The presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his counterpart on the platform of Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, were yesterday locked in verbal war over the former’s accusation of the latter’s supporters of mudslinging and spreading fake news against other candidates, especially him, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu’s campaign organisation had called on the LP candidate to rein in his supporters, who it accused of spreading fake news about its candidate, but Obi’s camp in a swift reaction dismissed insinuations of his supporters spreading fake news about any candidate, saying it was in line with Tinubu camp’s plan to run a campaign based on issues.
Tinubu in a statement by his Campaign Organization yesterday, had urged Obi to caution his supporters and allow the election circle be about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria.
Director, Media and Communications at the Tinubu Campaign Organization, TCO, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, who signed the statement, also admonished the Labour Party presidential candidate to get his supporters to desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
TCO further stated that “Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process will be enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well,” the statement added.
Onanuga noted that the TCO saw the need to appeal to Obi to rein in his supporters after investigating the origin of the fake report claiming that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, wrote a letter to the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asking him to support Peter Obi and take care of his health.
According to him, the Ghanaian president via his official Twitter account has vehemently debunked the fake news as a product of deliberate mischief, with the intent to deceive the public.
“I have written no such letter to the APC leader, and it will not occur to me to do so. Ghana and Nigeria boast of decades of cordial, strong and brotherly relations, and I am not going to be the one to interfere in the internal affairs and politics of Nigeria,” the Ghanaian President had said via Twitter.
Continuing, Onanuga said: “We have found that the fake news about Akufo-Addo’s letter was first published on June 22 by a rogue platform, whose url reads as worlsnews.space (sic) and site identity as World of News.
“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by Peter Obi Support Group, same day – a clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.
“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50billion monthly payment from him.
”The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Mr. Ambode.
“The pirate website, which the Facebook account feeds on, also parades malicious fake news and headlines such as ‘I am old, but my blood is young, please vote for me – Tinubu begs youth.’
“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I become president, I will build more prison (sic) for Igbos and IPOB members – Tinubu’.
“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring virus to your computer.
“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr. Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians.”
But reacting to the allegations by the Tinubu Campaign Organisation yesterday, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, threw his weight behind the call by Tinubu for the campaign, whenever it starts, to be based on issues and not personality.
A statement signed by Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said the statement by the APC advising candidates to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates,” exactly mirrored what Obi had propagated over the years.
He said if supporters were mindful of this, some articles published in some newspapers against Obi would not have been published, including those with offensive titles.
On the alleged fake letter from the President of Ghana and the alleged request of N50 billion monthly payment, Obienyem said that while Obi was not bothered about their authenticity, it was wickedness to link them to his supporters, insisting that any publication from Obi’s group was always properly signed and the source clearly spelt out.
Obienyem, who also described as the height of mischief, the attempt to link Obi’s campaign to IPOB, said: “We know that things are not well in Nigeria.
We know of the agitations in different parts of the country, our principal has always said what he would do with such organizations to stop their agitation and bring them back to Nigeria as one happy family.
”Instead of others saying what they will do, they are here creating more problems by trying vainly and wickedly to link their fellow contestants to some of those organisations.”
He expressed happiness that Nigerians knew the truth and that such gimmicks used to deceive them would no longer fly.
Obienyem said that right from Obi’s position as governor of Anambra State, he was not known for the habit of attacking people or building lies against others, adding that his disposition was contrary to those of some of his opponents, whom, he said, actually originated most of those fake news, published them under false names and turned round to ascribe them to Obi or his supporters.
Edo 2024: I’m Passionate About Developing Edo – Prof. Osunbor
A former governor of Edo State and an aspirant in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, has disclosed his resolve to return to the state government house to complete his mission and contribute to the state development.
Osunbor made his intention known in Benin, Tuesday, when he paid homage to the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, and also seek for the Monarch’s prayers and support in his endeavour.
Professor Osunbor recalled that he was the governor of the state for a short period “so it is my desire to come back and complete my mission and also to contribute in my own way to assist Your Royal Majesty in developing our state to a very enviable level.
“To a level beyond what it is now. I know it is in the interest of Your Royal Majesty that whoever is coming to govern the state should be somebody who has the interest of the state and is prepared to do what is required to be able to elevate Edo State to an enviable level.”
Prof. Osunbor disclosed that he is imbued with traits of excellence and that his slogan while campaigning to govern the state in 2007 was ‘Edo for Excellence’.
He asserted that within the short period of his stay in office he exhibited excellence in governance.
Going further into his background he disclosed that he scored a first class in his Law programme the first Nigerian to achieve that feat at the University of Nigeria.
