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COMMUNIQUE OF THE 96TH NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) MEETING OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP)

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ISSUED ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2022 AT THE PDP NATIONAL SECRETARIAT, WADATA PLAZA, WUSE ZONE 5, ABUJA

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party at its 96th meeting extensively deliberated on urgent national issues as well as the preparation of our Party for the 2023 general elections and resolved as follows:

  1. NEC commended the dedication of the National Working Committee (NWC) under the Chairmanship of Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu in effectively piloting the affairs of our Party, particularly in the organization of processes preparatory to the 2023 general elections.
  2. NEC restated its confidence in the ability of the NWC to lead our Party to victory in the 2023 general elections.
  3. NEC applauded other organs of the Party; namely the Board of Trustees (BoT), the PDP Governors’ Forum, the National Assembly Caucus, the Zonal and State Organs of the Party, our structure at various levels, critical stakeholders and teeming members across the country for their efforts in strengthening our Party in the mission to Rescue and Rebuild our nation from the misrule of the APC.
  4. NEC commended the NWC for the deft handling of issues relating to the conduct and outcome of our Party Congresses at various levels preparatory to the election of candidates for various elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
  5. NEC applauded the spirit of sportsmanship being exhibited by our leaders, critical stakeholders, aspirants and party members on issues relating to our Congresses.

On the State of the nation

  1. NEC strongly decried the worsening insecurity and continued killing of innocent Nigerians by terrorists who are emboldened by the exposed refusal of the APC-led government to confront the terrorists even when it knows their locations, listens to their phone conversations and even aware of their plans.
  2. NEC Condemned the failure/refusal of the APC government to rescue our citizens still languishing in their abductors’ dens including a victims of last month’s terrorism attack on the Abuja/Kaduna train. NEC urged the Federal Government to live up to its Constitutional duty to secure life and property and ensure an unconditional release of all the abductees.
  3. NEC expressed dismay that our security command and control coordination structure has collapsed under President Muhammadu Buhari as Mr. President remains “absent” having abdicated his duties as Commander-in-Chief and surrendering sovereignty over a substantial part of our country to terrorists.
  4. NEC further condemned the humongous corruption and deliberate economic manipulations in the APC Government which have crippled our productive sector and resulted in the unbearable high cost of food items and other essential goods and services with consequential excruciating economic hardship to our citizens.
  5. NEC rejected the continuing closure of public universities in Nigeria due to the refusal/failure of the APC government to decisively address the lingering industrial action by lecturers in public universities despite the huge resources at its disposal. It cautioned the APC to stop playing with the emotions, destiny and future of our youths and take action to address the industrial action immediately so that our children can go back to their classes.
  6. NEC condemned in very strong terms the mass looting of our national treasury and diversion of public funds through orchestrated purchase of APC Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms by all manner of persons at excessive N100 million to warehouse slush funds for APC to rig the 2023 general elections. We restate our demand to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate all APC Presidential aspirants in this regard.
  7. NEC restated the call by the Party for the immediate resignation, arrest and prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for alleged manipulations and financial impropriety in the CBN which contributed to the collapse of our national economy.
  8. NEC vehemently rejected the continued stay of Mr. Emefiele as CBN Governor after being confirmed as a card-carrying member of the APC. The CBN is the custodian and keeper of all INEC sensitive materials used in all elections. Having been confirmed as a member of the APC, Mr. Emefiele, can no longer be trusted with INEC sensitive materials which are key to the guarantee of free, fair and credible elections.
  9. NEC assures Nigerians that the PDP is resolute in taking very firm legitimate series of action in the march to restore and protect the sanctity of our Central Bank and electoral process

Zoning:

  1. After a very extensive deliberation NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the Presidential Election should now be left open. The Party should also work towards consensus candidate where possible.

NEC noted the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the Party should take decision on Zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process.

