Shock as Peter Obi dumps PDP, protests mar gov primaries - AfrobadooTV
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Shock as Peter Obi dumps PDP, protests mar gov primaries



Governorship primaries of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu, Abia, Borno, Taraba and Ogun states were on Wednesday characterised by violence, protests and withdrawal of aspirants.

Prominent governorship aspirants including a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; former Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Gilbert Nnaji; the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Abia State Deputy Governor, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu, withdrew from the race.

As aspirants stepped down from the race, there was shock on Wednesday when a presidential hopeful, Mr Peter Obi, dumped the party and his presidential ambition.

Wednesday’s PDP governorship primaries were held in 28 states, where next year’s governorship election will take place.


In Niger State, a protest over the authenticity of the delegates’ list forced the PDP to postpone its governorship primary.

The four out of the five aspirants threatened to stage a walk-out if their demand of ensuring proper identification of all the proposed 800 delegates was not met.

One of the the aggrieved aspirants, Isah Jankara, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the exercise could only go ahead if all the delegates properly identified themselves with driving licence, national identity card or passports.

The Chairman of the Election Committee, Mr Ewhrudjakpo, who met the aggrieved aspirants was unable to resolve the problem.

Ewhrudjakpo was left with no option but to direct all delegates to get a means of identifying themselves and shifted the exercise to Thursday.

The four protesting aspirants are Sani Kutigi, Alhaji Sidi Abdul; a former Minister of Sports, Abdulrahman Gimba; and Abubakar Isah.

Youths stone Ishaku’s convoy

Violence characterised the party’s primary in Taraba State as some angry youths stoned the convoy of Governor Darius Ishaku over alleged imposition of Col. Kefas Agbu (retd.) as the PDP governorship candidate.

The angry youths mostly from Taraba North and Central zones attacked the convoy of the governor and his deputy, Haruna Manu, who were on their way out of the Pastoral Centre, venue of the meeting to broker a consensus arrangement.

The governor was said to have called the meeting of all the aspirants to persuade them to step down for Kefas, but most of the aspirants refused to withdraw.

The youths, who got wind of the plot of the governor to convince the aspirants to step down, barricaded the gate of Pastoral Centre chanting, ‘We no go gree, we no go gree.’

Though some vehicles were smashed in the process, security personnel whisked away the governor, his deputy and fired gunshots in the air to disperse angry youths.

Our correspondent reports that since last week when a retired general directed that Kefas be the party’s candidate, there had been tension as various groups kicked against the decision.

Kefas was on Wednesday evening announced the winner.

Gun shots rent as Adebutu, Lawal’s supporters clash, disrupt Ogun PDP primaries

Pandemonium broke out at the governorship primary of the PDP in Ogun State following the sporadic gun shots that rented the air.

Journalists and party delegates who were at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta on Wednesday, scampered for safety as loyalists of two governorship aspirants, Oladipupo Adebutu and Jimi Lawal, clashed over the delegates’ list to be adopted for the exercise.

The exercise which started around 5pm was disrupted following a shouting match and clash over the delegates’ list.

Our correspondent gathered that there was tension over the agitation for the use of the delegates’ list from the party headquarters.

Trouble started shortly after the PDP electoral panel, headed by Prof Akase Sorkaa, announced the mode of conduct of the exercise.

Our correspondent who was at the venue observed that some loyalists of Lawal, an ex-banker, raised an objection, rejecting a delegates’ list brought from the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

This led to a shouting match between supporters of Lawal and Adebutu who also engaged one another in pushing and shoving.

One of the media aides of Lawal, Austin Oniyokor, who brought some documents claiming to have been certified by INEC, insisted that the exercise must not take place unless the document was adopted.

The drama which lasted for over 30 minutes saw security operatives helpless while INEC officials temporarily relocated from the hall.

“This exercise cannot be conducted with a fake list. These are INEC-generated documents. These are your certified documents,” Oniyokor shouted while addressing INEC officials.

