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2023: Join Forces With PDP To Wrestle Power From APC, Makarfi Tells Peter Obi, Kwankwaso

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…Insists Party Is Home For Everyone

…Says Youths Using Ex-Anambra Gov As Symbol 

A former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, has asked Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria Peoples Party’s counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso to swallow their personal ambition and return to the Peoples Democratic Party just as the Senator representing Kano Central, Ibrahim Shekarau, left the New Nigeria Peoples Party and rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party.

Makarfi, a former PDP chairman, was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, where he made this remark on Tuesday.

According to the 66-year-old statesman, there are only two parties in Nigeria – the PDP and the All Progressives Congress.

He also said frustrated youths are using Obi, a former Anambra State governor, as a symbol, adding that youths should not make decisions on the presidential candidate to vote for in anger. Obi had left the PDP in May and emerged as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate.

Channels Television had reported that Shekarau, also a former Kano governor, from 2003 to 2011, dumped the NNPP after a rift with the party’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Shekarau was received in the PDP on Monday by the party’s chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; its flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar; amongst other PDP heavyweights in the north.

Speaking on the development during the programme on Tuesday, Makarfi said Shekarau’s move to the PDP was based on conviction and not personal ambition, noting that the new defector has abandoned his senatorial ambition for 2023 in the NNPP.

Shekarau had in May left the APC after a fallout with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. Shekarau joined the NNPP but barely three months later, he dumped the NNPP for the PDP. The founding member of the APC in 2013 was also a PDP member in 2014.

He said, “Nigerian politics is a bit funny especially politics of the opposition. Before APC captured power, the opposition came together but unfortunately, we have a situation in Nigeria where the opposition wakes up and everyone tries to capture power.

“I want to make a plea to other opposition parties that let them think about Nigeria first and what is good for Nigeria; let us do what APC did – come together, talk amongst ourselves and arrive at something that all of us will agree to and bring positive change to this country.

“Peter Obi, personally, he respects me, I respect him. Kwankwaso still is my friend, I respect him but the issue is that we should all swallow personal ambition for the sake of this country and bring positive change by changing the government that is in power today.

“About the fears of the youths, I am not blaming them but when you are frustrated when you are angry, you may take a decision that will worsen your situation.

“I call on other opposition parties to actually come together, especially Peter Obi, I know he respects our presidential candidate (Atiku) a lot and many of us. PDP will be home to him, PDP will be home to his supporters, and Kwankwaso, we all started PDP together, let us come back home and do the needful for the sake of this country.”

Meanwhile, Makarfi, says “frustrated youths” are using Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as a “symbol.

“Peter Obi, it is my personal opinion that even if he was frustrated out of PDP, that one must have come from where come from not from any other parts of this country, and it is this politics of edging this person out, edging that person out, and politics is like that.”

“What is happening now in my opinion is not so much about Peter Obi but the frustration of the youths and they are using him as a symbol. Let’s agree that was the case, any decision based on anger will not produce anything positive. We accept the frustration but the only rational way forward is to go the way of PDP,” he said.

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2023: We’ll Reproduce Burnt PVCs, Attacks Can’t Stop Elections, INEC Assures

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A former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini says attacks on the offices of the electoral umpire are attacks on democracy but non-state actors can’t stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

He also said the electoral commission will reproduce all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) burnt by hoodlums during attacks on its offices.

“I am very concerned about the attacks on INEC offices across the country particularly in the areas that have been identified,” Igini said on Channnels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Attacks on INEC offices have surged in recent times with at least three incidents recorded only in November. 65,699 uncollected PVCs were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states while several PVCs and other electoral items were also burnt during an attack in Ebonyi State.

However, Igini said INEC has the information of all PVCs at state and national offices and it won’t take it days to reproduce them.

“INEC has the capacity to respond to these challenges, particular in respect to the PVCs that have been burnt. INEC has the number of all the PVCs…It is a matter of days, INEC will produce those PVCs,” he said.

He urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to ensure they get their PVCs and exercise their franchise in the next general election.

The former REC also decried the inability of security agencies to bring perpetrators of violent attacks on INEC offices to book.

“Why should extra-constitutional actors, why should non-legitimise actors continue to attack INEC. It is an attack on democracy. My pain is that we have not been able to track anybody.

“It is a big challenge to all security agencies in this country that for these years, we have been unable to track those who attack our democracy.

“Look at what happened in the US, all those who attacked the Capitol Hill have been brought to book everyday but here we are in a state of anomie,” Igini stated.

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‘APC Made Nigeria, The Poverty Capital Of The World’, Charly Boy Fumes

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Nigerian entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy or Area Fada, has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, of paying people to attend the party’s campaign rallies.

The popular activist shared a video which captured a man in a vehicle giving out N1,000 each to those on board who were wearing APC caps and T-shirts on his Twitter handle.

He also accused the ruling party of crippling the nation’s economy, saying APC made Nigeria the “Poverty Capital of the World”.

He wrote, “APC paying money to rent crowd for their rallies. What a shame. They first made the country the Poverty Capital of the World, and now they’re shamelessly renting crowds for their rallies openly.

“Anyways, collect your money but wake up
You should use your power to serve the people, not Oppress them!! Free Aminu!!!”

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Femi Kuti Frowns At Tinubu, APC Over Unauthorised Use Of Fela Song For Campaign

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The family of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti frowned at the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate Bola Tinubu for the use of the late artiste’s song for the 2023 election campaign.

Femi Kuti in a “disclaimer and notice of use without consent” for the Fela Anikulapo-Kuti family said the use of Fela’s popular song “Eko Ile” during one of its campaign activities for their 2023 presidential campaign was unauthorised.

The Kuti family said it wished to continue to be politically neutral.

“We the administrators of the estate of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti issue this disclaimer. We wish to state here for clarity, that the permission of the estate was not sought for the use of Fela’s music, Eko Ile, in the All Progressives Congress social media campaign currently making the rounds,” Fela Anikulapo-Kuti family said.

“We do not involve Fela’s music in any political campaign at home or abroad and choose to remain neutral.

“While we wish all candidates the best, we demand that the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are abided by and intellectual property rights are duly respected. Signed the estate of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.”

Tinubu and the members of the APC presidential campaign council held a rally last Saturday at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.

Fela’s popular song “Eko Ile” was used in a video recap of the rally by Tinubu on Twitter.

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