to “redeem their battered image by adopting the House of Representatives’ version of Section 53(2) of the Bill” and not subject the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the approval of the National Communication Commission.

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“Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the Bill into law, seeing that the President had on three previous occasions declined assent to this Bill, for varied reasons – In March 2018, you believed that the proposed law could usurp the constitutional powers of INEC to decide on election matters; On another occasion you were concerned that the new electoral act would “create uncertainty and confusion” as Nigerians approached the 2019 elections.

“Fortunately, the proposed 2021 Amended Electoral Act, has addressed your fears, there should be no reason to delay your assent. This is more so as we recall that In January 2019, while inaugurating the APC presidential campaign council in Abuja, Mr. President, you expressed your desire to leave a legacy of credible elections in Nigeria. You stated that this is the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.

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“SaMBA however, cautions that the passage of the 2021 amendment to the Electoral Act is only a journey and not the destination. We urge all stakeholders, especially INEC to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons gleaned from recent and remote deployment of technology during the Anambra and Edo state elections are not lost.

“We also call for confidence building measures by INEC, particularly through voter education and sensitisation, transparency and security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections, involving all stakeholders to scrutinise and review the software and hardware components prior to procurement, deployment, and operations, and returning internal party democracy to the people through direct primaries, so that democracy in Nigeria will live up to its fullest and truest meaning.”

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

Respite has finally come the way of the alleged Maiduguri-based Boko Haram suspects following their release on Tuesday in Abuja after spending over three years in police detention.

The seven detainees were set free on the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja issued on December 1 by Justice Modupe Olajuwon.

Their release comes exactly seven days after the court order was issued.

Their lawyer, Peter Abbo, who filed and argued a fundamental human rights enforcement suit on their behalf, confirmed their release to our correspondent.

Justice Olajuwon had on December 1 in a judgment ordered police to pay the sum of N15 million to the seven over their unlawful detention for three years without trial.

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The suspects, who were said to have been arrested inside a Maiduguri market, were allegedly dumped at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) detention facility at Abbatoir in Abuja.

Justice Olajuwon, in the judgment on their fundamental human rights enforcement suit, had held that the detention of the men for three years without trial contravened the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

The judge had said that the police acted in bad faith in keeping the detainees beyond the period required by law especially when there was no cogent and verifiable ground of indictment of the applicants for any offence.

Justice Olajuwon, while holding that the detention was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, consequently ordered that the seven applicants be released forthwith to their families.

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

The judge ordered that each applicant be paid a sum of N2 million as damages for their unlawful detention and another N1 million as the cost of litigation that brought about the judgment.

Counsel to the applicants, Aboh, while confirming the release, told our correspondent that the detainees have just been handed over to him and that they are eager to go back to Maiduguri to reunite with their families after three years of separation.

“As I am talking to you, the seven detainees are here with me having just been released on the order of the federal high court in Abuja issued on December 1.

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“Though their detention is arbitrary, unjust and unlawful, they are still happy that police complied with the order of the court and they are in high spirits seeking to travel immediately to Maiduguri where they were arrested,” he said.

He insisted that the detainees were unjustly labelled as Boko Haram suspects by police to justify the unlawful detention.

The lawyer had earlier told journalists that an Abuja based non-governmental organization, Dayspring Life Foundation, stumbled on the detainees and took over the sponsorship of the litigation to rescue them from the claws of police and unlawful detention.

The applicants are Ajiri Bulama Dungus, Gudja Giddah, Adam Mohammed, Wardi Dungus, Fanami Mustapha, Mohammed Abba and Makinka Alhaji Dungus.

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‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

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'What has happened has happened,' Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu's 'walk of peace'
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‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

The Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Yaba District Headquarters (Ogo Serafu), has thrown its support on the Peace Walk planned by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Chairman of the church’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Special Apostle Samuel Sogunro, gave the support on behalf of the church, during a news conference at the church’s headquarters in Ijeshatedo.

Sanwo-Olu had on November 30 called on the youths and other stakeholders to join him on Peace Walk, for healing of Lagos State, after the disturbances that trailed the 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

The news conference was to announce the 50th Anniversary of the church, the Cathedral Dedication and its 51st Harvest Thanksgiving.

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Sogunro, a former Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic, said that what had happened was irreversible, but all had to come together and move the nation forward.

According to him, the whole issue about #EndSARS protest and its aftermath came with a lot of lessons learnt.

“The bottom line is that we must move forward as a nation, and we continue to learn everyday. I believe that what heppened during that EndSARS will never repeat itself again.

“So many things, many infrastructure of government were destroyed, I bet you if it had been other states, they will not get over it till thy kingdom come but we want to appreciate the Lagos State Government for rising up to that challenge.

“Lagos State Government has been doing very well, as far as infrastructural development and listens to the masses. So, the Peace Walk is the thing that everyone wants to embrace

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“What has happened has happened, we need to move on, let us come together and forge ahead.

“I believe the government is reasoning in the right direction. So people should join hand with the government to make sure that we come together and build our country ourselves,” he said.

‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

Sogunro said that the church, formerly known as The Holy Order of Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement Ijeshatedo, was founded in 1970, by late Senior Apostle Nathaniel Aderibigbe Ajijolaoluwa, in a small shop at Johnson Bus stop, ljesha Road, Surulere, Lagos.

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He said that since inception, the church had exhibited its spirituality and revealed revelations, of which a lot of testimonies abound.

According to him, the church has billed to celebrate its 50+1 anniversary and dedication of its cathedral on December 11, and the Adult Harvest Thanksgiving Service on December 12.

He said that the church had highlighted a lot of activities for the three major programmes, which had started on November 28 with health check, health talk and evangelism.

Sogunro said that there had been praise concert, symposium, visit to orphanage home, with inter-branch Bible Quiz, Prophetic Night on December 8.

He urged Christians to continue to live according to the dictates of the Lord God, so as to live meaningful lives.

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