On Your Marks… Here are the 17 Finalists

June 13, 2022

61.1 min readCategories: News

Seventeen of the 18 registered political parties have elected their candidates for next year’s presidential election. One party, Action Peoples Party (APP), will not present a presidential candidate for the poll, as the time given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for political parties to conclude their primaries elapsed on June 9.With the emergence of the presidential candidates for the February 2023 general election, the next stage is the choice of their running mates to make up complete tickets, as provided by the constitution.

 

While the politicking for vice presidential candidates goes on, we familiarise Nigerians with the men, who want to lead the country, perhaps, to help the citizens in their choice of preferred candidates.

 

THISDAY presents the 17 men, who seek to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023Christopher Imumolen (AP)

 

Professor Christopher Imumolen is the presidential candidate of Accord Party (AP). An educationist and entrepreneur, Imumolen holds two doctorates in Engineering Research and Educational Management, in addition to three Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering.

 

An indigene of Esan West, Ekpoma, in Edo State, Imumolen started his career as a Plant Engineer at BOC Gases Nigeria Plc in February 2005. In 2009, he established the Joint Professional Training and Support International Limited (JPTS), an educational body that has trained over 30,000 certified professionals. He established the UNIC Foundation in January 2014, as an empowerment and employment scheme that envisions the goal of supporting four million Nigerian businesses every year with grants, and granting reliefs and scholarships to widows and students.The president of Onshore Offshore Oil and Gas Professionals has served as Senior Technical Adviser to the Akwa-Ibom State government on oil and gas matters, and Technical Safety Consultant to NAPECO Kuwait. He is the founder of Global Wealth System, a business network system, with over 450,000 membership, set up to empower entrepreneurs globally.

Imumolen said he joined the 2023 presidential race because he believed Nigeria needed a new kind of leadership, since things were not working because there was a leadership gap.Hamza Al Mustapha (AA)

 

Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha was Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. Al-Mustapha was trained as a military intelligence operative and held various command posts in the Ministry of Internal Affairs; Security Group of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (SG-DMI), 82 Division; Army Headquarters; Ministry of Defence; and the Presidency. He was also involved in counter-intelligence activities and at least, two investigations of coup attempts, which brought him to the attention of Abacha. He conducted operations in Chad, Liberia, Bakassi, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.Al-Mustapha oversaw the reorganisation of the entire territory of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones. In this, he cultivated a vast network of spies and informants across the federation.

 

He was removed from office and subsequently arrested after the death of Abacha in 1998. On 21 December 2010, Al-Mustapha and his co-defendants were acquitted of most of the charges against them, but they were not cleared of the alleged murder of Kudirat Abiola. On January 30, 2012, the Lagos High Court found Al-Mustapha guilty of the murder and he was sentenced to death by hanging. However, on July 12, 2013, the Court of Appeal in Lagos overturned the high court judgement and acquitted Al-Mustapha of all the murder charges.  In 2017, Al-Mustapha joined partisan politics and founded the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN). He emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) during the 2019 general election.

 

Yabagi Sani (ADP)

 

The presidential candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Yabagi Sani, is also the chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and National Chairman of the party.

 

He started his career as an administrative officer-depot chief at the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) depot, Kano, under Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 1980. Sani joined politics in 1991, when he was founding member of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and member, Board of Trustees of the party.In 1999, Sani was the candidate of APP in the Niger State governorship election. He was the financial secretary of the then Nigeria Liberal Convention (NLC/NRC), and also North-central presidential coordinator of the Alhaji Bashir Tofa campaign in 1993.

 

Sani was the presidential candidate of Action Democratic Party in the 2019 general election.

 

He began his early education at East School, Bida, in 1961, and went to Technical College, Kontagora, in 1970. He graduated from Harvard University and Institute of Technology, New York, in 1976. He graduated from Columbia University, New York, in 1978 with B.Sc in management engineering.Omoyele Sowore (AAC)

 

The publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, is the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2023 elections. An activist, Sowore took part in students’ demonstrations against the conditionalities of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of $120 million for use in a Nigerian oil pipeline in 1989. He also led 5,100 students in protest against the Nigerian government in 1992. The protest resulted in the shooting and killing of seven protesters by the Nigeria Police. He was arrested and tortured.

 

Sowore was also involved in the anti-military protests that followed the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which the late Moshood Abiola was poised to win. He was again arrested by the DSS on August 3, 2019, ahead of a planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest. On September 24, 2019, Sowore was granted bail by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

 

On September 29, 2019, Sowore made his first appearance in the media since his detention. The court again set Sowore free on December 5, 2019, confirming that he had settled his bail terms. On February 25, 2018, Sowore announced his intention to run for president in the 2019 general election. In August 2018, he founded a political party, the African Action Congress (AAC), under which he contested the election.

 

Dumebi Kachikwu (ADC)

 

Dumebi Kachikwu, younger brother to former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, caused a major upset, when he won the presidential ticket of African Democratic Congress (ADC), against Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, who many had believed would win the party’s presidential ticket. Kachikwu joined ADC in October 202.

 

Kachikwu is the founder and Chairman, Roots Television, Nigeria. He was born on December 20, 1970. He promised to initiate wide-ranging public service reforms to eliminate corruption and win the war against terrorism if elected.

 

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC)

 

Bola Tinubu, an accountant and politician, is national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which was formed in 2013. Tinubu studied accounting in the United States before working abroad for several years. He returned to Nigeria in the mid-1980s and continued working in financial management before entering politics. In 1992, he was the Lagos West senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

 

After Abacha’s dissolution of the Senate in 1993, Tinubu became an activist, campaigning for return to democracy under the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).

 

Tinubu was forced into exile in 1994. He returned to Nigeria after Abacha’s death in 1998, during the political activities for the transition to the Fourth Republic. He was Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and Senator for Lagos West during the botched Third Republic.

 

In 2014, Tinubu supported former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) leg of the APC, and in 2015, Buhari drove the APC to victory, ending the 16 years rule of the PDP, and marking the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate.

 

In January 2022, Tinubu announced his intention to run for president under APC ahead of the 2023 presidential election, and in June 2022, he was chosen as the APC presidential candidate.

 

Peter Umeadi  (APGA)

 

Former Chief Judge of Anambra State, and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Justice Peter Umeadi (rtd), will test his might against other political juggernauts in the 2023 general election.

 

Umeadi retired as chief judge on March 1, 2019, and subsequently joined the party in his ward in the Aniocha area of Anambra State. Umeadi was unopposed in the primary, as his candidacy was affirmed by 150 delegates at a special convention of the party in the Katampe area of Abuja.

 

In April, while canvassing for the ticket of APGA, Umeadi described himself as the best candidate to win the 2023 presidential election for the party.

 

Yusuf Mamman Dantalle (APM)

 

The presidential candidate of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, emerged without a contest. Dantalle, who was the national chairman of the party, was the sole presidential aspirant during the party’s presidential primary.

