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‘We’re Apolitical, For Urhobo Interest’ – UPIA

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The National President of Urhobo Peoples International Assembly, Hon Chief Keston Okoro Muhammed Al-Amin has declared that the group is apolitical but poised in fighting for Urhobo interest and not to fight any political leader, just as he urged all Urhobo to close ranks to bring back the lost glory of Urhobo nation.

The President was reacting to insinuation in some quarters and attitude of some political leaders in the state who tagged the group as anti-government without taking time to study what they stand for.

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The former member, Delta State House Assembly who made the declaration during a maiden meeting of the group and election of National Officers at Orho-Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, noted that the group was put in place to protect, enhance, promote the socio-cultural and political interest of Urhobo when ever any threats is identified.

READ ALSO: Delta 2023: Ijaw Leaders Visit Ika Traditional Rulers, Solicit Support

Further addressing the gathering, he said the group was committed to the protection, preservation and promotion of Urhobo arts, culture and cultural heritage through concert, carnivals and such other events and to always propose and advice government on areas of interest for Urhobo people towards bringing solution to identified problems.

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‘’This group is not out to fight any individual but to fight for the pride of Urhobo nation. This is not a personal battle but a collective one. We shall address issues of common interest to Urhobo be it economic, political or cultural. This group is not political but socio-cultural.

“We are not here to fight Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and there shall be no reason to fight him. We are not even going to fight the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege or President Buhari. We are here to look at issues bordering on Urhobo welfare and pride so as to collectively tackle them and bring solutions instead of fighting our leaders’’, Hon Keston Okoro Al-Amin added.

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He recounted many battles fought by Urhobo youths together with youths from other areas and the results derived from those fights, adding that the average Urhobo man was a man of courage and guts.

‘’Far back 1927, Urhobo, through Chief Oshue Ogbiyerin of Orhuwhorun, held the colonial government hostage over tax matters and we got results. Why are our people afraid to take challenges and fight for our rights today? The time to fight for Urhobo interest is now.

“UPU is divided and we must do everything to get Urhobo united behind one leader. We should not divide ourselves. Everybody should surrender whatever they have to fight for Urhobo, be it physical strength, spiritual, religious or intellectual strength’’, he said.

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On his part, vice president of the group, Chief Godwin Okporoko, noted that the group supports Okowa whatsoever he does and promote the interest of the Urhobo nation.

READ ALSO: Six Kidnapped Victims Rescued, Two Suspects Arrested In Edo

“I am an Executive Assistant on Security to the Governor. I can’t fight the’ man that feeds me. We are only fighting for Urhobo interest and bringing what belongs to Urhobo to Urhobo. We are in support of the Governor on all issues that will bring progress to Urhobo.

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“By 2023 the governor will give order to those of us in PDP and that is what we will follow. The same applies to APC members or members of other political parties who would take directive from their leaders. The group belongs to all political parties but we are here to fight for Urhobo.

‘’Let me emphasize that as members of this group, we have the right to visit all party leaders to discuss the way forward for Urhobo. We can visit anybody whether in PDP or APC or any political party whom we believe can bring results to Urhobo.

“If there is an Ijaw man, Ibo or Akwa-Ibom man whom we believe has Urhobo interest at heart, we shall visit him. I therefore appeal to all Urhobo patriots to close ranks with this group to move Urhobo forward’’, Okporoko added.

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Among those elected and sworn-in at the meeting to the executive council of the body are Hon Dr Liege Lord Keston Okoro Muhammed Al-Amin, National President; Chief Godwin Okporoko, Vice President; Chief Matthias Efe Olowu, National Secretary and Prince Kingsley Oboruruaria, National Treasurer.

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Buhari’s In-law Quits APC, Cites Impunity, Injustice

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Sani Sha’aban, a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State and an in-law to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday quit the party.

Sha’aban, whose 17 children bought the N50 million Expression of Interest and the Nomination forms for him to contest the 2023 governorship election, cited impunity and injustice as reasons for dumping the ruling party in the state.

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He also added that he decided to dump the party because it has no regard for the rule of law.

The governorship aspirant shortly after the May 2022 primary of the APC in the state, approached the Federal High Court in Kaduna for exclusion from the election where the incumbent Senator representing the Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, was declared the winner.

But the court presided over by Justice Mohammed Garba Umar threw out the case in early November, declaring that the court has no jurisdiction over the matter.

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READ ALSO: FG Gives Reason For High Cost Of Fertiliser

Sha’aban, however, proceeded to the Court of Appeal where he vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion despite leaving the party.

While addressing a press conference through the Director of Sani Mahmoud Sha’aban Campaign Organisation, Mr Joshua Danladi Ephraim, the Governorship aspirant, insisted that he had no business with a party that has no respect for the rule of law.

