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Jailed Professor Ogban did not work for me, Akpabio breaks silence

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Jailed Professor Ogban did not work for me, Akpabio breaks silence

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party that the jailed Electoral Officer Prof Peter Ogban was convicted for allegedly rigging an election in favour of the All Progressives Congress and Senator Akpabio is spurious, unfounded and malicious.

Akpabio was reacting to the news making the rounds about a certain Professor Peter Ogban who was sentenced to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results of 23rd February 2019.

In a statement released Saturday in Abuja, by the Minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Aniete Ekong, said he (Akpabio) was rather a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District held on 23rd February 2019.

“In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion. Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District held on 23rd February 2019. He is vindicated that the perpetrators of the electoral fraud are being brought to justice. At last the chickens are coming home to roost.

“It could be recalled that Sen. Godswill Akpabio had approached the National Assembly Election Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the February 23, 2019 Senatorial District elections which held in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District. Amongst those who were sued was the Returning Officer of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Professor Ogban who alongside the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, hijacked the Election Results from the Senatorial District Collation Headquarters, Ikot Ekpene to another Senatorial District at the INEC office in Uyo, where the collated votes of Senator Godswill Akpabio were maliciously and arbitrarily cancelled by the Resident Electoral Commissioner- Mike Igini and Prof Ogban.

“In that election, Sen. Godswill Akpabio’s votes totaling about 61,329 scored in his home Local Government Area – Essien Udim Local Government, having been collated, were not announced by Prof. Peter Ogban in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act. Rather, Prof Ogban who served as the Senatorial District Returning Officer joined the Resident Electoral Commissioner to Uyo where the votes/ scores of Sen. Akpabio were cancelled in various polling units and collation centers of various Local Government Areas constituting Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District including 61,329 votes of his home local Government.

“An appeal from the National Assembly Election Tribunal to the Court of Appeal invalidated the elections and a rerun election was ordered in Essien Udim Local Government Area because of the fraudulent act of Prof Ogban and Mike Igini. The only surprise is that it is only the Returning Officer that was charged while the REC is still parading himself in freedom. In a considered judgment of the Court of Appeal, the justices allowed the appeal by Senator Godswill Akpabio and ordered a Rerun election, while the Certificate of Return of the PDP candidate was withdrawn and nullified. The court condemned the action of the Independent National Electoral Commission and that of Prof. Ogban for which Prof. Ogban was charged, found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment and a fine of N100,000. The sentence has vindicated Senator Akpabio and the APC that the election was massively rigged.

“Professor Ogban was the Returning Officer who in a bizarre twist to manipulate the election and rig Senator Akpabio out, hijacked the electoral results of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from Ikot Ekpene, the Senatorial District headquarters to Uyo where it was announced after cancellations of lawfully collated votes and against the dictates of the Electoral Act. Similarly, collated votes from Abak, Etim Ekpo and Ini Local Government Areas were cancelled by Professor Ogban the Retuning Officer when it got to Ikot Ekpene, the Senatorial District headquarters.

“It can also be recalled in Obot Akara, the Local Government Area of Senator Akpabio’s opponent where a clear case of over voting was recorded and the votes annulled by the Local Government Returning Officer, Professor Ogban strangely validated the votes in INEC office in Uyo to give an advantage to Senator Akpabio’s opponent.

The question is: who was the beneficiary of the electoral fraud and manipulation in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District? Certainly, not Senator Akpabio, which was why he challenged the outcome of the election up to the Court of Appeal which upheld his appeal and ordered a rerun election with very strong condemnation of the activities of the Returning Officer and INEC. How then could the same man whose actions Senator Akpabio was dissatisfied with and challenged in Court be said to have rigged the election for Senator Akpabio?

“For the avoidance of doubt Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election. Instead he cancelled his lawful votes and announced Senator Akpabio’s opponent as the winner of the manipulated election. It is the height of mischief for anyone to say that a man who arbitrarily cancelled lawfully collated votes of the APC and announced PDP winner of the election was working for Sen. Akpabio.

It is obvious that some persons are being haunted by the ghost of the last election which they massively manipulated to reach a predetermined conclusion, a position which was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Calabar. In due time, we believe all the conspirators will be brought to justice as Prof. Ogban, either through the judiciary or divine. However, Senator Akpabio had since moved on to face his present national assignment. He should not be distracted by baseless and unfounded reports by the PDP hatchet men and mischief makers.”

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APC’s advocates forum backs Akpabio as ‘natural leader’ in Akwa Ibom

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APC’s advocates forum backs Akpabio as ‘natural leader’ in Akwa Ibom

A progressive forum of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) known as APC Advocates Forum has declared that former governor of Akwa Ibom and the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, is the ‘natural leader’ of the party in the state being a serving cabinet member.

The group, however, called on APC’s National Caretaker Committee led by the Yobe state governor to call those sponsoring mischief against the Minister to order, adding that “the political sagacity of the former two-term governor can not be compared to any other person in the state.”

In a statement released to newsmen Monday in Abuja by the national coordinator of the APC Advocates Forum, Barrister Johnson Essien, threatened to expose those behind the crisis rocking the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the party.

The group described as ‘unwise decision’ for some chieftains of the party to contest the natural leadership God has bestowed on the Minister (Akpabio).