While still waiting for the party officials to find solutions to the impasse, sound of gunshots from outside the hall caused journalists and other delegates to scamper for safety.

Meanwhile, a governorship aspirant, Segun Showunmi, has been declared as the party’s governorship candidate by a faction .

The faction which held a primary at the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, announced Showunmi as the PDP governorship candidate in the state .

The Chairman of electoral committee, Abayomi Daniel, announced Showunmi as winner after polling 554 votes to defeat his closest rival, Lawal, who scored 30 votes, while Adebutu polled 15 votes.

According to Daniel, a total number of 778 delegates were accredited, 702 votes were cast while three votes were voided.

“By the power conferred on me by the national leadership of our great party, as the chairman, electoral committee of the PDP governorship primary election in Ogun State, I hereby declare Hon. Segun Sowunmi as the winner of the election having polled the highest number of votes and he is hereby returned and elected”, Daniel said.

Sowunmi in his acceptance speech, called on other aspirants to work together with him to secure victory for the party in the 2023 general election.

The Borno State governorship primary of the party was also rocked by a crisis as members alleged that the delegates’ list had been manipulated in favour of the state chairman.

A national delegate, Bukar Petro, at the venue of the primary in Maiduguri told The PUNCH that the state party Chairman, Zanna Gaddama, and the party secretary, Ali Aliyu, were attempting to tamper with the delegates’ list to favour Mohammed Imam, one of the aspirants.

The immediate past Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, recently impeached by the state House of Assembly, also withdrew from the governorship race.

Gusau who announced his withdrawal through his Principal Private Secretary, Umar Aminu, in Gusau on Wednesday did not give reasons for his decision to step down from the contest.

Emmanuel’s loyalist wins as two aspirants step down

In Akwa Ibom State, two governorship aspirants – Senator Bassey Akpan and Onofiok Luke – also withdrew from the race.

In their separate letters addressed to the state party chairman, Aniekan Akpan, and copied to the national party chairman, the aspirants cited a subsisting order of a Federal High Court as the reason for their action.

Luke also cited the exclusion of statutory delegates from the primary as reason for his withdrawal

Despite the withdrawal of the two aspirants, the anointed aspirant of the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, Pastor Umo Eno, won the primary.

Eno, a former Commissioner of Lands, polled a total of 993 votes. A total of 1018 delegates were accredited to vote at the primary.

Mba wins as Ekweremadu, three others withdraw

In Enugu, besides Ekweremadu, Nnaji Josef-Ken Onoh and Everest Nnaji popularly known as Ondengene also withdrew from the race.

Although Ekweremadu didn’t mention why he stepped down, Onoh and the two Nnajis withdrew to support to an oil mongul, Peter Mbah.

As of 6 .30pm, there was anxiety at the Katsina PDP primary as voting had yet to start at the state secretariat of the party located along Katsina-Kano road.

There was a heavy presence of security agents in and around the secretariat.

The acting state chairman of the party, Salisu Uli, however said the primary would still hold.

He said the delay was being caused by the non arrival of five out of seven members of the committee that would organise the exercise.

Abaribe alleges use of imaginary delegates, steps down, Ikonne wins

The Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, who withdrew from the Abia State governorship race, in a statement, cited the use of only imaginary ad hoc delegates to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates as the reason for not taking part in the election.

Also, the Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu, described the delegates’ list as a scam, skewed to actualise a predetermined objective.

Professor Uche Ikonne won the party’s primary in the state.

He polled a total number of 468 to defeat Chief Lucky Igbokwe who came a distant second with 45 votes, while Mrs Ezenwanyi Jonah got five votes.

A former National Vice-Chairman of the party (South-South) and Chairman, Electoral Committee, Emmanuel Ogidi, confirmed the withdrawal of four Lagos State aspirants to newsmen at the venue of the event on Wednesday.

