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PDP governors pressurize Wike to drop anti-Ayu agitation

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Abuja—Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are understood to be pressurizing their Rivers State colleague, Nyesom Wike, to jettison his agitation for the resignation of the national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

According to the Nation Newspaper, sources said, the governors are pushing for reconciliation between the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Wike before the commencement of the campaigns on September 28.

The PDP Governors’ Forum Director-General, CID Maduabum, confirmed that the 13-member forum, which met last on June 8 in Abuja, would reconvene at the instance of Atiku.

It was also learnt at the weekend that former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has accepted to be Atiku’s emissary to Wike.

A party source said: “The quest for the PDP presidential to ticket by some of them, which was a legitimate aspiration, was the source of all these reactions and a chain of disruptive events that we have witnessed immediately after the presidential primaries”.

Maduabum, who confirmed the proposed meeting, said: “Yes, I can confirm to you that moves are being made in that direction and consultations are ongoing to ensure its fruition. We are positive that this will be achieved in a matter of days”.

Many party elders have blamed Atiku and Ayu for failing to take the appropriately steps at the right time to address the post-presidential primary crisis.

According to the source, the party chairman aggravated the crisis with his recent utterances against the governors, which dismissed them as children who were nowhere to be found when the PDP was being formed.

He said: “The national chairman did not help matters with some of his statements because these are the same governors who stood firmly by the party during turbulent times in the past.

“The PDP would have been smothered in the grip of Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman way back in 2016. It took the bold initiative by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and a few of his colleagues to rescue the PDP from Sheriff’s suffocating grip.

“Most of the people who have taken over the party today, were either in the APC where they went to seek greener pasture, or they simply stood by and watched the degenerating situation from their comfort zones.

“The credit of rescuing the PDP and bringing it back to national reckoning once again, should go mainly to Governor Wike and some of his colleagues who fought the battle up to the Supreme Court to rescue the PDP from the clutches of political hyenas.

“Although Wike too may have his own faults and excesses with his unguarded statements, he has done more good for the PDP than harm. He was at the battle front during the crisis that threatened the very existence of the PDP at the time.”

Also faulting the party chairman’s role in the crisis, another party elder recalled how the crisis has threatened the hitherto cordial relationship between Wike and Benue State Governor Mr. Samuel Ortom.

According to the source, Wike gave Ortom a free hand to nominate a candidate from the Northcentral zone for national chairman ahead of the party’s October 2021 national convention.

The source said stakeholders in the zone had initially penciled down former Senate President David Mark for the job and the choice was about to be sealed before Ortom proposed Ayu for the position.

The source, who is a member of PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) said Ortom took it upon himself to persuade Mark to step down for Ayu. He added that the Benue governor also pleaded with former Senate President Bukola Saraki to accept the choice.

He added: “On three occasions, Governor Ortom made personal visits to Mark to plead for his understanding. Mark, who is not given to such mundane struggles, took things calmly and withdrew from the race.

“Ortom also visited Saraki to get his endorsement. Saraki’s initial objection to Ayu’s nomination at the time was not personal. He didn’t want any candidate from his Northcentral zone to become chairman because of his presidential aspiration then. But Ortom was able to get him to support Ayu in the end.”

The source further narrated how Ayu’s disposition after he became chairman almost strained the relationship between Wike and Ortom, with the Rivers Governor voicing his suspicions about Ortom’s complicity in the chairman’s growing antagonism.

“At a point, Governor Wike actually confronted Ortom at a location in Abuja, accusing him of conspiring with Ayu to sabotage him. Wike was visibly angry at his friend, accusing the Benue Governor of having betrayed him.

“It took the intervention of former Information Minister, Prof Jerry Gana; a former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; and a former Attorney General, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke to pacify Wike during that encounter. Although the two governors are still friends, it’s doubtful if they still enjoy the mutual confidentiality they used to share”, the source said.

Governor Ortom, who is one of the PDP governors loyal to Wike, has joined other stakeholders in moves to ensure the resolution of the crisis through dialogue.

The governor had said that despite the criss, the PDP still stood a chance of reinventing itself and winning the 2023 presidential election.

Ortom had also blamed the PDP leadership for failing to activate the party’s existing conflict resolution mechanism to resolve the rift between Atiku and Wike before the crisis degenerated.

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Machina defeats senate president, Lawan again in Appeal Court

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Abuja—The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the senatorial candidacy of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North, Bashir Sheriff Machina.

According toSaharaReporters, the Appeal Court in a unanimous judgment affirmed the earlier decision of the Federal High Court, Damaturu which declared Machina as the rightful senatorial candidate of APC for Yobe North.

The court dismissed the petition filed by the ruling party for being unmeritorious and awarded N1 million to Machina.

President of the Court, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem who delivered the judgement held that the lower court was right when it validated the May 28th APC senatorial primary election that produced Machina because it was duly monitored by INEC.

