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2023: PWDs promise APC 25 million votes

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Joel Oladele, Abuja

A group of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) has promised the All Progressives Congress (APC) their unalloyed support by delivering an unprecedented 25 million votes to ensure a landslide victory of the party.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the maiden edition of the national summit for state, zonal, and national leaders of the group held in Abuja recently.

At the National Summit which is a platform to amplify the need for fair and equitable inclusion of PWDs in all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT, after extensive deliberations resolved amongst other things to set up all inclusive PWDs campaign structure to the polling units level, to work for the victory of the APC presidential ticket; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima; Governors and other candidates of the party.

The group affirmed that going by statistics, there are over 30 million people with disabilities in Nigeria and they are ready to woo them in favour of APC.

“With 25 million votes from PWDs, we resolved to set up all inclusive PWDs campaign structure to the polling units level, to work for the victory of our presidential ticket; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima; our Governors and other candidates of our party.

“To achieve this, we ask that PWDs must be involved in all the campaign structures of the party at the national and various states by setting up PWDs directorate to accommodate the peculiarities of the PWD community.

“We agree to set-up PWDs Campaign Council for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Shettima 2023 immediately, to ensure victory, knowing that APC is for Nigerians and Nigerians are for APC.”

The group equally resolved to write to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to know the correct data of PWDs voters and pleaded to INEC to extend the continuous voters registration exercise to prevent the disenfranchisement of eligible PWDs voters.

They also used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the infrastructural revolution of his government and for holding PWDs in high esteem.

“We appreciate the special place our hero, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR played to ensure that PWDs gain its prominent status as guaranteed in the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 when he signed the law. The PWDs reckoned that the President’s infrastructural revolution in the country is historic and history will be kind to him.

“Like Oliver Twist, we call on our dearest President to complete his love for PWDs by appointing PWDs as Minister, members of federal boards and parastatals in his cabinet to finally put a nail on the coffin of discrimination, stigmatisation and rejection of PWDs in Nigeria.”

The summit passionately appealed to the conscience of State Governors who have not domesticated the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 to bequeath an enduring legacy to the PWDs community.

“Also, we emphasized that Nigerians must understand that disability is never by choice, and nobody is immuned. We are PWDs either by birth, negligence by our parents and guardians, accidents, war, age, disease and epidemic.

“Moreso, we appeal to our Governors, who are the leaders of the party, to give PWDs leaders in the Zones and States listening ears in order to fulfill their mandates of political, economic and social inclusion of PWDs in APC.”

Speaking on insecurities ravaging the country, the group urged every stakeholder to be security conscious as security is a joint responsibility of every citizen.

“On insecurity in Nigeria, we reject the drums of dooms and wars by merchants of instability. Nigeria’s security is the collective responsibility of all Nigerians. Enough is enough, this beat of war must stop, we in the PWDs community will not dance to it.”

The National Summit therefore charged all PWDs leaders to carry along women and children as a matter of priority. As part of efforts to achieve this, they resolved to create a directorate for women and children with disabilities to give them a sense of belonging.

Lack of finances to oil the activities of PWDs at the state/zonal/national levels was identified while urging the party’s hierarchy at the national and states to support PWDs with mobility to achieve the daunting task ahead of campaigns.

It was noted that the National Disabilities Commission has done so much for the PWDs community and those in the APC are willing partners of the Commission to reach more PWDs in Nigeria.

Also, the summit unanimously celebrated the progressive, inclusive giant strides of the National Leader, Hon Tolu Bankole and endorsed his dogged and sterling leadership since assuming office.

“We resolved to stand by his leadership and appealed to all leaders to shun anti-party activities.”

Politics

Ignore Ganduje’s purported suspension – Kano APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kano State chapter, has urged the public to ignore the purported suspension of the national chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.

The secretary of the party in the state, Alhaji Zakari Sarina, told the newsmen on Monday in Kano that the supposed suspension of Ganduje by any group of individuals was null and void.

He said the suspension, which was announced on Sunday by a faction of the party, came from non-members of the party.

