Kogi will overtake Lagos in terms of development – Yahaya Bello

The outgoing Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello has expressed hope that the state will overtake Lagos in the area of development.

Bello said overtaking Lagos in the area of development was the reason he is following the footsteps of President Bola Tinubu.

He spoke on Tuesday while leading the state governor-elect, Usman Ododo on a visit to Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi.

According to Bello: “Definitely Ododo is my worthy successor that the almighty has given the crown to be the governor as from January 27, 2024.

“In a simple term, what I am envisioning Kogi to be is just like what our president planted in Lagos to what Lagos is today.

“In the next administration and nearest future, I envision Kogi to be trailing behind if not overtaking Lagos in terms of development; that is why we are emulating and following the footsteps of President Tinubu.”

(Daily Post)

Kogi: I won’t interfere in Ododo’s administration – Yahaya Bello

Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Friday, promised not to interfere in the administration of the state governor-elect, Usman Ododo.

“I had GYB administration and nobody dictated to me. The people were satisfied with me. This will be Ododo Ahmed Usman’s administration; whether good or bad, he will carry his own cross,” Bello told State House correspondents when Ododo and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, presented their certificates of return to President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

However, he appealed to the people of the state to cooperate with the incoming government.

Ododo and Uzodimma said the presentation of certificates to Tinubu was in recognition of the leadership and guidance he has demonstrated since he emerged as the President.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, presented the governors-elect and their certificates of return to Tinubu.

Speaking on his victory for the second term in office, the Governor of Imo State, Mr Hope Uzodimma, said his success at the November 11 polls further validates the win of President Tinubu at the nation’s Presidential election and the growing popularity of the APC by Nigerians.

He stated, “You recall that in the election of November 11, our great party, APC, was growing in popularity and came out successfully in Kogi state and Imo State and you know that the leader of the party is the President and it is our tradition that after we have received our certificate of returns in off-cycle elections like that of Imo, Kogi states we should come to honour him by presenting the certificate to him in recognition of not only his leadership, the guidance he has demonstrated since he emerges as the President of the country.

“Our victory at the polls shows that Nigerians are still pleased with the APC. Nigerians voted en-mass to vote for the President and this victory validates this claim through the voters in Kogi and Imo states.

“So, we have come to honour the President and also use the opportunity to thank him for the support and advise the wisdom he imparted to us and achievements he has recorded since he became the President, which most of us leverage on to be able to convict the voters to vote for us.”

On the party’s victory in Kogi State, Governor-elect Ododo assured citizens of his readiness to serve.

“Through the campaign processes, we have met our stakeholders.

“The mandate is for the people and we are coming to serve the people. We must consult with them. We thank President Tinubu for the good he has done for the people,” said Ododo.

He added that the November 11 governorship election in Imo and Kogi states reflected the party’s growth.

Ododo stated: “The election in the two states shows that our party has moved from the old dark days to the new world order.

“Kogi state and Imo people know what is right for them and they have done what is right for them.”

(Punch)

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Off-season gov polls: Tinubu praises INEC as PDP faults Kogi, Imo results

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, congratulated Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, and Governor-elect Usman Ododo of Kogi State, on their victory in the November 11 governorship elections in their respective states.

Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement that “President Tinubu says the outcome of the elections reflects the wishes of the people, emphasising that democracy thrives when voters reward competence, transparency, and good governance.”

The President also commended the electorate in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa for their participation in the electoral process.

But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party faulted the results of the Kogi and Imo polls, alleging that the security agents connived with the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the elections.

The PUNCH reports that in Imo State, Uzodimma scored 540,308 votes, defeating the PDP candidate Samuel Anyanwu who scored 71,503 votes to come second, while the Labour Party’s Athan Achonu, emerged third with 64,081 votes.

Ododo won the Kogi governorship election with 446,237 votes, defeating Muritala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, who garnered 259,052, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party came third with 46,362 votes.

In Bayelsa State, the incumbent governor, Diri, polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who got 110,108 votes while the Labour Party’s Udengs Eradiri polled 905 votes.

To the winners, Tinubu said, “May your tenure in office be defined by close collaboration with all of your counterparts across party lines in the attainment of pan-Nigerian developmental achievements that benefit everyone, and may you lead at all times with compassion and a deepened commitment to our nation’s unity.”

He affirmed the resilience of democratic institutions and the power of the people in shaping the nation’s political landscape.

He also expressed gratitude to INEC for working to create a level playing field for all contestants and the nation’s security agencies for maintaining law and order during the highly-anticipated elections.

He tasked the victors to prioritise the common good of the people over partisan interests in the spirit of nurturing a harmonious, inclusive political landscape in the three states.

