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LP Threatens Protests over Alleged Plan to Manipulate Abia, Enugu Polls Results

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National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Comrade Julius Abure, has vowed that the party would resist what he described as ongoing attempts to manipulate the outcome of ongoing gubernatorial elections in Abia and Enugu states.

He also threatened to call out Obidients on a nationwide protest against the electoral fraud perpetrated against the party both at the presidential/National Assembly and governorship/State Assemblies elections.

Abure, who gave the declaration in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, said:  “We have come to day two of the ongoing governorship and state house assembly elections and what we have continued to witness across the country and reports from our party men on ground, are not in anyway different from the criminality orchestrated against our presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, during the February 25 presidential election.

“Today, we are again witnessing a situation where a sitting governor in Abia State is fully involved in an attempt to upturn the victory of the Labour Party candidate, Alex Otti, in the Abia State governorship election that has been clearly won by our candidate.

“The same scenario is currently playing out in Enugu State where Labour Party’s candidate Chijioke Edeoga is currently leading in virtually all the local governments so far announced.

“As we speak, INEC staff are held hostage at Obingwa Local Govt by Governor Ikpeazu and his cohorts to rewrite the results already compiled by INEC officials, despite order from the election body asking their staff to head to Umuahia to collate results of the election, which is in favour of Labour Party’s Alex Otti.

“This is one robbery too many. While Nigerians are yet to get over the ugly rape of a democratic process in last month presidential election by the ruling party at the centre, the PDP has been found engaged in the most shameless manner and disregard for the rights of the citizens.

“We, therefore, call on the Inspector General of Police to intervene and ensure the transfer of all electoral materials to Umuahia where the sanctity of the election and safety of the officials in charge can be guaranteed.

“Ikpeazu cannot rig election in his local government which he lost in the senatorial elections on the 25th.

“Similarly, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who lost woefully in the last election in Enugu North Senatorial zone is currently doctoring the results from the zone with the help of some compromised INEC staff and Police to ensure that PDP is returned elected in the state against the wishes of the electorate.

“We have endured what no other political party in the country has endured in the last few weeks because we believe in due process but it appears this is taken for granted. But we may not be patient for too long.

“Let me sound it for the first time that we will resist every attempt by the PDP in Abia and Enugu States to upturn our mandate.”

“It should be recalled that the PDP in both states had issued threat to opposition parties, which was specifically targeted at Labour Party after sweeping the states during the presidential election, this threat is already manifesting that the ruling party was only interested in rigging elections.

“The party chairman said Labour Party had thoroughly reviewed all infractions and has reached a decision that never again will it allow the use of foul means to usurp power as was done in the recent past where it was merely asked “to to go to court.”

He threatened that unless these attempt at broad daylight robbery was nipped in the bud, the party will be left with no option than to mobilise Obidients nationwide to occupy the streets.“He further said:  “We have particularly reviewed the rigging of Edo state house assembly elections election, including other affected states and we are putting evidences of infractions in place to name and shame all democratic criminals.

“We have therefore, resolves that in as much as we remain a law-abiding political party, conducting our affairs strictly within the ambit of our nation’s electoral laws, the party will henceforth resist rigging and we will move to the streets to reclaim our stolen mandates.

“We will henceforth directly and physically confront and resist the election riggers from always having a field day in seizing our democratic institutions and circumventing the rules during elections.““ We have directed our supporters across the country to get ready for our signal to take over the streets.”

Vanguard

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My Elegy on the Sad Passage of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Ayaoghena Dokpesi, Ph.D, OFR

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By Mike Ozekhome

I am a very sad man as I write this. I am completely devastated by the ugly news of the rather sudden death of my elder brother, friend, kinsman, soulmate and confidant, HIGH CHIEF RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI.

Dokpesi had called me on WHATSAPP at about 1.30am THIS MORNING (29th May, 2023). He called me to discuss friendship, brotherhood and take advice on sundry legal matters. He exuded his usual happiness, vibrancy, and gusto, notwithstanding that he has had some health challenges for some time. His voice was quite rich, steady and filled with laughter, as we taunted and bantered with each other, as we were wont to do whenever we encountered
each other. We exchanged chats and spoke up to about 1.50am this morning. So when Chief Tony Akiotu (GMD, DAAR Communication) and Senator Francis Alimhikhena called me to break the sad news of his death from the very hospital where he was said to have been rushed to, I could not believe my ears. It took another communication from his first son, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr to melt my lethargic world of disbelief. Was the Ezomo of Weppa Wanno Kingdom’s call to me a FAREWELL from him? Did he have the premonition of his imminent death? I do not know. Gosh!!! One thing is clear to me as I grieve: Weppa – Wanno, Etsako, Afenmailand, Edo State, Nigeria, Africa, the black race, and indeed the whole world, has lost an unforgettable and uncommon shining star and gem. At a mere 71, Dokpesi lived a life of nobility; a life wholly dedicated to the service of God and humanity. He impacted the most vulnerable through his many philanthropic works. In the maritime world, he stood tall and resplendent, earning a Ph.D in Maritime Engineering. He was to become the nullus secondus of the media world where he became a Czar, the Ted Turner of African broadcasting.

