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2023: Zone presidential tickets to the south, IBBN urges political parties

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The Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria, IBBN, Tuesday, in Abuja called on all political parties to zone their presidential tickets to the Southern part of the country.

The IBBN stated that the need for the zoning is to ensure fairness and equity in Nigeria’s leadership, explaining that the North will be concluding a full eight-year term by 2023.

The President of the IBBN, Dr. Isah Sadiq, delivering a speech at the press conference said, “Morestill, as political activities hit the crescendo, we call on political actors in the country to play the game, putting Nigeria first over any parochial interest. Among other things, national interest first. “We call on all Political parties to in all sense of fairness, to zone their presidential tickets to the southern zone of the country, especially since the North will be concluding a full eight-year term by 2023.

“Fairness and equity is all it takes to service and continue to make every union work and indeed fairness and equity is what it will take to keep the Nigerian union as one indivisible great country under God.“

Sadiq speaking on the Abduction and Murder of Little Hanifa in Kano State, expressed fears that from the wave of mass abductions for ransom at schools over the last year, carried out by terrorists elements nicknamed bandits, there could not be any more endangerment of education

He said the recent abduction and murder of little promising 5 year old Hanifa Abubakar by the Proprietor of her own school, who demanded for a ransom of six million naira ($14,500) last month, only to later kill Hanifa with rat poison and bury her in a shallow grave in the city of Kano; there couldn’t violation of the right to life in Northern Nigeria.

“Truth is, a society perpetually void of safe spaces for children is a society with a bleak future, if it has any at all. For the act of terrorism against children alone, Nigerian Government need not show mercy to domestic terrorists and terrorpreneurs alike.

“We must stand up to the active defence of the right to life in Nigeria because the life of Nigerians matter!

“May God comfort the family of little Hanifa and all others who have lost loved ones in the hands of terrorists and terropreneurs in Nigeria,” he said

He further stated that the IBBN in alignment with Civil Society Coalition and well meaning Nigerians called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to authorise a new progressive electoral act for Nigerians that will make elections free, fair, transparent, peaceful and inclusive; especially that Mr President rode to the Presidency with a promise of electoral reforms to Nigerians.

“While we commend the 9th National Assembly for their efforts in advancing progressive clauses in the Electoral Act Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2020, the Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria however wishes to call on the National Assembly to consider and review section 91 of the Electoral Act Bill which dramatically and astronomically increased campaign spending limits by 300 percent, which suggests that the 9th National Assembly intends to entrench a heavily monetized and merchandising political system, and this has dire implications for election violence, youths exclusion, good governance and the economy, ” the IBBN added.

Still on the electoral process, IBBN recalled that INEC had in June last year, expanded voter access to polling units for the first time in 25 years since the initial delimitation in 1996 by creation of additional 56,872 Polling Units nation wide bringing the total number of polling units in the country to 176,846. A feat he said, should ordinarily improve voter turnout and ease the management of polling units and crowds during elections.

“What we have however, noticed from the recently concluded Anambra State elections and from the recent INEC Consultative meeting with Civil-society Organisations, is that both old and new voters are either not fully aware of this expansion of voter access and or failed to take advantage of it to transfer to these new Polling Units which has the potential to defeat the intended objective of the expansion and even entrench voter disenfranchisement.

“The Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria (IBBN) therefore wishes to call on Nigerians, Civil Society Organisations and serious grassroot stakeholders and Politicians to take inventory of those new polling units in their constituencies, organise townhalls, educate the people and facilitate the even distribution of voters in those areas between the old overpopulated polling units and the new polling units closest to the old ones, by simply applying to transfer those affected voters’ polling units, as well as leveraging on the ongoing CVR for the regular recruitment and registration of new voters to locations where they would be during elections by visiting the INEC website.

“We all must turn to community organisers in our localities if we must make democracy work for Nigeria.”

He further expressed worries that the number of men and Officers of security agencies are obviously inadequate to secure Nigeria’s rural communities and forests which need security as well. “It’s obvious that if we don’t secure forests in Nigeria, terrorist elements will always take refuge in those forests and use them as a launching board for their terrorist attacks.

“Government is not oblivious of this, because we have adequate security deployments securing the forest within the villa area through Mambilla Barracks, through the Gwarinpa expressway and down to the AYA area here in the nation’s capital.”

According to him, “the expediency of experimenting with state police to complement the overstretched central Nigerian Police Force stares us in the face at this time of our national history. Beyond preventing deepening attacks, we need reclaim forests and ungoverned spaces already occupied by terrorists. When will we deploy the much celebrated tucano jets and other Airforce platforms procured to extinguish these terrorists? Is it better when the terrorists are done with killing Nigerians? We call on Government to Deploy those tucano jets to use now!”

The Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria commended the gallantry of Men of the Armed Forces, assuring that it will continue to stand with them, while expressing hope that Nigeria will surmount her security challenges, “we however call on Nigeria policy makers and President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government to be more innovative and proactive in securing the precious lives of and defending the inalienable right to life of Nigerians,” Sadiq added.

