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‘I am used to Roforofo Fight’, Orji Kalu challenges Tinubu to presidential ring

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The 2023 general election promises to be a clash of political titans, as more aspirants continue to declare their intention to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa.

While, folk like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other heavyweights rumored to be eyeing Nigeria’s highest political position are yet to formally declare their intention, some leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) have set the pace by formally declaring their intention to run for President in about 13 months to general election.

The National leader of APC, and former governor of Lagos, Senator Bola Tinubu, had muddied the country’s political waters when he visited President Buhari on Monday in the Presidential villa to inform him of his Presidential ambition.

After the Bourdillon-based political god-father announced his intention, Messrs. Orji Kalu and Dave Umahi, from the Southeastern region of the country, have also come out to announce their intention to represent the APC in the Presidential election.

Governor Umahi of Ebonyi state declared his intention, like Tinubu, by visiting the President in Abuja, while Kalu, a former governor of Abia state and currently Chief Whip of the Senate, announced his intention when speaking with Journalists at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja.

Read also: Orji Kalu shares lessons learned during detention in Kuje Prisons

However, Kalu has specifically taken on Tinubu as his major contender for the Party’s ticket saying he could match the latter “in person and in pocket”.

Kalu described the contest for the APC Presidential ticket as a ‘roforofo fight’ alluding to the contest as a bout involving dirty politics.

“I am capable to face anybody. But the party is supreme. I only wait for APC as a party. I am used to roforofo fight; it is a fight which anybody can do,” he boasted.

Meanwhile, Kalu also appealed to ethnic sentiment, making a case for the Southeast region to be given a chance to produce the next President of the country.

He said the other major ethnic regions have had their chances to lead the country except the Southeast.

He said, “I do not see Tinubu’s aspiration having any effect on the President of Nigeria coming from the Igbo area, because we are talking based on what people should believe.

“Obasanjo had been there for 8 years, Osinbajo is doing 8 years as Vice President, but no Igbo man since Independence has been democratically elected President.”

Kalu boasted that he is “the most prepared and formidable candidate for the Presidential position”, hoping that the APC would give him a chance by zoning the Presidential ticket to the Southeast.

“I am not against Tinubu. If it is zoned to his area, and the party says he should go, well, the party is supreme, because I am only waiting for the party, but to run for President, I think I am the most prepared. I have done it before in 2007. I will be the most formidable candidate in Eagle Square. I am ready to face anybody.

“I have nothing against his (Tinubu’s) ambition, but as far as the party is zoning it to the South, Southeast should take preference. That is how it should be and that is what I stand for. I will be very ready to face him in Eagle Square for the ticket, and I will get it to be President.”

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka…

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Ogun Assembly summons LG officials over alleged financial infractions, abuse of office

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Ogun state House of Assembly has summoned some officials of the state’s Local government council commission over allegations of financial infractions and abuse of office.

The Assembly summoned the officials after it received an audit report on the commission by the assembly’s Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-corruption.

After its Plenary on Friday, the commitee directed the Permanent Secretary of the commission to formally communicate it’s summon to the officials indicted in the audit report.

The committee audited activities of all 20 Local Government Councils from 2014-2019.

The Committee summoned one retired Mrs. F.O Odebiyi and a former Chairman of the defunct Sagamu South LCDA, Barr. Hassan Olugbenga to appear before the lawmakers on Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 to explan financial infractions allegedly committed while in office.

READ ALSO: Ogun Assembly confirms commissioner nominee

The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Musefiu Lamidi disclosed that the committee had discovered a trend of illicit practices perpetrated by some officials including non attachment of supporting documents to payment vouchers and the use of unqualified officials as conduit pipes to siphon council funds.

“The commitee also discovered nugatory payments, improper signing of payment vouchers and self procurements by some council chairmen amongst others which were against financial regulations, hence the need to prevent the re-occurence with a view to sustaining transparency in the running of the councils,” he said.

