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Presidential Tribunal: Atiku’s aide mocks INEC over unreadiness to defend case

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Daniel Bwala, a media aide to the 2023 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has mocked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for failing to open its defence.

INEC had failed to open its defence at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal after 10 days breaks.

This was due to the absence of witnesses for the electoral body at the tribunal.

Reacting, Bwala tweeted: “INEC failed to open its defence after 10 days break; reason? Because witnesses failed to show up. #Vuvuzela #hakunamatata”

Meanwhile, Levi Uzoukwu, a counsel to the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Levi UzoukwuPeter Obi said INEC was not ready to defend its case before the tribunal.

Uzoukwu spoke after the tribunal adjourned sitting on Monday following the absence of INEC’s witness at the resumed sitting.

The lawyer, however, noted that LP was ready to move on with its case, unlike INEC which has continued to show inconsistencies.

“Given the contradictions and inconsistencies and what INEC has done; I’m sure they are not ready to defend this case,” he said.

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Gateway International airport: Gbenga Daniel lied, failed the people woefully – Ogun APC

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…says his comment represents hallucination of a serial failure

The Ogun State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the former Governor of the State and Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Otunba Gbenga Daniel of telling lies over his recent interview on some of the projects going on in the State.

Daniel, in a recent interview said he initiated some important projects which were under reported due to ‘bad press’, including the iconic Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport started by the administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun about three years ago and nearly completed with the longest runway and largest apron in Nigeria and West Africa corridor.

Reacting to Daniel’s statement on Sunday, Tunde Oladunjoye, the Publicity Secretary of APC in the State, said the statement credited to Daniel was nothing but a product of hallucination by a serial failure.

He insisted that the lawmaker did nothing to suggest seriousness of his administration to build any airport in the State, adding that the former governor in his usual character merely announced the proposed airport and the intending location as mere political statement for immediate gains.

According to Oladunjoye, the area proposed for the airport by Daniel’s administration remained a thick forest while billions of naira were siphoned under the guise of consultancy for the implementation of the project.

“Unlike the deceptive 8-year administration of Daniel, that was characterized with high level of fraud, political assassination and widespread brigandage, Abiodun came on board with integrity, and purposeful leadership skill, which is practically responsible for the remarkable success his administration had recorded in the last five years, and the reason for the present headache of his hitherto traducers, including Gbenga Daniel.

“Setting the record straight, like many other failed Governors of Daniel type, who merely made political statements about projects to manipulate people’s emotions and deceive them for political gains, the Agro-Cargo Airport situated at Ilisan-Iperu axis of the State was just one of the many areas where Otunba Gbenga Daniel failed the people of Ogun State very woefully.

“Gbenga Daniel, after announcing construction of an Airport in the year 2006, the area earmarked for the project remained a tick forest till 2019 when Prince Dapo Abiodun came into the saddle. Daniel’s successor, Ibikunle Amosun based on the nature of his personality and pattern of reasoning did not even open the file of the proposed Airport throughout his eight years in office, the same way Daniel abandoned all the projects left behind by his predecessor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba.

“The recent interview of having the grand or master plan for what Governor Dapo Abiodun has been accomplishing is not only self-ridiculing, it is simply a sheer hallucination of a serial failure and shameful acceptance of failure on the part of Mr. Gbenga Daniel. His interview and comment on Governor Dapo Abiodun reek of deep envy and insensitive lack of modesty,” Oladunjoye averred.

The Ogun APC Publicity Secretary further took a swipe on the former Governor, asserting that his ineptitude, deceptive tendency, and maladministration were responsible for his unpopular administration and not bad press as he claimed.

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Osun: Babayemi, Oyedokun, thousands of PDP defect to APC

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…we’re resolute to take Osun from PDP come 2026 – Oyetola, Basiru, others

…as Oyetola reiterates commitment to all inclusiveness, equity

It was with pomp, pageantry, and fanfare that the former members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State, formally defected to the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The former PDP gubernatorial aspirant in the 2022 Osun governorship election, Prince Dotun Babayemi and former National Deputy Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun and their supporters defected to the APC.

This is even as the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; National Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ajibola Basiru and other defectors expressed readiness to take power from the incumbent Governor Ademola Adeleke come 2026.

Addressing the mammoth crowd populated by his supporters at the APC State Secretariat on Friday in Osogbo, Prince Babayemi affirmed their readiness and commitment to work relentlessly with members of the party to dislodge the incumbent Governor Ademola Adeleke in the next governorship election in the state.

He said their defection to the opposition party was based on personal and collective conviction to work in unison with the progressive minds towards building a virile and vibrant party to oust out the incumbent government come 2026.

He said: “I have said a lot about our defection, and I won’t say much today. As you all know, good governance in Osun stopped in 2022 immediately the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola left power. It is obvious that since then, the people of Osun have not been experiencing good governance. What we have today are political interlopers and usurpers.

“So, we are coming home today to work together with leaders and members of the APC in Osun and beyond to record more electoral successes and victories in the future elections. We will work tirelessly to take power from the PDP come 2026.

