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ATIKU’S MEN BEHIND SUIT AGAINST PDP, TAMBUWAL –WIKE

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday described as a bluff the allegations by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike that the loyalists of the PDP candidate filed a suit in the court challenging Atiku’s victory in the presidential party primary.

Recall that the suit was allegedly instituted by Wike against the PDP presidential candidate; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and the PDP over the conduct of the presidential primary of the party which was held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and one Newgent Ekamon, were listed as the plaintiffs.

In the originating summons, the PDP was listed as the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission is the second respondent while Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the third and fourth respondents, respectively.

But the governor in a statement issued on Friday by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, explained that he was not aware of the suit.

He accused Atiku’s loyalists of initiating the court case.

Wike stated, “People have called me throughout this morning and said all kinds of things that I went to court against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I want to say categorically, if I have a reason to go to court, I will go to court, but I didn’t go to court.

“Yesterday too, they said I removed all PDP flags at Rivers State Government House. But I just have to say these things for Nigerians to know that I have kept quiet, and I’m busy delivering dividends of democracy for my party to win election in Rivers State.

“But I want to tell the candidate; it is the candidate’s group that are doing all these things. Let the world hear, they are the ones plotting all these things, thinking that they will spoil my name; they cannot.”

Wike explained that if he wanted to take legal action against the outcome of the PDP presidential primary, it would have been prosecuted within two weeks after the primary when such pre-election matters were entertained.

He added, “I didn’t go to court; I have no reason to go to court. But those of you who are plotting and saying that I went to court, for you to have come out now to say Wike went to court, I say shame on you. Shame will be on all of you.

‘’I have told the candidate, you will win or lose this election because of the people around you. Anybody who knows me knows too well that if I was going to court, I would have gone to court within two weeks after the primary because it is a pre-election matter and after two weeks, you can’t go to court.’’

“The legal adviser of the party called me and told me that he knows that there is mischief going on. But that he knows me very well, if I’m going to court, it is not those kinds of lawyers that I would have used and I don’t even know the lawyers,” Wike further clarified.

He noted that there is a bigger challenge ahead, which is how to win the 2023 general election for the PDP, stressing that this should be the focus of all true lovers of PDP who want electoral victory.

“You’re supposed to be talking about how you will win the election. All these rent seekers around him are not doing him any favour. Rather, they are trying to prevent him from winning the election. But if that is what they wished, I wish them good luck.

“You see that I am not talking. I am doing my work, so leave me to do my work. Those concocting ideas everyday; social media cannot make you win elections.

 “Election is about the people and by the people. Let those in Abuja with you (Atiku); tell them to go home and campaign for you to win the election. Leave Wike alone, enough is enough.”

Instead of planning how to win the 2023 election, Wike alleged that some governors were wasting time levelling accusations against him.

‘’When I see people talking about PDP today, I say to myself what is going on in this world. In the South-South, they all betrayed us. President Muhammadu Buhari wouldn’t have won the 2019 election because he won’t have had the spread.

“But all the states in the South-South made Buhari to have 25 percent. It was only Rivers State that did not give Buhari 25 percent; I am challenging anybody on it,” Wike said

But reacting to the governor’s comments, the media aide to Atiku, Paul Ibe said it is ridiculous for anyone to insinuate that the suit was instituted by Atiku’s camp.

‘’Why will the candidate of a party go to the extent of instigating a suit against anybody? It does not make sense since he (Wike) is making the allegations, he has to provide evidence,’’ he admonished.

“We are committed to the process for the resolutions of the issues. It is important that we do that for the good of the party for the unity and cohesion of the party and for the good of Nigerians who are looking up to the PDP as the major opposition party to wrestle power from the APC and turn around the broken social, economic and political fabric. We remain committed to that process,’’ the Atike spokesman said.

Commenting on the controversy, the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, defended the Rivers state governor, stating that APC masterminded the suit.

A statement on Friday by the Special Adviser to the PDP National Chairman on Media and Communication, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said Ayu stated this during the commemoration of the United Nations International Youth Day 2022, put together by the youth wing of the PDP in Abuja on Friday.

Ayu said, “His Excellency, Gov. Nyesom Wike never took the party to court. It is the APC that did it. The first name in the case is a coordinator of the presidential candidate of the APC.

