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Fake news, propaganda biggest threats to Nigeria’s democracy: Jonathan

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Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the biggest threat to democracy is no longer the gun, but propaganda, fake news and disinformation.

Mr Jonathan stated this in Abuja at the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation 2022 Peace Conference with the theme, “Nation Building: The Role of Peaceful Elections in a Multi-Ethnic Context’’.

Mr Jonathan urged young Nigerians to embrace good conduct rather than hate speech, saying those advocating for violence and orchestrating fake news were the big threats to democracy.

“We must discourage this issue of hate speech and propaganda that are going on because before this time, we were always afraid of the gun as a threat to democracy.

“But the biggest threat to democracy now that we know is the issue of propaganda, fake news and hate speech. Anybody that is an advocate or vanguard of this is a threat to democracy just like the gun.

“So, our young people should know that we must embrace good conduct that would lead to good elections,’’ Jonathan said.

  Details of Atiku, Wike meeting with PDP's BoT emerge

Mr Jonathan also advised political parties, their candidates and supporters to put the country first in their conducts towards the 2023 general elections.

“I always say that, first we must have a country and state before you talk about having a president or having a governor. If you destroy the country, then where do you need a president? We don’t need a president.

“So, anybody that is interested in leadership at the level of the president, governor, senator etc you have the biggest stake in protecting the country.

“If you know where nations are in crisis, you will not think about the economy and before you know it everything will go down.

“So, those who want to be president, governors and their supporters should first know that we need a nation before whoever you are supporting can emerge as a governor or president,’’ Mr Jonathan said.

He added that the interest of every politician should be the people first; saying those who are going into politics to make money should rather go into business.

  Party Chairman reacts to results

Mr Jonathan urged religious leaders and civil society to continue to sensitise Nigerians until the country was better.

The former president, who noted that the electoral process of the country had improved, said that with the introduction of technology it would continue to be better and faster.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Ann Iyonu, said that as the 2023 election approached, there was a compelling need now more than ever for multi-stakeholder consensus building towards ensuring credible, transparent, and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

Ms Iyonu said that to avoid a situation where elections divide rather than strengthen nations, all stakeholders needed to make a conscious effort to embrace and promote a culture of peace, justice, equity, and fairness for all groups in the polity.

She said that the aim of the conference was to provide the avenue to examine how the Nigerian democratic space had evolved, discuss the trends and threats to an inclusive and peaceful election.

  Buhari, APC Govs meet over National Convention

“Promote the culture of tolerance among different political actors and highlight best practices for the conduct of credible and violence-free elections in Nigeria.

“We also hope that at the end of the deliberations, we would have canvassed strategies toward nation-building that will consolidate our nation’s 23 years of democracy and sustain a culture of peaceful elections in the country,” she said.

(NAN)

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Politics

Saraki breaks silence on PDP crisis, states position on Atiku’s candidacy

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Saraki breaks silence on PDP crisis, states position on Atiku’s candidacy

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki has responded to the PDP crisis that is roiling the party.

The former presidential candidate claimed in a post on his social media accounts on Saturday that he had been working quietly behind the scenes to ensure the party’s return to normalcy.

Earlier this year, following the party’s primary election, which took place on May 29 in Abuja, the main opposition party experienced an unusual crisis.

Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, and his supporters demanded the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP National Chairman, on the grounds that he had orchestrated Wike’s demise.

  Details of Atiku, Wike meeting with PDP's BoT emerge

However, the crisis has worsened as a result of Ayu’s refusal to step down because Wike and his group have vowed to work against the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the upcoming election.

Recall that Wike and some PDP stakeholders a few days ago, pulled out of Atiku’s campaign council, insisted that Ayu must resign before the party could get their support.

But speaking on the developments, Saraki, who was also an aspirant during the primary election, said Atiku remains the best option for the country.

  Party Chairman reacts to results

He wrote, “I just returned from my annual vacation and went straight to Akwa Ibom to join the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the state’s creation.

“As I moved around the country in the past few days, I got the feeling that many people are concerned over my seeming silence on recent developments in our party, the PDP.

“My response is that there are times to speak and be heard and there are times when working silently behind the scenes is more productive. This is such a time.

“PDP and Atiku Abubakar remain the best option for Nigerians in the 2023 polls”!

  Buhari, APC Govs meet over National Convention

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Pa Adebanjo backing Peter Obi with ‘Ohanifere’ for selfish interest: Tinubu

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Bola Tinubu and Pa Ayo Adebanjo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has criticised the leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, for using the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group to pursue a personal political agenda against the ruling party’s flag bearer, Bola Tinubu.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson for the APC campaign council, accused Mr Adebanjo of masquerading with Afenifere to canvass support for Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the 2023 general election.

“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr Peter Obi as a candidate for the 2023 presidential election,” Mr Onanuga said.

  Details of Atiku, Wike meeting with PDP's BoT emerge

Mr Adebanjo, one of the revered leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, has openly supported Mr Obi in his presidential bid to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who would be rounding off his eight years tenure on the seat.

The Afenifere leader has continuously shown his disdain for the person of Mr Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, after the latter caused division in the pan-Yoruba group in the run-up to the 2003 election, causing its members to split in different groups.

Also, Mr Adebanjo has never failed to assert that his decision to support Mr Obi, who is from the South-east part of the country, was based on equity, fairness, and justice.

  Party Chairman reacts to results

The APC campaign council said Mr Adebanjo, although free as an individual to support any candidate of his choice in the election, does not speak for Afenifere.

“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance,” the statement said.

The statement further, “We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.

“It is our well considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he  cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation.”

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Saraki says silence best answer to Wike’s temper tantrum in PDP

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Wike and Saraki

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki says he’s chosen to keep mum in response to the internal wranglings happening in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“As I moved around the country in the past few days, I got the feeling that many people are concerned over my seeming silence on recent developments in our party, the PDP,” the former senate president tweeted on Saturday night.

“My response is that there are times to speak and be heard and there are times when working silently behind the scenes is more productive. This is such a time. PDP and Atiku Abubakar remain the best option for Nigerians in the 2023 polls,” Mr Saraki added.

  Details of Atiku, Wike meeting with PDP's BoT emerge

A crisis is brewing in the PDP, spearheaded by Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike and supported by the southern caucus of the party including Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde and former deputy national chairman of the party, Bode George.

Mr Wike, who has insisted on the resignation of the National Chairman of PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, as a prerequisite to supporting the party towards the 2023 election, recently escalated his internal opposition through individual name-calling.

On Friday, he blasted Mr Saraki and others, accusing them of being partly responsible for the loss of former President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2015 polls.

  Party Chairman reacts to results

There seems to be no resolution to the crisis as Mr Atiku’s loyalists appear ready to move on with the elections whether or not Mr Wike and members of his group are onboard.

“Atiku left, the party survived. Ayu left, the party survived. If Wike leaves the party will survive. Obasanjo is not in PDP, it survived. You need to understand and know the limit of your operation and influence,” Mr Atiku’s spokesperson Daniel Bwala said on Friday.

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