 

In March 2022, a faction of the National Working Committee (NWC)of the party had suspended  Dantalle, and the national secretary, Mr. Oyedeji Adebayo, over alleged misconduct. Dantalle described the suspension as being of no effect.

 

Sunday Adenuga (BP)

 

Not much is known about Mr Sunday Adenuga, the presidential candidate of the Boot Party (BP). Although a businessman from Ogun State, he had very little media presence, and he may not pose any serious challenge.

 

Peter Obi (LP)

 

Politician and businessman, Mr. Peter Obi was the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election. He was governor of Anambra State from March 17, 2006 to November 2, 2006, before he was impeached. Obi returned to office from February 9, 2007 to May 29, 2007 after the court overturned his impeachment.

 

Although a fresh election was held on April 29, 2007, Obi was reappointed governor on June 14, 2007, after a court ruled that he should be allowed to complete his four-year term. He was re-elected for a second-term during the February 6, 2010 governorship election.

 

Obi wrote to the leadership of PDP on May 24, resigning his membership of the party, and subsequently joined the Labour Party, where he won the presidential ticket.

 

He attended Christ the King College, Onitsha, where he completed his secondary education, and was admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1980. Obi graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Philosophy in 1984, and went to the Lagos Business School, Nigeria, where he did his Chief Executive Programme. He was also at the Harvard Business School, Cambridge, USA, where he did two programmes. Obi attended the London School of Economics, and Columbia Southwest School, New York, USA, among others.

 

Okwudili Nwa-Anyajike (NRM)

 

The presidential candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Okwudili Nwa-Anyajike, is a relatively unknown fellow, but has been gaining some conscious media exposure. He said during a recent media interview that he had an agenda that would return the country to the path of progress.

 

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (NNPP)

 

Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso made his entry into politics on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), as a member of the Peoples Front faction of the party. In 1992, Kwankwaso was elected a member of the House of Representatives, representing Madobi Federal Constituency.

 

During the 1995 Constitutional Conference, Kwankwaso was elected one of the delegates from Kano, as a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement, led by the late Shehu Yar’adua. He later joined the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in the political transition programme of General Sani Abacha. Kwankwaso joined the PDP in 1998, under the platform of Peoples Democratic Movement. In 1999, he contested the PDP primaries alongside Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Mukthari Zimit, Alhaji Kabiru Rabiu.

 

He was governor of Kano State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2003. He was elected again in 2011. In August 2013, Kwankwaso was among seven serving governors, who formed the G-7 faction within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In November 2013, he, alongside five members of the G-7, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). In October 2014, Kwankwaso contested the APC presidential primaries, where he came second.

 

In July 2018, Kwankwaso alongside 14 serving senators of the APC, defected to PDP. In October 2018, he contested the PDP presidential ticket and lost to Atiku Abubakar. But on February 22, 2022, he set up a national movement against the two major political parties and co-opted the New Nigeria Peoples Party as the political wing of the movement. He first became the national leader of the party on March 30, 2022, and subsequently emerged its presidential candidate.

 

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP)

 

Since his entry into politics in 1989, Atiku Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested the office of President of Nigeria five times: 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. In 1993, he contested the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential ticket, losing to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He was a presidential candidate of the Action Congress in 2007, when he came third to Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP.

 

Atiku contested in the presidential primaries of PDP during the 2011 presidential election, but lost to then President Goodluck Jonathan. In 2014, he joined the APC ahead of the 2015 presidential election and contested the presidential primaries, losing to Buhari. In 2017, he returned to PDP and was the party’s presidential candidate during the 2019 presidential election, when he again lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. In May 2022, Atiku was elected the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

 

Atiku worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for 20 years, rising to become the Deputy Director, as the second highest position in the Service was then known. He retired in April 1989 and went into full-time business and politics. He started out in the real estate business during his early days as a customs Oofficer.

 

Kola Abiola (PRP)

 

Kola Abiola attended the Colorado State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and MBA in Business Administration. He returned to Nigeria and started the University Staff School, Akoka, during which time his mother was a lecturer at YabaTech.

 

Kola, the son of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief Moshood Abiola, seems set to take off, where his father left off as he emerged presidential candidate of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

 

Adewole Adebayo (SDP)

 

Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo, is a lawyer and founder of KAFTAN Television. On January 15, 2022, Adebayo declared his intention to run for the office of the Nigerian president. A public affairs commentator, he provides advice on national issues on occasion and participates in Nigerian politics as a member of the Third Force.

 

Adebayo began his legal career as a litigation lawyer at Tunji Abayomi and Co in Lagos. After two years of legal practice, he founded his own law firm, Adewole Adebayo & Co., House of Law, in 2002. He sponsored nearly 2,000 young Nigerians in Nigerian to foreign tertiary institutions, in addition to many people he had financially empowered across the country.

 

Malik Ado-Ibrahim (YPP)

 

Founder of the Reset Nigeria Initiative, Malik Ado-Ibrahim is presidential candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP). He was born in Nigeria, educated in the UK and US, and has a strong background in automobiles. Ado-Ibrahim is currently the CEO of NIGUS International and Executive Chairman of NEXT Satellite TV Ltd, which would soon launch NEXT TV Direct-To-Home (DTH), geared towards generating thousands of jobs in the ICT and entertainment sectors.

 

His tremendous international exposure in private and governmental business and hands-on involvement in generating international finance packages exposed his knowledge of international affairs and conventional and renewable energy. He has a strong international military establishment background and has been involved as a solutions provider in the ECOWAS region.

 

Involved in high profile deals globally, Ado-Ibrahim is a Kogi prince and founder of Bicernergy. He owns Formula One team, Arrows. The son of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland (Kogi State), he said there was need for Nigerians to put away religious and ethnic diversity, for collective development.

 

Chief Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP)

 

Dan Nwanyanwu is the presidential candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), and also Chairman of the party. In 2004, Nwanyanwu was drafted to lead a party, Social Democracy (PSD), formed by the Nigerian Labour Congress, which led to his emergence as its National Chairman. The party was later renamed Labour Party to reflect its new ideals.

 

Nwanyanwu started from scratch to organise and lead the political party hitherto unknown and at the expiration of his first term, he was re-elected in December 2009 as the party’s national chairman at a convention held in Abuja. Under his leadership, the LP secured governorship of Ondo State, with Olusegun Mimiko.

 

At the October 2014 convention of the party, he did not put himself up for re-election as the national chairman, having served two consecutive terms of more than 10 years, even though there was no constitutional impediment against his re-election. He was unanimously elected by the convention in session as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party. In 2014, he represented the Labour Party at the National Conference as one of the 492 delegates, and in February 2015, he resigned as the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Labour Party and also withdrew his membership of the party. He later formed the ZLP.

 

in Gombe, James Sowole in Abeokuta, Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City, Fidelis David in Akure and Oluchi Chibuzor

 

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has charged Nigerians to embrace democracy with a view to strengthening national unity and building social cohesion.

