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2023: A New Nigeria Beckons With Tinubu As President, Says Lagos Assembly

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Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly resumed plenary on Monday with a resolution to write commendation letters to Northern governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their collective decision that resulted in the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the party’s recent convention.

According to a release made available to TheHeute, President Muhammadu Buhari, Southern governors on the platform of the APC, the Conference of Speakers and the National Assembly are to also receive letters of appreciation from the Assembly.

The House, which also resolved to send a congratulatory message to Tinubu, who the lawmakers called a ‘golden fish’, thanked the presidential aspirants who stepped down from the race and supported the former governor of Lagos state to victory.

This is as the members of the House further took turns to eulogise the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who is known to have commenced the mobilisation for Tinubu long before the latter officially declared his intention.

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Recall that Speaker Obasa, since 2020, had visited many states of Nigeria canvassing for support for the emergence of Tinubu as APC flag bearer.

In his contribution, Obasa said the outcome of the primary election was worth celebrating, especially in relation to the number of people who supported and played various roles to ensure Tinubu’s victory.

According to him, the action of the Northern governors has further deepened democracy and unity.

Ahead of the convention, the APC governors in the North had resolved to support a Southern aspirant. They also made their decision public.
“That singular action of the Northern governors is proof and testimony that Nigeria’s democracy has come to stay and that Nigeria will continue to exist as one. It goes beyond giving Asiwaju support and shows that in togetherness, we can take this country forward.

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“The emergence of Asiwaju gives hope that there are better days ahead where we would have an egalitarian society.

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“We have absolute confidence that just like he did it before, he can do it again,” the Speaker said as he recalled the various achievements recorded by Tinubu as governor of Lagos state.

He tasked stakeholders and party leaders to intensify their support for Tinubu ahead of the general election.

On his part, a lawmaker, Abdulsubur Olayiwola, described Tinubu as a political warlord just as he argued that the presidential candidate’s Abeokuta declaration helped his victory.

He also noted that Speaker Obasa started reaching out to Nigerians from other parts of the country even before it became public knowledge that Tinubu would run for the position.

While another lawmaker, Hon. Tobun Abiodun, confirmed that Obasa started the move even “things were still sketchy”, his colleague, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, said: “Nigeria as a nation just got lucky because by 2023, we are going to have a President who has the grace to move this country to greater heights.

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“With a true democrat in the person of Asiwaju, a new Nigeria beckons.”

He described Obasa as a man with foresight for championing Tinubu’s cause.

Also contributing, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, described Tinubu as a man whose time to lead the country has come.

While commending Obasa, Agunbiade added: “We must go back to our constituencies and ensure that those who would vote for Asiwaju get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).

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For Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Tinubu reaped what he had sowed for many years with his victory at the convention.

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Diri to open defence at Bayelsa petition tribunal next week

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Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri, and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrujakpo, are expected to open their defence next week before the state governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the governorship election, Timipre Sylva, are challenging the re-election of the governor and his deputy.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Diri the winner of the election after polling 175, 196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sylva of the APC who scored 110,108 votes.

Dissatisfied, Sylva and APC approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Diri as the winner of the November 11, 2023 governorship election.

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Sylva and the APC are contending that elections were held in some polling units in three local governments of Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, and Nembe where INEC and the other respondents claimed there was no election.

The petitioners claimed that if the results from these local governments were added to their votes, they won the election.

They urged the tribunal to hold that election held in the said polling units across three local governments and declared them the winner.

At the opening of the hearing on the petition on February 14, 2024, INEC presented evidence to the tribunal to substantiate its claim that voting did not take place due to the alleged diversion of materials and disruption of the electoral process over the alleged bypass of the BVAS machine.

However, the petitioners on Thursday, after calling four witnesses sought for an adjournment to enable them to call more witnesses to prove their case.

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Since the request for adjournment was not opposed by the respondents, the Chairman of the three-member panel of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Adekunle Adeleye, announced Monday and Tuesday next week for the continuation of the trial.

The petitioners are expected to close their case next week, after which the governor, his deputy, and the PDP will open theirs.

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Edo PDP primary: Tight security as accreditation begins

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Security has been beefed up at the venue of the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary election, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

On Thursday morning, motorists were not allowed into the stadium road as men of the Edo State Traffic Management Authority scrutinised every vehicle intending to use the road to gain entrance into the stadium.