Presidential Primary and National Convention

  1. NEC ratified the conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect our Party’s Presidential Candidate on Saturday May 28 to Sunday May 29, 2022 in Abuja
  2. NEC approved the setting up of the National Convention Organizing Committee and approved the appointment of His Excellency, Senator David Mark as Chairman, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Deputy Chairman and His Excellency Barr. Ibrahim Shema as Secretary.
  3. NEC assured of free, fair, credible and transparent processes for the emergence of our Party’s Candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.

Thank you.

Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary

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[BREAKING] ENUGU 2023: EKWEREMADU’S CAMP LOSES IN COURT

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu in a pensive mood

The last hope for Ekweremadu’s camp to usurp the outcome of last Ad-Hoc election to elect the 3-man delegates in Enugu has hit the rock as an Abuja Federal High Court has dismissed their applications.


Loyalists of Ike Ekweremadu, the former Deputy Senate President had approached the court to nullify the process leading to the election of the delegates.

However, a source at the court where the judgement is been delivered at the time of this report told WORDS AND SHOTS that the matter has gone against the plaintiffs

 The details of the judgment coming shortly.

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2023 PRESIDENCY: APC TO SCREEN, PRUNE NUMBER OF ASPIRANTS

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APC

• Fayemi: Only five aspirants are serious • Nwajiuba backs party on controversial letter of withdrawal • Ohanaeze Ndigbo upbeat about Igbo producing next president

Barring last minute changes, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will today screen its presidential aspirants for the 2023 general elections after earlier postponements.

This was announced, yesterday, by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Suleiman Argungu, in Abuja. He said the party will screen 28 presidential aspirants, though 25 submitted the nomination forms, today and tomorrow at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, four days to its convention where the party’s flag bearer would emerge.

Earlier on Sunday, the party had postponed the exercise for the second time after it failed to hold last weekend. But no reason was given for the change in plan. The party had previously fixed May 14 and 15 for the screening but it postponed the exercise and gave a new date of May 23 after aspirants for Senatorial and House of Representatives seats were screened.

Key aspirants that have submitted their forms include Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu; ex-Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

Others are: Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; ex-Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; Senator Ajayi Borofice and Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Similarly, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello; his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; ex-Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima; former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole are also not left out.

As at 6:30p.m. yesterday, members of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) were still locked in a closed-door meeting in an apparent bid to ensure a smooth conduct of the exercise.

A source, who confided in The Guardian, hinted that members of the NWC already conferred with the powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC), explored the possibility of screening out some aspirants even before the start of the exercise.

“Be sure that we are not going to have more than 15 aspirants that would be screened. Some of them would be disqualified based on the timing they turned in their resignation letters to President Muhammadu Buhari,” the source noted.

Another source within the Presidency confided in The Guardian that geopolitical zones of the party had been asked to meet and work towards consensus in a bid to reduce the number of aspirants to the barest minimum.

“It is not a question of indecision; a lot of considerations are being taken into the choice of date, as well as the shape of the screening. A number of criteria have already been worked out. Security of the country is at stake. Of course, you cannot rule out the issue of corruption and other baggage.

“The screening would be carried out in such a manner that those that would be disqualified would have no cause to complain. I won’t tell you the crucial criteria that would lead to the disqualification, but some of those aspirants would be disqualified unless they voluntarily withdraw from the race,” he stated.

It would be recalled that in the build up to the APC national convention that produced Senator Adamu, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Public Affairs, Femi Adesina, disclosed that Buhari would not support any aspirant tainted with corruption.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Deputy Majority Leader, Prof. Ajayi Borofice, remarked that he is for consensus, noting that although many persons afforded the N100 million cost of nomination forms, the choice of Nigeria’s next president is beyond money and moneybags.

While ruling out a possible implosion after the presidential primary, the three-term Senator noted that since the party was able to hold a rancour-free national convention, the primary will also come and go since only one person is expected to emerge.