 

Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at the Church Service to mark this year’s Democracy Day, in Abuja, declared that, “democracy works because the values of justice, equality, fairness and inclusion, which underpin democratic governance, are also at the heart of our Christian faith”

 

According to him, “Democracy works, all the more so in a heterogeneous union like ours, through negotiations and compromises carried out in good faith. And each year brings us closer to a more perfect union, a more mature democracy.

 

The Vice President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said, the commemoration provided “opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a people. It invites sobriety and gratitude.

 

“It allows us to remember the decades characterised by a lack of freedom, suspicion and uncertainty, and calls to mind the prayers, faith and courageous actions that brought us to a turning point in 1999, one accompanied by hope and promise.”

 

Quoting copiously from the Holy Bible, the vice-president recalled how in Deuteronomy Chapter 16, “God commanded the people through Moses to “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.”

 

“In Esther 9:20-22, following the great deliverance of the Jews from the devious plots of Haman, it says: ‘Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.

 

“And so in celebrating our Democracy Day, in-line with biblical and historical traditions, we assure ourselves that the hands of God are never too short to deliver and that His grace will always prevail for our good. Equally important, is that we also assure ourselves, that no matter how challenging the situation or moment might be, there is always enough God-given strength within us, as a people, to surmount them”.

 

Ortom Urges Nigerians to Rise against Anti-democratic Forces

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged Nigerians to be on the alert against anti-democratic forces, saying, “We must guard our democracy jealously.”

 

According to him, “By deliberate efforts and design, Nigerians opted for the presidential system of democracy, because it is participatory and representative enough. It is a way of life that must be held sacrosanct.”

 

In his goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate the June 12 struggle, Ortom recalled the tortuous journey to democratic rule and urged Nigerians to rise up to say, “Never again shall we allow undemocratic forces take control of our collective destiny.”

 

The governor, however, advocated the need to strengthen democratic institutions in the country “so that the practice of democracy should not be at the dictates or the whims and caprices of a few individuals, who think they will lord it over the general public but the wishes of the people.”

 

Yahaya Tasks Citizens on Active Participation in Electoral Process,  Governance

 

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has  enjoined the people of the state to continue to play their role in deepening democracy by actively participating in the electoral process, which he noted has improved over the years.

 

In a goodwill message, to mark the June 12 Democracy Day, which was issued by the Director-General  (Press Affairs), Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the governor noted that democracy has come to stay in the country, and called on the people of the state to get involved and remain steadfast as major stakeholders in the process of governance.

He also noted with delight the successful conduct of party congresses and primaries, calling on the people of the state to exhibit same maturity as the 2023 electioneering begins soon.

 

While urging the citizenry to take advantage of the opportunity of the continuous voters’ registration, especially, those just attaining voting age or those that had not registered previously, to obtain their PVCs, he said it would make them to be eligible to exercise their rights and contribute to nation-building.

 

Diri: Leaders Must Be Servants

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the essence of democracy would be lost if leaders failed to be servants to the people.

 

Diri made the remark yesterday while speaking at a non-denominational Democracy Day service at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa.

 

The governor charged those occupying elective and appointive offices to see themselves as servants while the people that gave them the mandate as their masters to whom they were accountable.

 

A press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that elected or appointed officials should regard such positions of authority as a privilege and a platform to better the lot of the people.

 

“Today being Democracy Day, we should all be reminded to continue to give service to our people. If you have been elected or appointed into key government offices and positions, you should note that It is only but a privilege.

 

“In all our actions, we should know that those who have given us the mandate to serve them are our masters and we are their servants. If you make yourselves a demi-god, you are only deceiving yourselves,” he said.

 

Soludo: Democracy is Struggle for Better Society

 

Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has described democracy as a continuous struggle for better society.

 

Soludo, who spoke during a special mass at the Anambra Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, in celebration of Democracy Day, stated that it was not only so in Nigeria, but all over the world, as democracy was the only form of government that could guarantee a better society.

 

Soludo said: “Nation building is a consequence of struggle for class, both social and otherwise, and values such as focus, determination and perseverance are indispensable in this kind of struggle. There is no perfect society anywhere in the world, however, contestations and contradictions bring out the best in the society.

 

“Today, as Nigeria celebrates Democracy Day, the sacrifices by the late MKO Abiola and others, in the course of the struggle that gave rise to the Democracy Day celebration will not be taken for granted.”

 

The governor said for Anambra, democracy would remain a struggle to build a livable and prosperous homeland, where every one would feel safe in, noting that everybody had very fundamental role to play in bringing it to fruition.

 

Zulum: Defying Boko Haram for 13 Years Makes Northeast Hero of 23-Year Democracy

 

People of the northeast, particularly, those in Borno State, have spent more than half of Nigeria’s 23 years of uninterrupted democracy, showing “incredible resilience” against vicious attempts by Boko Haram insurgents to undermine democratic institutions, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum said yesterday.

 

Zulum, who is Chairman of the Northeast Governors’ Forum, conveyed these in his Democracy Day message, made public by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, where he described the people of Borno State and rest of the northeast as deserving of being amongst heroes of Nigeria’s 23 years of sustained democracy.

 

“It is now 23 uninterrupted years since Nigeria returned to democratic rule back in 1999. In those 23 years, societies across the country have witnessed different levels of progress and challenges.

 

“In those 23 years, the people of Borno State and other parts of the northeast, have since July 2009, ceaselessly resisted groups of extremely violent insurgents with the determination to wreck massive havoc on communities, pursuing the ultimate objective of bringing down democratic institutions in Nigeria, and replacing them with violent sovereign doctrines.

 

“In these 13 years, countless number of these citizens as members of ‘Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, have made sacrifices including giving their lives at battle fronts, to protect fellow citizens and to preserve our nation’s sovereignty and democracy. These fallen volunteers alongside those currently in front lines and all citizens of the northeast eminently qualify to be named amongst the heroes of Nigeria’s 23 years of uninterrupted democracy.”

 

Owie: Those Who Annulled June 12 Election Acted in Bad Fate

 

Former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Roland Owie, has said members of the Military Council, that ordered the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, were under the control of evil spirit.

 

Owie, who made the declaration in a statement yesterday, in Benin City, Edo State, stated that, “The annulment was to tell the world that those who are evil won’t go unpunished. Whatever we sow, we will reap. Therefore, celebrating June 12, is the celebration of ‘retributive justice’.

 

“Beloved, whatever we do in this world we should always remember that there is God! There is Heaven!! There is Hell!!! June 12 Election was a retributive event on the wicked, for The word of God says: “Evil shall slay the wicked: And they that hate the righteous shall be desolate” (Ps.34.v.21).”

 

He added that June 12, 1993, was an event with which The Almighty God showed that all powers belonged to Him. “That event showed that God heard the prayers of our great leaders, amongst whom are, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Gen. Shehu Musa Yaradua, and millions of Nigerians, who were betrayed at various times by the principal actors and their collaborators, who were to be the major beneficiaries of the success of that election of JUNE.12″.

