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BREAKING: North will make me President – Tinubu *I’ve a pact with N-governors



Amid permutations ahead of the 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu is banking on his alliance with some outgoing northern governors to get votes in the region.

At the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos State on Saturday during a rally, Tinubu boasted that his alliance with the governors of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, and Plateau will deliver for him the bulk of the votes he needs to outsmart his main opponents including Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

Tinubu’s statement comes five months after about 10 northern governors backed his candidacy at a keenly contested primary in June.

“Can you see the governors of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, and Plateau?” Tinubu asked a crowd of APC supporters decked up in party paraphernalia on Saturday.


“We won’t lose any of the states. We will govern this country together. They are here in Lagos to show their support for me,” he added in Yoruba.

The governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 also urged the party’s supporters to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote for him at the February polls.

In attendance at the rally include APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat; amongst other APC stalwarts.

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Historically, since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, the northern region of the country had the highest voter turnout at presidential elections and the top contenders for Aso Rock’s top job in 2023 have since pitched their tents to win over most of the 19 states in the region.

For instance, Kano had over 1.8 million cumulative votes – the highest by any state in the 2019 presidential election. The state has witnessed some of the highest defections amongst PDP, NNPP and APC of late. Kano is home to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, a Tinubu ally; Ibrahim Shekarau, an Atiku supporter; as well as Kwankwaso, who relies on his base and socio-political movement, Kwankwasiyya to get votes in the north.


Also during the 2019 presidential election, Kastina and Kaduna polled 1.5 million separate votes, Plateau with over 1 million votes, Kebbi with a total of 650,000 votes, and Kwara with a paltry over 400,000 total votes – all mainly shared between the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar. Other states with heavy numerical voter strength based on past elections include Jigawa, and Bauchi, amongst others.

At the last election, Kastina-born Buhari won 19 states, many of which were northern APC states while Adamawa-born Atiku won 18 states – with a total of 15 million to 11 million votes respectively.

According to Section 34 of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she “has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” This means that a candidate must get 25% of votes in 24 states across the Federation to win a presidential election.

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At the moment, APC controls 21 states with the exclusion of Osun which will become a PDP state on Sunday, November 27, 2022, when Ademola Adeleke is sworn in. Similarly, PDP controls 13 states as of press time while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) controls Anambra State.

However, Tinubu is confronted with a major hurdle due to his choice of Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, and fellow Muslim as running mate, a development that has been rejected by Christian groups and leaders.


Also, there are fears that the intra-party squabbles between the G5 led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Atiku over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu would affect the chances of the PDP presidential candidate at the polls next February. A former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole recently said the neutrality of the G5 is good for Tinubu’s chances.

On the other hand, Tinubu faces a new challenger in the game – Obi – a new bride and darling of many Nigerian youths who are tired of the two dominant parties – the PDP and the APC.

Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, have vowed to push out the APC from Aso Rock. “Whoever thinks that Labour Party or Obi-dient movement or Peter Obi as an individual is not being welcomed in the north, they are making a huge mistake,” Baba-Ahmed had said.

Although at least three polls have put Obi ahead of other candidates, only time will unveil the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

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Culled from Channels TV




BREAKING: Finally, Aiyedatiwa takes charge in Ondo *Presides over Exco meeting



Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Deputy Governor would on Thursday morning preside over the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, for the first time in the last three months since the return of Rotimi Akeredolu, the state Governor from Germany, where he spent three months on medical tourism.

In what seems a new turn in the peace process being sought in the political climate in the state, which saw the warring camps of Akeredolu, who has stayed back in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital since his return September this year, making their case before President Bola Tinubu at the weekend, could become the panacea for eventual calm.

Aiyedatiwa, who only barely survived impeachment by members of the state House of Assembly, who accused him of using funds meant for the state’s share of the petroleum subsidy released by the Federal Government to purchase his official vehicle, an act termed as gross misconduct, has been insisting on taking charge as Acting Governor,

Despite the intervention of Tinubu, who ordered that the status quo be maintained, meaning that neither Akeredolu nor Aiyedatiwa should lose their job, the insistence of the deputy governor that he must be declared the Acting Governor, given the inability of his boss to preside over the affairs of the governance of the state due to his absence, had created tensions in the state.


