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Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule

The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, said yesterday that Vice-President  Yemi Osinbajo  will enjoy the support of the All Progressives Congress, APC, if he shows interest in contesting the 2023 presidential election. 

He stated this when he met with members of the Progressives Consolidation Group, PCG, in Lafia, the state capital.

Although Osinbajo has not declared interest in the 2023 presidential race, the group said it was in Nasarawa to solicit the governor’s support for him.

Noting that Vice President Osinbajo was ‘’sellable’’, the Nasarawa governor said APC governors would support his presidential bid.

He said:  “Our concern is how we will sustain the party beyond President Buhari. So, if you come up with the idea, you know you will not only get my attention but the attention of every progressive governor in the country.

“So, if you are going about to sell this man, I want you to know that not every product is sellable but Osinbajo is sellable.

“I pray that all the work you are doing now will not be in vain. It will be good for our party and the progress of this country.”

In his remarks, Aliyu Kurfi, chairman of the group, said if he was given the opportunity to become president, Osinbajo would make Nigeria a better place.

“We are here sir on a very serious business, the serious business of political succession. We are on our mission but engineered by the vision of one of our elder statesmen, Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“We have gone through the various records of activities, life histories and of course the trends of events in politics and we have agreed as an association to work towards the promotion of his candidature.

“We made this decision because we believe with all honesty that we have a professional gentleman, if given the opportunity will not only continue the good work of Mr President, but with gentlemen like you to support, make Nigeria a better place for all of us.

“His foresight in so many areas will be useful for Nigeria. He is detribalised and a man who is detached from the shallow thinking of many of us who are tribal bigots.

“We believe we have a gentleman whose thinking is simply that of Nigeria and Nigeria alone.

“We believe he is a gentleman whose political competence knows no bounds. So we have every reason to sell him for the benefit of Nigeria,’’ he said.
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The Former National Publicity Secretary of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Venatius Ikem has emerged as the State party Chairman in Cross River State.

Ikem emerged chairman  Saturday through consensus reached by party stakeholders as he went into the race unopposed.

The stakeholders had agreed he leads the party ahead of the 2023 elections as well in a bid to take over the state.

Addressing party faithful, stakeholders after emerging party chairman, Ikem thanked the delegates and party stakeholders for the opportunity given to him to serve the party in that capacity.

Ikem who emerged unopposed after another contestant, Mr Frank Adah withdrew from the chairmanship race, promised not to betray the confidence reposed in him and called for all to support him so that the party can take power from the APC come 2023.

In his remarks, former Deputy Governor of Cross River State during the administration of Sen. Liyel Imoke, Efiok Cobham stressed that with Ikem, the party was optimistic that it would reclaim power in the coming elections.
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The Stakeholders in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi have assured its member of returning the party back to power in the state, come 2023 general elections.

They gave the assurance on Saturday during the party State Executive Committee meeting in Abakaliki.

Mr Fred Udogu, Chairman of PDP in the state, commended members of the House of Assembly, Senators from the state and others of their maximum support and sustainance of the party.

Udogu said, “They have made sacrifices, showed steadfastness and given support to the party which needs to return to power in the state.

“My gratitude also goes to the south-east Zonal committee for their supports as well,” he said.

The South-East, Vice Chairman of the party, Mr Ali Odefa, said that PDP has all that needed to take over the state in 2023.

According to Odefa, “do not panic, come 2023, no man born of woman can write result against PDP before you or write the result against us.

Mr Chris Usulor, representating Ezza North Federal Constituency, urged party members to hold strong their local governments towards achieving victory.

“We must shun rumours and activities capable of distracting unity in the party,”

The Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Pius Anyim, commended the stakeholders for trusting in the party and stated the need for the party victory in 2023.

“Remain focused with PDP and you will not be disappointed,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by state and federal lawmakers.
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The Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) has written a letter to the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo, asking him to modify his position on Igbo presidency in 2023, just as it is throwing its weight behind a presidential hopeful from the South-East.

Following the interview Okonkwo granted Vanguard as part of his 76th birthday where he spoke extensively on Igbo presidency in 2023, the socio-politico wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) hoped an Igbo man or woman will be Nigeria’s next President “and we are presenting Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa as our preferred candidate”.

“It is the hope of CSMN that Nigerians will also adopt him as we are sure he will make a good President of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari”, the group said in the letter signed by Elder Solomon Asemota (SAN).

It is also convinced that making conflict of ideologies of political Islam (Islamism) in competition with democracy an issue, Nigerians will be able to agree on one, not both ideologies that had hindered Nigeria’s progress since independence.

