The Federal High Court in Abuja, has slated October 6 to hear a suit seeking to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, for allegedly acting in breach of the Electoral Act.
The suit which was instituted by the immediate past Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and filed alongside a non governmental organization under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International, is equally praying the court to disqualify the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, over the same allegation.
Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered service of all the relevant court processes as well as hearing notices on all the Defendants in the matter.
It will be recalled that Nwajiuba, who is a chieftain of the APC and one of its presidential aspirants, had secured leave of the court to sue both his party’s presidential flag-bearer, Tinubu, and that of the PDP, Atiku.
Specifically, the Plaintiffs, in the suit they filed through their lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi, alleged that the primary election that produced Tinubu as the 2023 presidential candidate of the APC, was marred by corruption and massive vote buying, insisting that majority of the delegates were bought over with dollars.
To strengthen his allegation, the ex-Minister who polled only one vote at the primary election that held on June 8, included in his proof of evidence, a video recording showing the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, decrying that delegates at the APC primary sold their votes.
Besides, the Plaintiffs queried Tinubu’s source of income and his educational qualifications.
They urged the court to declare that Tinubu, “who had previously sworn an affidavit in the INEC nomination form declaring that he lost his primary and secondary school documents and benefitted therefrom, cannot in a later affidavit deny and abandon same facts deposed in the previous affidavit and thus falsely contradicting his academic qualifications”.
A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha has clarified a comment wherein he reportedly called supporters of Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi saboteurs. He also apologised for the development.
The comment he made at a new yam festival by an Igbo community in Accra, Ghana where he allegedly claimed Obi’s supporters are saboteurs had attracted criticism.
But speaking on Friday, the former Imo State governor said he is friends with the Anambra-born politician and as such could not have made the remark.
“That cannot be me. It is far from the truth and not in my character. I believe even in dissent from within my immediate nuclear family,” Ihedioha said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“My position was very simple. I was speaking to our people – I am an Mbaise man – and the PDP has been faithful to us and has given us support; the opportunity to produce a governor in our state. I said to them, we have an opportunity and I called that they should not sabotage our efforts to reclaim power. That was it and the context.”
He faulted those criticising his comment, saying they do not understand the context in which the remark was made.
“If you do watch the tape, you will find the context,” Ihedioha added. “It is certainly blown out of proportion.”
The PDP chieftain, however, apologised to those who may have been hurt by his statement, maintaining that he respects people’s choices, especially in politics.
“So, to all those – millions of Nigerians particularly of southeast extraction – who are hurt by my use of language, I am deeply sorry about it,” he said.
“I do not mean to hurt anybody and they have a right to express their political opinions in any way, form, or shape. I have lots of my friends who belong to other political parties and we still relate.”
Labour Party’s Peter Obi belongs to the same order as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer Bola Tinubu and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart Atiku Abubakar.
The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Dumebi Kachikwu said this on Tuesday, arguing that Nigeria requires people with fresh ideas to turn the nation around.
“The three of them belong to the same old order of politicians who have nothing to offer. There is no difference between Peter Obi, Atiku, and Asiwaju,” Kachikwu told Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“So, there’s no reason we have to come together to get power. I am not in the race because I seek power desperately. I am in this because I feel my country desperately needs change.
“Nigerians want a breath of fresh air. For too long, the vocal minority have had their way and their say in Nigeria. This race will be determined by the silent majority and they are prepared to take back their country.”
The ADC flagbearer lamented that for years, Nigerians have “trusted failures”, noting that the country must now back those with impeccable records.
“What Nigerians are saying to themselves is that for decades we trusted failures, now we better trust those with sterling track records of success,” he added.
“No longer would Nigerians say because he was a local government chairman or a commissioner. They now realise that when they held that office, they never did anything meaningful with it”.
His comment came after a poll by a public advocacy group We2Geda Foundation said going into the election, Labour Party’s Obi is ahead of other candidates by 51 percent.
