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Court nullifies APC gov primaries in Benue, orders fresh election

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The governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been nullified by the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi.

The court on Monday directed the APC to conduct a fresh primary election in 11 out of the 23 local government areas of Benue State.

Naija News learnt that the local government areas listed are Gboko, Gwer- East, Gwer-West, Guma, Katsina-Ala, Logo, Makurdi, Otukpo, Ukum, Tarka and Vandeikya.

APC was also directed to conduct the primaries within fourteen days and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognises the winner after adding election results from the 12 local government areas.

The court ruling is coming thirty-three days before the 2023 general elections.

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The judgement was passed following an appeal filed by one of the aspirants on the platform of the APC, Professor Terhemba Shija.

Shija argued that there was no valid primary election held on 27th May 2022 by APC for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate which produced Fr Alia as the winner.

The court after evaluating evidence submitted by Professor Shija agreed with his submissions.

However, the Court agreed with APC on the rerun of 9th June 2022, which took part in 12 local governments of the states, noting that it was valid and still stands.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed Senator Barnabas Gemade’s appeal and upheld the judgement of the Federal High Court, which dismissed his suit against Fr Alia for being statute-barred.

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Tinubu most suitable to succeed Buhari, says Afenifere

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Michael Ogungbemi

A pan-Yoruba socio-political group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the most suitable and capable candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday declared that Tinubu towered above all other candidates jostling for the plum position. The statement by its Ekiti State Publicity Secretary, Michael Ogungbemi, said the APC standard bearer remains the candidate to beat in the election based on his competence, experience, capacity, pedigree, strong political network, as well record of service.

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He said that the former Lagos State governor with his magic wand and the problem-solving policy thrust would help tackle headlong the problems of insecurity, poverty, youth employment, economic instability and other challenges facing the country.

Ogungbemi said Tinubu’s track record of performance in Lagos has been adopted as a reference point in Nigeria’s chequered political trajectory, hence, the APC standard bearer is the best to take the baton after Buhari’s exit.
The chairman of the Ajoni Local Council Development Area of Ekiti State said other candidates were bereft of any record to flaunt to convince Nigerians that they have better programmes than Tinubu.
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Tinubu mocks opponents as Buhari leads campaign in Lafia

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President Muhammadu Buhari has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, as the next president of the country, declaring that he would continue to campaign for him.

President Buhari made the declaration in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, yesterday at the APC presidential campaign rally that had thousands of party supporters and residents.

The president confirmed Tinubu’s earlier statement on their over 20 years friendship, assuring Nigerians and the people of Nasarawa State that the APC presidential candidate would be a good president that would make the country better after him.

President Buhari assured party members and supporters that Tinubu would win the election.

In both English and Hausa languages, the president said: “I am happy to be part of the campaign today for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next president of Nigeria and Governor Sule for his second and final term.

“We will win through and through. I trust Tinubu’s dedication and service. I have known Bola Tinubu for more than 20 years. I will continue to campaign for him. He is a committed Nigerian and I believe he will give everything to make Nigeria better.

“He loves this country. He is a believer in Nigeria and I am sure he will do everything possible to advance the wellbeing of all of us as citizens. He will hold this country with trust. You should cherish him.

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“Those of you who are here, I urge you to go back to your friends and family to tell them to vote for him. We will all vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.”

In his address at the rally, Tinubu saluted the courage of the president who he said has continued to offer leadership with boldness and courage despite all the challenges, adding that the country would recover from its challenges.

Speaking further, the APC presidential candidate compared President Buhari with the former United States President, Abraham Lincoln, who also led his country in a time of crisis and still recorded huge achievements in infrastructural development like President Buhari has done for Nigeria.

On his friendship and relationship with the president, Tinubu said that those who have concluded there is a crack have had their joy cut short because their friendship is strong, enduring and about nation-building.

“Our president and leader of APC worldwide, it is a thing of joy that you are a poster boy for APC and Bola Tinubu today. Those who think there are cracks in our friendship and relationship will continue to be disappointed and have their short time joy dashed. Ours is not about individuals. It is about integrity and nation-building.

“Nobody ever thought a man in uniform will ever be a democratic, principled and honoured leader. Today, it is a thing of joy and honour to have you at the rally.

“For us who joined hands with you 20 years ago to reshape Nigeria, to fight corruption, to fight destitution, to fight failure and hunger, we are proud of your achievements.

“President Buhari faced the challenges of Nigeria courageously and squarely. You fought hard and worked hard. Nigeria is surviving as a nation and we believe because of constitutional democracy, we would have asked you to stay on, but you said no you are going back to Daura.

“You said there is more to do and you will allow other people to continue. There are few leaders who have faced some challenges, crisis like you did and continue to build infrastructure.

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One of them is Abraham Lincoln. You have joined such great men who can stay focused in the midst of distractions and enemies. You have tolerated criticisms, there is no labelling you have not endured, but today in Nasarawa you are celebrated, commissioning projects after projects.

“We can see true leadership, but we may not be able to read the mind of the leader. Today, I stand before you and make a pledge again that Nigeria will recover from all challenges. We are brave. We are resilient. We will focus on agriculture, we will build our mineral resources. We will turn the earth and our dust to money. We will work hard. We promise you. Your children and grandchildren will not have any regret about our nation and ourselves. Happiness, joy and prosperity will be part of our success,” Tinubu assured.

The National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke in Hausa told  the supporters the history of friendship between President Buhari and Tinubu, urging them to vote for APC because of the good job the current administration of APC in Nigeria has accomplished for the country and in Nasarawa State.

He later presented the party’s flag to Governor Abdullahi Sule as the governorship candidate of the party for a second term.

