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187 candidates jostle for 25 assembly seats

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CROSS RIVER HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

One hundred and eighty-seven candidates from 12 political parties are jostling for the 25 available seats in the Cross River House of Assembly in the 2023 general elections.

This was disclosed by Cyril Omorogbe, resident electoral commissioner of the state at a news conference in Calabar.

He also disclosed that 11 political parties fielded 69 and 28 candidates for the eight house of representatives seats and the three senatorial seats respectively.

He said 11 political parties would fight for the governorship position,d adding that Cross River had 322,351 new registrants in the just concluded voters registration.

“The total completed registration recorded in the state at the close of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) is 322,351 as well as 58,305 voter transfers and 20,822 PVC replacements,” he explained. “A total of 73 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Voter Enrolment Devices were deployed to the 19 registration centres in Cross River state (i.e. the 18 LGA offices and the state office) during the exercise.”

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On Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) collection, Mr Omorogbe said collection would continue in all the local council offices of the state, while 69,016 PVCs remained uncollected from 2011 to date.

He expressed regret that the collection rate of the PVCs was low, considering that it was just six months to the general elections.

“PVCs collection will continue in all the LGA offices. PVCs collection by owners was one of the services carried out by our staff alongside the CVR,” he added. “A total of 27,158 new PVCs were received by the state commission in April for distribution to their owners but at the close of registration, only 3,897 were so far collected by voters, leaving an outstanding balance of 23,261.”

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According to him, this set of PVCs is for people that registered from June to December 2021, noting that from the old PVCs left over from 2011 to 2018, out of 57,310 PVCs only 11,555 have been collected “during this period under review with an outstanding 45,755 still not collected.”

Meanwhile, INEC has fixed February 25, 2023 for the presidential and national assembly elections and March 11 2023 for governorship and state parliamentary elections.

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Campaigns are expected to commence on September 28 and October 12 for the presidential/national parliamentary polls and governorship/state assembly elections respectively.

(NAN)

Source: People Gazette

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Politics

Knocks as Peter Obi, Yusuf Datti visit IBB for “fatherly advice”

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Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed with Ibrahim Babangida

Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi was again a guest at the Minna hilltop residence of former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida on Sunday, this time with his running mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.

It was the second time Mr Obi will be visiting the former military president since he began nationwide consultation towards realising his ambition in 2023.

“Today, my running mate, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed and I visited President  Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, GCFR, at his home in Minna”, Mr Obi announced in a tweet.

The LP presidential candidate thanked Mr Babangida for his “fatherly counsel” during the visit.

At over 80, Mr Babangida who ruled Nigeria for eight years in the 80s, has loomed large over Nigeria’s political landscape. Presidential aspirants at election cycles often throng his abode to secure endorsement.

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The ex-military junta head is however loathed by pro-democracy activists for annulling the June 12, 1993 presidential election, adjudged to be the freest and fairest in the history of the country. Mr Babangida is also accused of entrenching the culture of corruption in the Nigerian public system.

It was then no surprise that Mr Obi’s visit to Minna irked some of his critics who accused him of hobnobbing with past leaders who destroyed the country.

A Twitter user, @realiweez said “Peter I don’t like this man, you have joined the organized criminal gang. You have lost my vote for this.”

“When we told you that obi is a scam you called us names, how can you change Nigeria when you still hobnobbing(sic) with same people that brought us into this mess especially Babangida someone that annulled the most free election in Nigeria consulting him for what exactly? Another Twitter user @Bayolondo2 said.

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@jagunbaba said, “He is only disguising ni, he is very much part of the establishment. PitObi is no where clean or messianic. He is just taking his followers on a journey of no good end. I only pity those ones among that knows nothing but abusing people on social media.”

Two weeks ago, human rights lawyer Femi Falana cautioned Mr Obi against fraternising with those who destroyed Nigeria.

“Let me challenge the leaders of the Labour Party. You aren’t going to get power in Nigeria by adopting the methods of the bourgeoisie. If you want to mobilise the Nigerian people, you must go beyond visiting those who destroyed Nigeria,” Mr Falana said while addressing the Labour Party’s national retreat.

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Bayelsa APC chieftain John Lyon known for flaunting wealth arrested for kidnapping

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John Lyon

John Lyon, popularly known for flaunting loads of money on social media, has been arrested by police detectives for allegedly belonging to a kidnap syndicate operating in Bayelsa.

Mr Lyon, accused of being responsible for several high-profile abductions in the Niger Delta region, was tracked and nabbed at the weekend, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The suspect had on several occasions identified himself as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Bayelsa, on his Facebook page.

His elder brother, David Lyon was the former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 Bayelsa gubernatorial election.

Although, David was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), his victory was invalidated by the Supreme Court which ruled that his running-mate, Degi Eremienyo Wangagra, submitted a fake certificate to the electoral body.

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The court immediately ordered that Douye Diri of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was the runner-up in the exercise be issued a certificate of return by INEC and subsequently sworn in as Bayelsa governor.

Peoples Gazette saw a video showing the alleged kidnapper, kneeling on the bare floor while being handcuffed and interrogated by persons who sounded like police detectives.

In the one minute, 29 seconds video, Mr Lyon, barely clad in a boxer, confessed to the crime though he claimed he had only participated in only two of his syndicate’s kidnap operations.

He also pleaded for mercy, claiming that his wife had just put to bed and delivered of a baby.

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In the video, The Gazette noticed the voice of a man in the background claiming he was one of Mr Lyon’s victims while noting that the suspect must have kidnapped more than two persons.

The man claimed he once fell prey as Mr Lyon and his gang abducted him and threatened to “waste” him if he would refuse to pay ransom for his release.

A search conducted on Mr Lyon’s social media page (Facebook) showed that the suspect once worked for Sterling bank between 2008 and 2014.

His social media posts showed him flaunting luxurious items and displaying wads of dollars while asking his followers to “hustle for their money.”

There are pictures of him posing at different social gatherings, posing with security details.

Police spokesperson in Bayelsa, Asinim Butswat, confirmed Mr Lyon’s arrest on Sunday, saying the suspect is currently in custody.

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Ms Butswat said the command would provide full details of his arrest to the public on Monday.

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APC plots to shortchange Christians – Ex-SGF Lawal alleges

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APC plots to shortchange Christians – Ex-SGF Lawal alleges

Immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal has said that the Christian politicians in Northern Nigeria would remain steadfast in their stand for justice, equity and fair play in the 2023 political dispensation in the overall interest of the nation.

According to him, any nation or political dispensation built on injustice would crumble because justice and equity settle all other disputes.

Lawal in a statement in Abuja on Sunday titled, “Why we are doing what we are doing”, was pleading with Nigerians to understand the position of the Northern Christian politicians on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.

He said neither the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, nor his running mate, Kashim Shettima and the political party has ever seen anything wrong in their choice of same faith ticket for 2023 to make peace or assuage the feelings of Northern Christian politicians.

The statement reads, “Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon (Yakubu) Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC.

“I now want to respond to this. We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because, in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such.

“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.

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“There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.

“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.

“It seems that Bola/Shettima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is a division within the Christendom on this matter.

“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people while also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.

“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.

“Everyone, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “Christian” organizations that churn out falsehoods to the public.

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“It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.

“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government.

“The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.

“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.

“The other key positions, the Senate President, Speaker, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President, have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions, respectively.

“Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Representatives member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies.

“In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.

“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra?

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“If Kashim Shettima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government?

“Let us make no mistake; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.

“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.

“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind.

“So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north.”

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