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Ortom accepts defeat, withdraws suit challenging Titus Zam’s victory

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Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says he has accepted his defeat at the February 25 national assembly poll.

Titus Zam, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, had defeated the governor to clinch the Benue north-west senatorial seat.

Ortom said he would study the results and respond appropriately.

Two weeks later, the governor said the Peoples Dem­ocratic Party (PDP) was ready to challenge the outcome at the tribunal, as it was “clinically and electronically” rigged.

However, on Tuesday, Ortom said he had withdrawn his case against Zam “in the interest of peace”.

In an address at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi, the state capital, Ortom said although the elections were marred by malpractices, “nothing can be given to a person, except it is from God”.

He expressed gratitude at the opportunity to lead, saying he ensured that his government was characterised by equity and fairness.

“As a key political player in Benue state whose career has spanned over 40 years, the grace of God has taken me to key positions at the local, state, and national levels within which period I rose to become a local government chairman, state secretary, state deputy chairman and national auditor of PDP, minister of the federal republic and now I am a two-term governor,” Ortom said.

“I must commend the resilience of Benue people who went out to vote during the elections despite the glaring provocation and intimidation by the federal might. I particularly thank the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for its support. It has been an honour to serve the people of Benue state as governor.

“In the course of serving the state, I have always ensured equity, fairness, justice, and the rule of law. Though there was glaring evidence of malpractices including non-transmission of results electronically during the conduct of the Benue north west senatorial election, I have taken the decision to withdraw my case from the tribunal. As the Bible says in John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven”.

“Let me add that the decision to withdraw my case from the court is in the interest of peace and without prejudice to the suits filed by other candidates of our party, PDP. As a leader of PDP, I will continue to support the party in collaboration with other leaders to enable it to bounce back from the mistakes and drawbacks that are affecting it at the moment.

“Let me reassure the people of Benue state that as Governor, I will continue to provide selfless service in all sectors of development till the end of my tenure on May 29, 2023. For those I might have offended in this journey of serving the state and our country, I seek their forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended me.”

Ortom is one of the five governors known as G5 — including Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, who were against the presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP.

The G5 said the election of Abubakar as the party’s flagbearer was a violation of the agreement to zone the presidency in the party to the south.

They also called for Iyorcha Ayu to step down as the party’s national chairman.

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Peter Obi is unfit to lead Nigeria – Wole Soyinka Says

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Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, is questioning Peter Obi’s ability to lead Nigeria.

Obi, who ran for president in 2023, is accused by Soyinka of promoting online hostility among his supporters, called ‘Obidients’.

In an interview with Noble Eyisi, a digital creator, Soyinka hopes Obi won’t run again in 2027 due to concerns about his divisive behavior and manipulation of facts.

He warns that leaders who encourage such actions may face consequences from the very groups they support, emphasizing the need for integrity and competence in leadership, especially in Nigeria’s diverse society.

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How I deliver south-west for Tinubu, Omisore reveals

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Iyiola Omisore, the former national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has revealed that he played a key role in helping President Bola Tinubu secure the party’s presidential candidacy.

During the lead-up to the APC’s presidential primary in June 2022, the then-national chairman Abdullahi Adamu backed Ahmad Lawan, a former senate president. However, Tinubu ultimately emerged victorious in the primary.

In an interview on Channels Television, Omisore discussed his strategic efforts to outmaneuver others who aimed to promote candidates from their regions.

He highlighted the different political agendas within the party, noting his own goal of securing the presidency for the south-west.

“In politics, everyone has their own perspectives. We came from various geopolitical zones to the NWC at that time, representing different interests,” Omisore said. “As the senior-most member from the south-west, my mandate was to deliver the presidency for our region.”

He explained that individuals from other regions had similar mandates and acknowledged his success in achieving his objective. Omisore emphasized that the means by which he accomplished his goal were personal, attributing his success to divine support.

“Everyone tried their best, but if I outsmarted them, to God be the glory. My mission was to secure the south-west presidency, and we have achieved that,” he stated.

Omisore also remarked on the democratic nature of the APC’s primary process, underscoring the transparency of the election. “We voted. Everyone had a choice, and it was a transparent process,” he said. “When there is transparency, there is no noise; people only resort to court when they feel cheated.”

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I’ll keep contesting for presidency as long as I’m healthy – Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president, has declared that he will continue to run for the Nigerian presidency as long as he remains in good health.

