GLADIATORS: Meet The Aspirants Vying For PDP’s Presidential Ticket

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to elect its flagbearer in the 2023 presidential election.

Although the main opposition party has faced pressure to zone its presidential ticket to the South, its National Executive Council (NEC) has opted to throw the contest open.

About nine months to the general election, a total of 14 aspirants – from the North and South – have announced their interest in the party’s ticket.

Having made the declaration at various fora, the aspirants went on to purchase the PDP’s expression of interest and nomination forms sold at N5 million and N35 million respectively.

READ ALSO: I’m Not Desperate To Be President – Peter Obi

Although the only female among them did not pay for the expression of interest and nomination forms, she was required to pay a certain amount as an administrative fee.

Barely a week to the primary, one of the aspirants and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, said he was withdrawing from the contest.

In no particular order, meet the aspirants below:

Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto)

 

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appeared on Politics Today on March 22, 2022.
A file photo of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

 

Tambuwal, 56, is the incumbent governor of Sokoto State and presently serving his second term in office. He contested and won the governorship election in Sokoto on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in April 2015.

Amid a wave of defection which saw some governors and several lawmakers leaving the ruling party in the build-up to the last general elections, Tambuwal returned to the PDP in 2018 and went on to win his re-election on the platform of the main opposition party. He was also the Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015 before he was elected governor.


Dele Momodu (Osun)

 

Momodu
A file photo of Mr Dele Momodu.

 

Momodu, 60, is a veteran journalist and CEO/ Publisher of Ovation International seeking to be president on the PDP platform. His race to occupy the highest office of the land began in 2010 when he said he would contest the 2011 presidential election, flying the Labour Party’s flag.

Labour Party, however, dropped out of the race while Momodu contested the election as the candidate of the National Conscience Party, losing to former President Goodluck Jonathan.


Nyesom Wike (Rivers)

 

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike made an appearance on Channels Television's Politics Today on March 28, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on March 28, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Wike, 59, is one of the staunch supporters of the PDP who insisted severally that he would not leave the party, even if the outcome of the primary does not favour him. Like his Sokoto counterpart, Wike is serving his second term in office.

He was first elected into office in 2015, succeeding the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, under whom he served as Chief of Staff. Both men would later fallout over various allegations, including claims that Rivers resources were mismanaged.


Mohammed Hayatu-Deen (Borno)

A file photo of Mr Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.

 

Hayatu-Deen, 69, is a renounced economist who once served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FSB International Bank. In the course of his career in the financial sector, he was chairman and director of several organisations, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Among other organisations where he held the top position are Northern Nigeria Investment Limited, Nigeria Hotels Limited, Kaduna Textiles Limited, Seven-Up Bottling Company, New Nigeria Construction Company, Benue Cement Company, and Virgin Nigeria Limited.

Hayatu-Deen has also been involved in a number of extra-curricular and national assignments, including a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Transition Committee and Chairman of the Transition Committee on Economy.

*Hayatu-Deen announced his withdrawal from the race on the eve of the primary.


Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom)

A file photo of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

 

Emmanuel, 55, is the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom State and serving his second term in office since he was elected in 2015. He contested for the office of governor on the platform of the PDP and got the party’s ticket for re-election ahead of the 2019 general polls.

In 2013, Emmanuel was appointed as the Secretary to the State Government after which he contested for the PDP governorship ticket in a primary where he defeated 22 other aspirants.


Sam Ohuabunwa (Abia)

A file photo of Mr Sam Ohuabunwa.

 

Ohuabunwa, 71, is a renowned pharmacist, politician, and business executive. He founded Neimeth Pharmaceutical and served as its CEO for almost two decades. He was also the former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, as well as the foundation president of the West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.

Similarly, Ohuabunwa once served as Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.


Oliver Tareila Diana

Diana came into political limelight following her announcement to join the contest for the PDP presidential ticket. Although not so much is known about her or her political antecedents, she intends to put her popularity to a test in the showdown.