The group, which parades the Prelate Emeritus (Dr.) Sunday C. Mbang; Cardinal John Onaiyekan; Bishop (Dr.) Mike Okonkwo; Archbishop Emeritus (Dr.) Patrick Ekpu; Archbishop (Dr.) Anthony Obinna; Asemota; Rev. Jesse Adamu; Professor Joseph A.M. Otubu; and Mrs. I. H. Ize Iyamu as Trustees, invited Christians with flair for politics and calling for governance to participate in CSMN (activities) in order to mobilize and organize for effective participation in providing Godly leadership for Nigeria.

The group quoted Okonkwo in the Sunday Vanguard interview as saying: “To the best of my knowledge, Easterners are not asking for anything other than live and let’s live. They are not saying, ‘give us everything’. “To be honest, I am not in agreement with any Easterner saying ‘it’s time for us to be President’.

“You shouldn’t beg to be President. If it’s going to be a case of making you President so that you can be appeased, that is stupidity; I don’t want that.

“You are Nigerians; you have equal right to everything that every other person in Nigeria has. So, it’s not a matter of being appeased. In fact, I don’t even want any Easterner under this situation to be President because he will fail. The present system can never allow you to succeed. “That is why we have to look at the system. The other day, somebody was boasting that they have the largest number and, therefore, they are the ones that will determine who rules the country.

“What type of audacity is that? What type of audacity will make you to be saying that you are going to lord it over the entire nation? It’s unacceptable.

“My ideal leader should be devoid of ethnic, tribal and party sentiments. He must see Nigeria as his constituency. If we are still going to have the situation where people are tied and bound by ethnic sentiments, then nothing will change.

“Some people got upset with me at a time when I said that I don’t care whether the person is a Christian or not. They wondered why I shouldn’t say that ‘we need a Christian or a Pastor as President. I told them that I will not say so because there is no guarantee that because someone is a Christian President he will deliver the dividends.

“I want somebody who can deliver to Nigerians dividends of democracy. Why do we have present agitations? If our schools are good, if our roads are good, if the economy is thriving and everything is working, would any one complain about who is leading? If you see somebody who knows how to service your car, would you ask whether he is a Muslim or Christian?”

To this, CSMN cited some essays and letters it wrote on why Nigerians should opt for an Nd’igbo presidential candidate come 2023.

According to the group, they include ‘The Ways of The Islamists (Not Islam) and Nigeria’ dated August 12, 2021, ‘Letter to Anglican Bishop of Jos, Most Rev. Dr. B. A. Kwashi’, September 4, 2021 and ‘The Convener [Duplication of Efforts]’ dated September 2, 2021 ‘v. Sacred Space’.

From the documents, it said, the following conclusion, among others, could be drawn:

a. That there is a difference between Islam as a religion and political Islam or Islamism; 

b. That most Christians in Nigeria are tied to the apron-string of Islamist patrons.   This explains the lethargy in the face of provocations; 

c. Since independence in 1960, the Islamists in Nigeria as patrons are able to appoint Christian surrogates to support and defend Islamism not Islam so as not to be accused of Islamophobia; 

d. The British in all the conferences that led to independence, prepared Nigeria for liberal democracy and presidential system in particular not political Islam or Islamism developed by the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt; 

e. That the tripod Hausa/Fulani, Nd’igbo and Yoruba that were supposed to assimilate 386 other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria have failed. Rather the indigenes of Nigeria should be encouraged to promote political parties for the two contending ideologies – Democracy and Sharia; 

f. The question of sacred space in Sharia seems to operate side-by-side with the Land Use Act.   The Southern Governors derive their authority over land from the Act and the Constitution while the Miyetti Allah rely on sacred space for their claim to all land in Nigeria; and 

g. The sum total of a to g above is that these are some of the reasons why Nigeria is presently not at par with India, Malaysia, etc. Was it deliberate? An Nd’igbo president should be able to find out. 

h. It is clear that Nigeria has let down the black race but, like the rise and fall of empires, Nigeria will rise again.

CSMN, the letter to the TREM Bishop said, which is yet to unbundle its own political candidate publicly before now, wants the former PFN chief helmsman to amend his thoughts on this issue and campaign for Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa, OFR, the incumbent President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria as presidential candidate come 2023.

“The CSMN finds Your Lordship’s view opposite to the views of CSMN of which Your Lordship is a member of the Board of Trustees since inception”, the group argued. 

“The objective of this letter therefore is to provide information that will make the former PFN helmsman not only to change his mind but also to support the Governing Council of CSMN’s nomination of Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa as presidential candidate come 2023. 

