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Peter Obi, Alex Otti will win in Abia — APC Chieftain, BB Apugo predicts

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An All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Caucus member from Abia state, Chief Ochiagha Benjamin Apugo, has foretold that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and the party’s governorship candidate in Abia, Dr. Alex Otti will win the State in the forthcoming general elections.

Apugo stated this in a press statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday.

In the statement, he dissociate himself from a report that linked him with the endorsement of the candidate of the APC in Abia state, Chief Ikechi Emenike.

Apugo further explained that he was not supporting any political party in the 2023 general elections but individuals with track road of performance.

He said “Chief Ikechi Emenike and his team paid me a courtesy visit as a Chieftain of the party to inform me of his governorship ambition as well as the proposed visit of the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Umuahia, Abia state.

“I emphatically told Emenike that the APC would lose both the Abia governorship and Presidential elections, and restated my uncompromising support for the Labour Party governorship candidate in Abia state, Dr. Alex Otti and its Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

“APC will fail woefully in Abia State. PDP is already dead. I am supporting Otti. I didn’t endorse him (Emenike). I told him that APC will not win because there is nothing to show APC people. So, forget about endorsement.”

Giving reasons for supporting Obi and Otti, Apugo said ” If you check my political history, you would discover that I have always associated with people of high moral standing and integrity, hence my support for Otti whom I believe will develop this land when he becomes governor”.

Apugo said it would not be politically reasonable to support a party that could not fix the strategic Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road and the Umuahia-Ohafia-Aro chukwu road respectively, maintaining that both the APC and the PDP have failed Abians and should be roundly rejected.

The elder statesman, widely respected for his candour and firm stance on critical national and state issues, insisted that Otti was the only outstanding personality in the Abia governorship race with proven capacity and passion to develop the state, stressing that though he was a member of BOT and National Caucus of the APC, the development of Abia, including Ibeku land was of paramount importance hence his decision to support the former managing director of Diamond Bank.

He also vehemently refuted the idea of anti-party when reminded about that.

“What is anti-party? What I am telling you is the correct thing. They haven’t done anything here. I am saying it with annoyance. With the position that I held in APC, nothing. I am not talking about myself. I have not gotten even one contract from them. No employment for one single person since 8 years. So, what are you talking about anti-party? They know that what I am talking is the correct thing. They have not done anything to my people here. They didn’t do one single thing here in my home town which is the capital of Abia State. No federal presence”, he said.

Apugo also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) innovation and enjoined the Abia electorate to come out on the election day and vote for Otti for governor and Obi for President for the development of Abia and Nigeria at large, stressing that the era of election rigging was over.

“In the first place, the electoral act does not permit anybody or give anybody chance to rig elections. What you can do is vote buying which is also a crime covered by law. So, if you think that somebody is going to rig the election, I doubt. If they will rig elections, they will rig it in other states. Here, we are ready to die instead of thinking that we are alive when we don’t have hope. So, boys and girls will protect their votes. Men and women will protect their votes and we are going to vote for the best. I don’t think money will solve this election. Who are you giving money to? Are you giving somebody who’s nearer to the grave? He’s already dead and you are giving him money. He wants to resurrect, he wants to come back to life”, the Prince of Ibeku land stressed. (Sunday Tribune)

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Why tribunal sacked Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke

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Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke-led administration in Osun State came to a hurting halt on Friday as the Osun Election Petitions Tribunal sacked him from office. His stay in office lasted a mere 62 days!

While annulling the July 16 Osun governorship poll results, the tribunal held that the Independent National Electoral Commission did not comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act as amended.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, the winner of the July 16 election.

The Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes, beating the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who garnered 375,027 votes in the keenly contested race.

In the election held across 3,763 polling units in the 30 local government areas in Osun, the PDP won 17 of the LGAs, while the APC recorded more votes in the remaining 13. The PDP won in Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boluwaduro, Egbedore, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Ila, Atakumosa West, Olorunda, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade, Orolu, Ife North, Irepodun, and Ejigbo LGAs.

The APC, on the other hand, won in Boripe, Ilesa East, Ayedire, Ifedayo, Ife Central, Ayedaade, Iwo, Olaoluwa, Isokan, Atakumosa East, Irewole, Ife South, and Ife East LGAs. Out of the 1,955,657 registered voters in the state, 1,479,595 Permanent Voter Cards were collected before the election.

Adeleke’s victory raised the PDP-governed states’ tally to 14, with the ruling APC states dropping to 21.

But the hope of Adeleke, known for his dancing skills and fondly referred to as the ‘Dancing Senator’, was dashed on Friday after the tribunal annulled the result of the July 16 governorship poll.

While delivering a majority decision vote, Justice Tetsea Kume ruled that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issue another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.

Meanwhile, Governor Ademola Adeleke has reacted to his sacking by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, the governor described it as a miscarriage of justice.