“Further analysis also shows that Peter Obi remained a consistent favourite in the four major geopolitical zones including North-Central, South-South, South-West and South-East, while Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was the poll leader in the NorthEast and North-West zones,” the group said.
But Kachikwu has faulted the exercise, claiming it was “cooked” to favour the sponsors.
“If you were to ask the APC or the PDP about this poll, they will tell you, ‘Give me 24 hours and I will conduct my own poll that shows you I am leading’,” the ADC candidate maintained.
“So, people believe that these polls are just cooked to serve the benefit of whoever is paying for them. That’s what most people believe; so, we will discountenance them.”
I deeply appreciate the opportunity to hold extensive discussions with President Olusegun Obasanjo earlier today on arising national interest matters. As usual, the exchanges were forthright and animated. -PO pic.twitter.com/PRkb57msRa
“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to hold extensive discussions with President Olusegun Obasanjo earlier today on arising national interest matters,” he wrote, alongside the photos. “As usual, the exchanges were forthright and animated.”
Monday’s meeting followed a similar one Obi had with him weeks back. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was around for that meeting which was held in London, UK.
See more photos from the most recent meeting below:
As campaigns are in top gear to commence from Wednesday, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says its option of a consensus presidential candidate is still open and it will announce its preferred man for Aso Rock’s top job for the forthcoming February presidential election after a rigorous but productive interrogation exercise.
The Forum also said its preferred presidential candidate from the 18 officially recognized political parties must have the mental and physical capacity to govern Nigeria and solve the pertinent security and economic challenges bedevilling the country.
“We have an idea what the next President should look like,” NEF Spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He also said the northern elders won’t make the mistake they made in 2015 when they endorsed All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Muhammadu Buhari and encouraged the people of the region to cede their bloc votes to him.
According to Baba-Ahmed, Nigeria’s next president must have the ability to secure the country, improve the economy, and have plans for 34 million out-of-school children in the region, noting that the thoughts of the candidate on restructuring and other national issues will be evaluated.
“It will be a basis with which the north will support a candidate,” he stated.
On the region or zone the next President should emerge from, the NEF spokesman said, “What he intends to do in terms of satisfying us that he has the mental capacity, the physical capacity, the intellect, the willingness to tap into the best that is available, sensitivity to a number of key issues that are central to our survival as a country. Those things are going to represent for us the basis for which we will support a candidate.”
Leading presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections include APC’s Bola Tinubu; Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi of the Labour Party; and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)’s Rabiu Kwankwaso. Whilst Atiku and Kwankwaso are from northern Nigeria, Tinubu and Obi are from the southern part of the country, casting doubts on whether NEF will back them.
However, Baba-Ahmed said, “At this stage, our options are open. We will not vote on narrow prisms like where you (candidates) come from…
“I can speak for the northern elders’ forum. We’ve not said we will only support a northern candidate; what we said is we will defend the rights of northerners to compete freely and equally with others, we will support a northerner if we think he is the best, and we will not go to apologise for that at all.
“We will support a southerner if we believe that he will do justice to the interest of the north and the interest of other parts of the country. What is important for us is that we are looking for the best that is available.”
The NEF spokesman insisted that the group wields sufficient influence over the people of northern Nigeria and it will exercise its responsibility of endorsing the best candidate very seriously.
“We are not supporting anybody, we are going to support the best candidate that represents the best.
“We will put all those candidates through a rigorous process if they are willing and they had better be willing because, believe me, we carry the responsibility on our shoulders to advise a lot of people in the north where to go and we will exercise that responsibility very seriously,” he said.
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, has reacted to the rallies being held by the party’s supporters across the country.
“The rallies are not surprising, it is because the Labour Party has a people-oriented candidate that will work for the people and that will effectively serve the interest of the party,” he said in a statement on Saturday as hundreds of the party’s supporters rallied in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
For him, the rallies showed that the people are driving the process and realise what the party means to them and the future.