 

Abiodun Reverses Death Sentence on Six Convicts, Frees 40 Inmates

 

As part of activities commemorating the 2023 Democracy Day, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has approved the committal of six convicts on death row to life imprisonment and also released 40 inmates.

 

The governor made the pronouncement yesterday while speaking at the June 12 Commemorative Anniversary and Nigeria’s Democracy Day, held at the M.K.O International Stadium, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

 

He explained that the committal to life imprisonment and release of the convicted inmates was in accordance with the provisions of Sections 212 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) and Sections 4 and 5 of the Ogun State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy (Establishment Law), Laws of Ogun State 2006.

 

Abiodun, who called on Nigerians to draw strength from the 1993 general election and make the 2023 exercise even better, equally advocated stringent punishment for violators of due process in elections, declaring that people’s ballots must count and be respected in 2023.

 

The governor noted that the struggles of June 12 as orchestrated by late MKO Abiola, gave birth to the seamless democracy Nigeria has enjoyed in the last 23 years, emphasising that “only by upholding the tenets of democracy and ensuring its sustainability that we can truly honour the memory of those ideals that Chief MKO Abiola and others stood and died for.”

 

Sanwo-Olu: We Must Join Hands to Build the Future We Want

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the commemoration of another June 12 occasion must come with a deep reflection of the progress recorded so far in the nation’s democratic experiment, while joining efforts to correct the imperfections yet to be addressed to make the system of government worthwhile.

 

The governor, in a statement to mark Democracy Day yesterday, said June 12 remained a rallying symbol around which Nigerians’ aspirations for unity, hope, better condition of living and true democratic practices were built, including the hope of creating a better country.

 

Sanwo-Olu said such hopes must be rekindled by the sacrifices made by past political actors that laid down their lives, especially, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, who paid supreme price.

 

“The challenge before all of us today, as Lagosians and Nigerians, is that June 12 must become a symbol of unity, of hope, of aspiration for a better tomorrow, one built upon true democratic ideals and practices. The Democracy Day must be a reminder of the importance of joining hands to build the future we want. Twenty-nine years ago on this day, Nigerians trooped enthusiastically to the polls, defying stereotypes of ethnicity and religion to prove to ourselves and the world that a new Nigeria is possible.

 

“Regrettably, the powers-that-be at the time truncated that dream. But it was merely a delay, not a denial. We have since been blessed with a new opportunity to build on the hope and the potential of June 12, 1993. That responsibility is now in our hands, and posterity will not forgive us if we squander it. We have seen our democracy at work. It is not perfect, but no democracy is. There are still gaps to be closed, and processes to be improved upon, but there is no doubt that the journey we started over two decades ago is fully on course and maturing.”

 

Get Your PVCs, Saraki Tells Nigerians

 

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians across the nation to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 general election.

 

In a statement by his Media Office in Abuja in commemoration of Democracy Day, Saraki, acknowledged the sacrifice of Nigeria’s past heroes, who have contributed to the development of the nation’s democracy, and called on all Nigerians of voting age to ensure that they exercise their civic duty by voting next year.

 

“As families across Nigeria settle in to commemorate the significance of #DemocracyDay, we all must remember the immeasurable sacrifice of our heroes, as well as celebrate the courage, and persistence of all Nigerians.

 

“This is because, throughout this oft-imperfect journey to institutionalise stronger democratic values in all aspects of our lives, there have been hiccups, yet, Nigerians have always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to forge a better, stronger, safer, and more prosperous nation.

 

“In this regard, as we observe today, remembering that the 2023 general election is just around the corner, I ask all Nigerians of voting age to ensure that they have their PVCs to exercise their civic responsibility by participating in the election of our leaders at the state and federal levels.”

 

Akeredolu: Democratic Values Must be Deepened, Canvasses Restructuring

 

Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has identified restructuring as the only panacea for the array of challenges confronting the nation, particularly, insecurity.

 

The governor, in his June 12 message yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said it was time to deepen the democratic values that the Democracy Day represented.

 

“Although we are still mourning, we will not forget to join our voices to address the fundamental issues that have remained a clog in the wheel of the country’s progress. This day represents a watershed in the history of democracy in our country. It also symbolises a total rebirth of hope and aspiration. It reinforces not just an enduring hope, but resilience in the face of daunting challenges.

 

“Today, we must make efforts to ensure that the reason for this day is not defeated. Our focus must shift primarily to the people. We must identify the challenges confronting the nation and be prepared to tackle them for the overall benefit of Nigerians.

 

“No doubt, our country is going through hard times. The issue of insecurity requires our collective efforts. We must renew our commitment to the protection of lives and property. Our country must explore all angles aimed at securing our space against these divisive elements bent on setting the country on the path of conflagration,” Akeredolu said.

 

House Minority Caucus Tasks Buhari on Credible Polls in 2023

 

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take very firm steps to put in place all necessary arrangements that will guarantee free, fair, credible and transparent general election in 2023.

 

The caucus, in a statement by its leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, extolled the courage, selflessness and patriotism of Chief MKO Abiola, who made immense sacrifices and paid the supreme price for the entrenchment of democracy in the country.

 

They stressed that the federal government must use the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day to commit to processes that would check electoral manipulations, guarantee the security of voters and ensure that only votes cast by Nigerians in their respective polling units counted at the end of the elections.

 

The lawmakers also urged leaders at all levels to uphold this legacy by carrying out their responsibilities in line with the demands of justice, equity, fairness and adherence to rules.

 

Don’t Despair, APC Will Soon Be History, PDP Urges Nigerians

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day to reaffirm their determination to vote out the anti-democratic, inhumane, lawless and rudderless All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.

 

The party also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond his usual rhetoric and take practical steps to guarantee the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in 2023.

 

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, reminded President Buhari that Nigerians were more than ever before, determined to fully entrench the democratic demands of credible elections, which was at the core of the Democracy Day celebration.

 

“June 12 embodies the struggle by Nigerians against corrupt, suppressive and dictatorial forces, against lawless, insensitive, anti-people and terrorism-promoting regime, against injustice, high-handedness, recklessness and incurable impunity, all which the APC has come to represent.

 

“It is unpardonable that the APC administration has arrogantly continued to violate and trample on the substance, value and quintessence of June 12 Democracy Day; the democratic principles of Constitutional Order, freedom, justice, fairness and equity as well as the much-desired national cohesion and tolerance which Chief MKO Abiola personified and died for.”

 

The opposition party therefore called on  the APC to stop testing the will of Nigerians with its continued abuse of process, violation of human rights, nepotism, electoral manipulations, stifling of freedom of speech, promotion of violence; the very pattern of the dark era of military dictatorship in our country, which Chief MKO Abiola fought against.

 

Uzodimma: June 12 Resonates Our Collective Struggle, Resilience to Enthrone Democracy

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has congratulated Nigerians for keeping faith with democracy with June 12, noting that the day resonated the collective struggle and resilience of the people to enthrone and sustain democracy.

