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Makinde Absent As Oyo PDP Campaigns for Atiku

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The Peoples Democratic Party chieftains, including a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (State), Jumoke Akinjide, and a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Wole Oyelese, on Wednesday, campaigned for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Others who campaigned for the former vice president under the auspices of National Mandate Group, Oyo state chapter, were former Minister of State for FCT, Hon. Olajumoke Akinjide; former Oyo Deputy Governor, Hazeem Gbolarumi, and Director Special Duty, PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Femi Babalola (Jogor), among others.

The party stalwarts, youths, women and mobilisers from across the state were seen on major streets in the Ibadan metropolis marching with banners and campaigning for Atiku ahead of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Seyi Makinde, and his loyalists were conspicuously absent at the rally held to garner support for the former vice president.

Makinde and his loyalists were also absent at the pre-Atiku Freedom March press conference held at the state Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Tuesday.

The campaign for Atiku in Oyo was also coming ahead of the visit of the G5 governors to Oyo for Makinde’s reelection campaign inauguration on Thursday (today). The PDP G5 governors include Governors Nyesom Wike, Samuel Ortom, Seyi Makinde, Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Rivers, Benue, Oyo, Abia and Enugu States respectively.

The PUNCH had on Monday reported that moves by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to persuade aggrieved the G5 governors to embrace peace may have failed.

Wike, Ortom, Makinde, Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi and some political heavyweights from the South had parted ways with the PDP presidential candidate over his alleged refusal to prevail on the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign after Atiku, a northerner, clinched the presidential ticket of the party.

But speaking with newsmen during the campaign, Akinjide said Atiku was a pan-Nigerian and one who would lead Nigeria out of her current Socioeconomic and political challenges.

“We will campaign for Atiku in Oyo on the basis of merit and on the basis of fidelity to our great party. There’s really no divide in the PDP. It is a fight for space. So, I don’t think the public should worry themselves because the day they makeup, they’d be on television smiling and back-slapping and calling each other brother and you wonder why you wasted so much energy on it.

“Let us face what is of concern to 200 million Nigerians which is the five points agenda to recover and restore Nigeria which Atiku is proposing.

“Our presidential candidate is promising to unite Nigeria, secure the country, build a prosperous economy, restructure and devolve power to the federating units, and education system that allows our people to compete nationally and globally and these are core issues that are of interest to the Nigerian people.”

Speaking on the G5 governors’ visit, Akinjide said, “On Thursday (today), we will be having the Governor’s own rally and inauguration. All of us intend to be there as well, but I want to say something: If some of tomorrow’s visitors come and speak against PDP or Atiku, what are we going to say? No to their antics! We are brave people and we must demonstrate that tomorrow.”

The Punch

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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