……Thugs unleash mayhem in Ngwa land, Aba
…..17 INEC staff abducted, released in Imo
….. Imo Deputy Speaker allegedly shoots supporter at polling unit
…..Anambra twitter user arrested, Soludo denies knowledge
….Hoodlums kill LG Chairman in Ebonyi
…”They are not genuine members”, says LP chieftain
About 3,200 members of the Labour Party (LP) have joined the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Abia State, two days to the guber and House of Assembly elections. The defections took place in Obingwa LGA and was led by Hon Maduka Akpulonu, the former Director-General of Chinedu Onyeizu Campaign Organization. The defectors who spoke through their leader, Akpulonu, said they were returning to the PDP where they originally belonged. The new PDP members who promised to work for the victory of Okey Ahaiwe, PDP guber candidate and House of Assembly candidates on March 18, claimed that their days in LP were not eventful, hence their detour to PDP.
Some of the former PDP members like Mathew Okoronkwo, Celine Aghabie among others said their only interest in the LP was to vote for Mr Peter Obi as Nigerian President and nothing more. They noted that since that task of delivering Abia to Obi was excellently executed during the Presidential election, there was no need remaining in Labour Party. They thanked the State Chairman of PDP, Hon Alwell Asiforo Okereke and his executives for accepting them back.
However, the Labour Party House of Representatives candidate for Obingwa/Ugwunagbo/Osisioma Federal Constituency, Hon Ibe Nwoke has disclaimed some reports in the media which claimed that he was one of those the Labour Party members that returned to PDP.
Nwoke described the reports as creations of his political opponents who were jittery of his coming mandate. The former Obingwa LGA Chairman also dismissed the reports that Labour Party has collapsed in Obingwa while assuring his supporters that his victory as the House of Reps elected member would still be realized.
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), and Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), have intensified campaigns for their respective candidates, ahead of the 18 March House of Assembly election in Anambra.
While Peter Obi called on the LP candidates to win and support the APGA-led government, Soludo urged voters in Anambra to ignore Peter Obi and vote for APGA.
Peter Obi, who met with the LP House of Assembly candidates in Anambra on Friday night, called on the candidates to go all out and campaign to win on 18 March.
He said they should win and support the APGA-led government to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
The former governor of Anambra used the opportunity to thank the people of Anambra for their support for LP to win two senatorial and five House of Representatives seats in the 25 February elections.
Obi urged the electorate across the country and in Anambra to go about their campaigns peacefully, as election was not war.
According to him, “I have told my people to go and campaign and win the election.
“Their job as a legislator is to work with the governor and ensure he provides the dividends of democracy to our people. Help him to make good laws on education, health and other sectors.
“Soludo remains our governor. Our job is to support and pray for him,” he said.
“I have told our candidates to go about their campaigns in a peaceful, quiet and organised manner,” he said.
He said he had no issues with Governor Soludo as they remained brothers, best of friends, with different political views.
“He is the governor of my state and I have utmost respect for him. I am contesting for the president of Nigeria and to the best of my knowledge he is not a contestant,” he said.
In his reaction, Governor Soludo described the call by Labour Party’s Peter Obi for Anambra electorate to vote LP as “deceptive” and a “strategy of laying landmines” for him.
Prof. Soludo, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, urged Anambra people to ignore Obi and vote for the APGA candidates for the 30 seats in the House of Assembly.
“That call is inappropriate and meant to deceive the Anambra people. Obi cannot be talking about development in Anambra and also be talking about asking Anambra people to elect lawmakers from an opposition party to work with Soludo.
“He worked with a legislature that was dominated by lawmakers from the PDP and he knows that it was not easy for him.
“He even suffered impeachment because of that, so Anambra people should go all out on March 18 and vote for APGA, if they want the developmental strides of Mr Governor to continue,” he said.
Aburime said instead of canvassing votes for LP, Obi should throw his weight behind the ruling APGA as a payback for the “massive support” the people of Anambra gave him on 25 February.
He urged Anambra people not to relent in retaining APGA in the State Assembly and avoid stalling the economic and security gains achieved by the Soludo administration so far.
According to him, the Anambra people supported Peter Obi, and Governor Soludo refused to interfere as the people trooped out to vote for the LP.
“We voted for the Labour Party in the presidential election, but for the House of Assembly election, we are voting for APGA, and we want Anambra people to know so.”
“APGA has come to stay in Anambra and not the Labour Party,” he said.
Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) a foremost platform for Citizens and Non State Actors stakeholders, has called for caution over allegations making the rounds that Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo was involved in a conspiracy to stop Peter Obi’s popularity and probably put him in harm’s way.