FAYEMI, yesterday, said there are more pretenders in the race for the APC presidential ticket than contenders. He said out of the 23 persons currently in the race, only about five of them are serious in the quest to clinch the ticket of the ruling party. He did not, however, name the five aspirants.

Fayemi said this while soliciting the support of delegates from Niger State during a visit to the state. In a statement by spokesperson of the Fayemi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Ige, the Ekiti governor said the level of seriousness is determined by the ability of the aspirants to move across the country.

“This is a season of visits and states keep receiving us. The list of presidential aspirants says there are 23 but only five of us are going around the country. With this, you can separate the pretenders from the contenders,” he said.

Some of the aspirants who have visited states include Tinubu, Osinbajo, Amaechi, Lawan and Fayemi. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and President of the Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, have opted out of the race.

FORMER Minister of State for Education, Nwajiuba, yesterday, said he supports the decision by the party to attach the controversial letter of withdrawal to the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms sold to aspirants.

The withdrawal letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Adamu, must be signed before a Commissioner of Oath/Public Notary before submission.

Nwajiuba, in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja, enjoined delegates at the national convention of the party to set aside pecuniary interest and elect a flag bearer with the wherewithal to address the multifaceted challenges besetting the country.

Nwajiuba said the letter would come in handy if the party decides to adopt a consensus arrangement to select the flag bearer. He promised to accede to the party’s demand for a consensus arrangement if the need arises.

According to him: “It’s not possible to win an election without the consent of everybody. So why would you be saying I can only win if I am the most powerful. You can only win by consensus arrangement. So, whatever consensus my party agrees to, I will agree. If they choose me, it’s good for them and for Nigeria. If they don’t choose me, whoever they choose is what they plan to offer Nigerians and we will stand by the party.”

MEANWHILE, despite hurdles that have been placed in their quest for presidency come 2023, especially by the ‘open contest’ declared by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has insisted that Ndigbo would not lose out of the contest.

The Guardian gathered yesterday that the Ohanaeze leadership had since May 7, embarked on countrywide consultations with different ethnic groups on the need to support Igbo presidential aspiration.

Speaking yesterday on their visits, spokesman of the organisation, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said the delegation held “fruitful discussions”, adding that there is no doubt that Nigerians have fully bought into the demand by the Southeast and would do the needful at the appropriate time.

Ogbonnia restated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was not worried about ongoing scheming in the two leading political parties, stressing that “we have enough competent Igbo politicians in them to match whoever that may come up.”

THE GUARDIAN

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BANKY W WINS PDP HOUSE OF REPS TICKET IN LAGOS

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Mr Olubankole Wellington aka Banky W

A Nigerian celebrity, Mr Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, was declared the winner of the PDP primary for the Eti-Osa constituency House of Representatives ticket in the 2023 general election.

Banky W had a landslide victory, polling 28 out of 31 votes cast by delegates at the primary.

He contested against a legal practitioner, Mr Sam Aiboni, who polled three votes.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegates consisted of 31 ad hoc members of the PDP and one national delegate.

The Returning Officer, Mr Ayodele Kazeem, who declared the results, described the process as peaceful and transparent.

Banky W told NAN that the election was a free and fair one, he stated that he had won the election by the grace of God and the will of the people.

He expressed gratitude to the party for the opportunity to represent it and said that he was very thankful to the people as well.

“I am overwhelmed by the support of my constituency, the people, the ward chairmen, the leaders and the chieftains of the party.

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“I feel the support even from the grassroots, honestly, I can’t be happier than I am now,” he said.

Banky added that he had a message, a vision and a mandate to do things better in the constituency and that he would achieve them through transparency, accountability and service.

“The real work begins now, the primaries are just the start and thankfully, we have the grace of God with us; we move,” he added.

NAN reports that if Rep. Babajide Obanikoro, son of former minister of state for defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro picks the APC return ticket in its upcoming primaries, he will be slugging it out with Banky W for the seat. (NAN)

PUNCH

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