“In the said Sunday Vanguard’s publication titled ‘Bishop Okonkwo at 76: IPOB, Yoruba nation, N-Delta fears about Nigeria can’t be swept under carpet’, you were against appeasement but in the view of CSMN, zoning presidency to Nd’igbo is not an appeasement but an affirmative action – a policy that aims to increase opportunities of all parts of the Nigerian society by taking into consideration deficit in opportunity such as Igbo presidency.

“Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution provides that for any person to be President, he must have not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, but where the only candidates fails to be elected in accordance with this Section, then there shall be fresh nominations. This affirmative action is to ensure that minorities are not left out.

“Affirmative action was the basis for amalgamation in 1914, in that, of the two Nigerias, one was land locked (poor), the other had coastline (rich), the coastline was to develop the hinterland.

“This, the coastline did over the years during colonial rule and the years after to this day 2021. 

“Zoning is also a matter of fairness and equity recognized in Common Law jurisdiction including Nigeria (but) rejected by Sharia”.

On the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), CSMN agrees with Okonkwo with respect to “sit at home”.

It stressed, “Your Lordship explained that people sit at home because they are afraid that IPOB will threaten them. This is in addition to the fact that the state governments have not played their role and the people have lost confidence in the Government”.
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Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state

…Says Ebonyi Governor Now Floating 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state as an attention seeker, floating in imaginary presidential interests.

The party said since Governor Umahi, out of his personal ambition, joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), while still sitting on the mandate of the PDP in Ebonyi state, he has become pathetically confused and disoriented, having realized that he joined a “one chance” bus, with strange and deceitful co-travelers.

PDP in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, said: "It is clear that Governor Umahi is now politically floating and seeks to use an unwarranted attack on governors elected on the platform of the PDP to actualize his desperation for public relevance.

"The PDP finds it very pathetic that, having mortgaged his conscience, over his self-confessed love for the oppressive administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Umahi is manifestly accommodating the daily incidences of killings, wanton destruction of property, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism going on in Ebonyi state and the nation at large under the APC.

"The PDP charges Governor Umahi to show his claimed commitment to the South-east by jettisoning his personal ambition and summoning the courage to call out President Buhari for his divisiveness, injustice, incompetence, treasury looting and insecurity that have become the hallmark of his failed administration.

"On zoning, our party urges Governor Umahi to focus on his fizzling APC and leave the PDP alone. By now Governor Umahi ought to know that the PDP is a party of due process and inclusiveness and that all interests within our party will collectively and peacefully take decision on zoning when the time comes. 

"Governor Umahi is expected to take his stampeding agenda on zoning to his APC but he would not do so because he knows that Nigerians will vote out the APC and usher in the PDP in 2023 so as to bring an end to a life of misery, economic hardship, mass killings, terrorism and divisiveness brought to our nation by the APC".

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President Buhari (L) receives New APC Member Femi Fani-Kayode in State House on 16th Sep 2021

Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has given reasons he defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Speaking on Channels Television programme, ‘Politics’, Femi emphatically said he joined APC to achieve unity, peace and togetherness in Nigeria.

When asked to comment on the statement he made in 2015 against President Muhammadu Buhari, the outspoken Femi opined that: “There is a time to condemn and criticise people. There is also a time to come together, work together to achieve unity”.

Recall that Femi had in 2015 condemned politicians that joined the ruling party, saying that he would rather die than join APC.

His words: “I am not surprised that @MObanikoro and @iyiomisore have got their passports back from the EFCC and are now in America.I do not blame them for joining the ruling party to avoid persecution. Some are strong whilst others are weak. I would rather die than join APC or bow to Buhari.

“We must stay strong and focused and refuse to be distracted. We must enthrone justice, air play and equal opportunities for every Nigerian regardless of his faith, ethnic nationality or circumstances of birth. Ours is to speak for the weak, the poor, the voiceless and the oppressed.”

However, holding on the above statement, Seun Okinbaloye, Channels presenter asked Femi to give explicit reasons he defected, Femi answered: “Joining APC now is the away forward, despite what people may think about it.

“APC is a liberal party.  A lot has happened in APC over the years. The party has changed and President has accommodated the change. Had the APC leadership not changed I wouldn’t have joined them.

“I am doing the right thing base on conviction and understanding. This is the right decision for me, love me or hate me, it will not take anything away from me.

Speaking on his verbal attacks on Buhari, Femi said he spoke against him from the outside, noting that he now know who Buhari is from the inside.