Allowing the deputy governor preside over the meeting, could be a way of pacifying him and persuading him and his supporters and saving the state from plunging into full scale political conflagration, in a state known for its volatile nature, which had in the past political history of the South West, led in some of the serious upheavals.

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The Nation, reports that regardless of the latest development, some elite are kicking against the resolution at the meeting presided over by Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, where the deputy governor, was reportedly mandated to submit an undated letter of resignation, apparently to whip him into line.

Concerned Elite of Ondo State, led by Olanrewaju Akeredolu, was said to have faulted the resolution that Aiyedatiwa should sign a post-dated letter of resignation, which was read on the floor of the House of Assembly by Speaker Olamide Oladiji, saying that Tinubu could not have given an order that contradicted the letter and spirit of the constitution.

It also, while chiding the Speaker over his alleged action, also accused him of twisting facts to suit a certain interest by asserting that there was no agreement to transfer power to Aiyedatiwa, arguing that it was unconstitutional to ask unelected political office holders to monitor elected official

The paper, which quoted Commissioner for Information and Orientation Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, as confirming that the scheduled meeting, would be presided over by Aiyedatiwa as “vice chairman,” said he did not confirm whether the deputy governor had returned to the state from Abuja, where he had been holing up since his impeachment saga began few weeks ago.


“Exco meeting will be held about three months after the last meeting was held in Ibadan, presided over by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, when he returned from medical vacation in September. The exco meeting that will be held on Thursday shows that everyone is sticking with the resolution reached with Tinubu. All that we are focused on is the development of Ondo State, and that should be paramount in the minds of all of us at the moment,” a source was quoted as saying.

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Ondo truce collapses! *Aiyedatiwa insists on A’gov *Says, Tinubu can’t dictate for me



The intervention in the crisis rocking Ondo State over the health condition of its Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, seems not to be abating despite the intervention of President Bola Tinubu, who was said to have ordered parties in the dispute to maintain the status quo.

The Nation is reporting that despite the truce reportedly reached after the intervention of the President, the camp of the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa is still digging in on the ground that the President would not dictate to it on what should happen in the state, adding tension was already high in Ondo as lawmakers in the state House of Assembly ahead of its first plenary on Tuesday, November 28, after the meeting with the President.

Aiyedatiwa, who said to have interpreted the the resolution reached at the meeting held at the Presidency over the weekend, was for him to be declared acting governor, is said to be insisting that the outcome must subsist, while the Akeredolu camp has pointed to plots to ambush the governor and declare Aiyedatiwa acting governor against the agreement.

Ajuri Ngelale, had in a statement issued after the meeting, conveying Tinubu’s position, said: “This means that Governor Akeredolu remains the Chief Executive of the State, Aiyedatiwa remains deputy governor, and members of the State Executive Council continue their respective duties, even as the leadership of the State’s House of Assembly and the APC Chapter in Ondo State is preserved.”


Regardless, the report quoted sources as saying that there were moves by 11 lawmakers loyal to Aiyedatiwa to woo Akeredolu’s loyalists to their side, with one of them confirming that he was approached the night after they returned from Abuja that there was an insistence that Aiyedatiwa must be declared acting governor at Tuesday’s plenary.

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He said: “Last night (Sunday) a number of us received a call from the deputy governor. He informed us that he must be declared acting Governor on Tuesday. When we reminded him that it wasn’t part of the resolutions reached at the meeting with the President, he said the President can’t tell us how to run Ondo state.

“All efforts to make the deputy governor understand that the resolutions would only engender peace and allow the state to move forward, he yelled and said over his dead body would Akeredolu remain as governor.

“The deputy governor has failed to understand that the President has given the best political solution to the issue at hand. I wonder what Mr. Deputy Governor wants again. The agreement is that you should go and do your job. Represent your boss and get the people together. Is that too hard?