“Of course, the people must own the process, the people will fund the process because they say he who plays the pipe dictates the tune. And therefore the people are the owners of the party and that is why they are funding these activities,” he said.
“People are contributing money, N1000, N10,000, and so on to carry out rallies for themselves. People are donating their buildings and the people of Nigeria are gradually owning the Labour Party.”
When campaigns begin proper ahead of the elections, he expects the trend to be sustained and even ramped up because people identify with what the party stands for.
He said, “You know that the Labour Party is a party for the poor, the artisans, students, market women, the downtrodden, civil servants, hewers of wood and fetchers of water, and the ordinary man in the street. They own the party and they form more than 90 percent of Nigerians.
“By the time campaigns starts, you will see people campaigning for the party. All these movements and activities you are seeing all over, Labour Party has no contribution to it.
“The people are mobilising themselves, they print the logo of the party themselves, they print campaign materials from their pockets and they are driving the process of the campaign by themselves and that is what we are seeing.”
Ultimately, he said the objectives for the party and its supporters are to change the political narrative in the country and for Nigerians to take their destinies into their own hands.
“The people are now asking questions about how they are being ruled, they want to sack the looters, they want to change the status quo,” he said.
“They want to put an end to activities of some people who have stolen from the common purse. The people have always been at the receiving end, but all those scenario are about to change. The party is the voice of the voiceless, and that is what you see in those rallies, that is what is replicated all over the nation.
“So, Labour Party is changing the political narratives in Nigeria. This is the first time it is happening. God on our side, knowing that the voice of the people is the voice of God, the destiny of the people is now in their hands.”
Major political parties have kicked against the NOI poll which gave the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi the lead in next year’s election.
The NOI poll, commissioned by the Anap Foundation and released on Thursday, showed that the former Anambra governor is leading the race with 21 percent of the votes.
It described the presidential contest as a three-horse race and gave Obi an eight percent lead over the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate Bola Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar who each got 13 percent of the votes to end up as joint second in the poll. The presidential candidate of the Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso was fourth with three percent of the votes.
But the APC, PDP, and NNPP have in separate reactions to the poll, dismissed it, saying it does not reflect the realities on the ground.
During his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, the spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign Daniel Bwala, questioned the techniques deployed for the exercise, claiming Obi is basking in the euphoria of hallucination.
Bwala argued that a “normal poll that will attract credibility will be a poll that will clearly release the sample size and the margin of error as the report is being released because the sample size and the margin of error will help in identifying whether the polling was actually carried out correctly or not.
“Then, you can further ask for the sampling. Was it done through a phone call? If it was done through a phone call, then the people who did not have phones were probably not part of the polling.
“You also go to the extent of demographics and the place where the polling was carried out. I know they said it was a random sampling. But then, because of the result, I’m tempted to believe that this polling was carried out online because Peter Obi has a number of people who are very active for him online much more than the other candidates.
“I will tell you why: There was an algorithm search and data analytics that was carried out that came up with the finding that 57.5 percent of people who follow Peter Obi and engage with him on social media do not live in Nigeria. In fact, majority of whom are bots on Twitter — they are not real human beings.”
He said: “If you take away 57.5 percent of people who are active for him, who probably live abroad and they don’t have voter cards and they are likely not to come to vote, what it means is that Peter Obi is basking in the euphoria of hallucination, and this polling is a true reflection.”
For the APC, the most recent Anap poll is not a reflection of the Nigerian reality as it accused the organisers of using “dubious” statistics to “package” Obi to voters.
The statement by the Director, Media, and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council Bayo Onanuga accused the NOI of turning its “political bias in an election period to fraudulent statistics”.
“The NOI has chosen the preferred candidate and has decided to use fake, dubious statistics to package him to the Nigerian voters,” Onanuga said in the statement.
