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Why I Did Not Call To Congratulate Buhari — Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, said he would have called to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, had the presidential election be free and fair of all inconsistencies.

Atiku made this assertion when he addressed the nation regarding the outcome of the polls.

He said, “If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South.

“However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019.”

The former Vice President said that he would challenge the outcome of the polls in court.

Meanwhile, in reaction to Atiku’s challenge, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says the party is looking forward to meeting with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, in court.

The APC chairman said, “from day 1, Atiku made up his mind that unless he wins, the election is not free and fair and it is only free and fair if he is returned as the candidate”.

He, therefore, stated that Atiku is free to go to court.

“You cannot possibly deny anyone the right to challenge the outcome of an election however free and fair… like myself when I believed I was cheated out,” Oshiomhole said Wednesday during a briefing in Abuja.

“If you have cause to dispute the outcome of an election, the only lawful way open to you is to go to court.

“So, we hope and we are looking forward to meeting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in court and the facts will be laid bare but if I might dare him, we might also choose to cross-petition”.

BIG STORY

We Do Not Recognise Akpaio, Lawan As Senatorial Candidates – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied recognizing Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan as candidates for the All Progressives Congress.

Both Lawan and Akpabio had contested the APC Presidential primaries.

However, after losing, both of them were listed as senatorial candidates by the APC, but INEC refused to recognize them.

On Tuesday, there were reports that the two had finally been recognized by the commission.

Reacting to this in a statement titled, ‘Spurious Allegations in Respect of Nomination of Candidates in Some Senatorial Districts’, the commission said it had not recognized them.

In the statement signed by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, the commission said the matter was still in court and it would maintain the status quo.

“For the record, the commission has not recognized any of the two personalities as a senatorial candidate.

“We call for responsible reportage as against the unwarranted attack on the commission and its officials over a matter than can be easily fact-checked,” the statement read.

The commission said a certified true copy of Form 9C was uploaded by the APC and received by the Commission on June 17, 2022, when the nomination portal closed was presented.

It explained that the Form EC9 submission of names of candidates by political parties is the form uploaded by parties on the INEC nomination portal.

“The forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the commission. The decision of the commission triggered legal actions which are still ongoing. It, therefore, defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognizing the duo as candidates when the matter is clearly sub-judice,” it said.

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BIG STORY

Muslim-Muslim: North-Central APC Members Protest Ticket, Reject Lalong [PHOTOS]

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An alliance of Christians under the umbrella of North Central Youths and Women Forum, on Tuesday, took to the streets in Abuja to protest against the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, as the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.

The protesters, who are members of the APC from the six North-Central States and the Federal Capital Territory, also marched to the Presidential Villa to submit a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, over the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the APC despite the national outcry.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Lalong is a Judas, Lalong is a betrayal, Lalong is on his own,’ ‘We say No to DGship, give us our VP slot’, ‘On North Central Christian vice-presidential candidate we stand,” and ‘Dear Asiwaju…keep your DG, give us a Christian VP, all Christians in the APC say no to DGship.’

Dauda Yakubu, the leader of the group, said various indices at play so far within the APC did not suggest that the Christians from northern Nigeria were considered in the party’s affairs.

While describing the appointment of Lalong as an insult to the North-Central region, the stakeholders said they would only accept the position of Vice President.

He noted that the party had neglected advice from concerned stakeholders by nominating a northern Muslim as the party’s vice-presidential candidate.

According to him, stakeholders in the APC, especially northern Christians, felt humiliated by the actions of the party’s leadership in recent times, which, he said, did not demonstrate ethnic and religious inclusion.

He called on Buhari to clear his role and make his position known on the party’s same faith ticket.

Yakubu said, “We feel the appointment of Governor Lalong as the Director General of the Presidential Campaign Council is an insult to our collective sensibilities as a devoted party faithful in the North-Central.

“Mr. President may wish to remember that in the affairs of the party, the North-Central zone has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment to the growth and development of the party. But what has the North-central received in return?

