El-Rufai to ‘villa cabal’: We fear nobody, respect yourselves, else…
Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, has dared ‘elements in Aso Rock’ whom he alleged to be opposed to the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election.
El-Rufai, who was responding to a question in a yet-to-be-fully-released interview with the BBC Hausa, said: “Respecting people is not fear. I swear, we don’t fear anyone in this country; we are not fearful. But if you show us you are not an elder, I swear, we will fight you.”
The governor’s latest comment, which was shared on social media ahead of the full release of the interview, was in an apparent response to the “Villa elements” he referred to in an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday, saying they were working against Tinubu.
During the interview, El-Rufai said persons who backed a different aspirant in the APC presidential primary were now hiding behind President Buhari to pursue their interests.
“I believe there are elements in the villa who want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate who did not win the primaries.
“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right,” he had said.
Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, backed El-Rufai over his claim that some elements in the Presidency are plotting to sabotage Tinubu’s victory.
The first lady, who wields great influence in the Villa, voiced her support for El-Rufai when she shared a clip of the interview containing the governor’s main allegation against “saboteurs who are non-members of the party and are exploiting the president’s goodwill for their selfish ends.”
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, responded saying officially, the government was not aware of anyone within the Presidential Villa engaging in such action.
Lai said the government had been fair to all candidates regardless of party affiliation and that Buhari had consistently demonstrated that he was for free, fair and credible elections.
INEC declares PDP’s Umo Eno as Akwa Ibom gov-elect
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno as the winner of the March 18 governorship poll in the state.
Eno polled 354,348 to defeat his closest rivals — Akanimo Udofia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 129,602 votes and Labour Party (LP)’s Uduakobong who got 4,746 votes.
Eno was declared the winner by INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Emmanuel Adigio.
Eno, a former Commissioner for Lands in Akwa Ibom, is the anointed candidate of the incumbent governor, Udom Emmanuel, whose two terms of eight years will end on May 29, 2023.
Thugs invade INEC collation centre at Obingwa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that thugs have invaded its office at Obingwa Local Government Area, Abia State.
Obingwa is the home LGA of the out-going governor of Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu, who is seeking to install his candidate, PDP’s Okechukwu Ahiwe, as governor.
The thugs said to be members of the PDP, stormed the Obingwa LGA headquarters as collation of results was still ongoing.
A party agent who was at the LGA said Governor Ikpeazu was sighted at the INEC collation centre earlier in the day, shortly before the invasion.
Opposition party members, especially from the Labour Party (LP), which is said to have swept most of the wards, are apprehensive and have called on INEC to ensure that the integrity of the results coming from the LGA is preserved.
In a tweet on its Twitter handle Sundayafternoon, INEC wrote: “Thugs have invaded our Obingwa Local Government Area office in Abia State.
Security agencies have been alerted. The Commission is monitoring the situation and will issue a statement shortly.”
Makinde wins Oyo governorship election
Seyi Makinde, Oyo State governor and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 poll has been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The incumbent governor defeated his challengers including Labour Party (LP)’s Akinwale Tayo as well as a serving senator, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Makinde polled 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival who scored 256,685.
Makinde is the last of the PDP G5 or Integrity Group with an election. Already, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue), who have been in office for eight years each, all lost their senatorial bid while Nyesom Wike (Rivers) who is also completing his second term as Governor didn’t run for any elective post.
With the defeat of three of his comrades, all eyes were on Makinde in the March 18 poll. With his declaration as the winner by INEC, Makinde survived the defeat suffered by other G5 members.
Governorship elections were held in 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states on Saturday. The governorship and state assembly elections were held a week later than initially scheduled after a court case forced INEC to move them forward.
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