“Why is he hell-bent on becoming acting governor? Is he doing it in the interest of the people of the state? The answer is definitely no! Aiyedatiwa believes that the only way for him to become governor is if he forcefully takes power from Akeredolu now.


“The painful part is the unbridled affront to the President’s directive that the status quo should remain. President Tinubu is a man who should be respected in Ondo State. Especially if you are a loyal member of the APC, you must understand that Tinubu has invested so much in the party over the years.”

Ade Adetimehin, state chairman of the party, was quoted as saying however that no politician in the state would move against the resolution reached with President Tinubu on the impasse in the state, adding: “There’s nothing of such, no one dares go against the resolution reached with the President. Can anyone go against what President Tinubu has pronounced? That agreement stands and nothing more”

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Echoing the same sentiment, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, was also quoted by the report as saying the lawmakers are in line with the outcome of the meeting with President Tinubu, stressing: “Go and read the statement from the state at the meeting. That will answer all your questions.”

Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi, Majority Leader of the House, reportedly said on phone: “It was collectively agreed that Akeredolu remains the Governor while Aiyedatiwa remains the Deputy Governor and not as Acting Governor.

“The meeting also agreed that there should be no impeachment, the House of Assembly remains one while the State Exco remains intact. No sacking of any member and party Exco remains intact.’


Ondo Progressives Network (OPN), while expressing worry over speculations and reports that the Aiyedatiwa was plotting with some lawmakers to make him Acting Governor, warned in a statement signed by Ogunika Taiwo, that the actions of those backing Aiyedatiwa would amount to insubordination and flagrant disrespect.

The statement reads: “We have observed a growing trend of discontent and dissatisfaction in the camp of the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa. The activities of his known and close allies and personal aides have shown a total rejection of the stance of the President and other stakeholders who attended the Abuja meeting.

“However, we are saddened by the latest news and speculations of plots by the Deputy Governor in collaboration with some members of the House of Assembly to declare him acting Governor against the resolutions reached in Abuja. We consider this as an act of insubordination and gross disrespect to the office of the President.

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“We will like to advise the Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa to be guided in his ambitious drive and resist the lure of desperation and insatiable quest for power. The agreement reached in Abuja would serve the interests of the people and the state. It is not out of place for the deputy governor to continue to function as deputy governor without forcefully taking over power in the state.

“We are privy to the fact that arrangements have been concluded to disobey the directive of the President and declare Aiyedatiwa as acting governor tomorrow. We don’t want to believe the rumour that money has exchanged hands and some people want to justify their pay. Beyond personal sentiments, we must uphold the integrity and principles we are known for in Ondo state.


“This is a clarion call to the deputy Governor to lay all these matters to rest. Continue to function as deputy Governor and desist from troubling the political water of the state. Fortunately, the election is around the corner. Since Mr. Deputy Governor is interested in the next election, we think disobeying the President will amount to political suicide.

“Let peace reign supreme in Ondo State. The deputy governor should also, as a matter of urgency, call his followers and allies to order. What else does Aiyedatiwa want? The President has stopped your impeachment. You have been guaranteed to stay till the end of the tenure. Why is he hell-bent on becoming acting governor?”

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INEC has reached a dead-end, now a danger to Nigerian democracy – Nwankwo



On Monday, Clement Nwankwo, foremost Nigerian constitutional lawyer and Founding Convener of the Civil Society Monitoring Situation Room, was a guest of Prime Time, a current affairs programme on Arise News Television. There, he painted the picture of the stark reality of Nigeria’s parlous electoral system.

Using the outcomes of the offseason elections that took place in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, to assess the situation, the human rights activists, came to the conclusion that the nation’s electoral process has come to a dead-end and therefore could not carry it beyond this stage, not to talk about the general election in 2027. What would result would not be elections, but chaos. Excerpts:      

What is your verdict on the offseason elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo?

The Situation Room has issued a statement on these elections. The verdict is unequivocal, which is it was a huge disappointment. We had thought that given the disappointments in the 2023 general elections that there would been some efforts by INEC to do a better job, but apparently, this is a worse job and for some of us it is extremely sad to see elections conducted this way in this country.


