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PDP wins Cross River senatorial bye-election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Stephen Odey, winner of the Cross River Northern Senatorial District bye-election held on Saturday, December 5.

Odey scored a total of 129,207 votes to defeat his closest rival, Joe Agi of the All Progressives Congress, who polled 19,165 votes, according to the returning officer for the election, Prof Ameh Akoh.

The PDP’s candidate, Maria Godwin Akwaji, also won the Obudu State Constituency seat in the House of Assembly with 32,166 votes. The APC’s candidate, Abor Adaje, came second with 3,546 votes.

In Ogoja, the PDP polled 16,235 votes followed by APC with 2,634 votes. In Bekwarra, PDP got 21,195 followed by APC with 2,576 votes.

PDP also won in Obudu, recording 31,551 votes followed by the APC with 3,300 votes.

In Yala, the PDP polled 45,718 votes, while the APC won 8,081 votes.

The results were declared at the INEC’s office in Ogoja in the presence of the returning officer for the election and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme University, Ebonyi, Prof Omaka Nduka.

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Igbo youths call for arrest of Gumi over support for banditry

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The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL) has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Islamic cleric Sheik Abubakak Gumi for openly supporting and encouraging banditry and kidnapping in the country.

Gumi was reported to have said that “Murderous Fulani herdsmen only kidnap children for money and that they are better than Indigenous People of Biafrà (IPOB).”

He urged the Federal Government to offer amnesty to criminal herdsmen engaged in banditry and kidnapping, saying the bandits do not kidnap to kill but to make money.

The Igbo youth leaders said such a statement has simply unmasked and exposed the true identity of the Islamic cleric as “a hardened promoter of terrorism in the country,” describing it as wicked and barbaric.

Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Thursday, the President-General of the organisation, Goodluck Ibem noted that kidnapping school children is the most heinous crime anyone can commit.

“No sane country will tolerate such heinous crime against humanity. Kidnapping school children is the wicked and barbaric crime anyone can commit.”

He said: Fulani herdsmen, according to the Global Terror Index (GTI), are the world’s fourth most deadly terrorists. The GTI lists thousands of individual attacks that occurred in Nigeria where herdsmen deliberately kill or maim, or rape Nigerians.

The youth leader said “Sheikh Gumi is not a peace negotiator as he claims, he is rather a facilitator of terror.

It is very unfortunate that our country Nigeria has been reduced to a level where kidnappers who kidnap school children, kill security agents who try to stop them in their bid to kidnap the children are good people because they are Fulanis committing crime to make money.

Though we do not speak for IPOB, no sane person will compare the activities of murderous Fulani herdsmen kidnappers with IPOB. Nigeria is rated as a fail state and a country on watch list because of the terrorists activities of the people who Gumi and his likes support. If Nigeria must move forward, terrorists and kidnapping activities must be brought to a halt.”

According to him, Gumi’s statement has confirmed to all that he is the godfather of murderous Fulani herdsmen kidnappers and bandits who have been terrorising the country.

“We demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of Sheik Abubakak Gumi for supporting and encouraging violent crimes and kidnapping in the country. The law is no respecter of persons and Kidnapping is a capital offence.

“If the Federal Government fails to arrest Gumi and his partners in crime, it will be confirmed to all that they are working in synergy with the kidnappers, bandits and terrorists to cause insecurity so that elections will not hold and they will remain in power beyond 2023.

“We therefore put the United Nations and the international community on notice that they do not need to look far for the sponsors of banditry and terrorism in Nigeria. We now know those behind the killing spree, kidnapping of infant school children, Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda to exterminate Indigenous ethic population across Nigeria.”

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Soludo wins Anambra APGA governorship primary election

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Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof Charles Soludo, has won the Anambra governorship primary election of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

He secured 740 votes to defeat Ezenwankwo Christopher who polled 41 votes; while ThankGod Ibe had four votes, and Okolo Chibuzor got seven votes.

A total of 795 accredited delegates participated in the election but 792 votes were cast.

Soludo will represent the party in the governorship election scheduled to hold on November 6.

The primary election took place on Wednesday in Awka, Anambra State capital.

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and other stakeholders of the party were present at the event.

The national working committee of a faction of the party led by Jude Okeke announced the suspension of Soludo from the party while the primary was ongoing.

National Publicity Secretary of the faction, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said Soludo was suspended due to anti-party activities.

Soludo promised to use his international network to transform the state.

He also praised the administration of the incumbent governor of Anambra, Obiano, as one of the best in the country.

“Anambra is doing well under Obiano and my mission is to continue and complete all the legacy projects of the governor,” he had said.

Weeks after declaring his interest in the governorship election, Soludo was attacked by gunmen at an interactive town hall meeting in Isuofia, Aguata LGA of Anambra state.

Three police officers providing security for him were killed in the attack, while Emeka Ezenwanne, the Anambra commissioner for public utilities, was abducted.

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Approved N9bn for renovation of National Assembly not released – Senate

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The Senate on Wednesday said that the N9billion approved for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the 2020 Appropriation Act was never released by the Federal Government.

Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

Recall that following a heavy downpour in Abuja on Tuesday, the foyer of the National Assembly became flooded following profuse leakage from the roof of the White House Complex.

Basiru said National Assembly is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the complex.

The statement reads: “Contrary to the widespread falsehood being peddled both in the mainstream and online media as a fall out of the reported incident of the leaking roof of the National Assembly Complex after a heavy downpour on Tuesday, 21 June 2021, it is pertinent to inform the General Public that the National Assembly and its leadership is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the National Assembly Complex and they have not received a sum of 37 billion naira or any amount for the renovation of the Complex.

“While it is true that an initial appropriation of the above-stated sum was made due to the decaying nature of the National Assembly Complex which has not witnessed any major maintenance or overhauling since construction, the said amount was reduced to 9 billion naira after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even with this reduction, the sum of 9 billion or any amount is yet to be cash-backed or released to the National Assembly. None of this amount is even appropriated for the National Assembly bureaucracy or its leadership.

“It must be reiterated that the National Assembly Complex is a National Monument which falls under the purview of control of the Federal Capital Development Agency. In essence, the FCDA is responsible for its maintenance as well as renovation and not the Leadership of the National Assembly as being falsely bandied about.

“The leakage witnessed at the foyer of the National Assembly yesterday (Tuesday) justifies the apprehension of the leadership of the National Assembly and the FCDA and further underscores the need for an urgent intervention in revamping the dilapidated structures within the complex before it falls into further dilapidation with the attendant huge cost of a possible replacement.”

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