Ahead of the 2023 general elections, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and some aggrieved leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have adopted the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
They said after a critical look at the prevailing situation in the country, the Northern Christian leaders decided to work with their Muslim counterparts in the North, to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC next year.
Presenting the report of the committee put together to appraise the presidential candidates in Abuja on Friday night, former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, said Atiku was adopted after due consideration of the report of the technical criteria committee put together by the leaders.
Northern Leaders at the meeting included: Dogara, Former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, Former Minister for Water Resources, Barrister Mukhtar Shagari, among several others.
The report was signed by the chairman and secretary of the committee, former minority leader house of representatives, Mohammed Kumalia, and Barrister Mela Nunge.
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Achuba said candidates evaluated were Atiku, Bola Tinubu of APC, candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, (NNPP).
According to him, the leaders took consideration of existing structure of the party, capacity of the candidates, evidence of national penetration, religious and ethnic balance, among others to arrive at the decision.
He said it was observed that the APC and PDP are almost at par in terms of political structure, but the compounding albatross on the neck of APC is the “unfortunate self-inflicted divisive same-faith-ticket which cannot guarantee the desired peace, unity and cohesion in Nigeria.”
He explained that while the duo NNPP and LP may emerge as strong contenders in the political arena in the future, from all indications, PDP appears to be the best option to adopt and support.
Achuba said: “The seven and a half years of the APC government has engendered wide spread national perception of its inability to tackle security challenges and turn around the national economy.
“A further compounding albatross on its neck is the unfortunate self-inflicted divisive same-faith-ticket which cannot guarantee the desired peace, unity and cohesion in Nigeria, a decision that has been kicked against by a huge population of Nigerians.
“The perception that the APC Presidential candidate has some health challenges makes people very uncomfortable. There is the fear that it may precipitate a situation where unelected surrogates will be running the government while the president left attending to his health.
“From the existing Structure of the Labour Party and even from the records of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as it stands for 2023 elections, even if all their candidates win in the 2023 elections, can the party still produce the President? Very unlikely indeed.”
On the NNPP, he said,” The NNPP on the other hand has similar characteristics with the LP and there is no need repeating same except that ~ NNPP appears to be building a party for the future with – little or no impact in the 2023 elections.
The leaders, therefore said PDP, from all indications seems to be above board in every criterion as postulated.
The leaders also said the PDP ” is nationalistic in spread even though not free from internal crisis like each of the other political parties. if the momentum is aggressively sustained, it will be the party to reckon with.
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“From the above evaluation and analysis, it is evident that the APC is heading for implosion and extinction; hence it cannot be the party for now and in the future because of its rejection to embrace inclusiveness in a diverse Country like Nigeria. After the 2023 elections, APC may be dead and buried as a political party.
“While the duo (NNPP and LP) may emerge as strong contenders in the political arena in the future, from all indications, PDP appears to be the best option to adopt and support.
“All it takes is to sustain and tackle some of the problems and challenges this Country is facing. Certainly, with proper consultations and inclusive appointments, which is mindful of the Federal Character principles with sincere consideration of diverse issues such as religious affiliation, geographical location and ethnic identity, which many believe will enhance justice, fairness and equity.
“After a careful evaluation of all the issues highlighted above, we hereby recommend for the adoption of the PDP, to all lovers of democracy in Nigeria, for the 2023 presidential election.
“However, this should be subject to getting the necessary assurance from the party to run an all-inclusive government, details of which shall discussed with the leadership of the party in the nearest future.
Earlier, Dogara said: “This is a difficult moment for Nigeria. I know that some of us may not even find it easy. By the time we have taken this decision.
“But if you are a student of history, you will know what division has has done. I challenge us if there is anyone here, whether it is a professor or teacher, Beholder that can point to any human civilization ever attempt by divided people.”
Sanwo-Olu to shun debates with PDP candidate over violence
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the state, has announced that he will no longer attend any debate where members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are to participate.
He described PDP members as agents of violence, apparently refering to a recent attack that reportedly occurred in Surulere area of Lagos on Friday.
