***Demand Umahi’s stewardship in the state
The Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) said it received with mixed feelings the news that Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, declared his intention to contest for presidency, saying the governor should give stewardship of his seven years in the state.
While totally rejecting Umahi’s presidential ambition, the Ebonyi indigenes said Nigeria won’t survive a week under the “dictatorship style of governor Umahi” as president.
Governor Umahi had on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari and thereafter announced his intention to succeed the president.
But reacting to the development through a statement signed Thursday and made available to newsmen in Abuja, AESID’s president Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, who acknowledged Umahi’s constitutional right to contest, said the governor has failed “to secure our tiny Ebonyi State with the consistent and reported attacks and communal clashes recorded under his administration, some of which are allegedly fuelled even by his political appointees.
“As we speak, thousands who were displaced by communal war in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state are yet to return to their ancestral homes, needless to speak of receiving any succour whatsoever from the Umahi administration.
“The thousands of victims who were also displaced in three communities in Ezza north LGA where he is lavishing public funds in building an International Cargo Airport remain displaced as they are yet to be duly compensated by the Umahi administration. Hunger and poverty has been weaponized by his government such that all might come to beg for crumbs on his table.
“Any wonder Ebonyi is now officially rated the poverty capital of the entire Southern Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics.”
While rejecting Umahi’s presidential ambition, the group said: “With the way and manner he has handled the State’s House of Assembly which is ordinarily a separate arm of government, are we not certain that a National Assembly under an Umahi Presidency would be worse than the current rubber-stamp legislative arm that we have in Nigeria?
“Will Nigeria truly survive just a one-week reign of a Dictator like Umahi?
“AESID would wish to ask; which impact and mark has Governor Umahi made in Ebonyi’s critical sectors such as, Education- given we are classified as Educationally-Less-Developed, Health- given our poor maternal mortality rate and Agriculture-given our rich potentials in this sector? What about the State’s Civil service he has left in its shadows, including Lecturers in our State-owned tertiary institutions whose salaries he has withheld and pays any pittance he feels like? Is it the retirees some of who have died in their pains and agonies over non-payment of their due entitlements or their sorrowing relatives that would drum support for Umahi’s touted 2023 Presidential ambition?
“Mysterious deaths such as the sudden ‘disappearance’ of some five NELAN contractors sometime in November last year among other cases of suspicious demises all points to alleged diabolic and wicked extent the government has gone in its dealings with the now beleaguered Ebonyi masses.
“Rather than provide jobs for our teeming populace, what the Umahi government specializes on is to appoint, through proxies, our vibrant youths who daily sing it’s praises on the Social media for some pittance.
“For this noble accountability platform in particular therefore, we believe it is time for him to be held to account for the little opportunity he has had in just one, out of a total of the 36 States of the federation that he now aspires to pilot their affairs.
Although the Ebonyi group expressed reservations that the Igbos have not been fairly treated on the issue of Nigeria’s presidency, but added that “all who feel they have the right qualification shouldn’t whip up this sentiment. They should rather convince the electorates like it is done in saner democracies and build bridges across the Niger to enable them realize their ambition of clinching Nigeria’s Presidency.
“AESID is amazed that rather than learn lessons from Egwu’s sordid experience which he is fully aware of, Umahi who backed out of supporting the Atiku/Obi Presidential ticket of his then PDP in 2019 with a flimsy claim that he was not ‘consulted’ before the choice of the later was made as Atiku’s running mate is towing exactly the same ignoble path.
“Whereas, it is within his constitutional right to run for the highest office in the land no doubt, we are also compelled by morality, truth and good conscience to bring the issues of his rather mishandling of our dear State’s affairs in the about seven years that he has held sway as Governor to bare so that some gullible Nigerian publics will not be deceived by the antics of a man who drops the name of ‘God’ in every sentence but has his heart full of evil and wickedness!
“Drawing reference from the age-long cliché that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, we are not in any doubt that a more absolute power for an Umahi could mean arming a man who has ran amok with a knife to enter the market place.”
SDP hopeful as Kogi petition tribunal moves away from violence prone Lokoja
***insists on reclaiming mandate to develop Kogi
The national leadership of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) has reacted to the reports that the Kogi Election Petition Tribunal has now shifted its venue to Abuja as it will no longer sit in Lokoja.
The National secretary of the party, Dr Olu Agunloye, in a statement on Thursday said the Nigeria Police had publicly disclosed that the Secretary of the Election Petition Tribunal, Mr. David Mike Umar was reported to have been robbed of the vital documents and petitions on Monday, 4 December 2023 by gunmen in broad daylight in Lokoja.
He explained saying, gunmen and hoodlums, in a false flag operation, as grimly stated by the Tribunal Secretary, attacked the Tribunal and carted away “all the documents including Petitions filed by four Parties.
The four Political Parties namely Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP)”, against the declaration of APC’s Alhaji Usman Ododo as Governor-Elect is purely a criminal activity which the law enforcement agents must tackle.
“That the locations of INEC and its officials in Kogi have been attacked by thugs and arsonists is another criminal act that should be investigated and tackled. “Also, that videos of persons thumbprinting ballot papers in Kogi State days after the election are flying around is yet another criminal act staring at the face of law enforcement agencies.