“We know, as a matter of fact, the owners of NOI and where their political interest lies and wish to advise NOI to stop polluting the political system with irresponsible, unscientific, and biased polling so that we don’t expose the puppeteers pulling its strings.”
‘We are Not Hurt’
Aside from the APC, the NNPP also claimed that it is not disturbed by the poll, saying several similar exercises from the same organisation have failed in their projections.
“We are not hurt in any way. Absolutely, we are not hurt. In fact, I was contemplating not coming to this programme because coming here means we have made the people who promoted the poll achieve what they want to achieve,” the spokesperson of the NNPP Abdulmumin Jibrin said on Politics Today. “All they want to do is to create a public conversation so that we continue to talk about it; creating the image as if Obi is very much ahead.”
Jibrin accused Obi and the Labour Party of dividing the country, saying the former governor will only get votes in the southeast where he hails from.
“The only place Obi will demystify structure is in the southeastern part of the country. That is where whether he has a structure or no structure, he will make an impression because their party and its candidate are divisive elements. All they do is to divide Nigerians,” he maintained.
‘A New Order’
However, the LP says the poll shows Nigerians are ready for a new order of governance.
“It shows that Nigerians have come to terms with our reality that there has to be a change and a new order from the old because it is very obvious they are languishing in abject poverty,” the party’s spokesman Abayomi Arabambi said.
“There are no jobs for Nigerians. Schools are under lock and key due to executive rascality and malfeasance of the present administration.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has dismissed a poll giving the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi the lead in next year’s poll.
According to the poll commissioned by the Anap Foundation and conducted by NOI Polls Limited, it said the election is a three-horse race. It said Obi is leading the race with 21 percent of the votes. His votes give him an eight percent lead over APC’s Tinubu and PDP’s Abubakar who each got 13 percent of the votes to end up as joint second in the poll.
But the APC council in a statement hours after the result of the poll was released, said it is “unperturbed by these dubious and unreliable statistics because our research shows that NOI Polls have been off the mark at critical election periods in recent times.
“For example, preparatory to the March 2015 presidential elections, NOI published in October 2014 the results of a “Viability Poll” which used the concepts of Familiarity and Net Favourability Position to survey.
“In the results, NOI claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan has the best overall familiarity rating at 99% and a Net Favourability Probability of ±25.
“By contrast, NOI dismissed the then All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari as a “borderline candidate” who needed ” huge public relations” to shore up his performance. But when the Nigerian people went to the polls, who won? The APC candidate and now President, Muhammadu Buhari.”
The statement by the Director, Media, and Publicity of the council, Bayo Onanuga, accused the NOI of turning its “political bias in an election period to fraudulent statistics.
“The NOI has chosen the preferred candidate and has decided to use fake, dubious statistics to package him to the Nigerian voters,” Onanuga said in the statement.
“We know, as a matter of fact, the owners of NOI and where their political interest lies and wish to advise NOI to stop polluting the political system with irresponsible, unscientific, and biased polling so that we don’t expose the puppeteers pulling its strings.
“Our party is putting every necessary machinery in motion to win the federal elections with a margin that will be too wide to contest. Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu recorded the highest votes of a senator across the country under the Social Democratic Party in July 1992. He will do it on a nationwide scale on February 25, 2023.”
See the full statement below:
NOI Polls inconsistent with Nigerian Reality
The attention of the APC Presidential Campaign Council has been drawn to a poll conducted by the NOI polls which made wild and incredible permutations on the presidential elections.
We are unperturbed by these dubious and unreliable statistics because our research shows that NOI Polls have been off the mark at critical election periods in recent times.
For example, preparatory to the March 2015 presidential elections, NOI published in October 2014 the results of a “Viability Poll” which used the concepts of Familiarity and Net Favourability Position to survey. In the results, NOI claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan has the best overall familiarity rating at 99% and Net Favourability Probability of ±25.
By contrast, NOI dismissed the then All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari as a “borderline candidate” who needed ” huge public relations” to shore up his performance.
