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PDP, Atiku Raising False Alarm – Presidency Warns

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The Presidency has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of making wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement on Monday, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga accused the PDP and Atiku of raising false alarm over an allegedly compromised judiciary.

The Presidency stated that the PDP and Atiku Abubakar are overtly desperate to hang their woes in the court on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.

According to Onanuga, Tinubu is not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.

He said President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law have been globally acknowledged.

Read the complete statement below;

PDP, ATIKU RAISING FALSE ALARM

In separate statements, the Peoples Democratic Party and the spokesman of Atiku Abubakar, its defeated Presidential candidate, threw caution to the winds as they assaulted the integrity of the judiciary and made wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In the wake of the poor run of some elected governors of the party at the appeal court, the PDP and former Vice President and his spokesman have become overtly desperate to hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.

In blaming others, Atiku and his party have failed to demonstrate whether they had done any soul-searching before going public with their weighty, specious, reckless, and irresponsible allegations.

While we do not hold brief for the judiciary, we urge Nigerians to discountenance the malicious allegations by the PDP and its candidate that President Tinubu as governor of Lagos, silenced the opposition and corrupted the judiciary and that he is planning to foist a one-party state on the country by appointing “loyalists” as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).

President Tinubu is a democrat to the core. We make bold to say that as president, he has not interfered with the judgment of the judiciary. We had witnessed how under his watch, the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court.
Similarly, the PDP Governor in Bauchi also won his case in the Appeal court, beating the APC.

President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.

These allegations are deliberately aimed at unnecessarily heating up the polity and causing disenchantment in our country.
They exist only in the imagination of the PDP and the former vice-president.

Unlike Atiku Abubakar, President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law have been globally acknowledged.

His record of service as governor, which witnessed giant strides in various facets of the state, was responsible for the dominance of his political structure in Lagos and not by any undemocratic conduct, as Atiku Abubakar wants the public to believe.

In contrast, it is on record that Atiku Abubakar recently confessed about the electoral heist his party executed in the South West in 2003, in , which Tinubu survived out of the six Governors of the defunct Alliance for Democracy.

While Atiku and PDP are now crying wolf over the Appeal Court rulings on governorship polls in Plateau, Zamfara and Nasarawa States, we hasten to ask the former Vice President where he was in 2019 when the court ruled against All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State. The court then awarded all the positions won by the APC to PDP.

Where was Atiku also in 2019 when in Rivers State, the court stopped APC from fielding any candidate in both the Governorship and House of Assembly elections?.

Where was Atiku and the PDP in 2019, when on the eve of the swearing-in of Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon, the Supreme Court handed the victory of the APC to the candidate of the PDP, Governor Diri who was earlier rejected at the poll by the people of Bayelsa?.

Atiku and PDP then savoured all these court-handed trophies as sweet victories for PDP and celebrated the courts as protectors of democracy.

Now that the same courts are annulling PDP victories, based on the blatant violations of the law by the lawless party, the party is mudslinging the judiciary and President Tinubu.

We once again implore Atiku and PDP to stop their campaign of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary and the honourable judges and justices. Judgments are based on law and evidence. In election petition cases, they are based on the Electoral Act and the Constitution, not on sentiments and emotions.

It is irresponsible and a disservice to our country for the opposition, after failing to observe the letters and spirits of the law, to now turn around to tear down an important arm of our government.

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Edo Assembly Appeals Judgement Upturning Shaibu’s Impeachment

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The Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) has appealed the judgement by Justice J. K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which set aside the impeachment of the state’s former deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.

The lawmakers have also filed a stay of execution on the judgement pending the appeal.

The Edo State House of Assembly, had on Monday, April 8, 2024, impeached Shaibu following the adoption of the report of the seven-man investigative panel set up by the state chief judge to probe allegations of misconduct against the former deputy governor.

The investigative panel set up the EDHA was headed by Justice S.A. Omonua (retd.) and probed Shaibu on allegations of perjury and leaking of government secrets, ending its sittings with the former deputy governor refusing to appear before it.

Shaibu was impeached by the vote of eighteen out of 19 members of the Assembly present at plenary, while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

In the wake of Shaibu’s impeachment, Governor Godwin Obaseki picked Omobayo Marvellous Godwins as his deputy to complete his second tenure in office which will end on November 11, 2024.