“We came from far and near to witness first-hand, the news making the rounds that you indeed, sanctioned the Muslim-Muslim ticket of our party. There have also been insinuations that the vice-presidential ticket was not given to a northern Christian because you supported it.

“We know you to be an advocate of unity, ethnic and religious inclusion. But again, we are short of words with the news making the rounds, hence, this open letter in a protest march to hear from you that you were indeed in support of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“This is on the heels that as stakeholders of our party, we have consistently advocated for Governor Lalong as the party’s vice-presidential candidate because he possesses all the necessary qualities. But to our dismay, he was appointed as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council.

“So many questions are left unanswered in our minds regarding the position of the party in the interest of northern Christians. We beg to ask the question that, if a northern Christian is good enough to lead the Presidential Campaign Council, why then is a northern Christian not good enough to be nominated as the vice presidential candidate of our party?

“It is our considered position that the lines are not connecting for us as stakeholders of the party in the North-Central zone of the country. And consequently, we demand explanations as to why our interests have been jettisoned using a yardstick that defeats common sense.”

Yakubu said the APC was the only party that did not consider the country’s religious sensitivity in the composition of its presidential team, adding that it was not on the strength of a lack of qualified and credible candidates.

While insisting that there was something fundamentally wrong, Yakubu said the forum was convinced beyond doubt that the President could not sanction such a move, going by his antecedents as a unifier and an advocate of peace.

“Your fatherly disposition to all, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliations, has never been in doubt. You have been a great source of strength and support to all, and it is on record that you have treated all in the same manner since you assumed leadership of our great country.

“We know that you can’t be a part of religious exclusion under any circumstances; hence, our presence here in Abuja through this peaceful protest, to hear from you if you support the Muslim-Muslim ticket of our party.

“At this stage, we cannot rely on rumors and hearsay because we know your pedigree as a father and mentor to all party members across the country. Mr President, it is our earnest desire that you, in your fatherly manner,” he stated.

Yakubu asked the APC leadership to convoke an emergency meeting to reflect the wishes and interests of northern Christians in the composition of the presidential team of the party for the 2023 presidential election.

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BIG STORY

2023: I’m Fully In charge Here, You Can’t Plot Against Me And Win Rivers Vote – Wike To Atiku

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On Monday, August 7, 2022, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State maintained that the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, will not get the votes of his State without giving something tangible.

It was gathered that Wike also threatened some of the state PDP stakeholders who went to Abuja to have meetings with Atiku on how to secure Rivers’ vote without the governor’s contribution.

It was earlier reported that Wike and Atiku have been at each other’s political throats following the PDP’s May presidential primary election and subsequent nomination of a vice-presidential candidate by Atiku.

Against the spirit of zoning, the party voted for Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate. Also, Atiku against the recommendation of a committee he constituted chose, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as running mate, instead of Wike who was recommended by the committee.

Things fell apart for PDP following its going against its constitution and Atiku going against the recommendation of the running mate committee.

Wike had made it clear that his support of Atiku’s ambition must be on a written agreement.

According to Wike’s camp, the governor of Rivers State is demanding that Atiku must sign on paper that he can only be president of the country for on single tenure if he wins come 2023.

Wike is also demanding the immediate resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ayu Iyorcha.

These demands by Wike have not been met, as the leadership of the party, according to sources considered them too much.

Governor Wike on Monday, at the inauguration of Orochiri-Worukwo (Waterlines junction) Flyover, slammed both Atiku and some PDP stakeholders in the state, who he alleged were having meetings with the presidential candidate in Abuja.

Wike stated, “If you say Rivers State does not matter, Rivers State will tell you that you don’t also matter at the appropriate time. If you don’t like us, we will not like you. If you like us, we will like you. Nobody will use our votes for nothing. Our votes will matter and Rivers State must benefit from anybody that we are going to support.

“Politics now is no longer just voting for somebody; it is about what you will do for the people of Rivers State.

“I am fully in charge. I am not that kind of governor people will go to Abuja and hold meetings against. I am fully in charge here.

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