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Why we met with Atiku, Obasanjo, Tinubu – Wike

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• We are consulting widely to rescue Nigeria from distress – Ortom

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday, said his team was more interested in a better Nigeria, and they are consulting widely with those who mean well for the country.

Wike spoke when he interacted with journalists at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, shortly on arrival from London on Friday.

In the company of the Rivers State governor were the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.

Wike, who confirmed their meetings with Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, in London, explained that topmost on the agenda is how to make Nigeria better than what is it currently.

The Rivers State governor noted that all is not well with Nigeria and they are seeking remedies that will restore enduring hope in Nigeria.

He said, “I can confirm that this is the first time as a team that we are meeting with presidential candidates.

“We met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC and we met with our leader, former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.

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“We met the presidential candidate of Labour Party. We also met with our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. For whatever it’s worth, consultation is ongoing.

“Whatever we are talking about, is for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is not parochial and tied to one person or group of persons.

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“We believe that with what is going on, it will be for the interest of Nigerians at the end of the day.”

Wike decried the situation where standard, training and competence have always been traded for mediocrity.

He said leadership should not be about one individual and the interest of his family, but about the collective interest of everybody.

“Consultation is still ongoing. Never mind some people who do not believe in the existence of this country.

“Leadership is not about you and your family. Leadership is about everybody. It’s unfortunate that we are in a country now where a man finishes eight years as a governor and brings his own son as a governor too and as a member of the National Assembly.

“It’s only in this part of the world that you can see that we are talking about poverty everywhere. These are people who do not mean well for this Nigeria,” he stated

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Wike also wondered why religion and ethnicity are used as the tenable identity to describe Nigerians when competence is required.

Continuing, Wike said, “The only identity they have in this country is religion and ethnicity, nothing more. It’s either, I’m a Christian or I’m a Moslem, I’m a Fulani or I’m an Igbo. Nigeria cannot move forward except they think it will be them. That’s where we are.

“We are in a country where someone with a primary school certificate can be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. That tells you how bad this country has become.

“But with our consultation, all these will be a thing of the past. No amount of intimidation or blackmail will deter us. We are determined to right the wrong.”

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In his response, the leader of the team and Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, noted that they have met with renowned persons in the last few days because of their belief that Nigeria is in distress and required concerted effort to rescue it.

He stated that they had fruitful talks with those they had met and it was beyond partisan politics, because well-meaning Nigerians need to work together in ensuring that Nigeria survives.

“For us, we are looking at the larger picture. Nigeria today is in distress. It is about what can we do. No man or woman alone can get it right for our country.

“We are looking at how we can harness ideas and put ourselves together to ensure that we get out of the present challenge we are in Nigeria today.

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“From top to bottom, consider what has happened from 2015 and where we are today. So, what we are doing is a concern that we have for our country, Nigeria.

“This is beyond partisan politics. We are looking on how we can come together and find a way of ensuring that Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on drip, Nigeria is on oxygen and it is about how can we get out of this,” Ortom said.

He stated that the three separate meetings they had within the week were worthwhile session for them.

“The consultation is going on and will continue to go on. We are still going to meet here. We are still going to meet some persons some other time and see how we can work to ensure that the project Nigeria works.”

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On his part, Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, emphasised that they are on a mission and are determined to find a way of rescuing Nigeria.

He noted that they are mindful of what society to bequeath to the present generation, their children and grandchildren alike.

He said, “And this is a country with great potential and we have to protect it well. We think that we need to engage across the board.

“We are also looking at speaking with civil society organisations and those who have ideas, with Nigerians in the diaspora.

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“All the resources available in this country have to come together at this time to see how best we can move Nigeria forward.”

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Ex-Imo gov, Emeka Ihedioha resigns from PDP

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Ex-Imo gov, Emeka Ihedioha resigns from PDP
Emeka Ihedioha

A former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In his resignation letter addressed to the PDP chairman in Mbutu Ward, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of the state, Ihedioha cited a misalignment between his personal beliefs and the current trajectory of the main opposition party.

The former governor expressed his dedication to the advancement of democracy and good governance in the country despite his decision to step away from PDP.

According to Ihedioha, having been a member of the party since its inception in 1998, he has contributed immensely to the growth and evolution of the party.

The former governor, however, lamented recent developments within the PDP, stating that it has deviated from its core principles.

He voiced concerns over the party’s inability to enact internal reforms, uphold its own regulations, and effectively oppose the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

“Regrettably, in recent times, the party has taken on a path that is at variance with my personal beliefs. Despite my attempt to offer counsel, the party is, sadly, no longer able to carry out internal reforms, enforce its own rules or offer credible opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress.’

“It is in the light of the foregoing, that I am compelled to offer my resignation from the People’s Democratic Party effective immediately.

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“While the decision was difficult to take, I, however, believe that it is the right one. Despite this resignation, I will always be available to offer my services towards the deepening of democracy and good governance in Nigeria”, the letter added.

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Protest breaks out in Ondo over APC Gov Primary

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Protest breaks out in Ondo over APC Gov Primary
• Protesters demand cancellation of APC ward primaries in Ondo State on Sunday, April 21, 2024

Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, took to the streets on Sunday to protest what they termed irregularities and biased conduct of the ward primaries across the state on Saturday.

The ward primaries meant to produce the governorship candidate of the party for the November 16, 2024 governorship election in the state has been marred with non-availability of election materials.

The protesters called for the cancellation of the ward primaries.

The protesters stormed the APC state secretariat in Akure to display their displeasure to the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the ward primaries across the 203 wards of the state.

