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‘North will not succumb to blackmail over 2023 presidency,’ Says ex-lawmaker, Sumaila

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kawu sumaila

A former member of the House of Representatives, Kawu Sumaila, said on Monday the South would only have a shot at the presidency in 2023 through dialogue, and not intimidation or blackmail.

The Southern governors and other others stakeholders have been demanding power shift to the region next year.

Sumaila stated this in a statement in Abuja.

He was reacting to a remark credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the zoning of the 2023 presidency.

The minister had in a chat with journalists last week said any political party that fielded a Northern presidential candidate would lose in 2023.

The ex-lawmaker, however, urged Ngige and his associates to stop open confrontation that would not guarantee anything.

He noted that Ngige and the South-East did not contribute to the success of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 and 2019 elections.

READ ALSO: South-East group rejects endorsement of Anyim for 2023 presidency

Sumaila said: “I think the likes of Ngige should be placed where they belong. You cannot come and try to intimidate the North in the media. Politics everywhere in the world is a game of numbers, and those that have the numbers can decide who leads them.

“I want to say without fear of contradiction that the North will no succumb to intimidation or blackmail of the likes of Ngige. The North can only cede power through peaceful negotiations and dialogue. Open confrontation will not give the South presidency.

“Maybe one should refresh Ngige’s memory. We were all in this country when Goodluck Jonathan contested and won the presidential election in 2011 even when it was the turn of the North to complete the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s tenure. Did the world come to an end then? Certainly not!

“So, nobody should try to bamboozle us today just because of the 2023 presidency. If the North wants to contest, I don’t think anybody can stop it through intimidation. Let this sink in the minds of Ngige and his co-travellers.

“I also want to make it clear that I have a lot of respect for Ngige. I worked closely with him during the formation of APC. But I felt it was important to make things clear on the issue of the 2023 presidency.”

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Amid protests, fraud allegations, Biodun Oyebanji declared APC gubernatorial candidate

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Biodun Oyebanji, immediate past Secretary to Ekiti Government, has emerged winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries.

Declaring the winner, the chairman of the Primary Election Committee, Governor Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa, said Mr Oyebanji had 101,703 out of the total votes cast.

Mr Badaru announced this at the State Collation Centre, APC party secretariat in Ado-Ekiti.

“It is my pleasure to declare Biodun Oyebanji as the winner of this primary, having scored the highest votes cast. Having satisfied all necessary criteria, I hereby declare Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji as the winner,” declared Mr Badaru.

He added that Ekiti APC had 183,560 registered members, 107,877 members were accredited, and the total votes cast was 104,983.

The chairman expressed surprise at the allegations by some aspirants that they were not consulted. He explained that the meeting slated for Thursday morning between the committee and the aspirants was cancelled because of a security report.

The Jigawa governor disclosed that the primaries took place across the 177 wards and that it was free and fair.

“However, there are pockets of violence. When we receive the results, we will know where we need to cancel; we will. As we have earlier promised, we have ensured a level playing ground for all aspirants,” the committee chairman added.

On the protest by some aspirants, the committee chairman explained that he had not received any official petition but only heard about it on the media. He directed that the returning officers of the wards where elections were not held should write their reports and submit the same to the committee.

The results presented by the 16 local government area returning officers revealed that Mr Oyebanj won in all the council areas.

Opeyemi Bamidele had 760 votes, Femi Bamisile, 400, Kayode Ojo, 767, Adedayo Adeyeye, 691 and Bamidele Faparusi, 376, Demola Popoola, 239 and Oluwasola Afolabi, 47 in the Option A4 direct primary adopted for the primary.

Six of the eight aspirants had protested the alleged hijack of the exercise in the morning and demanded the primaries be stopped. Messrs Oyebanji and Popoola were not among the protesters.

(NAN)

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Ohanaeze hopes that with time, govt’ll see need for State Police

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Prof. George Obiozor 1

Pan-Igbo social-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed its disappointment over government’s rejection of the proposal for State Police in Nigeria.

The reaction came after the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution this week rejected a bill seeking the creation of state police.

The House Committee scrapped the idea after 14 members of the committee voted against the amendment to section 214 of the 1999 constitution while only 11 others voted in support during a meeting to consider the bill.

Reacting to the rejection, National publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia hammered on the importance of having a State Police department, adding that the government would eventually see the beed for it.

“The issue of central police has already collapsed in Nigeria,” said Ogbonnia.

READ ALSO: ‘South-East wants political solution to Kanu’s case,’ Ohanaeze tells Buhari

“In a Federation, there ought to be multiple levels of security architecture, even down to the local Government Area. There is no Federation without multiple levels of security architecture. They compliment the central police.

“Here is the South East, that is why Ohanaeze supports the formation of Ebubeagu, they operate at local levels to compliment the central security architecture.

“They (Ebubeagu personnel) have a relationship with the rural communities and make the job of the central police easier because they understand the environment more than somebody from outside.

“Evidently, there is a need for them to complement each other. I want to believe that with time, they will understand the need for state police”.

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Ekiti Guber: Biodun Oyebanji wins APC primary election

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Biodun Oyebanji

The immediate past secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Biodun Oyebanji has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship direct primary election held in the State.

Oyebanji, who is widely perceived as Governor Kayode Fayemi’s anointed candidate, emerged the winner with 101,703 votes.

He defeated seven other aspirants who had earlier protested against the electoral process, and pressed for it to be canceled.

READ ALSO: Ekiti APC in disarray, as seven guber aspirants withdraw from primaries, blame Fayemi

They had claimed, among others things, that the Chairman of the APC primary election committee, and Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, had handed Oyebanji’s supporters the result sheets to write the results before the election.

The aggrieved governorship aspirants include: Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, Demola Popoola, Afolabi Oluwasola, Hon Femi Bamisile and Kayode Ojo.

However, Badaru noted that the election which took place across 177 wards was peaceful, credible and transparent.

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