The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-West Zone, on Tuesday insisted that Nigeria’s next president should emerge from the Southern part of the country.
The party, at an extended zonal caucus meeting held at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said that it was in support of the position of the Southern Governors’ Forum that Southern Nigeria should produce the next president.
This was as the party reaffirmed its call for the restructuring of Nigeria, stating that it will support all efforts geared towards national cohesion through equitable distribution of federal positions and appointments among the geopolitical zones of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to a communique read by the party’s National Vice Chairman, South-West, Hon. Olasoji Adagunodo, the party has resolved that the unity of its members in the zone is non-negotiable and that all mechanisms for dispute resolutions must be on the front burner.
The party equally resolved to do everything within its power lawfully to win the forthcoming elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, who is the leader of the party in the South-West, was commended by the caucus for his infrastructure development strides and his efforts in repositioning the PDP across states of the zone.
In his keynote speech, Governor Makinde called on all members of the party to de-emphasise whatever issues they have with individuals and unite in the interest of the party both at the zonal and national levels, as according to him, the South-West zone remained critical to the success of the PDP in the country.
He said: “We are in the election season already. The timetable is out and candidates for various positions will emerge within the next eight to nine weeks. And as PDP South-West zone, what position are we presenting?
“We know that if South-West and Yorubaland is not peaceful, things would not also be settled nationally. “That is just the fact. We have also gone through the path that, because of disunity, we were left out in the scheme of things.
“When the founding fathers of this party came together, they spoke about fairness, equity, justice and they decided that the six major positions nationally must be shared among the six zones of Nigeria. That has always been the case until 2011. Because of the in-fighting, disunity, the South-West did not have a single position out of the six national positions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I can list those six positions. In 2011, the president did not come from the South-West but South South. The vice-president did not come from the South-West but North-West.
“The Senate President came from the North-Central. The Speaker of the House of Representatives went to the North-West, while the Secretary to the Government of the Federation slot also went to the South-East. The Chairman of the party went to the North-East.
“That was how we lost all completely and we don’t want to walk through that path again. It has happened to us before and we don’t want it to happen again.
“But the only way it won’t happen again is for us to unite and de-emphasize whatever issues we have with ourselves individually. “We must come together to tell ourselves what we are going to demand nationally.”
Governor Makinde maintained that though the South-West PDP had three opportunities through the off-season elections in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun for the governorship seats, in-fighting has already made it lose in Ondo State.
“Ondo State governorship election is coming back in another two years. But before then, we have the Ekiti governorship election coming up. We thank God that we have been able to get everybody together but there is still a lot of work to be done, if Ekiti will not go the way of Ondo.
“I do pray because I know we have another opportunity to support our candidate in Ekiti State, so that in two months plus, we will have a governor-elect in the state.
“We also have Osun State, which practically is in a difficult situation. They have issues from the governorship primary, which is not supposed to be. South-West is known as the zone to provide leadership for this country.
“Truth is, we are going to be the ultimate losers and what happened in the past will happen again if we don’t get our acts together.
“I make bold to say that those aspiring for the presidency and are using our people against us, there are only two and a half months left. You can force yourself to win the party’s primary but can you force yourself on the populace?
“This is an opportunity for us to recalibrate and have a common position, moving forward in the national engagement with the unfolding scenario nationally.”
Reading the communique at the end of the meeting, Adagunodo said: “The unity of the PDP South-West Zone is a non-negotiable issue, to this end, we demand that all dispute resolution mechanisms should be on the front burner.
“The PDP South-West Zone is in support of the Southern Governors’ Forum that the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should come from the south.
“The zone commends the only PDP Governor in the zone, Engr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, for his infrastructural and development strides in the zone.
“The zone has agreed that we should do everything possible within our power to deliver Osun and Ekiti states to the party in their forthcoming offseason governorship elections.
“The zone is desirous of fairness, justice, and equity in the distribution of federal positions and appointments and will support all efforts geared towards national cohesion through equitable distribution of federal positions and appointments amongst the geopolitical zones of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The South-West Zone reaffirms its position on restructuring of Nigeria.”
The meeting had in attendance the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George; former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose of Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states respectively; serving and former National Assembly members; former deputy governors.
Others were the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Ambassador Oladejo Arapaja; former governorship candidates of the PDP in Ogun and Ekiti states, Hon. Ladi Adebutu and Prof. Olusola Eleka Kolapo and other former and serving PDP leaders at the national level.
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Return Of Amosun’s Loyalists: Abiodun Displayed Exemplary Political Maturity – Group
A youth group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), APC Progressive Front, has commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for what it termed an exemplary attribute of political maturity he displayed over the weekend.
It would be recalled that hundreds of APC members, loyal to ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun, across all the 20 local governments in the State, led by the one-time Chairman of the party, Chief Derin Adebiyi, were on Friday received back to the mainstream of the party by Abiodun, alongside the Chairman of APC in the State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, and other party bigwigs.
In a statement signed on Sunday by its coordinator, Rasheed Sanusi, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the group lauded the leadership capacity displayed by the governor, saying it was unprecedented in the political space of the state
According to the statement, the governor has proved his capacity as a leading figure in progressive politics beyond every reasonable doubt, adding that it is now incumbent on the returnees to reciprocate the gesture and prove their loyalty to the party.
It opined that the action of the governor has given new hope of a better future to the party in the state and an undiluted testament that APC is truly a progressive party with clear-cut ideology based on popular interest.
