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Clark: Lai Mohammed’s US Trip Increasing Political Tension

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded general election, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, assured his supporters, especially the OBIdient Movement that the mission to recover his mandate would be fulfilled.

This, he vowed, would be done with “all lawful and peaceful means allowed under our laws and constitution to reclaim our mandate to create a New Nigeria.”

At the same time, a former Federal Commissioner for Information in the First Republic, Chief Edwin Clark, has accused the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, of heightening the already tense political situation in Nigeria with his recent trip to the United States.

The elder statesman, who is currently leading the Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum, said Mohammed, by his press conference abroad, was causing division in Nigeria instead of taking steps to preaching unity.

However, the former Anambra State governor, who wrote to members of the Obidient Movement and other supporters, stated this in series of Tweets yesterday..

Obi said he was aware of the, “vituperations, physical attacks, loss of rights and privileges, hateful trolls, indignities and vexatious fighting words, even from some of those we long regarded as civic leaders and conscience of our nation.”

He urged them to bear the attacks as sacrifices towards creating a new Nigeria, “where justice, equity, fairness, love and prosperity shall reign.”

The full tweets read: “My Obidients, a very happy Holy Month of Easter and Ramadan to you all. As we celebrate the Easter and look forward to a joyous Eid El Fitr, we pray for God Almighty’s guidance, protection and blessings as we face and pass through litany of challenges in our dear country, Nigeria – flawed electoral processes, insecurity, weak institutions, multidimensional poverty, unemployment, inflation, lack of justice, fairness, equity, opportunities and many more.

“As we reflect on these challenges and look forward to a New Nigeria that is POssible, Datti and I are painfully mindful that for the mere reason of being OBIdient, most of you have suffered vituperations, physical attacks, loss of rights and privileges, hateful trolls, indignities and vexatious fighting words, even from some of those we long regarded as civic leaders and conscience of our nation.

“Please bear such attacks as the sacrifices that we are all required to make in order to create a New Nigeria, where justice, equity, fairness, love and prosperity shall reign. While underpinning the supremacy of our Constitution and imperatives of the rule of law. Do not relent; and do not be lured into unnecessary conflicts. Be assured that in the fullness of time, our mission to rescue Nigeria from those engaged in State Capture will come to fruition.

“We are also using all lawful and peaceful means allowed under our laws and constitution to reclaim our mandate to create a New Nigeria that is POssible. Therefore, in all your actions and inactions, I continue to implore you to be law abiding, respectful and peaceful.

“In all you do, always remember those immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr, that “The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” A New Nigeria is Indeed POssible.

“God bless you all, and bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

But Clark, in a statement personally signed, accused the Information Minister of allegedly using the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), as an agent of his Ministry to suppress, gag and intimidate the press.

He condemned the recent trip of Mohammed abroad to address international journalists on the alleged call for an interim government, saying, “His (Mohammed) recent sojourn to the United States of America (USA), on the issue of Interim National Government (ING), to damage the reputation of Mr. Peter Obi’s rising profile, to me, is an effort in futility.

“This is because Lai Mohammed did not base his accusations on any report or information given by any state agency, but on mere propaganda targeted at destroying the reputation of an innocent citizen. If I may continue further, why will the Minister of Information take more than usual interest in not only scandalising and lying against Peter Obi, but using his privileged position to circulate same to the country and entire world.

“If we were to talk further about those who have held strong positions against the current political situation in the country; why has the Minister avoided to take note of the views of other persons such as our respected elder statesman and colleague, Chief Afe Babalola.

“By April, 2022, Nigeria was actually facing a crisis of all dimensions – economically, insecurity corruption, lack of direction – because there was no courageous, competent Nigerian leader, and the question was, where do we go from here? There were very few politicians in the corridors of power who believe that Buhari’s administration has performed exceedingly well.

“It was during this period of uncertainty that many Nigerians came out patriotically, felt they should speak out, even though they were not partisan politicians, and one of those is chief Afe Babalola, an honest and self-made Nigerian. It was during this period he made an honest and sincere contribution, and that it may be difficult to have a free, fair and credible elections.

“It was at this juncture of a failing Nigeria that he suggested that Nigeria should have an interim national government. I have known Chief Afe Babalola for a very long time, we were both in the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He was one of the leading counsel, and I still remember when I accompanied him as a NPN counsel to prosecute the case involving Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

“One of the proponent of the interim Government is Rev. Chris Okotie, and even on Easter Sunday, he spoke extensively about it. Bola Ahmed Tinubu also in one occasion said that cabals plan to disrupt 2023 elections, introduce interim government, stated in the People Gazette News of 4th February 2023.

“Even within government circles, this subject of interim government was discussed in the open by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, recently on 17th February 2023. We all know that at no time from the beginning of the current political season did His Excellency, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, make any statement that in whatever manner constituted a breach or threat to the peace and security of this country.

“The question that Lai Mohammed needs to answer is to tell Nigerians on what platform, at what time and in what manner did Peter Obi make the supposed treasonable or seditious remarks?” he said, arguing that  Mohammed’s conduct was even more damaging to the Muhammadu Buhari government.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has stated time and again, that he will handover to a president who will emerge victorious in a free, fair and credible election. It is more disturbing and surprising when one realises that Lai Mohammed is a lawyer and ought to be in a position to give proper professional advice to the Government which he serves on, what the situation of the law is. I, for one, who found myself as Federal Commissioner for Information a position which he holds today after nearly 50 years.

“My instincts and training as a lawyer were always brought to bear in the overall interest of the country and the direct duties which I perform. This is the least of standard which we expect him to uphold in the interest of our noble profession.

