A Chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, has alerted the nation on what he described as an attempt to silence the opposition parties through the judiciary by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ajadi said he is calling on well meaning Nigerians and nation’s statesmen to come out openly and condemn the plan of the APC to use judiciary to truncate the present hard-earned democracy.
He said there is the need for the opposition parties to unite and fight the planned take over of all states in Nigeria by the ruling party, saying the will of the people should not be push aside by a desperate and greedy party like APC.
Ajadi in a statement on Tuesday, after paying solidarity visit to the Kano state governor, Abba Yusuf, said, “The recent judgements by the Court of Appeals in the case of Zamfara, Kano and Plateau have shown that the APC is pushing the nation towards a one party state.
“In a statement released on Monday, Atiku accused the APC of employing underhanded tactics to ‘snatch, grab and run away with power’. He pointed to a series of controversial rulings in Nasarawa, Kano, Zamfara and Plateau states, where opposition victories have been overturned in favour of the APC.
“The judiciary under military dictatorship was much more courageous and had better integrity than what we have today.
“It is obvious that the APC has turned the once respected Nigerian judiciary to a ‘cash and carry’ one, where politicians who don’t participate in primaries are named as candidates while actual winners of elections are sacked for flimsy reasons.
“Is it not mysterious that it was the same panel that sat and heard all the election petition cases from Plateau state before the Court of Appeal? How is it that in election cases where the PDP came first and the APC came second, the court ordered that the APC be declared winner while in elections where the PDP came first and Labour Party came second, the courts ordered a rerun in order to give the APC a chance of victory?
“It is like the APC as a ruling party is trying to ‘capture’ the states it had lost during the elections through the Court of law.
“Of particular interest is the judgement in respect of Kano state, how can an argument at tribunal be different from the one at the Appeal Court.
“Issue of party membership that the Appeal Court ruled upon has been argued in many cases and Courts but the rulings on those cases were that party membership issue is an intra party affairs, which doesn’t concern any other person or party, why is that of Kano different
“It is surprising that the judgements of the two courts are even different. While the Tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Osadebay, nullified the election of Governor Abba Yusuf by declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid when it held that the ballot papers were not signed nor stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“The Court of Appeal in its judgement held that Yusuf was not in the membership register of his political party, which has been argued in the past and the judgement was that membership of a candidate rest on the party and its members, why now has it turned to the business of APC to determine who is a member of NNPP in Kano State.
“This is surprising, to say a candidate of the party, that was listed by the INEC on the ballot, who campaigned across the nook and crannies of the state on the NNPP’s banner and was voted for overwhelmingly by the people is not a member of the party is unbelievable.
“The people of Kano know that our party is the leading party in the state and this has been demonstrated in the other elections.
“NNPP has the highest members of the State Assembly, highest members of the national assembly from the state and we are with the grassroots.”
Why I Won’t Sanction Wike, Makinde, Ortom, Others- PDP Chairman
In a bold move that has sent shockwaves through the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, the acting Acting Chairman, has firmly rejected calls to sanction perceived ‘disloyal’ members of the party.
This includes prominent figures like former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who faced allegations of anti-party activities during the last election.
Despite mounting pressure from stakeholders urging Damagum to take punitive measures, the acting chairman, addressing the PDP Mobilisers Group in Abuja, made it clear that the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership would not suspend any party members. Instead, he announced the establishment of a committee dedicated to reconciling all aggrieved members.
Damagum emphasized the importance of reconciliation over sanctions, asserting that punishing members for alleged anti-party activities could potentially destroy the unity of the PDP.
He expressed his commitment to preserving the integrity of the party and avoiding actions that might destabilize it.
“They are always telling you these people are not doing the right thing. But when you are in a position of leadership, you are bound by a set of rules, and these rules even though they are itching you, you don’t apply them; not because of anything, but so that you don’t destroy the house,” Damagum stated during his address.
Addressing the criticisms against the NWC, Damagum explained, “Somebody has said sometimes when you are not knowledgeable about certain things and you go on saying about your thinking, it will always injure the sensibility of others to understand you.”
He went on to acknowledge the challenges faced by the party during the last general election, admitting that many members were involved in anti-party activities.
