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Mr. Linus Okorie and Umahi

Abakaliki -A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Linus Okorie, who represented Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo, Ohanivo, federal constituency, Monday revealed how he made numerous arrangements and connections that led to Umahi’s emergence as Governor in 2015.

Okorie, was the Senatorial candidate of Labour Party, LP, for Ebonyi South senatorial zone in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections that were held on 25th, February, 2023.

The former member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Okorie, who has dragged the outgoing Governor and the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki, stressed that he will retrieve his stolen mandate from the Governor against all odds.

Okorie had alleged that the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, stole his mandate and gave it to Umahi during the last election.

According to him: “I got connected to the family of the former President Goodluck Jonathan, within my very first tenure in the House of Representatives. I was close enough by the Grace of God, that I had ears at a very important point.

“And as late as February 2014, the issue of who becomes the Governor of Ebonyi state was raised by me and taken by me to the first family. I was the one who made the arrangement and the connection, the introduction of David Umahi as the Deputy Governor to the then Jonathan family.

“I had the chance to run for Governor. I had the chance to run for the ticket of PDP governorship in Ebonyi State in 2015. Only the will of God, will ultimately give power to whom He wants to give power. But if I did, Umahi wouldn’t have gotten to where he is today because a lot of the effort that made him (Umahi) was mine and that of my wife.

“Umahi has never come out to say that I (Okorie) helped him to become the Governor of Ebonyi State. He is not talking about it. Is it only him (Umahi) that gives, why doesn’t he acknowledge what others did for him. I will never fail to appreciate what he did for me in 2011. Can he (Umahi) acknowledge what I did for him to become Governor? I will not tell the story of what he (Umahi) did as he became Governor.”

Okorie lamented that Umahi after assuming power, especially in 2020, started to work on how to bring him down.

“It took Governor David Umahi six (6) years and that was November 2020, when he decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that he (Umahi) called me (Okorie) and apologized for hurting me for the past 6 years.

“I was driving to attend a meeting in Abuja, when he called me. I asked him what happened? He told me that he was with Jonathan and his wife last night, and they told him (Umahi) that it was not even Senator Pius Anyim, that made him Governor, that it was I (Okorie) and my wife, that made them (Jonathan) support him (Umahi). That he didn’t know, that he is sorry. That night, he (Umahi) told me (Okorie) that I should join him in the APC. And that he will send me back to the National Assembly as a House of Representatives member.

“And that he (Umahi) will sponsor everything, and that he has intimated the first family, which he did. To cut the story, the first family called me and told me what he (Umahi) had discussed with them. And that he will give me an opportunity to nominate a commissioner or any other position if I will join him to the APC but I told him no. What I told the Jonathan family was that I will stay with Pius Anyim, because Anyim will tell you what he will do, or what he will not do.

“But I will not join David Umahi because he will promise you heaven and earth, and at the end, he will succeed in not doing anything for you. That I better stay, if you like, the devil I know is better than the angel I know not. These are the things that have transpired between me and him (Umahi) since 2020. I won’t bother to tell you about what he (Umahi) did concerning my ticket in 2019.

“It was all about to stop me running for Senate, that I was abducted by Ebubeagu security operatives on October 16, 2022. From there, I was tortured, stripped naked, videoed in public, dehumanized and from there, thrown to prison on trumped-up charges of murder. Murder charges of people who are already on trials, those people were charged by DSS, six (6) months before my abduction. What did they do? They took the same charge sheet and cleaned the names of those people and entered my name. And gave it to police to go and charge me.

“And while I was in Ebubeagu office at the old government house Abakaliki, being tortured, the question they were asking me was that, why will I be running for the Ebonyi south senatorial seat position with Governor David Umahi? That’s the only question they were asking me. I have paid Umahi back in a million folds. He has done me good and I have done him a great favour. And he (Umahi) knows this very well” he stressed


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I Will Not Interfere In Ondo Assembly Affairs – Akeredolu




• Leadership positions privilege, not right, Fayemi tells Ekiti lawmakers-elect
• Says selection prerogative of party

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has assured the incoming members of the 10th House of Assembly of non-interference in their legislative affairs by his administration.

Akeredolu emphasised that his administration upholds and respects the principle of separation of powers among the three arms of government, as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

The governor gave the promise, yesterday, during a two-day induction programme for the 26 lawmakers-elect in Owo, ahead of their June inauguration.

