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Presidential Poll Tribunal Shouldn’t Be Intimidated – PDP PCC Spokesman




Mr Daniel Bwala, spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, in this interview with DIRISU YAKUBU gives reasons the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), claimed that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress won the February 25 presidential election

What are your expectations as the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal which begins sittings on Monday (today)

An election is in three stages actually; the pre-election which is what people do to campaign, then the election period on the day of the election and then the post-election which is what our law provides where anybody who is aggrieved with the outcome can go to court to test the claims of otherwise or otherwise of what the Independent National Electoral Commission did.

Historically, this election has been adjudged as the worst election conducted so far, not because there were no devices or willing people or low voter turnout. We had an upsurge in voter registration this time around. With the movement and enthusiasm of the young people, everybody believed that this 2023 election was to define the path for Nigeria, coupled with the fact  that you also had a third political party for the first time challenging very strongly.

 Unfortunately, INEC conspired with the government and the ruling party and rigged the election which is why we are in court. That’s why the PDP and Atiku Abubakar are in court at the moment to establish that. I think that the law and the facts are pretty clear; we on our part do not want to be prejudicial you know for obvious reasons.

Apart from being a spokesman, as a lawyer too, this is what I do all my life and I do this for a living. So, we don’t talk about the strength or otherwise of a case; all we can tell you is this is what we brought to the court.

The Commander-in-Chief recently gave reasons the opposition lost the election. He did mention that opposition parties like the PDP and the Labour Party were overconfident, relied on foreign backers and lacked strategy going into the election

Who are the foreign backers? This is not  surprising to me personally. The reason is because, from a vantage point of view, I know that nothing that comes out of the President’s mouth at the moment in a bid to please Tinubu would be enough. In the build-up to the election and even the primaries of the APC, it was believed that Buhari did not work for Tinubu or he did not want Tinubu to win. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.

So in the general election, you remember when they were fighting each other. The campaign council said the presidency was not supporting them, the presidency was against them, naira redesign was produced to make them lose. There were lots of fingers-pointing among them. Tinubu had to do what he did. So Buhari is trying as much as possible to please him.

 What exactly do you mean? Why won’t Buhari want Tinubu to win?

In retirement, you have to be careful about what you did in the past so that you can have a peaceful retirement.

You see because in 2015, Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat. Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying on the BBC Hausa service that for that singular act of heroism by Jonathan, he would forgive him but was that what happened?

 Later his wife, Patience was chased around on corruption grounds; the people around him were chased. So every President who is alive will have to be careful about that because if your appointee is being investigated, the fear that it might be linked to you covertly or overtly will give you concern and so you will also be careful.

 It is argued that the appointees in the President Buhari’s administration will go as the most corrupt.

Are you saying there are no appointees in this government that performed creditably?

Those people are living in Banana Republic. They are living in a fantasy world. Let me give you an example. They campaigned on three promises and we have gone past campaigns. I hate to have to discuss them as though we’re in a campaign but when they say we are above board, you ask yourself about what?

They set three standards. On those three standards, what have they done? For example, I can only score Buhari fair in the area of insecurity because I come from the North-East and I know where we were before he became president and where we are today right?

Are you saying Buhari made that statement for Tinubu to treat him well in retirement?

That is one but the second thing is that Buhari is leaving. He has said so many things that can be considered as conflicting. On one occasion, he would say we have done better than everyone, on another occasion, he will say I’ve tried my best, forgive me. On another occasion, he will say I know that Nigerians are not happy with me on this and that.

Recently, he said when  he retired, he would go to Daura, but if he is disturbed, he will go to Niger Republic.

The thing is the old man has tried his best and someone like me who has defended him in the past cannot but appreciate the fact of his intentions.

When he leaves office, he will be rated a poor president on the grounds that he was unable to checkmate his appointees.

No president in Nigeria has not taken time to checkmate his people. Buhari never sacked anybody. If you see one or two sacked appointees, it is because the people fought to a point where he could no longer say no.

Back to the elections, did the PDP underrate the strength of the ruling party?

They’re trying to reinvent the wheel. You know they say a lie that is told many times will make the liar think that the lie is not the truth because he said it so many times; it has affected his subconscious mind.

One fact is clear, this the election was not won, so there is no basis to say we were overconfident and these other ones were not, no! The fact remains that the election was won by the PDP, and rigged by the APC.

The entire international community that came and observed, in their reports, have condemned the outcome.

