The post-primary crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to take a turn for the worse.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike’s loyalists are seeking the immediate resignation of the National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu as a condition for peace.
It follows overtures to the aggrieved governor by presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
However, the presidential candidate insisted that the chairman should remain in office to lead his campaign for next year’s election after which he will quit.
To resolve the crisis, party bigwigs are lobbying Wike to embrace reconciliation and support Atiku.
To avert losing the swing states, former Senate President Bukola Saraki is leading some party leaders to lobby Wike to support the presidential candidate.
Wike and his strategists have, however, insisted on their demand that Ayu must quit.
They maintained that Atiku should honour his promise that once the PDP presidential candidate emerges from the North, a Southerner will lead the party.
But Atiku’s camp claimed that Ayu could only step aside after the election.
Sources said PDP leaders were worried that the party may not be able to win the 2023 poll if it loses swing states like Rivers, Lagos and Kano.
It was learnt that Saraki, some ex-governors, former ministers and other leaders are lobbying for Atiku.
Although Atiku was said to be amenable to reconciliation, the leaders have been worried that it is better to open fresh talks with Wike.
They felt it would be dangerous to toy with Wike because of his great influence in the party and the South-south.
A source said: “The party is drifting and party leaders are concerned. The National Working Committee (NWC) is divided now.
“Some governors, ex-governors, ex-ministers and founding fathers of the party like a former National Security Adviser Gen. Aliyu Gusau, ex-President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Douye Diri and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, ex-Governors Henry Seriake Dickson, Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu, Boni Haruna and others are with Atiku.
“But from Wike’s camp, a new set of power brokers is emerging. They include Governors Seyi Makinde and Samuel Ortom, ex-governor Hassan Dankwambo, Ayodele Fayose and Donald Duke, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), many senators and members of the House of Representatives.
“Disturbed by the division, especially threat to PDP chances in swing states like Kano, Lagos and Rivers states, a former President of the Senate, some ex-ministers and leaders of the party are trying to make amend. The former Senate President is now leading lobbying for fresh talks between Atiku and Wike.
“In spite of the fact that Wike has made himself incommunicado to Atiku, the ex-Senate President is optimistic that PDP leaders will close ranks.”
A source in Wike’s camp gave more insight into why Wike was angry with Atiku.
The source said Atiku could not describe Wike as unfit to be a vice presidential candidate or a liability to his mandate.
The source said: “The way the situation is going, Nigerians will soon know the truth. Wike is a committed and loyal party leader. He has been there for PDP when some leaders abandoned it.
“Wike was recommended by a committee as vice presidential candidate of the party, but some forces in the party abandoned the report without mutual consultations.
“They came up with ridiculous excuses of temperament, ambition and overzealousness. When it comes to certain challenges, Wike is useful.
“Yet, it has pleased some leaders of the party to wish him away as nobody. They came up with ridiculous excuses.
“Also, what is hurting the Rivers State governor and his strategists is that all mutual decisions agreed with Atiku were not honoured, including the one at their meeting after the presidential primaries. Atiku paid a visit to Wike in Abuja and some issues came up.
“The next thing that happened in the party was that the likes of ex-Governor Babangida Aliyu started attacking Wike. The hand was Esau’s, the voice was Jacob’s.”
The source added: “Wike is ready to draw the battle lines any moment from now because Atiku’s camp has not been forthcoming, especially on a minimum demand.
“It was agreed that once a presidential candidate comes from the North, the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, will step down.
“If PDP leaders cannot comply with a minimum threshold, you can imagine what will happen after the party wins the 2023 poll.”
A source in Atiku’s camp said: “It is strategically unwise to ask Ayu to step down because Atiku is yet to win the election. Our candidate is committed to North-South unity.”
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‘Governor Abiodun Committed To Rule Of Law, Democracy’
The commitment of the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State to ensure the preservation of the rule of law, battle corruption and, protect the tenets of democracy in the country has again been reiterated.
According to a top functionary of the government, apart from prioritising the welfare of the people, the administration is working hard to deepen the people’s beliefs in the nations democratic process.