“We know very well that they don’t believe they can win any election. They have decided to divide you. But don’t let any APC manipulation divide you.

“They are the ones sponsoring false stories of the crisis in PDP. PDP has no crisis, it is a united party. Anyone who thinks they can come and brew a crisis here is deceiving himself. They should wait for us till next year. In February, we will show them that they are the ones with crises.

“I want to make this clear before people start saying: ‘Oh, Wike took the party to court.’  Wike is a strong party man.

“And I am happy that he came out immediately to deny that he took the party to court. And very soon, the truth will be revealed because it’s a criminal thing.”

The APC could not be reached for comment as its spokesman, Felix Morka, did not respond to calls. He had yet to reply to a text message seeking his reaction to Ayu’s allegation as of the time of filing this report.

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APC CAMPAIGN COUNCIL EXPLAINS TINUBU’S WHEREABOUT

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The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu is in the United Kingdom to rest ahead of the campaign season.

This was the comment of a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council Ayo Oyalowo during his appearance on a television programme.

“The man, like I said, needed a few days off because the pressure on him is a bit too much and he needed to rest because the campaign is pretty long – we have about four, five months to campaign before the general election,” the APC chieftain said on Monday.

“So, he needs to ensure that he is not worn out by the show of love, and camaraderie – too many people coming to see him. So, yes, he needed to take that breather.”

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2023: PDP G5 GIVES ATIKU CONDITIONS FOR SUPPORT

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Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike have given the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar conditions he must meet before they can support him in the 2023 general election.

A highly placed source told Daily Sun that the PDP standard bearer is seriously under pressure to succumb to their demands few days after the flag off of campaigns by political parties.

The governors in Wike’s camp include those of Enugu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Benue, Samuel Ortom; Oyo, Seyi Makinde and Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu.

Daily Sun learnt that following a meeting by the governors at the weekend in Enugu, there is renewed tension among leaders of the PDP over the protracted crisis in the opposition party in the run-up to the 2023 general election.

Our source confirmed that the resolve of Wike’s group that the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu must be replaced with a Southerner before they could participate in the PDP presidential campaign is unsettling a lot of party leaders.

He said that well meaning members of the party were mounting pressure on the PDP standard bearer to succumb to the demands of the G5 governors so the party does not prosecute next year’s election as a divided house.

This comes as the crisis rocking the opposition PDP over recent corruption-related accusations apper to have nosedived, as the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu; and deputy national chairman, North, Umar Damagum have been given a 48-hour ultimatum to resign or face legal action.

The threat followed a resolution by the Forum of PDP candidates and aspirants, which passed a vote of no confidence in the three officers.

They’ve also petitioned the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on the unanimous demand of candidates for the resignation the above-mentioned officers.

The candidates who gathered and held brainstorming session in Abuja, also alleged that the leadership of the party extorted several aspirants during the congresses, primaries and national convention of the party. It claimed after primaries, the leadership swapped the names of candidates with the names of persons who did not win.

They pointed out that these “underhand actions of the leadership of the party are largely responsible for the nullification by the courts of the governorship primaries in Zamfara State and all primaries held in Ogun State, while noting that many more are still pending in Court.”

Chris Ogbu, who presided over the session as the Forum Coordinator and House of Assembly Candidate, also read the communiqué. He was flanked by Dauda Yusuf, the Forum’s Secretary and former governorship aspirant as well as several other members.

He demanded Ayu, Anyanwu and Damagum step down immediately or sacked by the party within 48 hours or face legal action to force them from office which will commence on Wednesday.

The candidates/aspirants said that by Ayu allegedly sharing money paid as nomination forms instead of utilising it for the prosecution of the historic 2023 election of the party, was very provocative and indicting on the image of the party.

•Crisis’ll soon be over –Jibrin, ex-BoT cºhair

The immediate past chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of PDP, Senator Walid Jibrin has said the ongoing intra-party crisis in the party should be seen as a normal family matter, which would soon be resolved.

Jibrin, a Second Republic lawmaker however, advised members of the party not to see themselves as above the provisions of the Constitution of the party, adding that every member must respect and obey the Constitution.

In a statement, yesterday, Jibrin called on members of the party to put aside their political differences to work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming general elections.

“All organs of the party must therefore create oneness and greatest positions of the party. All our elders, leaders, youths and all women of the party must talk with one voice and must never create any division from now on, and within the NWC.

