Imposing A Presidential Candidate Unlikely As APC Searches For Strong Flagbearer

 

It is unlikely that President Muhammadu Buhari will impose a presidential candidate on the All Progressives Congress (APC), says Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

Governor Sule stated this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, while giving an update on the meeting between members of the Progressives Governors’ Forum and the President.

“I don’t think it is a situation where the President would just say that ‘this is the person (his preferred candidate), take him’. I don’t think it is going to be that.

“If it is going to be that, then he won’t be inviting people for consultation,” the governor said ahead of the APC convention scheduled to commence next week Monday.

The ruling party officially began the search for its ideal flagbearer in the forthcoming presidential election on Monday by screening those who have indicated an interest in its ticket to contest the poll.

 

A Sense Of Victory

While the John Oyegun-led APC Presidential Screening Committee was conducting the exercise at a hotel in Abuja, President Buhari held a meeting with governors elected on the party’s platform on how a candidate should emerge.

In his remarks during the meeting held at the State House, President Buhari charged the governors to ensure that the party’s convention picks a presidential candidate that reflects all the values and virtues of the party.

“In a few days, the party will be holding its convention during which primaries would take place to pick the presidential flagbearer for the 2023 general elections,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina. “This is a very significant process and its outcome should prove to the world, the positive quality of the APC regarding democratic principles, culture as well as leadership.”

“Allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens, and the global community. Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of the candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections.”

President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo following a meeting with APC governors at the State House in Abuja on May 31, 2022.

 

President Buhari had assured the governors that the consultation process would continue, to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders would be brought on board right through to the convention.

He explained that the process was to also ensure that any anxiety occasioned by different factors was effectively brought under control and that the APC emerges stronger.

 

Search For Right Candidate

Speaking with Channels Television, Governor Sule stressed that the President was clear on the qualities of who should emerge as the presidential candidate of the ruling party, but he never mentioned anyone.

He added that President Buhari recommended that such a person must be one who would be widely accepted by Nigerians in every part of the country, as well as understands the values of the APC.

“The President clearly mentioned that … our consensus candidate or our candidate to be selected must be somebody (who is) acceptable to Nigerians; somebody who understands what the APC is all about and what the APC is after, and he mentioned clearly that it is somebody that will go to every part of the country and be accepted,” the governor said.

“Similar to what President Muhammadu Buhari has said, we must bring somebody that can win an election and be able to sustain all the good things that the APC has done. So, that is exactly the definition of the President. But if you are looking for a name, the President didn’t mention a name.

“So, he gave us that in a plug and allowed us to think of the right person in these few days while he is in Spain. So, when he comes back, then everybody can say, ‘okay, we have thought about it and we believe it is … who is going to be president.”

 

Fight For Ticket

With just about five days to its primary, the APC has screened its presidential aspirants expected to participate in the exercise.

In no particular order, they include the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and oil magnate, Tein Jack Rich.

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State appears before the APC screening panel in Abuja.

 

Others are Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa; former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha popular Pastor Tunde Bakare, former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu; and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.

Also screened were former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former presidential candidate, Nicholas Felix; a female aspirant, Uju Ken-Ohanenye; Ondo North Senator, Ajayi Boroffice; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Governor David Umahi Ebonyi.

The rest include former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and former Minister of Information under the late General Sani Abacha regime, Ikeobasi Mokelu.

A total of 28 aspirants picked the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms sold at N100 million, but the duo of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, publicly rejected the forms purchased for them by interest groups.

Besides the duo, the APC had also dropped the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from aspirants to be screened by its panel.

Wife Of South Korean Presidential Candidate In ‘Hot Water’ Over Rape Comments

This picture taken on December 26, 2021, shows Kim Keon-hee, wife of South Korean main opposition People Power Party’s presidential candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol, speaking during a press conference at the headquarters of the party in Seoul. The victim of one of South Korea’s most high-profile #Metoo cases has demanded an apology January 2022 after a South Korean presidential candidate’s wife said sexual assault whistle-blowers only spoke out because they were not paid enough. YONHAP / AFP

 

A South Korean opposition party distanced itself Tuesday from comments made by its presidential candidate’s wife, in which she expressed strong support for a former politician currently in prison for rape.

The socially conservative country has been rocked in recent years by a #MeToo movement in which women working for prominent politicians made multiple sexual assault allegations.

The movement has met an at-times misogynistic backlash, with widespread vilification of feminist campaigners and some high-profile women.