He made this statement during an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America in Abuja.

At 77 years old, Abubakar represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election. By the next presidential election in 2027, he will be 81.

“I will keep contesting as long as I am alive and healthy,” Abubakar affirmed.

Having run for the presidency six times, Abubakar has been an official presidential candidate three times—in 2007, 2019, and 2023.

He draws solace from the fact that former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln did not win on his first attempt.

Addressing the internal issues within the PDP, Abubakar emphasized the need for unity and alliances with other political groups to secure a win in the 2027 election.

“Even former US President Abraham Lincoln contested seven times before winning,” he noted. “However, given the current state of the PDP, we need strong support and collaboration with other parties to win.”

Recently, Abubakar revealed his discussions with Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, about a potential merger.

“To anyone thinking there might be a misunderstanding between Obi and me, rest assured that no issues will arise,” Abubakar stated. “We will support whoever is chosen to represent us in the forthcoming elections.”

He also reiterated his willingness to support a qualified candidate from the southeast if the parties agree on a merger.

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2027 : Ganduje speaks on Tinubu’s Re-Election Bid

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Ganduje, the national chair of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated during a policy roundtable event titled “The Asiwaju Scorecard Series” that efforts are underway to fortify the party for President Bola Tinubu’s potential re-election bid in 2027.

The event, organized by the APC professionals forum, took place at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

Ganduje emphasized the Tinubu administration’s commitment to addressing the country’s challenges and mentioned plans by the APC’s national working committee to restructure the party into a truly grassroots progressive entity.

He highlighted directives to state chapters to collaborate with governors and stakeholders to establish functional party offices in every political ward, ensuring representation for members nationwide.

Ganduje reiterated the party’s aspirations to set new democratic standards and sustain the APC government at all levels. Despite the absence of an imminent election, efforts are being made to rejuvenate the party, aiming to secure mandates for new governors and President Tinubu in 2027.

Additionally, a reconciliation committee has been formed by the national leadership to address grievances within the party.

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Mutual desperation to be president uniting Atiku, Obi – APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) claims that “mutual desperation” to become Nigeria’s president is bringing together Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) in 2023.

This statement follows a recent meeting between Abubakar and Obi.

Before the 2019 elections, both men ran on a joint PDP ticket.

On Tuesday, APC spokesperson Felix Morka issued a statement suggesting that it wouldn’t be surprising if Obi returned to the PDP, describing him as a “political wayfarer” surpassed only by Atiku’s reputation as a seasoned political drifter.

“A recent visit by Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, to his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sparked speculations about a potential alliance or merger between the two ahead of the 2027 elections,” Morka said.

“What remains unclear is whether Obi will rejoin Atiku’s PDP, if Atiku will leave the PDP for Obi’s Labour Party, or if both will abandon their parties entirely to join Professor Pat Utomi’s mega party.

“Atiku and Obi are driven by a mutual desperation to become Nigeria’s president and a clear disdain for President Bola Tinubu’s dedicated efforts to transform the nation.

“Their continuous search for convenient party platforms to support their presidential ambitions reveals the self-serving and opportunistic nature of their goals.

“Leaders who lack the commitment to develop or sustain their own parties, and who abandon ship at the first sign of internal conflict, cannot be trusted by Nigerians to address the serious and complex national political and economic issues facing our country.”

Morka concluded by stating that President Bola Tinubu possesses the qualities necessary to lead Nigeria towards stable growth and development.

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Atiku speaks on supporting Peter Obi for 2027 Presidency

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has been engaging Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, about a potential merger.

Atiku, who was the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, lost to Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a BBC Hausa interview on Friday, Atiku stated he would support any candidate chosen to represent the PDP in 2027, even if the candidate is from the southeast.

He also clarified he has no intention of retiring from politics soon.

“To anyone thinking there might be a rift between Obi and me, I assure you, there will be no issues,” he said. “We will support whoever is chosen to represent us in the forthcoming elections. I have previously stated that if our parties merge and agree on a qualified candidate from the southeast, we will support it.

“We are currently meeting and making arrangements to unify the party and advance its prospects. Anyone who thinks we will remain silent about the dishonesty and injustice happening in Nigeria is mistaken; I am still very active in politics.”

When asked if he would run in the next election, Atiku said, “For now, let’s wait until 2027 to see if I will contest.” He emphasized their commitment to championing the return and improvement of democracy, ensuring it does not deteriorate.

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