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NADECO US mounts powerful global lobby against Tinubu *Wants Biden, others to withdraw support

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The battle against the announcement of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a fortnight ago, has shifted to the international community, with the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which is leading the onslaught, urging world leaders, to reject his emergence.

Incidentally, Tinubu, was one of the founders of the group, which came into existence after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, won by business mogul, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola.

Regardless, the USA Chapter, of the group, which is mounting a campaign against his declaration as the next President to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, wants Tinubu, who ran on the platform of the All progressives Congress (APC) not to be recognised by the global community.

NADECO), USA Executive Director Lloyd Ukwu, at an international press conference on 2023 Nigerian Election Crisis, told reporters on Wednesday, that Tinubu’s election was fraudulent, adding that the pro-democracy group had consequently severed ties with him.

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During the event at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, which he said was the first of its series of events planned over the next several weeks regarding the election in Nigeria, he argued that Tinubu’s recognition by the US President, Joe Biden, his administration and the global community, would be akin to endorsing fraudulent elections and undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.

Below are parts of his remarks: “NADECO alleges that the election results pronounced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC”), February 25-26, 2023, are fundamentally at odds with Nigerian election laws and constitute wholesale disenfranchisement of Nigerian voters caused by the pervasive rot of Nigeria’s increasingly kleptocratic political structure.

“NADECO demands that INEC draw back its curtains to let the full light of truth prove the transparency and veracity of the 2023 electoral processes. It is without question that nearly all of the electoral reforms implemented to safeguard the 2023 Nigerian elections have been savaged by INEC and scattered to the winds of tyranny. It is beyond debate that initial investigation into the 2023 Nigerian Presidential Elections inexorably discloses that Nigeria’s most recent election is the polar opposite of transparency, fairness and electoral integrity. This election was polluted by blatant bribery and widespread corruption – even INEC itself has admitted to its abject failures to comply with the requisite transparency laws mandating real-time electronic transmission of election results from the polling units to the public, instead opting to cloak the electronic results in darkness before emerging with a declared rather than proved “winner” who is presently incapable of being fully embraced by the World.

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“The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC action clearly constitutes negligence per se and electoral fraud, as it violated the very statutory provisions and guidelines that are designed to protect against the type of fraud caused by its failure to transmit the results in real time. The people of Nigeria are supposed to be the ones the statute is designed to protect, instead, they have found themselves at the receiving end of the resulting gross injustice.

“NADECO maintains that the 2023 Nigerian Presidential Election is an attempt to disenfranchise the Nigerian people through the Four Horsemen of Democracy’s Doom – Bribery, Voter Intimidation, Insecurity, and Vote Rigging, all harnessed to skew the results of the 2023 Nigerian Presidential Election.

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“NADECO calls upon the people and the Judiciary of Nigeria and the International Community to join hands in a concerted effort toward global condemnation and absolute rejection of the hasty, hollow, and illegitimate result declared by INEC as being contrary to the will of the people and the rule of law.

“NADECO hereby takes the following positions to lead a global call for action to redress INEC’s duplicity that endangers democracy in the Giant of Africa:

 

“NADECO is gravely concerned about the irregularities, voter intimidation, violence, the breach of the National Electoral Act, and most importantly the abrupt and hurried pronouncement of the dubious 2023 Presidential Election results. This, in our viewpoint, signals a wholesale disenfranchisement of voters in Africa’s largest nation.

“NADECO’s goals and singular mandate have always been to fight for the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria as Nigeria’s watchdog of democracy. NADECO hereby, as a first step, formally severs its relationship with Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a former founding member of NADECO (U.S.A.) for his participation in the worst electoral fraud in Nigeria’s recent history.

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“NADECO and Tinubu fought Abacha as the military dictator who scuttled the will of the Nigerian people in 1993 June 12 elections. Ironically, exactly 30 years later, in 2023, NADECO is fighting the same species of dictatorship but only this time a much more dangerous civilian dictatorship – a kleptocracy- mostly perpetuated by one of those who fought Abacha then. NADECO will not look the other way simply because the fraud was perpetrated by one of its founding members.

“NADECO urges the Biden administration to withhold any recognition of the product of the flawed election prior to proof the electoral process reflects the will of the Nigerian People and was without substantive corruption and fraud. NADECO further entreats the U.S. Congress to introduce a Resolution calling on the U.S. administration not to recognize the product of the election. It is the product of a poisonous tree.

“NADECO calls on the international community to support the empaneling of a team of internationally acclaimed technical experts to examine and analyze the INEC servers, and BVAS, etc. to extract the original votes. NADECO implores the Nigerian People and the Judiciary of Nigeria, acting in concert with the International Community, to join together in a concerted effort toward global condemnation and absolute rejection of the hasty, hollow, and illegitimate result declared by INEC as being contrary to the will of the people and the rule of law.

“NADECO demands that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, MUST resign or be removed immediately. NADECO urgently requests that all Countries worldwide, especially the United States, place an immediate visa ban upon Prof. Mahmoud.

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“NADECO solemnly exhorts the U.S. to not deviate from its democratic standards in Africa just because it fears competition with China and seeks to curry favor with illegitimate dictators who come to power through bribery, force, intimidation, and vote rigging. The U.S. should come out and condemn the apparent corruption of the electoral process, and impose an immediate visa ban on those suspected to have compromised the polls.

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“NADECO demands that President Buhari and INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu should be held jointly and severally liable and accountable by the Nigerian Courts and the International Community for what is currently happening across Nigeria in the days following the 2023 elections, and for what could happen in the next few weeks should INEC’s noxious banquet be forced down Nigerian’s throats.”

