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Kogi guber: APC, PDP, SDP scramble for crowd

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In the lead-up to the gubernatorial election in Kogi State scheduled for November 11, an unprecedented and massive crowd has been observed at rallies hosted by the dominant political parties. These parties include the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). All three major parties are claiming to have the upper hand.

Nevertheless, the key question remains whether the large crowds will translate into electoral victory on polling day. With only nine days left until the election, these parties show no signs of slowing down, while members of some smaller parties are switching allegiances.

Findings from DAILY POST suggest that the immense turnout at some campaign rallies is largely due to local support and hometown advantage. For instance, a crowd of over 30,000 people attended Ahmed Ododo’s rally in Okene, and both SDP and PDP also witnessed substantial gatherings.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Evangelist Kingsley Femi Fanwo, asserted that the attendees at the APC’s rallies in Okene came voluntarily, emphasizing that no payments were made to attract them.

At the SDP rally in Abocho, Dekina Local Government Area, Mr. Daniel Ijele, the campaign spokesperson, attributed the large turnout to supporters who came out of love for their local candidate, Murtala Ajaka, describing it as “the mother of all rallies.”

Dino Melaye of the PDP also showcased his popularity in Ankpa, a region where his Deputy (female) gubernatorial candidate originates from. The rally in Ankpa was similarly enormous.

Political analysts have pointed out that the Kogi West senatorial district will play a crucial role in determining the election outcome, particularly the Okun-speaking area and Lokoja-Koto region from the seven local government areas.

However, some experts, like Ahmed Muhammed and Hamza Aliyu, caution that the massive crowds at political rallies may not necessarily translate into actual votes on election day. They argue that politicians often financially incentivize people to attend campaign rallies without necessarily having sound plans for the electorate. They call for a shift towards issue-based campaigns and political parties with well-defined ideologies to enhance the electoral system.

There are concerns about election-related violence in Kogi East, with the Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) urging security agencies to ensure a peaceful gubernatorial election on November 11 and avoid a repeat of past violent incidents.

Comrade Idris Abdul Miliki, an activist in Kogi State, expressed disappointment that voters seem to be prioritizing ethnicity over competence and ideology when choosing candidates. He emphasized the need to prevent violence and underscored the importance of campaigning based on merit and competence rather than ethnicity.

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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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