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Lagos 2023 guber: AA gov candidate, Balogun, congratulates Sanwo-Olu

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Tope AbdurRazaq Balogun

Governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA), Tope AbdurRazaq Balogun has congratulated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the 2023 governorship election in the state.

Balogun congratulated the governor in a statement he personally signed and made available to Vanguard on Saturday.

The statement reads, “Congratulatory Message to His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. I am filled with a sense of gratitude as I use this opportunity to express my appreciation to God Almighty for the privilege to be part of the electioneering process from start to finish.

“From the conception of the Lagos REBIRTH Agenda with my team, to the various stages of the campaign and finally the election, it was an arduous journey that has been both challenging and enlightening.

“As the incumbent Governor is set to emerge victorious with the highest number of valid votes cast, I send my heartfelt congratulations in advance to His Excellency Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.”

The AA candidate further said, “I am also grateful to my wife, children, parents, friends, advisors, mentors, party leaders, campaign organisation, and support groups for their unwavering support throughout the tough journey.

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“As we look to the future, I assure everyone that we will continue to engage the public and government with our innovative ideas aimed at advancing societal reengineering to build a better Lagos State.

“Once again, congratulations to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat as well as their team for their superior strategy to win the contest,” the statement said.

Recall that the Chairman of Action Allianc in Lagos, Alhaji Nureni Ayinla-Oniru had earlier dismissed reports claiming that Balogun had stepped down for Sanwo-Olu.

Ayinla-Oniru made this clarification in a statement on Friday.

The controversy came on the heels of some viral social media posts, which claimed Balogun “stepped down” for Governor Sanwo-Olu.

The viral posts also claimed that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, was “instrumental” to the alleged alliance.

But the AA chairman said the claim that Balogun stepped down for Governor Sanwo-Olu was false.

Ayinla-Oniru, who confirmed that the AA candidate and some party officials met with Aregbesola earlier today (Friday), maintained that Balogun is in the Lagos governorship race to win.

He said, “The AA candidate did not step down for anyone. Disregard any news to that effect. It is the handiwork of manipulators. They only twisted the story for purposes of propaganda.

“Yes, we met with the Minister today. But we didn’t agree to step down.

“Action Alliance will be on the ballot tomorrow, March 18, and our strong hope is that we will birth a new Lagos,” the AA Chairman said

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Anti-Tinubu groups protest in Abuja, demand interim govt

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Protesters opposed to the declaration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s president-elect on Thursday took to the streets of Abuja demanding the invocation of an Interim National Government.

They urged Presidential Muhammadu Buhari to put the ING in place before leaving office on May 29.
They protested under the aegis of the National Youth League for the Defence of Democracy and demanded the immediate arrest of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by the State Security Services SSS.
They carried various placards with different inscriptions.
They asked foreign embassies in Nigeria to immediately revoke the visas of 15 INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Those they want sanctioned RECs of Lagos, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Niger, Jigawa, Kano and Imo states.
Others are Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Katsina and Edo states.
Addressing journalists at the Unity Fountain where the protest started, one of the leaders of the group, Dr Moses Paul, said the interim government is expected to appoint a new INEC chairman and conduct a fresh election that would produce a befitting President for Nigeria.
He said, “We are citizens of Nigeria, lovers of Nigeria, standing on the path of our constitution and citizens’ rights. We are here particularly to address the greatest crime that has happened in the history of the world and in Nigeria. People were burnt in Kano; people were shot in Rivers, and we have seen the greatest inhumanity happen in Lagos State in the course of this election.
Two demands we are making; we are asking the President of this country to immediately arrest and prosecute the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who has committed the greatest fraud in the history of humanity. We need him arrested and prosecuted.
“Our number two demand is that we are asking that an interim government be put in place. We are saying that, because we do not want President Muhammadu Buhari to continue, his tenure is ending, so as a father he should put in place an interim government so that the interim government will now appoint another INEC chairman who will conduct a free and credible election and produce a befitting President for our country.”
When asked to provide other options if the two demands were not met, one of the co-conveners, Anngu Orngu, said they are harmless Nigerians “but we will use every other civil and lawful means to make sure that our demands are met”.
“We are here as frustrated Nigerians and the fundamental rights of Nigerians have been trampled upon by Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC and we are here calling for his immediate resignation. We have also requested that the DSS should arrest him, and he should be prosecuted by the EFCC.
“We are calling on the DSS to arrest Mahmood immediately, the EFCC should investigate him and we are also calling on the Nigerian Judiciary because those concerned are already in court, particularly the presidential election of February 25, we are calling on the judges in Nigeria that we want justice to prevail.
“We have been to the US Embassy, we have been to the British Council in Nigeria, and we have also submitted a letter to the French Embassy, calling on them to advise the Nigerian government that the Nigerian people are not happy. We the young people of this country are not happy over what is happening in our country. We may be peaceful now but when you push even a goat to the wall, the goat may bite,” he added.

