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2023: Tinubu Meets Wike, 2 PDP Govs In London

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The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, took a new dimension as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, met with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and some PDP governors in London, on Monday night.

Vanguard was reliably informed that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, his Abia State counterpart, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and other PDP stalwarts loyal to Wike attended the meeting.

Recall that Governor Wike and some of his allies travelled out of the country for what was described as a critical meeting on their political future.

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The team, which comprised some PDP governors and other major personalities in Wike’s camp, were said to have left the country at the weekend, after the flag-off of new projects by the governor in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.

READ ALSO: PDP Crisis Deepens As Wike Orders Arrest Of Atiku’s Ally In Rivers

Governor Wike had been engaged in a cold war with his party over his defeat at the PDP presidential primary and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s choice of a running mate.

He recently gave the party some conditions for an amicable resolution of the crisis and is currently at loggerheads with other top party faithful in his state opposed to his antics.

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Also recall that a reconciliation committee set up to end the frosty relationship between Atiku and Wike met last week, though no concrete resolution was reached.

Tinubu meets Wike, others in London

A reliable source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that the gathering centred on the need for the Wike camp to support Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

The source said: “It is true that there was a meeting where Tinubu met with Wike, Makinde and Ikpeazu. The meeting was held on Monday night, it was not in France, it was in London.

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‘’The meeting had to do with Wike and his camp staying in PDP, causing crisis in PDP and asking his supporters to work for APC. Asiwaju is coming back today (yesterday) or tomorrow morning (today).”

Another source, who confirmed the London meeting, said: “I know Tinubu and Wike’s team went for a meeting outside the country. What I know is Atiku will go ahead without Wike.

‘’From what I know, if the internal crisis is not resolved, Wike will be an albatross. I know some leaders are confusing Atiku not to work with Wike but that is dangerous for the progress of the party.

“If they want the PDP to win in 2023, Ayu must resign and if he does that, it will help the party. If Ayu resigns today, the PDP crisis will be over but Ayu has insisted that he won’t resign because of his four-year mandate.

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‘’The likes of Uche Secondus will not want the crisis to be over, Austin Opara, who was denied ticket will not want the crisis resolved.”

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

Wike underrating North, playing anti-party politics—Atiku’s camp

Meanwhile, some allies in the Atiku camp, yesterday, met in Abuja to chart a way forward and seek a quick resolution to the internal wrangling within the party.

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A top PDP leader in Atiku’s camp, who pleaded anonymity, said Wike was underrating the capacity of the North, insisting that the party wouldn’t dismantle its leadership because of the Rivers governor.

The source, who was present at the meeting, said: “We will not dismantle our leadership structure at this stage because of Wike. What does he want? The South has the Vice President in PDP.

‘’Isn’t that fair enough? If they are saying the South must produce the President, it shouldn’t be the West but the Southeast in the spirit of equity. Unfortunately, he has Ortom, Makinde and Ikpeazu with him.

‘’Ortom is with him for economic reasons. Makinde, like Wike, has succeeded in offending PDP leaders in Oyo. He has stepped on many toes. If he’s not careful, his re-election may not be possible. He will only win, if APC fields an unpopular candidate.

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“Wike can’t kill PDP. Where was he in 1999? He is underrating the North. He doesn’t know the North is taking note of his utterances and actions. And they will pay him in their way.

READ ALSO: Atiku Vs Wike: Dele Momodu identifies Solution To PDP Crisis

‘’We are not giving in to his selfish demand. What does he want? He is already playing anti-party but we won’t move against him because we want peace.”

Wike’s man dumps PDP, moves to APC

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As the crisis rages on, the Director General of Wike Solidarity Movement, Prince Sudor Nwiyor, yesterday, dumped the PDP for APC.

Nwiyor, who announced his resignation from the PDP in Port Harcourt, cited high-handedness in the party as one of the reasons he left the ruling PDP.

He further stated that he defected because those who worked for the PDP were abandoned, while monies are given to new members from the APC to entice them into the party.

Nwiyor said: “My decision stems from the faulty regime in the PDP where those who have worked for the party are dumped and abandoned, while monies are given to newcomers to entice them to the party.

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“The entire leaders in the 23 local government areas of the state have had no appointment, they have been asking what is in for them, I have not been able to proffer any answer.

“This informed my decision or move to the APC. I will collapse all the WSM structures to the APC.”