His words: “I spoke against Buhari from the outside, now I know him from the inside. I am not saying he is an angel or a demon. The APC I was talking about that time is not same today. Let’s focus on unity, peace and togetherness,” he said.
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President Buhari (L) receives New APC Member Femi Fani-Kayode in State House on 16th Sep 2021

(Note: This article was first published October 21, 2018)

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stalwart Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (now APC member) has said that he will rather die than join the All Progressives Congress, APC,

Fani-Kayode on his Twitter handle said that he was not taken aback that the Obanikoro and Iyiola Omisore have gotten their passports back from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and that they are now in the United State of America.

Fani-Kayode alleged that they joined the APC to avoid persecution
It really is a pity that @ShehuSani will not be going back to the Senate. He was a strong voice and a great advocate of justice and peace. How I wish he had left APC long ago and joined PDP. I have always had immense respect for him and he remains a good friend. I wish him well.

— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) October 21, 2018
I am not surprised that @MObanikoro and @iyiomisore have got their passports back from the EFCC and are now in America.I do not blame them for joining the ruling party to avoid persecution.Some are strong whilst others are weak.I would rather die than join APC or bow to Buhari.

— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) October 21, 2018
We must stay strong and focused and refuse to be distracted. We must enthrone justice, fair play and equal opportunities for every Nigerian regardless of his faith, ethnic nationality or circumstances of birth. Ours is to speak for the weak, the poor, the voiceless and the oppressed.

— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) October 21, 2018
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President Buhari receives New APC Member Femi Fani-Kayode in State House on 16th Sep 2021

Former Minister of Aviation during the President Olusegun Obasanjo government, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode has formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

He was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr. Fani Kayode said that he was led by the Spirit of God in his decision and that he joined the APC to help for the unity of the country, adding that he was against anything that would cause the disintegration of Nigeria.

He informed that he was instrumental for the exit of three Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors to the APC.

The governors he mentioned were Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawale of Zamfara State.

He further said that he has friends across party line and was wooing the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to join the ruling party.
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President Buhari (L) receives Former President Goodluck Jonathan in State House on 28th May 2021

…States that the move is a trick to deny the South her two terms after the two terms of the North through President Buhari

…Describes Plot as an Unacceptable insult on both Jonathan and the entire southern political class

Having carefully perused through the series of articles on the deadly scheming of some Northern Leaders to lure former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan into the 2023 Presidential contest, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has said it smacks of deceit for anyone or group to concoct interest over the reemergence of Dr. Jonathan as Nigerian President in 2023.

In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, the party Chief said the scheme is a trick packaged by some Northern leaders in order for Jonathan to be President for one term which would be the completion of the four years remaining of his tenure and retake power come 2027 thereby denying the Southern part of Nigeria a complete term of eight years.

Eze said that the Northern schemers knowing very well that with President Buhari successfully completing his second term by 2023, the South, in all honesty and fairness will produce the next President and so to truncate a southern eight-year rule, they intend to feature Jonathan who would reign only four years thus, throwing the 2027 Presidential election open for a fresh zoning arrangement and contest favourably to the North.

Eze urges all Nigerians to speak up and condemn such a dastardly act that may plunge this nation into unprecedented chaos.

Eze is consoled by the fact that Jonathan has rejected such a devious plot. I therefore commend him for his foresight, sagacity & wisdom by rejecting the bite of the Northern Presidency sour bait as this is a deadly trick to deny the South her two terms after the two terms of the North through President Buhari. This Plot is an unacceptable insult on both Jonathan and the entire southern political class as if we lack credible political leaders from the South that can turn the fortunes of this country around.

He said it is imperative to commend Dr. Jonathan for reading through the deceit of these leaders, trashing their dishonest entreaty and ensuring that his political feats and present status as a great promoter of democracy is not ruined, tarnished but kept intact by keeping these undemocratic elements at bay.

“I am very glad that Dr. Jonathan has done his best to keep these undemocratic forces at bay who are hellbent to deny the South  the chance to preside over the affairs of this country according to the terms of power rotation between the North and South, not minding that the Northerners have through the military and Democratic dispensations, governed this country to their heart contents.

Funny and sad enough, same leaders who ensured that Dr. Jonathan was not reelected in 2015 are the same crop of leaders that are doing everything to lure him back to finish whatever that  is left of him politically.

As much as I am not a supporter or sympathizer of Dr. Jonathan and his type of politics, as I was one of those who saw to him not been reelected, I will not seat and allow his haters drain the little integrity left of him.

Luring him to contest the 2023 does not  in any way wash him off the sins and reasons behind why he was not reelected in 2023 but a careful ploy to portray the Southerners as lacking better and credible leaders to improve on the fortunes of the country.”

In this vein, the party chieftain commended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for insisting that he will not support Dr. Jonathan if he decides to contest the 2023 general election, not minding that he was instrumental to his imposition as the Governor of Rivers State.