It brings to question how this democracy will continue and how this democracy will thrive if we cannot give citizens the option of deciding who rules them. The electoral system in this country has collapsed and we have to go back to the drawing board. Certainly we cannot build anything to what is now. The system has been captured and it is delivering incredibly sad results, not in terms of who wins or who doesn’t win, but in terms of the process, in terms of the abuses of the process, in terms of citizens’ lack of confidence in elections as a way of running a referendum on those who have ruled them or given a chance for people to take over.

The country has lost its electoral system and we certainly can only revive it if citizens ask the right questions and make the demands that should be made. When you look at the elections and look at the facts before the elections, those who were given responsibilities for the running of the elections, have been seen to be people who have been compromised, where partisan political elements have been appointed into the electoral commission, where half of the electoral commission and officials of the electoral commission have basically allocated themselves to serve political interests, then I think where we are today is a very sad one and this country’s democracy cannot go any further with the kind of election administration system that we have in place today.

But what do you think are responsible? Is it about bread and butter, poverty, corruption, violence, what are the specifics at the heart of this election?  

Certainly, bread and butter issues relate to who can halt the slide in which the country is descending into. Certainly when you look at people’s condition, you see a worse trend previously and it doesn’t look like there is anything in the horizon that promises a break from the fall. So, I think for people, it is a major issue. But beyond that is that those who are seeking political power are taking advantage of the huge poverty that has descended on the land and now basically taking advantage of the situation – buying elections, paying people off to vote for them – vote-buying is at an unmitigated proportion. So, it’s like people struggle so hard to purchase the election. They struggle so hard to purchase the election. They struggle so hard when they purchase the election, to use the proceeds of being in office to buy the next election.

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So, in my view, is that perhaps we’ve come to a dead-end with the present electoral system and we must ask ourselves what lies ahead.


Is it then a question of incumbency powers because the incumbents won in all the states?

The incumbents won in all the three states which is really not unexpected in normal electoral system, but we don’t have evidence that people voted freely. You set up a process, you decide that people go to vote, you decide election results are calculated, are tabulated, collated at the polling units and then escalated to the different levels of collation, you expect that at the immediate primary unit, you have the polling unit, that immediately the results are counted, the result sheets are uploaded and people can see that real-time. But in this election, we saw results being ready before the election.

We are doing analysis of what has been uploaded and there is a huge discrepancy in what has been uploaded to the IReV. The whole idea of the IReV is that the IReV was supposed to be real-life uploading of results. But now, there is a huge question about the efficiency of the IReV. It is now a tool to upload whatever you feel – not real-time, not real results. So, there is a major question of where we are with elections in this country.

It’s amazing when politicians who are supposed to protect the integrity of these elections and the values of this country, have become the ones who have infiltrated this country and have decimated every institution in it, not the least the ones that have to do with elections. Is that an exaggeration or a fair assessment of how things are?

It’s certainly not an exaggeration. You can see that with what has played out in the elections, you can see that in what has played out with the reports of the election observers. The media, thankfully have been very beautiful in putting out these reports in real time. Everything sacred have been desecrated by the politicians and those given responsibility to uphold their sacredness.


That is the point that I make. If all of these institutions, if the politicians have found a way of manipulating it, if so much fund is taken out of the public treasury to buy election results – and that’s why you’ll see an incumbent would win because they have access to unparalleled resources – whether an incumbent from an opposition party, an incumbent from the ruling party, it’s the same trait.   

So how can Nigeria get out of this explosion of irregularities, corruption and violence in elections?

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I think in 2007 when an incredibly horrible election was conducted in this country, when President Yar’Adua of blessed memory came into office, he came into office and said, I’m really sorry Nigerians, this election result that brought me into office, lack credibility, now let us see how we can pull ourselves from where we were. That was how the election reform committee was set up, headed by Justice Muhammed Lawal Uwais, which had so many members including Prof. Attahiru Jega, who later became the chairman of the electoral commission.

