Barely 24 hours after the presidential flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, named Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate ahead of the 2023 general elections, the All Progressives Congress Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation in Delta has warned Okowa “not to use Delta State funds to finance Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s campaign and other political activities”.
The APC governorship campaign organisation, in a statement issued on Friday by Ima Niboro, the Director, Communications and Media Strategy, said that “the call became necessary in the light of credible intelligence at its disposal that the 2023 General Election is a PDP conduit pipe to loot the State”.
According to the statement, “the use of taxpayers’ funds and collective resources of Deltans to fund personal political ambitions was unacceptable, callous and inhuman”.
“It is sad that on a day the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, approved the immediate payment of outstanding gratuities, pension arrears and death benefits for retirees of Rivers State Public Service, the Delta State House of Assembly approved N25 billion loan for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa allegedly to plant palm trees,” the statement read in part.
“This is coming barely 49 days after the embattled PDP candidate, Okowa’s yes-man and Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori or Francis, approved a controversial N150 billion loan.
“We have sufficient grounds to suspect that these loans are being taken to prosecute Atiku’s presidential campaign. We will not stand by and watch Okowa impoverish our people in order to enthrone a man who has nothing to offer Deltans in particular and Nigerians in general.
“If Governor Okowa had devoted half of the time he used in pursuing his Vice Presidential ambition to focus on governance, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“As of today, the government is owing retirees over seven years of gratuities, pension arrears and death benefits while the state goes on autopilot for Okowa to pursue his personal ambition. Most retirees have resorted to commercial tricycle, popularly called Keke, for survival, some are bedridden, others have resigned to fate or even died while waiting for the present administration to pay their entitlements after 35 years of meritorious service to state and country.”
According to the Delta APC Governorship campaign organisation, “the path of backwardness and crippling debts which the Okowa government has sentenced the state was undeserved given the huge, abundant human and natural resources that Delta is blessed with”.
It, therefore, charged Governor Okowa to borrow a leaf from his counterparts in Rivers, Borno, Ebonyi and other states “that are blazing the trail with legacy projects, turning their states into massive construction sites, while paying outstanding gratuities and pensions, rather than take loans with nothing to show at the end of the day”.
Tinubu Ignored Me After Stepping Down For Osinbajo – Aspirant
A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Nicholas Felix, has raised the alarm that the party’s standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has shut him out of his campaign ahead of the 2023 general election.
The youngest APC aspirant’s outburst came three weeks after the convention held at Eagle Square in Abuja.
Felix had thrown his weight behind Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after he stepped down at the June 7 presidential primary.
Before he withdrew from the presidential race, Felix described Osinbajo as the ‘best man for the job’, adding that he strongly believed that he could turn the country around positively.
Against his expectation, Tinubu defeated Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and 11 other aspirants to clinch the party’s sole presidential ticket.
“Asiwaju has not reached out to me. Neither has any member of his campaign team. No one has called me. I am about the only candidate Asiwaju has yet to meet. I don’t know the reason. Maybe it was because I stepped down for the vice president or didn’t support the idea of a possible Muslim-Muslim ticket,” he added.
The APC presidential flag bearer had left the shores of the country for France on Monday.
Tinubu departed Nigeria shortly after a closed-door meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the morning.
Although Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, did not state how long the former Lagos State Governor would be away, there were insinuations that his travel must have something to do with the consultation for his running mate.
When contacted, the spokesman of Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, “Unfortunately, we all know Asiwaju is not in town. But Nigerians are aware of how he visited all the aspirants after the primary. Perhaps (he) was not in town. Maybe he was in America or somewhere. I don’t want to join issues with him.
“If Asiwaju has not reached out to him as he said, I am sure by the time he returns from France, he will cover up whatever gaps exist. I don’t want us to get dragged into that. It is possible that it is even an oversight. As a politician, he doesn’t neglect anybody or sees people as not being important. I am sure it wasn’t a deliberate act or hidden agenda on his part. Everybody is important to him.”
