By Charles Igwe
Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has praised the European Union (EU) Election Monitoring Group for its report, which claimed that the previous election lacked credibility and was marred by electoral irregularities.
In a statement released on Sunday, Shaibu criticized President Bola Tinubu and his spokesperson, Dele Alake, for attempting to discredit the EU’s report.
Shaibu stated that it was widely known, even among those who did not vote, that the last election lacked credibility, and he questioned why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not uploaded the full results on its viewing portal almost five months after the election. He referred to the election as the most expensive in West Africa’s history.
“How can an election in which the full results have not been uploaded after nearly five months be described as credible by any sane human being?” Shaibu exclaimed.
Shaibu dismissed Alake’s claim that the EU was an interfering outsider for criticizing the election, considering the Nigerian government had received millions of dollars from the EU as election funds. He called it hypocritical to accept funding from the EU but deny its right to comment on the election.
He highlighted the EU’s financial support to INEC, including training and equipment, and accused INEC of conducting a poorly organized poll despite the assistance. Shaibu insisted that Alake should refrain from defending the indefensible.
Shaibu further argued that the results in states like Rivers demonstrated the lack of credibility in the election. He found it tragic that Tinubu intended to reward former Governor Nyesom Wike with a ministerial position despite allegations of rigging against him and an ongoing petition with nearly 300,000 votes against the former Governor.
According to Shaibu, the Presidential election in Rivers State was clearly rigged, as evident from INEC’s uploaded data on IREV. He pointed out that almost 300,000 Nigerians had signed a petition on Change.org calling for visa bans against Governor Wike.
Shaibu called on the United States and the United Kingdom to expedite the process of imposing visa bans on election riggers. He also urged them to disclose the identities of those implicated in election rigging, particularly INEC staff and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Shaibu concluded by expressing confidence in the Nigerian judiciary, stating that the EU report aligned with the facts presented by Atiku Abubakar’s legal team in the Presidential Elections Petitions Court. He anticipated a fair judgment from the judiciary that would not be influenced by coercion or corrupt influences.
[07/07, 5:41 pm] Chidimma 2: Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke set to Celebrate 42 Years of Priestly Service, Continues to Bless Onitsha Archdiocese
The Catholic faithful of Onitsha Archdiocese are eagerly anticipating the upcoming celebration of Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke’s 42nd anniversary of his priestly ordination on July 11, 2023. This significant milestone highlights the extraordinary dedication and service of Archbishop Okeke to his flock and the Church in Onitsha as a whole.
Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke, a native of Umudioka in Anambra State, was ordained as a priest on July 11, 1981. Since then, he has devoted his life to the service of God and his people, becoming a beacon of faith, hope, and love in the Onitsha Archdiocese.
Throughout his four decades of priestly ministry, Archbishop Okeke has exhibited exemplary leadership and an unwavering commitment to his pastoral duties. His charismatic personality, coupled with his deep spirituality, has endeared him to the faithful, both young and old. He has been a father figure, a guide, and a source of inspiration to countless individuals within the archdiocese.
Under his compassionate guidance, Onitsha Archdiocese has witnessed remarkable growth and development. Archbishop Okeke has actively worked towards enhancing the spiritual, educational, and social welfare of the people. His initiatives have included the establishment of schools, healthcare facilities, and various charitable organizations, all aimed at uplifting the lives of those in need.
Moreover, Archbishop Okeke’s fervent dedication to interfaith dialogue and community outreach has fostered greater unity and understanding among different religious communities within the archdiocese. His efforts to promote peace and harmony have received widespread recognition, both locally and internationally.
As the celebrations for his 42nd priestly anniversary approach, Archbishop Valerian Okeke has sought solitude in his spiritual retreat and other soul nourishing exercises.
The 42nd anniversary celebration of Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke’s priestly ordination is not only a joyous occasion for the Onitsha Archdiocese but a testament to the profound impact of a life dedicated to serving God and his people. As the faithful gather to honor their beloved shepherd, they do so with deep admiration and heartfelt appreciation for his extraordinary ministry and unwavering faith.