Also speaking at the rally, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said that Nasarawa State symbolised victory and peace, stating that what the people were witnessing was not just a rally, but a celebration of excellence.

He said that Buhari and Tinubu are two of a kind in character and commitment to nation-building.

In the same vein, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq joined the party’s National Women Leader, Betta Edu to mobilise women support for the presidential candidate.

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The Minister reeled out how Nasarawa State had benefited from the Social Investment Programmes of the APC-led administration, admonishing the people that only Asiwaju Tinubu would consolidate on the gains for them to continue to enjoy the benefits.

Plateau State Governor and Director-General of the Campaign Council, Simon Lalong, former Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, told the people to vote for all APC candidates in the coming elections.

Progressives Governors’ Forum leader and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to the campaign ground and spoke on their behalf.

Governor Bagudu told the people to continue to support APC administration and vote the party candidates in the general elections despite the current challenges of fuel and new naira notes scarcity caused by saboteurs.

Bagudu said: “The current challenges of naira and fuel scarcity are transitional issues. Opposition wants to cash in to de-market our party, but we are proud of President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements and achievements of APC governors in their states.”

The campaign rally attracted many party bigwigs, governors and former governors. Among those in attendance were Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, Governors Yahaya Bello, Babagana Zulum, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Sani Bello, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru and Dave Umahi.

Others were Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, former Governor of Borno, Alimodu Sheriff and former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole.

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2023: Ekiti stands still for Tinubu, as residents pledge total support

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A mammoth crowd of residents, party supporters and other admirers welcomed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti State capital Friday where he canvassed their votes ahead of the February 25 presidential election.

The APC flag bearer arrived to a tumultuous welcome from a massive crowd who defied the scorching sun to fill up the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, venue of the rally.

Tinubu, who was accompanied by the state Governor, Biodun Oyebanji; two former governors of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo and other notable leaders of the party,  assured that he would defy all odds to win the presidential poll.

Addressing the cheering crowd, Asiwaju Tinubu urged Nigerians to be steadfast and not allow temporary hurdles placed before them by fifth columnists to prevent them from exercising their franchise and ensuring his victory and that of his party at the general elections.

The former Lagos State Governor urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by alleged deliberate hoarding of redesigned new currencies, stressing that both the fuel scarcity and currency scarcity are temporary setback which should not distract them.

The APC standard bearer who spoke in Yoruba at the rally declared that “those who kept the new currencies in their vaults would eventually release them” urging long suffering Nigerians not to fall for the ploy to provoke them to take to violence and anarchy over the scarcity of the redesigned currencies.

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Asiwaju Tinubu also slammed suspected saboteurs who are allegedly hoarding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and preventing eligible voters from collecting them, urging those yet to collect their cards to “continue to be on the neck of those holding on to your cards until they release them to you.”

He urged the electorate to vote for all APC candidates in the February 25 National Assembly elections and March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections because the party offers a platform for good governance and responsible leadership.

Other prominent leaders at the rally include: Deputy Governor, Chief  Monisade Afuye; Wife of the governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; Wife of former governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Ayeditiwa; former Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola; former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi and prof Modupe Adelabu.

Others are Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi; Senator Ayo Arise; Senator Bode Ola; Senator Dayo Adeyeye; members of APC National Working Committee and other senior party figures.

The Presidential campaign train led by Asiwaju Tinubu had earlier visited the Palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti where the APC Presidential Candidate met with Ekiti traditional rulers; and other leaders of thought and unfolded the Renewed Hope Agenda.

Their arrival in the specially-built open-top luxury bus further enlivened the area as Asiwaju and his entourage waved their brooms in acknowledgement of the cheers from the crowd.

Asiwaju Tinubu thanked the people of Ekiti State for standing by the APC and electing Oyebanji during the governorship election held in the state on June 18 last year, describing the forthcoming presidential poll as “the election for the Ekiti people and the election for the Yoruba.”

Asiwaju Tinubu said: “The coming election is your election, it’s an election for your good future. This crowd I am seeing here today has given me assurance that we are winning this election. Have you collected your PVCs? If they are hoarding your PVCs, continue to be on the neck of those who are holding on to your cards until they release them to you.

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“On February 25 vote APC for Presidency, for Senate, for House of Representatives and on March 11, vote APC for Governor and House of Assembly. Thumb print in the box in front of the broom logo.”

Earlier, Governor Oyebanji urged the people of the state to vote massively for APC and Asiwaju Tinubu to reciprocate his good deeds and love for Ekiti in the years past.

Oyebanji said: “All of us have decided to vote for Asiwaju and there is no cause for alarm. Ekiti people, you have all decided to give your votes to Asiwaju and the ballot boxes will be full with votes for him because he has always stood by us and we are going to appreciate him with our votes on February 25.

“Let’s go back to our wards, homes, churches, mosques, markets and other places to spread the gospel of Asiwaju to the electorate. Tell your people to collect their PVCs, those who are still without their PVCs don’t love Asiwaju.

“Asiwaju’s votes is our votes and we must all join hands to ensure his victory. Let us elect all APC candidates for Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly with our votes.”

Former Governor Fayemi said Asiwaju Tinubu had stood by Ekiti when the progressives were in the trenches, urging the people of the state to reciprocate the good gestures of the APC presidential candidate at the polls.

Fayemi said: “This forthcoming election is our own, it is our own turn in Ekiti. The Jagaban (Tinubu) has done his own part, he had stood by us in Ekiti State. In all our past battles, Jagaban had fought our battles for us and it is now time to repay Jagaban.”

“As you all stood by BAO (Oyebanji) in the last governorship election on June 18, 2022, you must stand by Asiwaju on February 25, 2023. Vote for all our (APC) candidates. Use your PVCs to deal with all our opponents at the polls.”

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