Ayo Fayose (Ekiti)

A file photo of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.

 

Fayose, 61, was elected as the second governor of Ekiti State in 2003, after defeating the then incumbent Governor, Niyi Adebayo, in the poll. He, however, could not complete his tenure following his impeachment by the State House of Assembly in October 2006.

He would later return to win the PDP’s ticket to contest the 2014 governorship election where he defeated another incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi. Fayose declared his intention to run for president in 2019 but stepped down after the PDP admonished him against the ambition.


Atiku Abubakar (Adamawa)

A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Atiku, 75, served as the vice president from 1999 to 2007 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He had contested for the governorship election in Adamawa State in 1990, 1997 and 1998, being elected before becoming Obasanjo’s running mate during the presidential elections in 1999 and 2003.

His presidential ambition was first made known when he lost late Moshood Abiola in the primary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the build-up to the 1993 elections. Besides that, he contested for the presidency in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.


Bukola Saraki (Kwara)

A file photo of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

 

Saraki, 59, served as the President of the Senate and Chairman of the 8th National Assembly between 2015 and 2019. He was also a two-term governor of Kwara State – a position he held from 2003 to 2011 before his election to the Senate in 2011 on the PDP platform.

He was re-elected to represent Kwara Central senatorial district on the APC platform, but left the ruling party and returned to the PDP in July 2018 where he lost the party’s 2019 presidential ticket to Atiku.


Pius Anyim (Ebonyi)

A file photo of former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim.
A file photo of former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim.

 

Anyim, 61, was elected as the senator representing Ebonyi South district in 1999 before he was elected as the President of the Senate about a year later following the impeachment of his predecessor. When his term ended in 2003, he refused to seek re-election.

In 2011, former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Anyim as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) – an office he occupied till the end of the administration in 2015.


Bala Mohammed (Bauchi)

A file photo of Governor Bala Mohammed.

 

Mohammed, 63, unlike his Sokoto, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom counterparts, is serving his first term as governor of Bauchi State. Prior to his election into office in 2019, he was the Minister of Federal Capital Territory between 2010 and 2015.

Before his appointment as minister, Mohammed contested and won the election to represent Bauchi South district in the Senate from 2007 to 2010.


Charles Okwudili and Chikwendu Kalu

Like Diana, not much is known about Okwudili and Kalu who intend to put their popularity to a test in Saturday’s contest.

UPDATED: INEC Extends Deadline For Party Primaries By Six Days

A file photo of an INEC official carrying a bag with electoral materials.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries for the 2023 general elections.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

This comes hours after leaders of various political parties met with the leadership of the electoral umpire led by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

At the meeting, the politicians under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) again appealed to INEC to adjust the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), explained that adjusting the timetable of the election became necessary because of the current timetable which he said was too tight for the political parties.

In response to the appeal, INEC, according to Okoye, was emphatic that the request for a 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the timetable.

He stated that the parties later pleaded with the commission to use the six-day period between June 4 and 9 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

The INEC official stated that the commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period in order to give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to its portal.

“The commission has decided to allow the request of the political parties since the six-day period does not conflict with the next scheduled activity which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates or any of the subsequent timelines which remain sacrosanct,” he said.

“However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.”

Read the full statement below:

 

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION

PRESS RELEASE

PARTY PRIMARIES AND SUBMISSION OF LIST OF NOMINATED CANDIDATES

Party Primaries

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met with the leadership of political parties today Friday 27th May 2022. Once again, the political parties requested the Commission to review the timelines for political party primaries provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the 2023 General Election released on Saturday 26th February 2022.

Earlier, the political parties had requested for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates. The Commission was emphatic that this request could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable. This position of the Commission has not changed.

However, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between 4th and 9th June 2022 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal. The Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period. The idea is to simply give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal from 10th – 17th June 2022.

The Commission has decided to allow the request of the political parties since the six-day period does not conflict with the next scheduled activity which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates or any of the subsequent timelines which remain sacrosanct. However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.