If Wike, who Jonathan did everything to impose on the good people of Rivers State could reject him, Eze said he is very much convinced that if he succeeds to allow himself to be fooled by those luring him, the worse political defeat awaits him come 2023.

Eze counseled Jonathan to continually read in between the lines and avoid the deadly bait that will make both the North and South politicians to derign him further.

Eze further highlighted that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who based on his Democratic feats earned through his handing over power peacefully to the incumbent President in 2015 unlike most African Leaders shouldn't allow any situation that will cause division and tension in the country because of this deadly plot.

This 2015 feat has earned him an International figure and he shouldn't allow himself to be rubbished and reduced to a local politician by these politicians that don't mean well for the unity of this country.

Eze postulated that Dr. Jonathan while in Mali urged the Malian transitional government to hasten the process of developing an electoral framework and the establishment of the priority actions needed to be taken in order to hold the presidential and legislative elections as scheduled. The Mali election is scheduled for February 2022.

Although the Mission appreciated the renewed expression of the transitional authorities to respect the agreed deadline of the transition before the international community, it however noted in its communiqué that it was concerned “about the lack of concrete action in the effective preparation of the electoral process.
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The nationwide State Congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to elect Party executives has been fixed for Saturday, 2nd October, 2021. 

According to the approved schedule of activities for the Party's state Congresses, sale of forms will commence from Wednesday, 15th September to Monday 27th September, 2021. 

Screening of aspirants for State executive positions will take place from Wednesday 29th to Thursday 30th September, 2021. Appeals arising from State Congresses is scheduled from 9th to 16th October, 2021. 

On the cost of nomination forms, aspirants for the position of State Chairman will purchase forms at the cost of N100,000. Deputy State Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer aspirants will pay N50,000. Aspirants for the position of Senatorial Chairmen are to purchase forms at N50,000; Senatorial Youth Leader N30,000 and other offices N30,000. 

Female aspirants and physically challenged aspirants are to pay 50% of the prescribed fees for each position. 

Equally, the party congratulated members on the just concluded Local Government Area (LGA) Congresses and urges those who may have been dissatisfied with the exercise to approach the Appeal Committees that have been detailed to resume sittings in various states. The Appeal Committees have been charged to ensure fair hearing as they attend to complaints.

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan swears in Jarigbe Jarigbe as senator representing Cross River North District. Photo: SPMO

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday sworn Agom Jarigbe as a replacement for Stephen Odey.

Jarigbe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has been having legal battle with Odey on who is the true candidate of the party for Cross River North.

Jarigbe took an oath as a Senator following his victory at the Supreme Court. 

Recall that the by- election for Cross River North was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC following the death of Senator Rose Oko.

Speaking, Lawan who asked that he should be given his appropriate seat, said that he hoped Jarigbe will not be too long before.
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Professor Lilian Orogbu

Professor Lilian Orogbu has debunked rumours that she was considering stepping down as deputy governorship candidate to Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, the factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in Anambra State.

Recall the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had published Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji and Prof. Lilian Orogbu as governorship and deputy governorship candidates of APGA in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State but replaced the duo in its second publication, citing court orders for its action.

As the two factions await judgment from the higher court where the case was appealed to, rumours have been going around that the former Dean of Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UniZik, had concluded arrangements to step down from the race, prompting her response.

In her reaction to dispelling the rumours, Prof. Lilian Orogbu said she would not step down “because I am still running strong till the victorious end come November 6th with my boss, APGA Governorship Candidate Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji.”

Orogbu, in a statement, Tuesday, pledged unwavering support to APGA candidates, saying “I am committed to my joint ticket with Umeoji.”

Orogbu declared that she has “no plans to withdraw or step down from the race.”

“I trust the process that made INEC initially publish my name and believe my name will eventually be published when the Court of Appeal affirms the Owerri High Court judgment that declared Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji as the validly nominated candidate of the party,” she said.

According to her,” the propagandists who initiated the story had changed their story when the time for their imaginary press conference did not hold and will also change their story further now that that the time in their story for Prof Lilian Orogbu to purportedly step down has passed.”

“I assure all APGA faithful that I am committed to the Umeoji-Orogbu joint ticket and pledge my unwavering support to Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji.”

She expressed optimism that Umeoji would be the Anambra State governor and she would be the deputy, vowing that they will restore and bring prosperity to Ndi Anambra during their reign.
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President Biden campaigned with California Governor Gavin Newsom (L) near Los Angeles

US President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind California Governor Gavin Newsom, on the eve of a vote that could remove the governor from office.