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Obi: Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, not now, may take 20-30 years

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Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the February 25, 2023 election on Monday, raised issues with the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal highway awarded by the Federal Government to Hitech Construction, at the whopping amount of N13trillion, saying such a gigantic road project was not needed now at a time most of the Federal roads across the country are death-traps.

Obi, former Governor Peter Obi, who broke his silence for the first time over the project, since the news was first broken that the Federal Government had since awarded the contract, while acknowledging its potential benefits, expressed serious concerns about its pricing and raised questions regarding the timing and prioritization in the current Nigerian situation.

The LP boss, who highlighted the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads across the country, emphasising their role in economic growth and regional connectivity, maintained that the government should invest such huge resources to deal with the various roads across the country which were in various stages of disrepair, rather than plunging it into one road.

He listed critical roads in various zones, many of which have been under construction for several years due to poor funding and planning to include:

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  1. NORTH-WEST Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, – Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road, Kano – Hadejia Road, Kano – Katsina Road , Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata – Mafara – Sokoto Road , Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road
  2. NORTH-EAST Kano – Damaturu – Maiduguri Road – Mubi – Maiduguri Road, Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road, Gombe – Biu – Numan Road, Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road, Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road, Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road, Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road.
  3. NORTH-CENTRAL Abuja – Lokoja – Okene – Auchi – Benin Road, Ilorin – Jebba Road, Kabba – Omuaran Road, Suleja – Minna Road, Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road, Buruku Bridge across Katsina River.
  4. SOUTH-WEST Lagos – Badagry Road, Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road, Itoikin – Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road, Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road, Abeokuta – Ibadan Road, Ikorodu – Shagamu Road, Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road, Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road.
  5. SOUTH-EAST: 9th Mile – Oturkpo -Makurdi Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha – Awka — Enugu Road, Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road, Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road, Okigwe – Afikpo Road, Nsukka – Obollo Afor – Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road, Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road.
  6. SOUTH-SOUTH: Benin – Sapele – Warri Road, East – West Road, (Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron) Yenegoa Road, Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road, Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road, Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road, Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road, Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road, Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel, Port Harcourt – Onne Road, Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road, Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.
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With the Federal Ministry of Works allocating a capital budget of N892 billion for 2024, in addition to funding from multilateral loan projects and other sources, Obi questioned the wisdom of embarking on another massive project that may not be completed for the next 20 or 30 years.

He warned against exacerbating the problem of abandoned, incomplete projects that do not contribute to economic growth, urging the prioritisation of existing uncompleted projects, while emphasising the need to allocate resources towards repairing and completing vital infrastructure.

The former governor, who stressed the importance of focusing on the urgent needs of the people and ensuring that investments serve the collective good of the nation, advocated for prioritising the completion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure over embarking on colossal new projects with uncertain completion timelines, adding that fiscal discipline and strategic prioritisation in addressing the country’s infrastructure challenges, must be paramount to leaders of the country.

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Fubara, Rivers assembly return to trenches! Lawmakers override gov on LG laws

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The seemingly unabating schism between Siminalayi Fubara, Governor and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, assumed another stage on Monday, with the lawmakers deciding to pass the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor,

The Assembly, in apparent defiance of the state High Court’s order directing the status quo on the issue of elongating the tenure of elected local government officials, which formed part of the amendment, went ahead to screen as well as confirm the chairman and other members of the Assembly Service Commission in the spirit of the new law.

Martins Wachukwu, spokesman of Martin Amaewhule, Speaker of the assembly, conveying the development in a statement, said the lawmakers made the decision at its 159th Legislative sitting held at the Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt, which has since served as their sitting venue since the demolition of the main House of Assembly quarters by Fubara, last year.

Stating that Fubara declined assent to the Local Government (Amendment) Bill initially passed into law on March 13, 2024, by the House, the statement, said the lawmakers were bent on performing their constitutional duties and therefore decided to override the governor’s decision on the matter by a two-thirds majority.

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The statement read: “Determined to perform its Constitutional duties, the Bill was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack and debated upon by Members. Thereafter, the House in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, which empowers the House to override the Governor, where he withholds his assent; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule put the question, and with a two-thirds majority vote, the House agreed to override the Governor and passed the Bill into Law.”

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In another development, the House screened and confirmed nominees for the position of Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission, including: Sampson Worlu as Chairman, Abinye Blessing Pepple, Blessing Belema Derefaka, Gbaranen Robinson, and Dorcas Amos as Members.

The statement recalled that on March 22, 2024, the House passed the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill into Law, wherein the House donated back to itself the power to appoint the Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission.

The statement added: “On a sad note, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule, announced the demise of Mr Lucky Amadi, the husband of the honourable Member for Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Emilia Lucky Amadi, and stated that Members would pay a condolence visit to their colleague.”

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BREAKING: Five days after sacking Ganduje, Kano judge reverses self

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Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, reversed himself five days after making an order barring Abdullahi Ganduje National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from parading himself or performing any official function in that capacity.

In vacating the order made ex-parte, following a plea by Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state, for the suspension of the former Governor of the state from his present job, Na’Abba said he relied on fresh arguments made on the matter.

The fresh applications were brought by Glory Adah, a litigation secretary at the law firm representing the APC boss in a motion ex-parte, accompanied by a 27-paragraph affidavit in support, and a written address dated April 22nd, countering the grounds of his previous orders.

Na’Abba, who adjourned the case to April 30 for the hearing, said: “An order of interim injunction is hereby granted staying the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of this court delivered on 17h April 2024 directing parties to maintain status quo ante as at the 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant motion on notice.”

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