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AYU: Atiku moves to break Wike’s ranks, reaches out to allies



Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his team have perfected plans to break the ranks of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Also, strong indications emerged that Governor Wike and those sympathetic to his cause may be settling for former Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, as a replacement for the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, if their plans scale through.

Atiku and Wike have been engaged in a feud over the removal of Senator Ayu.

Recall that the Rivers State governor has vowed not to quit the PDP over his feud with the former Vice President and Ayu, insisting that he would remain in the party and fight for relevance.

Similarly, some of Wike’s allies including Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo), had announced their withdrawal from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council pending the replacement of Ayu as chairman.

Other members of the group are former PDP deputy national chairman, Olabode George, Donald Duke, Ayo Fayose, Ibrahim Dakwanmbo, Segun Mimiko, Jonah Jang, and former governors of Cross River, Ekiti, Gombe, Ondo and Plateau state, respectively, amongst others.

Atiku moves to break Wike’s ranks

Vanguard was reliably informed by multiple sources that the PDP presidential candidate and leaders of the party are already reaching out to Wike’s allies with a view to prevailing on them to sheathe their swords and work for the success of the PDP in 2023.

A source, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said: “There is general thinking in the party that Wike has nothing to lose and his so-called allies have something to lose, while some of them have nothing at stake.

“There is a thinking in the party that those who have something at stake can be cultivated.

“And you know, this is a delicate thing, delicate in the sense that those individuals do not want to turn against Wike in a dramatic way. They know he can say things about them.”

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Another source told Vanguard that the former Vice President has activated a process to reach out to aggrieved leaders of the party.

The source said: “There are some internal processes that have been activated to ensure that those people (Wike’s allies) are properly aligned with the dictates of the party which is to ensure that the party wins in 2023, which in fairness to those people, they are not averse to except for Wike. We don’t even know what he’s up to and those who say they are with him (Wike) don’t know what he is up to.”

Wike’s camp push Mimiko to replace Ayu

Following the unresolved crisis rocking the party, Vanguard was reliably informed that Governor Wike and some of his allies are pushing for former Ondo governor, Dr Mimikop, as Ayu’s replacement.

Vanguard, however, gathered that some PDP governors and leaders, who are sympathetic to Wike’s cause may not be aware of the latter’s plan to push Mimiko forward as Ayu’s replacement.

A source, privy to the subtle move, told Vanguard “Not all those sympathetic to Wike’s cause know what he has up his sleeves but because they have been with him, some of his people are finding it difficult to abandon him.

“Some of them are weighing the possible consequence, part of which is Wike’s perchance for revealing it all and causing maximum damage, some of them are in a quandary.”

‘Atiku won’t do anything unconstitutional’

An ally of Atiku faulted Wike’s push for Ayu’s removal, insisting that the candidate and other PDP leaders would not do anything that is unconstitutional.

He said: “Atiku and leaders of the PDP will never do anything unconstitutional because of Wike because Nigerians are watching. He will keep pushing and even after getting what he wants, he will ask for something else. We know his game.

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“There must be a stop to this and that is why we want to move on with his people.

“Those insisting that Ayu must resign are overlooking the constitution which states that his replacement must come from the North. They say it doesn’t matter. But the ripple effect would be too damning because you cannot then insist that the replacement from the North should resign, and then it will affect the national secretary, and down the line.”

Another source said that some of those with Wike was already looking at how they can avoid “becoming collateral victims of somebody else’s war.”

The source noted that some PDP governors sympathetic to Wike’s cause “are already piping down and are willing to work to Atiku and the party.”

Kano PDP chairman wants Ayu to resign

Meanwhile, the chairman of the PDP in Kano State, Shehu Sagagi has joined the list of those calling for Ayu’s resignation, alleging that he manipulated the presidential primary.

Sagagi, in a chat with Vanguard, said that Ayu should live up to his words and resign as he promised.

He said: “Ayu manipulated the presidential primary. I have evidence that he manipulated it. Keep that aside, at least a presidential candidate has emerged and we promise to give him all the support that he needs. But Ayu must resign.”

On whether Ayu’s resignation will affect the party executive structure, he said: “It doesn’t matter. This is something that can be done. How long did it take to organise his election? It is just a matter of consensus. He never visited the 36 states and the FCT, it was just a consensus. So, it is a very simple exercise that can be done.

“My call is for him to resign. I was there when he made the promise at the Bauchi State governor’s lodge in Abuja. He made the promise in my presence, I was there.

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“So, at least as an elder statesman, he should honour his words, let him resign.

“The party is polarised such that some members of the party feel alienated and we need those people for the party to be victorious.

“Thank God nobody is denying that Atiku is the party’s presidential candidate. Nobody is saying that he is not going to give him the support to win the election. But at least the Southern members of the party should be carried along so that there is fairness and equity.

“This will not affect the party in any way. We have five months to the election, this can be done,” he added.

Ayu’s kinsmen blast Ortom

Meanwhile, support came for Ayu as his kinsmen, yesterday, berated Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over calls for Ayu’s resignation.

Ayu’s kinsmen, acting under the aegis of the Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja chapter, accused Governor Ortom of conniving with his Rivers State counterpart in an attempt to pull Ayu down.