The INEC Candidates Nomination Portal

After the conduct of primaries, the next critical activity for political parties is the online submission of the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor which shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidates indicating that they fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into the various offices via the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

In addition, the Commission, based on past experience, has decided to train the political party officials to make efficient and effective use of the portal. The Commission will train four officials from each of the 18 political parties, making a total of 72 in all.

Unfortunately, some of the political parties are still yet to submit their nominees for the training. The Commission hereby reminds such parties to do so immediately. The Commission wishes to reiterate that only electronically submitted nominations will be processed.

Political parties are therefore advised to ensure that their primaries are free of rancour in order to meet the timelines for the remaining activities embodied in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

Festus Okoye

Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee

Friday 27th May 2022

2023 Elections: My Family And I Are Under Severe Threat – Senator Adeyemi

A file photo of Senator Smart Adeyemi.

 

The lawmaker representing Kogi West district, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has raised an alarm over the threat to his life and that of the immediate members of his family.

He raised the alarm in a statement on Friday saying, he was warned against contesting for the seat of the Kogi West senatorial district in the forthcoming election.

The lawmaker who stated that he has since informed the relevant agencies of the development, however, did not disclose the identities of those who issued the threat.

According to him, those to be held responsible should any harm comes to him or any of his family members have already been identified.

READ ALSO: Adeyemi Replaces Melaye As Senate Committee Chairman On Aviation

“The extent of the threat to my life is yet to be defined; but they are quite potent and palpable based on ‘their’ utterances, and I quote ‘if he dares to contest…, ‘I repeat if he dares to contest…” said Senator Adeyemi. “This has left me with no other option than to make a formal and urgent report to the relevant security agencies and top security officials within and outside the country.

“Any threat to life should not be taken lightly. Consequently, on this premise, Nigerians and the international communities are, by this statement, duly informed that the lives of my immediate family and I are under severe threat, and should any harm or eventuality come to any of us, we know those who are responsible for it, and this has been duly registered in the appropriate quarters.

“I am speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. It is my firm belief that every Nigerian has a right to run, and the voice of the people will prevail. No life should therefore be threatened in the line of duty.”

Senator Adeyemi returned to the Senate for a third term after a Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed an appeal filed by the then incumbent lawmaker challenging the nullification of his victory in the general elections.

In line with the order of the court, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted a fresh election on November 16, 2019.

INEC was, however, forced to conduct a supplementary poll after the rerun election failed to produce a winner as it was said to have been marred by violence and other electoral malpractices.

Man Dies As Petrol Tanker Falls On Otedola Bridge, Lagos

This photo released by LASEMA on May 27, 2022, shows the petrol tanker that overturned on Otedola Bridge in Lagos.

 

A man has died in a petrol tanker accident that occurred on the Otedola Bridge axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.

He, however, did not state when the accident occurred, although photos released by the agency suggest the incident took place between Thursday night and the next morning.

“The agency received a distress call via its toll-free number of a multiple vehicle collision and overturned tanker incident at Otedola Bridge and deployed its resources immediately to the scene,” the statement said.

A photo released by LASEMA on May 27, 2022, shows two of the vehicles involved in the collision on the Otedola Bridge in Lagos.

 

“Upon arrival of the agency’s Tiger Squad at the Command and Control Centre, Alausa-Ikeja, at the incident scene, it was observed that a multiple accident involving a tanker with unknown registration number conveying 45,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and four vehicles had a collision.

“A joint team of Lagos State Fire Service, LASEMA Fire Team, and Nigeria Police Force worked to manage the flames and the resultant traffic backlogs using chemical retardant to blanket the entire area so as to prevent fire disaster that could lead to loss of lives and properties.

Unfortunately, one adult male (motor-boy of the tanker) lost his life as a result of the impact of the collision.”