According to Ogidi, four aspirants, who backed down from the race in the interest of party stability, included Jim Kamal, Adedeji Doherty, Rhodes Gbadebo, and Ade Dosumu.

Olajide Adediran emerged the winner of the primary. Of the 709 accredited delegates, Adediran got 679 votes as against a paltry 20 votes garnered by his opponent, David Kolawole-Vaughan, while 10 votes were void.

Deputy gov absent, Makinde’s opponent kicks as gov wins

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State won the PDP governorship ticket to seek re-election in the 2023 election.

The governor polled 1,040 votes while his challenger, Dr Azeem Gbolarumi, scored two votes.

The returning officer, Abdulahi Maibasira, declared Makinde the winner of the contest.

Gbolarumi when called to address the delegates before voting commenced, alleged that some loyalists of the governor violently chased away delegates loyal to him away from the stadium.

He left the venue after his speech.

The Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, was however absent from the venue of the primary election fuelling the speculation that the governor had dropped him as his running mate ahead of the 2023 poll.

The governor acknowledged the presence of dignitaries present but he did not mention the name of his deputy.

A former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who recently joined the Nasarawa State governorship race on the platform of the PDP withdrew from the race hours into the commencement of the election.

Speaking on Wednesday at the venue of the PDP primary, Maku said he had wide consultations with friends and associates including stakeholders of the party before deciding to withdraw from the contest. A former member of the House of Representatives, David Ombugadu, won the primary.

Fintiri emerges Adamawa candidate

In Adamawa State, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri emerged the governorship candidate of the party.

Announcing the result, the Chairman of the PDP governorship Primary Committee, Gebon Kataps, said the governor polled 663 votes out of 668 accredited delegates’ votes cast with five invalid votes.

Benue Speaker picks PDP governorship ticket

The Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba, emerged the party’s candidate when he defeated his strong rival, the deputy governor of the state, Benson Abounu, and three others.

The Speaker polled 731 votes while the Deputy Governor garnered 81 votes. A total of 851 delegates voted during the primary.

Okowa-backed Speaker defeats Ibori’s aspirants

The incumbent Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori, emerged the winner of the PDP primary in the state with a total of 590 votes.

Oborevwori who is alleged to be backed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa defeated Mr David Edevbie, James Ibori’s preferred candidate, who polled a total of 113 votes to clinch the second position.

A former Managing Director of Sun Trust Bank Muhammad Barde won the primary in Gombe State. Jibrin Barde scored 160 out of the total votes cast.

Obi dumps PDP amid coalition talks with Kwankwaso, others

Meanwhile, a former Governor of Anambra State and presidential hopeful, Peter Obi, has dropped out of the presidential race of the PDP amid talks with the Rabiu-Kwankwaso-led New Nigeria Peoples Party, the Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party, The PUNCH has learnt.

It was learnt that Obi’s defection was part of a grand plot to form a coalition that could defeat the All Progressives Congress and the PDP.

In a letter of resignation addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the former governor said he was happy to have contributed to the growth of the PDP.

He further stated that recent developments within the party had made it impossible for him to continue in the race.

The letter read in part, “I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the PDP which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2, Anaocha LGA Anambra, effective Friday, May 20, 2022. Consequently, I am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for the PDP Presidential Primary.

“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.”

Obi, who enjoys massive support from the youths, had purchased the N40m form of the PDP and was screened to participate in the primary against 14 others on Saturday.

However, it had been difficult for him to bring many of the delegates to his side.

“We are in talks with Labour Party, SDP and a few others. We will announce our new party in the next 24 hours. It will be a party that is also youth-friendly since we have discovered that the youths form the bulk of our supporters,” said an associate of the former governor.

Another source, however, told The PUNCH that the plan was to form a coalition that could defeat the two major parties.

“There is a plan for some major parties to form a mega party although this is coming quite late. Discussions are still ongoing but Obi is expected to be the presidential candidate. Kwankwaso is also part of the discussions. Everything will be clear by Thursday,” said a chieftain of the PDP.

