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PDP govs accuses APC of using DSS to stifle opposition

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has described the alleged meddlesomeness of the Department of State Services (DSS) in petitions before Election Tribunals as attempt by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to stifle the opposition party.

In a communiqué at the end of its fourth post-election meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, the group‎ said the interference of DSS in Election Tribunal matters especially in PDP controlled states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia is against “the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition; more so with the existence of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.”

The communiqué, which was read by the forum’s chairman, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, expressed worry at ‎a situation where officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in these three States, were allegedly being arrested, detained and questioned on election-related offences, even when the cases are on-going at the tribunals, adding that such spells doom and poses imminent danger to the nation’s fledgling democracy.

“The alleged interference is an attempt to stifle the opposition and this is most unacceptable. We insist that the trend be reversed. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world.

“INEC is supposed to be an independent commission and its officials ought to be shielded from partisanship, especially at a time when the dust raised by the alleged APC membership of the DG of the SSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura is yet to settle,” the forum said.

The PDP Governors’ Forum noted that there were clear cases of under-aged voters in some states and wondered why the DSS did not investigate a single person or made any arrest.

“Even in a clear case where money paid was traced to the bank account of a State Resident Electoral Commissioner, the DSS is yet to order investigation into the matter,” the communiqué added, and advised the DSS to pre-occupy itself with the task of ensuring internal security and not involve itself in electoral matters.

‎It would be recalled that Yobe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja ‎had admitted in evidence the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged bribery against the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the last April 11 governorship poll in the state.

The PDP‎ governorship candidate in the election, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, had called for the nullification of the election of Governor Ibrahim Geidam of APC on account of irregularities and corruption.

Two senior personnel of two new generation banks who testified before tribunal, confirmed the lodgement of N8 million and N7 million into the Yobe REC’s accounts on April 8, 2015.

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2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.

Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.

El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.

“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.

“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.

“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.

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2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu

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Amosun denies stepping down for Bola Tinubu

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.

Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.

There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.

But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”

According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”

While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”

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Women affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen withdraws from senatorial race

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Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has dropped her senatorial ambition.

Tallen made this known in a statement she issued on Monday.

The minister had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) form to contest the Plateau South Senatorial election.

According to her, after consultations with her constituents, she has decided to withdraw from the race.

The statement read in part: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat, mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.”

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