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SUSPENSION: NNAMANI, EKITI NASS CANDIDATES, WIKE DARE PDP

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Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP)

• You violated my rights to fair hearing –Nnamani

• Your action unnecessary distraction, unguided –Ekiti NASS candidates

• It’s tyrannical, you can’t try it with G-5 Governors –Wike

• Vows to challenge action in court

Former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, the National Assembly candidates of the PDP in Ekiti State and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, have kicked against the suspension of Nnamani, and the lawmakers from Ekiti by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) over alleged anti-party activities.

According to Nnamani, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, did not give him fair hearing before he was suspended.

Nnamani, who was reacting to his suspension, said that he was neither informed of any petition against him nor the basis of the decision of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to sanction him.

Nevertheless, the former governor, who is also the Senator representing Enugu East in the National Assembly, in a statement, assured his constituents and Nigerians that his “political career is alive and unshaken.”

The PDP National Working Committee (NWC) had on Friday suspended the former governor and six others for alleged anti-party activities.

His words: “I was never at anytime notified of any petition or complaint against me or informed of the grounds that formed the decision of the NWC of the PDP to suspend me from the party.

“I was not also invited to any meeting, proceeding or hearing of the NWC of the party where my supposed offence(s) was/were discussed. I was, therefore, not afforded the opportunity to make representations on my behalf at any meeting where the proposal and decision to suspend me from the party was made.

“My right to fair hearing was consequently violated against the clear provisions of the constitution of the party, especially in disciplinary proceedings. More importantly, the superior constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I, therefore, appeal to all of you to remain calm and law abiding, while we continue our campaign to a hopefully victorious conclusion”.

Also in Ekiti State, the National Assembly candidates of the PDP in the state have rejected their suspension by the party.

They described the party’s decision as “unnecessary distraction,” saying that they would rather continue reaching out to voters in their various constituencies so as to emerge victorious in the elections.

The seven NASS candidates who noted that the purported suspension would have no effect whatsoever on their candidacies emphasized, “our concern now is how to win elections and we will not be distracted.”

In a statement they jointly signed and made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, the Senatorial candidates, Alhaji Lateef Ajijola (Ekiti Central) and Hon. Funso Ayeni (Ekiti North), as well as the House of Representatives candidates, Otunba Yinka Akerele (Ekiti North 1), Hon. Babatunde Ajayi (Ekiti North 2), Lere Olayinka (Ekiti Central 2),  Oluwajomiloju Fayose (Ekiti Central 1) and Mrs Emiola Adenike Jennifer (Ekiti South 2), called on members and supporters of the party in the state to remain calm, assuring that nothing would be left undone to ensure their deserved victory in the forthcoming elections.

While describing the party’s action as unfortunate and unguided, they said by the Constitution of the PDP, the purported suspension is null and void because none of them was informed of committing any offence.

Meanwhile, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has described the dissolution of the Ekiti State executive committee of the PDP by the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee of the party as an act of tyranny that would be challenged in court.

The governor, who dared the PDP national chairman, Ayu, to suspend him or any of the G-5 governors, warned that the resort to despotism by the NWC would not do the PDP any good in the forthcoming general elections.

The Rivers State governor stated this while speaking at the campaign flag-off rally by the State PDP Campaign Council in Bori, Khana Local Government Area yesterday.

Wike explained that the reason the dissolution of the Ekiti State working committee would be challenged in court  was because there are still members of the PDP who believe in the rule of law and that the  party should respect its constitution.

“Let me also use this opportunity to say to Iyorchia Ayu and his team, your dissolving Ekiti State Exco will not help you in anyway. Your suspending people will not help you in anyway. The battle line has been fully drawn. As I speak to you, we will do everything legally possible to challenge any decision we know is illegal, stressing that the Ayu-led NWC resort to tyranny would do more damage to the PDP as far as the 2023 general election is concerned.

