Abuja—Rivers State Governor and presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Nyesom Wike, has told members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to give him the presidential ticket as payback for his effort to bring them to office.
According to reports by the Nigerian Tribune, Governor Wike stated this while meeting with the party national leadership in Abuja on Tuesday to formally request their support in his bid to become its flag bearer.
He expressed his preparedness to be president as he noted that it is time for the party officials to repay him for the good he did for them.
Wike said: “So, it is important I take this opportunity and let you know that I am prepared. Psychological, mentally and in all aspects am very much prepared.
“So, let us not waste time. Go and tell our people that you have seen the right person and the right person is Wike.
“So, it is important you do the campaign for me, that was how I did it for you too.
“When I was fighting the former NWC, some of you were supporting them. Now all of you are here.
“One good turn deserves another. So you people should also payback. Because you didn’t go to campaign, but now am coming to campaign. So payback.
“But please do us the favor to conduct a free and fair election, that will be an advantage for us to win in 2023.”
The Rivers governor noted that he has been a loyal party man who has been committed to the party during trials and tribulations, adding that he is unlike some people in the party who abandoned it because things didn’t go their way.
He added: “I am a fully committed member of this party. I entered this party in 1998 when it was formed. This party has given me everything in life and I have never abandoned this party because of one grievance or the other.
“When it was looking like PDP would go down, I was one of those who stood firm and made sure that PDP did not go down. In essence. Whether I get the ticket or not, I have no other place to run to other than the PDP because it is not if I don’t get the ticket, then I will move to another party. No! You fight in the house, you settle yourself.”
Wike said that the PDP needs people like him who can withstand the Federal Government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
“PDP requires people like us to face APC. Everybody in this country knows me because of my views on national issues. Nobody can say I don’t know whether Wike will do this or do that. When I see issues, I say my view and I am not going to run away from it.
“Of all the aspirants, nobody should talk about sentiments, nobody should say look at the way his face is. You don’t need my face. All we need is to win the election. Can Wike win this election for PDP? The answer is yes. You don’t need to listen to what the elites are saying. Who are they talking about at the grassroots? It is Wike because, in this country, everybody has seen what I have done in Rivers State.”
“I have sat down, looked at myself, and checked the records: what does PDP want? You must be courageous if you want to be a leader, you must be fearless and you must have the capacity.
“I am courageous, fearless and I have capacity. If you allow me to fly the flag of the party which I know by the grace of God, I will be the candidate, and I become President, one of the things I will do is to address the disconnect between the party and the government. I have tried it in my state, and it has worked.
“Most of you who go to Rivers State will always see me with my leaders, trying to find out what we’re going to do. It is not easy, but it works. Every person in government must carry the party along.
“And here’s what I think if I’m given the opportunity that I will liaise with the party, find out the views of the party. And then with that synergy, you will see how the government will perform.
“Also, why do we continue to allow APC, who have promised Nigerians heaven and earth? In 2015 Boko Haram was only in charge in some parts of Borno and Yobe States. Today, Boko Haram and bandits have taken over the entire country, it is no longer Yobe and Borno, it is now 36 States and FCT. And so Nigerians are tired.
“But again, Nigerians are waiting. Who are we going to present? What is the track record of that person? What is your track record? Where you were? What did you do, as at the time you were there, what happened?
“Not those who you give tickets to, tomorrow they fail, you won’t see them at the party again. And when you don’t give them the ticket, they will also leave the party. No! That is not the way it should be.
“So, I believe am a thorough party person. And should be encouraged to lead the party. It’s very, very important. And I want to too, I know the modus operandi of APC, I can withstand the APC, I can withstand the Federal Government. Just give me the ticket.”
He said he will not accept a consensus arrangement unless it is based on equity, justice, and fairness.
According to him, “I don’t believe in these people going around on consensus. I told them that their consensus move is shine bobo, the more you look, the less you see. I say am not going to buy it. It will not work and am not a party to it.
“I believe in consensus, but based on equity, justice, and fairness. But not consensus by those who have conspired, they think they can bring me in, but nobody can bring me into it.
“This election is determinant for us, is to determine our history, better you now. Look at the convention we did in 2018. It was acknowledged by the international community, look at the convention that brought you, people, in, it was acknowledged by everybody.”
