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Ondo poll: Akeredolu, Jegede lock horns, Ajayi shuns debate

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Ondo poll: Akeredolu, Jegede lock horns, Ajayi shuns debate

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and three other governorship hopefuls on Thursday participated in a virtual debate organised by the BBC News Yoruba and its partners ahead of the state governorship election slated for October 10.

Other candidates present are the Peoples Democratic Party’s Eyitayo Jegede; Dotun Ojon of the Young Progressive Party and Adekunle Adeleye of the African Action Congress.

The candidate of the Zenith Labour Party Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, who is the state’s deputy governor, was absent at the debate.

The candidates dwelled extensively on issues of security, education, health and economy.

The YPP candidate criticised the Ondo State Security Network Agency, Operation Amotekun, and the law that created it, adding, “Those who started it did not really understand it.”

He also said if elected he would create an arm within Amotekun corps to address kidnapping.

But Akeredolu said the YPP candidate was ignorant of the law that created the Amotekun Corps.

Jegede, in his submission, promised to build police stations and army barracks in the localities notorious for crime in the state.

He also pledged to reduce the tuition being paid by students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.

Responding to this, Akeredolu said his government had already reduced the tuition, noting that students of the university were paying the same tuition as their counterparts at the Lagos State University.

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Kano State commissioner resigns, defects to NNPP

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Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Kano State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Shehu Na’Allah Kura, has resigned.

The state commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammadu Garba, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Kura resigned from Ganduje’s cabinet after his Chief of Staff, Ali Haruna Makoda, quit the cabinet and defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) led by former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

The statement reads, “One of the commissioners nominated for appointment by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau into the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in the lucrative ministry of finance and economic development, Shehu Na’Allah Kura has resigned and joined his boss.”

According to Malam Muhammad Garba, Kura was appointed as commissioner into the key ministry at the request of Shekarau after the 2019 election.

The commissioner added that until the recent defection of his boss, Kura was a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and had previously served as commissioner of planning and budget.

In an interview he granted shortly after joining the NNPP, Shekarau had narrated how he nominated Kura to serve under Ganduje.

“Ganduje approached me in his first tenure and asked me to nominate one person to be appointed commissioner. Shehu Na’allah Kura was one of the loyal and hardworking party members. So I gave his name,” he had said.

“The governor approached me again during his second term that he was granting our group two positions of commissionership, but he has selected one for us, we are to select another. And he said, he had selected Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso and we said this is fraudulent.

“In the first place, we were not disowning Kwankwaso but the fact is that he had been in APC and as a commissioner over a year ahead of our defection to APC and as such, while we agree he’s one of us, but if we were to select, he couldn’t have been the one by any standard. I therefore said since you are technically giving us only one position, you already had Shehu Na’allah Kura. If you want to continue with him, we have no objection and he agreed and hence Kura was reappointed for the second term.”

Kura is yet to publicly announce his defection from the APC to the NNPP.

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Atiku begs Katsina PDP delegates not to abandon him

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Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has pleaded with the delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party in Katsina State not abandon him in the forthcoming presidential primaries.

He said the Katsina people had always supported him, alleging that in the 2019 presidential election, the All Progressives Congress stole his result in Katsina and four other states and urged the people not to allow that to happen again in 2023.

He said, “In the 2019 general elections, Katsina State was among the states where APC rigged the election results. They also stole our results in four other states: Kano, Kaduna, Borno and Yobe. So, I am thanking the people of katsina State for supporting PDP and I hope this time around you will not allow them to steal your vote.”

Atiku made the appeal while addressing Katsina delegates at the PDP state secretariat.

“My brothers and sisters from katsina, first and foremost, you are the people who initiated me into politics. Secondly, you are the people that trained me in politics and most importantly, I would not have been what I am today without the support of the Katsina people.

“That’s why I want to ask you that is it this time now that you want to throw me away?”

Atiku also spoke on the five key areas he would focus on if he elected president in 2023.

He promised to unite Nigerians, restore security, law and order while ensuring that every citizen has a sense of belonging.

Atiku also promised to revamp the economy and tackle the problems in the Nigeria educational sector.

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S’Court joins Rivers in Electoral Act suit, fixes May 26 for hearing

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The Supreme Court has granted an application that Rivers State be joined as a party in the suit President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice filed to void Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

A seven-man panel of the Justices of the apex court led by Justice Musa Dattijo, allowed the application just as it shifted hearing on the suit till May 26.

The applicants told the court that they were opposed to the suit marked SC/CV/504/2022, which originally had the National Assembly as the sole respondent.

It will be recalled that President Buhari and Malami had approached the Supreme Court to contend that Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022, is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Nigerian Constitution as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

They are among other things seeking “a declaration that the joint and or combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution, the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void”.

“A declaration that having regard to the clear provision of section 1(3) of the Constitution read together with section 4 of the same Constitution, the legislative powers vested in the defendant do not permit or empower it to make any other law prescribing additional qualifying/disqualifying grounds for election to the national assembly, house of assembly, gubernatorial and presidential election outside the express constitutional qualification and disqualification provisions as already provided in each or all of sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and without amendment to any of those sections is for the reason of inconsistency, unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

As well as, “An order nullifying the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 by application of the blue-pencil rule, for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in section 4 of the constitution (as amended).”

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