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Abraham, Boroffice absent as Buhari meets defeated APC guber aspirants

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Akure met with governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, to solicit their support for the candidate of the party, Rotimi Akeredolu.

He commended the aspirants for their loyalty to the party despite losing to Mr. Akeredolu in the September 3 primary election.

Mr. Akeredolu was declared winner of the primary election after polling 699 votes, a victory that was intensely challenged by Olusola Oke, Ajayi Boroffice and Olusegun Abraham, top runners at the primary election of the party.

It was gathered that Messrs. Boroffice and Abraham, who voiced their discontent with the outcome of the election and choice of Mr. Akeredolu, did not attend the meeting with the President.

The meeting with the president was attended by about 19 aspirants, some of whom are already involved in the campaign project of the candidate.

While Mr. Boroffice who came fourth with 471 votes, had maintained a low profile since the crisis over the choice of the candidate, Mr. Abraham, who came second with 639 votes, on the other hand took the matter to court, seeking the nullification of the primary election over acclaimed irregularities.

Mr. Boroffice and Abraham had maintained their membership of the party, though unhappy with the turn of events. However, Olusola Oke, who placed third with 576 votes in the primary, moved to Alliance for Democracy where he is currently the candidate for next Saturday’s election.

One of the aspirants, Tunji Ariyomo, said the meeting underscored the president’s respect for the aspirants.

“The meeting was to ensure that we are on the same page as we enter into the election, and to ensure that all the aspirants were behind the candidate,” he said.

“This shows that we are united and we are approaching the election as a united party.”
He said the president commended the aspirants for staying behind the candidate who won the election, given that in every contest one person would emerge winner.

A statement by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said President Buhari told the aspirants at the meeting attended by other party leaders, that the unity of the party was crucial for the outcome of next Saturday’s election.

“I am very pleased that those of you who lost the primaries are still very much in the party,” the president said.

“That you lose elections doesn’t mean you should walk away, you keep on trying. I went to the Supreme Court three times in my bid to become the President of Nigeria.

“I like your high spirit and your commitment to the party and I hope your constituencies are taking note of that.”
The President, who was accompanied to the meeting by the Senate President, APC National Chairman, several APC governors and ministers, told the party faithful in Ondo that he looked forward to a successful election next week.
President Buhari assured Nigerians that determined, steadfast and patriotic people in the APC-led government will transform the nation’s ailing economy, which, he said, was run aground by the party that governed Nigeria for 16 years from 1999-2015.

In his remarks, the representative of the aspirants, Tunji Abayomi, assured the president that they had resolved to deliver Ondo to APC.

“No single aspirant left the party after the primaries. Those who left the party were not party members; they returned to where they belonged,’’ Mr. Abayomi said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of APC Elders Council, Ondo State, Olorunnimbe Farukanmi, said Mr. Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was eminently qualified to lead the state.

“We have fielded an experienced, informed, hardworking and capable legal practitioner to work with President Buhari to carry out massive industrial development, job creation, eradication of poverty and massive economic improvement in the nation,’’ he said.

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POLITICS

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour emerges Labour Party guber candidate in Lagos

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Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has emerged as Labour Party guber candidate in Lagos.

He polled 111 votes to defeat his opponent Mashood Salvador in the just concluded Labour Party substitution primary on Wednesday.

Mr Salvador could only muster 102 votes.

Mr Rhodes, 39, left the Peoples Democratic Party last month to join the Labour Party to fulfil him ambition of running for the governorship of Lagos State. 

Football transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, tweeted on Thursday morning: “Chelsea are working on many different deals. Talks on with intermediaries of Wesley Fofana deal, after two bids rejected; Pierre Aubameyang discussed as option since last week but no proposal to Barça yet.

“New bid expected soon for Inter’s 2003 born talent Cesare Casadei.”

Mr Salvador, his competitor had also defected the All Progressive Congress, APC last month as well.

Meanwhile, former state party chairman, Ifagbemi Awamaridi who had initially won the gubernatorial ticket of the party when the primaries were held months ago vowed to not let go of his ticket since he is recognised by the INEC as the flag bearer.

Labour Party hierarchy however insists Mr Awamaridi was just a placeholder who had withdrawn from the party’s candidature via a letter.

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Sen. Dariye may pick Labour Party nomination form after prison release

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A former governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye may declare interest to contest the Plateau Central senatorial seat on the platform of the Labour Party (LP). 

Dariye; former Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame, and three others were, on Monday released from prison three months after their pardon by the Council of State led by President Muhammadu Buhari, on April 14, 2022. 

Dariye, who was serving 10 years’ imprisonment for N1.126 billion fraud, was released after about four years in prison. 

It was gathered from credible sources that the Plateau State chapter of LP has concluded arrangements to receive the former Plateau governor from Abuja to pick the party’s senatorial form. 

Dariye, who served as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, defected from the party. He contested and won a senatorial seat in 2011 on the platform of LP.

A Labour Party official, who preferred not to be named, said: “Yes, it is true that he (Dariye) will be running for a Senate seat. We are making arrangements for him to come from Abuja for the senatorial declaration.”

The source said Dariye would spring surprises at the polls because he remained loved by many in the state.

The party official said that Dariye was “still very popular and relevant in Plateau Central in spite of his ordeals.

Dariye’s homecoming, the source said, has also given a boost to the governorship bid of the party’s governorship candidate, Patrick Dakum, who defected to the Labour Party, after failing to secure the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Call your supporters to order, Tinubu tells Obi

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The Tinubu Campaign Organisation has appealed to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi to call his supporters to order and to allow this election circle to be about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria.

In a statement by its Director of Media and Communications, Mr Bayo Onanuga, the TCO admonished the Labour Party presidential candidate to get his supporters to desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

TCO further states that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process will be enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well.

Mr. Onanuga noted that the Tinubu Campaign Organisation saw the need to appeal to Mr. Obi to rein in his supporters after investigating the origin of the fake report claiming that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asking him to support Peter Obi and take care of his health.

President of Ghana via his official Twitter account has vehemently debunked the fake news as a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public.

“I have written no such letter to the APC leader, and it will not occur to me to do so. Ghana and Nigeria boast of decades of cordial, strong and brotherly relations, and I am not going to be the one to interfere in the internal affairs and politics of Nigeria,” said President of Ghana via Twitter.

“We have found that the fake news about Akufo-Addo’s letter was first published on June 22 by a rogue platform, whose url reads as worlsnews.space (sic) and site identity as World of News.

“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by Peter Obi Support Group, same day – a clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.

“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50billion monthly payment from him. The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Mr. Ambode.

“The pirate website, which the Facebook account feeds on also parades malicious fake news and headlines such as “ I am old, but my blood is young, please vote for me – Tinubu begs youth” .

“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: When I became president, I will Build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu”.

“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring virus to your computer.

“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr. Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Mr. Onanuga reiterated.

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