A former majority leader in Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Joseph Nwobashi said he has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the national leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on the grand plot by certain individuals to deny him the party’s House of Representatives ticket for Ezza North/Ishielu Federal constituency which he duly won during primaries.
Nwobashi who briefed Journalists in Abakaliki on Monday alleged that the members representing Ezza North/Ishielu Federal constituency, Hon Anayo Edwin Nwonu were hellbent on snatching the ticket from him.
He alleged that Hon. Nwonu was scheming to take away his ticket from him, so he would recontest for House of Representatives on the platform of APGA, having failed his governorship bid in the PDP.
He vowed to challenge the matter in court if his name is substituted with any other person’s name, ahead of the election.
Nwobashi said: “The primary election for House of Representatives in APGA was conducted on 27th May 2022 in Ebonyi State and I won the ticket to represent Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency.
“Our names were sent to the national secretariat of our party after the primaries and certificates of returns have been issued to all of us that won in Ebonyi State.
“Recently, I have been receiving a lot of pressure from someone who wants me to step down for him. I have also been receiving some pressure from his supporters. But I want to make it public that I have not stepped down for anyone and have no intention to step down for anyone.
“I want to assure my supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, that my ticket is intact and I’m fully in the race. So, I have notified the INEC and other relevant agencies to take note, that should there be any notice to them that I have withdrawn, they should disregard it.”
Reacting in a telephone interview, the Member representing Ezza North/Ishielu Federal constituency, Hon Edwin Nwonu, debunked the allegations and cautioned Mr Nwobashi to stop maligning his name.
Nwonu popularly known as Anatex urged Mr Nwobashi to desist from linking him with whatever problem he has with his party.
He said the allegation by Mr Nwobashi that he was plotting to snatch his ticket was baseless as neither the constitution nor the Electoral Act gave him such powers.
Asked about his membership status in APGA, Nwonu simply said alot of parties had been lobbying him to join them due to his goodwill but was yet to make his mind on any.
Nwonu said: “The point here is that I don’t know why someone will derive joy in maligning my name. If Nwobashi has a problem with his party, he should go and sort it out himself and stop mentioning my name.
“Other political parties not only APGA are approaching me to join them. But it’s for me to decide what I want to do? Not people talking about what they do not know. Like I said before, no person can take a ticket to a political party on his own.
“The ticket of a political party is a decision of the party. Like this one, Mr Nwobashi is saying that Anatex wants to collect his ticket, but I don’t have the power to do so.
The Constitution and the Electoral Act do not allow me to do that, but he is just making noise, talking about what he does not know. He is talking like an illiterate. Electoral Act doesn’t allow me to do that. Every party process depends on the political party, not me. I don’t know why he should he mentioning my name. And like what he said that I have been threatening him, I have not seen Nwobashi for the past two years.
“I have not called him on phone. Let him show you, people, the evidence that I called him on phone. I have not discussed anything with Nwobashi about any ticket or no ticket. So, he should leave me alone.
“Finally, I know their problem, their problem is my popularity. Their problem is why must Anatex be rising this way. But it’s not my fault, it’s my goodwill and God. They are afraid of Anatex coming on board, not only he is doing that. The summary is that I’m a good market that every political party wants to buy.”
APC Chieftain Warns CAN Against Dogara, Lawal
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have been called upon not to drag the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) into their dispute as this will negate the principles of CAN in maintaining peace in Nigeria.
The call was made by the Plateau State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a statement to newsmen.
Dati said the duo were creating division among Christians with CAN, which seemed to support their antics since the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, chose former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as his Vice Presidential Candidate.
“But it is now an open secret that the position of CAN, may have been influenced by the duo, purely out of vendetta against the APC presidential candidate, for not looking their way to pick his running mate,” Dati alleged.
The Commissioner emphasised that CAN was established to make peace reign in the country by settling ethnic and religious crisis in the country and it has efficiently carried out this responsibilities over the years.
He noted that since CAN has elected a new leadership to steer its affairs, it is pertinent to offer the body a word or two of advice to save it from being used by politicians to achieve their selfish aims, more so “as we are on the cusp of another political season.”
“It is no longer news that immediately after the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate, that CAN took a position on the matter siding with certain APC members, especially former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara who lost out in the quest to be appointed running mate to Tinubu, to reject the ticket.
“They forget that it was Asiwaju Tinubu who nominated David Babachir Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Buhari administration as a mark of respect for the Adamawa born politician. Left for Tinubu who was then one of the national leaders of the APC, Babachir would have continued in office and probably even retained the position in the second tenure of the Buhari administration like his kinsman, Boss Mustapha has done, but for the notorious “grass cutting” controversy that eased him out of the government,” he said.