“So, don’t think you can threaten people by saying so, so persons have been suspended. Rubbish! Completely rubbish. We are above that level that you think you can threaten anybody, intimidate anybody with whatever illegal decision you have taken,” he said.

The governor dared Ayu and his cohorts to extend the despotic tendencies to the G-5 governors and see if they could withstand the repercussion.

“So, we are waiting for you to announce my own and any other of my friends. Like I have said, when a man says you will not sleep, he too, will he sleep? Will Ayu sleep? Will those his cohorts sleep? So, don’t worry, we have the capacity to pay back.  We have the capacity to tell you that enough is enough.”

Governor Wike urged Rivers State electorate in Khana to vote for the PDP governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, as well as all national and legislative candidates in the 2023 general election in order to consolidate on the achievements of his administration.

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HOW POWERFUL FORCES TRIED TO STOP TINUBU CANDIDACY – APC VICE CHAIR

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APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Mallam Salihu Lukman, on Tuesday, said some forces outside the APC made attempts to use former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele, to prevent Bola Tinubu from being chosen as the APC presidential candidate.

According to Lukman, it took the combined efforts of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Working Committee and the resilience of the APC governors to abort the move.

Lukman, who is a member of the APC National Working Committee, made the claim in a statement titled, “Electoral contests and public expectations: Matching hopes with realities.”

Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 12 others to win the APC presidential primary last year June.

According to Lukman, when it became obvious that the kites of Jonathan and Emefiele would not fly, the masterminds of the plot, who were not card-carrying members of the APC, positioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, for Buhari to anoint as the party’s consensus candidate.

He said, “It may also be important to note that the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as APC presidential candidate was the product of strong internal contest. There may be temptation to narrow the contest to the dynamics around the question of whether there will be an anointed aspirant who would have been crowned as the consensus candidate, which wouldn’t have been Asiwaju Tinubu.

“Many had their preferred candidates for the position of national chairman. Some of the presidential aspirants were able to expand their lobbies to some of the influential people around the President and perhaps succeeded to convince President Buhari to nominate Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the position. And shortly after the election of Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC, negotiation for the emergence of a so-called consensus presidential candidate was activated.

“It may also be important to remind Nigerians that the scheming around emergence of a so-called consensus candidate was ridiculously stretched beyond the APC to include people like former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. These were never members of the APC. But with the active collaboration of some influential people outside the APC, some sophisticated mobilisation of so-called ‘hundred eminent businessmen, political, media and civil society leaders, including 14 current governors, 13 former governors as well as three former senate presidents’ commenced around April 2022.

“Gradually, this scheming shifted and was entrenched within the APC. By May 2023, when the party began to sell its nomination forms to aspiring candidates, forms were purchased by some APC leaders for former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele.  Eventually, when these schemers couldn’t succeed in popularising both former Jonathan and Emefiele as possible contenders to emerge as consensus presidential candidates for the APC, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan was recruited and promoted. It is on record that Adamu, on the eve of the convention that birthed Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential flag bearer, announced to NWC members that Lawan was their consensus candidate of the party.”

Continuing, the Kaduna-based politician explained that aggrieved members of the NWC along with some progressive governors rose against the move.

Lukman disclosed that part of the plan promoted within the APC to attempt to popularise the choice of Lawan, as a consensus candidate, became the focal point after the opposition Peoples Democratic Party elected Atiku Abubakar, a fellow northerner as presidential candidate.

“This is completely inconsiderate of the popular agitation for power shift in the country. It is also insensitive of the potential instability that the choice of another northerner emerging as President of the country could cause. Ahead of the APC National Convention, APC governors from the North had already declared their opposition against a northerner emerging as APC presidential candidate.

