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With Obi effect over, LP will kiss the dust in Abia on March 18 – PDP *Says, Ahaiwe’s victory assured

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Without Peter Obi its alter ego on the ballot this time around, Labour Party (LP), will witness a resounding defeat it never contemplated on March 11 when voters would file out to elect candidates for the governorship and state House of Assembly election.

This was the contention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, which is already looking beyond the polls to return to power in the state it has been in charge since 1999, adding that the coming election would prove to the whole world that neither the LP nor any other party held any challenge to its popularity in the state.

The ruling party, in a statement signed by Michael Nwabueze, for its PDP Governorship Campaign Council (PDP-GCC), said that Abia people were already aware that Peter Obi who made a majority of them vote for LP on the 25th of February would not be on the ballot next Saturday and would troop out to do what they had done in the last 24 years – return the party they had trusted.

It was also a day the ruling party riled against the allegation by the LP that it (PDP) had concluded plans to violently rig the March 18th governorship election, stressing that the reverse was not only the case, but that the cry was an indication of the plot the opposition party and their candidates was cooking up.

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“Our attention has been drawn to a purported petition by the desperate gang of former APC members that have hijacked the Labour Party in Abia State titled: Threat by the PDP led Government in Abia State to violently rig the proposed March 18th Governorship Election in Abia State and we wish to state that it is another act of desperation by deceptive scare mongers doomed for electoral defeat.

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“In the good old days, a thief will run even when nobody is pursuing him. Obviously members of the Labour Party In Abia are still living in that era, hence running even when nobody is pursuing them. They are frequently raising false alarms against others while plotting exactly the same thing.

“This has always been the character and tactics of the desperate serial losers that have currently taken over the Labour Party platform in Abia State after failing miserably, sojourning in the APC and APGA,” the statement, said, adding that it was in possession of information that the some members of the Abia LP rose from a meeting in Asokoro, Abuja, where they plotted and apportioned roles on how to rig the Abia governorship election, which included releasing a false red flag statement to the effect that the PDP and APC were planning to do exactly what they agreed in their meeting.

It also accused the party of having concluded plans to use thugs, rogue security agents and INEC officials to rig the elections, adding that it was also in possession of the details of the LP Asokoro meeting and the follow-up meeting in Okagwe Ohafia and Umuru Umuehim Nvosi Isiala Ngwa South, but had decided to ignore the plot and focus on the task of winning the election.

Alleging that LP agents working in cohorts with sundry security and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hid behind the expected “Obi wave” in the Presidential and National Assembly polls to write election results in Umuahia North, Ohafia, Arochukwu, Aba South, Aba North and Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Areas, among others, the party, said: “Indeed they were the major beneficiaries of the criminally shambolic performance of Abia INEC officials in that election that local and international observers have disclaimed. Let it be known that we are aware of multiple rigging plots by Labour Party operatives including recruitment of militants, thugs and sundry characters from neighbouring states and have long alerted security agents to their plot and antics.

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“Obviously it is only a tree that will know you want to cut it down and still stand there to wait for you. Members of Abia PDP are not trees. Conscious of the fact that any free and fair election in our state will inevitably lead to the expected landslide victory of the biggest party, by hundreds of kilometres in the state, we wish to call on INEC and security agencies to ignore the rants of a party that knows it is impossible for it to win a free and fair election in the state and take all necessary measures to conduct a peaceful, free and fair election in the state as we are determined to resist any attempt to abridge the free choice of Abia voters.”

Boasting that no other candidate contesting in the 2023 governorship election in Abia enjoys the widespread love and acceptance across the state as its Governorship Candidate, Chief Okey Ahaiwe, the party, added: “We are equally proud of our entrenched democratic credentials and structure in the state, hence have no need to employ desperate measures to take what is rightly destined to come to us as a result of our great service to Ndi Abia.”

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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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