That President understood what went wrong, admitted it and called people to a conversation. So, that was one way and I think that we in the civil society, we are citizens of this country, we must raise our voices to say that these electoral system has collapsed. We can’t trust those you have appointed into office. You have appointed your political acolytes and put them into the management of elections. So, we don’t trust the electoral system anymore. We don’t trust the officials, we don’t trust the commission and we don’t trust that this process will help us save our democracy.

To save this democracy, this administration must come to the realization that citizens have no more confidence.


But do you detect the will in President Bola Tinubu towards cleaning up the electoral process? If he does, can he or anyone fix such an overwhelmingly corrupt system?

There were recent nominations of state Resident Electoral Commissioners. And these were approved within a few minutes by the plenary at the National Assembly. Now, those nominations, several of them should never have been made because of the political taints of some of those who were in that list. For me, that’s a very sad signal.

But whether the administration likes it or not, whether the President likes it or not, I think it is important that he listens to what Nigerians are saying, which is that this system has failed. If this system has failed and you still have a couple of offseason elections, about four or five, leading up to 2027, it is only going to get worse and in 2027, I don’t know whether it can be called elections. It certainly won’t be if this trajectory continues.

At that stage, it will become clear even to the President that this country’s democracy is on its tatters and will drop and collapse, because certainly what we have today, cannot take us to the next general elections.

So, outside the Justice Uwais recommendations, what other steps do you recommend to maintain the sanctity of the elections?


I think there have been several recommendations made. One is with the electoral commission itself. I think what we have today as electoral commission needs to be set aside in a legal way. The National Assembly needs to be brought into this conversation and the President needs to go back to several of the reports and set up a committee that has people, stakeholders who will sit down and decide which aspects of these recommendations need now to be implemented.

The most important is the method of the appointment of the election management team. I think we have to go back to the drawing board to start this process. I do not think that the electoral management team as it exists today can take this country to the next election. By this I mean INEC. We need to have a new system that creates a new electoral commission, that creates a new election management team and follows the process that has been outlined in various recommendations that have been made, especially in the Uwais Committee reports that have indicated how you can appoint the INEC chairman, how you can appoint INEC National Commissioners.

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Indeed, we have to back to the question of whether indeed we need Resident Electoral Commissioners, because when governors send names of nominees to be appointed RECs or where political parties send names, what it does is destroy the system. That’s why you have the Resident Electoral Commissioner acting with arbitrariness without responsibility and without accountability.

We have to do this even before the next off-circle elections. Certainly we can’t go on with this king of electoral management body and we can’t go on with this kind of abused electoral process. This democracy will collapse very soon if we don’t check the type of electoral management system we have in this country, because citizens have lost faith totally in elections in this country.

But are those policies in themselves going to be enough or will government have to go back to social policies, because we know that corruption and electoral malpractices thrive when there is poverty?


But you know you cannot solve poverty quite quickly but you can fix the election system quite quickly. When people understand that they can vote without the process being abused, then you begin to see better electoral officials respond to citizens’ demands. But if you blame the abuses entirely on citizens and refuse to do what we need to do in terms of policy changes, in terms of legal changes in terms of constitutional changes, then we would have to pray that this democracy survives.

What optimistic note can you sound from your observation and analysis of this election?

I think it is difficult to be very optimistic about this election. I think what surprised a few people even though there was a low turnout, what surprised quite a lot of people is that the turnout was as much as it was even though it was low, which means that citizens still have some interest. There are still people saying, look, we could still have confidence in elections if we fix it. So, in some ways, people have not totally given up on the electoral system. But it won’t go on for too long. In fact, it won’t go on till 2027. It won’t.

These points that you made, which are very poignant, which are very important and very pointed remarks, were they incorporated in the situation room report in stark terms?

It is incorporated in very stark terms. The Situation Room report today during a press conference addressed by the Convener Yinousa Y’Au, which basically made the point that these elections represent a huge disappointment and this country cannot continue on this trajectory. That’s very clear.




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