But when the Nigerian people went to the polls, who won? The APC candidate and now President, Muhammadu Buhari. This is not the only instance when the NOI has turned its political bias in an election period to fraudulent statistics.
Towards the 2019 presidential elections, and knowing fully that President Muhammadu Buhari was going for re-election for a second term in office, the NOI pollsters embarked on another abracadabra. In June 2017, they issued the results of another poll, that Nigerians prefer a middle-aged president claiming that this poll was inspired by the election of Macron as the president of France and the campaign of the Not Too Young To Run. According to the predictable bias, NOI claimed that 64% said they would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate between the ages of 40 and 50 years and 15% preferred candidates between 51 and 60. In short, for a presidential candidate in his 70s running for re-election, NOI results meant certain defeat. But when the Nigerian people went to the polls on February 23, 2019, the man the NOI polls had tried to bully with statistics out of the race won again.
It is significant that at the time NOI was generating the unrealistic figures to boost the ego of President Jonathan, a more serious and independent team of pollsters- Neo-Telligence based in the United Kingdom used geo-demographics and public sentiment analysis to forecast the emergence of President Buhari. By contrast, their empirical analysis showed that two years before the 2015 presidential elections, Goodluck Jonathan’s public approval rating on corruption, insecurity and the economy had nosedived across most of the battleground states.
Our objective profiling of NOI Polls as an anti-APC research organisation is grounded on the aforesaid facts and that is why we believe this present report is, in the language of Nigerians, “*wuruwuru to the answer”.
The NOI has chosen the preferred candidate and has decided to use fake, dubious statistics to package him to the Nigerian voters.
We know as a matter of fact, the owners of NOI and where their political interest lies and wish to advise NOI to stop polluting the political system with irresponsible, unscientific and biased polling so that we don’t expose the puppeteers pulling its strings.
Our party is putting every necessary machinery in motion to win the federal elections with a margin that will be too wide to contest. Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu recorded the highest votes of a senator across the country under the Social Democratic Party in July 1992. He will do it on nationwide scale on February 25.2023.
Bayo Onanuga Director, Media and Publicity All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council
Ten lawyers have asked the Federal High Court Lagos to stop the Labour Party (LP), its candidates, and supporters from conducting a rally tagged “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” on October 1 or any other date, in Lagos State.
They specifically asked the court to restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his vice; Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure, and their loyalists from holding the rally, until the hearing and determination of their motion-on-notice of September 12.
The 10 plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo Esq., Salamatu Suleiman Lewi Esq., Hakeem Ijaduola, Esq., Ogunbona Akinpelu Esq., Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Esq., Mogbojuri Kayode Esq., Wuyep Mantim Nadom Esq., Dimimu Mabel, Esq., Kolawole Salami, Esq. and Wale Abe Lawrence, Esq.
They filed the suit against the 1st to 10th defendants; Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State and the Governor of Lagos State.
In an ex parte motion filed before Justice Daniel Osiagor through their counsel Mr. Dada Awosika, SAN, leading Temilolu Ademolekun and others, the plaintiffs argued that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” #EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in a post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
They asked the court for four reliefs – “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants; their associates and loyalists from conducting the scheduled #EndSARS rally tagged as the “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally on the 1st of October, 2020 or any other subsequent date, at the Lekki Toll Gate until the hearing and determination of the Motion-On-Notice dated the 12 Day of September, 2022;
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants and their loyalists from further planning and promoting the Scheduled #EndSARS rally tagged as the “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally.
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 5th 6th, 7th Defendants from allowing or granting permissions to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants, their agents, and the organizers of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” at the behest of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants from carrying out the said anniversary on the 1st of October, 2022 and any other subsequent date.
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 8th Defendant (LCC) from granting permission to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants; their agents, privies, allies, and loyalists, to make use of the Lekki Toll Gate or any space under and within the control of the 8th Defendant for carrying out the said anniversary on the 1st of October, 2022 and any other subsequent date.