Most of them are supporters of one of the aspirants, Olushola Oke, and they carried different placards calling on the national secretariat to remove the chairman of the primary election committee and Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo.

They described the process as a daylight robbery and urged the national secretariat of the APC not to allow the state to be embroiled in crisis.

One of the protesters claimed no ward primaries were held, insisting that the guidelines given by the national secretariat of the party were not followed as the committee did not distribute materials to any wards.

The party members warned of likely consequences if an unpopular candidate is imposed on them as it could affect the chances of the party in the governorship election.

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Ododo had on Saturday announced that polls would be conducted in all 13 wards of Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state by noon on Sunday.

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“Having received reports of the primary election from the 203 wards in the 18 local governments of Ondo State, the primary election committee has decided that election will be conducted in all the 13 Wards of Okitipupa local government with total validated registered members of 9,515, because of validated reports that the exercise did not hold in the local government due to late arrival of materials and personnel as a result of logistics challenges.

“Election in Okitipupa local government shall be conducted 12 noon on Sunday 21st April 2024. The final collation of the results will be done thereafter,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, two aspirants and agents of two other contestants raised concerns about the conduct of the primary.

They alleged that based on the conduct of the exercise, plans were made to favour certain aspirants.

Olugbenga Edema, who is one of the 16 aspirants in the race for the APC ticket, decried delays in the distribution of materials and called on the party to investigate the process.

Rotimi Williams, the agent of Oke, took a similar position.

Shola Ajisafe, the agent of Adewale Akinterinwa, backed the narrative by Edema and Willams.

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“My people have been calling me. No material has been distributed to them,” Ajisafe who is from Ondo North said, accusing Governor Ododo of working in favour of a candidate. (Channelstv)

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PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair

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PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair
• PDP National Chairman Umar Damagum
The current acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, will continue in that capacity until another National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that will hold after the one slated for today, Thursday April 18, 2024.

This formed part of the resolution of the PDP caucus meeting on Wednesday night.

PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, said the caucus resolved that all reconciliation committees of the party be reconstituted to resolve grievances affecting the unity of the party.

Asked what the caucus discussed about issues regarding the party’s chairmanship position, he said it is an issue that the NEC of the party will discuss but said the organ resolved that Damagum continue as chairman till the next NEC after today’s.

The meeting was attended by the former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; and the 2023 presidential flag bearer of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

Damagum is suspected to be an ally of Wike, who is the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The caucus also directed that the party should revisit the Rivers State Caretaker Committee List, and find a political solution to the crisis in the state.

The caucus meeting held less than 24 hours to theNEC meeting of the party, which has been scheduled for today (April 18, 2024) to discus issues regarding the leadership of the party and also to ractify decisions by various organs of the party.

The PDP is facing a leadership crisis, with members urging the resignation of the Damagum-led NEC. Meetings like the NEC and the party’s Board of Trustees have been arranged to address these issues.

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Meanwhile, Senator Iyorcha Ayu has withdrew his appeal, which sought to challenge his removal as the party’s national chairman. His move is also believed to be connected with the party’s upcoming National Executive Meeting.

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Ayu was suspended by the executive committee of the PDP in Igyorov ward in the Gboko Local Government Area of Kogi State in 2023 over alleged anti-party activities but he had approached the court to challenge his removal.

However, a Federal High Court in June last year affirmed the decision of the party to sack Senator Ayu, a judgement that led to an appeal, which he has now withdrawn.

FULL TEXT: Communique Issued At End Of PDP NEC Meeting

Communique Issued at the end of the 98th Meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Today, Thursday, April 18, 2024.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party, at its 98th meeting today, Thursday, April 18, 2024, thoroughly assessed the State of affairs of the Nation and the Party and resolved as follows:

1. NEC commends all the Organs of the Party for their collective resilience, steadfastness and commitment towards the unity, stability and sustenance of our great Party despite dauting challenges.

2. NEC also commends members of the PDP, with particular reference to the youths and women for their courage in resisting the antics of the divisive and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, its desperation to emasculate the opposition and foist a one-Party State on our nation.

3. NEC expresses concern over the ill-implemented policies of the insensitive APC administration, leading to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country.

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4. NEC expresses serious apprehensions over the spate of acts of terrorism and violence including the escalated cases of mindless killings, mass abduction of innocent Nigerians and marauding of communities in various parts of the country.

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5. NEC condemns the insensitivity, nonchalance, incompetence and arrogance in failure of the APC administration which continues to conduct itself in a manner that shows that it has no iota of interest or commitment towards the wellbeing of Nigerians.

6. NEC also condemns the creeping totalitarianism and tendencies towards a One-Party State which is inimical to the peace, stability and corporate existence of our nation as well as the development of Democracy and good governance in the country.

7. NEC, after due consideration demands that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should urgently convene a special National Security Council meeting to proffer a holistic solution and measures to curb the disturbing insecurity with its attendant negative consequences on our national life.

8. NEC also demands that President Tinubu should immediately rejig his Economic Team to bring in persons of proven integrity and competence without bias and vested interest to assist in repositioning the economy.

9. NEC further demands that the Federal Government should review all policies and programmes which are stifling the economy with suffocating effect on the lives of citizens; including the increase in price of fuel without cushioning measures, hike in electricity tariff, increased taxation and implementation of adverse fiscal policies.

10. NEC charges all Organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

11. Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

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12. NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

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13. Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

14. NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

15. NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.

Thank you for listening.

Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary

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