BoT to receive reconciliation panel report today

But barring any last-minute changes, the committee set up by feuding members of the PDP, will submit its report to the party’s Board of Trustees today.

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A top-ranking member of the party leadership familiar with the matter, confided in Vanguard, yesterday, that Governor Ahmadu Fintiri-led team has served the BoT notice that it would be submitting its report.

The source said: “If things go as planned, the report which I understand is ready will be submitted to the BoT on Wednesday (today)

“We’ve met with Fintiri from Atiku’s side and Professor Jerry Gana from Wike’s side, we expect the report and recommendations which will form the basis of our decision on the way forward.”

Another party source, who pleaded anonymity, claimed that the Wike camp was demanding that three members of the party leadership should step down.

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The source said: “We may be dealing with another challenge because apart from Ayu, they are asking that the National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagun should go and in their place, acting national officers should be appointed to reflect Nigeria’s diversity.”

I’ll remain in PDP till I die—BoT chairman

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, said he stood by his comments about the inherent injustice in the North holding the position of Presidential Candidate, National Chairman and BoT chairman at the same time.

He spoke against the backdrop of reservations expressed by some of the feuding party members over his comments as contained in an interview he granted Channels Television.

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Jibrin said: “Based on my earlier statement that PDP cannot produce in North president, national Chairman, BoT Chairman all from the North for 2023 presidential elections.

“I still maintain my stand on that statement PDP is a democratic and national party that caters for all Nigerians it’s not sectional but loved by all Nigerians.

“As a PDP BoT Chairman, I must say the truth and nothing but the truth no matter anyone criticism I don’t fear anyone but God and true agenda of our party. I will add that I stand strongly on my toes I am a true member of PDP since its inception in 1998.

“Today I am one of the truest members of the party who remained in the party since 1998 that never changed to any party but remained only in PDP passing all positions in positions in PDP as follows: PDP unit leader, ward leader, state leader, PDP zonal leader, PDP National Ex-Officio member, National Deputy Financial Secretary, PDP National Financial Secretary, BoT member, BoT acting secretary, BoT confirmed secretary, PDP acting Chairman and today BoT Chairman.

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“I saw yesterday in PDP and today kicking very well in PDP adding to this, I am also today A member of PDP National Caucus member, NEC member and member of the National Convention. As chairman of BoT, I have a 5-year tenure but already spent four years and six months. I have only six months left as per the constitution of our party PDP. Therefore, I will never accept any unholy criticism by anyone.

READ ALSO: Wike, PDP Crisis: ‘Mystery’ Man Who Sued Atiku Surfaces

“I will remain in PDP until my death. I still maintain that the BoT is eagerly waiting for the report of the Reconciliation committee headed by the Governor of Adamawa state and Professor Jerry Gana thereafter, the BoT will thoroughly discuss it and inform the public accordingly no more no less.

“The BoT will continue discussing with all other aggrieved members of the party including those in states, zones and nationally. I advise that we should concentrate more on how to win all elective positions in 2023.”

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Edo Guber: PDP Reacts To Court Judgement Affirming Ighodalo’s Candidacy

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed Wednesday’s judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which affirmed the nomination of its candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo in the September 21, 2024 Governorship election in Edo State.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement, in Abuja.

According to him, the Party described the landmark judgement which upheld the PDP Edo State Governorship Primary election held on February 22, 2024, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, as victory for democracy, Rule of Law and a well-founded affirmation of the propriety and credibility of the Primary election and PDP’s internal democracy.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Reinstates Shaibu As Edo Deputy Governor

He said, “The spontaneous jubilation across Edo State at the news of the judgement reaffirms the PDP’s candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo as the undisputed preference of the majority of the people of Edo State in the coming Governorship election.

“The Party notes that the judgement further validates the fact that all the aspirants at the Governorship Primary election were accorded level playing ground in the conduct of the Edo State PDP Congresses and Governorship Primary election that produced Dr. Asue Ighodalo as candidate.

“The PDP congratulates Dr. Asue Ighodalo and urges all Party members to remain united and continue to work together with the majority of the people of Edo State to ensure the victory of our Party and candidate in the September 21, 2024 Governorship election.”

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Ex-Rep Rejects Membership Of Edo APC Gov Campaign Council

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A former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, has declined his membership of the National Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election.