In one of the letters made available to journalists and addressed to the United States Embassy, the protesters called for sanctions against the INEC chairman.
The letter read in part; “The conduct of the elections is in substantial none compliance with the extant legal framework.
“These criminal actions of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu have led to the dampening of the revived spirit of youths who in anticipation of a country that works for all, turned out in their large numbers to vote, some for the first time in their lives, for their preferred candidates only to be greeted with violence and subversion of their collective will.”

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Labour Party dismisses Keyamo petition, says accusations baseless

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Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party has dismissed the petition filed by Festus Keyamo, a spokesman for the President-elect, Ahmed Tinubu, calling for the arrest of the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, over alleged treasonable felony as a desperate attempt to gain political relevance.

The spokesperson for the LP PCC, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said this in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.

The group was responding to Keyamo’s petition to security agencies to arrest the LP candidates for allegedly preparing grounds for insurrection against the Nigerian state over the declaration of Tinubu as president-elect.

Tanko said, “Datti is a free citizen of this country and entitled to his fundamental right of freedom of expression.

“Datti never called for insurrection or any act envisaging treason.

“Keyamo talked about healing, which means Nigeria is sick; that means he recognised that the February 25th which announced his principal as the president-elect and the March 18 state elections were marred with blatant rigging, high-level violence, voters suppression and intimidation orchestrated by his party.

“Surprisingly Keyamo who claims to be a ‘patriotic citizen’ closed his eyes to the ethnic and tribal vitriolic by his party and their supporters against Non-Yoruba in Lagos.
“The so-called “patriotic citizen” didn’t report MC Oluomo who told Igbos not to vote in Lagos.

“After the shameful Chatam House appearance of Keyamo’s principal, his principal was recorded telling key supporters to fight, snatch, grab and run with ballot boxes which were exactly what happened in the elections. Why didn’t Keyamo the “Patriotic citizen” report to the DSS?

“Keyamo is just making baseless accusations, he’s a known rabble rouser and chatterbox who doesn’t want to lose political relevance before his paymaster who has now seen him for what he is which is a political paperweight who has achieved nothing as a minister except posting fake news to rile up the polity on social media.”

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PDP suspends Fayose, Ayim over alleged anti-party activities

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended former Governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Ayim, over alleged anti-party activities.
The party also suspended a former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, and two others over the same allegation.
The National Working Committee (NWC) said Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State had been referred to a disciplinary committee.
Other suspended members are Dennis Ityavyar (Benue) and Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara).
A statement issued on Thursday by the PDP spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said the decision to refer Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee over his alleged anti-party activities was taken after a “very extensive review of the affairs of our party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017)”.
He said the suspension of the four members was with immediate effect.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders, and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” he said.
Fayose’s suspension came days after he mocked Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto for losing the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 governorship election.
He had also said anyone planning to “unseat” President-elect, Bola Tinubu through the court was “daydreaming”.

The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is challenging Tinubu’s victory at the presidential election tribunal.
Anyim had declared support for Francis Nwifuru, APC governor-elect in Ebonyi, days before the governorship poll in the state.

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