 

In his goodwill message, yesterday, he said one of the major takeaways about the Day is that the will of the people in a democracy was supreme and could not be underestimated.

 

He said the fact that Nigeria had experienced 23 years of uninterrupted civil rule spoke to the collective desire of the people to sustain democracy and congratulated them for the sacrifices they made to enthrone democracy.

 

He, however, challenged Nigerians to search their consciences whether, by their behaviour, they have truly internalised the spirit of June 12, even as he reiterated his resolve to sincerely serve the people of Imo State by providing services that would enhance their wellbeing, using his 3-R mantra of rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery.

 

Group Tasks Religious Leaders to Egg-on Members to Collect PVCs

 

The Pray Nigeria Movement (PNM), has called on religious leaders across the country to encourage their members to go and collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

 

But as the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari gathers momentum, it spoke of the need for Nigerians to seek spiritual insight as to who becomes the next President at the forthcoming general election.

 

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, recently, PNM convener, Prophet Isaiah Wealth, said Nigerians must pray for their country always, adding that, their forthcoming June 12 Fast programme, was a  vision for the movement to pray for the emergence of a good leader that would usher the country into a new dawn.

 

“The Pray Nigeria Movement is not a political organisation, and it has no political motivation or affiliation. PNM was born out of the passion to bring Nigeria to its destiny apart from political means.”

 

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Founded on January 22, 1995, THISDAY is published by THISDAY NEWSPAPERS LTD., 35 Creek Road Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria with offices in 36 states of Nigeria , the Federal Capital Territory and around the world. It is Nigeria’s most authoritative news media available on all platforms for the political, business, professional and diplomatic elite and broader middle classes while serving as the meeting point of new ideas, culture and technology for the aspirationals and millennials. The newspaper is a public trust dedicated to the pursuit of truth and reason covering a range of issues from breaking news to politics, business, the markets, the arts, sports and community to the crossroads of people and society.Dumebi Kachikwu (ADC)

 

Dumebi Kachikwu, younger brother to former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, caused a major upset, when he won the presidential ticket of African Democratic Congress (ADC), against Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, who many had believed would win the party’s presidential ticket. Kachikwu joined ADC in October 202.

Kachikwu is the founder and Chairman, Roots Television, Nigeria. He was born on December 20, 1970. He promised to initiate wide-ranging public service reforms to eliminate corruption and win the war against terrorism if elected.Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC)

 

Bola Tinubu, an accountant and politician, is national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which was formed in 2013. Tinubu studied accounting in the United States before working abroad for several years. He returned to Nigeria in the mid-1980s and continued working in financial management before entering politics. In 1992, he was the Lagos West senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

 

After Abacha’s dissolution of the Senate in 1993, Tinubu became an activist, campaigning for return to democracy under the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).Tinubu was forced into exile in 1994. He returned to Nigeria after Abacha’s death in 1998, during the political activities for the transition to the Fourth Republic. He was Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and Senator for Lagos West during the botched Third Republic.

 

In 2014, Tinubu supported former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) leg of the APC, and in 2015, Buhari drove the APC to victory, ending the 16 years rule of the PDP, and marking the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate. In January 2022, Tinubu announced his intention to run for president under APC ahead of the 2023 presidential election, and in June 2022, he was chosen as the APC presidential candidate.

 

Peter Umeadi  (APGA)

 

Former Chief Judge of Anambra State, and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Justice Peter Umeadi (rtd), will test his might against other political juggernauts in the 2023 general election.

Umeadi retired as chief judge on March 1, 2019, and subsequently joined the party in his ward in the Aniocha area of Anambra State. Umeadi was unopposed in the primary, as his candidacy was affirmed by 150 delegates at a special convention of the party in the Katampe area of Abuja. In April, while canvassing for the ticket of APGA, Umeadi described himself as the best candidate to win the 2023 presidential election for the party.

 

Yusuf Mamman Dantalle (APM)

 

The presidential candidate of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, emerged without a contest. Dantalle, who was the national chairman of the party, was the sole presidential aspirant during the party’s presidential primary.

 

In March 2022, a faction of the National Working Committee (NWC)of the party had suspended  Dantalle, and the national secretary, Mr. Oyedeji Adebayo, over alleged misconduct. Dantalle described the suspension as being of no effect.Sunday Adenuga (BP)

 

Not much is known about Mr Sunday Adenuga, the presidential candidate of the Boot Party (BP). Although a businessman from Ogun State, he had very little media presence, and he may not pose any serious challenge.

 

Peter Obi (LP)

 

Politician and businessman, Mr. Peter Obi was the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election. He was governor of Anambra State from March 17, 2006 to November 2, 2006, before he was impeached. Obi returned to office from February 9, 2007 to May 29, 2007 after the court overturned his impeachment.Although a fresh election was held on April 29, 2007, Obi was reappointed governor on June 14, 2007, after a court ruled that he should be allowed to complete his four-year term. He was re-elected for a second-term during the February 6, 2010 governorship election.

 

Obi wrote to the leadership of PDP on May 24, resigning his membership of the party, and subsequently joined the Labour Party, where he won the presidential ticket.

 

He attended Christ the King College, Onitsha, where he completed his secondary education, and was admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1980. Obi graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Philosophy in 1984, and went to the Lagos Business School, Nigeria, where he did his Chief Executive Programme. He was also at the Harvard Business School, Cambridge, USA, where he did two programmes. Obi attended the London School of Economics, and Columbia Southwest School, New York, USA, among others.Okwudili Nwa-Anyajike (NRM)

 

The presidential candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Okwudili Nwa-Anyajike, is a relatively unknown fellow, but has been gaining some conscious media exposure. He said during a recent media interview that he had an agenda that would return the country to the path of progress.

 

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (NNPP)

 

Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso made his entry into politics on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), as a member of the Peoples Front faction of the party. In 1992, Kwankwaso was elected a member of the House of Representatives, representing Madobi Federal Constituency.During the 1995 Constitutional Conference, Kwankwaso was elected one of the delegates from Kano, as a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement, led by the late Shehu Yar’adua. He later joined the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in the political transition programme of General Sani Abacha. Kwankwaso joined the PDP in 1998, under the platform of Peoples Democratic Movement. In 1999, he contested the PDP primaries alongside Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Mukthari Zimit, Alhaji Kabiru Rabiu.

 

He was governor of Kano State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2003. He was elected again in 2011. In August 2013, Kwankwaso was among seven serving governors, who formed the G-7 faction within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In November 2013, he, alongside five members of the G-7, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). In October 2014, Kwankwaso contested the APC presidential primaries, where he came second.

In July 2018, Kwankwaso alongside 14 serving senators of the APC, defected to PDP. In October 2018, he contested the PDP presidential ticket and lost to Atiku Abubakar. But on February 22, 2022, he set up a national movement against the two major political parties and co-opted the New Nigeria Peoples Party as the political wing of the movement. He first became the national leader of the party on March 30, 2022, and subsequently emerged its presidential candidate.