Attempts to get a reaction from the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, proved abortive as he did not respond to repeated calls.




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Tinubu sues for peace, condemns ethnic slurs, election violence




President-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, yesterday condemned what he described as “isolated” cases of infractions, ethnic slurs and violence that trailed the 2023 General Elections, declaring that elections were now over for the healing process to begin.

But the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in a swift reaction, dismissed Tinubu’s call for healing after a violent election as the height of hypocrisy.

These came as The Washington Post commended the general elections, stating that despite some obvious flaws in the process, the democratic system had held and was holding — far better, so far, than might have been expected.

This is even as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, asked those not happy about the outcome of the just-concluded general elections to seek redress in court and avoid the violent protest.

In what appeared a post-mortem of the polls, Tinubu said the polls, which were held across 28 states and the state legislative poll across the 36 states of the federation had brought the 2023 election cycle to a fitting close.

While he praised President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, and other stakeholders, Tinubu said consolidating democratic governance at the sub-national level will bring more development and improved quality of life to the masses.

‘Let’s rise above foibles of sentiments’

Condemning the violence and other negative trends that followed the conduct of the elections, the President-elect appealed to Nigerians to rise above the foibles of partisanship, ethnicity and religious sentiments and focus more on the “valued strings that bind us together as a people.”

He said; “I am saddened by the reported isolated infractions during the elections and its aftermath in some states. I strongly condemn it. Also, the report of arson after the announcement of governorship results in one state that did not represent who we truly are: peace-loving people.

“The physical and verbal assaults committed are unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos.

“Elections should be a celebration of our maturing democracy and freedom of choice and ought not to be moments of grief. I am particularly pained by cases of ethnic slurs, which are capable of creating needless mischaracterisation reported in some locations.

“My appeal is for us to rise above our differences, which, in reality, are fewer than the valued strings that bind us together as a people, irrespective of the circumstances of our births.

“As former governor of Lagos State, I can attest to the strength in our diversity and togetherness. As your President-elect, it is that spirit of inclusiveness we engendered in Lagos that I intend to bring into national governance so that together we can attain our full potential.

“I will give priority to expanding the civic space and safeguarding citizens’ freedom to exercise their rights within the bounds of the law.

“Indeed, the elections are over. The people have voted to elect their governors and state legislators that will serve them for the next four years. The time for leadership and governance is now upon us.

“In a democracy, the majority would have their way but that majority must not suppress the minority from having their say. As democrats, we have to safeguard free expression. Winners must be magnanimous and those who did not win should have a large heart for tolerance and respect for the greater interest of the nation.’’

He called on all elected officials to take urgent steps to unite the people and champion the healing process.

“We must take urgent steps to unite the people; those who voted for us and those who did not. We must champion the healing process by embracing the opponents and their supporters.

‘’As I have stated previously, the time for politicking is gone. This is time for nation-building, a task beyond one individual or a section of society. We need every hand from wherever it may come to be on deck,” said Tinubu.

Tinubu’s call for healing after unleashing violence, is hypocritical, says Atiku

Reacting to Tinubu’s call, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, dismissed it as the height of hypocrisy.

He, however, commended the United States government for condemning the violent and ethnically charged election in Lagos State.

Tinubu had, in a statement he personally signed yesterday, expressed sadness by what he described as “ infractions in some states as well as the divisive rhetoric that characterised the polls.”

In response, Atiku, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr Phrank Shaibu, in a statement, described Tinubu’s statement as an “after-thought and hypocritical garbage.”

He said it was curious that Tinubu was talking about reconciliation after his loyalists attacked Igbo voters in Lagos in order to give his party- the All Progressives Congress, APC, an advantage during the governorship election.

Shaibu said Tinubu had continued to protect transport hooligans, politicians and even traditional leaders in Lagos who were seen on video threatening non-indigenes.

Atiku said: “Tinubu’s latest statement is laced with hypocrisy and lies. For a whole month, traditional leaders, transport hooligans and politicians in his camp threatened non-indigenes but Tinubu kept mute.