“Although these criminal acts are not out of character or unexpected, they go a long way to support the strong views that the mandate of Alh Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, which was indeed stolen, is set to be retrieved and claimed by Muri and the good people of Kogi State.
He reiterated the position that none of the criminal acts will stop the Tribunal which is now set to sit at the Federal Capital in Abuja. “Even when the Tribunal had lost all its documents and Petitions to gunmen, who appeared sympathetic with declared Governor-elect Usman Ododo, the tribunal will still sit.
“All that will be required is that the respective parties would be called upon to deliver copies of their Petitions to the Tribunal along with the payment receipts.
“The SDP is ready with theirs.”
According to him, “Now that the Tribunal has been relocated to Abuja, hope is again restored that all will be well.
“Nigerians expect that justice will be served without any or much criminal interferences, and Alhaji Muritala Ajaka will claim his mandate back.
“The goodness of this, is that for vast majority of Kogi people, mostly disenfranchised or deprived over the years, a new era of creating and spreading wealth instead of violence will soon commence under Alhaji Muritala Ajaka.
“Muri and the people of Kogi will then take over and start to chart new paths for the Kogi development agenda for youths’ employment and empowerment, women emancipation, and technological and industrial transformation with no time or space for witch-hunting, retaliations, or false flag operations.
“Indeed, a new era of development is beckoning in Kogi State.”
Akpabio brags about South South capacity to deliver for Tinubu in 2027
***Says, Akwa Ibom votes for APC in 2023 surpassed all that of 5 south East States
The President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio has boasted that the entire South South States will resoundingly deliver victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027 to return President Bola Tinubu for second term.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday when the zonal Leadership of the South South APC ked by the National Vice Chairman Victor Giadom Paul him a courtesy call
He said the party in Akwa Ibom made it possible for Tinubu to secure the 25% requirement to win.
He said Akwa Ibom alone devered more than 800000 votes for APC which he said was more than the votes the five South East States gave to the APC
“You will be surprised that the votes from Akwa Ibom alone for the APC in the Presidential election was more.l than the total votes from the five states of the South East
“What it really mean is that recall when David Leon contested in Bayelsa State, he won resoundingly but he was not sworn in, that happened a day before swearing in and even this last one that Timipre Sylva contested we also did very well and we are now in court so I cannot comment of that. “That shows you the strength of the APC in the region and even when the PDP is the ruling party in Rivers State where the Chairman Victor Giadom comes from, we were able to win the presidential election Rivers State, I am talking based on data which can not lie.
“I want to say that with that giant step now that we have a senate President, I don’t see any reason why the entirety of the South South Region will not become APC. “The only way we can pay back the National leaders of our party, the only way we can show the President for standing by us in the South South to produce a sente President After 45 years is for us to make sure that in 2027 we will give him and the entire APC resounding victory in the 6 States of the South South region.
“We are steadily moving on, Cross Rivers State is 100% APC. Here and there some people will emerge either in the Senate or the House of reps and the House of Assembly but in the governorship and government of the State is totally APC.
“Akwa Ibom has the Senate President, so for you to have members of the House of Representatives it shows that things are about to happen.
“For you to have won the presidential election in Rivers State where the Zonal chairman comes from, means things are beginning to happen.
He said in 2019 APC won in Bayelsa State except for technical issues in the court.
“That shows clearly that APC has come to stay in the entire South South,
“Edo State the APC governor took government house into another party and so election is coming next year, we expect the chairman to double his effort with all of us to be included in the campaign and ensure we get back what belongs to us. “Your visit is timely and I believe strongly that working together with you, APC can only be stronger in the South South Region
“On our part, we are working across party lines to support President Tinubu, all the senators of the South South are determine to give Tinubu the support so that he can succeed irrespective of party affiliation and that is a good sign
Nasarawa govt berates PDP over protest against Appeal Court judgment
From Daniel Abel, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state against blackmailing the judiciary over Nasarawa governorship tussle.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr, Peter Ahemba, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lafia.
The reaction followed the recent protest in Lafia against the Appeal Court governorship election judgment by a group purported to be coalition of indigenous people of Nasarawa State.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, November 23 had set aside the judgment of the tribunal of Oct. 2nd and declared Sule as the winner of the election.
The governorship elections petition tribunal on Oct. 2, annulled the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared David Ombugadu of PDP as the winner of March 18 election.
The governor’s aide described the protest as the shameful step against the judgment of the Appeal Court by a group hired by the PDP.
Ahemba added that the decision of the Appeal Court was a true reflection of the popular mandate freely given to the governor by the electorates on March 18.
He explained that the government has confidence in the judiciary and believed that justice would be served at the Supreme Court.
He further explained that when the PDP was declared at the tribunal nobody protested, rather, the governor challenged the decision at the appeal court.
He advised PDP and its candidate to also challenge the outcome of the appeal court as they cannot takeover power through the backdoor.
“The same party that was crying of external interference on the governorship dispute in the state is now calling on President Bola Tinubu and international communities to interfere,” he added.
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