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Today's Headlines: But For Obi, North Would've Retained Power–Wike, LP threatens nationwide protest

But For Obi, North Would Have Retained Power After Buhari – Wike

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, as the hero of the 2023 presidential election, saying the former governor is the reason power has now shifted to the South.

Governor Wike stressed that the decision of Mr Peter Obi to contest the presidential election under the platform of the Labour Party, primarily prevented the north from retaining power after the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

The Rivers State governor made the commendation during interactive meeting with Technical Dealers Association of Nigeria, Computer Dealers Association, Garrison Phone Dealers Association and Building Materials Traders Association in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

Governor Wike explained that contrary to insinuation that he did not support Peter Obi, what most people failed to realise is that the Labour Party presidential candidate remains his hero of the election.

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“Obi is my hero. If Obi did not contest, power would have gone back to the North. The whole of South -South and South-East that PDP lost, if Obi did not contest PDP would have won.”

ICYMI: Labour Party threatens nationwide protest

The Labour Party (LP) has threatened to commence a non-violent nationwide protest over alleged disobedience by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

This is contained in a press statement issued by Dr Yunusa Tanko, the Chief Spokesman of the Labour Party, Presidential Campaign Council.

According to the party, INEC refused to obey the order of the presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The tribunal had given leave to the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Dr Peter Gregory Obi, to receive true copies of the Feb 25th election materials.

In the statement, Mr. Tanko said, "As we speak INEC has chosen to obey the court order given to it to reconfigure the BIVAS machine, which they doing right now and ignoring the order granted to us to inspect electoral materials.

“We, therefore, call on the general public to note the level of lawlessness and brazen disobedience to a lawful order of a court by an important statutory agency such as INEC, which is a well-calculated attempt to undermine and frustrate the presentation of the Petition by the Labour Party and its Presidential candidate before the tribunal in good time.

“We, therefore, want to state that we will not fail to call our supporters to march to INEC offices nationwide in a non-violent protest which is allowed by law. This is to curtail the flagrant disobedience to court orders by INEC."

More Than 100 Arrested Over School Poisonings In Iran

Iran has announced more than 100 arrests nationwide over the mystery poisonings of thousands of schoolgirls, charging that the unidentified alleged perpetrators may have links with “hostile” groups.

In the wave of cases since late November, schoolgirls have suffered fainting, nausea, shortness of breath and other symptoms after reporting “unpleasant” odours on school premises, with some being treated in hospital.

State media reported late Saturday that the interior ministry had announced the arrests over the suspected poison attacks in more than 200 schools, that have sparked fear and anger among pupils and their parents.

“More than 100 people who were responsible for the recent school incidents were identified, arrested and investigated,” the ministry said in a statement, carried by state news agency IRNA.

The poisonings started two months into the protests that gripped Iran following the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an ethnic Kurd who had been arrested over an alleged violation of strict dress rules for women.

Iran has blamed those protests, which it commonly labels “riots”, on hostile forces abroad linked to its arch foes the United States, Israel and their allies.

More than 5,000 pupils have been affected in approximately 230 schools across 25 out of Iran’s 31 provinces, the latest official tally said.

‘Igbos cannot take over Lagos’ narrative may cause war – Pastor Akinyemi

A group known as Leaders After God’s Own Spirit Initiative A New State (LAGOSIANS) has raised concern over the ethnic dimension of the coming governorship election in Lagos.

Convener of the group, Bolaji Akinyemi addressed reporters on Saturday, calling on stakeholders to douse the tension over the division among politicians and followers.

Akinyemi, the leader of Apostolic Roundtable (an independent platform for pastors), urged them to stop the drumbeats of war.

The cleric appealed to the people not to allow political activities and inflammatory narratives lead them to an avoidable war.

“We have seen dynamics being thrown up, like ‘the Igbos want to take over Lagos, the Yoruba must not allow them’, NAN quoted.

“I doubt if we are going to have an election on Saturday in Lagos if we do not douse this narrative that is gaining momentum.”

Akinyemi stressed the importance to bring everybody together and to discuss the way forward so as to calm nerves.

“We cannot have a Lagos where the Igbos cannot stay in Lagos, where markets are getting burnt.”

The convener said residents have lived as good neighbours over the decades and must not allow disruptive individuals and groups to throw a spanner in the relationship.

Akinyemi added that Lagos State needs an independent governor not tied to the apron of a godfather in order to effectively serve.

10 Corpses Recovered In Fresh Attacks By Terrorists On Southern Kaduna Community

No fewer than 10 dead bodies have been recovered after terrorists during the weekend attacked Unguwar Wakili in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The Special Assistant (Media) to the executive chairman of the council, Yabo Chris Ephraim, disclosed this in a statement.

Ephraim added that concerned authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew on Ungwan Juju, Mabuhu, Ungwan Wakili and Zangon Urban with immediate effect.

According to him, the imposition of the curfew was among other measures to forestall possible breakdown of law and order and to allow men of the Nigerian Army to restore peace in the area.

“A curfew has been imposed on Ungwan Juju, Mabuhu, Ungwan Wakili and Zangon Urban with immediate effect.

“This is to allow men of the Nigerian Army to restore peace on that axis,” he said.

Many communities in Kaduna have been living at the mercy of terrorists and bandits, who have been killing, maiming and kidnapping residents with reckless abandon.

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