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Updated: Soldiers, OPC members clash at Lagos polling unit



Security Personnel at Fola Agoro|| Photo Credit: Opeyemi Lawal

A faceoff between military officials and members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), a Yoruba nationalist organisation, occurred Saturday at Oluwadare House 23 polling unit in the Fola Agoro area of Lagos State.

The incident began when an OPC supporter reportedly harassed a Yoruba lady, who he thought was Igbo. Not long after, military officials arrived, as well as other security personnel.

Some soldiers started shooting in the direction of the OPC members.

In retaliation, the OPC members threw bottles at the soldiers, threatening that no one would vote for the Labour Party (LP) at the polling unit.


The soldiers later dispersed the OPC members, who then began destroying houses and properties of people in the neighbourhood.

More security officers were seen arriving at the polling unit.

The OPC members closed the gates leading to the street and called for reinforcement, with over 100 of them armed with machetes and wearing face masks on the streets.


Labour Party dismisses Keyamo petition, says accusations baseless



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



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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Seven in battle for Senate President



  • Northcentral, Northwest join Southeast, Southsouth in race for top office

SEVEN senators-elect from five geo-political zones have thrown their hats into the ring for the 10th Senate President, The Nation has learnt.

All the aspirants are of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Three of them – Barau Jibrin (Kano North, Northwest); Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North, Southeast) and David Umahi (Ebonyi South, Southeast), have made their interest public to chair the next National Assembly.
The 10th Senate is billed for inauguration on June 13 after the Proclamation of the 10th National Assembly by the President.

Kalu is the incumbent Senate Chief Whip; Jibrin is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation and Umahi doubles as Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum.

Other senators-elect eying the position are incumbent Senate President Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North, Northeast); Senate Services Committee Chairman, Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East, Northcentral); Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South, Northeast) and former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom, Southsouth).

Last week, APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, told aspirants seeking presiding offices to await the party’s zoning arrangement.

It was at a parley with National Assembly members-elect with the president-elect, vice president-elect and members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC).


Jibrin promised to officially declare his intention to lead the Red Chamber in a matter of days.

The second-ranking senator-elect to make to publicly show interest, Jibrin described himself as the most experienced among senators-elect seeking to lead the 10th Senate.

Declaring his intention on Tuesday, Kalu said he will contest the position because ‘it is his turn to be Senate President’.

Governor Umahi, who dropped the hint to run for the position during yesterday’s State Executive Council meeting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, urged President-elect Bola Tinubu and the APC leadership to zone the office to the Southeast.

But the Kano North senator dismissed recourse to religious sentiments by some aspirants instead of competence and record of performance as criteria for electing the next Senate President.

Jibrin, who has been in the National Assembly since 1999 and in the Senate since 2015, insisted that the Senate Standing Rule prioritises seniority (ranking) and legislative experience above other considerations.

The senator said: “I intend to seek to be the President of the 10th Senate. In the next few days, I will start my campaign and make a formal declaration.

“The legislature is a distinct arm of government that doesn’t work based on sentiments, it works on your ability to get the job done.

“It is the tradition all over the world and it is also stated there in our rule book and the rules are drafted from our Constitution.

“It is stated there in our Standing Rules that aspirations of elections for the seat of the Senate Presidency shall be in accordance with ranking.

“Among those who are running for the seat of the Senate Presidency, I am the most ranked senator.

“So, it is constitutional and among those who are showing their intentions to run for the Senate Presidency, I am the most experienced.

“The issue is that of competence. You need to be grounded in the residue of the legislature before you become the Senate President. Do you now play against competence based on sentiments?”

Disagreeing with claims that it would not augur well for the next APC’s administration to have a Muslim Senate President, Jibrin said: “Remember that David Mark was a Christian, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, was a Christian and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, was a Christian because they were the most experienced and ranking and that is the tradition, so do we now relegate competence for other sentiments?


“Bringing religious sentiment won’t fly. It’s about competence, not sentiment. When we talk about experience, I’m the most experienced.”

Jibrin added: “There is a need to reward performance. The Northwest deserves to produce the Senate President because we gave the President-elect the highest votes.

“We want our President to go for a second term. We saw what he did in Lagos and want him to replicate that across the country.”

On Tuesday, Kalu urged APC national leadership to zone the Senate presidency to his Igbere country home in Abia North Senatorial District, Abia State.

Kalu said: “The question is whether I will run for the position of Senate President. Yes, I am ready to run for Senate President if the party zones it to my region because the party is supreme.

“If they want to zone, they should zone it to my village so nobody would contest it against me. I don’t even want them to zone it to the South…I am hoping that Nigerian people will pray for me to be the Senate President because it is my turn.”

Umahi urged the party to zone the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the Northwest.

The governor noted that zoning the two top positions to the Southeast and Northwest will be in the interest of equity, justice and fairness.

He said it was time to break protocol and bend the rules adding that the focus should be how to redeem the country.

Umahi said: “I plead and request the leadership of APC and the president-elect to please for the sake of equity, Justice and fairness zone the Senate President to Southeast and the Speaker of House of Representatives to Northwest.

“This is for inclusiveness, this will assure Nigerians of a total reunion and it will also calm frayed nerves.

“Miracle is when God set aside rules and breaks protocols. I am asking the APC leadership and the National Assembly leadership to set aside the rules so that we can get the best for the leadership of the national assembly.”

“If the APC family zones the Senate presidency to the Southeast, I am indicating interest on the platform that I have been in public service for the past 16 years so you can rightly say that I understand administration,” he said.

The governor insisted that zoning the speakership position to the Northwest will calm frayed nerves in the country.

He declared Ebonyi a complete APC state having given almost all the National Assembly seats to the party, adding that the governor-elect and majority of the state lawmakers are also APC members.

Umahi said: “When you have administered a state, which is more complex than any other position other than that of the presidency, I want to put myself forward and I plead with the National Assembly to amend the rules.

“We should be looking for the best. Anyone elected into the National Assembly is the best but let God be allowed to choose.

“We need to elect a leadership that will rebuild the nation. I put myself forward without prejudice to whatever is the will of God and the wish of our party leadership, the president-elect and vice president-elect.”

-The Nation

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