In June, a Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe State had declared Machina as the party’s senatorial candidate for Yobe North having emerged from a valid primary election that was conducted on May 28, 2022.

Though Lawan initially accepted the verdict and made public his decision not to appeal the judgement, he, however, made a U-turn and secretly sponsored an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that Lawan; the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and some key officials of the presidency were working round the clock to upturn the decision of the lower court using President Muhammadu Buhari’s name to intimidate the Justices of the panel.

Machina won the primary election organised by the APC in May 2022, while Lawan opted to contest the presidential primary election organised by the APC in June.

Lawan lost the APC presidential ticket to former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu.

However, Machina was asked to step down for Lawan but he insisted that he would not withdraw for the Senate President.

Amid the controversy, the APC submitted the Senate President’s name to INEC as its senatorial candidate for Yobe North.

Miffed by the development, Machina headed to court to seek redress. Specifically, Machina in his suit asked the court to declare him as the validly elected senatorial candidate of the APC for the 2023 election.

Justice Aminu nullified the parallel primary election that produced Lawan on June 9, 2022.

Consequently, the trial judge ordered the APC to forward the name of Machina to INEC as the authentic winner of the primary held in May.

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Go ahead and release another album, I will never join your Asoebi team of State dancers, Abaribe chides Wike

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Umuahia—Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator representing Abia South senatorial district in the Senate has responded to a statement made by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to the effect that he (Abaribe) dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after collecting money, Sun newspaper reports.

Speaking in Umuahia, the Abia State capital during the PDP flag-off campaign in the state, Wike had accused an Obingwa brother of Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu of dumping the PDP after receiving money he requested for.

Wike hinted that the said person whom he did not mention his name, was denied ticket by the PDP and is currently contesting for the 2023 election under another party.

”I am aware that because of some people didn’t get ticket, they went and collected form. Today, we commissioned a road in Obingwa Local Government and am sure that person is from Obingwa local government.

“He promised me that he will not leave PDP and I told the governor, please your brother said he is not going to leave PDP and I said what do we do?

“He said he needs some money, we gave him the money like today; three days after, he left PDP”, Wike said, alluding the said candidate lacks integrity and cannot represent the people.
Read also: Mentioning Peter Obi’s name is disgrace to me, says Tinubu
Reacting in a statement, however, Senator Abaribe stated that Wike has by what he said, confirmed he (Abaribe) is incorruptible.

Abaribe, who is contesting the Abia South senatorial seat against Gov Ikpeazu on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), further stated that he is a free-born and cannot be a slave or cannot be bought to be “your Boi Boi”.

According to the statement, “Abaribe is a free-born and cannot be a slave. He is an Igbo man; Ndigbo adighi agba boi (The Igbos are never slaves).

“Wike enjoy those you bought. They are actually doing their job very well. Igba Boi is in their blood.

“Go ahead and release another album, Abaribe will never join your Asoebi team of State dancers. Abia State can never be your vassal State”, Abaribe stated.

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Mentioning Peter Obi’s name is disgrace to me, says Tinubu

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Warri Southwest—The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has bragged that it is a “disgrace” to mention the name of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in his presence.

Sahara Reporters reports that Tinubu, who spoke during a campaign rally on Friday, also claimed that the statistics the Labour Party candidate dished out every time was not what Nigerians were going to eat.

Making mockery of his LP opponent, the former Lagos governor said that all the statistics Peter Obi dished out were wrong.

In a video seen by SaharaReporters, Tinubu said, “The other one, that one; he thinks that it is statistics we will chop; in line with arithmetics that no Indian can solve.

“To mention his name is a disgrace to me self. I won’t mention his name; wrong arithmetics, wrong statistics, warehouse economy; that is not what Nigeria needs.”

SaharaReporters in November reported that Tinubu said it was disrespectful to mention the name of the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Funke Akindele, in his presence.

Akindele is also a famous Nigerian actor.
Tinubu had made this known at a political outing, where his supporters sang a campaign song, describing Funke Akindele as a political “ant” compared to the incumbent governor of Lagos and candidate of the APC in the 2023 election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Read also: Only 250 psychiatrists left in Nigeria, says association
However, Tinubu cautioned his supporters against mentioning Akindele’s name in his presence, describing it as disrespectful and an insult.

“Don’t even bother to mention her name in my presence. It is an insult. It is disrespectful,” the former Lagos governor had said.

Akindele had said that God called her and the PDP governorship candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adediran (Jandor) and gave them the mandate to change the turn Lagos around.

Akindele said God has been with her right from birth and is interested in her aspirations to make Lagos State work for all people in the state.

“God has been with me from infancy till I went to school and till now. He chose me to be the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, despite the crowd that struggled to be chosen.

“I give God all the glory for what he has done. God has always been doing the best for me.

“We were called by God, if not we would have backed out. People have suffered but God has called us and put us forward to come and change the story of Lagos state for the better. The success of Lagos state is ours,” she had said.

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