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In the resignation letter dated November 28, 2022, and addressed to the APC Chairman of his ward, Hanwa,

in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of the state continued that recent developments within the party had compelled him to reconsider his membership of the party, adding that with “best efforts, admonition and best intentions, the party has become alienated from the masses.”

When asked about his next political move, he said he would have to consult “those who have to love us of where next to move to.”

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Sha’aban in the letter partly said, “Recent activities and events within the APC in Kaduna State, in particular, have compelled me to reconsider my membership of the APC. Despite all our best efforts, admonitions and best intentions, it is disheartening to note that the APC has become more alienated from the masses, and father than foster peace, social cohesion and integration in Kaduna State as we envisaged and worked for, the APC in Kaduna State is now seen as synonymous with hardship, division and with total disregard for human lives, communal and family values.

“Rather than work to bring the dividends of democracy closer to the masses, some few elements in the APC in Kaduna State have hijacked the party structure and turned it into their personal estate to serve their personal greed and avarice, for the benefit of only their families, friends and cronies. They have no regard whatsoever for the feelings, yearnings and sensibilities of even the many members of the Party who supported them, and the general populace of Kaduna State.

“As one who strongly believes in God, and in the belief that the commonwealth of the land is for the common benefit of all, I have found myself unable in good conscience, to sit back and allow this reign of impunity to go on without a voice of dissent. At various times, I have had cause to express my displeasure with the policies and actions of the APC in Kaduna State to you.

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“As you are aware, my stance on good governance, Rule of Law, Social Justice and Equity has caused us to be treated with disdain, and to be seen as a Pariah to those who are personally benefitting from the skewed realities present in the APC. My many admonitions, protests, actions and best efforts at salvaging the Party to bring it back into focus to achieve the set objectives of forming the Party have been severally ignored by you. There is, however, a limit to what I can do as a Member of the Party.

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“I believe I have in all conscience before God, done my possible best to stave off the inevitable but to no avail. I have come to the firm conclusion and resolve that in all good conscience, I cannot remain a member of the APC under the present state of affairs, where the interest of the majority of common folks is little regarded.

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“I cannot remain in a Party that has little or no regard for human lives, social integration, peace and our time-valued and cherished Communal and traditional values. I cannot remain in the APC when the Party has no respect for the Rule of Law and the simplest of the laws of the land.

“Therefore, effective immediately, I officially and formally resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress at all levels.”

 

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Osun LG Polls: OSIEC Withdraws APC Members ‘Certificates Of Return’

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The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission has announced the withdrawal of certificates of return given to all elected officials in the October 15 local government election.

The then ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, was the only party that fielded candidates contesting posts of chairmen and councillors at the polls and OSIEC returned all of them elected.

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Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, however, in his judgment in a case filed by the PDP against OSIEC, the APC and some of its chairmanship candidates, last Friday, nullified the election sighting noncompliance with the Electoral Act.

In a statement signed by the OSIEC Executive Secretary, Adedapo Adejumo, obtained in Osogbo on Monday, the Commission stated it would not appeal the judgment.

The Commission also admitted it did not comply with the provisions of Section 24 of OSIEC Law, 2022 and Section 28 of the Electoral Act 2022, which mandated it to give a notice of 360 days before the conduct of the election.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Adeleke Dethrones Three Osun Monarchs, Suspends OSIEC Chair, Members

The statement further read in part, “Consequent upon the judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo in the case FHC\OS\CS\94\2022 involving the PDP VS the Independent National Electoral Commission and six others, delivered on Friday, November 25, 2022, which nullified the local government elections conducted by OSIEC on October 15, 2022, the Commission hereby announces its decision not to appeal the judgement of the Federal High Court, Osogbo.

“The decision of the Commission is coming against the backdrop of OSIEC’s failure to follow strictly the provisions of Section 24 of OSIEC Law, 2022 and Section 28 of the Electoral Act 2022, which mandate the Commission to give a notice of 360 days before the conduct of the election.

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“In view of this, OSIEC aligns perfectly with the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, as the elections stand nullified.

“Consequently, the certificates of return already issued to the purportedly elected chairmen and councillors are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect.”

 

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JUST IN: Senate President Lawan Loses In Court

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The Court of Appeal Abuja on Monday affirmed Bashir Sheriff Machina as the authentic All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District.

reports that a three-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State which held that the President of the senate Ahmad Lawan, is not the APC candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District in respect of the 2023 election.

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The court had submitted that Lawan did not participate in the legally-recognised primary election of the APC to select its candidate in the election held in May 2022.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Sacks Ahmed Lawan As APC Senatorial Candidate For Yobe North

Recall that while Lawan, picked the presidential form of the APC and participated in the primary election that was won by former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, Machina contested and won his bid to take over as the candidate of the party for the senatorial contest.

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Following his defeat at the presidential primary election, Lawan, allegedly backed by APC heavyweights, asked Machina to relinquish the senatorial ticket to him, a request.

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