“His lackey, MC Oluomo, who is a member of his presidential campaign council, was seen on video threatening Igbo people but Tinubu said nothing.

“His campaign spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode, went on social media to warn Igbo people against exercising their franchise but Tinubu looked the other way.

“Traditional rulers imposed curfews and went about slaughtering goats and placing them in front of polling units but Tinubu said nothing.

“A traditional leader and council chairman in Gbara community, Eti Osa local government summoned non-indigenes to a meeting where they threatened non-indigenes with eviction if they failed to vote for the APC but Tinubu said nothing.

“Those invited by the police ignored invitations because Tinubu is shielding them. On the day of election, many people who looked Igbo were beaten and prevented from voting but Tinubu kept mute.

“Now that his party has stolen the election, he has found his voice and is preaching reconciliation. He should tell that to the marines.

“If Tinubu is serious, he should ensure that all those found culpable are arrested and prosecuted. But we know he cannot do this because he is their godfather.”

He also described the statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria condemning the violence meted out to the Igbo as a welcome development.

He, however, said the US ought to have gone further by mentioning the names of those found culpable and exposing the identities of those it will hit with visa restrictions.

Atiku added: “We commend the US and the EU governments for condemning the violence and intimidation that marred the governorship election, especially in Lagos, where Tinubu’s henchmen held the state to ransom.

“But the US knows the identities of the perpetrators of violence and ought to have mentioned their names. MC Oluomo is an American citizen.

“The US must also go further by mentioning the names of others, including the traditional rulers in Lagos who were complicit.

“The US has in the past openly condemned Vladmir Putin of Russia and others found wanting in other countries.

“This is not the time for political correctness. Those who will be slammed with visa bans should be named and shamed.”

Atiku maintained that there could be no reconciliation without restitution, adding that anything short of this would not heal any wounds.

He further argued that Tinubu had shown from his electioneering that he had no plan to unite Nigeria but was only after one thing – power and the resources of Nigeria.

“Tinubu is only after power. Before he took over power, Lagos was known for its urbane and accommodating nature. The late Nnamdi Azikiwe built his political base and business empire in Lagos.

“Mbonu Ojike, born in Imo State, was the Deputy Mayor of Lagos in 1951. Many others from around the country and beyond built businesses and political careers in Lagos unmolested.

“But on Bola Tinubu’s watch, Lagos has become an intolerant state where non-indigenes are openly beaten on election day and threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for his party. Now he seeks reconciliation? What a joke!

“There will be no reconciliation until MC Oluomo and all his minions who took part in issuing threats and brutalising people are diligently prosecuted.”

Nigeria points way towards democracy in region – Washington Post

In a related development, The Washington Post has commended the February 25, Presidential and National Assembly election and the March 18 governorship and Houses of Assembly polls, stating that despite some obvious flaws in the process, the democratic system has held and is holding — far better, so far, than might have been expected.

In its editorial dated Monday, Marched 20, 2023, the publication described the election as a ‘messy affair’ but added that much good came out of it.

It stated that leading opposing candidates’ decision to challenge the outcome of the election in the court, instead of resorting to violence and absence of military interference, were pointers that Nigeria’s electoral process could stand as a reference point for other African countries where post-election violence and coup had become a pattern.

The publication stated: “It might be tempting for opponents of democratic governance to take Nigeria as a case study in why democracy can’t work in Africa. Actually, the opposite is true.

‘’In Nigeria, even with its chaotic and flawed process, the system has held and is holding — far better, so far, than might have been expected. True, Nigeria’s presidential election on February 25 was a messy affair.

‘’Some polling places didn’t open on time. A new electronic voting system to upload results from the 176,000 scattered polling places to a central website seemed to collapse. There were reports of scattered violence in a few places, with ballot boxes stolen at gunpoint. Turnout was disappointing, at 28.6 per cent.

