Leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been urged by the All Progressives Congress Grassroots Governance Group (APC-G3) to refrain from involving the ruling party in their thorny problems.
The recommendation was made in a statement released on Tuesday in Abuja by Kingsley Ndunagu, the APC-deputy G3’s national publicity secretary.
Ndunagu expressed concern that Sen. Walid Jibrin, the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, was attempting to impose religion on the APC’s selection of presidential and vice presidential candidates.
“It is wrong of Jibrin to say that the problems arising from PDP’s presidential primary could not be compared with the situation in the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket issues.
“The PDP leaders are aware that their party may not even come out second in the presidential election.
“This informed their desperation to drag the formidable Tinubu/Shettima ticket into their trouble,’’ he stated.
Ndunagu emphasised that Christians and Muslims have been living together as one in the country and would continue to do so.
He challenged PDP to explain to Nigerians how it intends to build national unity having reneged on the agreement to let power rotate.
“Their selfishness did not allow them to acknowledge the unity and stability of Nigeria like the APC did.
“Christians and Muslims have been living together in Nigeria, but selfish politicians are trying to divide us.
“The PDP should explain what they will tell Nigerians who want to live as one, how they want to unite our country.
“This is the same people who called for power rotation in 2014, but are now working against it.
“The APC as a responsible party wants all Nigerians to be one, irrespective of religion and ethnicity.’’ Ndunagu stressed.
He argued that APC leaders, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari and northern governors went for power rotation.
“That is the way to go in a multi-ethnic society. From all indications, PDP may not even be in the second position in the presidential election, hence their desperation.
“Nigerians must see the Tinubu-Shettima ticket as being here to serve the country, and not a particular group of people,’’ Ndunagu added. (NAN)
Gov elections: Police to deploy drones, others in Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa
The police have said they will deploy adequate personnel, including plain clothes officers, for the governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states slated for November 11.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed in an interview with one of our correspondents that some anti-riot equipment such as teargas canisters, water cannons, Armoured Personnel Carriers and drones would be used by policemen during the elections.
Adejobi disclosed that the leadership of the police had held several meetings with the Independent National Electoral Commission at the level of a committee co-chaired by the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
Saturday PUNCH reported that with about seven weeks to the off-season elections, there is palpable political tension in the three states as thugs have continued to inflict terror on parties and supporters, especially those in the opposition in the states.
The report also noted that governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa have in recent years been marred by several unsettling events. This has led to avoidable loss of lives and property.
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State is seeking re-election, likewise his counterpart in Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, while Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is rounding off his second term and is supporting the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ododo, whom he anointed among the aspirants to win the party’s primary.
Adejobi however said, “For our preparation towards the off-cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, we have done our operational order for each of these states and we are very ready for deployment.
“We have shared our election duty documents – the Standard Operating Procedures – with our personnel. Since it’s an off-season election, we are going to have adequate personnel deployed.
“The Inspector-General of Police has directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations to circulate the operation order and Standard Operations Procedure – just like a bucket note that everyone deployed for the assignment would be armed with.
““We are going to deploy our equipment as well to make sure that each of the three states is fortified for free, fair and credible elections. We have enough equipment, arms and ammunition, teargas canisters, water cannons, armoured personnel carriers, drones, and our plain clothes officers would also be on the fields to gather intelligence for us.”
No rigging – APC
Meanwhile, the governing All Progressives Congress has disclosed that contrary to speculations by the opposition, it has no plan to rig the November 11 elections.
The rebuttal came barely one week after the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, in the company of some governors, ministers and heavyweights in the party inaugurated the campaign council for Uzodinma’s re-election in Imo State amid funfair.
A similar swearing-in ceremony took place two weeks ago when the APC national chair stormed Kogi State with another political delegation for a 191-member campaign train for Bello’s anointed candidate, Ododo
Reacting to the development, the Chief Spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, also expressed concern that it would be unfortunate if the ruling APC was planning to reduce the country to a one-party state.
He added, “Already, there is a narrative that if you can generate money, no matter how much or where you got it from, you can use it to manipulate. That is the new narrative now. All those rules and regulations that we used to have don’t matter anymore to anybody. They are killing democracy all in the name of redefining it.”
Reacting, APC’s Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, kicked against the notion by challenging critics of the ruling party to provide evidence to substantiate the claim that the party was planning to rig.
He stated, “They are just crying wolf where none exists. Instead of doing their homework and marketing their franchise to the electorate, they are busy creating confusion in their own imaginations and sending it to the public thinking such sympathy can work in their favour. No, it doesn’t work that way. Now, they want to use this so that when they lose, they can claim the election was rigged.”
INSECURITY: US warns Americans against visiting 18 Nigerian states
The US Department of State has advised Americans to reconsider travelling to Nigeria “due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs.”
Following its travel advisory update done on Wednesday, the US noted that some areas “have increased risk”.
It advised its citizens against travelling to Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping; Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping; Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and armed gangs.
It further noted that “violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, roadside banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.”
The Department, however, advised citizens who still choose to travel to Nigeria to: “Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed. Regarding Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and Northern Adamawa states, the US insisted that the security situation in the states was “fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.”
Tribunal to deliver judgment on Lagos governorship election on Monday
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Lagos will on Monday deliver judgment in the suits challenging the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, are challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu at the March 18 governorship election.
The Justice Arum Ashom-led panel communicated this message to parties on Saturday.
On August 12, lawyers in the petitions adopted their final written addresses before the tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 18 governorship election.
Sanwo-Olu had won the election by a landslide, defeating Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, who came second.
The Lagos State Governor polled 762,134 votes to beat Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran (Jandor) of the PDP came a distant third, polling 62,449 votes
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