Connect with us

Politics

ZONING: NUMBER OF SOUTH WEST, SOUTH SOUTH ASPIRANTS BETRAYAL OF SOUTH EAST ON 2023 IGBO PRESIDENCY – UMAHI

Published

on

Jonathan’s presence in APC wonders of the world, purchase of form to embarrass him

Political solution on Kanu’s release being delayed by Ohaneze Ndigbo

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has described the number of aspirants that have emerged from South-South and South West for the presidential election in 2023 as a betrayal of loyalty of the South East on rotational presidency.

This is even as he has described the presence of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the race for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be another wonder of the world.

The Governor, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to present him a “Thank you” letter from Southeast leaders following his recent two-day working visit to Ebonyi, told State House Correspondents, the South as a whole made a demand that the presidency should rotate between the north and South.

According to him, the South East had thought that having supported South West for eight years and supported South-South for six years, it will be their turn come 2023 for fairness, equity and justice.

Umahi said but the south east became suspicious that collective, sincere and genuine request was being sabotaged with the number of aspirants that have come out to seek to fill the height office in the land come 2023.

He said: “We were all part of that meeting on the side of the southern governors. But some of us, you know, thought it was a collective request. And it was, you know, a sincere and genuine request and we believe it is.

“But we also thought that they had South East in mind, since South East has supported South West for eight years and supported South-South for six years. And this was the thoughts that the South East, you know, had in mind. But when the game became on, and a lot of people from South West, a lot of people from South-South and their numbers in each of these regions, you know, are even more than that of South East.

“Our people became suspicious of this collective request and agitation. And so they’re demanding that if the basis of asking for presidency to come to the South, is on the platform of that equity, justice and fairness, that on moral ground that South East should have the right of first refusal. But that is not the case. And so a lot of people are beginning to think that in the first place, it was not a genuine demand. And it wasn’t based on fairness, equity and justice. And that it could be termed to be blackmail.

“And so our position is that look, if everybody from the South is going to be vying for this, then, why is it that everybody from the north, you know, who wishes not join to vie for it. Meaning that we’ve jettison the so called equity, justice and the fairness, and there will be jettisoning zoning.

“And so I wouldn’t know how anybody else outside South East and maybe North East, will be talking about equity, fairness and justice, if such a person is also contesting.

“So that platform could be termed to be, a ploy to deceive or in another language, a blackmail.

“Our position remains that it is the turn of South East, if it is to rotate between north and the South. And if it is thrown open on the basis of these two regions, North East and the South East, then they’ll have equal steak, if we’re talking about justice, equity and fairness. But if that’s not what we’re talking, then it will be immoral for South East people to join. And we will continue to demand for a southen president, I think they should come out of that dream and begin to ask for South East presidency.”

Speaking on Jonathan joining the race for the presidency on the platform of ruling party, Umahi said that it would be difficult for the ruling party to campaign with Jonathan as its presidential candidate.

He said even though there have been denials regarding the former President’s rumoured move to the APC, if he eventually joins the ruling party it would be a material for Guinness Book of Records.

The Governor wondered how the APC would reconcile its policies and promises with those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under which Jonathan was President.

Asked his perspective on the Jonathan in the race, he said: “Jonathan is my father and God used him and the wife to make me a governor of the state and so, anybody who has done anything for me, I’ve always remained very grateful to such person and I will continue to be very grateful to him, the wife for being available and my destiny helper, to achieve that feat.

“Probably if that miracle did not take place, then the miracles that happened in Ebonyi State, in terms of total evolution and transformation wouldn’t have taken place.

“So, he’s a man we can’t forget, just like Sani Abacha, who created the state and Mr. President. Of course, we’ve named the airport after him, we’ve named the light tunnel after him, we’ve named the Presidential Lodge after him.

“Good intention that we don’t forget people who have helped us, but on the question of joining, I may not say much about that because I’ve seen a lot of write-ups, denials, but if a decides to join and to run, it will, for me, become one of the wonders in this century.

“The reason is that if you go and see the campaign programmes of APC and you now ask President Jonathan to come and run, I don’t know what will be our campaign promises and what will be the stories we’ll be telling Nigerians.

“I believe strongly that he was not aware of the forms and I want to believe that people that are mischievous would have bought the forms to embarrass him.

“But from what I read, he has quickly distanced himself from that. But like I said, if that is not the case, then the Guinness Book of Records is not totally filled up.”