In this photo released by LASEMA on May 27, 2022, emergency responders are seen at the scene of the accident on the Otedola Bridge in Lagos.

 

According to Oke-Osanyintolu, the affected cars were recovered by the agency’s light-duty equipment while an effort is ongoing to trans-load the content of the tanker into another truck before its recovery.

He confirmed that the carriageway was opened for vehicular activities while the trans-loading of the content into another truck was ongoing.

“Members of the public are advised to refrain from illegal scooping of product and avoid igniting naked flame or fire to prevent any secondary incident that could result to loss of lives, as the safety of lives and properties of Lagosians are of utmost priority to the administration of Mr Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu,” the statement added.

UPDATED: Court Denies Okorocha Bail In Alleged N2.9bn Fraud Case

A combination of a file photo of Senator Rochas Okorocha and the EFCC emblem.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to admit a former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to bail pending the determination of a suit he instituted against the Federal Government.

Justice Inyang Ekwo declined the request by the former governor to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release him on bail.

In a brief ruling on the bail application filed by Okorocha, Justice Ekwo said he was not inclined to admit the applicant to bail.

Rather, the judge ordered Okorocha to put the Federal Government on notice to come and defend his detention.

The former governor had filed an ex-parte application in which he predicated his bail request on the ground that he was a presidential aspirant.

He informed the court that he was vying for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and his political ambition would be jeopardised unless he was granted bail.

 

Arrest Amid Drama

A mild drama played out on Tuesday when a team of EFCC operatives stormed the residence of the former governor in the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to arrest him.

The team, who insisted that Okorocha must submit himself for arrest or honour a long-standing invitation to their office, later barricaded the residence of the presidential aspirant.

According to them, none of the members of Okorocha’s family would be allowed to leave the compound until they produce the former governor.

Following a series of drama at the scene, gunshots were heard as the anti-graft agency’s team broke into Okorocha’s house and left with the presidential aspirant to their office in the nation’s capital.

Before his arrest, Okorocha had told Channels Television that he was being held hostage by the EFCC operatives.

He had also condemned the action of the team deployed to arrest him and vowed to remain indoors until a warrant for his arrest was shown to him.

The EFCC, on January 31, slammed Okorocha who presently represents Imo West senatorial district, with a fresh set of corruption charges to the tune of N2.9 billion.

It filed the charges at the court in Abuja about the same time the lawmaker declared his intention to run for the office of president in 2023.

Okorocha was accused of conspiring with others, including a member of the APC and five companies to steal from public coffers, although has since denied any wrongdoing.

He stressed that it was not the first time he would be facing such action from the agency which he said was politically motivated.

2023 Polls: INEC Considering Political Parties’ Request To Extend Timetable, Says Yakubu

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is considering the request by political parties to extend the 2023 General Elections Timetable.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Friday at the headquarters of the electoral umpire in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He spoke during a meeting with leaders of political parties under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) for the adjustment of the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Joins Labour Party After Dumping PDP

The Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi, made the request known again to INEC on behalf of other leaders and representatives of political parties at the meeting.

Yabagi, who also serves as the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), explained that adjusting the timetable of the election became necessary because of the current timetable which he was tight for the political parties.

Some of the political parties represented at the meeting were the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), among others.

At a previous meeting with INEC held two weeks ago, the political parties had appealed to the electoral umpire to extend the timelines for the 2023 general elections by two months.

Specifically, they requested slight changes to the timeline for political parties to conduct their primaries, as stipulated by INEC.

Yabagi, while addressing the meeting at the time, explained that extending the timelines would help the political parties put things in order for the forthcoming general elections.

But the INEC chief had informed the party leaders that the commission would not review the existing timelines and appealed that the primaries be conducted credibly in order to minimise litigations.

While reminding them of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun, he called on all the parties to comply with the provisions in the Electoral Act.

Fintiri, Makinde, Uba, Ikonne, Others Win PDP Governorship Primaries

A file photo of the PDP emblem.

