Towards Hitch-Free Poll In Anambra
Barring unforeseen negative circumstances, the indigenes and residents of Anambra State will, tomorrow, November 6, turn out in their number from every nook and cranny of the state to elect a new governor that will take over from the incumbent, Willie Obiano, whose second tenure expires on March 17, 2022.
The off-season election has been generating so much anxiety among the people of the South-East following the wanton destruction of lives and property in that region by heartless and criminal elements in recent times. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been spasmodically named in connection with the orgy of violence, particularly because of its professed undertaking to make certain that the November 6 election does not hold.
In one of the most uncertain elections in Nigeria’s history, 18 candidates are lobbying the hearts and votes of the Anambra people. As a bargaining chip, IPOB has vowed that unless its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is released from detention unconditionally, on or before November 4, the entire South-East will be on lockdown from November 5 (a day before the Anambra governorship election).
Kanu is being tried on an amended seven-count charge of alleged treason, secession and terrorism for which he had pleaded “not guilty”; and the trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja has been adjourned to November 10, 2021, when his lawyers will be expected to raise objections to the charges.
IPOB has also warned the people of Anambra to remain indoors throughout the sit-at-home order for their safety. It is pertinent to note that the organisation has been enforcing the Monday sit-at-home directive in the South-East with ferocious venom since it became public knowledge that Kanu had been arrested by the Federal Government.
Although the body has denied directing a boycott of the governorship election in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the proscribed group is too clever by half as it reiterated its warning on lockdown if Kanu was not released from custody. “For the sake of clarity, what we said was that the entire Biafraland would be locked down from November 5 to November 10, 2021, if the Federal Government failed to release our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unconditionally”, he said.
INEC had expressed concerns about the Anambra gubernatorial election and warned against the constitutional crisis that might engulf the state if the situation persisted. Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, affirmed the fears during a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja recently. Recall that last May, the INEC office in Awka was attacked wherein non-sensitive materials and vehicles were wrecked.
Both the voters and the candidates are in a panic. The buildup is so unseemly that even contestants cannot openly campaign or make “empty or substantive” promises to voters. Some candidates held election campaigns in faraway Lagos, hoping that the information would spread more than 407 kilometres to reach people in Akwa and other areas. This is the dark atmosphere in the most important political and economic capital of the South-East.
Regardless, INEC has restated its commitment to go on with the election as scheduled. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has ordered a major overhaul of the security landscape in Anambra ahead of the election. Consequently, 34,587 police personnel, including two DIGs, five AIGs, 14 Commissioners of Police, 31 Deputy Commissioners of Police, 48 Assistant Commissioners of Police as well as three helicopters have been deployed to the state to ensure adequate security for the conduct of the poll.
It is worth noting that at this critical moment, the impact of IPOB cannot be quelled, because the group’s problem is pervasive in the South-East for the past few years, trying to discredit governance and authority in the whole area. This group of agitators, hastily proscribed as terrorists by the Federal Government, has consistently carried out violent protests in the entire region against Kanu’s incarceration. Hence, for peace to reign, the Federal Government should dialogue with the group to ensure a smooth election.
This ill wind will blow no one any good. A militarised Election Day by IPOB or the state is inharmonious with free and fair election and public interest. The tense atmosphere will only benefit dubious politicians, waiting to use the apathy of voters to seize the whole process and impose an unpopular candidate on the state. It has also set dangerous priorities for the entire region. IPOB and Anambra should not succumb to this hushed attempt to set the country back.
Contrary to the blanket iron-fit approach of the Biafran group and its probable effect on the election, the body should subject its campaign for a fair deal for the Igbo Nation and Nnamdi Kanu within the Nigerian corporate existence to the judicial process for peace sake. Bloodletting and crude aggression are neither in the interest of the group nor of the region at large.
Also, IPOB and its supporters should be more cautious and trust the judiciary, because it is the last hope of the ordinary person. The continued siege of the people they vowed to defend has been socially and economically counterproductive, and the political turn of events is waiting to destroy their beleaguered fortunes for the worst.