Uzodimma, in a broadcast in Owerri on Monday,  dedicated his electoral victory  to God and to the people of the state.

He said, “It is with a deep sense of humility, appreciation, and an abiding faith in God that I humbly accept the great honour and privilege to serve as your governor for a second term of four years.

“Because I acknowledge God in everything I do and because I know that power comes from God, the first thing I did upon receiving the news of my victory yesterday was to proceed to the church to thank God for his goodness to me and Imo people.”

Similarly, shortly after he was declared the winner of the Bayelsa poll by the INEC state Returning Officer, Prof. Kuta Farouq, Diri declared that he would continue to be governor for all Bayelsans.

He said, “I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who cast your vote in my favour and entrusted me with the responsibility of leading our beloved state.

“I am also immensely grateful to the leadership of our great party, PDP, at all levels and our dedicated campaign team and supporters, who worked tirelessly to spread our message of progress and unity throughout Bayelsa State. Your unwavering belief in our vision for prosperity and your relentless efforts have brought us this sweet victory.”

But the Bayelsa APC rejected the result of the poll.

The state APC agent, Dennis Otiotio, refused to sign the results sheets.

Otiotio claimed that the APC would have won the governorship election if over 84,000 votes scored by the party in the field were not allegedly voided by INEC.

He said, “Over 84,000 votes scored by the APC in Nembe and Southern Ijaw were cancelled. So, we will not be signing this result. In Nembe, over 29,000 votes that the APC scored were cancelled; in Southern Ijaw, over 54,000 votes that the APC scored were cancelled.

“If you add the total cancelled votes that APC scored in the field, which were about 84,806 votes if you add it to what APC scored here (at the collation centre), APC clearly won the election.

“But it is clear that INEC has colluded, connived with the PDP to cancel (it) here in this INEC office, not at the field. The votes were brought from forms EC8A and EC8B down here, and at this INEC office here, they decided to cancel over 84,000 votes scored by the APC.”

Before the Monday declaration of Diri’s victory at the poll, some PDP members had on Sunday morning marched towards the INEC state office on the Swali Market Road in peaceful protest demanding that the commission should reject results from Nembe-Bassambiri in the Nembe LGA.

They were, however, blocked by armed security operatives, who stationed Armoured Personnel Carriers and other security patrol vans before the junction on Swali Road leading to the INEC state office gate.

However, after the declaration of the final results on Monday, PDP governors congratulated Diri on his victory at the poll.

PDP Governors Forum under the leadership of Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, also commended INEC for ensuring the integrity of the process.

The forum, in a statement by its Director General, Cyril Maduabum, on Monday, noted that the good stewardship by the Diri in his first term in office won the people’s votes.

The statement read in part, “We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for ensuring the integrity of the election through the proper usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System in instilling public confidence in the electoral process.”

Also, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has congratulated Diri on his re-election for a second term.

In a congratulatory message, Shaibu described the governor as a true brother and friend.

Similarly, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum and the Northern Emancipation Network as well as the Unified Nigeria Youths Forum, have lauded the conduct of the off-cycle governorship polls held in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states, describing them as free, fair and credible.

According to the AYCF President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the elections were free, fair, and credible.

On their part, a statement signed by NEN’s Chairman, Suleiman Abbah, noted the commendable neutrality displayed by the security personnel deployed to the respective states in ensuring secure environments for voters to exercise their civic rights freely during the recent elections.

Also, the Unified Nigeria Youths Forum noted with delight that the Imo state polls results reflected the wishes of the people.

The UNYF’s National Publicity Secretary, Aliyu Mohammed, while addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Monday, commended the peaceful conduct of the Imo election despite earlier predictions of violence.

Also, the ruling APC applauded President Tinubu, INEC and security agents over the peaceful conduct of the just concluded governorship elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states.

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, APC National Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, stated that it was a validation of the president’s promise to hold free and fair polls during his administration.

But the leadership of the Labour Party has rubbished the notion, lamenting that the just concluded governorship elections were a carryover of the 2023 general polls.

Reacting, the Chief Spokesman of the Labour Party Campaign Organisation stated that it would be a mockery for anybody to label the elections as free and fair conduct.

“There was no free and fair election anywhere. This is the danger of refusing to address the 2023 February election where you saw manipulation and stealing of ballot papers take place,” he said.

(Punch)

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Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Monday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party on Sunday cried foul as Governor Hope Uzodimma, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, was declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship poll in Imo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The electoral body affirmed Uzodimma’s re-election, having won in all the 27 local government areas of the state.

2. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said his refinery has secured a licence to refine more than 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude per day and will begin to process gasoline soon. Dangote said this in an interview in Riyadh on the sidelines of the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable, according to Bloomberg.

3. The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, says the Federal Government has achieved a lot in the fight against oil theft. Matawalle, in an interview, said many practical gains had been recorded in the resolve to end oil theft in the Niger Delta region. He also said the country was hopeful of producing 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day before the end of the year.

4. The All Progressives Congress Governorship candidate, Usman Ododo, has been announced winner of the just concluded November 11 governorship election in Kogi State. Ododo won with 446,237 votes, defeating his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, who garnered 259,052, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party pulled 46,362 votes.

5. The Independent National Electoral Commission has adjourned the collation of governorship election results from the local government areas in Bayelsa State till 12 noon on Monday. The Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity INEC office, Yenagoa, Mr. Wilfred Ifogah, announced this to party agents, election observers and journalists at the state’s collation centre on Sunday.

6. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, fixed Saturday November 18, 2023, to conduct elections in wards in Ogori/Magogo where it earlier suspended elections over irregularities. INEC, in a statement by its National Commissioner & Member Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna, however said the conduct of the proposed fresh elections would be “subject to the Returning Officer’s determination of the application of the Margin of Lead Principle.”

7. The candidate of the People Democratic party(PDP) Senator Dino Melaye has rejected the result of Saturday’s governorship election. Melaye described the election as a sham and charade, saying “the purported APC victory was a pure daylight robbery that can not withstand democratic test in all measure”.

8. Governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka, has alleged irregularities in Saturday’s election. Ajaka said he won’t challenge the outcome of the poll in court, saying it will be a waste of time. He spoke when he appeared on Channels TV on Sunday.

9. Senate President Godswill Akpabio has described Nigeria’s legislature as the least misunderstood arm of government, saying the body has always been the subject of attacks and ridicule. He spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at the 100th birthday colloquium in honour Senator Kunle Oyero, a member of the Senate in the Second Republic, representing Ogun Central.

10. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has welcomed the decision of the Senate to probe alleged admission racketeering in universities, saying it would be vindicated. It will be recalled that the Senate had on Wednesday, agreed to investigate allegations of admission racketeering in the nation’s universities, following a motion moved by Senator Onyeka Nwebonyi, Ebonyi North.

(Daily Post)

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Man shot dead for destroying BVAS machine at polling unit in Kogi

Umoru Iduh was reportedly shot dead at the Agala-Ogane polling unit in the Anyigba metropolis in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi East for destroying the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine.

According to reports, Iduh was gunned down around 10 am while the voting was about to commence at the said polling unit in the area.

According to an eyewitness, the deceased approached the polling unit and forcefully took BVAS and smashed it on the ground in his bid to destroy them and stop voting at the polling unit.

“Umoru emerged suddenly at the polling unit in the morning, took the BVAS and smashed it on the ground. Not satisfied, he stood on it and started jumping on it frequently, for it to scatter to pieces.

“A person, suspected to be a vigilante rushed in from the crowd and fired at him, killing him instantly”, said Abdullahi Danjuma who claimed to be in the polling unit to vote at the time of the incident.

The late Umoru who was said to have indicated his interest in vying for the chairman of Anyigba garage load carrier association is married with two children.

He is said to be the son of a popular youth leader in the town, Alhassan Agolo.

However, voting was said to be ongoing in the said polling unit despite the killing of the incident.

(Tribune)

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Kogi poll: Police identify flashpoints, deploy 40,000 personnel

No fewer than 40,000 security personnel will be mobilised to give coverage to November 11 governorship election in Kogi State, the Commissioner of Police, Bernard Onuoha, has said.

The CP told our correspondent in an exclusive interview in his office at the state command headquarters in Lokoja that although he would not be able to give the exact figure immediately, it would not be less than 40,000.

“Because the election is an off-season one, we will have enough officers available for mobilisation for effective coverage due to the volatile nature of Kogi State elections,” he said.

He expressed concern about the threat of violence, adding that the higher authority had been briefed and they were working tirelessly to make sure that the threats were not actualised.

“There has been ample evidence that the election will be volatile in some flash point areas already identified, particularly in Kogi East, such as Olamaboro, Dekina, Ejule and in the Central such as Adavi,Obehira, Obangede and others areas, we will take a close watch to ensure there is peaceful election.

On efforts being made so far, the CP said he had met with the Attah of Igala and had assured him that he would be talking to his subjects on the need to be civil before, during and after the election.