Justice Osiagor directed the plaintiffs to put all the defendants on notice. The judge made the order following Awosika’s application.
He then adjourned the hearing of the substantive motion till September 23.
The plaintiffs, by their originating summons filed on the 9th of September, 2022 listed 12 grounds upon which the judge should grant their reliefs.
They include, “That the actions of the supporters, agents, privies and loyalists of the 1, 2nd, 3rd and 4 defendants to conduct the scheduled rally tagged “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” to hold on the 1 of October 2022 is contrary to Section 45(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the actions of the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Defendants by allowing the 1-4 Defendants amounts to an overreach in executive powers and a breach of statutory duties bestowed on them.
“That the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants, their agents, privies, allies, and loyalists have gone beyond the reach of their fundamental right to assembly as the scheduled rally tagged as “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” is in contravention with the purports of Section 45(1) of the Constitution.
“That the 5, 6, and 7th defendants are security agencies enacted by relevant statutes and have the sole duty and responsibility to maintain public safety, law, and order in the society at large.
“That the 5th 6th and 7th defendants have failed to do their duties as required of them by the law by granting permission to the 1, 2, 3, and 4th Defendants; their agents, privies, allies, and loyalists to conduct the scheduled rally tagged as “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” on the 1st of October, 2022 at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“That the 8th defendant is in gross breach of the purports of Section 38(2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 to not donate its property to any political party or political association or for any political cause to which the 8 Defendant has failed forthwith.
“That the 9th and 10th defendants, being constitutionally enacted offices, have statutorily bestowed duties and obligations to the general public to preserve and maintain law, public order, and safety and also ensure compliance with the law to which they have failed forthwith.
“That the scheduled rally tagged as “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” is to hold on the 1st of October, 2022, and failure to restrain the defendants from the conduction of the said rally would amount to another display of great destruction to lives and properties as it ensued during the #EndSARS protest of 2020.
“That a repeat or celebration of the said infamous #EndSARS protest of 2020 in this year 2022 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will result in a total breakdown of peace and will result in a post-traumatic stress disorder for me and the other plaintiffs, as well as some affected member of the public as same has generated major controversy on the social media with loyalist and members of other political camps, are equally threatening a rival rally at the same date and venue for convergence.”
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has hailed the acceptability of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi but believes this may not translate to victory for the former Anambra governor in next year’s exercise.
Umahi spoke on Friday in Abuja after his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House. According to him, while Obi’s level of acceptability across the country is heart-warming, especially for the southeast region, it won’t be enough to unseat the ruling.
“So, while my party takes the victory, he would have prepared a very good ground for the south-east presidency, so that nobody is going to write us off. And you can see the level of his acceptability, which does not translate to victory over APC. I’m sure of that,” the governor told the press after the visit.
“But it’s a good movement. And it reassures the south-east people and the entire country that we are accepted, you know; that we will one day become the president of this country. It is very important.”
Umahi believes the “Peter Obi movement” is one built on equity, justice, and fairness. He maintained, however, that “it may not translate to outright win because I must defend my party; I must wish my party well and I have the ticket of my party. But whether what he is doing has meaning there, it is not only in the southeast; it does have meaning”.
He also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu is poised to win next year’s presidential poll, arguing that the party has the “structure” and “spread” to achieve that.
In addition to these, the former Anambra State governor said the leader must at all times follow the rule of law, and make his government participatory and consensus-oriented.
He said there are the 4 Cs, and leadership values required to turn Nigeria around, adding that what Nigeria needs is a “leadership imbued with competence, capacity, credibility and commitment”.
The LP flagbearer further stated that the primary responsibility of the citizens in governance is twofold: to elect their leaders and secondly, to hold such leaders accountable.
He also shared that Nigeria’s Diaspora has a continuing role and responsibility toward nation-building and national development.