“The candidate of the current ruling party, Bola Tinubu, was declared the winner with 36 per cent of the vote on March 1. But because of the problems, the result is being challenged by his two closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar, who won 29 per cent and Peter Obi, who got 25 per cent.

‘’Mr. Abubakar, Mr. Obi and their supporters claim the election chaos means the voting was rigged in favor of the ruling party, but they have yet to produce concrete evidence of malfeasance. They are demanding the election be rerun. That doesn’t mean the vote should be discounted. In fact, much good came from it.

“It is encouraging, first, that the losing candidates are pursuing their claims through the courts. They have until March 31 to present their petitions to Nigeria’s appeal court tribunal, which would be expected to issue a written decision within 180 days.

‘’While the rhetoric has been heated, remarkably there have been no reports of post-election violence, intimidation or threats. No one has blocked highways, as happened in Brazil after Jair Bolsonaro lost his re-election bid. Opposition party supporters have not attempted an insurrection.

Nigeria’s military stayed out

“Second, Nigeria’s military has stayed out of the fray. This was not a given, since Nigeria’s generals ruled the country after a series of coups for most of the 1980s and ’90s. In Africa and elsewhere, a supposedly flawed election has been a handy excuse for militaries to annul election results and seize power for themselves.

‘’It happened in Myanmar in early 2021, for example, despite no evidence of any fraud. If Nigeria’s generals remain on the sidelines this time, it could be taken as evidence that Africa’s most populous country, and its largest economy, has moved past its coup-prone history.

“Third, this proved to be Nigeria’s most competitive election since democracy was restored in 1999. Each of the three top candidates — Mr Tinubu, Mr Abubakar and Mr Obi — won 12 of the country’s 36 states, a surprisingly even split. And Mr Obi, who was projected to win in some polls, could claim a stunning victory in Lagos state, Mr Tinubu’s home turf.

‘’Mr. Obi’s campaign was powered by young, better-educated urban voters savvy with social media, but he was unable to make inroads in more rural and traditional areas. But at 61, he is nearly a decade younger than Mr Tinubu, 70, and can be expected to be in politics for years to come.

“Nigeria’s neighbours and its major trading partners, including the United States, have all accepted the result, which most international observers said was largely free and fair, despite problems.

‘’But a delicate period lies ahead. If President-elect, Tinubu, is eventually confirmed as the winner, he will need Nigerians to fully accept that he was the legitimate victor. This means the losing candidates should have their day in court and be able to present any evidence that election-day problems affected the final result.

“Officials have asserted that technical glitches, not sabotage, were the issue and have cited poor internet connections and heavy traffic that slowed the system. But to restore trust, they need to demonstrate this with transparency.

‘’All election day irregularities need to be thoroughly examined. And the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, needs to assess what went wrong and fix it.

“A round of elections on Saturday for 28 governorships and state assemblies seemed to be much better managed and passed without major snafus, despite some scattered reports of violence.

‘’Even a flawed election in Nigeria can set a standard in a part of Africa where staging a coup is more common than canvassing for votes. Among Nigeria’s neighbors, Chad’s military leader, Mahamat Idriss Déby, who seized power when his father was killed in 2021, has repeatedly delayed elections and halted a return to democracy.

“Military leaders in Mali, which saw coups in 2020 and 2021, have delayed elections until 2024. Guinea’s first democratic leader was toppled in 2021. Niger has been rocked by coup attempts.

‘’Benin’s President, Patrice Talon, has clung to power and stacked the parliament, which must approve presidential candidates, with his supporters. In Cameroon, President Paul Biya has ruled since 1982.

‘’An election in Nigeria won’t turn Africa into a democratic utopia. But it can point the way to a different path.”

Those aggrieved should go to court —Sultan

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, and President General, of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, have asked those unhappy about the outcome of the just concluded general elections to go to court.