The recall vote will see Californians decide if they approve of Mr Newsom, and if not, who should replace him.

At a rally in Long Beach, Mr Biden said the result would "reverberate around the world".

Polls show a comfortable lead for the Democrat, whose main rival, Larry Elder, is a conservative radio host.

Mr Newsom was democratically elected and took office in 2019, but Republicans hope to unseat him early.

It is only the second-ever recall vote for a governor to appear on the ballots of the Democratic state.

"The eyes of the nation are on you," Mr Biden said, urging the Long Beach crowd to vote "no" to the recall.

"You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you'll get Donald Trump," he added, calling Mr Elder a "clone" of the former president.

Since he took office in 2019, Gavin Newsom has cemented California's status as America's progressive and free-spending state.

But frustration over his handling of the pandemic and increasing partisanship in US politics has fuelled a Republican-led effort to supplant him before his term ends.

He is now facing some 46 candidates, including transgender activist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner.

California has been firmly Democratic in national elections, but the state does have Republican regions - and six million voters there cast ballots for Donald Trump in 2020.

High enthusiasm among this voting group has raised tensions ahead of Tuesday's election. Mr Biden is now one of several high-profile Democrats to campaign on behalf of Mr Newsom - Vice-President Kamala Harris visited the state last week.

The last successful recall election of a California governor, in 2003, led to Arnold Schwarzenegger taking over the role. There have been consistent attempts to call such elections against Golden State governors since the late 1960s.

Leading opponent Mr Elder spent the day campaigning in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He has never previously held political office and received a boost of support over the weekend from actress Rose McGowan.

In a news conference, McGowan claimed that Mr Newsom's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, had offered her a bribe to bury her accusation of rape against Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Mrs Newsom's team has called the allegations "a complete fabrication", the Los Angeles Times reported.

In the final days of the race, state Republicans have been casting false claims of election rigging.

The move harkens back to Mr Trump's discredited claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. On Monday, Mr Trump described the recall vote as "rigged".

In an interview with NBC on Monday, Mr Elder declined to say whether he would accept the results of the election.

BBC
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The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni has approved the composition of a National Reconciliation Committee for the Party as follows: 

1. Sen. Abdullahi Adamu - *Chairman*

2. Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo - *Secretary*

3. Sen. George Akume

4. H.E. Sullivan Chime

5. H.E. Ali Saad Birnin kudu

6. Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara 

7. Alh. Suleiman Argungu

8. Dr. Mrs. Oluranti I. Adebule

9. Dr. Mrs. Beta Edu. 

A date for the inauguration and terms of reference for the Party's National Reconciliation Committee will be communicated. 

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Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu

Barring any last minute change, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu will dump the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to an undisclosed political party.

If the body language and recent marathon meetings that took place outside the country last week between the Edo Deputy Governor and some party bigwigs in the country, are anything to go by, then Shaibu may dump the PDP anytime from now.

It was gathered that series of meetings took place outside the country, during the deputy governor’s vacation before he returned to Nigeria last week.

A source, who confided in Vanguard, said: “Philip Shaibu is one man I admire as a political tactician and Maradona in the Edo political space. Quitting PDP may frustrate the developmental plans of the Obaseki’s administration due to his nuts and bolts experience as a voracious student of politics, as well as his sterling track record and pedigree as a fearless and charismatic lawmaker.”

According to the source, there are strong indications that the Deputy Governor may not join any other political party immediately after quitting the PDP.

Another source, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “This rumour, however, did not come as a huge surprise to many, because the Deputy Governor was once quoted to have said he merely escorted Governor Godwin Obaseki to PDP.”

The source said it is a widely held belief across Edo State that Shaibu was, no doubt, the major face of the Edo 2020 governorship election, as many still believe that it was an election between Shaibu and his political father, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to secure victory for the incumbent.

However, while some have expressed curiosity that after such hard-earned victory, one wonders the justification for the Deputy Governor to quit the PDP, others have also chided the Governor for operating a one-man show without appointment of cabinet.  

A source, familiar with the development, told newsmen “The Governor’s rigid position on some critical decisions that are now causing considerable disaffection between the Deputy Governor and some of his most loyal and committed supporters, who stood firmly by him, contributed morally and with resources and even risked their lives to deliver the Obaseki/Shaibu ticket and ensure that the Deputy Governor was not disgraced and embarrassed politically in his Constituency, which he shares with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole may have also justified his reason for defection.”

Multiple sources, who confided in Vanguard, noted that should the Deputy Governor finally quit the PDP, the action “will go a long way to justify the political resistance of the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the choice of Godwin Obaseki in the September 2020 Governorship election.

