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2023 Presidential Race: Soyinka Says He Didn’t Endorse Tinubu

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2023 Presidential Race: Soyinka Says He Didn't Endorse Tinubu

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has reacted to a viral social media post that he endorsed the candidacy of former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential race.

Newsrand understands that the post, embedded with the pictures of Soyinka and Tinubu, went viral on the Internet last year’s November and quoted Soyinka as saying: “I have never involved myself in politics or campaign for any politician but in 2023 I will involve in politics and campaign for a longtime friend in 1993 NADECO struggle. Nobel laurel, Professor Wole Soyinka.

The post returned to public space after Tinubu on Monday, January 10, 2022, visited President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose his interest to contest the 2023 presidential race.

Debunking the post, Soyinka, in a statement addressed to members of the public, described the authors of the post as illiterate public interlopers who lacked the courage of their conviction and must steal the identities of their betters.

The statement read: “Here we go again. The same boring, illiterate public interlopers who lack the courage of their conviction and must steal the identities of their betters. One can only hope that the public has learnt to identify Fake News and join in the urgent task of exposing and disgracing these despicable touts.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have not even thought 2023, much less inserted candidates into coveted positions. The signature of this latest moron is familiar – he or she does not even know the difference between ‘Laureate and Laurel.’

This is an ancient forgery being recycled for the umpteenth time. Those who pass it round do themselves and their recipients a disservice. Find something worthwhile to occupy your time.

In any case, we have no business with politics in the land of the dead, and the most recent information I have on me is that I died sometime last year. The email account of the year’s Nobel ‘Laurel”‘ was hacked by these same agents to publicise my demise, so who is this still politicking WS ‘Laurel’?

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2023: Tinubu, Obasanjo, Others Meet In Ogun

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2023: Tinubu, Obasanjo, Others Meet In Ogun

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo behind closed doors in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Details of the meeting were not disclosed but sources say it is not unconnected with the 2023 general elections and Tinubu’s ambition to emerge president.

Tinubu was accompanied by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the first interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande; the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun; former Governor Olusegun Osoba; Otunba Gbenga Daniel among other dignitaries.

The trip to Abeokuta comes a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari received Tinubu and his running mate Kassim Shettima at the State House in Abuja.

The duo was accompanied by the APC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

According to Adamu, the meeting was to brief the President and get his approval on the party’s plans regarding the campaign outfit and organogram.

At a briefing after the meeting, Adamu also unveiled Lalong as the Director-General of the APC presidential campaign organisation.

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Raila Odinga rejects William Ruto’s victory in Kenyan presidential election

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Raila Odinga has rejected the results of Kenya’s presidential election saying that the figures announced on Monday were “null and void”.

According to the official results, Mr Odinga narrowly lost to Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Odinga accused the head of the electoral body of a “blatant disregard of the constitution”.

“We totally without reservation reject the presidential election results,” he said.

Making his remarks in front of supporters in the capital, Nairobi, he said that there was “neither a legally elected winner nor a president-elect”.

The 77-year-old long-time opposition leader was running for president for the fifth time. He has challenged the results in the previous two elections, including successfully in 2017.

This time round, the chairman of the electoral body Wafula Chebukati said he got 48.8% of the vote in last Tuesday’s election compared to Mr Ruto’s 50.5%.

Mr Odinga accused Mr Chebukati of “gross impunity” saying his team will pursue all legal options. He called his declaration “a major setback” to Kenya’s democracy that could trigger a political crisis.

He said that Mr Chebukati went against the law by announcing the result without the backing of his fellow commissioners. But an ally of Mr Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, told BBC Focus on Africa radio that commissioners are required to collate the results but do not determine the result.

This is a legal point that may in the end have to be tested in court.

Minutes before Mr Odinga spoke, four of seven electoral commissioners who refused to approve Monday’s results, held a press conference to give their reasons.

They accused Mr Chebukati of side-lining them and of announcing results that were a “mathematical absurdity that defies logic”.

Juliana Cherera, the vice-chairperson of the commission, said that if you added the percentages as announced by the chairperson of the commission the sum came to 100.01%.

But the BBC’s Reality Check team says that this was down to a rounding error and is not suspicious.

Mr Odinga has however commended the four commissioners for their “heroism”.

“The majority of (the electoral commission) – who stood up to the bullying and illegal conduct of Mr Chebukati, we are proud of them and ask them not to fear anything. Kenyans are with them,” he said.

On Monday, Mr Ruto described the objections of the commissioners as a “side-show”, but said he would respect a legal process. He also called for unity, saying he wanted to be a president for all, and for the country to focus on the future.

Last week’s election was largely peaceful. The electoral commission was widely praised for conducting a transparent process by posting on its website results from more than 46,000 polling stations and encouraging anyone to conduct their own tally.

However, scuffles broke out at the counting centre on Monday after Mr Odinga’s supporters accused the electoral commission of tampering with votes and attempted to block Mr Chebukati from announcing the final results. At least three poll officials were injured in the melee.

Calm has been restored in the country after a mixture of celebrations and violent protests followed the official declaration of the presidential results.

Thousands of supporters, clad in yellow, Mr Ruto’s party colours, poured onto the streets of Eldoret in the Rift Valley. In contrast in the western city of Kisumu, Mr Odinga’s supporters blocked roads and lit bonfires. Similar scenes played out at several towns and in the capital, Nairobi.

Generally there is a sense of relief that the counting process is over because the election season often means that life grinds to a halt.

But people will be paying attention to Mr Odinga’s plans to file a case at the Supreme Court.

Yahoo

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Wike Alleges Gang-up Against Him In Rivers

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Wike Alleges Gang-up Against Him In Rivers

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused some elders of the state of ganging up against him because they did not scale through the primary to be the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

The governor explained that some of them, who indicated interest to fly the party’s flag but failed, went to mobilise in Abuja to ensure that he did not emerge the running mate of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

Wike spoke during the 74th birthday reception organised to honour a former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili, at his residence in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, and made available to journalists in Port Harcourt.

Ebiri quoted the governor as saying, “On my last birthday, 12midnight, one of our elders called me that they want to see me. They came to me and said they came to wish me happy birthday.

Then, they presented me a letter that I should run for President. All of them, including Dr. Abiye (Sekibo) signed the document.

I said ‘okay, you people too should go and give me someone who will be governor after me.’ They all sat there, looking left and right.

“I asked them, ‘those of you who are interested to be governor should raise your hands.’ Everybody raised his hand. One person didn’t raise his hand, Senator Bari Mpigi.

I asked why he was not interested, he replied, ‘sir, let me hold what God has given me. I don’t want to lose the two.”

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