Review of Top Political Events Of The Week: Tinubu Blows Hot at Ogun, Says New Naira Notes Hoarding, Fuel Scarcity Can’t Stop His Victory, Abia PDP and Adamawa NRM Governorship Candidates Dies Same Day…

Oluwaseye Ogunsanya 

The preparations for the 2023 elections continued to gain momentum this week as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) declared that the hoarding of new naira notes and fuel scarcity can’t stop him from winning while that was ongoing, the news of the death of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, Uche Ikonne threw the polity into mourning. 

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also announced that mock accreditation of voters will take place at 436 polling units across the country on February 4. 

Below are some of the top political events that made the rounds during the week.

Tinubu Blows Hot at Ogun, Says New Naira Notes Hoarding, Fuel Scarcity Can’t Stop His Victory 

On Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu accused some saboteurs of hoarding the new naira notes to stop the coming elections. He also blamed them for the lingering fuel scarcity and hike in fuel price across the country.

Tinubu who addressed the crowd in Yoruba language at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta refused to disclose the identity of the people behind the scarcity. He however urged the people to endure the pains and ensure they cast their votes for him, regardless of fuel scarcity and hike in the pump price.

He said, “They keep fuel, they keep money, they are the ones who know why they are doing that.

“If you like, change the ink of the naira. We are going to win and the PDP will fall down.

“The city boy is here. I am the son of the soil. We will take the government from them. The bad people.

“They don’t want the election to take place. They want to stop the election. Will you allow them?”

In recent weeks, many Nigerians have been groaning over the scarcity of fuel and the hike in the pump price ranging from N270 to N400 per litre.

There have also been complaints by many Nigerians that the new naira notes are not in full circulation and this has led to the call for the extension of the deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation but the Central Bank of Nigeria has insisted that the January 31 deadline won’t be extended.

APC PCC: Tinubu Not Referring To Buhari, Blames Some Fifth Columnists and the PDP as the Saboteurs Behind Fuel Scarcity and Scanty New Naira Notes.

Meanwhile the APC presidential campaign council has said Tinubu was not referring to President Muhammadu Buhari when he spoke about the fuel scarcity and new naira notes in Ogun. The campaign council also reaffirmed the stance of Tinubu by blaming some fifth columnists and the PDP as the saboteurs behind the fuel scarcity and scanty new naira notes.

According to a statement by the council’s director of media, Bayo Onanuga on Thursday, Tinubu was only drawing Buhari’s attention to saboteurs “possibly working in cahoots with the PDP”.

“For a presidential candidate who cares about the suffering of our people, he has a duty to warn the government that its efforts to make life better for Nigerians are being sabotaged on several fronts,” Onanuga said in part.

Double Tragedy: Abia PDP and Adamawa NRM Governorship Candidates Dies Same Day

The polity was thrown into mourning on Wednesday upon receiving the news of the death of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Abia State, Uchenna Ikonne.

According to a statement from his first son, Uche-Ikonne Chikezie, on behalf of the family, Mr Ikonne, a professor and former vice chancellor of the Abia State University Uturu, passed away on Wednesday, 25 January, around 4 a.m. at the National Hospital Abuja.

The statement added that he was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United Kingdom but relapsed a few days ago leading to multiple cardiac arrests for which he didn’t recover from.

On Wednesday also, the governorship candidate of the National Rescue Movement in Adamawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Maina passed away in Abuja after a brief illness.

This incident was confirmed in a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary of NRM, Olusola Afuye.

He said: “According to the statement from the family, late Alhaji Abba Maina died on Wednesday, January 25 at his residence in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja after a brief illness.

“He has been buried according to Muslim rites. We pray to almighty Allah to protect his family and all his loved ones.”

Meanwhile in pursuant to the provisions of Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the PDP released the schedule of events for a fresh governorship primary in Abia state on Saturday

INEC To Conduct Mock Accreditation Of Voters February 4

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on Friday that it will conduct a mock accreditation of voters across 436 polling units in the country on February 4.

This was made known by the commission’s boss, Mahmood Yakubu at a meeting with the resident electoral commissioners (RECs) at the INEC headquarters, Abuja.

Yakubu said INEC is ready to conduct field tests with actual voters, having delivered and tested the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) machines.

“The mock accreditation will hold on Saturday 4th February 2023 in 436 polling units nationwide. Twelve polling units have been designated in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise.

“A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by state, senatorial district, local government and registration area (Ward) will be uploaded to the commission’s website shortly.” Yakubu said in part.

The full list of all the designated polling units for the mock accreditation of voters can be gotten here.

PVC Collection Deadline: Ogun, Abia, Kwara and Ebonyi declare work-free days for PVC collection

PVC

As the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) approaches, Ogun, Abia, Kwara and Ebonyi state governments in the course of the week announced work-free days for their workers to collect their PVCs.

While the Ogun State Government declared Tuesday and Wednesday as work-free days, Abia State Government declared Monday and Tuesday.

In Kwara, Monday was declared as a work-free day while the Ebonyi State Government approved Thursday and Friday as work-free days.

Campaign Watch: Buhari in Bauchi For Tinubu as Atiku Takes Campaign to Bayelsa, Obi in Katsina, Promises to End Insecurity, Poverty

The week also witnessed a series of campaign rallies as candidates took to different parts of the country to share their plans with the electorates.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari joined Tinubu for the party’s presidential campaign in Bauchi. At the emir of Bauchi’s palace, He said has fulfilled his promise to serve Nigeria to the best of his ability which is evident from the huge crowd that welcomes him wherever he goes. However, the rally at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium ended abruptly due to technical issues. Due to this, the President and Tinubu could not address thousands of supporters that attended.

Similarly, on Tuesday, Tinubu told his supporters at Abia state that he will transform the state into a major exporter of manufactured goods while assuring Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue on Thursday that they will return to their ancestral homes once he is elected.

Also on Monday Atiku said at Bayelsa that the Niger Delta needs more restructuring than any other part of Nigeria and does not need to “beg” the federal government for everything because it produces the nation’s resources. He subsequently promised to devolve more powers to the region. On Tuesday, at Delta, he also promised to change the nation’s security architecture and grow the economy.

 

Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi said in Katsina on Monday that he will end insecurity and poverty if elected. He also promised his supporters at Bauchi on Thursday that he will ensure that the crude oil discovered in the state will be used judiciously if he is elected.

Court Matters: Supreme Court Affirms Adebutu as Ogun PDP Governorship Candidate, Tribunal Sacks Adeleke as Osun Governor 

The supreme court on Tuesday dismissed four appeals challenging the election of Oladipupo Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state.

Delivering judgment, a five-member panel of the apex court led by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun dismissed three of the appeals filed by some PDP ward delegates in Ogun state on the grounds that they failed to disclose a reasonable cause of action.

The court held that they have no locus standi to initiate any court action against the outcome of the election since they were not aspirants.

Similarly, the Osun Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sacked the incumbent governor of the state, Ademola Adeleke after his victory at the governorship polls last July was challenged by the former Governor of the state and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.

Among other issues, Oyetola challenged Adeleke’s eligibility to contest the election and also claimed that there was overvoting in 749 polling units across 10 Local Government Areas of the state.

In their ruling on Friday, two out of a three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.

While reading the majority decision of the panel, Tetsea Kume held that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the electoral act.

Kume subsequently declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314,931 defeating Adeleke who scored 290,666.

He also directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun. FactCheckElections wrote an explainer on what happens next here.

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