Kayode Akinmade, a Chief Consultant on Media to the governor, who spoke while answering questions on a television programme on Friday, said as a law-abiding leader, the governor has always taken recourse to the judiciary to seek redress for himself and his administration whenever the need arises, rather than engage in self-help.
Akinmade stressed that the decision of the governor to approach the court over the matter between him and the impeached chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, is a demonstration of his belief in the rule of law and his indisposition to ‘rule of force’.
Adedayo appeared before a Magistrate’s Court at Isabo, Abeokuta, on a petition filed by the state government against him over an earlier allegation of diversion of funds meant for Council Areas in the state. Governor Abiodun is insisting that the former Council boss must prove his allegations against his administration or face the wrath of the law for falsely inciting the people against the government.
Adedayo was arraigned on a two-count charge. According to Akinmade, it is wrong for people to rush to accuse the governor of persecuting Adedayo, who according to him, has “severally apologised to the governor in private while continuing with his ill-motivated misinformation in public.”
“The governor believes that taking Adedayo before the court will deepen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.
“Unlike some other people in Governor Abiodun’s shoes who would readily recourse to sending thugs after and unleashing other forms of violence on those who accused them rightly or wrongly, our governor decided to seek redress in court. I think he should be commended by all and sundry for this. What he is doing is giving Adedayo a chance to prove his allegations,” Akinmade said.
On the allegation by the impeached chairman that the governor is behind his removal, Akinmade said Adedayo was already facing removal from office before he raised the false alarms against the governor. “He has already been accused of several impeachable offences before he wrote the letter alleging that the governor diverted council funds. He had already reached out to the governor and other leaders of the party to help him stave off his removal. It was when he realized he may not survive the impeachment move that he connived with some other unscrupulous politicians in the party to malign the governor and discredit the APC in Ogun State,” Akinmade said.
The media chief added that claims by Adedayo that he got zero allocation since he became chairman of his local government were proved wrong by the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the state when the House of Assembly looked into his petition. He recalled that other council chairmen in the state also debunked the allegation and even brought Adedayo with them to apologize to the governor for the wrong allegations.
“But in spite of all these, he didn’t stop his scripted plot to tarnish the image of the governor. Hence, Governor Abiodun approached the court for redress,” he added.
Speaking further, Akinmade recalled that the impeached council boss has been in office for more than two years before making his frivolous and unfounded allegations. “One then wonders why he is raising this alarm now. He claimed zero allocation, but he has been collecting his monthly N3 million security votes regularly. Local government staff in his LGA are not being owed, and primary school teachers there are paid as at when due. We all should be asking him to explain what he meant by zero allocation,” he said.
BREAKING: Kaduna Guber Tribunal Nullifies Election Of Governor Uba Sani
The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Thursday declared the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as inconclusive and thus nullified the exercise.
The tribunal made the declaration while delivering judgement via Zoom in a petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Isah Ashiru, challenging the election of Sani in the March 2023, election.
The tribunal ordered that fresh election be conducted in seven wards in four LGAs of the state.
In Shakeup Of FCT Administration, Wike Sacks Agencies, Parastatals Heads
In a decisive shakeup of the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its Minister Nyesom Wike, has sacked the heads of 21 parastatals, agencies, and government companies.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunleye identified the affected heads of the agencies as follows:
1. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Investment Company Ltd
2. CEO/Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd
3. MD/CEO, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company
4. CEO/MD, Abuja Property Development Company
5. CEO/MD, Abuja Technology Village Free Trade Zone Company
6. CEO/MD, Abuja Film Village International
7. CEO/MD, Powernoth AICL Equipment Leasing Company Ltd
8. MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation
9. MD, Abuja Enterprise Agency
10. General Manager, FCT Water Board
11. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency
12. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board
13. DG, Hospital Management Board
14. Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board
15. Director, FCT Scholarship Board
16. Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board
17. Director, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board
18. Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center
19. Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme
20. Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department
21. Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
The director of the press said that the affected appointees should hand over the affairs of their offices to the most senior officers in rank.
He added that appointments in the offices would be made in due course.
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