Without a doubt, the Anambra election is a test case for the 2023 general election. This should not be a matter of life and death. It must be free, fair and credible, and the results must reflect the will of the people. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure its success. Citizens must ensure that they come out to vote or live with the consequences.
Voters must exercise their privileges freely and fearlessly without intimidation. Politicians, their agents and supporters must maintain order and peace during the election. We believe that if all parties concerned follow the rules, the election will be successful. Most importantly, let the INEC ensure that the votes count.
Obi, Abure Masterminded Apapa’s Attack At Tribunal – Arabambi
The embattled National Chairman of the Labour Party, Lamidi Apapa has alleged that the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi and the party’s suspended National Chairman, Julius Abure, on Wednesday, sponsored thugs against him (Apapa) at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, venue of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC.
Apapa was reportedly mobbed by some angry youths who were at the court to witness proceedings in the petition that Obi filed to challenge the outcome of the presidential election that held on February 25.
Speaking on the development, in an exclusive interview with The Tide source on Wednesday, the factional National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi, said he was surprised that this was how Obi, Abure and their supporters intended to come at them.
He said, “They attacked some police. They were fighting with press men. It was the security operatives that saved us. They came there to kill today (Wednesday) and we will definitely petition the police.”
When asked to provide evidence, Arabambi said, “We have the video now, the man that removed the cap of Apapa, we know him. We know them. We know all of them.
“We were together in the court when they started attacking us. Are they not Obidients, are they not shouting Obidients, shouting: Thief Thief on us!”
“It shows the character of who that man is. He can not even govern a local government,” he added.
The spokesperson of the Labour Party, has, however, insisted that they will petition the Inspector General of Police over the incident.
Buhari Returns To Abuja From UK Trip
After an additional week in the United Kingdom, where he had gone to attend the coronation of King Charles III, President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria.
The President’s aircraft touched down at 4:45 pm yesterday, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja from where he was flown to the Presidential Villa in a chopper.
President Buhari left Nigeria on May 3 for the UK to participate in the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and his Queen Consort, Camilla, of the United Kingdom.
He was initially billed to return to Abuja within the week but had to extend his stay for an additional week to enable him to honour an appointment with his dentist.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced Buhari’s decision to stay another week in London in a statement.
“President Muhammadu Buhari will be in London, United Kingdom, for an additional week, at the behest of his dentist, who has started attending to him.
“The specialist requires to see the President in another five days for a procedure already commenced.
“President Buhari had joined other world leaders to attend the coronation of King Charles lll on May 6, 2023,” the statement said.
Buhari is expected to hand over the reins of power to his successor and political ally, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29th.
Already the Presidential Villa is taking a new shape as the maintenance officers are effecting necessary repairs of the seat of power.
Hyde Energy Set To Relaunch Luminor Lubricants
Hyde Energy Limited, a global petroleum-trading company with a downstream network in Nigeria, has revealed plans to relaunch Luminor, one of the company’s automotive lubricants.
The Chief Executive and founder of Hyde Energy, Olademeji Edwards, disclosed this recently at a media parley held in Lagos.
Hyde Energy operates across the value chain of the energy industry, and deals with the importation of petroleum products, including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Gasoil, Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Jet Fuel, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), automotive lubricants, and Naphtha.
Speaking with the press, Mr. Olademeji said in the next six months, Hyde Energy would be performing a relaunch of its Luminor brand and other products.
“The Hyde Luminor brand is a fantastic brand and has infiltrated the hearts of a few Nigerians.
“We launched that particular lubricant in 2017, and in our first year we sold five thousand litres in a quarter; today we are doing almost three thousand litres in a month, which is not a lot compared to other companies.
“But in the next six months, we are performing a relaunch of our products. We are going launching new labels, new bottles, and a new winning strategy coming into Lagos.
“We have not really been popular in Lagos; we have mostly been operating in the Southeast, Abuja, East and Calabar, which is where we get most of our volumes.
“But you will be hearing more and more of the Hyde Luminor brand going forward in weeks and months ahead, and we will enter into partnership with key people that would help us penetrate the market, and work with stockiest, so they can enjoy and know about us”, he said.
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