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Bayelsa polls: Battle line is drawn, says Dokubo-Asari

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Asari-Dokubo

Leader of Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahideen Dokubo-Asari, has vowed that the Ijaw nation will not allow Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and former President Goodluck Jonathan to be disgraced by losing the December 5 gubernatorial election to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. Dokubo spoke on Tuesday when Governor Dickson formally declared his intention to seek re-election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In his words: “We Ijaws don’t run away from our enemies. Jonathan did a lot for all those who have turned against us. This was what the APC defectors did. Nobody, wherever he is, can move the Ijaw nation. We’ve never been conquered, the British knows this fact. This fight is beyond Henry Seriake Dickson, it is beyond you and me, it is for all. He will never be disgraced on December 5. They have boasted that they have control of the Army, INEC, Police, Navy and SSS. But we will meet in the battlefield on Election Day.”

While speaking at the occasion, Governor Dickson vowed that his government will wind up the APC on December 5 when the election would take place. In his declaration held in Yenagaoa, at the popular Samson Siasia Stadium, the governor said even though the opposition is relying on federal might, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to assist them to rig election, “Bayelsa has no room for APC.”

The governor’s declaration was attended by senior citizens including ex-President Goodluck Jonathan; former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; former governor of Bayelsa State and Governor-General of Ijaw land, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha and 12 PDP governors, led by chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. Dickson said, “Having listened to our people and to avoid going back to Egypt, I have decided to announce my formal entry into the Bayelsa State governorship race under the platform of PDP to consolidate on my achievements. I count on you and God. Bayelsa state has no room for APC; the other party has no message for Bayelsans. We don’t even know their officials. The only thing they are relying on is federal might, security agencies and INEC. But we have you (Bayelsa people) and God. The good news is that they cannot win this state; they are not on ground in this state.

He added: “You are here doing your job but they are in Abuja. Some of their factions have become a parastatal of the PDP. We will wind up APC on December 5. I have to reinforce it on your mind that PDP is on ground in Bayelsa State and has been adopted as Ijaw party. “We have driven away operation violence and cultism to operation peace. On the day I made my declaration to seek election, five young men were gunned down to put fear in me because they underestimated us. All the people who are cultists and financiers of violence are in the other side. Those that are maimed, they have abandoned them. You young people should be careful because the only thing they know is violence. Propaganda doesn’t win election; it is the people that win election. We have records of performance; this government (your government) is the government of performance. They win election with bullets, dynamites and bombs. Are you prepared to go back to Egypt? No, Go ye and form restoration groups in your wards and constituencies. This election is not about me, but you and your future. I count on you to protect your destiny and your future.”

Ex-President Jonathan who spoke in Pidgin English, urged Bayelsans not to make the mistake of voting for APC in the governorship election. He underscored his reasons for supporting the re-election of Dickson on Saturday December 5, 2015.
He said: “Dickson wants another four years and I say he should go ahead. Some people are frowning against it saying why should I endorse him. There are four things that worry state governments and they include payment of workers. Dickson has paid workers. The other indebtedness to World Bank. Dickson has tried very well; the third is infrastructural development; the man has also tried. The governor has also tried in the area of security. The problem is that Ijaw people like to betray and sell off their brothers and if we continue in that way, Ijaw will not develop. Let’s allow Dickson to finish the next four years. I believe that if we come together, things will be better. The leadership of PDP has resolved to deliver Dickson in this coming election.”

In his solidarity message, Alamieyeseigha said, “By Gods grace, PDP will continue to rule this state. The Governor has done creditably well and we know that you will take us to the next level. All Bayelsans should come and vote for our Governor on that victory day.”

Governor Okusegun Mimiko, said the APC had tried to humiliate Jonathan, but they failed because God was on his side, going by what they planned. He told Jonathan: “God has used you to continue to keep Nigeria together. One of the issues we discussed was the invasion of Akwa Ibom State Government House. Everybody knows that it won’t happen under Jonathan’s government. Those who demonised PDP in the past are in PDP; about 90 per cent of all those in APC were in one way or the other in PDP in the past. The PDP under Jonathan demonstrated vision for our country. We’re proud of the investments of Governor Dickson in education; you have restored the dignity of Ijaw man. The Ijaw people should stand by you to consolidate on your achievements. Ijaw people gave Nigerians the opportunity for the Presidency.”

The Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson said, “If you (Bayelsans) cannot deliver your constituencies and wards, the leadership of the PDP has resolved that you will be suspended.”

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APC considers Badaru, Umahi, Akeredolu, five other Govs as Presidential Campaign Directors

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APC

Indications emerged last night that Governors Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State may emerge as the Presidential Campaign Directors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign for the 2023 general election.


Other governors being considered include Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Sani Bello of Niger State, Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

It was gathered that while Badaru has been pencilled down as the head of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidential Campaign in the North, Umahi will take charge of the South.

The investigation also revealed that the ruling party has also created Zonal Directorates for the six geopolitical zones.


Each of the six zonal directorates, it was learnt, would be headed by a serving governor.


Multiple sources confirmed that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Imo State Governor, Uzodimma will oversee the Tinubu presidential campaign in the South-east. The sources also disclosed that Governor Ayade of Cross River State will head the South-south.


According to the sources, Akeredolu will head the campaign in South-west states consisting of Lagos, while Kano State Governor, Dr Ganduje, and Niger State Governor, Bello, will head the North-west and North Central campaign teams, respectively.

Similarly, the Gombe State, Yahaya, has been proposed to head the North-east.