However, he discouraged the idea of mass suspensions, stating,
“If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
Damagum also described the 2023 presidential election defeat as “most painful”, cautioning members of the party against a blame game.
He said, “I am very proud to say that this party was started by me as a driver. Today, I am the acting national chairman by the grace of God. I have never calculated that I will be given this title. I believe in this party, I believe that this party is the best in this country.
“The NWC has already come up and approved a 2023 election review and reconciliation committee. They will go and investigate. We’ll give them the mandate to form subcommittees. However, there is only one national committee that will review the 2023 election and also review from 2015 to 2019. This is so that at the end of the day when they bring the reports, we will meet and take decisions.”
Damagum, who admitted that many members were involved in anti-party activities at different levels, said, “If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
LP Accuses INEC Of Defying Court Order For Forensic Inspection Of BVAS In Imo
The Labour Party in Imo has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is denying it access to BVAS used for the November 11 Governorship Election.
The party’s Chairman, Mr Callistus Ihejiagwa, who said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Saturday, added that the denial of access to the BVAS was in defiance of a November 26, 2023 order of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri.
Recall that applications for inspection of the materials were submitted to the INEC by the LP, PDP, YPP and APGA respectively.
Ihejiagwa said the forensic inspection of election materials including the BVAS is contained in the order of the Tribunal.
According to him, INEC had on Wednesday, denied availability of the BVAS for inspection, insisting that only the commission’s headquarters reserved the right to grant access to the BVAS for inspection.
He said the commission, however, made available only 65 out of over 5,000 BVAS machines for inspection but denied the LP’s team of forensic experts access to the machines.
He wondered why INEC would “deliberately frustrate the process of litigation “ in an election where it was only an umpire.
“Contrary to orders of court for forensic analysis of BVAS machines, an INEC official is reading out figures of accreditation from the machines without allowing us access to Certified True Copies of the card copies for our due diligence.
“ We have less than 24 hours to examine the BVAS machines, assemble and present our findings to the Election Petition Tribunal but here we are still awaiting access to the machines
“The Tribunal ordered for forensic inspection of the BVAS so the BVAS is specifically contained in the Tribunal order “, he said.
Also speaking, Counsel to the LP governorship candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, Mr Okwudili Anozie, emphasized that the tribunal’s order for forensic examination of the BVAS machines would help ensure that the machines have not been tampered with before and after the election.
He decried INEC’s disobedience to the order while restating the party’s confidence in the judiciary for the dispensation of justice.
NNPP Reaffirms The Expulsion Of Rabiu Kwankwaso From Party
The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the North East zone has reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The party has accused him of causing internal turmoil and blaming him for the party’s recent woes.
Kwankwaso’s expulsion from the party came during a meeting of the NNPP North East executive and stakeholders held in Bauchi on Friday.
A communique released after the meeting stated that the stakeholders “reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso from the NNPP, accusing him of causing internal crisis in the party.”
The North East NNPP also responded strongly to the recent Appeal Court ruling against the party and Kano State Governor, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf. The governorship election petitions tribunal had voided Yusuf’s election, citing irregularities in the vote count.
Despite the legal setback, the NNPP North East leadership expressed unwavering support for Governor Yusuf. They urged party members and supporters nationwide to offer their “maximum support and prayers” to the embattled leader.
The communique, read by NNPP National Vice Chairman North, Dr Babayo Liman, further confirmed the dissolution of the Abba Kawu Ali-led National Working Committee. It also conveyed a vote of confidence in the party’s founder and life member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Boniface Aniebonan.
The North East NNPP also reaffirmed the election of Dr. Tope Aluko as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi as Secretary. They also confirmed the appointment of a new NWC under the leadership of Dr Agbo Major.
According to the communique, the acting state party chairmen for the North East zone are as follows:
Bauchi: Alhaji Umar Isa
Taraba: Kabiru A. Abdul
Adamawa: Alh Salmanu Abubakar
Yobe: Mal. Babangida Garba (acting)
Borno: Alh. Aminu Bukan Salihu
Gombe: Barr Ramby Ayaba
The North East Deputy National Chairman, Abdullahi Yalcabu, confirmed that “all the executive committee members and critical stakeholders of Northeast zone attended the meeting.” He further added that Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi, the board of trustees secretary, was also present.
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