In a communiqué by its Chairman and Secretary, Terver Abor and  Thomas Iangen, the group said: “The meeting noted with concern the series of attacks carried out by Governor Ortom with his counterpart, Governor Nyesom  Wike of Rivers State, on the prominent son of Jemgbagh, Dr Ayu, the current Chairman of the PDP.

“We, the leadership of Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja chapter, as a body have condemned this act and call on those who take pleasure in politics of pulling him down, with their ill motive, selfish interest without the interest of  Benue State at heart should desist from such act.

“After extensive deliberations, the meeting came to the following conclusions:

“That we cannot in all fairness to our consciences and our true support brotherhood system within our constituencies, we cannot watch our stakeholder be dragged to the mud because of one’s selfish interest (Vanguard)



Tribunal verdict, victory for democracy and Enugu, says Gov Mbah



Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

…extends hands of fellowship to opposition
…restates commitment to campaign promises

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has lauded the decision of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates challenging his victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election, describing the decision as victory for democracy and the people of Enugu State.

Dr. Mbah, who also extended hands of fellowship to the opposition candidates and their political parties, said the task to build Enugu remained a collective one, adding that he was committed to working with all, irrespective of political persuasions.

The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, had earlier in the day dismissed the petitions of the governorship candidate of the PRP, Chris Agu, and the candidate of the LP, Chijioke Edeoga.

Addressing the state, at the Government House, Enugu, Mbah said: “This is another memorable day in the anal of our dear state, as the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirmed the mandate, which you freely gave to us on 18th of March this year.

“This is victory for Ndi Enugu. It is also victory for democracy.

“It is a victory for massive development for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for exponential growth for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for Enugu’s greatness. It is a victory for the ban on Monday sit-at-home. It is also victory for our determination to restore water in all your homes in the next 68 days”.

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While thanking God for making the victory possible, Dr. Mbah also commended the tribunal for painstakingly dissecting the petitions and “for coming out with fair and just decision that resonates with Ndi Enugu”.

According to him, “the verdict has further strengthened our confidence in the judiciary as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man”.

Extending hands of fellowship to his opponents, Mbah said: “There is time for everything under the sun. There is time to strive and time to unite. We all put ourselves forward to serve Ndi Enugu. The people have spoken and the tribunal has also affirmed. If service was the motivation, then it is time to rise above partisanship and come together because there is so much work to be done.

“Our arms are wide open and I beckon on my brothers, who ran this race with us, to join us in the onerous task of building a new Enugu State of our dreams.

“In the same vein, I enjoin all our supporters to be magnanimous in victory. Politics is over. Governance began on 29th May when we were inaugurated. It is time to unite”.

Governor Mbah, who reiterated his resolve to deliver on his campaign promises, further stressed that the tribunal’s decision was an elixir to do more, and urged the people to hold him to account on those promises.

“Once more, I immensely thank the good people of Enugu State, who not only believed in us, but also vested their mandate in us. Above all also above, they have stood by us every step of the way.

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“I want to assure them that I will work for them with every fibre of my being. I stand by every campaign promise I made as espoused in our Statement of Purpose. I also stand by the Citizens Charter that I executed on my first day in office. The Enugu people should hold me to account. I will not let them down”, he concluded.

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BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses Edeoga, LP’s petition, affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor



Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah

…Edeoga’s petition lacks merit

The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has upheld the election of Dr. Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 election in the state.

Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration on the grounds that Mbah wasn’t qualified to stand for the election.

He alleged that he forged his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC certificate and cases of over-voting in Udenu, Nkanu East and Enugu East local government areas.

The Tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano dismissed all grounds of petition saying his petition lacked merit.

The panel held that NYSC isn’t a requirement for contesting for the office of the Governor and there’s no where that the NYSC Certificate was attached to the documents Mbah submitted to INEC by the respondent.

On the issue of forging NYSC Certificate, the panel discountenanced all the evidences by the DSS, NYSC official and others because they weren’t in compliance with paragraph 4, sub-section 5D of the evidence act.

Only the witness of the pw26 which was described as a hearsay by the panel and those not help the petitioners and therefore resolved the issue of Certificate Forgery in favour of Mbah.

On the issue of wrong computation of results of the Labour Party in Udenu local government, the panel said they petitioners failed to prove his case and the witnesses they called gave the same report from different polling units and wards and wondered why their testimonies are the same even from different locations.

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The panel also said that the witnesses presented by the Labour Party weren’t duly accredited agents by INEC and makes their testimony invalid.

The panel based on the witnesses from the right agents in 3 polling units, deducted 51 votes from PDP and added same to Labour Party.

The tribunal held that the deduction isn’t enough to Overturn the election of Mbah.

In Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East the panel cancelled the votes for all parties because the witness pw10 proved he was there and the right person.

In the remaining 11 polling units, the tribunal held that the witnesses didn’t sign the result sheet and their witnesses is discountenanced because they can’t prove they were party agents

After resolving all the matter, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

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Tribunal sacks Kano Gov, Yusuf, declares APC’s Gawuna winner



The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, declaring the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 18 election.

Yusuf, who contested on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

While Nasir Gawuna, his APC rival congratulated him, the party proceeded to court.

On Wednesday, the three-man panel ordered withdrawal of certificate of return which INEC presented to Governor Yusuf and directed a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna.

The court deducted 165,663 votes from Gov Yusuf total as invalid votes, stating that the ballot papers (165,663) were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Details later…

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