 

Winners have emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conducts its governorship primaries across various states ahead of the general elections in 2023.

Some of the states where delegates trooped to the venue of the exercise included Oyo, Ogun, Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Bauchi, and Abia, among others.

In some cases, the exercises were monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders while security operatives were deployed to ensure the primaries go smoothly.

READ ALSOPeter Obi Withdraws From PDP Presidential Primary, Dumps Party

The PDP governorship primaries, initially scheduled to be conducted on May 21, eventually held on Wednesday – three days to the contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

While the PDP presidential primary is expected to take place on Saturday through Sunday, winners have since emerged in the primaries for the seats in the State Houses of Assembly, House of Representative, and Senate.


Adamawa Primary

A file photo of Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri. Source: @GovernorAUF

 

Among the winners in Wednesday’s primaries was Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, who is seeking to extend his tenure in office by another term.

An elated Fintiri who won 663 of a total of 668 votes with five others declared void, appreciated delegates, party leaders, and elders for what he described as “a defining moment for our great party in Adamawa State”.

“We demonstrated our anger at the way we were governed by the party in power in the state at that time; we made a collective resolution to take back our state from the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose performance in governance was far below any acceptable rating,” he said in his acceptance speech.

“That resolution was what made you entrust the flag of our great party to me as your candidate for the 2019 general elections in the state. I carried the flag with pride and led us to victory in the 2019 election.”

The governor remarked that the PDP disregarded his affluence in casting their votes as it showed the party’s commitment to a free and fair electoral process.

“The decision you took could only happen in PDP – a party with deep democratic roots. It is only in PDP that such a decision could be made in an open election where anyone of my political background could emerge as the party’s flagbearer.”


Oyo Primary

A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde. Photo: [email protected]

 

Also declared winner was Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State who swept to victory in the contest held at the Lekan Salami Stadium in the Adamasingba area of Ibadan, the state capital.

The incumbent polled a total of 1,040 votes from Oyo delegates to defeat his sole opponent, Mr Hazeem Gbolarunmi, who had only two votes, with six other votes recorded as void.

Having polled the highest number of votes, the Returning Officer, Ben Obi, who was represented by Abdullahi MaiBasia, announced Governor Makinde as the winner of the primary to a jubilant crowd at the stadium.


Ogun Primary

A file photo of Mr Segun Sowunmi speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

 

In neighbouring Ogun State, a political analyst and governorship aspirant, Segun Sowunmi, emerged as the winner of a parallel primary of the PDP.

The exercise held at the Iwe Irohin House in the OPIC axis of Abeokuta, the state capital where hundreds of delegates cast their votes.

Sowunmi, a former spokesman for the PDP presidential campaign, polled 554 votes to defeat his fellow aspirants Jimi Lawal and Ladi Adebutu who scored 30 and 15 votes respectively.

He was returned as the announced winner of the primary by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Abayomi Daniel.

In his acceptance speech, Sowunmi thanked the party’s leadership and delegates for their support and asked other contenders to join him in the struggle to ensure victory for the party in 2023.


Benue Primary

A file photo of the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba.

 

Up North, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba, emerged as the PDP candidate following his victory in the governorship primary held at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, the state capital.

Uba polled 731 votes to defeat his closest rival and the incumbent deputy governor of Benue, Benson Abounu, who scored 81 votes.

Reacting to his victory, the speaker thanked the delegates and party leadership for trusting him with their mandate and called for unity among the party fateful to win the governorship election in 2023.

The deputy governor, on his part, said he accepted the outcome of the primary. He, however, stated that he was swimming against the tide but one day, someone like him would have the opportunity to be governor of Benue State.


Enugu Primary

A former Commissioner for Finance in Enugu State, Peter Mbah, was also declared the winner of the PDP governorship primary in the state.

A file photo of Mr Peter Mbah.

Abia Primary

Elsewhere, the committee which presided over the governorship primary in Abia returned Professor Eleazar Ikonne as the winner of the contest.