Leader of the group, Prince Chris Azor in his reaction implored all well meaning Citizens and stakeholders, especially Ndi Anambra to be cautious with their utterances and apply decorum in responding to issues around the ongoing general election.
Governor Soludo has already responded to the allegations. Speaking through his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime the Governor said the allegations were “false, malicious and very nauseating”
According to Aburime, “none of the allegations is true. The Governor has been in Anambra State engaging stakeholders for the Saturday election. The general public are advised to disregard the allegations as falsehood. Ndi Anambra should also disregard all the insinuations in the write up as mere falsehoods, If certain people could sit somewhere and cook up a story of this nature, it becomes highly reprehensible and certainly deserved to be condemned by every right thinking person ” he said.
The Press Secretary, described the Governor as the Father of Anambra by his position and would not plot or collude to harm any lawful citizen of the State including Mr Peter Obi, a former Governor and presidential candidate of the Labour Party; a huge human capital for the State and Country.
Comrade Azor who doubles as Citizens Co-chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP) cautioned all stakeholders to avoid unnecessarily heating up the polity with unsubstantiated accusations capable of bringing discord and disharmony among brothers and sisters of one destiny; an act capable of threatening the relative peace enjoyed throughout the exercise.
Governor Soludo in a swift follow up has called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to immediately commence investigation on the alleged report with a view to fishing out the perpetrators.
Comrade Azor therefore, implored all eligible voters to come out in their numbers on Saturday 11th March, 2023 to vote for the candidates of their choice.
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Monday, said the outcome of the February 25 presidential election has vindicated Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, who had predicted that the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, would not win.
Umahi, however, noted that he was not against the South-East Zone for voting massively for Obi, during the presidential election.
The Ebonyi governor spoke at the Ebonyi International Airport, Onueke, in the Ezza South Local Government Area of the state, while addressing stakeholders and people of Ezza clan.
Umahi said, “The All Progressives Congress is not angry or does not condemn Obi’s feat as the South-East has made a strong statement with it.
“One, however, digs with two-arrowed woods so that when one fails to stick on the target, the other wood will stick to it.”
According to Umahi, who is Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, it is always important for any tribe to reserve a slot for negotiation.
He said, “Govenor Charles Soludo of Anambra State harped on this fact and was crucified it; but his words have come to pass. The wise thing for the Igbos to do is to tell themselves the truth that we alone cannot make ourselves President.
“We have to work with other tribes as the South-West did with the North and have succeeded.
“We have to stop being parochial and clannish; who could have believed that Obi was talking with me up till the last minute?” he added.
Soludo had, in an article dated November 14, 2022, asserted that Obi would not win the presidential election.
He stated, “Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know.”
Explaining the need for the Igbo to build alliances, Soludo had stated, “When will Ndigbo understand and learn politics, especially of Nigeria? When Bola Ahmed Tinubu defied the political wind of the time and stood out as the ‘only man standing’ in AD and later AC (before ACN) against a sitting President of Yoruba descent, no one accused him of being ‘anti-Yoruba’.
Indeed, everyone recalls that both Tinubu and President Obasanjo disagreed politically, and probably still disagree—but none is being accused of being ‘anti- Yoruba’. Under Tinubu, the South-West strategically organised under a different political party, the ACN and went into a formidable alliance that kicked out a sitting President (in Africa?), and that alliance is not broken yet. Igbos, in their frenzied Nzogbu nzogbu politics, have sadly found themselves in a political cul de sac. Tragic indeed! When will my people smell the morning coffee?”
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, on Monday held a closed-door meeting with 37 Commissioners of Police superintending over the internal security of 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory ahead of the governorship elections slated for next Saturday.
The meeting, which started about 10:35 am and was held at the Force Headquarters, had some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIG), Assistant Inspectors-General (AIG) and other strategic commanders in attendance.
Speaking before the meeting commenced, Baba told journalists that the gathering had three pertinent objectives among which is the charge to the senior officers to prepare for post-election security challenges that may arise after the polls in their respective States.
He said, “I welcome you all to this crucial meeting which was convened for three critical objectives. First, is to interface with and debrief strategic field officers who directly coordinated all the 36 States of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“This is towards drawing on their practical experiences for informed feedback that will aid us in evaluating our operational performance and identifying logistics gaps and other challenges that might have been experienced during the exercise.
“Second is to assess the security situation at all levels in the immediate aftermath of the 25th February 2023 sets of elections. This is with a view to identifying trends and patterns within the post-election security space, and to draw inferences on possible threats that may require mitigation ahead of the next rounds of the national electoral process on 11th March, 2023.”