 

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP)

Since his entry into politics in 1989, Atiku Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested the office of President of Nigeria five times: 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. In 1993, he contested the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential ticket, losing to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He was a presidential candidate of the Action Congress in 2007, when he came third to Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP.

 

Atiku contested in the presidential primaries of PDP during the 2011 presidential election, but lost to then President Goodluck Jonathan. In 2014, he joined the APC ahead of the 2015 presidential election and contested the presidential primaries, losing to Buhari. In 2017, he returned to PDP and was the party’s presidential candidate during the 2019 presidential election, when he again lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. In May 2022, Atiku was elected the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

Atiku worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for 20 years, rising to become the Deputy Director, as the second highest position in the Service was then known. He retired in April 1989 and went into full-time business and politics. He started out in the real estate business during his early days as a customs Oofficer.

 

Kola Abiola (PRP)

 

Kola Abiola attended the Colorado State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and MBA in Business Administration. He returned to Nigeria and started the University Staff School, Akoka, during which time his mother was a lecturer at YabaTech.

Kola, the son of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief Moshood Abiola, seems set to take off, where his father left off as he emerged presidential candidate of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

 

Adewole Adebayo (SDP)

 

Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo, is a lawyer and founder of KAFTAN Television. On January 15, 2022, Adebayo declared his intention to run for the office of the Nigerian president. A public affairs commentator, he provides advice on national issues on occasion and participates in Nigerian politics as a member of the Third Force.Adebayo began his legal career as a litigation lawyer at Tunji Abayomi and Co in Lagos. After two years of legal practice, he founded his own law firm, Adewole Adebayo & Co., House of Law, in 2002. He sponsored nearly 2,000 young Nigerians in Nigerian to foreign tertiary institutions, in addition to many people he had financially empowered across the country.

 

Malik Ado-Ibrahim (YPP)

 

Founder of the Reset Nigeria Initiative, Malik Ado-Ibrahim is presidential candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP). He was born in Nigeria, educated in the UK and US, and has a strong background in automobiles. Ado-Ibrahim is currently the CEO of NIGUS International and Executive Chairman of NEXT Satellite TV Ltd, which would soon launch NEXT TV Direct-To-Home (DTH), geared towards generating thousands of jobs in the ICT and entertainment sectors. His tremendous international exposure in private and governmental business and hands-on involvement in generating international finance packages exposed his knowledge of international affairs and conventional and renewable energy. He has a strong international military establishment background and has been involved as a solutions provider in the ECOWAS region.

 

Involved in high profile deals globally, Ado-Ibrahim is a Kogi prince and founder of Bicernergy. He owns Formula One team, Arrows. The son of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland (Kogi State), he said there was need for Nigerians to put away religious and ethnic diversity, for collective development.Chief Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP)

 

Dan Nwanyanwu is the presidential candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), and also Chairman of the party. In 2004, Nwanyanwu was drafted to lead a party, Social Democracy (PSD), formed by the Nigerian Labour Congress, which led to his emergence as its National Chairman. The party was later renamed Labour Party to reflect its new ideals.

 

Nwanyanwu started from scratch to organise and lead the political party hitherto unknown and at the expiration of his first term, he was re-elected in December 2009 as the party’s national chairman at a convention held in Abuja. Under his leadership, the LP secured governorship of Ondo State, with Olusegun Mimiko.

At the

October 2014 convention of the party, he did not put himself up for re-election as the national chairman, having served two consecutive terms of more than 10 years, even though there was no constitutional impediment against his re-election. He was unanimously elected by the convention in session as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party. In 2014, he represented the Labour Party at the National Conference as one of the 492 delegates, and in February 2015, he resigned as the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Labour Party and also withdrew his membership of the party. He later formed the ZLP.

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Osinbajo, Others to Nigerians on June 12: Use Democracy to Strengthen National Unity

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Founded on January 22, 1995, THISDAY is published by THISDAY NEWSPAPERS LTD., 35 Creek Road Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria with offices in 36 states of Nigeria , the Federal Capital Territory and around the world. It is Nigeria’s most authoritative news media available on all platforms for the political, business, professional and diplomatic elite and broader middle classes while serving as the meeting point of new ideas, culture and technology for the aspirationals and millennials. The newspaper is a public trust dedicated to the pursuit of truth and reason covering a range of issues from breaking news to politics, business, the markets, the arts, sports and community to the crossroads of people and society.

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Osinbajo, Others to Nigerians on June 12: Use Democracy to Strengthen National Unity
June 13, 2022 6:30 am
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Deji Elumoye, Chuks Okocha, Udora Orizu  in Abuja, George Okoh in Makurdi, David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka, Segun Awofadeji in Gombe, James Sowole in Abeokuta, Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City, Fidelis David in Akure and Oluchi Chibuzor

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has charged Nigerians to embrace democracy with a view to strengthening national unity and building social cohesion.

Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at the Church Service to mark this year’s Democracy Day, in Abuja, declared that, “democracy works because the values of justice, equality, fairness and inclusion, which underpin democratic governance, are also at the heart of our Christian faith”

According to him, “Democracy works, all the more so in a heterogeneous union like ours, through negotiations and compromises carried out in good faith. And each year brings us closer to a more perfect union, a more mature democracy.

The Vice President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said, the commemoration provided “opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a people. It invites sobriety and gratitude.

“It allows us to remember the decades characterised by a lack of freedom, suspicion and uncertainty, and calls to mind the prayers, faith and courageous actions that brought us to a turning point in 1999, one accompanied by hope and promise.”

Quoting copiously from the Holy Bible, the vice-president recalled how in Deuteronomy Chapter 16, “God commanded the people through Moses to “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.”

“In Esther 9:20-22, following the great deliverance of the Jews from the devious plots of Haman, it says: ‘Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.

“And so in celebrating our Democracy Day, in-line with biblical and historical traditions, we assure ourselves that the hands of God are never too short to deliver and that His grace will always prevail for our good. Equally important, is that we also assure ourselves, that no matter how challenging the situation or moment might be, there is always enough God-given strength within us, as a people, to surmount them”.

Ortom Urges Nigerians to Rise against Anti-democratic Forces

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged Nigerians to be on the alert against anti-democratic forces, saying, “We must guard our democracy jealously.”

According to him, “By deliberate efforts and design, Nigerians opted for the presidential system of democracy, because it is participatory and representative enough. It is a way of life that must be held sacrosanct.”

In his goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate the June 12 struggle, Ortom recalled the tortuous journey to democratic rule and urged Nigerians to rise up to say, “Never again shall we allow undemocratic forces take control of our collective destiny.”

The governor, however, advocated the need to strengthen democratic institutions in the country “so that the practice of democracy should not be at the dictates or the whims and caprices of a few individuals, who think they will lord it over the general public but the wishes of the people.”

