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PDP, NNPP, 5 other parties form coalition

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On Wednesday, a new coalition consisting of seven opposition political parties was formed with the aim of enhancing democracy in the country. The Coalition of Concerned Political Parties was officially established in Abuja during a meeting of political party leaders held at the National Secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The parties involved in the coalition are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Allied Movement (PAM), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

The formation of this coalition follows concerns raised by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, who, during a meeting with the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) in November, expressed worry about the country heading towards a one-party state. The opposition leaders recognized the need for unity in response to these concerns.

The coalition, while addressing the prevailing insecurity in the country, urged the judiciary to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy and maintain its independence from political and governmental influence. Shehu Gabam, the national chairman of SDP, emphasized the importance of a robust judiciary as the last hope for the common man and called for caution in the face of recent developments in states like Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kano, and Plateau.

Gabam clarified that the coalition is not advocating for a merger and expressed opposition to IPAC. Setonji Koshoedo, the acting national secretary of PDP, representing the party’s acting national chairman, Umar Damagum, highlighted that the coalition aims to provide a strong opposition. Chief Ralph Nwosu, the national chairman of ADC, stressed that the coalition’s objective is to strengthen democracy, citing instances of government officials attempting to stifle viable opposition.

Politics

Alleged Misappropriation: External auditor will examine LP’s accounts – Peter Obi

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Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, has announced that an external auditor has been appointed to scrutinize the party’s financial records.

This follows allegations made by Oluchi Opara, the national treasurer of the Labour Party, on Monday, accusing Julius Abure, the national chairman, of misappropriating N3.5 billion. In response, the party suspended Opara, alleging external influence aimed at destabilizing the LP. Abure, in turn, threatened legal action against Opara for defamation.

However, addressing the situation during a press conference on Thursday, Peter Obi stated, “we will account for everything now that we have an independent person who will tell us which way forward.” Obi clarified that he is not directly involved in the party’s management or campaign finances, assuring transparency in the handling of funds received during the election. He urged the public to come forward with any information regarding the whereabouts of the alleged misappropriated funds.

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We spent N744.5m on litigation, received N595.9m from Nigerians – Obi-Datti Campaign gives account

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The Obi/Baba-Ahmed Presidential Campaign Organisation has revealed that it expended more than N744,500,000.00 (seven hundred and forty-four million, five hundred thousand naira) in legal battles in courts concerning the 2023 presidential election. Additionally, the organization disclosed receiving donations amounting to N595,976,994.00 from Nigerian citizens. Aisha Yesufu, Chairperson of the Fundraising Team of the Campaign Organisation, shared these details during a presentation on fundraising reports.

She emphasized the significance of accountability and transparency, underscoring the need to explain how the donated funds were utilized. Yesufu expressed gratitude to all donors, both in monetary and non-monetary contributions. From the donations received from citizens, the organization amassed N595,976,994. The candidate himself, Peter Obi, also contributed N8,000,000.00.

The campaign strategy included channeling support for Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed through various support groups across Nigeria’s 36 states. Media campaigns were deployed, reaching over 11 million individuals through 40 radio stations, community outreach, and social media platforms.

Limited financial resources led to a strategic approach in utilizing funds. Campaign materials worth N258,374,330.00 were procured and distributed nationwide, along with N16,432,867.00 allocated for media and radio broadcasting expenses. Election promotion expenses amounted to N10,808,948.00, while N324,381,700.00 was spent on Polling Unit Agents. Additionally, bank charges of N1,750,544.00 and administrative charges of N477,000.00 were incurred.

A significant portion, N744,500,000.00, was allocated to cover legal expenses, while over N28,500,000.00 was expended on campaign and election activities. Yesufu clarified that the candidate himself contributed N800,000,000.00 specifically for legal fees.

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Peter Obi an opportunist—Bwala

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A former spokesperson for the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala, has characterized Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, as an opportunist.

In response to a photo of Obi at the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Cote d’Ivoire, Bwala asserted that Obi manipulates religion, ethnicity, natural disasters, and sports to his advantage against Nigerians.

Sharing his thoughts on platform X, Bwala stated, “Obi doesn’t engage in opposition but rather exploits opportunities. He capitalizes on the nation’s and its people’s weaknesses like a predator, utilizing religion, ethnicity, natural calamities, and even sports until members of the NFF supporters’ club told him to ‘F’ off.”

“Peter Obi aims to lead Nigeria with slogans and trendy phrases; shifting from consumption to production; referencing China, Malaysia, Egypt, etc. What does he truly understand about governance? He feigns concern for the impoverished masses; however, one should inquire about the wages he offers his employees across all his businesses, and then return to discuss the genuine implications of contemporary slavery with me.”

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