“With $20 billion in remittances in 2021, Nigeria ranks 6th behind the top five recipient countries; namely; India Mexico, China, the Philippines, Egypt, and Bangladesh.
“Expert assessments indicate that with proper policy and planning, we can leapfrog to about $60b in remittances annually. That will translate to about 14% of our total GDP.
“In 2021 Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI) was $4.8 billion. Therefore, I see Diaspora remittances as the new normal and becoming Nigeria’s Official Development Assistance (ODA); some kind of foreign loan-without interest,” the former governor enunciated.
Mr Obi went on to assert that bolstering Nigeria’s power sector is imperative, adding that his administration will lay special emphasis on critical infrastructure, especially power, to ensure a clear measurable increase of 200% of the present generation, transmission and distribution, within the shortest possible time through a public-private partnership.
Additionally, he assured those present that trade and investment will remain core components of his government’s African foreign policy.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says Nigerians are scandalized over the disgraceful and hypocritical attempt by the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other APC leaders to distance themselves from President Muhammadu Buhari over the abysmal failure of the Buhari-led administration in which they are principal actors.
According to a statement by the PDP’s spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the party said it was in a desperate design to whitewash the APC’s battered public image, identifying with the obvious successes of the PDP and in an attempt to posture as statesmen that the APC Presidential Candidate, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima and other APC leaders shamelessly orchestrated a photo opportunity with the “distinguished and successful former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.
“This is a patriotic Nigerian leader whose PDP-led purposeful and successful government the APC leaders viciously harassed, constantly insulted, labelled, sabotaged and discredited for their selfish power-grabbing enterprise.
“Nigerians have not forgotten how Asiwaju Tinubu callously vilified and pilloried Dr. Jonathan, spewed hate against his administration and reportedly funded a near riotous protest which was inflamed by concocted economic lies, propaganda and false statistics to discredit the Jonathan-led PDP administration.
“Nigerians can equally recall how Sen. Shettima as governor of Borno State sabotaged and frustrated the Jonathan’s administration in its effort to curb insecurity in Borno State.
“Records still have it on how the APC Vice Presidential candidate as governor of Borno State failed to act on a security report and directive to close schools in remote parts of Borno State and relocate students to the more secure capital of Maiduguri to write their GCE examinations; thus creating the opening for the cruel abduction of school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
“Nigerian will also note how the then Governor Shettima abdicated his duty as chief security officer and reportedly withheld vital security information in preference to non-state actors including terrorist elements, thereby frustrating the timely rescue of the abducted Chibok girls.
“It can also be recalled that after the infamous abduction, the principal of the school was subsequently appointed as a commissioner in Borno State by the then Governor Shettima; a development many considered as a compensation for her alleged role in the abduction.
“It is therefore ironic that these same APC leaders who also spent the last seven years insulting and harassing Dr. Jonathan now shamelessly arranged a visit and photo opportunity in an attempt to launder their image and hoodwink Nigerians from the atrocities and monumental evil they brought to our country.
“It is indeed provocative that after turning our nation into a vast killing field by emboldening terrorist elements to massacre our citizens; wrecking our once robust economy, elevating corruption to an official state policy and turning our nation into the poverty capital of the world, APC leader are seeking to beguile Nigerians again,” Ologunagba argued.
The PDP spokesman said the Party is aware that these APC leaders have lined up several illusory antics to mislead Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections, but they must know that Nigerians have moved on and cannot be swayed by propaganda, lies, false promises and photo ops with successful individuals.
He further opined that what is expected of APC leaders at this moment is to apologize unreservedly to Dr. Jonathan, the PDP and Nigerians for the life-discounting situation they have foisted on our nation in the last seven years.
Additionally, Ologunagba said afterwards, the APC should quietly quit the stage, take valedictory pictures with terrorists, political thugs and election riggers since they cannot have any space among well-meaning Nigerians.