South Koreans will elect a new president in March, with the two leading candidates currently neck and neck in the polls.

People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol’s wife made her controversial comments in a phone conversation with a reporter, which was recorded and released this weekend after a court battle.

In the conversation, Kim Keon-hee came to the defence of Ahn Hee-Jung, a former presidential contender convicted of raping his secretary on multiple occasions. Ahn was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

“I feel really sorry for Ahn. My husband and I are strongly on Ahn’s side,” the potential first lady said in the phone call.

Noting allegations against Democratic Party members, she also suggested sexual assault survivors only speak out if they are not paid enough.

“Conservatives make sure to pay,” she said. “That’s why we don’t see #MeToo happening here… #MeToo cases happen when you don’t pay your dues.”

The secretary who came forward with allegations against Ahn in 2018, and whose testimony helped send him to jail, demanded “a sincere apology” for the comments.

“Your thoughtless remarks have become the seed of second victimisation,” Kim Ji-eun said in a statement released Monday.

The People Power Party, for which Yoon is the nominee, had sought to block the airing of the phone conversations with a court injunction, which was thrown out Friday.

A local television channel broadcast the comments over the weekend.

The party downplayed the comments on Tuesday, with party chairman Lee Jun-Seok saying in a radio interview that they were “an expression of personal views”.

While South Korea is the world’s 10th-largest economy and a leading technological power, it remains a patriarchal society with predominantly conservative social mores.

Yoon, a former top prosecutor, is locked in a tight race with ruling-party candidate Lee Jae-Myung with the polling gap between the candidates often falling within the margin for error.

Incumbent President Moon Jae-in is legally barred from seeking a second term and is scheduled to step down in May.

Libya Court Reinstates Gaddafi’s Son As Presidential Candidate

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A court in southern Libya on Thursday reinstated Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, son of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, as a candidate in next month’s presidential election, Libyan media reported.

He had lodged an appeal earlier in the day at the court in Sebha against the electoral commission’s rejection of his application last month.

The commission had pointed to articles of the electoral law stipulating that candidates “must not have been sentenced for a dishonourable crime” and must present a clean criminal record.

Western officials have talked up a United Nations-led peace process and insist on “inclusive” and “credible” elections starting on December 24 in the North African country, despite serious disputes over how they should be held, and their credibility.

Libya is seeking to move beyond a decade of violence that has rocked the oil-rich nation since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Kadhafi senior in 2011.

Seif al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, had registered to run on November 14 but was among 25 candidates whose bids have were rejected by the elections board last week.

It said the 25 had been rejected on legal grounds as well as information from officials including the public prosecutor, a police chief and the head of the passports and citizenship department.

Seif al-Islam had lodged an appeal in Sebha, but last week a “group of outlaws” launched an “odious” attack on the court, forcing it to shut hours before the appeal hearing, the government in Tripoli said.

He was the first heavyweight candidate to sign up for the election, after emerging from years in the shadows and telling The New York Times in July that he was planning a political comeback.

In the rare interview, Seif al-Islam said he wanted to “restore the lost unity” of Libya after a decade of chaos.

He had been sentenced to death by a Tripoli court for crimes committed during the revolt that toppled his father.

A rival administration in eastern Libya later pardoned him.

The ICC has repeatedly asked for him to be handed over for trial for crimes against humanity, specifically “murder and persecution” allegedly committed using state forces across Libya in February 2011.

But Seif al-Islam is far from being the only controversial figure to lodge a bid for the presidency.

Among them is military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of eastern and southern Libya. He is hated by many in the west of the country after he launched a year-long assault on Tripoli between 2019-2020.

A Tripoli appeals court on Wednesday rejected two petitions against interim prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah’s candidacy.

 

Burundi’s Ruling Party Candidate Ndayishimiye Wins Election

Evariste Ndayishimiye, Burundi’s Presidential candidate of the ruling party the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), casts his ballot during the presidential and general elections at the Bubu Primary school in Giheta, central Burundi, on May 20, 2020. AFP

 

Burundi’s ruling party presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye on Monday was declared the victor of the bitterly disputed election, with 68.72 percent of the vote.

The election commission, which released the official results live on Burundian media, said that his main opposition rival Agathon Rwasa of the National Freedom Council (CNL), had garnered 24.19 percent of the vote.

The commission said that 87.7 percent of registered voters had turned out to cast their ballots in Wednesday’s election, which also included the election of members of parliament and local officials.

