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Fuel/Naira Scarcity: INEC Chairman insists, no postponement of 2023 election

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday reiterated the commission’s position that the 2023 election will not be postponed.

He said: “The forthcoming general elections in the country will hold as planned”
The INEC Chairman stated this at the state house after briefing the federal executive council, in Abuja.

“There had been concerns about how the fuel and naira scarcity may affect the conduct of the forthcoming presidential and governorship elections on February 25 and March 11 respectively.”

Yakubu in a chat with State House correspondents after briefing the FEC on preparations towards the elections and challenges said the fuel and naira scarcity has now been resolved following assurances by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele

He explained that all its accounts both national and state are held by the apex bank, and anticipates that the elections will not be delayed.

The INEC Chairman further stated that the commission has met with relevant stakeholders to address the challenge of petrol scarcity after interfacing with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

Yakubu also disclosed that the Commission is scheduled to brief the Council of State on Friday, February 10.

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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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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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