2023 Presidential Race: Why I’m Yet To Declare My Candidacy -Saraki
Bukola Saraki, the immediate past Senate President, has revealed that he is still seeking consultations and that’s why he’s yet to declare his candidacy for the 2023 presidential race.
Speaking on Channels TV programme, Sunday Politics, the former Kwara governor disclosed that he would soon officially declare his intention to run for 2023 presidential race only after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decides which geopolitical zone will get its presidential ticket.
His words: “Like anybody, there are rules; there are guidelines.
“We will have a NEC (PDP) meeting on Tuesday. Hopefully, the guidelines will come out which will tell us definitely where the whistle would be blown.
“Short of anything that stops an individual, I will definitely be announcing sometime before the end of the month, my intention to vie for president. At the moment, we are just doing consultation. Formal declaration will come in due course.
“I believe I have what it takes to lead Nigeria. I am not someone who shies away from taking up challenges. I am not someone who does not know the issues or someone who does not have the energy and vibrancy to address those issues.
“More importantly, I am someone that can reach out across the political divide, based on my antecedents. I am someone who can reach out across the ethnicity divide and across the religious divide.”
Saraki asked Nigerians to be concerned about electing someone who can tackle the country’s challenges instead of zoning.
He said, “When you talk about zoning, yes, you must consider zoning. But when we talk about zoning, it can’t just be an issue of north/south because you cannot tell me that the south-west will say they are disenfranchised in the possibility of political office; neither can you say the South-South.
“But the reality is that the north-east, north-central and south-east have not had presidency or vice-presidency. But what I’m saying is today, where the country is, with the challenges before the country, we must bring in other issues.
“We did it when we wanted to look for the national chairman of our party. We went seeking for who we felt was the best that would help the party.
“There are people who can provide solutions to the problems of the country if you give them the opportunity.”
Dino Melaye Wins PDP Guber Ticket
Dino Melaye has been selected as the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for the Kogi State governorship election.
The former senator who served as Kogi West’s representative in the National Assembly will contest the Kogi Gubernatorial, which is set for November 11, 2023.
Dino received 313 votes, defeating Jabiru Usman, who received 127 votes and was his closest challenger.
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At the conclusion of the indirect primary conducted in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, on Sunday, Ahmed Makarfi, the chairman of the PDP primary Election Committee, declared the outcomes.
Yomi Awoniyi, a former deputy governor, received 77 votes, and Musa Wada, the PDP’s candidate for governor in 2019, received 56 votes.
Dino will run in the November 11, 2023 election with Usman Ododo, a former Kogi State Auditor General of Local Government and candidate for the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state. Yahaya Bello, the current governor, had backed Ododo a few days earlier.
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INEC Lists Electoral Offenders For Prosecution
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is set to prosecute over 200 persons arrested for various electoral offences during the just concluded general elections.
Already, the Nigeria Police Force has transferred over 50 case files of electoral offences to the electoral umpire.
Giving updates on the number of case files INEC offices across the country had received from the police and how many electoral offenders had been handed over to it, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told Saturday PUNCH in an exclusive interview on Friday, “The commission has received over 50 case files from the police authorities. There are over 200 accused persons set for prosecution.
“The commission has directed its Litigation and Prosecution Department to study the files and advise it on the prosecution. The department has since commenced action and as soon as it finishes, it will revert to the commission accordingly.”
On March 13, 2023, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, directed commissioners of police in charge of state commands to ensure investigation in all cases of violation of the Electoral Act during the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls.
The IG directed them to swiftly conclude investigation and forward the case files to INEC for prosecution.
On March 14, the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission was setting up a legal team to deal with cases of electoral offenders during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.
On March 28, Baba directed that all electoral offences case files should be submitted to the Commissioner of Police in charge of the legal unit.
This, according to him, is to enable central collation and coordinated processing to the legal unit of INEC preparatory to the commencement of the prosecution process.
He gave an assurance that the NPF would collaborate with the INEC leadership in ensuring that all electoral offenders were expeditiously and transparently prosecuted not only in the interest of criminal justice, but in furtherance of the police’s vision of sanitising its electoral space.
Baba spoke at a meeting with strategic police managers of the NPF comprising deputy inspectors-general of police and members of the force management team, assistant inspectors-general of police, commissioners of police and other tactical commanders in Abuja.