Yahaya Tasks Citizens on Active Participation in Electoral Process,  Governance

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has  enjoined the people of the state to continue to play their role in deepening democracy by actively participating in the electoral process, which he noted has improved over the years.

In a goodwill message, to mark the June 12 Democracy Day, which was issued by the Director-General  (Press Affairs), Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the governor noted that democracy has come to stay in the country, and called on the people of the state to get involved and remain steadfast as major stakeholders in the process of governance.

He also noted with delight the successful conduct of party congresses and primaries, calling on the people of the state to exhibit same maturity as the 2023 electioneering begins soon.

While urging the citizenry to take advantage of the opportunity of the continuous voters’ registration, especially, those just attaining voting age or those that had not registered previously, to obtain their PVCs, he said it would make them to be eligible to exercise their rights and contribute to nation-building.

Diri: Leaders Must Be Servants

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the essence of democracy would be lost if leaders failed to be servants to the people.

Diri made the remark yesterday while speaking at a non-denominational Democracy Day service at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor charged those occupying elective and appointive offices to see themselves as servants while the people that gave them the mandate as their masters to whom they were accountable.

A press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that elected or appointed officials should regard such positions of authority as a privilege and a platform to better the lot of the people.

“Today being Democracy Day, we should all be reminded to continue to give service to our people. If you have been elected or appointed into key government offices and positions, you should note that It is only but a privilege.

“In all our actions, we should know that those who have given us the mandate to serve them are our masters and we are their servants. If you make yourselves a demi-god, you are only deceiving yourselves,” he said.

Soludo: Democracy is Struggle for Better Society

Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has described democracy as a continuous struggle for better society.

Soludo, who spoke during a special mass at the Anambra Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, in celebration of Democracy Day, stated that it was not only so in Nigeria, but all over the world, as democracy was the only form of government that could guarantee a better society.

Soludo said: “Nation building is a consequence of struggle for class, both social and otherwise, and values such as focus, determination and perseverance are indispensable in this kind of struggle. There is no perfect society anywhere in the world, however, contestations and contradictions bring out the best in the society.

“Today, as Nigeria celebrates Democracy Day, the sacrifices by the late MKO Abiola and others, in the course of the struggle that gave rise to the Democracy Day celebration will not be taken for granted.”

The governor said for Anambra, democracy would remain a struggle to build a livable and prosperous homeland, where every one would feel safe in, noting that everybody had very fundamental role to play in bringing it to fruition.

Zulum: Defying Boko Haram for 13 Years Makes Northeast Hero of 23-Year Democracy

People of the northeast, particularly, those in Borno State, have spent more than half of Nigeria’s 23 years of uninterrupted democracy, showing “incredible resilience” against vicious attempts by Boko Haram insurgents to undermine democratic institutions, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum said yesterday.

Zulum, who is Chairman of the Northeast Governors’ Forum, conveyed these in his Democracy Day message, made public by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, where he described the people of Borno State and rest of the northeast as deserving of being amongst heroes of Nigeria’s 23 years of sustained democracy.

“It is now 23 uninterrupted years since Nigeria returned to democratic rule back in 1999. In those 23 years, societies across the country have witnessed different levels of progress and challenges.

“In those 23 years, the people of Borno State and other parts of the northeast, have since July 2009, ceaselessly resisted groups of extremely violent insurgents with the determination to wreck massive havoc on communities, pursuing the ultimate objective of bringing down democratic institutions in Nigeria, and replacing them with violent sovereign doctrines.

“In these 13 years, countless number of these citizens as members of ‘Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, have made sacrifices including giving their lives at battle fronts, to protect fellow citizens and to preserve our nation’s sovereignty and democracy. These fallen volunteers alongside those currently in front lines and all citizens of the northeast eminently qualify to be named amongst the heroes of Nigeria’s 23 years of uninterrupted democracy.”

Owie: Those Who Annulled June 12 Election Acted in Bad Fate

Former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Roland Owie, has said members of the Military Council, that ordered the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, were under the control of evil spirit.

Owie, who made the declaration in a statement yesterday, in Benin City, Edo State, stated that, “The annulment was to tell the world that those who are evil won’t go unpunished. Whatever we sow, we will reap. Therefore, celebrating June 12, is the celebration of ‘retributive justice’.

“Beloved, whatever we do in this world we should always remember that there is God! There is Heaven!! There is Hell!!! June 12 Election was a retributive event on the wicked, for The word of God says: “Evil shall slay the wicked: And they that hate the righteous shall be desolate” (Ps.34.v.21).”

He added that June 12, 1993, was an event with which The Almighty God showed that all powers belonged to Him. “That event showed that God heard the prayers of our great leaders, amongst whom are, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Gen. Shehu Musa Yaradua, and millions of Nigerians, who were betrayed at various times by the principal actors and their collaborators, who were to be the major beneficiaries of the success of that election of JUNE.12″.

Abiodun Reverses Death Sentence on Six Convicts, Frees 40 Inmates

As part of activities commemorating the 2023 Democracy Day, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has approved the committal of six convicts on death row to life imprisonment and also released 40 inmates.

The governor made the pronouncement yesterday while speaking at the June 12 Commemorative Anniversary and Nigeria’s Democracy Day, held at the M.K.O International Stadium, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

He explained that the committal to life imprisonment and release of the convicted inmates was in accordance with the provisions of Sections 212 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) and Sections 4 and 5 of the Ogun State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy (Establishment Law), Laws of Ogun State 2006.

Abiodun, who called on Nigerians to draw strength from the 1993 general election and make the 2023 exercise even better, equally advocated stringent punishment for violators of due process in elections, declaring that people’s ballots must count and be respected in 2023.

The governor noted that the struggles of June 12 as orchestrated by late MKO Abiola, gave birth to the seamless democracy Nigeria has enjoyed in the last 23 years, emphasising that “only by upholding the tenets of democracy and ensuring its sustainability that we can truly honour the memory of those ideals that Chief MKO Abiola and others stood and died for.”

Sanwo-Olu: We Must Join Hands to Build the Future We Want

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the commemoration of another June 12 occasion must come with a deep reflection of the progress recorded so far in the nation’s democratic experiment, while joining efforts to correct the imperfections yet to be addressed to make the system of government worthwhile.

The governor, in a statement to mark Democracy Day yesterday, said June 12 remained a rallying symbol around which Nigerians’ aspirations for unity, hope, better condition of living and true democratic practices were built, including the hope of creating a better country.

Sanwo-Olu said such hopes must be rekindled by the sacrifices made by past political actors that laid down their lives, especially, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, who paid supreme price.

“The challenge before all of us today, as Lagosians and Nigerians, is that June 12 must become a symbol of unity, of hope, of aspiration for a better tomorrow, one built upon true democratic ideals and practices. The Democracy Day must be a reminder of the importance of joining hands to build the future we want. Twenty-nine years ago on this day, Nigerians trooped enthusiastically to the polls, defying stereotypes of ethnicity and religion to prove to ourselves and the world that a new Nigeria is possible.