The police chief, who also disclosed that no fewer than 203 electoral offenders were arrested during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections, noted that 185 major incidents that would have thrown the country into chaos were averted nationwide.
He told newsmen that 18 firearms of various calibres were recovered from political thugs during the last exercise, adding that the cases are at various stages of investigation at the Nigeria Police electoral offences desks.
Baba said those cases would be concluded in due time and processed to the Legal Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission for prosecution.
The top cop charged the senior officers to maintain the same tempo as it was during February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“While we would utilize this gathering to re-energize our operational plan and strengthen the attainment of our election security mandate as we prepare for the Governorship and State Assembly phase of the General of Elections on 11th March, 2023, I charge you all to recommit yourselves to national duty and sustain the high operational level that is attracting broad commendation to the Force.”
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure has dissolved the party’s State Executive Council in Rivers State for alleged anti-party activities and corruption in the management of party’s funds.
Abure said he has lost confidence in the ability of the compromised State Executive Council led by Deinye Pepple to lead the campaign for the governorship and State House of Assembly elections come March 11.
He urged all Obidients in the state to disregard all comments and actions by Pepple. Abure said Beatrice Itubo remains the Labour Party candidate for the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The chairman also said the Labour Party has not formed an alliance with any political party.
Hours before, Pepple endorsed the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Siminialayi Fubara for Saturday’s election, saying he is supporting a young and vibrant candidate who is from the South-East Senatorial District that has not produced a governor in the state.
Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again been embroiled in crisis over who becomes the running mate to Sir Okey Ahaiwe, the guber candidate.
This time around, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Barr Eze Chikamnayo and the leadership of the PDP are at daggers drawn on who among Dr Jasper Uche and Hon Okey Igwe should become the number two to Ahaiwe.
While the State PDP has made a volte face by re-endorsing the candidature of Hon Okey Philip Igwe as running mate, the Information Commissioner, Chikamnayo is insisting on Jasper Uche.
Similarly, while the leadership of the PDP in Abia is now supporting Hon Okey Philip Igwe as recently directed by the National secretariat of PDP, Chikamnayo sees the gamble as a risky option that may cost PDP of victory as it happened in Bayelsa State.
The matter which appeared as a close party affair on Monday, found itself into media environment as the PDP through has described the Information Commissioner as a man with arrogant and uncouth language.
Vice Chairman/Publicity Secretary of Abia PDP, Elder Amah Abraham in a statement he issued to Journalists on Tuesday in Umuahia, warned Chikamnayo against arrogating to himself the powers he did not have in the State PDP
“The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to two press releases emanating from the desk of Eze Chikamnayo, the Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy who spoke in his capacity as the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Abia State PDP Campaign Council, a position that is clearly subservient to the position of the State Publicity Secretary of the Party.
In the said press releases, Eze Chikamnayo arrogated the powers to speak for the Abia PDP to himself which in every imaginable circumstance is a misnomer. He is not at liberty to speak for the Party unless otherwise instructed and the matter at issue is clearly a Party matter for which he has no authority to delve into.
The Party will not resort to the exchange of uncouth language that Eze Chikamnayo employed to address an issue that is not just outside the purview of his office but one he should have sought carifications from the Party before his unauthorised, unguarded outburst and usual descent to abuses.
Unfortunately, in his desperate attempt to deceive the unsuspecting public he failed to address the issue at stake based on the extant rules but embarked on a journey in futility.
As a media practitioner which Eze Chikamnayo claims to be, the first professional step he was supposed to take was to state in very clear terms that the letter written by the NWC stating its position on the subject of the running mate was either forged or fake, to have warranted his outright dismissal of the letter. He failed to prove beyond any doubt that the letter duly signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the Party was not authentic but rather took the unprofessional path of descent to abuses on the person of the Party’s spokesperson.
As a trained lawyer, one would have expected Eze Chikamnayo to cite legal authorities to back up his position but he only made vague references and walked around the matter without any tangible fact to present. That is nothing but an unclothed show of desperation and the Party would not tolerate such inanities from an operative of the government.
For the purposes of clarity, it has become imperative to put the facts of the matter straight to let the members of the PDP know the true position of the running mate of our guber candidate, Sir Okey Ahiwe.
It is not the responsibility of the State Working Committee, SWC of the PDP to submit names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC but the responsibility of the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party.
In this instance, the NWC of the Party in its wisdom wrote a letter stating clearly that it mistakenly submitted the name of Jasper Uche as the running mate to Okey Ahiwe and in the same letter stated that Phillip Okey Igwe remains the authentic running mate to Okey Ahiwe. That is what it is and there’s nothing any level of desperation or arm twisting can do to change the position.