“Prince Dapo Abiodun has truly proved himself as a leading democrat among his contemporaries. He has achieved what other leaders before him could not achieve; he has indeed redefined progressive politics in Ogun State.
“The Governor has exhibited unprecedented magnanimity in power and in governance. No one could have imagined that a governor of a state would navigate such a level of gang-up and conspiracy within the party to win an election, and after the victory, he decided to reconcile with those who worked against him and warmly received them back to the party.
“The Governor has taught us a big lesson of inclusive governance and purposeful leadership. He deserves an award in progressive leadership. He remains an institution to study,” the statement read.
The statement further noted that the party remains a formidable force in the state with focus on aggressive development of infrastructure and human capital through the ‘Building our future together’ agenda of the governor.
Thousands Dump Amosun, Re-Align With Abiodun
Thousands of loyalists of former governor Ibikunle Amosun from the 20 local government areas of Ogun State have rejoined the mainstream of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Receiving the returnees led by the factional Chairman of the Amosun-led party Executive at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun commended them for their loyalty and being steadfast with what they believed in.
The governor said: “I want to congratulate your sense of loyalty to leadership, which I will say is not only commendable, it is enviable.
“This is a culture that we must promote and entrench. It is a culture that is fast eroding; it is a culture that we are fast losing. Loyalty is 100 per cent.
“For some others, they move once things are not working well, but for you, you stay put. This sense of loyalty is worthy of emulation. We must appreciate the fact that there can only be one leader in a party at a time.
“Even when we have ambitions and desires, we must subordinate ourselves 100% to leadership and believe that it is in that subordination that will allow us to flourish and achieve our objectives, our dreams, our desires and aspirations, not by forming factions or by breaking away.
“Because by so doing, it only weakens the fabric of that collective union that we call our party. You must appreciate that there can be only one leader of the party at a time in the state, and that leader is the governor.
“As the leader of the party, I appreciate the task bestowed on me and it is my duty to work towards individual and collective welfare of our members,” the governor noted.
The governor urged all members to put the past behind them and work towards repositioning the party to achieve its aims and work for the socio-economic development of the state.
“Let us put the past behind us. Let us promote what unites us as a family. I welcome you back. The future of Ogun State is in your hands and it is for us for the taking. The same joy with which the father of the prodigal son received his lost son back home, the same way I receive you today.
“To those who did not leave, please let us receive our brothers and sisters back. To those who are joining us, please let us display a sense of loyalty. I can assure you, you will be fully integrated. ”
The Chairman of the State All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Yemi Sanusi, said in every human relationship, there is bound to be disagreement, adding that even in time of war, there is always a place for peaceful settlement of conflict, calling the returnees to fully integrate themselves with other members of the party.
Leader of the returnees, Chief Derin Adebiyi, said they had all agreed to return to the mainstream to contribute to the development of the party and the state in general, thanking the governor and the party members for receiving them back.
BREAKING: Atiku Rejects Tribunal’s Judgement, Set For Supreme Court
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election Atiku Abubakar has rejected the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal judgement .
The judgement affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
Atiku said the tribunal judgement failed to restore confidence.
“Though the judgement of yesterday is respected, it is a judgement I refused to accept. I refused to accept the judgement because I believe it is bereft of substantial justice,” Atiku said while addressing a press conference at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.
The tribunal threw out the case of Atiku, who is the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, and upheld the victory of Tinubu.
Both Atiku and Obi rejected Wednesday’s judgment of the tribunal affirming the election of Tinubu. The Legal Adviser to the Labour Party, Kehinde Edun, vowed to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court.
Also, Atiku’s Lead Counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, said he had received instructions from his client to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.
He said “The judgment has been delivered but we have not received justice. Luckily, the law has given us leverage to go on appeal to the Supreme Court. We have instructions from our clients to go to the Supreme Court. The struggle continues.”
The PEPT which began sitting at 9.40am at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, ruled that the petition filed by Atiku and Obi and their parties had no merit and unanimously upheld Tinubu’s electoral victory in the February 25 presidential election.
The five-member panel took turns to dismiss the petitions presented by Atiku and Obi against the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission on March 1, 2023.
The judgment was delivered by the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assisted by other members of the panel-Justices Stephen Adah, Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Moses Ugo, and Abba Mohammed.
But addressing a press conference on Thursday, Atiku said he was not new to legal battle and he would continue to explore the judiciary for respite.
“However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.
“Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which in this instance, is the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”
He added, “My decision to go to court is anchored in my belief that the court is the sanctuary of justice. The journey of my political career, as you know, holds so much to the courage and fearless decisions of our judiciary.
“Indeed, I am no stranger to legal battles, and I can say that I have a fair idea of how the court system works. All through my career as a politician, I have been a fighter, and I must say that I have found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice.
“The last presidential election in our country and the way it was managed by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, leaves behind unenviable precedents, which I believe the courts have a duty to redress.
“Our gains in ensuring transparent elections through the deployment of technology was heavily compromised by INEC in the way it managed the last presidential election, and I am afraid that the judgement of the court as rendered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday, failed to restore confidence in our dreams of free and fair elections devoid of human manipulations.
“Like I did say at the beginning of this legal battle when I instructed my lawyers to file my petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election, my ultimate goal in this pursuit is to ensure that democracy is further strengthened through the principles and processes of fair hearing.”
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