“I proceeded to the Law School and emerged as the best student in the Nigeria Bar examination in 1976. Without doing a Masters I proceeded to do a Ph.D and in three years completed my Ph.D and started lecturing. In just eight years I applied for a position of Professor and I was appointed a Professor with just eight years teaching experience. This is very rare,” Professor Osunbor submitted.
He recalled that in his days as governor he initiated a very successful students bursary scheme and ensured that pensioners were paid their pension arrears while ensuring that none of them was owed.
Receiving Professor Osunbor and his entourage of All Progressives Congress (APC) bigwigs, Omo N’Oba stated that the capability of the ex-governor was never in doubt. The monarch went down memory lane to recall how his guest then a Senator went the extra length to make him comfortable during the process of his screening in the Senate chambers as an ambassador designate.
He promised him that a prayer team with be made to always put him in prayers so that he would be free from any harm and can achieve his heart desires.
INEC Fixes Dates For Edo, Ondo Guber Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed September 21 next year for the governorship election in Edo State, and November 16 for that of Ondo State.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, disclosed in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He explained that the tenure of the governors of Edo and Ondo states will end on November 11, 2024 and February 23, 2025, respectively.
Olumekun said as provided in Section 178 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), election into the said offices shall be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the tenure of` the last holder of the office.
According to him, the latest date for election to the office of governor, Edo State, is 12th October 2024, while that of Ondo State is 24th January 2025.
Similarly, Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 requires the Commission to publish Notice for the Election not later than 360 days before the date of the election.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by the Constitution and the Electoral Act, the Commission issues the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections as follows:
“The governorship election will hold on Saturday 21st September 2024.
“Party primaries will hold from 1st – 24th February 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9a.m. on 4th March 2024 and close at 6pm on 24th March 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on 23rd April 2024, while campaign in public by political parties commences on 24th April 2024 and ends 24 hours prior to election day on 19th September 2024.
“The governorship election will hold on Saturday 16th November 2024.
“Party primaries will hold from 6th – 27th April 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9.00am on 29th April 2024 and close at 6p.m. on 20th May 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on 18th June 2024, while campaign in public by political parties commences on 19th June 2024 and ends 24 hours prior to election day on 14th November 2024.
“The detailed timetable and schedule of activities for the two elections have been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
“By this ample notice as required by both the Constitution and the Electoral Act, the Commission appeals to political parties and candidates to note the activities in the timetable for strict compliance,” he added.
Impeachment: ‘My Life Under Threat’ — Ondo Speaker Cries Out Over ‘Juju’ Scare At Residence
The Speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, has raised the alarm that his life is under threat over the impeachment notice served to the deputy governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct.
Oladiji raised the alarm in Akure after some fetish objects were dumped in front of the gate of his residence, at midnight on Sunday
The fetish objects were dumped at the gate of the Speaker’s lodge, ahead of the plenary to commence the impeachment of the deputy governor, tomorrow ( Tuesday)
This development created apprehension in the state, as residents discuss it in hushed tones.
Following the scary development, the speaker, has called on the security agencies to save his soul and that of other members of the House following threats to their lives since the commencement of the impeachment process against the State’s Deputy Governor,
According to him, “Early this morning, his attention was drawn together a ritual sacrifice placed In front of his official lodge.”
The lodge which “requires renovation is only used sometimes for Parliamentary meetings.
“I have not been using the place except sometimes for parliamentary meetings. At least, we have been there for more than two times for meeting but I don’t sleep there because the place requires overhauling with its present state.
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“Early this morning, we discovered that a sacrifice was placed in the lodge. Aside that, I have been receiving strange calls from strange people threatening my life and other members. There have been a lot of pressure on me.
“I am using the medium to tell the world that my life is under threat. I call on the security operatives to checkmate these people who have been threatening my life and other members.
“This threat started since the day we began the impeachment notice . I have already reported to NSCDC among others security agencies”
The Speaker, also debunked the rumour that the lawmakers collected N5 million to initiate the impeachment process
Oladiji said that the 10th Assembly under his watch will not compromise on such sensitive matter.
“Whenever there is an impeachment case like this, people think that the executive must have lured the legislature to begin the process.
” I want to tell the whole world that we did not receive any gratification from anybody or anywhere. We are doing our work as lawmakers
“We appropriate and at the same time, monitor what we appropriate. Let me tell you, 26 lawmakers have now signed the letter which we will serve the deputy governor today”
“The House will today serve the Deputy Governor of the State, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa a letter on the alleged gross misconduct.”
The Speaker noted that the House was unable to serve the Deputy Governor the Notice since the commencement of the process last week.
He, however, said that the house has now secured court affidavit which gives the house a legitimate right to serve the Deputy Governor.
According to him “all the 26 lawmakers have appended their signature on the petition. The Deputy Governor is expected to reply the house within seven days of notice.”
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