Policemen were stationed along the road while many others were at the entrance of the stadium ensuring that only those who have business there were allowed in.

On Wednesday, the police, through its spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the crises which occurred at the All Progressives Congress primary election on Saturday was an eye-opener and the police authority will no longer treat such election as just a party affair.

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He said, “You could remember that we had just a little hitch of a particular party delegate election. That has been an eye-opener to Edo State Police Command that we should no longer see it as a party affair.

“The delegates are people with diverse interests, people with diverse behaviours, people with different attitudes and characters. So, this time around, we are going to ensure that the right thing is done and protect the lives and property of these party members.

“The Nigerian Police, Edo State Command is ready to ensure that there is a peaceful, hitch-free delegate election cutting across political parties in the state.

“The Commissioner of Police has adequately deployed officers and men for the exercise and we believe that with the number of officers, the calibre of officers he has deployed for this exercise, we are not hoping to see any form of violence or civil disobedience.

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“The vigilante will not be part of the election process, be it a state election or general election. They are a state-owned security outfit, so we cannot take the risk of having them around in this kind of important assignment.”

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Ten aspirants vying for the PDP governorship ticket in the state will test their popularity at the primaries today as 563 delegates nominate the party candidate for the September 21 governorship election.

The candidates include Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, former chairman of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo, Former Edo State All Progressives Congress chairman, Anslem Ojezua, former House of Representatives member, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Felix Akhabue, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru,. Omosede Igbinedion, Earl Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene, will be hoping to clinch the ticket despite protests from nine of the aspirants who felt that the delegate election was skewed in favour of Ighodalo.

The election will be carried out according to guidelines released by the party on Wednesday.

As of the time of filling this report, accreditation was ongoing at Edo Hotel Marquee at the Government Reservation Area, Benin.

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I won APC primary with over 6,000 votes –Okpebholo

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Factional candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Monday Okpebholo, has revealed that he defeated his closest rival, Dennis Idahosa with over 6,000 votes.

He said though thugs disrupted the collation, the final tally showed that he won convincingly with a commanding majority.

He urged his supporters to remain calm, rest assured that justice would be served at the end of the day. The Edo Central lawmaker in the Senate, said as a candidate of the party, he was certain of returning the state to the APC.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to thank and appreciate all the APC members in Edo State for nominating me as the party’s candidate for the governorship election in September 2024. I am immensely humbled by the trust and confidence reposed in me.

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“You will recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, nominated highly reputable officials to officiate in the primary election scheduled for February 17, 2024, with Dr. Stanley Ugboaja, as the state Returning Officer.

“After the primary election, which was adjudged to be very peaceful, the collation of results commenced at the designated centre by the collation officials in the presence of the INEC officials, the press, the law enforcement agencies and other party stalwarts.

“Surprisingly, while the collation of results was ongoing, and upon the declaration of eight local government, some irate thugs allegedly commissioned by my closest rival, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, who had only won two local Governments as against my six, stormed the venue of the state collation centre and disrupted the process by beating up the collation officials, party representatives, the press crew and others.

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“To my amazement and that of well-meaning members of our great party in Edo State, the information currently reaching me from Benin City, Edo State, has it that the same thugs led by Tony Kabaka, that disrupted the collation of result as earlier stated, also invaded the state secretariat of the party early this morning, destroyed and looted valuables in the offices in the guise of purportedly looking for the result of the primary election, which was never conducted by the state executives of the party….

“It is now on record that the total votes I scored was 12,145 as against my closest rival, Hon. Dennis Idahosa who scored only 5,536. As a result, I enjoin you not to be deterred by rumours from other quarters as I am very optimistic that justice will prevail at the end. I am convinced that the National Working Committee of our great party, under the leadership of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje will ensure that truth prevails over falsehood. I remain loyal to my party and to Mr. President, a universally acknowledged democrat, and a man of goodwill, who is prepared to change the fortunes of our dear nation.”

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“I am also convinced beyond doubt that our great party, the APC, is well positioned to reclaim Edo State, and set her on the part of sustainable and holistic development, in line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda.

“Let me use this medium to plead with all those affected by the unprovoked attack to sheathe their swords as two wrongs can not make a right. This is an in-house squabbles and should be treated as such.”

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