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Security Tightens As Plot to Disrupt Ekiti APC Primary Again Uncovered

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The security agencies have uncovered a plot to disrupt the Ekiti All Progressives Congress (APC) primary once again as done last Saturday when thugs smashed ballot boxes to the ground.

There were insinuations that some aspirants had resolved to ensure the primary failed to hold at all cost.

The plot was hatched to frustrate the perceived domineering influence of an aspirant on the conduct of the primary.

The aspirant is believed to enjoy the backing of the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

To counter the plot, it was learnt that some aspirants, who held the fear that the primary would be manipulated to give him an undue advantage, were plotting a consensus.

“The plot is that if the primary is frustrated, the party will have no time to organise another primary. The option will then be a consensus candidate or voting among aspirants.”

Findings by our correspondent revealed that no fewer than 10 mobile units were expected for the primary.

As of press time, five mobile policemen units were already on ground.

They are Mobile Unit 02 from Keffi, Obalende Lagos; Unit 37 from Lokoja, Kogi State; Unit 39 Osogbo, Osun State; Unit 15 Ilorin, Kwara State and 22 Odudua, Ikeja, Lagos.

Sixty three mobile policemen make a unit.

Lending credence to the plot to disrupt the primary, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps said it had uncovered a plot to disrupt the primary again by politicians. The Deputy Commandant General, Ahmed Jega, disclosed this at a press briefing in Ado Ekiti on Friday.

He said, “About 2000 men have been mobilised. I want to urge our men to be vigilant and ready to face any challenge. We must not compromise we must be neutral.

“Any staff found wanting or compromising will be officially sanctioned. Staff must be at their duty post.”

Asked why deploying a huge number of his men, Jega said, “We have a security report that some thugs want to destabilise the process and it is part of our responsibility to maintain peace.” Also speaking, the Chairman of the APC Electoral Committee and Nasarawa Governor, Umaru Al-Makura, promised massive security within and outside the venue of the primary on Saturday. He said the committee had discovered that there were fake and spurious observers at the aborted primary.

Al-Makura spoke at a meeting with aspirants and stakeholders in Ado Ekiti.

He said, “There will be no observer for the primary. Only statutory observers: INEC and observers from the National secretariat will be allowed.

“The National secretariat have changed the ballot papers, it is completely new with clear photograph. Aspirants should come alone; for the period of the election leave your escort behind.” Briefing journalists later on the state of preparedness, the governor said accreditation would begin at 8.00 am.

The media parley was attended by the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bello Ahmed; Director of Department of State Services, Mrs. Promise Iheanacho; Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr. Donatus Ikemefuna and Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Ismaila Kugu.

Al-Makura, said 2, 618 delegates would elect the standard bearer of the party while stating that the committee, in collaboration with security agencies, would not allow the exercise to be disrupted or manipulated by anybody.

Al-Makura said, “Any delegate accredited won’t be allowed to go out for any reason. Any delegate that enters the arena must be identified by his party membership card, and extra statutory identity like International Passport, Driver’s Licence and National ID Card.

“Such delegates must be identified with the list given to us by the National Secretariat. All accreditation must be completed for delegates from all the senatorial zones before voting starts. Voting will be done once at a time and it will start with delegates from Ekiti South, the farthest, then to Ekiti North and Ekiti Central, the closest. After identification, delegates will be given ballot paper and they will submit their delegates tag for punching and the will also submit the ropes of their tags.”

He added that some agents that were barred for their involvement in the fracas that broke out in the botched primary would be arrested if found in the vicinity of the primary.

Al-Makura disclosed that some of the hoodlums arrested for disrupting the primary were already being prosecuted in the court. He sought for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure a successful primary saying the panel would be fair to all. Apart from security concerns, aspirants have also engaged themselves in rumour mongering and propaganda.

There was a rumour that a former Commissioner for Budgeting under Kayode Fayemi’s administration, Debo Ajayi, had stepped  down for his former boss.

But Ajayi in a swift response through Debo Ranti Ajayi Campaign Organisation, denied working for Fayemi.

He said, “This is a grossly unfair, incongruous and libellous falsehood that has been addressed in the past as a fabrication of the imagination of mischief makers.

“It is most unfortunate that some persons, who are insecure about their chances at the coming primaries, are bent on perpetrating these lies and rumours.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, my aspiration is a call to service and a response to the agitation of the South Senatorial district to produce the next governor. My motives are borne out of a commitment to the Ekiti Restoration project and the desire to offer my expertise, both as a technocrat and politician, to provide unparalled leadership and the best governance in the service of Ekiti-land.

“It is impossible for a man led by a divine call to be a mere front for another candidate. I therefore intend to participate and if God be true, intend to win in the primary elections.”

It will be recalled that the Special Adviser on Politics to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, on Thursday withdrew from the Ekiti governorship race.

Ojudu said he withdrew his ambition in the interest of the party owing to the growing tension among aspirants on the primary.

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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu

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Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday

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A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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