“Regrettably, the powers-that-be at the time truncated that dream. But it was merely a delay, not a denial. We have since been blessed with a new opportunity to build on the hope and the potential of June 12, 1993. That responsibility is now in our hands, and posterity will not forgive us if we squander it. We have seen our democracy at work. It is not perfect, but no democracy is. There are still gaps to be closed, and processes to be improved upon, but there is no doubt that the journey we started over two decades ago is fully on course and maturing.”

Get Your PVCs, Saraki Tells Nigerians

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians across the nation to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 general election.

In a statement by his Media Office in Abuja in commemoration of Democracy Day, Saraki, acknowledged the sacrifice of Nigeria’s past heroes, who have contributed to the development of the nation’s democracy, and called on all Nigerians of voting age to ensure that they exercise their civic duty by voting next year.

“As families across Nigeria settle in to commemorate the significance of #DemocracyDay, we all must remember the immeasurable sacrifice of our heroes, as well as celebrate the courage, and persistence of all Nigerians.

“This is because, throughout this oft-imperfect journey to institutionalise stronger democratic values in all aspects of our lives, there have been hiccups, yet, Nigerians have always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to forge a better, stronger, safer, and more prosperous nation.

“In this regard, as we observe today, remembering that the 2023 general election is just around the corner, I ask all Nigerians of voting age to ensure that they have their PVCs to exercise their civic responsibility by participating in the election of our leaders at the state and federal levels.”

Akeredolu: Democratic Values Must be Deepened, Canvasses Restructuring

Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has identified restructuring as the only panacea for the array of challenges confronting the nation, particularly, insecurity.

The governor, in his June 12 message yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said it was time to deepen the democratic values that the Democracy Day represented.

“Although we are still mourning, we will not forget to join our voices to address the fundamental issues that have remained a clog in the wheel of the country’s progress. This day represents a watershed in the history of democracy in our country. It also symbolises a total rebirth of hope and aspiration. It reinforces not just an enduring hope, but resilience in the face of daunting challenges.

“Today, we must make efforts to ensure that the reason for this day is not defeated. Our focus must shift primarily to the people. We must identify the challenges confronting the nation and be prepared to tackle them for the overall benefit of Nigerians.

“No doubt, our country is going through hard times. The issue of insecurity requires our collective efforts. We must renew our commitment to the protection of lives and property. Our country must explore all angles aimed at securing our space against these divisive elements bent on setting the country on the path of conflagration,” Akeredolu said.

House Minority Caucus Tasks Buhari on Credible Polls in 2023

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take very firm steps to put in place all necessary arrangements that will guarantee free, fair, credible and transparent general election in 2023.

The caucus, in a statement by its leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, extolled the courage, selflessness and patriotism of Chief MKO Abiola, who made immense sacrifices and paid the supreme price for the entrenchment of democracy in the country.

They stressed that the federal government must use the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day to commit to processes that would check electoral manipulations, guarantee the security of voters and ensure that only votes cast by Nigerians in their respective polling units counted at the end of the elections.

The lawmakers also urged leaders at all levels to uphold this legacy by carrying out their responsibilities in line with the demands of justice, equity, fairness and adherence to rules.

Don’t Despair, APC Will Soon Be History, PDP Urges Nigerians

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day to reaffirm their determination to vote out the anti-democratic, inhumane, lawless and rudderless All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.

The party also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond his usual rhetoric and take practical steps to guarantee the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in 2023.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, reminded President Buhari that Nigerians were more than ever before, determined to fully entrench the democratic demands of credible elections, which was at the core of the Democracy Day celebration.

“June 12 embodies the struggle by Nigerians against corrupt, suppressive and dictatorial forces, against lawless, insensitive, anti-people and terrorism-promoting regime, against injustice, high-handedness, recklessness and incurable impunity, all which the APC has come to represent.

“It is unpardonable that the APC administration has arrogantly continued to violate and trample on the substance, value and quintessence of June 12 Democracy Day; the democratic principles of Constitutional Order, freedom, justice, fairness and equity as well as the much-desired national cohesion and tolerance which Chief MKO Abiola personified and died for.”

The opposition party therefore called on  the APC to stop testing the will of Nigerians with its continued abuse of process, violation of human rights, nepotism, electoral manipulations, stifling of freedom of speech, promotion of violence; the very pattern of the dark era of military dictatorship in our country, which Chief MKO Abiola fought against.

Uzodimma: June 12 Resonates Our Collective Struggle, Resilience to Enthrone Democracy

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has congratulated Nigerians for keeping faith with democracy with June 12, noting that the day resonated the collective struggle and resilience of the people to enthrone and sustain democracy.

In his goodwill message, yesterday, he said one of the major takeaways about the Day is that the will of the people in a democracy was supreme and could not be underestimated.

He said the fact that Nigeria had experienced 23 years of uninterrupted civil rule spoke to the collective desire of the people to sustain democracy and congratulated them for the sacrifices they made to enthrone democracy.

He, however, challenged Nigerians to search their consciences whether, by their behaviour, they have truly internalised the spirit of June 12, even as he reiterated his resolve to sincerely serve the people of Imo State by providing services that would enhance their wellbeing, using his 3-R mantra of rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery.

Group Tasks Religious Leaders to Egg-on Members to Collect PVCs

The Pray Nigeria Movement (PNM), has called on religious leaders across the country to encourage their members to go and collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

But as the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari gathers momentum, it spoke of the need for Nigerians to seek spiritual insight as to who becomes the next President at the forthcoming general election.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, recently, PNM convener, Prophet Isaiah Wealth, said Nigerians must pray for their country always, adding that, their forthcoming June 12 Fast programme, was a  vision for the movement to pray for the emergence of a good leader that would usher the country into a new dawn.

“The Pray Nigeria Movement is not a political organisation, and it has no political motivation or affiliation. PNM was born out of the passion to bring Nigeria to its destiny apart from political means.”

Founded on January 22, 1995, THISDAY is published by THISDAY NEWSPAPERS LTD., 35 Creek Road Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria with offices in 36 states of Nigeria , the Federal Capital Territory and around the world. It is Nigeria’s most authoritative news media available on all platforms for the political, business, professional and diplomatic elite and broader middle classes while serving as the meeting point of new ideas, culture and technology for the aspirationals and millennials. The newspaper is a public trust dedicated to the pursuit of truth and reason covering a range of issues from breaking news to politics, business, the markets, the arts, sports and community to the crossroads of people and society.At the October 2014 convention of the party, he did not put himself up for re-election as the national chairman, having served two consecutive terms of more than 10 years, even though there was no constitutional impediment against his re-election. He was unanimously elected by the convention in session as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party. In 2014, he represented the Labour Party at the National Conference as one of the 492 delegates, and in February 2015, he resigned as the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Labour Party and also withdrew his membership of the party. He later formed the ZLP.

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