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10th NASS: Akpabio’s Ambition Suffers Setback As His Kinsmen Drum Support For Orji Kalu

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Akwa Ibom group under the aegis of Coalition for Better Nigeria Under Bola Ahmed Tinubu has thrown its weight behind the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for the office of the 10th Senate President.

In a letter addressed to the three senators from Akwa Ibom state including Senator Godswill Akpabio who is also a contender for the presidency of the Senate, the group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the senators elect to consider Kalu and elect him as the next president of the senate.

According to the letter issued on Wednesday, signed by its coordinator, Solomon Akpan and made available to Vanguard in Abuja, the group said that Kalu will help bring stability to the government of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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The group added that Kalu with his experience and capacity will foster unity and national peace.

READ ALSO: 10th NASS Leadership: Tension As APC NWC Throws Contest Open

The letter read in parts: “We are a group of Nigerians formed into a union to offer technical support and advice, unsolicited but from patriotic point of view to assist President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take decisions that will heal past wounds, reconcile various interest, give all Nigerians a sense of belonging and foster national unity, peace and stability.

“We write to Congratulate you on your election as Senators representing the three Senatorial (geopolitical) districts of Akwa Ibom. We deem it as well deserved and a call for duty. We count on you to help Mr. President to serve Nigerians well and bring about the unity of the country.

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“From Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all Senators elect and wish them the best legislative experience. As the National Assembly will be inaugurated on 13th June 2023, our Coalition and indeed the masses of Akwa Ibom State solicit your support to elect Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia State elected under the platform of APC who hails from South East as President of the Senate. We consider this call as a patriotic duty which we owe to stabilize Nigeria and set the tone for the healing, restoration of peace and stability in the South East.

“Orji Uzor Kalu is a seasoned politician, well experienced and exposed to the workings of the Senate of the Federal Republic. He has been an uncompromising pillar of support to President Tinubu and the APC as a party.

READ ALSO: 10th NASS Leadership Crisis: N-Central Govs Kick Against Zoning, To Meet Tinubu, NWC

“South East over the years has remained a stronghold of opposition until the intervention of His Excellency, Senator Kalu and other stakeholders in the zone and today, APC can boast of more vote than ever and six Senators from the zone in the about to be formed Senate.

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“We consider His Excellency, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as the national consensus that every stakeholder must embrace because of the long-term benefits Nigeria will get especially in working with the new government to resolve the Biafra agitation and question of exclusion which the South East zone has complained of in the last administration.

“Most respectfully, let Senators vote for the unity, oneness and progress of Nigeria. We thank and congratulate you once again.” the group said.

 

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Edo Guber: Govt, APC, INEC Trade Words Over Alleged Rigging Plot

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By Joseph Ebi Kanjo | Benin

The Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Edo State Government, Friday, May 24, 2024, pointed accusive fingers at each others over alleged plot to rig the state governorship election slated for September 21st, this year.

State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Peter Igbingie, during a press briefing in Benin had raised the alarm that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in connivance with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to use the forthcoming Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, exercise to rig the governorship election.

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But responding to the allegation, the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, said “the APC are aware they have the worst candidate who they are finding difficult to market,” describing them as gathering of “confused people who have nothing to offer.”

The APC Publicity Secretary in the allegation further said the state government plot to rig the election,
ICT officials of the electoral umpire are the ones pencilled down to do the job for the Edo State government.

But INEC Head of Voters Education and Publicity in the state, Mr. Timidi Wareowei, denied the allegation, noting that if any party has anything against the commission, that should have been raised during a stakeholders’ meeting held on the 16th of this month where all parties were present, or better still approached the state Residential Electoral Commissioner whose doors, according to Wareowei, are always opened.

The state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation further responding said “allegation they made against INEC is like that of a man who is not prepared to write an exam that has been fixed for a certain date. We are embarrassed that this is the quality of opposition the APC is offering in the state.”

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber Final List : Group Knocks LP, Commends, INEC, Yakubu

The APC image maker in the state further alleged that, working under the guise of no adequate personnel for the CVR exercise, arrangements have been allegedly concluded with INEC to “deploy the services of Edo teachers and civil servants in addition to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as Ad Hoc staff.”

He further said: “It has become expedient that our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), raised this alarm and bring to the notice of well-meaning Nigerians, the ingnoble plans by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State to circumvent and rig the 2024 Governorship Election in the State using the forthcoming Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, Exercise as a formidable platform.

“Additionally, the APC has found out that Governor Obaseki is working closely with the head of INEC ICT unit so the PDP can manipulate the Voters Register and the BIVAs.

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“We have on good authority and from multiple sources that some gullible officials of INEC in most of the 18 local government areas that make up our state, have approached the outgoing Edo State government to provide them with ‘logistics’ for the CVR. In anticipation, these unpatriotic INEC officials have promised to allow the PDP unfettered access to INEC data capturing machines.

“The APC is also aware that the INEC officials have hidden under the guise of no adequate personnel for the exercise, to make frivolous complaints to the outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki aimed at undermining the core mandate of the institution.

READ ALSO: 2027: Soyinka Drops Bombshell, Says Peter Obi Not Fit To Lead Nigeria

“Cashing in, the Governor has agreed with INEC to deploy the services of Edo teachers and civil servants in addition to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as Ad Hoc staff.