The Abia PDP State Working Committee, SWC, has had a very cordial working relationship with the NWC of the PDP since its inauguration two years ago and is not about to usurp or attempt to usurp the functions/powers of the NWC.
For the avoidance of doubts, there is no confusion in Abia PDP as is been insinuated in some quarters and made to flourish by some rumour mongers who probably have scores to settle with anybody within the Party.
Eze Chikamnayo accused Abraham Amah of delving into a matter that is subjudice but ended up describing the running mate of the PDP guber candidate as a ‘toxic item’ with dual citizenship, without proof from any court of competent jurisdiction.
To drive home his mischief and desperation, he used the name of a certain unknown media roundtable to sign off one of his press releases where he had nothing to say but project his jealousy and ill-wish for the authentic running mate of the Party’s guber candidate.”
The statement went on, “Again, the Abia PDP maintains that there is no confusion in the Abia PDP as regards who is the deputy governorship candidate of the Party in the Saturday March 11, gubernatorial election. It is surprising that Eze Chikamnayo who claims to be the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the 2023 Abia PDP Campaign Council has never for once since the inauguration of the Committee made a single press release, press statement or press conference to promote the candidates of the Party only for him to jump into the ship to make unsubstantiated claims that he knows nothing about.
We call on members of the Abia PDP to disregard the infantile tantrums of Eze Chikamnayo and work to support the victory of our guber candidate Sir Okey Ahiwe and his running mate, Barr. Phillip Okey Igwe in the March 11, governorship election.”
Chikamnayo, Okey Philip Igwe and Dr Jasper Uche all hail from the same Isuochi clan in Umunneochi LGA of Abia State
Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, has fulfilled his commitment to sponsor the business idea of a jobless female undergraduate, Gimba Sophia Emmanuel, who could not afford to launch her baking firm with seventy-five thousand Naira.
During his first press conference following the 2023 presidential election, the former Anambra State governor sobbed as he lamented the state of the country.
To prove his case, Obi cried as he told the story of a jobless female Nigerian graduate who couldn’t find work or afford a N75, 000 Oven to start a baking business.
“Whenever I meet a young person, I want to know what that young person does. So, you see me every day talking to young people. Just this morning, I went somewhere and a young lady was to boil water for me to make tea and I wanted to do it myself but she said she would do it but I insisted to do it.
“She said to me that she was worried that I lost the election. I asked for her name and where’s from and she said Nasarawa State. Asked where she schooled and she said Nasarawa State University. I asked what she does and she said she had no job (even though) she graduated since 2018.
“I then asked what she was trying to do and she told me she was learning how to do baking. I asked why are you not baking instead of being here to do this and she said she doesn’t have N75, 000 to buy an oven,” Obi narrated while breaking into tears, adding “that’s what we get in Nigeria”
But, in a post on his social media page on Saturday, the LP candidate revealed that he had honored his pledge and given young Gimba cash to pursue her baking goal.
Sharing the photos, Peter Obi wrote; “Today, I fulfilled my pledge to assist Ms Gimba Sophia Emmanuel in her aspiration to acquire an oven and start her baking and confectionery business. Interestingly, she had indicated that she would procure a Nigerian made oven, thus enhancing the value chain and putting into effect the production to consumption mantra.”
Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has sacked 6 Local Government Area Transition Committee Chairmen in the State, after their swearing-in on February 10, 2023. Their sack was contained in a statement signed by Barr Chris Ezem, Secretary to Abia State government on Thursday evening.
The local governments that have new TC Chairmen are Isiala ngwa South, Ohafia, Umuahia South, Ikwuano while in Osisioma and Ugwunagbo LGAs, their Deputy TC Chairmen were also sacked and replaced. Prince Enyioma Okpanku was replaced by Chief IK Anyatonwu in Isiala Ngwa South LGA. James Ndukwe would hand over to Obrien Iroh as Ohafia LGA TC Chairman while in Umuahia South LGA, Nnachebe Uhiara was replaced with Kelechi Aguiyi. In Ikwuano LGA, William Ukatu Chimechefulam sacked and replaced with Dani Orjinta as the Chairman of Ikwuano LGA.
Chukwudi Ahuama replaced Nwandu Chiemela Godwin as Deputy Chairman of Ugwunagbo LGA. Chigaemezu Ejiekpe replaced Uchenna Jumbo as Deputy Chairman of Osisioma LGA. The statement by the SSG Ezem said the sack and replacements were with immediate effect, even as no explanation was given for their sack. Though, no explanation was adduced by the State government, the sacking of the LGA bosses just after 20 days in offices may not be unconnected with the the Governor in the Aba South Senate to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.