“It is impracticable for non-members to slam a national officer with suspension without recourse to laid down procedures as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

“I must make it clear, that we are undeterred by the activities of these impostors because.

Their style lacks finesse and sophistication and has further exposed their political naivety where Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is an acclaimed master.

“From available records, those behind the latest oddity are political jobbers who have offered themselves for pecuniary benefits at behest of dignity“, Sarina alleged.

According to him, they don’t belong to progressive because a good thing party member will not work towards destroying a legitimate member who was governor for 8 years and rose to become a national chairman.

“It is because they are outsiders, they are simply not aware of the internal workings, or ground rules of the APC on disciplinary actions, hence they resort to poor strategy that cannot stand logic, and reasons.

“We from ward, local government level and state are solidly behind our leader who has contribute positively towards the political growth of our party’’, he told NAN.

Sarina alleged that leader of the group who announced the purported Ganduje’s suspension was a member of New Nigeria People’s Party who contested but lost the counselorship election in Ganduje ward.

He advised the media to be cautious of those who seek to use their platforms to promote falsehood.

“The media should, as a matter of fact, scrutinise issues that are of paramount to the growth of democracy by being the driver of democracy’’, he said.

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Thugs attack Edo APC meeting, former lawmaker, woman leader, husband injured

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By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

A meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday ended in violence as thugs allegedly loyal to one of the leaders attacked a former federal lawmaker, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, woman leader, husband and injured many others.

The attack was said to have been carried out by the thugs at the installation ceremony of a former federal lawmaker as the ‘Apex Leader’ of the APC in the Local Government.

Hardly had the meeting started when the suspected hoodlums and political thugs struck, inflicting injuries on those present, with the woman leader of the local government and her husband currently hospitalised.

They also damaged vehicles and chairs and carted drinks and other items away from the venue of the meeting, which took place on Dumez Road in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the attack, Agbonayinma said, “The APC local government chairman, Sunny Ogbewe, called me that the leaders of Ikpoba-Okha were coming to meet with me to rub minds with me on the way forward for the party in the local government area.

“However, it was a sad story. People who are close to me led many others to the venue, destroyed, and beat up the woman leader and her husband. Both of them are in the hospital as I speak.

“They also vandalised vehicles, broke chairs and tables and carted away drinks. This is not how politics should be played. Going violent and beating up elderly persons?

“For some time, the people of the local government have been appealing to me to come and take a leadership position. But I have not shown interest because of what I have gone through. I lost my son and I am still going through trauma.

“They came here to appeal to me to be the apex leader of Ikpoba-Okha.”

Agbonayima, while addressing the meeting after security was beefed up at the venue, vowed that those who carried out the attack “will pay dearly for all they have destroyed,” even as he disclosed that the attackers also left with a generating set brought to power equipment for the meeting.

He said it was tough for him to accept the honour the APC members of the local government bestowed on him to be their “Apex Leader.”

“This opportunity is given to me, I will not take it for granted. I will not disappoint you,” he said, adding that he would consult before making decisions, urging party members to respect their leaders at all levels.

Participants at the meeting condemned the attackers and called for severe sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to take such action in the future.

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Politics

APC declares Ondo primary inconclusive

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The All Progressives Congress 2024 Governorship Primary Committee in Ondo State has declared the Saturday primary inconclusive.

This is contained in a statement by the Chairman of the Committee, Gov. Usman Ododo on Sunday morning.

The statement said that rerun election would take place in all the 13 wards of Okitipupa Local Government with total validated registered party members of 9,515.

“Having received reports of the primary election from the 203 Wards in the 18 Local Governments of Ondo State, the Primary Election Committee has decided that election will be conducted in all the 13 Wards of Okitipupa Local Government with total validated registered members of 9,515.

“ We have validated reports that the exercise did not hold in the local government due to late arrival of electoral materials and personnel as a result of logistics challenges.

“Election in Okitipupa Local Government shall be conducted 12 noon on Sunday 21st April 2024.

“The final collation of the results will be done thereafter”, the statement said.

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