On political solution on the issue of leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to deescalate tension in the zone, Umahi said, Buhari has finished his beat by agreeing to the deal but Ohaneze Ndigbo has been the one foot-dragging and refusing to do the needful.

He said: “On the issue of political solution, I’ve said it and I can’t say better than what I’ve said, many months back. I had explained to you here, when I met with Mr. President, I had a very detailed and frank discussion about that particular matter, because you know, South East people are tired. And I’ve always said that we are not in of the support agitation to secede from the Nigerian nation. We want to belong to a Nigerian nation. And as the chairman of South East governors forum, I’ve said it publicly ,I’ve defended it. I don’t care about the attacks. I don’t care about those who have taken to politics of that unfortunate matter in our place.

“And so Mr. President graciously granted my request for political solution. But you see, when Mr. President repeatedly says the matter is in court, we must appreciate his pedigree and his integrity. We cannot just ask Mr. President and he will say, okay, I’m going to destroy the matter in court. No. But there’s always room for dialogue, and out of court settlement. And that’s what we’re looking for. And then, Mr. President, said your cultural leadership should be able to initiate that with the Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer.

“It’s been over six months, I have been begging the Ohaneze president to take up that responsibility. When I was going to take that permission, he supported it, and we all agreed. And then our leader, Chief Mbazuluike has also met the president and he was well received. And, you know, he told us that the president is also well disposed to political solution.

“Mr President is a man with a good heart, he is a kind man, a man who would release billions of Naira to his worse baseless critics, at the time of election, you know, I wouldn’t do that as Mr. President.

“I need to be very frank, I’ve never seen such a good heart. And so he has no joy in the incarceration of anybody, he has no joy in the pains of anybody. He is a man that would say, use this instrumentality to go after my perserved enemies.

“So that is the position. So we are waiting for the president of ohaneze to kickstart this political dialogue. And I’ve met with the Attorney General, he is very well disposed to it. I’ve met the director general of SSS and he is very well disposed. I’ve met with the IGP. So the ball is in our hands. And the President, you know, has discharged himself creditably as a man of peace and a father to every section of this country.”

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Politics

NNPP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, KWANKWASO, EX-GOVERNOR FAYOSE MEET GOVERNOR WIKE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN PORT HARCOURT

Published

on

GOVERNOR NYESOME WIKE, NNPP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, RABIU KWANKWASO, EX-GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE, AYO FAYOSE

The Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, together with a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Friday paid a visit to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt.

Though the reason for their meeting is yet to be known, there are speculations that it is connected to the 2023 presidency and also on the forthcoming general elections.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, also met with Wike, behind closed doors in Port-Harcourt.

Both men, however, did not speak on the purpose of the meeting, as journalists were not granted access.

Obi’s visit comes four days after the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, also met with Governor Wike at about 9pm behind closed doors.

SAHARAREPORTERS

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Politics

RIVERS STATE GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATE PICKS TONTO DIKEH AS RUNNING MATE

Published

on

Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh

Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh has announced that she is the running mate to the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Rivers State, Tonte Ibraye for the 2023 election.

“I thank Mr. Tonte Ibraye the Governorship Candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Rivers State for nominating me as his running mate,” Tonto Dikeh said in an Instagram post.

“We are looking forward to investing massively in social protection, creating a social value system for young people, increasing women’s inclusion in our governance system, supporting small businesses and strengthening our traditional institutions to be active players in the drive to bring sustainable development to the good people of Rivers State.

“I am glad to be a proud member of the #RiversRescueMission2023 Please get your PVC and join the movement. You are the Future and The future is now!TonteTonto2023.”

Ibraye won the ADC governorship ticket during the primary elections in early June.

The vice chairman of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Abuja chapter defeated Dr. Warmeth Wright and Joyce Barida in a primary election organised by the party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

Ibraye, an advocate for maternal, newborn, and child health, polled 187 votes out of 188 votes.

A representative of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Emmanuel Isong, who monitored the exercise, described it as free and fair.

Ibraye called for full implementation of the Electoral Act in all processes leading to the general election, especially the enforcement of the provision for electronic transmission of results during the poll.

Addressing the delegates, he said: “One thing I must tell you is that, you have made history today. It will no longer be business as usual.”

“I believe some of you are aware some people will contest and they go to the ruling party to endorse them. I must assure you that I will not use your votes to trade with anyone.”