“We commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his great works. It is obvious that he was determined to reposition the country and take us to greater heights. We believe in his leadership, and we pray God to continue to grant him enablement to achieve all the lofty programme designed to take the country to enviable heights, “he added.

In his short remarks, the former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun, attributed his defection to the palpable inequality and lingering crisis in his former party saying his defection is based on personal conviction.

Oyedokun pledged his unalloyed commitment to further advance the cause of his new party, adding that his return is divine and a clarion call to collectively wrestle power from the ruling party in the state come 2026.

The former member of the PDP National Working Committee who narrated their ordeals in their former party faulted the 2022 Osun governorship primary that led to the emergence of Senator Ademola Adeleke admitting that the primary was outrightly skewed to favour the incumbent Governor.

Oyedokun appealed to Nigerians home and abroad to rally round President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his efforts to build a nation dreamt by all and sundry.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, lauded the defectors for their uncommon courage and bravery, which culminated into their choice of the party – the APC.

“I thank you all. I thank God that since we left the government, our party and its members remain resolute and united. It is worthy of note that we are increasing every day in number and size.

“I want to assure you that you are all accepted wholeheartedly, and with open arms, there is equal right for all. There won’t be any discrimination whatsoever, and I want to assure you that you would be wholeheartedly received at your various wards and local governments with open arms.

“We must all work together to come back to power. We are confident in God that we will return to power. APC is the God’s chosen Party. I commend all of you for your commitment and dedication that had been leading to the peaceful running of the affairs of our great party thus far, “Oyetola stated.

Earlier, the state APC Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Lawal, acknowledged the rare courage exhibited by the decampees describing the decision as a “round peg in a round hole.”

“Your decision to defect to APC is a wise choice which was influenced by God who has been your political pathfinder as the APC is a party of the people. It is not an overstatement to state that Osun state is a traditional APC enclave and any other party that may be occupying a political space in the state is a mere tenant which will soon be shown the way out of the power.

“The more the merrier. Let’s work assiduously towards the next series of elections in the state and take back our state from those grossly lacking administrative know-how as it is being reflected in their actions and inactions on daily basis”, he added.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, Defection Committee, Mayegun Debo Badru lauded the former Governor and Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for setting up the defection committee which was populated by people of impeccable characters.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the leadership and members of the party to kick out the PDP government out of power in the next governorship election.

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2027: LP, PDP merger possible – Atiku

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The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, said a merger between the PDP and Labour Party is possible.

Atiku added that members of the party would decide his fate in the 2027 general elections.

In a recent interview, Atiku said it was too soon to determine if he would run for the presidency in the upcoming elections.

The former Vice President mentioned that his recent meeting with Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi might indicate a possible alliance leading up to the 2027 general elections.

Responding to questions about the meeting with Obi, Atiku said, “It’s just a normal friendly meeting that we often have, particularly among us in the opposition parties. Such meetings are healthy for Nigeria’s democracy and in the country’s interest.”

On whether this will bring about a merger, he said, “Yes, it’s very much possible. We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible, and nothing can stop it if we wish to achieve that.”

The former Vice President, who denied that the choice of presidential candidate might frustrate the merger discussion, said, “That’s not true. That challenge will not arise. I can tell you that the choice of who will fly the flag of the party won’t be an issue.”

Atiku stated that if in 2027 the party determines that it is the South-East’s turn and selects Peter Obi, he will readily offer his support.

He stated ” I have said repeatedly and I even said it before the 2023 general elections that if PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it. As long as it’s the decision of the party, I will abide by it. But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was thrown open to all members of the party.

“If the party decides that it’s the turn of the South-East and Peter Obi is chosen, I won’t hesitate to support him.”

On why he’s still in active politics, Atiku said, “Yes, we can’t keep quiet and watch things go wrong. People are suffering and we are committed to making Nigeria a better place.

“It means you are not tired of politics of Nigeria? Not at all. I am still in active politics in Nigeria, at least, as long as God permits.

“My age doesn’t stop the young ones from testing their fate. Everybody, irrespective of age, is allowed to aspire to be anybody in the society, politically or otherwise.”

Regarding his 2027 Presidential ambition, the former Vice President said “That would depend on the decision of my party. I can’t make any categorical statement on that. It’s the duty of the party to decide on the way to go in the next election.

“Until that time comes. Let’s just wait and see how it will turn out.

“It must not be interpreted like that. I must not be eyeing elections to have meetings with political friends and associates. Currently, we are practising democracy in this country which we fought for with our blood.”

Last week, Labour Party’s presidential candidate Peter Obi held a private meeting with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and several PDP leaders in Abuja.

Obi also met separately with former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President Bukola Saraki, sparking speculation about a possible coalition for the 2027 general elections.

Obi was a PDP member until 2022 when he left to pursue his presidential ambitions with the Labour Party.

He finished third behind Atiku in the February 23 presidential election, which was won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.

Atiku blamed Obi’s departure from the PDP for his loss to Tinubu.

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