The statement read: “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has described the judgement of the governorship tribunal as ” a miscarriage of justice”, vowing to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

“Reacting to the verdict of the Tribunal from his country home, Ede, Governor Adeleke faulted the resolution of the over-voting question in favour of Mr Oyetola, calling it “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”

“While urging his supporters to remain calm, Governor Adeleke vowed to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal, insisting he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 election.

“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate”, Governor Adeleke declared.”

PUNCH

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Fresh trouble in Enugu APC over campaign funding

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The crisis tearing the All Progressives Congress (APC) apart in Enugu State has taken a new twist as the candidates of the party in the state are set for a major showdown with the state chairman, Chief Ugochukwu Agballah and the governorship candidate, Chief Uche Nnaji, over camapgn funds.

Sources at the State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting of the party, which held on Wednesday, 25th January 2023 said trouble started when Agballah directed candidates to bear the cost of logistics for the campaign.

“The state chairman briefed us that 2023 campaigns in the stage would hold on the basis of State Constituencies. That is based on the House of Assembly seat constituencies. You know there are 24 State Constituencies in Enugu State.

“He gave the various dates and venues for the campaigns, which will begin next week.

“However, trouble started when it was announced that the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial candidates would be responsible for the logistics of the campaign in each of their State Constituencies, while the governorship candidate would be responsible for stipends for the people that would attend.

“But that is the problem. Where is the money released for the campaign by our party, particularly a South East governor of APC extraction?”, the source said.

The party source said majority of the candidates were also angry that the remainder of the sum of N238 million given to Agballah and Nnaji to field candidates for all the elective positions in the State was not accounted for.

“Ordinarily, there should never have been trouble in the Enugu APC, but for the decision of a few to shortchange the majority.

“When Dr. Ben Nwoye was there, did we ever have any arguments over money? Did we ever hear about the embezzlement of allowances given to presidential primary delegates? But today, $1.5 million given to delegates at the 2022 APC national convention and presidential primary have ended up in the pockets of two people. But we will ensure that they cough it out.

“Under Nwoye, did we ever hear that nearly N300m was released to buy nominations forms and field candidates for all elective positions, but missing? Did we hear that money released for APC rallies or campaigns got missing? But today, every money that comes to Enugu APC grows wings and flies into two pockets.

“But we won’t allow them to digest it. We will make sure that they cough every bit if it out”, an aggrieved State House of Assembly candidate stated.

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Ebonyi PDP raises alarm over APC’s alleged plans to attack Campaign DG

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•Ebonyi PDP 2023 Campaign DG, Austin Igwe Edeze

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State chapter, has raised the Alarm over plans by the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) to attack its Campaign Director-General, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze.

Edeze, who contested the PDP primaries and lost out to Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, the party’s gubernatorial flagbearer, hails from the same lzzi Local Government Area of the state with APC governorship candidate, Hon. Francis Nwifuru.

A statement signed and made available to newsmen by Deputy Director, Media and Publicity, PDP campaign council, Comrade Moses Idika, said: “Our attention has been drawn to a clandestine plot by some miscreants and hoodlums hired by the APC Government in Ebonyi State to attack the Director-General of the PDP Campaign Council, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze.

“The DG, a popular politician in the state was appointed by the PDP Governorship Candidate and was inaugurated on Thursday last week alongside other members.

The statement said that information at the disposal revealed that the APC led-government in Ebonyi State was bitter of Edeze’s solid profile which would help to boost the main opposition’s strength.

According to the statement, “An attempt by yet to be identified hoodlums had failed two nights ago when they stormed the house of the PDP Campaign DG but were repelled by vigilant security operatives attached to him.

“We are aware that these evil doers are now planning a fresh attack on Chief Edeze.Whereas Chief Edeze, a former member of the APC Board of Trustees left the party in February, 2022. He contested the PDP Governorship Primaries and lost to Dr. Ifeanyi Odii.

“Since Chief Edeze was appointed to lead the PDP campaign in Ebonyi State, the APC top hierarchy in the state has been downcast and jittery following the popular upsurge of support being enjoyed by the PDP with prospects of mass decampings troubling the APC.

“Therefore, we want to state categorically that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Those who resort to violence and hooliganism should count the disastrous consequences to themselves if and when we decide to play at their tuff.

“We seize this opportunity to alert security agencies, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director General State Security Service and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), to checkmate the evil machinations of the hired hoodlums whose planned destruction of lives and property may herald another round of bloodshed in the state.”

The party requested that the security agencies to use their good Offices to nip the evil plot in the bud, so as to frustrate the hands of the enemies of democratic governance in Ebonyi State.

As at the time of filing the report, all efforts to reach Mr. Leo Oketa, a member of APC media campaign council for comment proved abortive.

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