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“He has promised to bankroll their stipends after the CVR exercise.”

The APC State Publicity Secretary who alleged that the state government has concluded plans to register underage persons with a view to giving such cards to adults to vote during the election, advocated “strict compliance with the INEC designated venues for the CVR exercise which is the Ward Headquarters.”

Igbingie also demanded the “immediate deployment of INEC Head of ICT in Edo State who we know is working closely with a female INEC staff in Bayelsa State: She is the wife of a PDP chieftain Edo State,” and “complete restriction of transfer of voters from neighbouring states during the CVR exercise.”

But in his response, the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation fired back: “We want to say as a government that we are interested in our people coming out to register during the CVR exercise. That is what the government does. Also, political parties encourage the people to come out to register because it is the vote of the people that decides who governs them.

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“When INEC graciously decided to resume registration of voters, we were excited and as a government encouraged our people to come out because we believe that it is when more people register, then the government can be held accountable.

“But APC has a party is disgruntled. Firstly, they have nominated a candidate that cannot express himself and they cannot sell to Edo people. They are worried about that, and instead of admitting to their failure, they are busy making allegations to an unbiased umpire, which is INEC.

“We are not saying that INEC is totally unbiased, but they have a duty to register voters and we will give them whatever support they need.

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“The Edo State Government has nothing to do with the manipulation of the CVR. What we believe in is getting Edo people to come out and register. When they register, we know they will vote for us because they have seen what we have done. That’s why they are afraid, because their government has brought so much hardship to Nigerians with increase in the price of goods and services

“The election is here and they are afraid that Edo People will reject them.”

INEC head of publicity further noted: “All the parties were there and nobody raised any issues. Now, a party will now call a press conference and saying things. Our doors are open. It is not good to antagonize the commission when we have not done anything wrong. It is not fair that they have taken this old fashioned. This is not the way to go. If anyone has anything to say, he should come to the Resident Electoral Commission. It is wrong to dish out those allegations as we do not have anything to do with them.”

 

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Edo Guber: ‘Imminent Disqualification Awaits Akpata If…’ Group Says

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A group within the Edo State chapter of Labour Party (LP) says governorship candidate of the party in the forthcoming election in the state faces “imminent disqualification considering the “weighty allegations contained in the Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon’s applications seeking his disqualification as the party’s standard flag bearer.”

In a statement issued by the body’s president, Comrade Jonah Ifada and Secretary, Osagie Omoregie, the group which addresses itself as Shine Your Eyes Group, (SYEG), urged the party campaign council to be more concern defend himself in court on allegations of alleged “perjury, oath of allegiance to another country, the controversy over the choice of his deputy governor, Alufokhai Oluyinka Faith and lying under oath among others.”

The group, while insisting that Imansuangbon is the rightful person that can take the LP on the path of victory at the September 21st governorship election, added that Imansuangbonshould be commended for approaching the courts to “rescue the LP from imminent disgrace.”

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber Final List : Group Knocks LP, Commends, INEC, Yakubu

According to the group, Akpata antecedence as the NBA President was characterized by all sorts of issues.

“Imansuangbon has been around before Akpata, and will always be there. We challenge Akpata to show us his kindness to Edo people in the last 10 to 15 years.

“When Imansuangbon was shared over one million bags of rice for the Edo people, shared I-pad and computers to universities and secondary schools students, paid medical bills of the sick, where was Akpata?

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber Debate: Ganduje Commends Ize-Iyamu For “Flooring Obaseki”

“The cars he bought for LP officials and other things he did to have the party ticket are in the public domain. Now, the ticket is worthless in hand and those that sold it to him.

“In any case, it is not the turn of Edo South. Assuming it is the turn of Edo South, we would have wanted the likes of Pastor Ize-Iyamu, General Charles Airhiavbere, Lucky Imasuen and other notable Edo South indigenes not Akpata.”

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[JUST IN]Edo Guber: Confusion As PDP Dissolves Campaign Council

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All may not be well with the recently inaugurated Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Election Campaign Council as the national leadership of the party Wednesday announced the withdrawal of the earlier published list of members of the council.

A statement in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Debo Ologunagba announced the dissolution of the 200 man campaign council.

A close source however confided that the dissolution of the campaign may not be unconnected with the vehement opposition of Governor Godwin Obaseki to the choice of Mr. Iduoriyekemwem, who favours Chief Osaro Idah, the Obazelu of Benin Kingdom as the director general.

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Ahead of the September 21 governorship election, the PDP State Organizing Secretary, Mr. Tony Anenih (jnr) had Thursday, April 26 unveiled a Campaign Council made up of 200 eminent members.

Mr. Anenih (jnr) had defended the choice of the members of the Campaign Council, noting that they are versatile members of the party and were carefully selected to deliver the party’s candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo.

Titled Re: Edo State Governorship Election National Campaign Council List,” Mr. Ologunagba urged all the stakeholders and the general public to disregard the earlier publication and await the updated list.

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The statement read in part: “The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) @OfficialPDPNig clarifies that it has withdrawn the earlier published list of members of the Edo State Governorship Election National Campaign Council.

“Members of our Party in Edo State and the Nation should therefore disregard the earlier publication and await the updated list.

“All leaders, critical stakeholders, members of our Party and the general public should take note accordingly.”

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