Dati also noted that notwithstanding this, “the Jagaba of Borgu, in an attempt to rehabilitate the sacked former SGF, gave him the responsibility of shortlisting possible vice presidential candidates for him.
“But even that simple task was twisted to favour certain parochial interests. Babachir recommended the Northeast and Northwest for the position to the detriment of the North Central geopolitical zone, which is the hub of Christianity in the Northern Nigeria.”
The Commissioner explained that this ostensibly, was to foreclose the consideration of Plateau State, which paraded the only Christian Governor of APC in Northern Nigeria.
“Interestingly, the Babachir committee recommended Senator Kashim Shetima as tops on their list and the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, simply acted on it. When confronted with these facts on national television, Babachir confirmed it, stating however that it was a draft!
“As evidence that Babachir was not sincere in his recommendation, he immediately took advantage of the religious fault lines together with Dogara, the other aggrieved VP hopeful who lost out, ignited the Muslim- Muslim controversy and unwittingly recruited CAN into the fray,” Dati alleged.
He also said that there was no way Tinubu would have picked either Babachir Lawal who hails from Adamawa State or Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi State because of the implications to his electoral fortune, adding that Adamawa where Babachir hails from and Bauchi, Dogara’s home state are both PDP controlled States.
Both men, in spite of their positions and enormous resources at their disposal, have consistently failed to deliver their respective states to the APC. “This is unlike Tinubu who always delivers”, he said.
“Due to the hullabaloo generated by the duo of Babachir and Dogara, the Asiwaju has gone ahead to pick Simon Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum to lead his campaign as the Director General.
“This choice is based on Gov Lalong’s enviable track record of fairness regardless of tribe, religion or creed. His excellent management of men and resources resulting in the restoration of relative peace in the once restive Plateau State has projected him to national limelight.
“As a Knight of the Catholic faith, Gov Simon Lalong also resonates with the northern Christians whose fears have been allayed. Those trying to rock the boat by insinuating that his appointment is an attempt to ridicule Christians were the same lot that campaign vigorously against Christians candidates, including an ordained pastor, at the APC primaries.
“The APC northern Christians are now energized, more than ever before, to pour themselves into the campaign,” the Commissioner said.
He also explained that religious bodies should be accommodating to all adherents without allowing themselves to be led by the nose by those who remember the association only when their selfish interests are at stake.
“Religious leaders should be wary of being reduced to lap dogs of politicians. This is the real challenge before the new leadership of CAN,” he advised.
Alleged Certificate Forgery: Court Fixes Sept 7 To Hear Suit Against Tinubu
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed September 7 to hear a suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), from contesting in the 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.
According to the plaintiffs, the deposition is untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections, Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the false information he had provided to INEC.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever”.
“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.
Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.
Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.
The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.
He adjourned the case to September 7 for a hearing.
Be Wary Of ‘Obidients’ Antics, Nnamani Cautions Constituents
The Senator representing Enugu East in the National Assembly, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, has again cautioned his constituents against succumbing to antics of supporters of the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, otherwise called Obidients.
He charged his supporters not to bow to pressure to vote for Obi based on sentiments.
Nnamani enjoined his supporters to remain steadfast with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate Atiku Abubakar and all other PDP candidates in order to restore hope and emancipate the people from deprivation.
The federal law maker said this in a statement he signed in Abuja, on Monday.
Nnamani cautioned against “Greek gifts” from the Obidients canvassers as that would negatively affect the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chances to produce state Governors, Senators, members of the House of Representatives and state House of Assembly.
The Senator likened the Obidients movement to the story of the Tortoise who borrowed feathers from other animals to enable him fly to attend a feast only to appropriate what belongs to everyone to himself alone, claiming to be everybody .
He said, “ That is exactly what they want. To borrow from every body and turn round to appropriate everything .
“Do not give them your feathers, let them Stay on the ground where they belong. Your feathers are the structures they need. Call their bluff.
“ Our party and platform is PDP. We must stand firm. We must not be swayed by the Obidient sentiments and vote Labour Party . If we blur the distinction , it will be difficult to reverse .
He further said, “ remember these Obidients advocates are noisy , loud , intolerant, proselytizers, condescending but less than 0.25 percent of over 200million Nigerian population. At least Osun state 2000 votes for Labour Party bears it out.
“ Why should we establish foundation and beech head for others . We cannot allow Obidients to inherit our labour in the PDP .
“In battle , do you give invaders your beech head to land and now seek to drive them away .
“We have to be on the alert because they are luring us into false sense of complacency using subterfuge.”
He explained that the boundaries are clear, so also the differences , “we are Ebeano and our political party is PDP, our symbol is umbrella not Labour Party
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