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2023: Don’t Dabble into Bayelsa, Niger Delta Politics, Nabena Warns 2 Northern Governors

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The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Yekini Nabena has said that a governorship aspirant in Bayelsa state Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, is being used as a pawn by two northern governors of the ruling party to further their 2023 political aspirations.

The APC deputy spokesman who refused to name the northern APC governors, threatened to name and shame them if they refuse to follow the path of honour ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, the Bayelsa-born APC chieftain revealed that the said governors are using Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants for Bayelsa state to cause disaffection in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta zone of the APC.

Lokpobiri, had approached the court to declare him, and not David Lyon (now Governor-elect), as the authentic candidate of the APC.

Nabena said, “It is common knowledge that Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has refused to congratulate and identify with the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon after his landslide election victory. Lokpobiri has refused to drop his misplaced and ill-advised legal action taken against the APC and David Lyon with the hope of acquiring the Bayelsa governoship mandate with the support of his sponsors.

“After the Bayesla governorship election, stakeholders have had several meetings where Lokpobiri’s sponsors were identified as two northern governors which I am not disposed to name for political reasons.

“Depending on the zoning arrangements adopted by the APC for the 2023 presidency, the governor’s are positioning themselves by scheming to control Bayelsa State through Lokpobiri and then use that as a springboard into other South South states.

“I will not dwell on the political power play among APC leaders of the South South for the soul of the region ahead of 2023. However, my strong advise for the governors is that they should focus on the development of their states and not meddle in the affairs of Bayelsa state and the South South.

“Bayelsa state and other oil-producing states of the South South enjoys a fragile peace as a result of the commendable efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari government to develop the zone and productively engage the youth. We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace of Bayelsa state in furtherance of their selfish political interests. President Buhari is a stickler for democratic principles and the rule of law, we all must follow these principles. Chief David Lyon emerged as the popular APC governorship candidate and went ahead to overwhelmingly win the Bayelsa Governorship election.

“It is Heineken Lokpobiri’s constitutional right to approach the court, even if his case has no merit. But I think it is important to let the world know that Heineken Lokpobiri’s actions are sponsored by outsiders in furtherance of their political interests ahead of 2023.”

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NYSC Issues New Certificate To Obaseki

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has issued a new certificate to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State following an official request by him.

The governor partook in the scheme in 1980 but it turned out there was an error on the certificate issued to him with an alphabet missing in his surname which read Obasek instead of Obaseki.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) panel which screened aspirants for the Edo 2020 primary had cited this error as one of the reasons for disqualifying the governor from the race – a decision which made him defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he contested and won the primary.

The coast had earlier been cleared for governor Obaseki’s win after other aspirants running against him stepped down.

One of those who stepped aside for the governor was Kenneth Imasuagbon, who said he was inspired by Obaseki’s performance as the leader of Edo State.

According to him, he has been a “victim of godfatherism” and will help the Edo leader fight anyone who wants to “enslave” the people of the state.

Meanwhile, the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appointed the Governor of Rivers State, H. E. Nyesom Wike, as the Chairman for Obaseki’s election campaign council.

The party disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

It also noted that the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri, has been appointed as Deputy Chairman of the council.

The election is expected to hold on September 19.

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APC Accuses PDP Of Links With ‘Hushpuppi’, Demands EFCC Investigation

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The All Progressives Congress on Saturday said there were links between major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party and the US indicted fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as ‘Hushpuppi’ and added that those links should be investigated.

In a statement signed by the APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC alleged that there have been reports of “criminal conspiracy linking” top members of the PDP to the disgraced Instagram aficionado.

According to the APC statement, “the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, and ‘Hushpuppi’s’ affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.

“At different times, “Hushpuppi” was photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.”

The APC called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter.

“We note that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already declared the arraigned Instagram celebrity wanted over fraud allegations,” the APC said. “However, the EFCC, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other sister agencies must investigate money laundering reports linking some PDP leaders and financiers to the Dubai-based international criminal ring.”

The APC also challenged the PDP to open up on the nature of their relationship with ‘Hushpuppi’.

“In the leadup to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, we renew our call against monetised elections and vote buying schemes which the PDP has serially deployed in elections,” the statement said. “We call on relevant authorities to up their guard to prevent these practices that threaten the sanctity of our elections. The people’s will and votes should determine elections, not illicit money used to buy votes.”

Hushpuppi, a Dubai resident was arrested last month by UAE security agencies for allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League club.

Hushpuppi was then extradited to the United States and taken into custody by FBI special agents earlier this week.

If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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Criminal Conspiracy Linking “Hushpuppi” With PDP Leadership Should Be Investigated – APC

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for an investigation into alleged reports of the criminal conspiracy linking the top echelon of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Ramon Olorunwa Abbas also known as “Ray Hushpuppi” who was recently arrested along with associate(s) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and extradited to the United States of America to face trial over cyber-enabled fraud and Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes.

The APC said such report should be a matter of serious interest to relevant authorities in Nigeria.

In a statement signed Saturday in Abuja by its spokesman, Yekini Nabena, the party said that the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and “Hushpuppi’s” affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.

“We note that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already declared the arraigned Instagram celebrity wanted over fraud allegations. However, the EFCC, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other sister agencies must investigate money laundering reports linking some PDP leaders and financiers to the Dubai-based international criminal ring.

“At different times, “Hushpuppi” was been photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.

“While relevant authorities investigate the nature of their relationship and business partnership, we also challenge the PDP leadership to do same by opening up on the nature of the relationship, particularly the kind of services the arrested “Hushpuppi” provided them.”

On the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the APC, however, renewed call against monetised elections and vote buying schemes, alleging that PDP had serially deployed such tactics during elections.

“In the leadup to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, we renew our call against monetised elections and vote buying schemes which the PDP has serially deployed in elections. We call on relevant authorities to up their guard to prevent this practices that threaten the sanctity of our elections. The people’s will and votes should determine elections, not illicit money used to buy votes.”

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