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Electoral Reforms Needed To Stop Govs Handpicking LG Chairmen – APC

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…Says Tinubu Not Unfair To Northerners

A spokesman for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for some electoral reforms to make the recent financial autonomy granted to local governments (LGs) by the Supreme Court effective.

Felix Morka said though financial autonomy has been granted to the third tier of government, Nigeria cannot be said to have formidable LG administrations when governors still “handpick” chairmen for local governments in their states.

“In my understanding, the Supreme Court was right on the mark to give local governments access to funds meant for them. I don’t think this matter should engage the kind of controversy that I am seeing,” he said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday.

“I agree that the entire system for regulating how elections are conducted in the local governments has to be properly revisited by the state governors and federal authorities.

“They need to come together and figure out a way to create a system and to regulate the conduct of elections that blends itself to some level of scrutiny, objectivity and independence as well because giving financial autonomy is one thing but if those who serve are handpicked by the same governors, then we are not yet there. We need to make some reforms to that electoral process,” Morka noted.

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court granted financial autonomy to the third tier of government, ordering the Federal Government to pay the 20.60% monthly allocation of the 774 LGs in the country directly to their exclusive accounts and not to accounts controlled by governors.

The apex court in the landmark judgement also barred power-drunk governors from dissolving democratically elected local government councils.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has been fair to all sections of the country regarding appointments into key offices, a spokesman for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said on Tuesday.

“President Tinubu is trying to be fair… We have some fairness in the key offices,” Felix Morka said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, dousing a growing fireball of nepotistic claims shot-putted at the former Lagos governor by some northern heavyweights.

The APC spokesman said it was too early for the detractors of the ruling party to raise disapproving eyebrows against the President’s appointments.

“And this is a government that has just done one year in office, that has yet to even exhaust all of the opportunities for people to be invited to serve in this government. There are so many offices that are yet to be filled. There is more to come,” he said.

“We have the President, we have the Vice President. We have the defence, we have the finance. The defence is mostly staffed by people from the northern side while the minister of finance and the CBN governor are from the southern side.

“It’s always premature to make that assessment. Hold your breath till a lot of the key positions are filled.

“For those who want to make an issue of ethnicity, the President has the country as his constituency. The President is not the President of the South-West, or the North or the South; he is the President of Nigeria and every part of this country deserves to be effectively represented, consistent with the Federal Character flavour of our constitution.”

On allegations by Senator Ali Ndume from Borno South that Tinubu has been shielded from party members, Morka said APC internal mechanisms should be explored to deal with matters.

Some appointments of Tinubu, ex-Lagos governor, have been criticised as lopsided in the last couple of months. Tinubu, who took over from Muhammadu Buhari, a prominent northern figure and former military head of state, on May 29, 2023, appointed 48 ministers last August. One of the ministers resigned and joined the Senate last December while another was suspended in January.

A federal lawmaker, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the Eighth National Assembly, Shehu Sani, had penultimate week urged Tinubu to prioritise competence in his appointments.

Sani had cautioned the President not to repeat the mistake of “nepotism” made by his immediate predecessor, Buhari.

The former lawmaker said during Buhari’s eight-year administration between May 2015 and May 2023, nepotism was at its peak yet results were not produced in all areas of governance, majorly security, economy, education and healthcare.

 

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INEC Begins Accreditation Of Observers For Edo, Ondo Governorship Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has mandated accredited organisations to upload personal details and photographs of their field observers via its portal in preparation for the 2024 Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections.

This was made known in a post signed by its Chairman, information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun via INEC’s official X handle on Monday.

INEC revealed that a total of 153 applications were received from interested organisations after which 134 groups (124 domestic and 10 international) that met the requirements for accreditation were selected.


The commission added that it will be organizing a one-day training for representatives of observer groups on Wednesday at the Commission’s Conference Room in Abuja.

The statement reads in part, “The next step is for the accredited organisations to upload the personal details and photographs of their field observers to our dedicated portal established for that purpose.

“To this end, the Commission is organizing a one-day training for representatives of observer groups on Wednesday 17th July 2024 at the Commission’s Conference Room in Abuja at 10am.

“Access Code to the portal and letters of accreditation will be given to representatives of the accredited organisations at the training venue”.

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