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Discordant tunes as Obi/LP clash over purported endorsement of Abure

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***Obi says he did not endorse any leadership, as LP counters him

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General election Peter Obi may be embarking on a collision course with the party over his motif for the visit to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday along with his supporters.

Apparently piqued by how his visit was portrayed to be an endorsement of the Julius Abure-led leadership, Obi on Wednesday morning clarified that his visit to the Party’s secretariat on Tuesday was not to endorse the leadership but to engender reconciliation.
A statement by Peter Obi Media Relations (POMR) spokesperson Dr Yunusa Tanko indicated that the visit was more of reconciliation not an endorsement of any leadership as it was being portrayed.
In a swift reaction, the LP national publicity Secretary Obiorah Ifoh in a counter statement described Obi’s new statement as a twist of the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate to the leadership of the party.
He said Obi and Abure are on the same page over reconciliation in LP as he warned against any attempt to twist well intentioned visit.
Obi’s spokesperson statement reads,
“Obi’s visit to Labour Party yesterday was not to endorse anybody, but occassioned by his reconcilliatory move. Julius Abure in his speech stated clearly how Obi came to the office, and Obi in his speech clarified same, while preaching peace, and his mantra ‘pursuit of better Nigeria for the poor’

“Leadership of NLC/TUC Political Arm Commorades Titus Amba and Chris Uyot who were informed of Obi travelling out today, hence will honour thier invitation, also met with him, and extensively discussed same peace move with them.

“Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family, and not to support one against the other.

“In all his meetings with with all stakeholders, he has always maintained peace, and urge not to lose purpose which is to free Nigeria suffering and pain.

“The LP standards bearer plans to continue meeting with critical stakeholders, and groups to achieve all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.

Ifoh statement reads,

“The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been called to a statement issued by the spokesperson to our National Leader, Peter Obi titled, ‘Obi visits to LP, Reconciliatory, not endorsement…’ Dr. Tanko Yinusa wherein he tried to twist the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on the leadership of the party.

“As a party we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. “This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week titled ‘Triumphant Resumption of Abure led NWC’ wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Peter Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful National Convention of the party held in March. But to us as a party we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.
“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government that will liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its Political Commission to understand that we are not the foe, and to see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria.
“They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the Labour Party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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Okonkwo accuses Abure-led LP of being equally yoked by corruption as APC

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***Says he is suspending his association with the party

Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, has alleged that the national convention organized by Julius Abure which returned him as Labour Party (LP) national chairman is nothing but criminality and corruption.

He stated this when he announced he was suspending his relationship with the Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of the LP.

According him, a new Nigeria is the priority, adding that he prefers to lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Okonkwo, who was the spokesperson for the Labour Party Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, in a post via his verified X account on Tuesday, said the current Abure-led National Working Committee of the Labour Party is another incompetent and corrupt association, just like the All Progressives Congress (APC) he left before.

The post reads: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing than winning doing the wrong thing.

Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported National Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party APC because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

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Obi, Otti, LP Lawmakers to storm Akure for Ondo guber election campaigns

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***Party Receives Boost From Aggrieved Aspirants from APC and PDP

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Governorship Primaries in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Ayodele has declared the resolve of Party to take back Ondo State in the forthcoming coming Governorship elections of the state billed for November 2024 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Olusola Ayodele to have made the declaration when he Addressed the Southwest Leadership of the Party on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ayodele who conducted the Ondo State Governorship Primaries of the LP in Akure a fortnight earlier stated that all preparations by the Leadership of the party to win the Ondo Governorship elections have been concluded with the formation of a proposed Southwest Task Force on the Ondo Governorship elections .

According to him, the Task Force being put together comprises key leaders of the party in the Southwest, who have been charged to mobilise a high-powered National Campaign Team of the Party for the Governorship elections to reenact the LP – Mimiko victory and 8 years good governance of Ondo State

He said, “To lead the Ondo National campaign committee is Mr Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and Mr Alex Oti, Governor of Abia State. They are to be supported by all LP Senators, Reps Members, State Lawmakers and other key leaders of the Party in the country with formidable solidarity from key members of the Obidient Movement in diaspora.”

While clarifying the rumour about the possibility of the party conducting a substitution primaries for the Governorship candidacy of the party, Ayodele said “this would only happen, if the current governorship candidate of the party decides to withdraw from the race during the substitution window created by INEC and if the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party also finds governorship aspirants who have the required competence and capacity as possible replacement to fly the governorship ticket of a mega party like the Labour Party, especially, a party which has ruled Ondo State for 8 years before”

Ayodele said although some aggrieved frontline governorship aspirants, especially from the APC and PDP are already discussing the possibility of crossing to Labour Party with the Committee, it is only the National Working Committee of the Party that can sanction such discussion before the close of the substitution window of INEC. He however applauded the youths, students and the masses of the people in Ondo State for remaining steadfast with the Party.

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