While the PDP is accusing the APC)k of using thugs to attack supporters of its governorship candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adediran, better known as Jandor, the APC insists that it was Adediran’s thugs that unleashed violence on residents of the area.
Reacting to the incident in a statement on Saturday, Lagos commissioner for information, Gbenga Omotosho, said the state would not tolerate violence and being portrayed in a bad light.
He stated “We condemn this savagery that has portrayed our state, the safest in Nigeria, in a bad light. That is not who we are; we are civilised and cultured.
“Following advice from competent sources, including elders and respectable Lagosians, we will henceforth shun any forum that may require us being together with PDP and its agents of violence.
“Consequently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu regrets to announce that he will not be participating at The Platform Governorship Debate of January 29, 2023.
“The governor holds Pastor Poju Oyemade and The Covenant Nation Church family in high esteem and cherishes future opportunities to engage the congregation and render accounts of his stewardship to them as integral parts of the Lagos electorate.
“We will never be found in the company of those to whom the lives of innocent Lagosians mean nothing. Mr Sanwo-Olu won’t share a podium with them.”
Adeleke forged certificate not enough to disqualify him – Tribunal
Osun Election Petition Tribunal has said it was able to establish that Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke forged one of his tendered school certificates.
It however held that the forgery case was not enough to disqualify Adeleke from contesting the July 16, 2022 election.
It added that the Peoples Democratic Party candidate had acquired additional qualifications.
Delivering the majority judgement, the tribunal, led by Justice Tertsea Kume, said the petitioners were able to prove a forgery case against Adeleke as EC9, which is the affidavit in support of personal particulars about the governor told “a lie about itself.”
Interestingly, the only member of the tribunal, Justice B.A. Ogbuli, who gave a dissenting ruling on the judgement, aligned with the position of the majority judgement on the issue of disqualification.
The tribunal held: “Respondent through Mrs Joan Arabs produced FILE D which was tendered in evidence. The said exhibit FILE D is in respect of the election conducted by the 1st respondent in 2018.
“Exhibit EC9, as earlier indicated, is the affidavit in support of the personal particulars of the 2nd respondent which he presented to the 1st respondent for the election of the 16th of July, 2022.
“On page two of exhibit EC9, the 2nd respondent (Adeleke), in his handwriting, wrote under (1) School Attended (Educational qualification with dates: Thus: 2. Secondary Ede Muslim Grammar School, Eede – attended 1976 – 1981, Penn Foster High School Diploma -2021
“3. Higher Atlanta Metropolitan State College – BSC Criminal Justice 2021.
“On page 4, of exhibit EC9, there is a letter of attestation from Ede Muslim High School dated 22nd of May, 2016.
“Learned counsel for the petitioners, as earlier stated, referred to the different names in the schools reproduced above and the evidence admitted by RW2 under cross-examination, that Osun State was created in 1991, and as such, any evidence that a qualifying certificate or document stating that it was from Osun State in 1981 is a forgery”.
INEC extends PVC collection deadline to February 5
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the collection of permanent voter cards (PVCs) by one week.
The deadline was extended from Sunday January 29 to Sunday February 5, 2023.
This is the second time INEC will extend the deadline for PVC collection.
In a statement on Saturday, Festus Okoye, national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, said the decision was taken after a meeting on Saturday.
The statement read, “The Commission met today, Saturday, 29th January 2023 a day after its meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal capital Territory, Abuja and deliberated on a number of issues, including the reports from RECs on the ongoing collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in its 774 local government offices nationwide.
“It will be recalled that at the meeting with RECs on Friday, 28th January 2023, the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu indicated that the Commission will not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the General Election.
“Having reviewed reports from all the States of the Federation, the Commission is encouraged by the progress made so far as more Nigerians troop out daily to collect their PVCs.
“Arising from reports from the various States and discussions with Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Commission has decided to further extend PVC collection in all its Local Government Offices nationwide by an additional one week.
“The ongoing collection of PVCs nationwide will therefore continue and end on 5th February 2023. This is the second time the Commission is extending PVC collection nationwide and this will be the last extension of the exercise.
“Collection period has further been extended by an additional two hours and will start at 9am and end at 5pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays.”
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