Tinubu is resting, preparing for lesser Hajj in France – Spokesperson confirms; No President-Elect yet – Datti Tells CJN not to swear in Tinubu | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Tinubu is resting, preparing for lesser Hajj in France – Spokesperson confirms
  • No President-Elect yet – Datti tells CJN not to swear in Tinubu
  • PDP’s Peter Mbah Wins Enugu Governorship Poll
  • Justice essential for healing – Rhodes Vivour responds to Tinubu
  • UK to impose Visa Ban on anti-Democratic individuals, vote buyers

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

Tinubu is resting, preparing for lesser Hajj in France – Spokesperson confirms

Tunde Rahman, president-elect Bola Tinubu’s communications adviser, has stated that his principal is now in Europe.

Rahman said in a statement that Tinubu had left Lagos for Paris on Tuesday night so that he might get some rest before doing the smaller hajj in Saudi Arabia and beginning his month-long fast of Ramadan on Thursday.

A representative for the incoming administration said the president-elect would also utilize the time away from the country to plan his transition strategy.

“The president-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London, preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (lesser hajj) and the Ramadan Fasting that begins Thursday,” Rahman said.

“While away, the president-elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition programme.

“He is expected back in the country soon.

“We enjoin the media to stop publishing rumors and unsubstantiated claims and to always seek clarifications from our office.”

No President-Elect yet – Datti tells CJN not to swear in Tinubu

Labour Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Datti Baba-Ahmed has said that Bola Tinubu did not meet the constitutional prerequisites to become president of Nigeria.

On Wednesday, Baba-Ahmed remarked on Channels Television that Tinubu did not meet the criteria for election to the post of president as outlined in the section of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

The presidential election was held on February 25, and on March 1 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Tinubu as the victor.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, received 8,794,726 votes and met the 25% criterion of total votes in 30 states of the federation, but fell short in the votes cast in the federal capital territory. (FCT).

If there are more than two candidates for president, the candidate who receives the most votes overall and at least 25% of the vote in at least two-thirds of the states and the federal capital territory of Abuja is considered “duly elected” under Article 134 (2) of the 1999 constitution.

Controversy persists over Tinubu’s election as president, despite the fact that he received fewer than 25 percent of the vote in the Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking on the development, Baba-Ahmed said swearing in Tinubu as president is “ending democracy” and a clear violation of the 1999 constitution.

He asked Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), not to participate in the swearing-in of Tinubu as president over what he described as a “violation” of the constitution.

“Section 134 stipulates who should be declared and issued a certificate of return. It is only that candidate that has scored the highest number of votes and at least 25 percent each in at least two-thirds of the states of the federation and the FCT,” he said.

“Now, it is very clear that Tinubu does not have 25 percent in the FCT, we denied him. We got 61 percent. Atiku does not have 25 percent in the FCT. We denied both of them.

“By clear and unambiguous provisions of the Nigerian constitution, which must not be breached, Tinubu has not satisfied the requirement to be declared President-elect. Accordingly, there is no President-elect for Nigeria now. Because the declared one violates the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I know what I’m saying.

“Swearing in a ticket that has not met the constitutional requirement is ending democracy. That is indeed the correct interpretation. You cannot swear in people who have not met the constitutional requirement. if you do it, you have done something unlawful and unconstitutional.

“Mr. President, do not hold that inauguration. CJN, your lordship, do not participate in unconstitutionality. It is extreme and I’m saying it. It was more extreme for Yakubu to issue that certificate. It was reckless.”

PDP’s Peter Mbah Wins Enugu Governorship Poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Peter Mbah, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the Enugu state governorship election.

Maduebibisi Ofo-Iwe, the returning officer in Enugu, who announced the results on Wednesday night, said Mbah polled 160,895 votes to win the election.

“That Mbah Peter Ndubuisi of Peoples Democratic Party, having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” Ofo-Iwe declared.

Ofo-Iwe said Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) scored 157,552 votes to come second while Frank Nweke II of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) polled 17,983 votes.

Uche Nnaji of the All Progressives Congress (APC)  got 14,575 votes.

Mbah will succeed Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the incumbent governor, whose two terms of eight years end on May 29.

Prior to the declaration of the results, INEC had on Monday, suspended the collation of results in Nsukka and Nkanu east LGAs of Enugu so as to conduct a review of the results from the two LGAs.

The decision of the electoral commission sparked protest in the state as supporters of political parties called for the resumption of the collation process.

Justice essential for healing – Rhodes Vivour responds to Tinubu

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Lagos State Labour Party governorship candidate, has spoken out against the violence that occurred during the March 18 election, blaming supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the chaos. He expressed concern that the actions of the party’s leaders could lead to genocide similar to what happened in Rwanda in 1994. In a statement released on Wednesday, Rhodes-Vivour said he visited victims of “state-backed terrorism and violence” and met with young men and women who had been injured by bullets and deep cuts that fractured their legs.

Rhodes-Vivour stressed that “healing cannot happen without justice” in response to the call for healing by President-elect Bola Tinubu. He accused the APC of unleashing “evil on Lagosians” and perpetrating physical violence, yet wanting the peace of a graveyard. The Labour Party candidate condemned the state of “agberocracy” and the disenfranchisement of a section of citizens. Rhodes-Vivour accused the APC of stoking ethnic strife “for the ambition of one man and his cult” and discredited the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to Rhodes-Vivour, “We saw our traditional institutions reduced to pawns, tools. Oro rites that are done at night were done during the day, invoking the spell that Senator Tinubu and his cult have used to keep Lagos bound. This was no election; it was violence on multiple levels, diabolically and physically. On this ambition, they sowed seeds that could potentially lead to an outcome like the Rwandan genocide.”

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was declared the winner of the election by INEC, with 762,134 votes, defeating Vivour-Rhodes who scored 312,329 votes. On Tuesday, the Labour Party chairman in Lagos, Dayo Ekong, announced that the party was ready to challenge Sanwo-Olu’s re-election, describing the victory as temporary.

UK to impose Visa Ban on anti-Democratic individuals, vote buyers

The British High Commission is currently gathering pertinent information on individuals who engaged in anti-democratic actions during the recent Nigerian elections. The commission expressed concern about the use of inflammatory ethno-religious language by certain political figures. The governorship and house of assembly elections were conducted in 28 states across the country on March 18, with the remaining eight states conducting house of assembly elections.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the commission’s observation team witnessed various violations, including vote buying, voter intimidation, destruction of election materials, and harassment of journalists during the governorship elections. The commission acknowledged improvements made in election logistics by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the polls.

“We observed improvements around elections logistics by INEC during the gubernatorial elections, particularly when compared to the Presidential elections,” the statement reads.

“More polling units opened on time, there was greater evidence of BVAS and IREV working and results uploaded in real-time from polling units and collation centres. These are positive markers to build on for future elections.

“However, there were notable points of concern. Members of our observation mission personally observed violence, and voter suppression in numerous voting locations.

“We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organisations, of vote buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials, and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu, and Rivers.

“In addition, we observed incidents of harassment of journalists. Freedom of speech and a free press are crucial for a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.

“The UK is concerned by the use of inflammatory ethno-religious language by some public and political figures.

“We call on all leaders not just to distance themselves from this kind of language, but to prevent those who speak on their behalf from doing so in this way.

“It is a testament to their commitment to democracy that many Nigerians were prepared to vote despite being faced with intimidation and hostility.

“The UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, said on 21 February, that the UK is prepared to take action against those who engage in or incite electoral violence and other anti-democratic behaviours, and action could include preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.

“We can confirm that we are collating relevant information, with a view to taking action against some individuals.”

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