THE GUARDIAN

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Politics

OBI, KWANKWASO YET TO AGREE ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, RUNNING MATE

Published

on

Peter Obi, a former Anambra State governor and LP presidential candidate and Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor and presidential candidate of the NNPP.

The joint panel set up by the Labour Party and the New Nigeria People’s Party to work out an alliance between Rabiu Kwankwaso and Mr Peter Obi has submitted its report for consideration, findings by Saturday PUNCH have revealed.

Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor and presidential candidate of the NNPP, is said to have a strong followership in the North with his Kwankwasiyya movement, while Obi, a former Anambra State governor and LP presidential candidate, is having an increasing support base among youths in the southern part of the country and the social media.

While it is no longer possible for political parties to merge, in line with Section 81 (2) of the Electoral Act, both presidential candidates are working on a joint ticket with the hope of defeating the ruling All Progressives Congress, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and others in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

The Section 81 (2) reads, “Political parties intending to merge shall each give to the commission nine months’ notice of their intention to do so before a general election.” Already, the 2023 general elections will commence on February 25, which is less than nine months away.

Kwankwaso in an interview about a week ago confirmed that a committee was set up to work on the alliance and that conversation was ongoing. He said, “We are in talks with Peter Obi and a committee is working to look into how to form a merger between us.

“The merger is important because as you can see, both the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party did not pick their running mates from the South-East.”

As the deadline for the substitution of candidates and running mates for the presidential and National Assembly candidates draws near, there is a mounting anxiety among the supporters of the two candidates over the progress made in the alliance talks.

Meanwhile, the running mate to Obi and director-general of his campaign organisation, Dr Doyin Okupe, confirmed to Saturday PUNCH that the panel had concluded its sitting and talks were ongoing on the way forward.

Okupe said, “A committee was set up before now and the committee has completed its work. There have been informal meetings and third party stakeholders interventions and we have had structured official meetings too.

“In all, we came to two agreements; one is that we are going to work together as political parties in order to achieve this change that we all desire. What we did not agree upon is who would be the president and who would be the vice-president. We didn’t agree on that. But we left it open.”

Asked if the parties would agree on the issue before the deadline for political parties to submit the names of their final running mates, Okupe said, “We are aware of the deadline, and we are working on it. When we adjourned our last meeting, we adjourned sine die. So, if there is a change, we will reconvene. But we are moving on. There is no problem. We have agreed to work together to create a platform for a national coalition, so that objective is still in place.”

Also, the National Chairman, NNPP, Prof Rufai Alkali, told Saturday PUNCH in an interview that the party was engaging with the people and getting support and solidarity from many places.

When asked who would become the candidate and running mate between Kwankwaso and Obi, Alkali said, “Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso is a seasoned politician and he knows the country very well. Certain decisions have to be taken at the appropriate time in a way and manner that would bring more strength and credibility to this journey.”

Asked if a decision had been reached on it, he said, “When we do, you will be among the first to know. No decision yet.”

About the panel’s report, he said, “I am not aware of anything and I am not going to comment on that.”

On the prospect of the NNPP in 2023, Alkali said, “I have been in other parties before the NNPP, and I must say it is amazing. We keep receiving calls from people that are likely to join us and we are making a lot of progress.”

Sources in both the NNPP and LP confirmed to Saturday PUNCH that an influential former President was among those being consulted on the issue.

Kwankwaso in Rivers

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday received Kwankwaso in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

After losing the PDP presidential primary to Atiku Abubakar and the running mate slot to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Wike, who is said to be aggrieved by the development, has continued to receive high-profile politicians, including Obi who visited him on Thursday.

Meanwhile, both of them were seen in front of the Wike’s residence exchanging pleasantries on Friday. This was about 24-hours after a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, as well as the senate minority caucus led by its leader, Philip Aduda.

The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, also visited Wike on Wednesday, while Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State visited him earlier in the week.

It is believed that the visits have to do with the forthcoming presidential election. All the visits were followed by a closed-door meeting but the outcome had remained unknown.

…19 days to go

Meanwhile, the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that political parties have until July 15 to withdraw or replace their candidates and their running mates for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

By implication, the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Obi of the Labour Party and other candidates who submitted interim names for running mates have about 19 days away to submit the final names.

Item six of the timetable read, “Last day for withdrawal by candidate(s)/replacement of withdrawn candidate(s) by political parties for the presidential and National Assembly (elections) is July 15, 2022, while for the governorship and state Houses of Assembly is August 12, 2022. Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022 provides not later than 90 days to the election.”

