Guber Polls: APC claims absence of voter intimidation or violence in Lagos; Tinubu files petition with NBC, calls for Channels TV to face sanctions | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Guber Polls: APC claims absence of voter intimidation or violence in Lagos
  • Tinubu files petition with NBC, calls for Channels TV to face sanctions
  • Fire engulfs yet another auto parts market in Lagos
  • Shema, Fayose, and Anyim’s suspension reversed by PDP
  • Ikpeazu greenlights immediate dissolution of all political appointees

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Guber Polls: APC claims absence of voter intimidation or violence in Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State has denied allegations of violence during the recently concluded elections. At a news conference held in Ikeja on Thursday, the State Publicity Secretary, Seye Oladejo, rejected the claims made by the opposition parties.

Oladejo said, “It is sheer falsehood that cannot be substantiated. Many false narratives have been put in the public space by the aggressors in the last election, who have turned round to shed crocodile tears in their bid to play the victim.”

He added that ethnicity and religion should not be a factor in the voting pattern in the state, and such allegations are false. The APC spokesman also accused the Labour Party of introducing and orchestrating ethnicity and religion into the electioneering process. Oladejo said, “The intention was to pit a section of the populace against another.”

Oladejo refuted allegations of intimidation and violence against voters during the polls, saying that the opposition is currently playing the victim.

He said, “It is on record that there are 13,325 polling units in Lagos State, and there were reports of disturbances in about 130 or one percent of all the polling units. I think that is too infinitesimal for anyone to rely upon to say that the election was not free and fair.”

Oladejo also stated that the APC members were mostly victims of intimidation and violence, and some are still in hospitals where doctors are battling to save their lives.

He said, “The false alarm that members of the APC perpetrated violence during the election cannot be substantiated. The party has loyalists, members, and sympathisers in all nooks and crannies of the state. It has no reason to embrace violence.”

Oladejo commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which he said helped to ensure that only registered voters accredited and captured by the machine could vote.

He also praised security agents for their conduct during the elections, describing them as professional. However, he urged them to go further by curbing the excesses of warmongers and scaremongers desperate to foment trouble in the state.

In conclusion, Oladejo congratulated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, on their victory, saying it was a recognition of their giant strides in the last four years.

The Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, also accused the opposition parties of trying to fan up sentiments and cause anarchy by spreading allegations of violence. He called on anyone dissatisfied with the conduct of the elections to approach the court of law, as it is done in civilised climes.

Tinubu files petition with NBC, calls for Channels TV to face sanctions

Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has submitted a petition to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), calling for Channels Television to be punished for allegedly violating the Nigerian Broadcasting Code. The petition, dated March 30, 2023, cited Section 14.0.1 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code 6th edition, which mandates the NBC to investigate and apply sanctions where necessary in response to complaints from aggrieved individuals, organizations, or members of the public.

The petition, signed by Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and Publicity, on behalf of the Special Adviser, Media, Public Affairs, and Communications of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, accused Channels TV of breaching the code during its program “Politics Today,” which airs weekdays at 7 pm.

The petition alleged that Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), made inflammatory comments that impugned the integrity of the February 25, 2023, presidential elections.

The petition read further:   “He (Datto) said the Labour Party won the elections. This is a fallacy and not correct. According to the Code, a Broadcaster is liable when his guest is allowed to make a wild statement that is inaccurate and not based on fact. 

”The only factual figures empirically collated as the final result is the one released by the Independent National Electoral Commission which placed Labour party as third.

“The guest on the programme in question Datti Baba-Ahmed said the President of the country Muhammadu Buhari should not swear in the President-elect because he did not score 25% vote in the FCT, being one of the prerequisites for being declared the winner. This is a subversive statement since the matter is before the tribunal and is among the issues submitted in their petition to the courts for adjudication. Therefore until and unless the court rules otherwise, the status quo is the INEC position as declared in the final results

“The guest Datti Baba Ahmed’s comments about Labour Party winning the presidential vote undermines constituted authority given to INEC in the 1999 Constitution as the body vested with the powers to conduct and announce the results of national general elections in Nigeria.”

Fire engulfs yet another auto parts market in Lagos

A fire outbreak at the Olowu spare parts market in the Ikeja area of Lagos state has resulted in the destruction of several properties.

According to Ibrahim Farinloye, the Lagos coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning and affected 13 shops, four warehouses, and one restaurant.

Farinloye noted that the cause of the fire was yet to be determined.

However, Bassey Ikpendu, the chairman of the traders association, commended the efforts of the state fire service in containing the fire and preventing it from escalating.

Fortunately, no casualties were recorded in the incident.

This incident comes just two days after a fire outbreak at a five-storey building in Balogun market, which resulted in one fatality and seven injuries. Earlier in the month, some sections of the Akere automobile parts market in the Olodi-Apapa area of the state were also gutted by fire, causing damage to several automobile spare parts shops.

Shema, Fayose, and Anyim’s suspension reversed by PDP

The national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reversed the suspension of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, along with the suspension of four other members.

The PDP also lifted the suspension of former Katsina Governor, Ibrahim Shema; former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Dennis Ityavyar of Benue; and Aslam Aliyu of Zamfara. The NWC also withdrew Samuel Ortom’s referral to the party’s national disciplinary committee.

The PDP spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, issued a statement on Thursday, noting that the NWC had “extensively discussed recent developments” in the party. He added that the NWC recognized the need for reconciliation among party leaders and stakeholders for a more cohesive party in the overall interest of its members and Nigerians in general. However, Ologunagba pointed out that the decision did not hinder the NWC’s power to take disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time under the party’s constitution.

Last week, the PDP NWC suspended Shema, Anyim, Ityavyar, and Aliyu over alleged anti-party activities. The suspension triggered a protest by the members who claimed that they were not given a fair hearing.

The decision by the NWC to lift the suspension of the members occurred after the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the party’s national chairman and the appointment of Iliya Damagum as the acting leader. Ayu was suspended by his ward in Gboko LGA, Benue state. The following day, a high court granted an ex parte order restraining Ayu from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.

Ikpeazu greenlights immediate dissolution of all political appointees

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has approved the immediate sack of all political appointees in the state.

Those affected include: Special Assistants, Senior Special Assistants, Special Advisers, and Technical Officers, thereby increasing the number of appointees sacked by the governor after his failed senatorial election and his inability to install his successor.

The governor further directed the State Accountant General to ensure immediate payment of March 2023 stipends to all the appointees.

The sack was made public by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Chris Ezem.

The governor thanked them for their contributions and services to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.

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