Locally, all the different groups including YIAGA discredited the process and the outcome.

But ECOWAS and the AU lauded the process

ECOWAS is a sub-regional body and you have to understand the strategic gain they benefit when they are currying favour from Nigeria. Nigeria is a big player in Africa so those are understood. That’s why the global community looked at the elections and laughed.

Look at the London Times which said that for this election to be corrected, it must be subjected to litigation in Nigeria and the courts should have a second look at it. So, it was not a case of overconfidence.

Now they talk about foreign backers! I don’t even know who the foreign backers are. All we were saying throughout the campaigns was that the international community should be watchful to be sure that the government of the day, which is common in Africa, did not use the machinery of the state to intimidate the opposition.

Anywhere in the world, if you are coming as an outsider in an election, that is going to be your request.

Ordinarily, in Africa, the problem is they want to intimidate.

Look at what Kenyatta Uhuru did. That is where we in the opposition have confidence that this election will be annulled.

Kenyatta Uhuru did everything but at the end of the day, the Supreme Court of Kenya overruled him.

All we are asking at the moment is that the courts in Nigeria beginning with the tribunal and the Supreme Court should not be intimidated, coaxed or induced by anybody but most especially by the governing party and the government.

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I Won’t Abandon Atiku – Dele Momodu




The Director of Strategic Communications of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, on Monday, insisted that the February 25 presidential election, which produced President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, was manipulated.

In a statement tagged, “I stand on rule of law,” issued a few hours after  Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s 16th President, Momodu insisted that the judiciary still had to decide the authentic winner of the poll.

Momodu said he would stand by and not abandon the presidential candidate of his party, Atiku Abubakar, for any gains.

The PDP stalwart said, “My position on the state of our country, Nigeria, is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of the PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its rule of law. My political party, the PDP and others, passionately hold the view that the last presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts.

“Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar,  who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard-earned democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.”

He commended those who took the initiative of challenging the electoral outcome in court, saying, “I salute and respect the Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests.”

Last week, the suit filed by the PDP seeking the disqualification of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on grounds of alleged double registration, was dismissed by the Supreme Court which ruled that the party lacked the locus to institute the suit in the first instance.

Atiku and Obi both turned down invitations extended to them by Tinubu to attend his inauguration ceremony, citing different reasons, not unrelated to the fact that they are in court to challenge the process that brought him to power.

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Start By Publishing Your Assets, Investments, SERAP Tells Tinubu



As Bola Tinubu assumes Nigeria’s presidency today, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has advised him to promptly make public his assets, income, investments, liabilities and interests. He is also charged to impress it on his vice, Kashim Shettima, to toesame line.

The group, in a letter dated May 27, 2023 and signed by deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, also urged the Lagos State ex-governor to prioritise respect for human rights, media freedom, rule of law and the judiciary.

It recalled Tinubu’s recent promise to “kill corruption,” reminding him that the outgoing administration in 2015 made similar promise that was not kept.

SERAP said: “As Nigerians have witnessed for eight years, (outgoing) President Muhammadu Buhari has neither ‘killed corruption’ nor obeyed court judgments on transparency and accountability.

“Publishing details of your assets, income, investments and liabilities and encouraging your deputy and others to do same would allow Nigerians to know your worth and that of other public officials.

“If your election is upheld by the judiciary, your government can use transparency in asset declarations as a means of promoting public accountability and ending systemic corruption in the country.”

According to the group, Buhari’s “broken promises to make specific details of his assets public and to kill corruption have opened up the country’s political and electoral processes to a money free-for-all, discouraged political participation and contributed to impunity.”

It continued: “Although (outgoing) President Buhari’s march to Aso Rock was predicated, in large part, on his campaign rhetoric to ‘kill corruption’, corruption remains widespread among high-ranking public officials and in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Making public details of your assets, liabilities and interests would reduce unjust enrichment of public officials, ensure integrity in public offices and promote transparency and accountability, as well as good governance.”

The body noted that enforcement of court judgments is critical to national interest and restoration of rule of law in the country.

SERAP added: “The incoming government, therefore, has a responsibility to improve citizens’ trust and confidence in government. But it will be difficult for the new government to be trusted if its leaders do not come clean about their assets and income.

“Disclosure of income, assets and conflicts of interest can serve as powerful tools to draw attention to abuse of public office, help prosecute corrupt offenders and create a culture of scrutiny in the public sector.”


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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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