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June 12: Otunba Ashiru Sues for Peace, Unity

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Nigerians have been urged to use the occasion of June 12 celebration to pray for unity, peace and justice in the country as a true reflection of the lessons imbibed from the historic 1993 presidential election adjudged to be the most credible ever where electorate across all barriers voted overwhelmingly for the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) late Chief MKO Abiola.

Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry and consensus aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun East Senatorial District, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru stated this in his message on the celebration of Democracy Day.

Observation of June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day in Nigeria, Otunba Ashiru said opened another glorious chapter in our political history as a nation as it further entrenched the ideals of democracy and underscored the commitment of the present Administration under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari to fast track the essence of democracy as people’s government.

“The nation was put on the brink some twenty five years ago when the election was annulled and five years after in 1998 when the symbol of the struggle, Chief MKO Abiola died in custody”.

“The incident occasioned by protests, destruction of property, arrests, imprisonment and assassination remained indelible in the psyche of Nigerians and the date became a recurring decimal remembered with bitter experience and unprecedented trauma which only God averted what could have resulted in another mayhem”.

Commending the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the election and recognise Chief MKO Abiola as the winner and confer on him the highest National honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Otunba Ashiru stated was unprecedented and described it as an act that will shoot up the country’s rating in the comity of nations as a country that is committed to the tenets of self government.  Otunba Ashiru also commended the Governor of Ogun State for his steadfastness in the actualisation of the official recognition of June 12 through his incessant calls and advocacy that have always brought Chief Abiola’s contribution to the development of democracy on the front burner every year.

“The efforts of Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun must not go unsung considering his altruistic commitment to make Ogun indigenes and residents savour dividends of democracy by embarking on projects that will eradicate poverty and create wealth in abundance for the people. This was the main theme of the SDP campaign then and the best way to remember a fallen hero and martyr of democracy is to hold aloft his glowing attribute,” he concluded.

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Wike Not Sincere with Makinde, Ortom, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi – PDP PCC

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A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”

The Punch

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Presidential Candidate: PDP PCC Accuses Wike of Frustration, Lack of Integrity

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The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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