“Combinations of all of these in so many ways contributed towards tilting support of many APC leaders towards Asiwaju Tinubu. Certainly, Asiwaju Tinubu’s personal quality, given his track records both as a businessman, politician, and elected Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 were also there. He has over the years proven himself as a fighter for democracy. This is one characteristic that has defined him and perhaps strengthened him to survive many personal attacks on his person and his integrity. The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo investigated him on many of the issues that are being used to smear his name such drugs. Renown radical lawyer and human rights activists, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, challenged his academic credentials unsuccessfully in courts. Many journalists and activists questioned his integrity but were not able to establish any proof.

“Again, thanks to President Buhari, the contest for the presidential candidate of APC was thrown open and Asiwaju won with a wide merging,” he stated.

When asked to react to the revelation, the Publicity Director of the APC, Bala Ibrahim, told our correspondent that the party had moved on and wouldn’t like to delve into an issue that could reopen old wounds.

“Whatever happened before the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the candidate of the APC is something that should left in book of history. Now, he is the candidate of the party and it is the collective will of the same party. Everybody is putting his hands in the deck to see to it that Tinubu is successful,” he said.

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ONLY MENTALLY-CHALLENGED PEOPLE WILL VOTE APC – AYU

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PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu

The Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, on Monday, urged Nigerians not to waste their votes by voting for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on Monday during the PDP presidential campaign rally in Benue State, the main opposition party chairman claimed that only people with mental problems will vote for the APC.

Ayu said, “All of you know that you have suffered in this country in the last eight years APC, only somebody who has a mental problem will vote for APC. Do not waste your vote.”

Speaking on the PDP internal crisis, Ayu said reconciliation moves were ongoing and that the PDP leadership was in talks with aggrieved party members.

“The party is not divided. There are a few members who have grievances. We are talking to them. We want to make sure they come back and work with us fully. One week is enough to change everything. This thing has been going on and I want to assure you that we’ll receive everybody back,” he said.

He also appealed to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to join the PDP campaign train and participate in activities that would guarantee PDP’s victory during the presidential election.

“I am appealing to my younger brother, Gov. Ortom to come back and join us so that we will fight to rescue Nigeria. Gov. Ortom has nowhere to go, his only house is the PDP and anytime that he comes, we shall be more than happy to receive him land all the PDP governors.

“We want all our candidates, all our governors to be with us because if you allow APC to win this election, you will regret it.”

Ortom and other four aggrieved PDP governors have been calling for the resignation of Ayu after the party’s presidential primary last year.

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ORTOM SHUNS ATIKU CAMPAIGN, AYU SLAMS GOV

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, his deputy, Benson Abounu, commissioners, aides and the 22 local government chairmen of the state were absent at the campaign rally of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Benue is being controlled by PDP with the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, hailing from the state.

Leading the campaign rally for Atiku in the state are former governor of the state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former president of the Senate, David Mark, and the three senators representing Zone A, B and C; Suswam, Orker Jev and Abba Moro, were in attendance.

Also, the party governorship candidate and his deputy, Titus Uba and John Ngbede, respectively, and some state working committee members attended the rally.

Speaking at the rally, Ayu appealed to Ortom, who had not shown support for Atiku, to join hands with the party to be able to rescue the country.

Ayu said that he met with one of the G-5 governors, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, two days ago and also urged him to work with them.

According to the PDP chairman, there is no division in the party.

Ayu said, “What we have is some of our members who are aggrieved but we are appealing to Governor Ortom to come back and join us to rescue the country. Governor Ortom has nowhere to go. We have already resolved our issue with Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu. I was with him two days ago and he has agreed to work for the success of our party.”

Atiku, while speaking with the mammoth crowd at the rally, promised to ensure that the crisis between the people of the state and Fulani herders would be resolved if voted into office.

He said, “I am the umbrella of Tiv people worldwide. If you vote for me, I will make sure peace return to Benue State. I will come to the state and make sure Fulani signs a peace pact with the people of the state.”

Atiku also promised that the $10m promised in his blueprint would be injected into the economy to create jobs for the youth.

He further assured the people of Benue State that he would fix the federal roads that pass through the state, just as he promised to reopen the railway line that passed through the state and ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities no longer embarks on strike.

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