Efforts to reach the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Mr. Benjamin Atu, to clarify the rumour and the exact day of defection proved abortive, as calls out across to him were unanswered just as he did not respond to several messages sent to his known telephone number.

Prior the 2020 Governorship election, Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu had  led their supporters to the PDP.

Comrade Shaibu, who spoke to journalists after obtaining his PDP membership card at the party secretariat in Benin City, expressed disappointment over the undemocratic actions and tendencies of Comrade Adams Oshiomole in his management of the APC at the national level.

He said: “I have a mixed feeling with this action. First, one struggled to form a party and after forming that party, those that benefitted from the party took over the party and became tyrants. It is not always easy that after one helped to form and nurture a party, one individual would say he is an Adolf Hitler in the system and becomes undemocratic. That was what happened in the APC.

PDP keeps mum

When contacted, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP spokesperson, Mr. Duran Odeyemi said he was not aware of the development.

But party source told Vanguard that “it is strange that Obaseki and Shaibu are not in good terms because I know they have a cordial relationship.

“What I know is that there has been a delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state; the governor wants to bring in some APC members who helped him during the Governorship election but the PDP leadership is not disposed to this. Their argument is that you cannot use our platform without us not benefiting from you. I know that issue has been on ground for sometime now, but it will be resolved.”
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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Mr Ovuakpoye Evivie on his victory in Saturday’s by-election for the Isoko-South Constituency 1 seat in the House of Assembly.

The governor also congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the outcome of the election in which its member, Evivie emerged victorious

Okowa’s felicitations was conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Sunday in Asaba.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that Evivie scored 6,957 votes to win the election.

Also, Dr Ogaga Ifowodo of All Progressives Congress (APC), got 1,301 votes while Mr Michael Emumena of Social Democratic Party (SDP) polled 1,291 votes to emerge second and third respectively at the election.

The governor described the victory of Evivie and PDP as “well deserved and a confirmation of PDP’s dominance in Delta”.

He said that the people of Isoko-South Constituency 1 across the five Wards in the area through the ballots, spoke very lucidly of the choice of Evivie as their representative in the state’s parliament.

The governor, who led members of PDP in the Ward-to-Ward rally prior to the election, remarked that Isoko- South people had once again proven their loyalty and commitment to PDP.

However, he expressed sadness at the reported killing of a voter in Irri Ward by unknown gunmen and urged security agencies to go after the assailants and bring them to book.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate Mr Ovuakpoye Evivie on his victory in the Isoko-South Constituency 1 by-election.

“It is heart-warming to see him emerge as member-elect and I am grateful to the people of Isoko-South for their immense support to our party and their clear message to the opposition in the area.

“Let me also thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, observers and other stakeholders for a successful election adjudged to be free, fair and credible.

“The introduction of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) by INEC was the hallmark of the election as real voters were duly authenticated, leading to a very credible and fraud-free exercise.

“In spite of the peace that characterised the election, I deplore the reported killing of a voter in Irri Ward 10 and, I urge security agencies to go after the culprits and bring them to justice,” he said.
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The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has won the Delta State House of Assembly by-election in the Isoko South Constituency I.

The by-election held on Saturday across five wards in the constituency, was meant to fill the vacant seat occasioned by the demise of the member representing the constituency in the state’s legislative arm, Mr. Kenneth Ogba.

Announcing the election result, the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Christopher Onosemuode, said the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Ovuakpoye Evivie, polled 6,907 votes.

He said the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo polled 1,301 votes, while the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Mr. Emumena Micheal scored 1,291 votes.

Onosemuode declared Evivie winner and returned elected.
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Leaders of the North Central zone under the auspices of the North Central Renaissance Movement, NCRM, Tuesday, called on the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to zone their 2023 Presidential tickets to the zone in the interest of fairness and justice.

The group stated this at a world press conference that was held in Abuja, yesterday, saying the time has come for other geo-political zones to rally behind the North Central to produce the next President of Nigeria.

In his opening remarks, Chairman of the group, Dr Nghargbu K’tso said the zone will not accept the national chairmanship of any political party, stressing that nothing short of the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is good enough for the North Central in 2023.

He noted that North Central has never produced a democratically elected President or Vice President, in the history of the nation, adding that as a result, other zones should yield the floor to North Central in 2023.

According to a communique issued at the end of the One-day world press conference, the group said, “From 1960 till date except for the period of military intervention in Nigerian politics, the North Central region has not had the chance to produce an elected President of our dear nation Nigeria.