The coast is now clear for Professor Ikonne, a former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, to contest the forthcoming governorship election on the platform of the PDP.


Delta Primary

Just like the situation in Benue, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, was returned as the winner of the PDP governorship primary in the state.

With 824 accredited ad-hoc delegates and 821 valid votes, Sheriff emerged as the party’s flag bearer, polling 590 votes to beat 13 other aspirants in the contest.

Coming as runner-up was David Edevbie with 113 votes while Senator James Manager came third with 83 votes.


Rivers Primary

In Rivers, the immediate past Account-General of the state, Siminialayi Fubara, emerged as the governorship candidate of the PDP after polling the highest number of votes in the primary.

Fubara, who hails from the ancient town of Opobo, was elected at a primary held at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

He scored 721 votes to emerge the winner ahead of 15 other aspirants with the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Rivers, Isaac Kamalu, scoring 86 votes as the runner-up.

In his acceptance speech, the PDP candidate promised to build on the legacies of incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike if elected in the coming elections.

A file photo of Mr Siminialayi Fubara.

Gombe Primary

Elsewhere, a primary election that was described as transparent and peaceful saw Muhammad Barde emerge as the PDP candidate in Gombe State.

A total of 328 accredited delegates drawn from 11 local government areas and 114 wards of the state cast their votes with all six aspirants in attendance throughout the procedure.

At the end of the exercise, Barde clinch the party’s governorship ticket with 160 votes, and Jamilu Gwamna who came second scored 119 votes.

The four other aspirants shared the remainder of the 49 votes amongst them while the returning officer, Mike Oghiadome, said the conduct of the primary left nothing to be desired.

In his acceptance speech, Jibrin Barde, flanked by the other aspirants, called for the party’s unity ahead of 2023.


Nasarawa Primary

In Nasarawa, David Ombugadu emerged as the governorship candidate of the PDP for the second time, having polled the highest votes in the primary.

Ombugadu, a former member of the House of Representatives, polled 247 votes to beat Major General Nuhu Angbazo who scored 202 votes.

A former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, had announced his withdrawal from the race before the election took place.

A file photo of Mr David Ombugadu.

Yobe Primary

A former senatorial candidate, Sheriff Abdullahi, also joined the league of winners after clinching the PDP governorship ticket in Yobe State.

Announcing the result after sorting out the ballots, the returning officer and chairman of the primary election in the state, Aminu Taura-Abdullahi, said Abdullahi scored 295 votes.

On the other hand, the other two aspirants, Abbagana Tata and Ali Tikau, scored 109 and 129 votes respectively. Taura-Abdullahi explained there were 539 accredited votes with six invalid votes.

 

A file photo of Mr Sheriff Abdullahi.

Taraba Primary

Meanwhile, it was a celebration galore for the former PDP chairman in Taraba, Kefas Agbu, following his emergence as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.

At the Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo, the state capital, Kefas scored 443 votes of the 522 accredited voters to win the party’s primary. He defeated four other aspirants in the contest.

Among them was the Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Joseph Kunini, who scored 31 votes, as well as Jerome Nyame, Joel Ikenya, and Hilkiah Buba-Joda, who polled 24, 11, and six votes respectively.


Kwara Primary

In Kwara, Abdullah Yahman emerged as the winner of the PDP primary. He polled 518 to beat Aliyu Ahman-Pategi who polled 31 votes, as well as Professor Yissa Gana who scored 14 votes.

U.S. Consulate, OBN Academy Launch Basketball Camp For Underserved Youths

Brian Babineau / NBAE / Getty Images / AFP

 

The United States Consulate-General, Lagos and the Organised Basketball Network (OBN) Academy have launched a sports diplomacy programme ‘Uplift African Youth Through Basketball’ for 100 boys and girls aged 6-18 from underserved communities in Rivers State.

The basketball camp provided the participants with an opportunity to learn from mentors, including alumni of the U.S. government exchange programmes, about the sport, gender-based violence, entrepreneurship, and inclusion of marginalised communities.