The APC and its presidential candidate had been confronted with the possibility of a Muslim/Muslim ticket, given that Tinubu is a Muslim from a Christian-dominated South while his running mate is expected to come from the North, which is dominated by Muslims.

The Christian Association of Nigeria and other groups and individuals vehemently opposed a Muslim/Muslim or Christian/Christian presidential ticket, saying such would be insensitive and rejected by the people.

Voter registration extension

Amid the growing public clamour for the June 30 deadline for the continuous voter registration to be extended, INEC has said it is unable to extend the exercise for now because the matter is already subjudice.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and 185 concerned Nigerians had filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos asking the court for, among other things, an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to extend voter registration by a minimum of three months and take effective measures to ensure that eligible Nigerians are able to register to exercise their right to vote in the 2023 general elections.

Speaking on rumours that the commission had agreed to extend the exercise for 60 days in line with the request of the House of Representatives, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission had not extended the June 30 deadline.

In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, Oyekanmi said, “INEC has not extended the CVR deadline. What the commission did about two weeks ago when we noticed pressure in particular areas, namely the South-East states, Lagos, Kano, and the Federal Capital Territory, was to send additional 209 INEC Voter Enrollment Devices to those areas to ease the CVR procedure.

“The commission wanted to wait and assess the effect of that action to determine the next step, but that is by the way now because SERAP went to court and tried to stop us from stopping the CVR.

“What the court has said, as part of its order, is that we should not announce any date or end the CVR but come on June 29 to respond to issues raised in the suit filed by SERAP. So now, even if we want to extend, we cannot do anything until we have answered the court and responded robustly to the issues raised in the suit and that would be on June 29. So, we can’t take any action on the CVR until then.”

Also speaking on the issue, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in an interview on Channels Television on Friday night that the chairman of the commission was disposed to extending the exercise.

He noted that the surge in the number of registrants lately had made the extension inevitable.

He added, “We are going before the Federal High Court on June 29 to put the cards on the table. We are convinced that after we make our arguments, the court will be convinced on the reason why we cannot extend the CVR beyond a certain period.

“But we are convinced, given the enthusiasm of Nigerians and the new resolve of Nigerians to register that an extension is inevitable and the commission is disposed towards extending the period for the CVR but not up to the period that some people are canvassing.”

He said it would be a futile exercise to extend the registration and be unable to print the permanent voter cards of those registered and get them to collect the cards and vote. “So, we are favourably disposed to an extension of the CVR,” he added.

‘Tinubu, best candidate’

The Asiwaju Tinubu Campaign Organisation has described the APC presidential candidate as the most successful leader among all the presidential candidates.

The Director-General of the organisation, Chief Adebayo Shittu, at a press conference in Ibadan on Friday, said apart from being a governor of Lagos State for eight years, Tinubu developed leaders who became vice-president,  governors, senators and many others even after leaving power almost 15 years ago.

According to him, governance is not strange to such a leader and getting competent hands to work with him will also not be an issue.

He added, “He turned Lagos State around when he was there. He raised the internally generated revenue of the state and despite that the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, stopped allocation to the state for two years, the state did not suffer. That is the kind of person we need now.

Speaking about Tinubu’s running mate, Shittu stated that he would pick someone who would help him to win. He added, “We should not place too much emphasis on religion or ethnicity. If you board a plane now, you won’t ask them if the pilot is a Muslim or a Christian or the state of origin. What you would be concerned with is the competence and the experience of the pilot. So, we need to be concerned about competence and not religious beliefs.”

LP as alternative

A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the recently held primaries, Sam Ohuabunwa, has said Obi has widened the options Nigerians could choose from in 2023.

In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday, he said, “For a long time, it looked as if we had just two options, but now there seems to be the third option. That widens the democratic space and is giving relief to those who want alternatives.

“Though for now, it is too early to say or make any prediction, we are happy that there is a third option for Nigerians. The two parties are formidable and they cannot be glossed over easily.”

Ohuabunwa, who is the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals and former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, maintained that the APC and PDP presidential primaries were characterised by vote-buying.

“The monetisation of our politics is depressing because at both the APC and PDP primaries, everybody saw the impact of big money. If we thought it was just for the primaries of the leading parties, we also saw smaller parties complain about money and all that. If we leave the primaries and come to the general elections, we see the accusations going on in Ekiti (governorship elections). It is depressing for people like us.”

PUNCH

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Trending