Recall that complaints have continued to trail the presidential/National Assembly and governorship/State Assembly elections, prompting calls from prominent Nigerians on those aggrieved about the outcome to seek redress, rather than adopting a violent approach.

The Sultan, who spoke at a Ramadan symposium with the theme: “Ramadan, the Month of Blessings”, organised in collaboration with the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, JNI, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and the Islamic Education Trust, IET, yesterday, also urged Nigerians to embrace peace and ensure peaceful coexistence after the general elections.

He said: “We should embrace peace with our brothers and sisters, not allow politics to destroy our relationships. Any politician, who feels aggrieved should seek redress in court.

“Politics and elections are all over and the blessed month of Ramadan is approaching, we should then seek forgiveness from one another.

“This is in order to be among the ones Allah will bless with multiple rewards in the sacred month.’’

The sultan further advised Nigerians to eschew differences and shun violent tendencies as the elections were over and God had chosen leaders for the country.’’

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How I curbed vote-buying — Buhari




PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, narrated how he told the electorate to collect money from candidates that offered money to them to buy their votes in the February 25 and March 18 elections but vote according to their conscience.

He also said given the chance of a free and fair election as well as non-interference as witnessed in the elections, Nigerians had proved to be capable of deciding who led them without anyone telling them what to do.

The president, who expressed satisfaction with the remarkable passion towards democracy exhibited by Nigerians through the choices they made in the presidential, National Assembly and the subsequent governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, said Nigeria’s democracy had truly matured.

In a statement, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying: “People are realising their power. Given the chance of a free and fair vote, nobody can tell them what to do. I am unhappy that some candidates lost in the election.

“But I am inspired by the fact that voters were able to make their own decision, to decide who won and who lost. With the currency change, there was no money to spread around but even then, I told voters to take the money and vote according to their consciences.”

The president, who spoke at a farewell meeting with the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, at the State House in Abuja, said he was completely satisfied with his role in the election process.

He commended the outgoing ambassador for the enormous achievements recorded in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half years she had been here.

In an answer to a question posed by Ambassador Leonard, President Buhari said he planned to be a “big landlord” back at home, working on his farms and tending his more than 300 animals, adding: “I am eager to go.”

In her remarks, the American Ambassador said she was happy with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations in the three–and–half years, specifically citing the recent institution of a five-year visa regime between the two countries; active collaboration in security and the supply of military hardware including warplanes and the soon-to-come fighter helicopters; and also cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and COVID response, giving assurances that US will continue to assist in the strengthening of Nigeria’s health sector.

Ambassador Leonard expressed her gratitude and that of the US government for the continuing role of the President in ensuring regional security and strengthening democracy as a system of government, citing his strong response against the recent surge of coups-d’état in West Africa as worthy of commendation.


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Election petition: Tinubu about to be cleared of all allegations – Keyamo




The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has reacted to the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, calling for the annulment of the February 25 Presidential Election won by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

Obi had previously challenged the outcome of the election and had also sought the court requesting to have access to all the sensitive materials Independent National Electoral Commission deployed for the election.

On Tuesday, the LP candidate filed another suit at the election tribunal challenging the declaration of Tinubu by INEC who he said “was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”

The former Anambra State governor claimed there was rigging in 11 states including Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, and Plateau, adding that he would demonstrate this in the declaration of results based on the uploaded results.

Reacting to his petition in a post via his verified handle on Wednesday, Keyamo said that all the deceit, lies and disinformation about simple and clear issues would be busted in the court.

He wrote, “I am excited about the issues raised in those Election Petitions. All the deceit & lies & disinformation & misinformation about otherwise very simple and clear issues are about to be busted by our Law Lords. Whoever continues to argue after that should relocate to another planet.

“Nigerians will finally see a huge difference between calm, dispassionate adjudication of issues and all the hoopla caused by garrulous spokespersons shaking and falling on stage, ignorant TV hosts turned debaters, misinformed documentaries, illiterate tweeps and some dancing Hijabi mamas.”

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