Dokpesi indeed pioneered and blazed private independent broadcasting of television and radio in Nigeria and Africa, establishing Raypower and the African Independent Television (AIT). It was unheard of that a single individual could challenge and break decades of government’s dominance and monopoly of information through radio and television. But, the Araba of Oshoroland and Oghierumhoa of Weppa Wanno Kingdom did just that. In politics, Dokpesi was a master strategist and iconic tactician. His name vibrated and revibrated across Nigeria for decades in Nigeria’s political firmament. He epitomized the soul and spirit of DAAR. Not many Nigerians know that DAAR is actually a reversed acronym of his name – RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI (RAAD).

The Ezomo came. He saw. He conquered. He ran a good race. He finished well. May God grant this legend and collosus eternal repose of his great soul until we meet to part no more.

tseee, Itseee lagi Itseee

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Police Arrest Four Yoruba Nation Agitators for Seizing Radio Station

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Some Yoruba Nation agitators, on Sunday morning, seized Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, taking over broadcast for more than one hour.

A source told The PUNCH Metro that the agitators, who besieged the station around 5:40 am in an 18-seater bus, were armed with dangerous weapons and charms, threatening to deal decisively with any staff member who refused to cooperate with them.

However, four out of the agitators, among whom was a woman, were arrested by the police with the assistance of the Nigerian army, while others ran into different directions to evade arrest.

One of the arrested agitators, who sustained gunshot wounds, had rushed into the studio to tell others that security operatives had taken over the nooks and crannies of the station. The blood stain was seen in the studio.

An investigation by our correspondent revealed that after holding some night duty staff and security guards hostage, the agitators hijacked the studio and announced live on radio “Welcome to Yoruba Nation.”

An impeccable source further said they continued threatening staff members to remove all Nigeria flags in the station and replace them with Yoruba Nation flags as they have already taken over the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

It was further learnt that they initially hijacked some commercial vehicles (Micra) to block the main road.

When our correspondent visited the station at J&P Bus-stop, Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, more than 20 operational vehicles of security agents, including Department of State Services were sighted at strategic locations to forestall any eventuality.

Confirming the invasion, the most senior staff on duty, Ajayi Omotola, stated that, “They told us that they are Yoruba Nation agitators. And in their T-shirt, there was that inscription there. They wrote Yoruba Nation. Only six persons came inside the studio with different charms threatening to kill us if we failed to cooperate. Others were outside manning security at different areas within the premises.

“They collected all our phones and threatened to kill us if we made any noise or phone calls. They said they wanted to broadcast live that Yoruba Nation has taken over. We should remove all Nigeria flags in our studio and replace it with their own. They didn’t allow anybody to go outside. The Area Commander came, addressed and even pleaded with them but they ignored him. We later heard sporadic shooting outside. So, one of our staff members then came inside to inform us that police and soldiers had arrived,” Omotola stressed.

As of press time, normalcy had returned while stern-looking security operatives were still manning the station.

The Punch

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76th Cannes Film Festival Ends with Bang

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The stars on parade at 76th Festival de Cannes

 

By Michael Effiong

The colour, the glamour, the style and class of the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ends today with a big bang.

Festival de Cannes, the film industry’s most prestigious festival will take place at 8:30 pm and will be broadcast live on France 2 and internationally on Brut.

The Jury, presided over by director Ruben Östlund and including director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau, will select the winners from the 21 films in Competition this year.

Actress Anaïs Demoustier, President of the Jury, will hand out the Caméra d’or award to the best first film. Actress Stacy Martin and director Ildikó Enyedi, President of the Short Film and La Cinef Jury, will award the Palme d’or for short films.

Actor Orlando Bloom will hand out the Jury Prize. Actor Song Kang-ho, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actor for Broker and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actress for Holy Spider, will award the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor Prizes respectively.

 

Actor John C. Reilly, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, will award the Best Screenplay Prize, while Pete Docter, Creative Director of Pixar Studios, will present the Best Director Prize.

 

The Festival de Cannes will also be honored by the exceptional presence tonight of legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who will present the Grand Prix alongside virtuoso Quentin Tarantino.

 

Finally, the prestigious Palme d’or will be presented by the formidable and inspiring Jane Fonda.

 

The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the 76th Festival de Cannes, and will be followed by the screening of Peter Sohn‘s film Elementary in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

 

The 21 films competing for the Palme d’or this year are : Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz, Asteroid City by Wes Anderson, Rapito (Kidnapped)(Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters)(Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer) (Last Summer) by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses)(About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, May December by Todd Haynes, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves)(Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, The Old Oak by Ken Loach, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow)(A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) (The Pot-au-Feuby Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) (Anatomy of a Fallby Justine Triet, Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring))(Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing, Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

The Closing ceremony, usually a wonderful evening to behold will be broadcast in English and French by Brut.

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