BusinessDay

Major political news last week

96.3m voters to decide Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, others’ fate

…As CVR ends

After more than a year since it started, the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) came to an end last Sunday.

At the close of the exercise on 31 July, 12,298,932 new registered voters had been added to the existing 84,004,084 voters to make the 93.3 million voters for 2023 poll, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

This means that a total of 96,303,016 registered voters will decide the fate of Bola Tinubu, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso, candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and other presidential candidates in the 2023 presidential election.

INEC disclosed that Kano and Lagos led in the new 12,298,932 registered voters. Kano has 569,103 prospective voters, while Lagos has 585,629 voters.

Delta came third with 523,517 voters while Kaduna came fourth with 479,231 voters and Rivers, fifth with 473,924 voters.

Bayelsa is sixth with 444,652 voters, with Ebonyi coming 7th, posting 401,510 voters.

INEC’s data showed that of the 12,298,944 new voters, online registration accounted for 3,444,378, while physical registration accounted for 8,854,566.

In terms of gender distribution, 6, 074, 078 of the registered voters are male, while 6,224, 866 residents are female.

People Living with Disabilities accounted for 87, Overall, Northwest accounts for the highest number of registered voters for 2023 elections with 22,672,373 prospective voters, followed by 083 of the new voters, while 8,784,677 of the new registered voters are youths.

Overall, Northwest accounts for the highest number of registered voters for 2023 elections with 22,672,373 prospective voters, followed

by Southwest with 18,332, 191 voters.

North central is third with 15,680,438, followed by South South with 15,299,374.

Northeast, 12,820,363 while southeast, with 11,498,277 is the lowest.

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Atiku, Wike meet in Abuja

The People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike met last Thursday at the residence of former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana, in Abuja.

This is the first meeting of the duo since Atiku announced Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, a slot Wike had thought would be given to him.

This worsened the PDP crisis as Wike fratenised with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The crisis between the duo was said to have delayed Atiku’s composition of his campaign organisation.

However, the PDP BoT met over the issue between Atiku and Wike and resolved to reconcile both men.

After the Wednesday meeting of the BoT, Senator Abdul Ningi, acting secretary of the committee, told journalists that the members of the board would resolve the impasse and enable the party to present a common front during the coming elections.

After Thursday’s meeting, which lasted for over an hour, the politicians agreed to set aside their differences and work together.

The source said they agreed that a small committee would be set up to look into areas where the camps of Wike and Atiku can work together.

The committee would then report to the panel that the BoT set up to resolve the crisis.

Wike had avoided commenting about Atiku publicly until the presidential candidate granted an interview where he spoke about him in an ARISE TV interview.

Atiku had said he did not pick Wike as his running mate because he wanted someone he could work with amicably with.

According to Atiku,“Governor Wike was not rejected. Nobody was rejected in the party. But you must understand that it’s the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate, a running mate he believes he can work with amicably, and then also deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country.

“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He’s courageous, tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country.

It’s not a question of rejection. Certainly not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected Governor Wike,” Atiku had said.

Wike had replied by accusing Atiku of telling lies against him in the interview.

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Babachir, Dogara insist northern Christians will vote against APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Northern Christian leaders last week called on Christians to vote against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling party in the 2023 elections.

The Christians leaders said while they did not start religious politics, the APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, did, and therefore called on Christians to take note and act accordingly.

Speaking at APC Northern Christians Political Summit last week Friday tagged, ‘Abuja 2022’, with the theme, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people”, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal alleged that there was an agenda to politically, religiously and economically suppress and oppress the Northern Christian, but assured that such agenda would be resisted.

He noted that while they are ready to battle the politics of exclusion and oppression, the northern Christians are open to discussions with anyone who wants to engage with them in good faith.

Lawal stressed that northern Christian’s opposition to Muslim-Muslim ticket has some historical basis, adding that there were times in the past when Christians produced the Deputy Governors in Kebbi, Niger and Kaduna States, saying now it is wholly Muslim-Muslim tickets.

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Sanusi: Nigeria in Deeper crisis than it was in 2015

Muhammadu Sanusi II, former Emir of Kano, says Nigeria is in a bigger mess than it was in 2015.

Sanusi stated this last Thursday at the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF), leadership colloquium and awards, which was held in Lagos state.

The former emir expressed concern over the myriad of challenges, ranging from insecurity, inflation rate, poverty, among other issues, bedevilling the country.

Sanusi said Nigeria thought they had it bad in 2015 but between then and now, things have become worse.

“This is the only oil-producing country that is grieving at the moment when oil prices have gone up as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war. Our total revenue is not able to service our debt,” he said.

“And if anybody does not understand that we are in a complete mess, we are. We were in a deep hole in 2015. And between 2015 and now, we have been digging ourselves into a deeper hole.

“We thought we had a big problem in 2015. 2015 is nothing, compared to what will happen in 2023. We have terrorism, we have banditry, we have inflation, we have an unstable exchange rate, and the worst thing is that those in leadership actually think we are going to thank them when they leave office.

“That we are going to appreciate them, there is no change. There is no sense of urgency. If you are running a company and your sales revenue cannot pay interest, you know you’re bankrupt.

“When the total revenue of the federal government cannot service debt? And we are smiling. These are the kinds of questions we need to ask. And the reality is that there are so many Nigerians, who, given the opportunity will do well but they simply cannot contest in that space.”

Read also: Nigeria approaching fiscal cliff, says Rewane

Sanusi blamed Nigerian leaders for the crisis, saying they lack vision for the country and are self-centred.

He said Nigerian leaders are more concerned about winning elections and gaining political offices than working to better the lives of citizens.

What is our vision for Nigeria? Do we have a vision of one country? Do we have a vision of one united country, which lives peacefully with itself diverse, multicultural, multi-religious but one? And these things are not self-contradictory. Where did we get it wrong? he asked.

“Leaders after leaders, most of those who have ruled did not have a vision for a united Nigeria. How would you like to be remembered after eight years as a President, after eight years as a governor, eight years as a minister, and eight years as Governor of CBN?

“How would you like history to remember you? They have not thought about it. The vast majority of those in office have a vision that is limited to the next election. It is to win. And when you’ve won, you’ve reached a destination, not a journey.”

2023: Atiku names Dino Melaye, Daniel Bwala as campaign spokespersons

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar last week named Dino Melaye and Daniel Bwala as spokespersons for the upcoming presidential campaign.

Their appointment was contained in a short statement by Atiku’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, who said their development is with immediate effect.

“Melaye is a politician and a member of the 8th Senate who represented Kogi West Senatorial district. He hails from Ayetoro Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State,” Ibe said.

“Bwala, on the other hand, is a legal practitioner, politician, and public affairs analyst. He hails from Adamawa State.”

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