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Major political events last week in the build-up to 2023 elections

Political activities appear to have intensified in the past couple of weeks with major political parties and actors trying to endear themselves to the voting public as the 2023 general elections draw near.

Some of these activities, which are somewhat controversial, will try to shape or become a deciding factor in the outcome of the elections and political events in the coming year.

Nairmetrics presents a round-up of some of the major political events in the country within the week

Monday, November 28

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, once again lost out in his bid to return to the senate as the Court of Appeal in Abuja affirmed Bashir Sheriff Machina as the authentic All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District.

For several months, Machina and Lawan, who represents Yobe North in the upper legislative chamber have been at loggerheads over the ticket won by the former at the primary held on June 9, 2022.

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The court, on Monday, upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, which held that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, is not the APC candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District in next year’s election into the National Assembly.

The court had submitted that Mr. Lawan did not participate in the legally recognized primary election of the APC to select its candidate in the election held on 28th May 2022.

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Monday, November 28

The Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, had revealed how he will move Nigeria from consumption to production if he is elected president in 2023.

For quite a while, the LP Flagbearer had been of the opinion that only a move to more production can guarantee Nigeria a more stable economy, increase wealth and better the lives of millions of Nigerians, who at this time currently live below the poverty line.

To achieve this, he said that first the focus will be on agriculture and production-centred growth for food security and export, with more emphasis on exporting finished products instead of commodities and raw materials.

Secondly, pursuant to Goal 9 of the SDGs, his administration if elected will from its inception, continue to encourage investment in infrastructure – energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors.

And thirdly, he said that Nigeria as a nation must look beyond oil and they intend to leapfrog Nigeria from oil to the Fourth Industrial Revolution by expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms that will unleash growth-enabling entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations.

Tuesday, November 29

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, in a statement denied claims that the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, will relocate the Federal Capital Territory from Abuja to Lagos.

The Council’s Director, Media & Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, in the statement, described the claim as an “egregious lie”.

He said that after, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their surrogate Labour Party, had exhausted their arsenal of calumnies and character assassination against Tinubu, they have begun a multi-pronged desperate campaign of falsehoods.

Onanuga said that according to field reports, this misinformation is being given some traction by some elders on the payroll of the PDP.

Friday December 2

A group of mainly APC members of northern extraction led by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mister Yakubu Dogara, formally adopted the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 general election.

After several months of political consultations, the Northern Elders Consultative Forum, including the Christian leaders in the APC in the North, pledged its support for the Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 presidential election.

It explained that Atiku was adopted as its candidate following the resolution of the northern Christian leaders to work with their Muslim counterparts to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC.

About a week earlier, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who had been a member of the group, had endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.

Friday, December 2

The convener of the BIG-TENT coalition of political parties, social movements and civil society organization, Professor Pat Utomi, hinted that 2 former heads of state have endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, for the 2023 elections.

Utomi said that the LP has enough positive structures in place than other political parties to recapture Nigeria from those who have held the country down.

Utomi, a political economist and former director of Lagos Business School, stated these in Abuja on Friday during a town hall meeting organised by The BIG-TENT as part of activities to galvanise support for Obi, his running mate, Datti Ahmed, and the LP.

Saturday, December 3

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has debunked rumours making the round that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, was denied a visa to the United States of America.

The former Abia State governor had in a Facebook post on Saturday, described the story as fake news, saying that Tinubu postponed the travel himself and was never denied a visa.

Orji Kalu claimed that the State Department of the US confirmed to him that Tinubu will be received in the third week of December.

The APC Presidential Campaign Council had in a statement last week said that Tinubu will embark on foreign trips from December 4 to meet global leaders and pitch his presidential aspiration.

In the statement posted on its Twitter handle, the campaign council disclosed that Tinubu and his delegation will be in London, USA, France, and key European Union member states to share his vision and plans and to also solicit the support of the Western powers for the democratic process that will usher in the new administration in Nigeria from May 29th, 2023.

It also stated that while in London, Tinubu will address the Chatham House, the United Kingdom’s elite Foreign and Policy think-tank institution where he will speak on security, economy and foreign policy on Monday, December 5, 2022.

Saturday, December 3

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that it has scheduled a meeting on Tuesday with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Chief Executives of 4 major telecommunication operators in Nigeria as part of its consolidation plans for electronic transmission of results in the 2023 general elections.

Speaking on identified blind spots in the country’s telecoms infrastructure, the INEC chairman said the commission was working with the NCC to find a solution for the effective transmission of results from every part of the country in real-time.

Saturday, December 3

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Kadiri Hamzat, have moved a step further in their re-election

On Saturday, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and other supporters from across the country joined them at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena to flag off the ”Greater Lagos Rising” governorship campaign which will reach all local government areas in the state, as part of their re-election bid.

Saturday, December 3

Presidential election hopeful, Peter Obi and his vice presidential candidate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, finally released their 2023 Manifesto, which is termed “Our Pact with Nigerians: Creating a New Nigeria”.

Although there has not been an official confirmation from Peter Obi, the long-awaited manifesto is a 72-page document detailing plans for the Obi/Datti campaign as they seek to win the 2023 elections.

The manifesto includes seven priorities that Peter Obi will be focussing on if elected president of Nigeria come 2022.

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