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Okowa favourite to emerge Atiku’s running mate

Okowa favourite to emerge Atiku’s running mate

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is the favourite to emerge as the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

A former governor of Delta State and a former Senator on the platform of the PDP confirmed the development to The PUNCH on Thursday.

Also, PDP’s media team member, Emma Umeh, said Okowa would be screened and announced soon.

Reacting to the development, a former Senator, Shehu Sani, described Okowa as a link between the South-East and South-South.

Okowa played a key role in the victory of Atiku at the primaries and he is a cross between the South-East and the South-South. Wike strongly emerged second, committed so much to sustaining the party and his ruggedness is an asset in the battle when it turns dirty. Any can be VP,” he posted.

The Harmattan News had reported that PDP will screen nominees on Thursday (today) for the vice-presidential position.

Those reportedly shortlisted for screening are Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa;  his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

“Both the North and South will love the man we have picked. He is a believer in one Nigeria. He is temperate. He is mindful of the impact of his words and actions on the feelings of other Nigerians besides those from his zone. He is a credit to the campaign. He is…,” former presidential aide,
Reno Omokri, posted.

Abubakar on Saturday, May 28, emerged as the PDP candidate for 2023 presidential election.

Abubakar scored 371 votes to emerge as the party’s candidate defeating his close contender, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, who polled 237 votes.

The Chairman and Chief Returning Officer of the PDP Special Convention, Senator David Mark, announcing the results, said “Abubakar haven scored the highest votes in the election is hereby declared the winner”.

He also announced the votes scored by other aspirants as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom – 38 votes, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State – 20 votes.

Former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki – 70 votes; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim – 14 votes.

The only female Aspirant, Mrs Tari Oliver, and the former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa scored one vote each.

Other aspirants without vote included former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu; former Speaker of Abia State, Chikwendu Kalu; and former Deputy Speaker of Abia State, Cosmos Ndekwe.

Former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State had earlier withdrawn from the race and resigned from the party.

Others that withdrew from the race were financial expert, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze.

Abubakar born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa, ran for governor of the state three times in 1990, 1997 and 1998, when he was elected before becoming the running mate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, which he remained the vice president till 2003.

Abubakar contested for the office of the president several times, including 2014 when he ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost in the primaries to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also run as the PDP presidential candidate in 2019 but lost to President Buhari of APC.

Atiku and his running mate are expected to battle with other presidential parties like Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.

Among other presidential candidates are Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party, Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Young Progressives Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu of Zenith Labour Party, Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress, Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party and Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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