Iriase, whose name was included in the list released on Friday, said he was not consulted before he was included in the team and that he has since stepped aside from politics.

In a statement on Friday, Iriase wished the APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election and urged everyone to respect his desire to be excluded from the council.

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READ ALSO: Esan-born Lady Seeks Okpebholo’s Support To Replace Amputated Limb

The statement reads, “My attention has been drawn to the fact that my name is included in the list of appointees into the National Campaign Council for the governorship election in Edo State by the All Progressives Congress.

“I appreciate the National Working Committee for finding me worthy of the appointment. But, I hereby reject the appointment for the following reasons:

“I was never consulted. I have for several years stepped away from partisan politics, and I do not intend to change my mind.

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“I do not want my associates, friends, admirers, and family to see me as a hypocrite.

“While wishing APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election, I strongly urge everyone to respect my desire to be excluded from partisan politics.”

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FULL LIST: 20 States With Local Government Caretaker Committees

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Photo credit: Nation

Most states have resorted to governing the local governments through caretaker committees set up by the State Government.

This is contrary to Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the system of local government by democratically elected officials.

Caretaker committees have become a prevalent practice in different states across the federation, and are fast replacing local government councils.

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Factors fingered for the inability of many States to conduct council polls include insecurity, paucity of funds as well as political and legal battles.

Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court declaring that it is unconstitutional for Governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations further raised the question of how LG helmsmen are routinely sacked from office and replaced with Caretaker Committees.

These are the states running local governments with caretaker committees as complied by The Nation:

READ ALSO: BREAKING States Lose As Supreme Court Rules On LG Financial Autonomy

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1. Rivers – Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara appointed caretaker committees for the 23 local government areas as he continues his battle with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, for the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state.

2. Jigawa – On June 28, 2024, the government of Jigawa State dissolved the elected council chairmen of the 27 local governments.

3. Anambra – On June 20, 2024, Governor Charles Soludo, through the House of Assembly, confirmed the appointment of transition committee chairmen and councillors for the 21 local government areas.

4. Zamfara – In Zamfara, the last grassroots poll was held on April 27, 2019, and the State returned to appointees after the chairmen’s tenures expired. In May 2024, the Assembly approved a six-month extension for the caretaker committee.

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5. In Benue, however, elections are scheduled to be held on July 6, 2024, for LG council chairmen.

6. Bauchi – Last year, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, sworn in 20 appointed local government area caretaker committee chairmen with their deputies.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Supreme Court Bars Govs From Sacking LG Chairmen

7. Plateau – June 2023, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau inaugurated the Interim Transition Committee chairpersons for its 17 local government areas at Government House Jos.

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8. Abia – In December 2023, Abia Governor Alex Otti, inaugurated the 17 local government transition council chairpersons.

9. Enugu – In March 2024, Enugu State Government ordered local government chairmen in the 17 councils to hand over administration to heads of personnel management after the expiration of their tenures.

10. Katsina

11. Kano – In March 2024, Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State recommended names of Interim Management Committee members for Local Government Areas of the state to its House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.

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12. Sokoto

13. Yobe – In April 2024, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, approved the dissolution of all the 17 local government councils of the state, and also directed all local government chairmen to handover the affairs of their respective local governments to Directors of Personnel Management.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Bars FG From Paying Allocations To LGs With Unelected Officials

14. Ondo – Ondo State Government also constituted Caretaker Committees for the 18 Local Councils and 33 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDA).

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15. Osun – In February 2024, Osun Assembly extended the tenure of office and re-appointed caretaker committees of 30 Local Government Areas and 39 others running Modakeke Area Office and Local Council Development Areas in the state.

The extension was subsequently secured for the caretaker chairmen, vice chairmen, scribes and their members’ fresh six months tenure, beginning in February and ending in August 2024.

16. Delta

17. Akwa-Ibom – Governor Umo Eno last year through a letter with reference number GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.1/607, addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Udeme Otong, informed the House of Assembly that there was no provision in the 2023 budget for the conduct of local government elections.

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He urged the Assembly to pass a resolution authorising him to set up interim administration at the 31 local government areas at the expiration of the tenure of the elected council officials.

19. In Imo State, the last council poll was conducted on August 25, 2018, which was the first in seven years.

20. In Kwara State, the last council election was in November 2017 with caretaker committees in charge since 2020.

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