The governor appealed to the NWC to be fair in the conduct of the party primary and not unduly favour any aspirant.
He further said: “I want to please advise, not to make any mistake of what people will see that the NWC is trying to favour an aspirant over others. This will destroy the party.
“Because as an opposition party will not afford that people will say this election is not credible, this election is not transparent.
“I, therefore, appeal again that you must not make the mistake of putting people who are supporting me or any of the aspirants in the convention. If you do that, then some of us will challenge you. So, do something that all aspirants will be happy with.
“But if you do anything short of credible and transparent conventional, it will be a shame. After what we have done in 2018 after we have done the convention that brought you in then you should do a better convention as members of NWC.’
In his response, PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, promised that the party will conduct a transparent and credible primary.
He told Wike to choose what he wants between asking to be supported for his ambition by the NWC and the conduct of a transparent primary.
Ayu stated: “On the hand, you want a level playfield from the NWC. On the other hand, you want the NWC to canvas vote for you and vote for your ambition to become president. You have to choose one, you can’t have the two.
“But let assure you, this NWC will try to uphold the tradition of the PDP, that tradition since 1999 is running very credible, transparent conventions starting from Jos to the last one that produced this National Working Committee.
“I want to assure you, that there will be no foul play no manipulation. We will certainly do better than what you did in October last year. We will hold a transparent convention.
“At that state, we will try to be the INEC of the People’s Democratic Party, not be partisan. We’ll try as much as possible to make sure that every member of the National Working Committee works for the party.”
FG set to resume Abuja-Kaduna train services eight months after attack
Abuja—The Federal Government says train services on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will resume this November.
The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo made this known on Monday while giving the score card of his ministry in Abuja, this is according to reports by Channels TV.
He said adequate security has been put in place to ensure the safety of passengers but did not give any specific date for the resumption.
Sambo said the ministry has learnt enough lessons from the attack in March that led to the suspension of train service on the Abuja-Kaduna route.
The minister also noted that a system has been put in place that will ensure prompt monitoring of movements on the rail tracks.
According to him, the system would afford President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned ministries and agencies as well as security agencies the opportunity to see what goes on on the tracks without delays.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.
The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.
The terrorists, who attacked the train in Kaduna, released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on October 5, 2022.
Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.
Sambo had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.
A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.
Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.
Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.
But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mindboggling’.
Eruani’s donation is unparalleled, says activists, chides critics of Bayelsa businessman
Yenagoa—The National President of the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli has hailed the president of Azikel Group, Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani (CFR) for donating food and other relief materials to flood victims in Bayelsa State.
Ikuli said with the exception of the intervention of the state government, Eruani’s donation to the Bayelsa flood victims is so far unparalleled.
In a statement on Thursday, the ex-agitator while commending Eruani’s gesture hinted that the businessman has donated over 8,000 bags of rice and 1,000 pieces of mattresses to be shared across the eight Local Government Areas in the state.
“So far, besides the Bayelsa State Government that led the Relief distribution campaign with N450Million and the recent announcement of an additional N450Million, making it N900Million.
“Few other publicly spirited individuals have also reached out including Mr. Peter Obi; Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) who gave an undisclosed amount which is promised and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but that of Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR; the President of Azikel Group which has raised a lot of dust remains the highest.
“Dr. Eruani has procured 8000 Bags of 50KG Bags of Rice for onward distribution to the 8LGAs in the state, meaning 1000Bags per LGA. Presently, the market price of 50KG in Bayelsa state is N50,000.00. Meanwhile, the 8000 Bags were bought at the cost of N45,000.00 per bag.
“Going by my elementary knowledge of arithmetic, you have 45,000×8000 = N360,000,000.00 in the figure while in words, it is Three Hundred and Sixty Million Naira.
“The above excludes logistics and the transportation of the rice from Abuja where they are moved to Bayelsa state.
“Very importantly, earlier Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR had sent 1000 mattresses to Bayelsa state so that they can be distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The market price of one of those mattresses is not less than N5000 but let us use N5000 as the benchmark, N5000×1000 = N5,000,000.00.”
The activist further chided those he said have been writing unprintable things on social media about Eruani since the announcement of his donations.
He added that Eruani has no obligation to donate but did so out of his compassion and his humanitarian character.