However, the proposal is subject to ratification by the NWC and approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Adeleke forged certificates, Oyetola tells tribunal

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gboyega oyetola

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Friday asked the Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo to nullify the election of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke.

According to the governor, the election was fraught with certain irregularities.

He also said that Adeleke ought not to have been declared winner as he was not qualified to have contested the election in the first place, having submitted forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commision.

Adeleke was returned elected by the INEC, after defeating his closest challenger, Oyetola, and 13 other candidates, scoring a total of 403, 371

Oyetola got 375, 027 votes and won in 13 Local Government Areas of the state to come second in the election.

A member of Oyetola’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), in an interview immediately after filing the petition in Osogbo said the governor has assembled 50 lawyers including 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, listing 13 grounds on which premises Adeleke should be disqualified.

Other key members of the legal team included Prince Lateef  Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Akin Olujumi (SAN), Prince Biodun Layonu (SAN/, Muritala Abdulrasheed (SAN).

Adegoke said the election in many 749 polling units were fraught with irregularities.

The legal team, he said, have established by the petition that the election in those 749 polling units across 10 Local Governments in Osun State was characterized by irregularities pertaining to over voting.

Adegoke said, “We have nothing less than 50 lawyers, including 10 SANs that we cannot list all of them, so we have listed about 20 lawyers in the petition. We have 13 reliefs. What we are contesting is that the election is fraught with certain irregularities by which the person declared winner ought not to have been declared and the petitioner, Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola ought to have been declared the winner on the ground that Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke was not qualified to have contested the election in the first place, having submitted forged certificate to INEC.

“The second is that the election in 749 polling units was fraught with irregularities and the election in those units ought to have been nullified. All the polling units mentioned are in 10 Local Governments, out of 30.

“So, if the election in those units is nullified and the votes are cancelled, then Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola will have comfortable requirements of the constitution to be declared winner of the election.

Asked when the trobinal would commence sitting, Adegoke said he does not know.

“We don’t know yet but now that we have filed, it is expected that once the PDP is served, their lawyers will file their own defence then we will file a reply to their defence. That is when the tribunal will be able to give a date.

“Except if either of the two parties have an application that requires urgency, only then can the Tribunal have an emergency sitting but as of now nobody knows the date”, he said.

Adegoke had on July 19 said Oyetola may line up over 50 lawyers to contest the declaration of Adeleke as winner.

He had said, “We are still reviewing documents and the legal team is actually working. In an election of this nature, the documents will be so many; so it is important to look at them critically before we take a decision and that is exactly what we are working on right now.

“Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN), is the leader of the team. The legal team is not complete yet because there are so many others that will still come in.

“In the meantime, the two members of the legal team we can reveal is Dr Biodun Layonu and Kunle Adegoke. Others that may come in are people, we may not know but as soon as we are ready to move, we will notify the press.

“The membership can’t be determined as many lawyers are interested in joining the team. You know election petition is a special case. So, we allow as many lawyers that are interested to come in. We may run into 50 or more membership.”

When contacted for reaction, the Chairman, Media Management Team of Osun PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the party was not losing sleep over the petition.

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15 deregistered parties back Obi

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Obi

The 15 political parties deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, under the aegis of Coalition for Good Governance, on Friday declared support for the presidential ambition of the candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi.

The organisation said only Obi out of the candidates contesting for the 2023 Presidency can stop Nigeria from disintegrating.

The CGG in a statement by its national chairman, Okey Chikwendu, and Publicity Secretary, Don Anthony Harmattan, said the deregistered parties took the decision after carefully studying each presidential candidates to know the most reliable and credible among them.

INEC had in 2020 deregistered 74 political parties on the ground that they failed to meet constitutional requirements that determine the continuous existence of political parties in the country, leaving 18 which passed its test.

But the deregistered parties said they still have their structures in place, adding that they would all support and work for the success of the former governor of Anambra State.

The statement read,”We have earlier stated that the outcome of the political parties primaries for the presidential ticket and selection of the vice presidential tickets will determine which party we, the Coalition for Good Governance comprising of 15 deregistered political parties and some former presidential candidates would endorse and support for the 2023 presidential election.

The choice is based on identifying the ticket with the most credible candidates who are tested, trusted, and exhibit sufficient intellectual capacity to salvage our nation from the wreck we find ourselves and meet the yearnings of the Nigerian people which is equitable, fair and just irrespective of tribe or ethnicity.

“In furtherance to the above, the CGG on July 28 held a meeting in Abuja well attended by the National Party Chairmen and former presidential candidates of deregistered political parties whereby they took a very critical appraisal of all the current presidential contenders for the 2023 presidential elections and their Vice, the house unanimously voted Peter Obi/Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as the most credible among the candidates and as such resolved to support and work with them and their campaign group on the platform of Labour party.

“We, therefore, agreed to rebrand our offices nationwide as Campaign support offices for the project. Our structures all over the 36 States and 774 Local Government Areas are henceforth required to support the Obi ticket.

“Nigerians have had enough of the disunity, eminent disintegration, lingering ASUU strike, terrorist threats, killings, kidnappings, hunger, unemployment, unbearable petrol cost and scarcity, high electricity tariffs, its epileptic situation, rising food cost etc and the continued lack of resolve by the establishment to put an end to these crises.

“We as leaders in main stream politics in Nigeria wish to make clear that only an efficient, effective and credible candidate of renowned character can resolve most of Nigeria’s lingering problems and we therefore urge Nigerians to heed to our advice and support our goals of returning Nigeria as the true giant of Africa and the production hub of West Africa.”

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