“The recent development in Akwa Ibom APC by a segment of the party denying Chief Godswill Akpabio as the leader in the state is unwise despite the natural role nature has bestowed on him as a former governor and a serving cabinet member from the state.

“We, therefore call on Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC National Caretaker Committee to look inward and call to order the enemy within the system causing bad blood in Akwa Ibom APC.”

They described “APC as a body without engine in Akwa Ibom state until Godswill Akpabio joined the fold in 2018.

“During his eight years as Governor of Akwa Ibom, the Hon. Minister changed the face of the State and touched lives like never before – earning himself the sobriquet Uncommon Transformer. On assuming office as Minister, he has been a stickler for performance, committing himself to ensuring the speedy development of the Niger Delta region in tandem with his Ministry’s mandate.”

The statement added that for any leader of the party or aspirant in the state to go far politically in 2023, such a person needs Minister Akpabio.

“We are using this medium to warn the crisis merchants to desist because the Niger Delta Affairs minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is a force that will decide the fate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.”

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No APC supporter defected in Zamfara-Zannan Bungudu

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No APC supporter defected in Zamfara-Zannan Bungudu

A chieftain of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Zamfara Sate, Abdulmalik Zubairu (Zannan Bungudu) has described as “politically deceptive” the recent announcement by the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Tukur Danfulani that he received over 1000 defectors from APC in Bungudu constituency.

Zanna who spoke to journalists in Gusau on Sunday said PDP leaders in Zamfara led by Tukur Danfulani are using the tactics of receiving defectors to collect money from Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

He affirmed that Comrade Danda Bungudu is a known card-carrying member of the PDP and ahead of what he described as “film making event of Saturday” the posters of Comrade Danda Bungudu have been in circulation in Bungudu town and environs bearing PDP logo and tags.

He further explained that people like Mainasara Rimi, Nura Umar (NU) Sani Maidala Bela, Alh Yahoo Lawali (Yabo Minister), Kabiru B. Super Kwatarkwashi and Eng. Tsoho Mamman who accompanied Danda Bungudu to government house on Saturday are all card carrying members of PDP and they are known to every citizen of Bungudu local government.

He challenged PDP leaders in Bungudu to deny this claim made by him if they have counter fact noting that Bungudu has always been a stronghold of APC adding that, that political tempo would be sustained.

“There is no APC supporter from Yari or Marafa factions that defect to the PDP. I am a party stakeholder in the area and if their claim is genuine let them publish the names of the 1000 supporters for the entire world to see”.

“The few of them you saw in the picture are already members of the PDP and if they have received 1000 supporters of the APC why can’t they at least published their names for people to see and make judgement”.

Zanna added that, the new PDP Chairman in Zamfara is only playing a game of deceit and this is not politics because you have to be practical as a politician. We challenged PDP to publish the names of these 1000 people if at all they are serious”.

He assured that APC is intact in Bungudu and affirmed that Danda Bungudu and his co-travellers were at the Governor’s residence on Saturday for a monetary mission and asked that they most not hide under the APC before they can get their monetary mission accomplished.

He added that, APC leader in Zamfara Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar is doing well for the supporters of the party and that none would move to the PDP with the state of uncertainty that characterized its political operation.

He advised Governor Bello Matawalle to trade with caution as the majority of those he received as defectors are already members of his party but riding on the political tactics of the PDP Chairman to be extorting money from him.

Zanna also advised the Governor to instead of wasting money in the name of receiving defectors execute some developmental projects that would torch the lives of Zamfara people noting that, in the two years of Matawalle administration people of Bungudu have not benefited from infrastructural projects worth N10 million naira

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Over 1000 supporters of Yari, Marafa defect to PDP in Zamfara

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Over 1000 supporters of Yari, Marafa defect to PDP in Zamfara

Over 1000 supporters of Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Kabiru Marafa from Bungudu Local Government have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

A statement by Yusuf Idris Gusau, Director General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication to the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle indicated that the decampees were received earlier by the PDP State Chairman, Alhaji Tukur Umar Danfulani Maikatako and later presented to governor Matawalle at his residence.

Leader of the decampees, Comrade Abdullahi Danda Bungudu said they were at the governor’s residence to register their support as they have already declared their defection earlier at the state PDP Secretariat and were received officially by the state Party Chairman, Alhaji Tukur Umar Danfulani.

Comrade Danda further said, the reason why they defected from APC to PDP was as a result of the way and manner the governor handled the security situation in the state and the many laudable projects he is executing in less than two years of his being in office.

He observed that it is on record that before the coming of Matawalle’s administration, Zamfara was in a serious war which almost destroyed it to a failed one as all government machineries were not working .

Bungudu however averred that the vision and foresight of governor Matawalle and his style of leadership changed all that and convinced them to join the PDP from their former political party, APC .

Responding, governor Bello Matawalle said his administration is determined to bring development to the people of the state at all levels with a view of making the state more secured and economically viable.

He further said, as a leader, his primary responsibility is to protect the lives and properties of the citizens including their dignity for upcoming generations.

He assured them of equal treatment in the party and also commended their foresight and positive decision to join his party, the PDP for the purpose of developing Zamfara state.

Matawalle added that with people of their caliber in the party, he is sure that alot will be achieved.

Notable among those who defected were Comrade Abdullahi Danda Bungudu, Alhaji Adamu Abu Samawa and Alhaji Abbas Abdullahi Bela who was the current Vice chairman of APC in Bungudu Local Government.

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