He said, “Surprisingly, most of those negative words are coming from people whose supposed ‘political godfathers’ have not donated a grain of rice to IDPs not even to them the ‘master am loyal boys’.
“For the records, Dr. Eruani is not under any obligation whatsoever to donate relief materials to anyone.
“He left the government over 15 years ago or thereabout where he only served as special adviser and commissioner at a time Bayelsa State allocation was very low so he cannot be accused of making his present wealth through government.
“His donation was not political but was purely on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. But come to look at it, even if it is political, how much have their godfathers with ambitions and those who are already contesting donated? ”
While also lauding the Eruani for being conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), Ikuli noted that Bayelsans do not value their own.
Ikuli who is also the Executive Director of the
Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR) described Eruani as an illustrious Ijaw son whose hard work he said has seen him make strides in the aviation, marine and other sectors with employees from different racial backgrounds.
He further hailed him for his philanthropic engagements, noting that the businessman has sponsored academic scholarships and skill acquisition programmes for many people over the years.
“This is a young man whose hard work has made him succeed in the aviation sector, marine, and other areas. He owns 3 aeroplanes and 2 gelicopters.
“He owns fleets of dredgers with Azikel Dredging Company as one of the leading dredging companies in the country and Africa as a whole.
“This is one illustrious son of the Ijaw Nation that has employed many whitemen as pilots with many blacks and Bayelsa state making the highest percentage of his workforce.
“He has given scholarships to countless numbers. Same with many he has sponsored them to acquire skills in many trades that have made them self-reliant and useful to society. The above excludes the multitudes that depend on him for their daily upkeep,” he noted.
He however urged “youths to think of channeling our God-given intellectual prowess into gainful ventures instead of always attempting to trivialize or water down the genuine benevolence, goodwill and philanthropic gestures of others.
Flood: lawmaker, commissioner give cash to affected constituents in Yenagoa
….as beneficiaries express gratitude
Yenagoa—The lawmaker representing Brass Constituency I in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Dr. Daniel Charles, on Thursday gave cash donations to his constituents who have been affected by the rampaging flood in Yenagoa, the capital city of Bayelsa State.
According to a statement by the Media aide to the lawmaker, Munafa Richard Clever, the cash donation exercise was successfully carried out without consideration of party affiliations and with the help of the commissioner for special duties, Bayelsa East, Hon. Preye Brodrick and other stakeholders from Brass Constituency I.
The lawmaker empathized with the flood victims, saying the funds will serve as an emergency relief measure to cushion the devastating effect of the flood for victims.
Expressing gratitude to the lawmaker for the gesture, a stakeholder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and indigene of Twon Brass, Mr. Dan-Suobo Bewa Ockiya said the intervention was timely and came at a time when material and financial resources of victims of the flood were dwindling.
He prayed for replenishment for the leaders who made the cash gift possible.
“The flood amelioration package gifted us by two of our leaders came at the best of times, when all material and financial sources of hope were invisible but God did the miracle by using Hon. Commissioner Preye Broderick and Hon. Daniel Charles to provide a lifeline.
“I truly appreciate the gesture from the bottom of my heart and pray that God refills till there is an overflow. Thank you so very much, my leaders and friends,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Yibo Ebenezer Oti, an indigene of Liama expressed gratitude to the lawmaker on behalf of beneficiaries from Liama community in Brass constituency I.
Oti commended the Brass Constituency I PDP leaders for reaching out to their constituents affected by the flood and added that the gesture was timely.
According to him, “On behalf of the good people of Liama community of Brass constituency 1, ward 6 residing in Yenagoa, the State capital of Bayelsa State, I appreciate Hon. Daniel Charles and the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties Bayelsa East in the Prosperity-led Administration of Governor Douye Diri, Hon. Preye Brodrick for reaching out to our people to help mitigate our plight by providing cash gifts & succor in the cause of the ravaging flood.
“The kind gesture is very timely and a welcome development to show leadership capacity in representing us.”
Oti further called on government at all levels as well as relevant agencies and well-meaning individuals “to partner to mitigate the effect of the flood hazard that has so far caused untold hardship on our people.”
He further expressed optimism that Bayelsans would surmount their current challenges in no distant time.