“It is important that PDP remains calm and strong; talk with one voice, and remain focused to follow the path and objectives of the party. And to make sure all the elections are won in 2023, especially winning of the Presidential Election, and encouraging, voting for Atiku Abubakar to become the President of Nigeria,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source close to the Wike camp told Daily Sun that the five governors at their Enugu meeting insisted that there is no going back on the sack of the national chairman as a condition for their participation in the PDP presidential election.

Also reacting to the development, a member of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC), who is pro- Ayu told Daily Sun that Wike and his men are unrelenting in the demand that the national chairman must be replaced before they would support Atiku in next year’s elections.

The NEC member added that the former vice president has not said Ayu should not be replaced but that due process must be followed.

The Enugu meeting came on the heels of a meeting between Wike and the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Abuja, last Thursday, where the former president reportedly appealed to the Rivers governor to reconsider his stance on contentious issues.

The five governors, as well as other notable leaders of the party have been on warpath with the PDP, in the aftermath of the nomination of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively.

Repeated efforts to resolve the crisis have failed, with the Wike camp withdrawing from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council pending the removal of Ayu as national chairman.

Last week, five loyalists of the Rivers governor in the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) returned over N100 millon paid to them as housing allowance by the party leadership. A move, inside sources said is part of a grand plot to pile pressure on the national chairman to vacate office, ahead of the 2023 polls.

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RIVERS APC TACKLES S’WEST GOVS OVER ROMANCE WITH WIKE

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, has cautioned South-West governors of the party to stop disrespecting them by hobnobbing with Governor Nyesom Wike.

Stakeholders of the party in the state gave the warning at a consultative meeting in the South-South zone in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The party also urged its national leadership to prevail on the governors to desist from coming to the state, if not for the sake of solidarity.

Chairman of the party in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Sydney Nyeche, said: “Visiting Wike is an embarrassment to our effort in trying to reclaim the state.

“We find it disrespectful that while we are toiling for the party in the state, some group of governors from the West come to the state, go to Rumueprikom(Wike’s residence) and be negotiating with Nyesom Wike.

“The attention of the national chairman is drawn to this because we will not tolerate this anymore; we have had enough. We urge the National Working Committee of the party to warn these governors from the South West to desist from coming to the state to negotiate with the governor. This level of embarrassment we have suffered should stop.

“I cannot be threatened everyday because of my political leanings and somebody will come from the West to rubbish our efforts. If they cannot come to the state to show solidarity, they should stop coming to the state.”

Also, the state chairman of the party, Emeka Beke, berated the non-remittance of 25 percent of the funds generated from the sales of forms from candidates of the state during the party primaries to strengthen the party.

Beke demanded support from the party’s national leadership, stressing that the state chapter would reciprocate in the same manner it is being treated.

“Please, we urge the National Chairman that Rivers State bought forms worth over N1 billion and we are requesting that they should remit to the state 25 percent generated through the sale of the forms.”

Convener of the meeting, the Vice Chairman, South-South zone of APC, Victor Giadom,  said the essence of the meeting was to understand clearly the challenges of the party in the state and areas to improve on.

Meanwhile, some youths in Niger State have warned former Minister for Information and member of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Board of Trustee (BoT), Prof. Jerry Gana to distance himself from River State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his group or face their wrath.

The youths under the auspices of “Concern Citizen of Niger state” in collaboration with Arewa Youths Council, Niger State chapter, in a letter signed by its coordinator, Alfa Nma, to Gana’s son, threatening to scuttle his ambition for the Lavun/Mokwa/Edati Federal Constituency seat if the older Gana continued his alliance with Wike.

“We wish to notify you about the activities of your father, Prof. Jerry Gana, over his unpalatable move towards our great party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, which is capable of affecting our chances in the 2023 general elections.

“We have observed with dismay how Wike and his group have continued their rebellion against the party and its presidential candidate despite several appeals and peace efforts from well-meaning party stakeholders. The activities of the professor has become worrisome to many of our supporters within the state and we implore you to call your father to order before it’s too late. The failure to do that within 24 hours means we would have no other option than to mobilise all our support groups in Niger State to work against your election,” the group said.

All attempts to get the reaction of the candidate, Joshua Gana, over the threat letter, failed as he promised to get back to our correspondent after several calls and text message but never did.

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