“I had on several occasions condemned this conduct of his attempting to suppress, gag and intimidate the press. He has used the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), as an agent of his Ministry. The NBC is no longer the independent organisation, which it used to be, treating the press as a noble profession, made up of noble practitioners.

“A case in point is the five million naira fine slammed on the Channels Television without even the rudiments of natural justice, in this case fair hearing, which is a basic procedure of justice to ensure fairness. Rather, slamming media houses with fines without hearing from the media houses, is the trial that has now become a constant weapon of intimidation and harassment of the press,” he concluded.

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2023 Northern Presidency Failed Because Peter Obi Left PDP – Okowa




The outgoing Delta State Governor and 2023 vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa has stated that a northerner could have succeeded President Muhammadu Buhari if Peter Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

According to Okowa, the PDP had analyzed and concluded on how to present a northern candidate, with a southern running mate as the best way to counter the All Progressives Congress (APC) from getting massive bloc votes in the 2023 elections.

The party threw its presidential ticket open with a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar eventually emerging as the PDP candidate.

However, the Delta State Governor said the decision of Obi to join the race for the ticket threw up southeast and religious sentiments and his eventual decision to dump the party for the Labour Party affected the votes of the PDP.

He made the submission during a chat with journalists on Sunday in Asaba.

According to Okowa, the northern presidency would have succeeded if Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

“I belong to the PDP and for me as a person and for the majority of the people in the PDP, they believed that our pathway to victory was to have a northern candidate and a southern vice,” he said.

“Why? Because we were not a majority.”

“The only thing that turned our reasoning out was when Obi came out from the south-east and there were a lot of feelings that came in among the Christians.

“So it ate very deep into our votes and that is what led to the loss of the elections,” Okowa added.

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There’ll Be No Excuses, I’ll Live Up To Expectations -Tinubu



Bola Ahmed Tinubu

As Buhari bids colleagues good bye
—Presidents of Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa on ground for inauguration

President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Sunday night, told Nigerians that he applied to be the President, hence, he would live up to expectations and deliver on his promises.

The President-elect said he would set Nigeria back on the path of growth, poverty, and policy inconsistency notwithstanding.

Asiwaju Tinubu spoke at the Inauguration Dinner/Gala Night, organized by the Presidential Transition Council (PTC), at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He that though there are many issues confronting the country, including corruption, poverty and policy inconsistency, none of them would be an excuse for nonperformance by his administration, saying there will be no excuses for failure.

According to him, “To the many Heads if State present here, our brothers and sisters, celebrating with us, I thank you, but I want to say clearly for us to take away, what lessons has Nigeria democracy taught the rest Africa, if not the whole world.

“Resilience, determination, courage, love in diversity, though our tongues and tribes differ. Byb tomorrow afternoon, my predecessor is heading to Daura, on the border with Niger, but I have told him not to worry, he will still get a knock on his door. No matter how short a man is, he will see the sky. I will still be able to find him when I need his help.

“Here is a country that has stumbled a number of times, but has never faltered. We can be squeaky like old mama’s car, but we will never break apart. We are just a unique country.

“We must fight corruption, poverty, inconsistencies in policies and many other problems confronting us, but don’t pity me, I asked for the job, I campaigned for it, no excuses, I will live up to the bill deliver. I promise you” he said.

In his speech, the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, thanked the dignitaries who have come to honour Nigeria, stressing that the success the country just achieved with the election, which produced the incoming set of leaders.

He said that the electoral process has given power back to the Nigerian electorate.

He said, “I congratulate fellow Nigerians who have realized their power that their votes count. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to fly to my base and go back to my cows and sheep, which are much easier to control than fellow Nigerians.

“Your Excellencies, Heads of States and Government, and their representatives that have come to share this day with us, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank very much and I say good bye to you and wish us the best of luck”, he said.

Earlier, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, in company of Tinubu, incoming First Lady, Senator Remi Tinubu, Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima and his wife unveiled a book titled “Renewed hope, Greater together”.

Some of the world leaders seen at the colourful event included the Presidents of South Africa Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burundi, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic, Gabon, the Prime Minister of Morocco, Vice President of Venezuela and many more.

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Obi Not Planning Protest, Won’t Attend Tinubu’s Inauguration – Aide



The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, says it will be ‘extremely weird’ of him to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Obi, who spoke through his aide, Tai Obasi, also denied planning a demonstration ahead of today’s inauguration of the incoming President.

The rebuttal is coming on the heels of speculation that the former governor of Anambra State and his Obidient movement would stage a protest close to Eagle Square to register their displeasure over the Federal Government’s insistence on having the President-elect inaugurated.

Obasi said, “I don’t know where that report is coming from. We don’t know anything about it or who are behind the proposed protest. But I can categorically tell you that my principal is not aware of anything.

“He is Obi and his followers are Obidient. I agree that on some occasion, they may act on their own, no matter how you tell them to keep calm. These guys are angry. They are not happy about how everything was manipulated against Obi who has given them so much hope. They followed him and waited for him all the way.”

Asked if his principal will be attending Tinubu’s inauguration following reports that political parties and their presidential candidates were sent individual invitation, Obi’s aide said, “My principal is a very humble and reasonable man who is always looking for peace and unity of the country at all costs. But it will be extremely weird for him to attend a ceremony of a man whose election victory he is challenging in court.

“My principal cannot act that weird and unreasonable. I can’t confirm if he receives an invitation to the swearing-in ceremony. But I am telling you that you can’t see him there.”


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