2023: Why I Have No Regret Working For Abacha – Al-Mustapha
Presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Hamza Al-Mustapha, has insisted he does not have any regrets working with late Head of State, Sani Abacha.
Al-Mustapha worked as the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the late dictator.
Abacha was Nigeria’s president from 1993 until his sudden death on June 8, 1998.
Speaking on Channels Television on Friday, Al-Mustapha who was accused of plotting at least four coups from prison, insisted that serving Abacha was part of his job description.
“I have no regrets. When you join the Military, you should be open-minded to work anywhere.
“You can be in the worst part of the country or world. It is my experience.
“My personal destiny took me to where I served. Wherever I serve, you will see the distinct difference.
“I have done so all my life and career.
“I never canvassed to be posted anywhere. They know what they saw in me and posted me to everywhere they took me. And I gave my life and made sacrifices that are indelible in the history of Military.”
Al-Mustapha won the AA presidential ticket in June ahead of the 2023 general election.
He won the party’s primary with 506 votes, defeating his only opponent, Samson Odupitan.
JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, did not meet in France.
Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, made this known on Friday, describing earlier reports as “fake news”.
This is coming amid reports that Wike shunned the emissaries of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Turkey.
Following the division that rocked the PDP after Atiku’s emergence, there had been reports that Tinubu and Wike over issues concerning the 2023 presidential election in France.
There were also speculations that Wike and some PDP governors are aggrieved over the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate from the north.
READ ALSO: Wike Receives Kwakwanso In Rivers
“It’s time for South to produce president,” one of the aggrieved PDP leaders, Ayodele Fayose, said recently.
Rahman noted that though the APC presidential candidate holds Wike in high esteem, no meeting was held between them in France.
The statement read, “We have seen a viral social media post made by one of the chieftains of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State and media reports emanating from same about a supposed meeting in France between APC Presidential Standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State,” the statement said.
“It has become imperative to set the record straight. Although Asiwaju Tinubu is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever.
“This, however, does not detract from the fact that the APC presidential candidate holds Governor Wike in high esteem.
“And given the national and across-party line’s appeal of Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature, he will not hesitate to meet any important national leader when desirable.
“As made public earlier, Asiwaju Tinubu is in France for some important engagements. He will return to the country shortly.
“We would like, once again, to advice journalists to always cross-check their information with appropriate officers before rushing to press to avoid unintended errors.”
Wike’s Turkey trip sparks controversy
Wike’s trip to Turkey has sparked more controversy in the party as some of the governor’s loyalists have threatened to leave the PDP.
Apart from the disagreement on North producing PDP’s next presidential candidate, there is also a crisis over the PDP vice-presidential slot.
Before the debunked report that the Rivers governor met with Tinubu, Wike’s had been seen romancing with some opposition politicians.
The governor had on June 24 hosted the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Port Harcourt.
The visit occurred a day after the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, visited Wike, sparking speculations about their intentions and the Rivers governor’s plans.
Though Wike has refused to speak publicly since he lost the running mate slot to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, his recent meetings with political bigwigs have strengthened speculations that he may leave the PDP.
Wike was initially spotted with Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in Turkey. Another picture on Thursday showed the two governors and their Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, together in Turkey.
Speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, hinted that some governors are unhappy with Atiku.
“Atiku should go to him (Wike). Why won’t he ignore their calls? Is that not an insult? Wike is a pillar in the party.
“Currently, Nobody in the party has contributed more for the party to move forward than Wike. If Atiku was not going to honour the decision of the committee, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that. You can’t do things anyhow and expect us to be happy,” Ortom said.
But Atiku said efforts were being made to resolve the grievances of party members via his official Twitter handle, @Atiku, on Thursday.
“The Peoples Democratic Party will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.
READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: Tinubu Jets Out To France
“Every governor, legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me. When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced,” he tweeted on Thursday.
Tinubu Ignored Me After Stepping Down For Osinbajo – Aspirant
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