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Enugu LP guber ticket rift: Odengene group cautions Edeoga

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• Chijioke Edeoga 

The Odengene People’s Movement, (OPM), the governorship campaign platform of Capt. Evarest Nnaji, has accused Hon. Chijioke Edeoga and his sponsors of desperation in their bid to foist himself as the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Enugu state.

The campaign platform also accused Edeoga of cheaply and deliberately resorting to emotional blackmail and outright lies to mislead the public and attract undue sympathy in a matter he knew he was economical with the truth.

The campaign organization made the allegations while reacting to Edeoga’s claims in a radio progamme that he was the authentic governorship candidate of the Labour party in Enugu state.

According to the Director General of the campaign Organization, Hon. Okey Ezirigwe, Capt. Evarest Nnaji is not given to deceits or groomed in political chicanery which Edeoga, in his interview, boasted he well groomed in, hence his rude and unguarded grandstanding in the media against Nnaji’s well established integrity.

• Evarest Nnaji (Odengene)

Ezirigwe described as tissue of lies, Edeoga’s claim that Nnaji begged him to concede the governorship ticket to him (Nnaji) and challenged Edeoga to explain the basis of such spurious claim, especially when both joined the party at the same time from PDP, where Edoga fully participated in the governorship primary election.

“The questions Edeoga should answer are: did Nnaji purchase the Labour Party gubernatorial expression of interest and nomination form or not, was he given a waiver after he met the party’s conditions for waiver, and did Nnaji fulfill the requirements for becoming the party’s flag bearer or not , was Nnaji at any point disqualified from participating in the primaries he fully paid for and met all conditions to emerge the consensus candidate as contained in the party guidelines, how did he (Edoga) appear as the sole candidate as seen in the amateur videos from the purported primaries that ‘produced’ him and why was the kangaroo primaries secretly held in a beer parlour located at the back of his private residence, why is he afraid of a genuinely conducted and contested primaries if he trusted his eligibility and popularity?

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“The Labour Party has its peculiar guidelines for the conduct of its governorship primaries. In this regard, Capt. Evarest Nnaji fulfilled all the guidelines to emerge as a consensus candidate in an anticipated affirmative primary election. It was on that basis that the national leadership of the Labour party issued him with the INEC nomination form which he filled ” Ezirigwe said.

He described Edeoga’s allegation that Nnaji begged him to hand over the Enugu state governorship ticket of the Labour party to him (Nnaji) as a ridiculous false claim, indicative of Edeoga’s desperation that has exposed him to concoction of lies and half truths.

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“What happened was that Capt. Nnaji took time to explain to Edeoga on the need for both of them to work with strategic concert and deliberate agreement instead of fighting dirty over the ticket like Edoga appear to be doing. In the first instance, Edeoga’s preferred interest was to contest for the Senate, but because his governorship quest was being driven by other narrow group interests which he owe allegiance and to which he confided in some persons was the Nsukka General Assembly, an adhoc association of some few disgruntled, self-seeking political gerontocrats from Enugu North Senatorial Zone, gathered mainly for the 2023 Enugu State governorship elections and intent to use Edeoga to return to power after years of perceived neglect. So, when it became obvious that Edeoga was under external influences, Capt. Nnaji suggested to him that they could both contest for the ticket but must avoid rancor in order to preserve and protect peace and unity of purpose within the Labour Party going into the general elections.

“There was this Pat Utomi-led meeting of the party stakeholders in Lagos that had all the party leaders and relevant stakeholders, TUC, NLC and all in attendance, wherein it was agreed the Labour Party has two governorship aspirants in Enugu state. It was agreed that primaries should be conducted for the two candidates, Nnaji and Edeoga. While Capt. Nnaji was waiting for the party to release a date for the primary election, Edeoga in what his quack technical advisers considered a smart maneuver, rushed and conducted a fake primary election in collusion with his old school mate who parade himself as the state chairman of the party in a beer palour right at the back of Edeoga’s house .

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“The purported INEC officials who claimed to have observed the fake election did not emanate from Abuja and INEC had since put a disclaimer on them. The security agents who attended the purported primary election were proved not to have been officially assigned to observe the process and there was no official memo stating that the party had fixed a primary election between the two of Edeoga and Nnaji. If the party did, there is no way Nnaji would not be present and the venue would not have been in a beer bar located next to the home of Edeoga. Such a venue couldn’t have been chosen by the party.

“Even the fake Labour Party members, mostly villagers from Eha-Amufu community where Edeoga hails from, who gathered at the kangaroo primary election as party delegates were picked up and driven in a hired yellow bus from where they converged at the Ugwogo-Nike Express road that leads to Eha-Amufu and Ikem to the secret venue of the charade, conducted by the self acclaimed state party chairman, one Casmir Agbo, who “criminally” announced Edeoga as the sole aspirant,” Ezirigwe stated.

On the allegation by Edeoga that Nnaji did not pay for the nomination form through his individual account, hence was not a candidate, Ezirigwe said it was laughable yet regretful coming from someone like him. He said that there is nothing in the law books that stops a third party from paying for a nomination Form for a chosen aspirant, more so, a candidate using his lawful private company account to purchase nomination form.

SEE ALSO:  Protest breaks out in Ondo over APC Gov Primary

“In all his media onslaught and unprovoked tantrums from his social media recruits, our Principal, Capt. Evarest Nnaji has remained calm and collected, he is not at war with Edeoga, he is only interested in having the right thing done, he comes from a cooperate background where every process is guided by rules. He is not inclined to cutting corners like most career politicians, he has protested and submitted applications to relevant organs and arm of government, including the party hierarchy, demanding that the process leading to the emergence of the party’s Governorship flag bearer should strictly follow the party guidelines, his application is receiving the deserved attention and soon, the proper thing would be done and seen to have been done.

“Therefore, we urge our brother Chijioke Edeoga, to stop heating up the party, we don’t need it here, we need to keep the peace in Enugu Labour Party and work together to ensure we make Enugu a fertile ground for the growth and unmitigated escalation of the OBIdient Bug catching the entire country. We are not fighting with Edeoga, there is no need to, this is a political process that has guideline, let him trust the process and submit himself to this guideline as Capt. Nnaji has done, making noise all over the place and recruiting thugs to disrupt events organized by Nnaji to promote the OBIdient movement at Home where Charity Begins are irresponsible and desperate acts that would not win him the ticket, let the process run its right course and whoever emerges, the other would honorably concede and work for the common good.” Ezirigwe cautioned.

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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.

SEE ALSO:  PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair

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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