The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has accused the North of plotting to retain power at all cost against the power rotation formula that has been in place since 1999.
In a statement by its National President Dr. Bitrus Pogu, he said it is evidently clear that there is a grand ploy to truncate power shift to the South by 2023.
“The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has been drawn to the communique issued at the end of a meeting convened by the Northern Elders’ Forum under the auspices of Northern Leaders of Thought (NLT) over opposition to power rotation to the South in 2023.
“Considering the circumstances under which the group met and membership of those who attended the meeting on January 15, 2022 at the Arewa House in Kaduna, it is clear that there are subterranean forces aimed at frustrating the power shift arrangement to the South in 2023.’
He said, by May 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari, a Northerner, should have completed two tenures of four years each as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution.
“To insist that another Northerner should continue in power beyond May 2023 amounts to violating the arrangement on power shift that has become the norm since the return of democracy in May 1999.”
“As the umbrella organisation for all ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt, the MBF is confident that Nigeria is blessed with competent and qualified persons from all sections of the country who can offer altruistic leadership in advancing national development. According to him, Since 1999, power shift has not only ensured equity in power-sharing procedure between the North and South.
He added that it has also reduced tension amongst Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups in the struggle for power.
“After a careful perusal of the communique issued at the end of a hurriedly packaged meeting by the NLT, it is evidently clear that there is a grand ploy to truncate power shift to the South by 2023.”/
He said after their consultative meeting that took place in September 2021 in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, the Forum did not only express its resounding support for power rotation to the South, the MBF also noted that for fairness to hold sway, it was irretrievably necessary for power to return to the South in 2023.
“Our position was hinged on the fact that the power rotation has tremendously assisted in mitigating political tension by creating a platform for power-sharing in the country.
“As we have always declared in the past, the MBF wishes to restate once again that any threat against power shift to the South in 2023 is akin to courting frightening dangers to the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“We stand for justice and freedom for all. The MBF is completely against the NLT’s opposition to power shift in 2023. Those who met in Kaduna at the weekend must halt further attempts to create political turmoil for our nation.
“Members of the NLT are not political leaders; they are forerunners of some nebulous political forces determined to foist fiery dark clouds over our country’s political skies. To insist that the power-sharing arrangement should be jettisoned now is an open invitation to anarchy that may ultimately lead to the breakup of the country.
“We need to remind Nigerians that the Middle Belt has always insisted that power must shift to the South in 2023. In the event that the South is unable to present a presidential candidate, we have confirmed our readiness to support the emergence of a presidential candidate of the Middle Belt extraction for the 2023 polls.
“We are in agreement with the Southern socio-cultural groups in the struggle for power shift to the South in 2023.
He said under the President Buhari-led administration, Nigerians are witnessing one of their worst moments.
“With insecurity ravaging many parts of Nigeria, poor economic policies by the current administration have reduced our nation into the global headquarters of poverty.
“Not only have hundreds of communities in the Middle Belt Region been destroyed and completely taken over by foreign invaders, thousands of our people have been massacred in cold blood as deadly herdsmen and other criminals continue to unleash their dreadful reign of terror on defenseless Nigerians.
“The Middle Belt Region is convinced that President Buhari has not demonstrated enough courage and political will to confront these monsters of insecurity. “Thus, it is clear that only power shift offers an opportunity to deal with these terror gangs that are alleged to enjoy the support of some rogue Northern politicians yet to be exposed by the government.
“Once again, we call on political parties to disregard the chicanery of these leaders of the so-called North and their opposition to zoning in 2023.
“Those who gathered in Kaduna last weekend were political jobbers engaged in carrying the commands of their masters that are lurking in the shadows. “Therefore, the communique of that meeting should be contemptuously ignored.”
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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