(Punch)

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‘Unknown soldiers’ allegedly attack Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello along Abuja road

The Kogi State Government on Sunday disclosed that there was an assassination attempt on the life of the governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, a few kilometres away from Abuja, on his way to an official engagement from Lokoja.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Kingsley Femi Fanwo, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, the attack occurred at about 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The statement read as follows, “The attackers, who were dressed in military uniforms, waylaid the governor’s convoy and started shooting sporadically at his vehicle and other vehicles in the convoy. It took the swift intervention of the security personnel attached to the Governor to foil the satanic plans of the unknown soldiers.

“The attacks were at three different points, the last barricade being around Kwali Federal Capital Territory at about 4.20pm.

“The report of these strange attacks has been properly documented at security offices in the state and at the national level for prompt and thorough investigations to avert future occurrences.

We are not oblivious of the fact that certain elements are bent on painting Kogi unsafe ahead of the Governorship Poll slated for November 11, 2023. As an administration, we will spare nothing to ensure our citizens are not subjected to security threats by desperate politicians sponsoring violence and terrorism.

“We call on the citizens to remain vigilant and report suspicious movements in the domain to relevant security agencies. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure security and we want to assure you that the peace we have enjoyed as a state in the last eight years won’t be lost on the altar of violent politics.”

However, the Kogi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP William Ovye Aya, said the incident happened in Kwali and not Kogi State territory and so he cannot make any comment.

(Daily Post)

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Tribunal: Atiku, Obi have no ground of objection —Kogi Gov

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has told the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart from the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, to forget the idea of appealing the judgment of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in the Supreme Court.

Recall that the PEPT had on Wednesday in a judgment on the consolidated petitions brought against the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 Presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, dismissed the petitions by the PDP, LP and Allied Peoples Movement, APM.

Fielding questions after paying a solidarity visit to Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Bello said as far as he was concerned there was no reason that Atiku and Obi should challenge the judgement. But the governor said that two of the Kogi State APC senators whose election victories were upturned by the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal will head to the appeal court to challenge the tribunal’s verdict.

Speaking on the general feeling of the APC regarding the tribunal’s verdict, he said, “Nothing is as successful as success. We are happy; Nigerians are happy and the truth is out there. We appreciate all that happened yesterday. The truth has been exposed. Imagine the justices sitting down for almost fourteen hours to deliver those landmark judgments.”

(Vanguard)

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Tribunal declares Natasha winner of Kogi Central Election

The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday nullified the victory of Sen. Abubakar Ohere as the winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial election.

The court further declared Natasha Akpoti- Uduagan as the actual winner of the February Senatorial election in Kogi Central.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice K. A. Orjiako who read the unanimous judgment of the 3-man panel, said Ohere results were inflated in 9 polling units of Ajaokuta LGA while that of Natasha was intentional reduced in 9 of the same polling units by the INEC, as well as 3 other polling units result that was deliberately not entered for Natasha in the same LGA.

The court after making the proper correction, declared Natasha Akpoti- Uduagan (PDP) as winner of the poll having polled 54,074 against Ohere (APC) who polled 51,291.

The governor of the state, Yahaya Bello is from the district.

(Vanguard)

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Tribunal sacks APC Senator, orders rerun in Kogi

The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Tuesday sacked the Senator representing Kogi East Senatorial district, Sen. Jibrin Isah (APC) and order rerun election in 94 polling units were election results were cancelled in the February Senatorial election.

The tribunal Chairman, Justice K.A. Orjiako, who delivered the judgment on the petition brought before it by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Victor Adoji agreed with the prayers of petitioners.

Adoji, had through his Counsel, Mr Johnson Usman (SAN), challenged the return of Jibrin Isah on the ground that elections were cancelled in some polling units where the PVCs collected were more than the margin of the respondent win.

The petitioner had pleaded with the tribunal to anull the election of Isah and ordered for a supplementary election in the affected 94 polling units in the senatorial district.

Delivering a unanimous Judgement of the Tribunal, Justice K.A. Orjiako agreed with the submission of the petitioners, annulled Isah’s victory and ordered for the withdrawal of his certificate of return.

“Since the PVCs collected in the 94 polling units is 59,730, while the margin of win is 26,922 votes, the Returning Officer ought to have declared the election inconclusive without making a return.

“Consequently, this honourable Tribunal hereby granted the reliefs sought by the Petitioners. We also set aside the Certificate of Return issued to Jibrin Isah.

“The tribunal hereby also order INEC to conduct a supplementary election in the affected polling units where election did not hold or cancelled in order to determine the winner, ” justice Orjiako declared.

Sen. Jibrin Isah (APC), a second termed is the Senate Committee Chairman on Customs, Excise and Tariffs.

(Vanguard)

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