The Committee also reaffirmed its invitation to all Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGAs), Treasurers and Directors, General Services and Administrations as well as Internal Auditors in all the Local Government councils for an interactive session on Wednesday, 16th February, 2022.

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka

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IPOB warns Asari Dokubo over comments against Kanu

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Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has warned former Niger Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo, to mind his utterances and comments against their incarcerated leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The Igbo separatist group took exception to recent disparaging comments credited to the founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force against Kanu and the Biafra cause, cautioning him to mind what he says as he is neither a member of IPOB nor a Biafran.

In the past few weeks, Asari Dokubo has been in the forefront of those urging the Federal Government not to release Kanu, claiming that the Biafra agitator had been instigating violence and killings in the South-East.

But in a statement issued by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary on Friday, the group said it never declared war on Dokubo as he had been claiming, and would be held responsible if any IPOB member died in the coastal areas or hinterlands.

In the statement made available to Ripples Nigeria, IPOB accused Dokubo of sabotaging the Biafra agitation and efforts because of his hatred for Kanu.

“We the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to put the whole world on notice, particularly the Izon people, of the unguarded and nonsense statements coming out from Asari Dokubo against the people of IPOB and our leader because when it will starts, nobody should blame us.

“Asari Dokubo numerated how he sabotaged and planned how our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was abducted and extraordinarily renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria.

“Asari Dokubo should know that he is not an Igbo man, and should stop portraying himself so. Igbos believe in equity and justice and Igbos don’t need a traitor like Asari Dokubo.

READ ALSO: IPOB warns of fake Biafran media groups allegedly sponsored by Nigerian govt

“Asari Dokubo should equally remember that IPOB never declared war against him since he started his nonsense statements against IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu. We don’t want to be distracted or join issues with him.

“But we want to make it categorically clear to him that if any IPOB member, both in the hinterland and coastal region of Biafra, dies as a result of his threats, he will understand what IPOB is capable of doing.

“Again, we want him to withdraw his empty threats and stop exposing his historical shortcomings and ignorance by dabbling into a century that he has completely no idea about. Asari Dokubo is not an Igbo and has no link with the Igbo people.

“Igbos don’t need Asari to live their lives. Asari should know that he doesn’t, and can never love Igbo people more than Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB movement.

“Asari Dokubo should know that his sabotage of the Biafran struggle will not stop us from getting Biafran freedom. His grouse with Nnamdi Kanu was because he was more interested in becoming the President of Biafra, and he was told to wait first until Biafra comes.

“He turned against Kanu and Biafra freedom because he hates the truth. Asari thinks that his criminal gangs sponsored by Aso Rock and some politicians in the region will kill IPOB members and blame it on Igbo people. We know who he is and he will soon regret his actions against a just cause,” the statement added.

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INEC assures disabled persons of priority voting rights

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) of unhindered access in exercising their franchise in the February 12 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) area councils’ elections.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) FCT, Yahaya Bello, gave the assurance on Friday,  in his remarks at a one day sensitisation meeting with PWDs toward an Inclusive Area Council Elections in FCT, organised by INEC.

Mr Yahaya, represented by the Deputy Director, ServiCom INEC FCT, Dennis Ogu, said that INEC having taken into consideration the electoral rights of every citizen, had continued to strive to remove barriers which prohibited full participation of PWDs as voters and candidates.

“The commission has therefore put in place several measures to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the electoral process in the country.

“Therefore, in the forthcoming area council election, the commission will be providing Braille Ballot Guide and/or magnifying glasses for visually impaired persons.

“Special queues will also be maintained on the election day to give priority to the persons with disabilities to cast their ballots with dignity and privacy.

“Other measures will be explained to you by relevant departments in the course of this meeting,” Mr Bello said.

The REC said the sensitisation meeting was organised to ensure that every registered voter in FCT, including PWDs exercised their civic rights in the election without hindrance or inhibition.

(NAN)

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