He, therefore, urged the incoming Assembly members to legislate effectively and promote good governance and development for the benefit of citizens, with the expectation that the legislature will operate independently.

MEANWHILE, the immediate past Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has cautioned the newly-elected members of Ekiti State House of Assembly not to see the position of principal officers as a right but a privilege.

He said it is the prerogative of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to decide the presiding officers of the Assembly.

Fayemi, who spoke during the retreat organised for the outgoing and lawmakers-elect, held at the Ikogosi Warm Resort in Ekiti West Local Council of the state, declared that the lawmakers can’t lobby or contest for positions.

Akeredolu, while urging the lawmakers-elect to see themselves as trustees of the entire state, said the decision of their constituents to elect them as representatives is a big testimony of the confidence reposed in them.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa, described the legislature as the engine room of democracy, adding that when the legislature is removed, what is left is autocracy.

He noted that his administration had a robust relationship with the outgoing Ninth Assembly and urged the incoming 10th Assembly to do the same for continued development.

Earlier, the Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun, who declared the event open, said the essence of the programme was to broaden the mind of the elected legislators on the legislative agenda, the procedures, and processes, as well as to remind them of the primary needs of their people.

Oleyelogun noted that the programme is the process of introducing members-elect to the legislative terrain, emphasising that any knowledge acquired at the end of the programme will go a long way in determining their performances as legislators.


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I Am In Partnership With Yari To Produce Next Senate President, Deputy – Kalu




Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, has confirmed a partnership with former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State to produce next president and deputy of the 10th Red Chamber. 
In an interview with journalists in Abuja, the erstwhile governor of Abia State said sponsors and supporters were on ground, adding that details of the partnership would be unveiled soon.

“We won’t disappoint Nigerians. We are capable of representing ourselves. Yari-Kalu or Kalu-Yari won’t disappoint Nigerians. We will give Nigerians what they require, and the Nigerian people won’t be disappointed,” he promised.

Kalu said the move was to ensure that only the most popular candidate emerge leader of the next Senate.

The ranking lawmaker, who declared that he would not step down for anybody, said the partnership would consult exhaustively.
Checks, however, revealed that Kalu might have settled to be deputy to Yari.

Prodded on candidate for the Senate presidency, the Abia lawmaker responded: “It’s what we don’t know now. This is why it is coming out in the coming days. We are not greedy about it. We are going to face realities. We are going to get a support base. It is not going to be problem. The most important thing is to have an independent legislature that will represent the interest of Nigerians, and represent also, the interest of our colleagues.”

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Wike No Longer Our Member – PDP NEC



A member of the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Executive Committee, Timothy Osadolor, says the immediate-past governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is no longer a member of the party, given his conduct before, during and after the 2023 general elections.

Osadolor, who gave the hint in a telephone conversation with The PUNCH on Tuesday, noted that the leadership of the party had decided to isolate Wike and render him inconsequential in the affairs of the PDP.

According to him, Wike’s recent public outings wherein he appeared to be leaning towards the All Progressives Congress, give him away as a man in perpetual craving for the spotlight at all times and regardless of the cost to his image as an opposition political leader.

He said, “The PDP has ignored Wike because the man is no longer himself. There are more ways to deal with people apart from sanctioning them. You can keep someone in isolation. He (Wike) can boast that he is the one that stayed away but is it not better to stay away than come to party activities and nobody wants to associate with you? He has been given a cold treatment because he went to court to procure a judgment that says he cannot be suspended but there is no judgment that says he cannot be avoided. That is what the PDP has been doing to him and technically, if Wike wants to say the truth, he will tell you that he is no longer a member of the PDP. No PDP leader or member behaves the way he does.”

But in a swift reaction, a chieftain of the PDP and immediate past Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, said Wike remained a bona fide member of the opposition party.
Describing Osadolor’s comments as wishful thinking, Finebone said he does not have any power to speak for the party.

He stated, “We can’t identify who he represents, but I think it is wishful thinking. It is wishful thinking and the man who is said to have said that is inconsequential as far as we are concerned.

“And so, whatever he has said is of no effect. His Excellency, the former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is 110 per cent a member of PDP and nothing has changed. And nothing can change it.”

On the accusation that Wike has been hobnobbing with Tinubu, he said it was petty and frivolous.

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