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16 political parties to contest Edo election – INEC

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Ahead of the September 21 governorship election in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 16 political parties will participate in the exercise.

 

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

 

“Sixteen political parties have notified the Commission of their intention to participate in the election as well as their preferred modes and dates of primaries,” he said.

 

“As the Commission is set to deploy its monitoring teams, political parties are hereby reminded that Edo State is the Constituency for the election. Therefore, primaries must take place within the State in line with Sections 84(4) and 5(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.”

 

The electoral body also admonished political parties to avoid “unnecessary postponement, arbitrary changes of venues of their primaries, wholesale change of delegates’ list or the submission of names that did not emerge from valid primaries as candidates for the election”.

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INEC also warned against “rancorous primaries that lead to the breakdown of law and order often as a result of non-adherence to the provision of their constitutions and guidelines. These are some of the issues that lead to a large number of pre-election litigations”.

 

Earlier, the electoral umpire released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Edo State off-cycle governorship election, fixing September 21 for the crucial poll.

 

The commission also mandated parties to conduct their primaries between February 1 and 24.

 

It argued that by Section 82 of the Electoral Act 2022, political parties are required to give the INEC at least 21 days’ notice before the date fixed for the conduct of their primaries, saying the last date for such notification lapsed on February 4, 2024.

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Atiku to Shettima: I helped Tinubu to survive impeachment as Lagos governor 

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says the tenure of President Bola Tinubu when he was governor of Lagos would have been rough without his support.

 

Tinubu was Lagos governor between 1999 and 2007.

 

Atiku was reacting to a statement made by Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Thursday.

 

Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, Shettima said before contesting for the presidency, Tinubu had backed three northerners for the same seat, including Atiku who contested under Action Congress (AC) in 2007.

 

Tinubu was a chieftain of the party at the time.

 

Responding to Shettima’s statement, Paul Ibe, Atiku’s spokesperson, said Tinubu was not in a position to lend the party’s platform to Atiku in 2007.

 

He added that Atiku was nominated as the presidential candidate by all the party’s delegates from all parts of the country.

 

“But for Atiku’s support, hinged on his pro-democracy instincts and rule of law, Tinubu’s tenure as governor of Lagos would have been rough with a wide possibility of termination of his political career,” he said.

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“For some time, and especially leading up to the 2023 election, there has been a deliberate attempt to distort the history of the politics of the early 4th Republic by ascribing the AC, the political platform that Atiku ran in 2007, as Tinubu’s party. Nothing can be further from the truth. Vice President Shettima, obviously carried away with the euphoria of the unveiling of his official residence as Vice President, repeated the same lie.

 

“Moreover, Tinubu was not in a position to lend the platform to Atiku as erroneously being suggested, as he (Atiku) was nominated by all the delegates from all the states.

 

“It will be appropriate for Vice President Shettima to refrain from making statements on subject matters on which he knows little or nothing about.”

 

 

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Tinubu best among all presidential candidates in 2023, says Okupe

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A former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, has hailed President Bola Tinubu as the best among all the candidates who contested the 2023 presidential election.

 

Tinubu emerged winner of that election, with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party coming second and third respectively.

 

Okupe, who was Peter Obi’s campaign director in the early stages of the campaigns, said hindsight has provided him the opportunity to realise that Tinubu is the best for the job.

 

“Let me tell you, of all the people that actually ran for President in 2023, by the benefit of hindsight, Bola Tinubu is the best,” Okupe said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

 

“I have seen Peter Obi, I have been with Atiku Abubakar, I also knew Bola Tinubu many years ago. I have not seen him in the last 7 to 8 years, that is not the point but he is the best in terms of capability, commitment and knowledge.”

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Okupe said Nigerians cannot judge the Tinubu administration like they judged other administrations because he came in after it seemed like governance was abandoned for 8 years.

 

Insisting that one year is too short to judge the current administration, Okupe said that if Nigerians will give Tinubu some time, he will do well.

 

Asked if it is not a betrayal to Obi whom he campaigned for saying that Tinubu is the best candidate in 2023, Okupe disagreed.

 

According to him, his support for Obi was borne out of the mutual belief they both had that a Southerner should be the president which led to their exit from the PDP.

 

Okupe toured around the country with Obi soliciting votes ahead of the PDP primary. However, when it didn’t work out in the PDP, both men left for the Labour Party where Okupe became the director-general for Obi’s campaign.

 

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Okupe would later resign from his position following a judgement by the Federal High Court in Abuja which found him guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

 

He had in his resignation letter at the time, said it is better not to allow his personal interest to distract the campaign of Obi and that of the party, hence his decision to step aside.

 

In January, he also resigned from the Labour Party citing ideological differences.

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LP Crisis: We won’t allow Obi to join Atiku in PDP, says Arabambi

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The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi, on Friday, said the party won’t allow Peter Obi to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite the crisis in the LP.

 

Arabambi, a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief, said the party is seeking a political solution to its crisis so that its 2023 presidential candidate won’t work with his PDP counterpart Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2027 poll.

 

“Politically, we will not allow the crisis to fester for long that we will now allow Mr Peter Obi to join Atiku,” he said.

 

“We knew their plans, that was why we said ‘we need to explore political solution between ourselves.”

 

‘Nullity’
The LP spokesman also weighed in on the recent legal tussle rocking the party wherein an FCT High Court restrained Julius Abure and two others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

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Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court, ruling on an ex parte application on April 5, 2023, had restrained Abure, Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu, and Oluchi Opara from acting as national officers of the LP.

 

But in March 2024, the Court of Appeal in Abuja set aside the judgment of the lower court which restrained Julius Abure and two others from parading themselves as national officers of the Labour Party.

 

Justice Hamman Barka, leading a three-member panel of justices, held that Abure’s appeal had merit and was accordingly allowed. He held that the FCT high court was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction on the matter.

 

The court also awarded the sum of N1 million in favour of Abure and other appellants in the matter.

 

Reacting on the verdict during the show, he said every action taken by Abure between March 2023 and March 2024 is a nullity.

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“Since the Court of Appeal just set aside the judgement in March 2024, every other thing done between March 2023 and to 2024 by Julius Abure is a nullity,” he added.

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