Rwasa and his party have already contested the outcome of the election, saying early results were a “fantasy”, and accused authorities of arresting their agents, and preventing them from observing the vote and taking part in counting.

The election took place without any international election observers, and with scant regard to the coronavirus outbreak which is being largely ignored by the government.

READ ALSO: Burundi To Vote In Tense Poll Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Burundi has been increasingly isolated since the 2015 election of President Pierre Nkurunziza to a disputed third term in office.

Violence which erupted during that poll left at least 1,200 dead and saw 400,000 flee the country.

Persisting turmoil saw the country cut off by foreign donors and its economy plunge, while accusations of major human rights violations have escalated.

AFP

Tunisia Presidential Candidate To Stay In Jail

Vice Principal Gets Life Imprisonment For Raping 12-Year-Old In Ekiti
File Photo

 

A fresh appeal for the release of jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui who has a reached a runoff in Tunisia’s presidential polls was turned down on Wednesday, his lawyers said.

“The judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction,” lawyer Kamel Ben Messoud said, after requesting his release the previous day.

“We will appeal,” he told AFP.

The court did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Karoui, a 56-year-old media magnate, is under investigation for alleged money laundering and has been in pretrial detention since August 23.

Lawyer Nazih Souii said it was the third time a judge had said the matter was beyond his jurisdiction.

The court of appeals refused to pass judgement on September 3, as did the court of cassation on September 13.

Tunisia’s electoral commission, ISIE, has confirmed Karoui made it to the presidential runoff along with law professor Kais Saied following Sunday’s first-round vote.

Karoui remains eligible to run despite his imprisonment, as long as any conviction does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.

He campaigned through the Nessma television channel he founded. ISIE has said it is investigating alleged electoral violations, including by Nessma TV.

Depending on potential appeals, the second round could be staged on October 6, the same day as legislative elections, or on October 13, ISIE said.

Observers from the European Union said the first round has been “transparent”.

But it called for the candidates to have the “same opportunities” to campaign, in an apparent allusion to Karoui.

2019 Elections: Youths Are The Biggest Disappointment, Says Moghalu

The presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has taken a swipe at Nigerian youths for the role they played during the recently held general elections.

Moghalu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, regretted that the young populations did not make their presence felt during the polls.

“The biggest disappointment was with the youths. The youth vote was absent. They make a lot of noise, they rant and rail but you will not see them on the voting day. And when they vote, they don’t vote in line with their rhetoric,” he said.

When asked if the polls witnessed improvement when compared to 2015, Moghalu noted that chaos marred some polling centres coupled with an alleged organisational efficiency and effectiveness shortly before the commencement of voting.

YPP presidential candidate, Professor Kingsley Moghalu speaks on the outcome of the 2019 general elections on Channels Television’s Politics Today on April 12, 2019.

“The organisational efficiency and effectiveness of the election was generally weak. We saw it. First, it was postponed at the last minute and in many parts of the country, there was chaos at the polling booths especially in rural areas.”

READ ALSO: 2019 Elections: Our Votes Were Stolen, Diverted And Suppressed – Moghalu

Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the polls, he advised the current administration to justify the votes and work hard to restore Nigerians have reposed on the President.

In doing that, he wants the Federal Government to focus on three cores areas bordering on national unity, building a vibrant economy and the nation’s security.

Speaking on security, he decried the poor funding of the police, calling on the government to properly equip its personnel with the modern tools to properly secure lives and properties.

Moghalu, who is also an economist and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) however wants the complete removal of subsidy.

He also wants the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to be privatised because it “is not a very profitable corporation, it is not a transparent corporation.”

Asked if he would still throw in the hat for the 2023 presidential race, his response was “it’s too early to make that kind of decision.”

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the YPP candidate wants the presidency to be zoned to the south-east.

World Leaders Gather To Pay Tribute To Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres, former israeli president, dies at 93,Dozens of world leaders gather in Israel to pay tributes to Shimon Peres, one of the country’s founding fathers, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93.

Guests include the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is visiting Israel for the first time since 2010, U.S. President, Barrack Obama, Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton with her husband, among others, who gathered at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery.

shimon peres fune
Shimon Peres’ body being taken for interment

There has been tight security in Israel ahead of the state funeral of the former prime minister, Shimon Peres.

Israeli police chief Roni Alsheikh said preventative arrests were carried out on Arab and Jewish suspects who they feared might disrupt the ceremony.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, led the series of eulogies, as he delivered his emotional address.