The communique which was jointly signed by Chairman of NCRM, Dr. Nghargbu K’tso, Secretary of the group, Aliyu Mustapha and Public Relations Officer, Chief Alexander Onoja, added that “as the APC and the PDP get ready for their respective National Conventions, we are alarmed as political juggernauts and elder statesmen from the North Central start to lobby in earnest for the same positions in both parties.

“It seems as if our leaders have concluded that in spite of their many years in top leadership as Governors, Senators or Ministers, they are by some unspoken code ineligible, unqualified or excluded from contesting to fly their parties’ flags as Presidential Candidates.

“From all appearances, they do not even see themselves emerging as Vice Presidential Candidates. The question is why?

“This mindset, whether real or imagined, is one which our generation must stop before it infects and affects our future generations in the North Central. There is no better time than the current political dispensation to terminate it by proving that we too have the same aspirational liberties as any of our fellow citizens from any part of our Country.

“It is on this premise that we, the North Central Renaissance Movement, NCRM, demand in the interest of fairness, equity and justice that the Office of President of Nigeria is ceded to the North Central.”

Asked if the group’s aspiration has the backing of governors from the zone, Dr K’tso said no state chief executive from North Central is opposed to the people’s determination to produce a President for Nigeria in 2023.

“The governors are representatives of the people. They can’t go against the will of the same people who elected them. They didn’t just become governors but they were elected by the people. So, I do not see how any of them will work against this genuine and patriotic call of people to have one of our own occupies the highest elective office in the land,” he added.

At the press conference were delegations from Plateau, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
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Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), during the Osun 2018 governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke has told Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to start preparing his handover notes, saying his days as Governor are numbered.

This as the former Senator disclosed that he is ready to flagg off his campaign without blocking those interested in contesting the PDP governorship ticket from in the state from gunning for it.

Adeleke who was speaking at a welcome rally organised by the party at it Secretariat in Osogbo urged interested parties to be modest with their campaigns in the interest of peace in the party and state in general.

“The ruling party has messed up the state since coming to power. I am appealing to the Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola to start preparing his handover notes because his days as Governor are numbered.

“I am back and ready to kick start my campaign. PDP belongs to everyone, I can’t stop anyone interested in the party’s ticket from contesting it, but l appeal for decency among everyone for peace within the party and the state”, he said.

PDP Chairman in the state, Mr Sunday Bisi, while welcoming the senator described his courage to pursue more knowledge after he was robbed of victory as courageous and worthy of emulation.

He also warned that the party would not be cowed by violence from anyone, saying no party has monopoly of violence.

“With the additional feat to previous ones in the Social, Economic and Political spheres, you have assured us that you are better positioned to drive the process of growth in our dear State and Nigeria as a whole.”

“Let me use this medium to warm those who feel they can subdue our party with force of violence to desist forthwith. Such vain effort cannot get at us as our courage is too fortified to be discouraged.

“Testing the will of our people through any form of violence of is an effort in futility but stretching it further will backfire. We will not warn you again”, he said
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to reports of purported 'parallel' Local Government Area (LGA) Congresses conducted in some states describing them as futile and pointless. 

Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) said this in an interview with journalists at the Party’s National Secretariat on the outcome of Saturday's APC LGA Congresses. 

Akpanudoedehe described the LGA Congresses as very successful. 

"The APC is very structured. We setup a committee and the committee went to conduct the LGA Congresses. The next step will be an appeal process and anyone with issues will go to the appeal committee and if you are not satisfied with the appeal exercise, the national caretaker committee will handle it. That is our structure." The CECPC Secretary said. 

On reported 'parallel' congresses, Akpanudoedehe said, "The supervising institution of a political party is INEC. We write to INEC and by the rule of the land we are to give them notice. We also wrote to INEC stating names of people to conduct the congresses and the venue of the Congresses. 

"We also announced locally stating the time of the congress and we informed the security agencies for protection. If you move away from the organization stipulated by INEC, the excercise can be described the way anybody chooses to. 

"This is the headquarters of the APC, if you now go and set up something outside here, it is no more APC. I am just hearing from you (journalists) that there was a parallel congress." 

On the APC NEC resolution that party members should desist from taking the Party to court and strictly explore internal dispute resolution mechanisms provided by the Party's constitution, Akpanudoedehe said the CECPC will compile a list of cases and report to the National Executive Committee (NEC) 

"The Party is already compiling the list of all the cases...We will inform the NEC and a decision will be taken by NEC. The CECPC stands by the NEC resolutions. 

He expressed the commitment of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC to achieve the President Muhammadu Buhari charge to entrench internal democracy in the APC and ensure that party members are key stakeholders in decision processes. 

"We have a clear mandate of Mr. President that the party should be given to the grassroot, the people." Akpanudoedehe stated.