Speaking at the launch of the basketball camp in Port Harcourt, U.S. Consulate Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz, highlighted the government’s commitment to empowering youth in underserved communities with valuable life skills through participation in sports.

She explained that the U.S. Mission has organised many sports initiatives through the Sports Envoy programme, which recruits passionate, articulate, community-oriented professional athletes from the United States, to connect with communities in every corner of the world, using sports as the platform, to build connections and to bridge cultural divides.

“Our sports programmes are not just about sports, they are a way to engage people especially youth, on important topics,” she said. ”For our programme today, the youth participants will learn about basketball, but also about gender-based violence and inclusion of marginalised communities. In addition, they will build their communication, leadership, and teamwork skills.”

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Banigo, who declared the basketball camp open, congratulated the participants on their enthusiasm and involvement in the programme and encouraged them to keep dreaming big.

She expressed her satisfaction at the hard work demonstrated by the participants and conveyed her appreciation to the U.S. Consulate and OBN Academy, a local basketball institution founded by former NBA player Obinna Ekezie, for providing mentorship to the participants.

In his remarks, Ekezie said the basketball camp would provide the girls and boys with skills that will enable them to impact their communities positively.

He added that the participants would benefit from follow-on activities throughout the summer.

“Through this basketball camp, we have been able to teach important life and sports values, such as respect, discipline, overcoming adversity, combatting gender-based violence and basic entrepreneurship skills.

“We made a lasting impact in Port Harcourt, and we are grateful to the U.S. government for the partnership,” Ekezie said.

The next edition of the “Uplift African Youth Through Basketball” will take place in Lagos in the coming weeks. The basketball diplomacy project highlights the importance of sports and education for young people and promotes dialogue, tolerance, and respect for diversity.

UPDATED: Peter Obi Dumps PDP, Withdraws From Party’s Presidential Primary

Peter Obi at the Presidential Election Petition Panel in Abuja on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV

 

Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has announced his resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He announced his resignation from the party in a letter dated May 24 and addressed to the National Chairman of the main opposition party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

Besides dumping the PDP, the presidential aspirant also said he was pulling out of the contest for the party’s ticket – barely three days to the exercise.

He explained that he took the decision to leave the party because of his firm commitment to rescuing Nigeria, even if the route differs.

READ ALSO: Makinde, Uba, Others Win PDP Governorship Primaries

Although Obi said it was a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through PDP, he lamented that the recent developments within the PDP have made it practically impossible for him to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.

According to him, the nation’s challenges are deep-seated and require profound sacrifices towards rescuing the country.

The presidential aspirant informed the PDP chairman that he has since conveyed his resignation and withdrawal from the primary to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2, his ward in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.

 

Read the full text of the letter below:

27 Niger Drive, GRA Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria

24 May 2022

The National Chairman,

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

WADATA Plaza Abuja, FCT

NATIONAL CHAIRMAN’S OFFICE Peoples Democratic Party RECEIVED Sign

Dear National Chairman,

Resignation From Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Withdrawal from the Presidential Contest.

I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2, Anaocha LGA, Anambra, effective Friday 20 May, 2022. Consequently, am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for the PDP Presidential Primaries.

It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.

Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.

I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of country.

Sincerely,

Peter Obi, CON

Channels TV Wins Nigeria’s Most Admired Media Brand Award

From L-R: Assistant General Manager, Operations, Channels Television, Mr Kingsley Uranta; Assistant General Counsel /Company Secretary, Channels Television, Mrs Adeola Olumeyan; and Channels Television’s Energy Correspondent, Mr Olu Philips pose with the award.

 

Multiple award-winning station Channels Television has won the Brand Africa award as Nigeria’s Most Admired Media Brand.

Brand Africa is a non-profit intergenerational organisation that inspires a brand-led African renaissance to transform the continent’s image.