He described the former Isreali leader as “a great man of the world” adding that even as the world grieves his death, he had “left behind a true legacy of hope”.

shimon peres funeralFormer U.S. President Bill Clinton, who helped negotiate the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990’s that led to a Nobel Peace Prize for Shimon Peres, also described him as Israel’s “biggest dreamer”.

President Obama, who shared a close friendship with the deceased, expressed grief while also praising his optimism.
Peres had fostered ties with him, that went beyond bilateral interests as he appeared to be more in synch with Obama’s vision of global politics and regional peace than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He praised his optimism saying “It is that faith, that optimism, that belief, even when all the evidence to the contrary that tomorrow will be better, that makes us not only honor Shimon but love him.

Thousands of Israelis passed by his coffin outside the Knesset (parliament) throughout Thursday, to pay their last respects.

Tunji Braithwaite Dies At 82

Tunji BraithwaiteFounder and former presidential candidate of the Nigerian Advance Party, NAP, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite has died. He was aged 82.

Dr Braithwaite is said to have died in Lagos after a brief illness. The lawyer, politician and human rights activist was at the forefront of the struggle for Nigeria’s democracy during the harsh and long years of military regimes.

Relatives, friends and associates have paid condolence visits to his family at his home in Victoria Island, Lagos State.

He had his law training at the Council of Legal Education, London and was later admitted into Lincoln’s Inn where he became a barrister in 1960.

Argentina To Hold Run-Off Election On November 22

argentinaArgentina will hold a run-off election in November, after no presidential candidate gained enough votes to out rightly win the polls.

Centre-left candidate, Daniel Scioli, led exit polls and just edged centre-right Buenos Aires mayor, Mauricio Macri, with most votes counted.

The run-off on November 22, will be the first time an Argentine election will be decided by a second round.

With 86 per cent of the votes counted, Mr. Scioli was marginally ahead with 35.9 per cent of the vote, while Mr. Macri had 35.2 per cent.

To win outright in the first round, a candidate needs 45 per cent of the vote or a minimum of 40 per cent, as well as a 10-point lead over the nearest rival.

Buhari Expresses Satisfaction With Conduct Of Polls

buhariThe Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide.

General Buhari said the hiccups experienced in few states over the card readers were not enough to cast aspersions on the election.

Fielding questions from Journalists in his house in Daura, Katsina State, General Buhari said reports made available to him by his observers indicated that the election had been generally peaceful.

Remain Calm

General Buhari commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for extending the exercise in some polling units till tomorrow.

The APC Presidential candidate, however, appealed to all his supporters to remain calm no matter the outcome of the election.

The electoral body had released an adjusted guideline for the elections, allowing the ad-hoc staff at polling units to accredit voters with the manual register to allow eligible voters with accreditation issues exercise their civic right.

General Buhari had earlier cast his vote at his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

He is the strong opposition to the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan.

 

Labour Party Sues For Peace Within NLC

LabourThe Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Labour Party, Comrade Salisu Mohammed, has appealed to all those that contested in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) election, to sheath their swords in order to have a united labour front.

Addressing a news conference  in Abuja on the crisis rocking the NLC in Abuja, Comrade Mohammed said that the party is worried about the division in the labour union over the outcome of the election.

The Chairman of the Labour Party, who denounced the endorsement of any presidential candidate by the Labour Party, added that it was not in the interest of Nigerian workers to have a parallel NLC.

Meanwhile, workers from different unions including; Electricity Workers Union, Nigerian Textile Workers Union and NUPENG are among those opposing the results of the election that declared Ayuba Waba President of the workers’ union.

YDP Tasks INEC Over New Ballot Papers

ydpMembers of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) are insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should re-print ballot papers that will include the party in the forthcoming elections or reschedule the date for the polls.

The YDP secured a court victory over INEC on Wednesday when a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the inclusion of the party in the general elections.

YDP is a political party with young people forming the majority of its members.

The party was not listed among parties contesting in the 2015 general elections until the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered INEC to issue a certificate.

Following the judgement of the court, the leadership of the party is insisting that INEC must print new ballot papers, to include its name and candidacy or shift the election date further.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Peoples Party has also clarified allegations that it is among those calling for the sack of Prof. Attahiru Jega.

Members of the DPP have said that they have confidence in the electoral body and the introduction of the card readers during the polls.

The DPP has no presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections, rather it has adopted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).