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2023: Atiku Will Win By 7 Million Votes Margin — Ayu

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiorcha Ayu, has boasted that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will shock Nigerians during the 2023 elections by winning with a landslide margin of seven million votes.

He stated this while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Wednesday at the Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Hall, Bauchi.

Atiku had earlier received thousands of defectors from the All Progressives Congress and other political parties, at a ceremony held the same day at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.

It was gathered that Abubakar was flanked by his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa; the National Chairman of the party, Iyiorcha Ayu; Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal and former Vice President Namadi Sambo.

Governors of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Adamawa, Umaru Fintiri, and of Taraba, Darius Ishaku, and their deputies were also in attendance.

Former governors of Jigawa, Sule Lamido; Adamawa, Boni Haruna and Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; among other dignitaries, were also present.

However, none of the governors and the PDP chieftains loyal to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, was in attendance at the rally.

Addressing the stakeholders from the North-East, Ayu said that the PDP did not want to be strong on social media nor did it want to be strong based on manipulated images on television.

He, however, confessed that he had fears that the venue of the rally would be empty with people refusing to attend.

He said, “While we were coming here today, I was apprehensive that perhaps, when we come, the North-East will not come out. A political party is the people, it is not just the leaders, sometimes, we lay too much emphasis on the leaders.

“Today, we see that the PDP is the strongest party in Nigeria. Those who have been building imaginary rallies; today, it was not a rally, it was a reception but we saw the number of people that came out like bees. That is to tell you that the PDP is strong on the ground, we don’t want to be strong on social media, we don’t want to be strong only on manipulated images on television, we want to see the real people.”

Ayu admonished the people to come out en masse and vote for all the candidates of the PDP from the State Assembly to the President in order to shame the enemies of the party who had been doing all they could to divide the party and had been lying that the party was divided.

“And today, it was clear that the PDP is a strong party. There are enemies of the party who are determined to cause division among us, who are telling lies about divisions in the PDP.

“I want to assure you that they will be disappointed because at the end of the day, this party will come up en masse and vote for all our candidates from bottom to top, not from top to bottom but from the bottom to the top – all our House and National Assembly candidates, and all our governors will come back to office.

“And of course, having stayed out of power for eight years, the PDP is marching massively to Aso Villa with President Atiku Abubakar. He will resume back to the place where he has experience there as a Vice President and assisted ably, by Vice President Ifeanyi Okowa,” he stated.

The PDP National Chairman added that: “In a presidential election, if you don’t win Bauchi, you can’t win the presidency, and we are very sure that with what we saw today; the massive mobilisation that has been done, we are certainly on our way to victory.

“Atiku is your son, the North-East has never had a President before, and yet, when democracy started, the North-East led the way with Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. Power is returning to the North-East, vote for your son, come out en masse, it is not enough to come for the rally.

“All of you should have a Permanent Voter Card make sure you campaign at your polling unit, don’t campaign only at rallies, we don’t want people in Abuja, everybody must go back home to his polling unit. On that day (election day), we will shock Nigerians, the victory margin is going to be seven million votes.

“Atiku Abubakar will move to the Villa and we will rescue the country from all the damages that the present government has done. We have suffered insecurity in the North-East, you are suffering from hunger, you are suffering from diseases. The PDP under the leadership of President Atiku Abubakar will correct these ills.”

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JUST IN: 31-Yr-Old Belgium Star, Eden Hazard Quits International Football

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Belgium star Eden Hazard announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, days after the team crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage.

The Real Madrid forward, 31, made the announcement on social media, saying “a page turns today”.

“Thank you for your unparalleled support,” he posted on Instagram.

“Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career.

“The succession is ready. I will miss you.”

Hazard was the standard-bearer of Belgium’s much-vaunted “golden generation”, which reached the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The ageing team failed to make it past the first round in Qatar, finishing third in Group F behind Morocco and Croatia.

 

Credit: AFP

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Post-COVID Protest: China Loosens Strict Restrictions 2-Yrs After Pandemic

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China announced Wednesday a nationwide loosening of Covid restrictions following protests against the hardline strategy that grew into calls for greater political freedoms.

Anger over China’s zero-Covid policy, which involved mass lockdowns, constant testing and quarantines even for people who are not infected, stoked unrest not seen since the 1989 pro-democracy protests.

Under the new guidelines announced by the National Health Commission, the frequency and scope of PCR testing — long a tedious mainstay of life in zero-Covid China — will be reduced.

Lockdowns will also be scaled down and people with non-severe Covid cases can isolate at home instead of centralised government facilities.

And people will no longer be required to show a green health code on their phone to enter public buildings and spaces, except for “nursing homes, medical institutions, kindergartens, middle and high schools.”

The new rules scrap the forced quarantines for people with no symptoms or with mild cases.

“Asymptomatic infected persons and mild cases who are eligible for home isolation are generally isolated at home, or they can voluntarily choose centralised isolation for treatment,” the new rules read.

“Mass PCR testing only carried out in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and high-risk work units; scope and frequency of PCR testing to be further reduced,” they added.

“People travelling across provinces do not need to provide a 48h test result and do not need to test upon arrival.”

China will also accelerate the vaccination of the elderly, the NHC said, long seen as a major obstacle to the relaxation of Beijing’s no-tolerance approach to Covid.

Rare demonstrations against the ruling Communist Party’s zero-Covid strategy broke out across China late last month.

They expanded into calls for more political freedoms, with some even calling for President Xi Jinping to resign.

Authorities cracked down on subsequent efforts to protest while easing a number of restrictions, with some Chinese cities tentatively rolling back mass testing and curbs on movement.

The capital Beijing, where many businesses have fully reopened, said this week that commuters were no longer required to show a negative virus test taken within 48 hours to use public transport.

Financial hub Shanghai, which underwent a brutal two-month lockdown this year, announced the same rules, with residents able to enter outdoor venues such as parks and tourist attractions without a recent test.

And once dominated by doom and gloom coverage of the dangers of the virus and scenes of pandemic chaos abroad, China’s tightly controlled media dramatically shifted tone to support a tentative moving away from zero-Covid.

The prevalent Omicron strain is “not at all like last year’s Delta variant,” Guangzhou-based medicine professor Chong Yutian said in an article published by the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily.

“After infection with the Omicron variant, the vast majority will have no or light symptoms, and very few will go on to have severe symptoms, this is already widely known,” he assured readers.

But analysts at Japanese firm Nomura on Monday calculated that 53 cities — home to nearly a third of China’s population — still had some restrictions in place.

Wednesday’s announcement came hours after the government released further data showing the crippling economic impacts of zero-Covid.

Imports and exports plunged in November to levels not seen since early 2020.

Imports in November fell 10.6 percent year-on-year, the biggest drop since May 2020, according to the General Administration of Customs. Exports fell 8.7 percent over the same period.

 

Credit: AFP

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19-Yr-Old Endurance Arrested After Defrauding A British Lady Of £450K And Using The Money To Buy Cars, Gold Chains, Others

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A 19-year-old  man, Iredia Endurance has been arrested by the operatives of Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged fraud.

According to a statement released by Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the anti-graft agencym says Endurance was recently arrested by the Commission following a petition by one Chrstine Brown, a British citizen, alleging that the suspect defrauded her of £450,000.00.

“Upon arrest, the suspect confessed he received £250,000.00 from the complainant in Bitcoin, FedEx and gift cards. On what he did with the money, the suspect averred that they were expanded on cars, gold chains, and landed properties, among others.

Some of the items recovered from the suspect include mobile  phones, laptops, sim cards and landed property.” He added that the suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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