These include driving Africa’s competitiveness, connecting Africa, and creating a positive image of the continent.

READ ALSO: Channels Television Wins TV Station Of The Year For The 14th Time

 

Just last year, Channels Television won the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) for Best Television Station of the Year for the 14th time – the highest in the history of the award.

The award for Best TV Station, which recognises media excellence in the country, is one of the numerous recognitions Channels Television has received in Nigeria and globally for its programming, with an audience of over 20 million people within and outside the country.

The most recent prize further adds to the long list of national and international awards won by Channels Television.

 

Prior to the award bagged in October last year, Channels Television last won the Best Station of the Year for 2018.

This was in addition to claiming the prize in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Insurgents Killed 32 Youths In Kala-Balge – Borno Govt

The map of Borno, a state in Nigeria’s north-east region.

 

At least 32 locals were killed over the weekend by Boko Haram/ Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents in Borno State, authorities have said.

Those killed were said to be youths trapped in an ambush by the insurgents around Mudu village – some 45 kilometres away from Rann, the headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of the state

The spokesman for Governor Babagana Zulum, Isa Gusau, confirmed the figure on Wednesday in a statement released to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.

“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is very disturbed by the unfortunate killing of fellow citizens at the weekend,” he said. “Pending a full report, the governor was briefed by the Majority Leader of Borno State House of Assembly, Mohammed Dige, who represents Kala-Balge where the victims hailed from.”

According to reports, the assailants arrived at Mudu on motorcycles and attacked locals said to be farmers with guns and machetes.

While some of the victims were said to have been buried on Monday, others were reported to still be missing.

Amid the controversy over the identities of the victims, Gusau clarified that they were not farmers but young men who engaged in gathering metals.

He confirmed from the brief of the lawmaker that six persons survived the attack while two others fled the scene unhurt, adding that 14 bodies have been recovered.

“From the lawmaker’s briefing, a total of 32 youths are believed to have been killed by the insurgents,” the governor’s aide recounted. “The youths were not farmers, but highly enterprising young men engaged in gathering metals popularly called ‘Kayan Ajaokuta’ which are sold as raw materials for steel production.

“The victims were said to have gone to a deserted Mudu village in Dikwa LGA, which is 45 kilometres away from Rann in Kala-Bakge, in search of the raw materials but in the process, they were unfortunately ambushed by the insurgents. Six persons were injured during the ambush while two escaped unhurt.”

“A team of soldiers alongside the Chairman of Kala-Balge LGA on Tuesday recovered 14 bodies of victims who were apparently tied and shot at close range. Governor Zulum shares deeply the pains of bereaved families and the good people of Kala-Balge and is awaiting a full report by the end of today (Wednesday) before necessary measures,” Gusau briefed.

2023 Polls: Osinbajo Visits Sokoto, Says Nigeria Unity Paramount

A file photo of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on Nigerians, especially its leaders to work hard to maintain the unity of the country.

He stated this on Wednesday at the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, when he paid homage to the traditional ruler.

Nigeria, according to the Vice President, is respected and seen as a great nation in the comity of nations because of the unity and diversity of the country.

He was in Sokoto to meet with delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in continuation of his consultation for his presidential bid.

Professor Osinbajo’s visit to the state comes four days to the presidential primary of the ruling party scheduled to take place on Sunday.

In his remarks, the Sultan called on the government to tame the activities of troublemakers, especially those fanning the ember of violence through social media.

He expressed sadness over the report of the murder of a pregnant woman of northern extraction with her children in Anambra State in the south-eastern part of the country.

The traditional ruler also urged leaders at various levels across the country to redouble efforts in establishing and restoring unity and peaceful coexistence among the people, irrespective of their ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds.

Following his meeting with the Sultan, Professor Osinbajo proceeded to meet with the delegates of the ruling party behind closed doors.

At the end of the meeting, he told reporters that the APC was lucky to have qualified presidential aspirants seeking to fly the party’s flag in the forthcoming general elections.