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[JUST IN] Ayu: South Must Produce PDP Chairman – George

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A former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olabode George, has called for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, while making a case for the position to be filled by a southerner.

According to George, the present arrangement in the party which has the presidential and national chairman positions filled by persons from the north cannot continue to stand.

George, who spoke at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday, said Ayu’s refusal to resign sends a message to members of the PDP in the South that they don’t matter.

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He said, “In May this year, we elected our presidential candidate in the person of Atiku Abubakar, setting aside the principle of rotation as enshrined in the constitution of our party in the interest of peace and unity of our party. Today, we are in a situation in which our National Chairman is from the same zone as our presidential candidate.

READ ALSO: 2023: Ayu’s Resignation Possible If… – Atiku

“Some people are insisting that there is nothing wrong with this present arrangement. Some have argued that this happened during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, where the candidate and the national chairman were from the same zone.

“Let the truth be told, there are remarkable differences in the scenario then and now. Then we had the leader of the party who was then a sitting president from the South and the candidate was from the North.

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“In addition, the National Chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali, was then on his way out. Today we have no sitting President from our party in Aso Villa so, that argument falls flat. We need to stop playing games and being zombified.

“Let me summarise the genesis of the current crisis.

“As envisaged by the founding fathers of our party, there are six top positions in our Country: President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the party.

“Presently we are not in government, therefore we only control three of these six positions namely: Presidential, Vice Presidential Candidates and National Chairman.

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READ ALSO: PDP Crisis: Atiku Weighs Options As Wike, Colleagues Refuse To Concede

“I remember that Dr. Iyorchia Ayu said pointedly that if the Presidential Candidate emerges from the North, he would resign for a new National Chairman to emerge from another zone before the presidential campaign starts.

“The other three positions are futuristic. It is only when we win the elections that we will fill these positions namely: the Senate President, the Speaker and the Secretary to the Federal Government.

“As a result of the need to have inclusiveness, oneness and togetherness, it does not make any political sense for the Presidential Candidate and the National Chairman to come from the same zone. Now, we have a situation in which some elders are saying “it does not matter”. Can we go into the election with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, from the same zone, leading our National Campaign?

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“This will be an affront, an impunity, and an insult to the electorate and party members from the South.

“Dr. Ayu promised openly, before the presidential primary in May, to resign, if the Presidential Candidate emerges from the North. So, why has he refused to honour his words? Why is he reneging? What is driving his reluctance not to resign?

“We are promising Nigerians that when we get to government, every tribe will have a say in government but now, how do we want Nigerians to trust us when we cannot fulfil a simple promise? Our National Chairman made a pledge and in such a short time he has broken the pledge.

Our party members from the South are now asking the following questions patently:

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“Have we thrown our integrity to the dogs?

“How will Southern PDP leaders convince their electorate to vote for our candidate when there is no substantial National position in the Southwest?

“How can we go into the election season with this type of division and expect to win the February 25 presidential election?

“Unless we are united, unless we have fairness, equity and justice in our system, the party and the country are heading nowhere.

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“I am not a soothsayer, but I have traversed the length and breadth of our country and have learnt so much politically. What I have predicted above will come to pass unless reason prevails and we apply the brake immediately.

“It was the same myopic and unpatriotic reasoning that led to the collapse of the First and Second Republics.

“My intervention is about the future of this country because what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

The PDP chieftain wondered if the North would remain calm if the positions in question were filled by only Southerners.

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He said, “Peradventure, let us reverse the scenario and think of these consequences. What do you think will happen if our Presidential Candidate and the National Chairman come from the South? How do you think our Northern brothers will feel and handle the situation? What is happening now is that many Southerners are feeling alienated, two weeks to the commencement of the presidential campaign.

READ ALSO: Wike Talks Tough, Says PDP’s Day Of Reckoning Coming

“I know that the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chairman, Governors’ Forum have resigned but of what importance is this? In our party hierarchy, Chairmen of BoT and Governors’ Forum are not that powerful. They are not even among the top six positions of our Country. They are not important to the present discussion.

“Let me declare categorically that the positions of Presidential Candidate and National Chairman cannot come from the same zone. Period!”

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George added that the vote of confidence supposedly passed on Ayu and the party’s NWC at the its National Executive Committee meeting could not hold sway because most Southern members of NEC were absent from the meeting.

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LP Suspends Chairman In C’River Over Alleged Embezzlement

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The Cross River State chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Ogar Osim, has been suspended from office over allegations of embezzlement and anti-party activities.

Osim who is also accused of inability to maintain a State secretariat and other sundry issues, was suspended alongside the State Secretary, Mr Felix Etim on Tuesday.

Their suspension, which is contained in a press statement by the Chairman and Secretary of the State disciplinary committee, Bonnie Adie and Ibiang Igri respectively, announced the appointment of an acting Chairman and Secretary.

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According to the statement, Eugene Obia and Allen Ekpe are to remain in acting capacity pending when a congress will be held to elect a substantive Chairman and Secretary respectively.

READ ALSO: Tension In Abia As Female Truck Driver Blocks Highway To Protest Harassment By Touts

“The decision to relieve them of the positions was taken following a thorough investigation into allegations of gross misconduct, anti-party activities, inability to maintain a state secretariat, embezzlement, and other serious issues.

“We are confident that Mr Obia and Mr Ekpe thatbhave been appointed in acting capacities will provide strong leadership and ensure the smooth functioning of the Labour Party in the State.

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“We urge all members to cooperate with the new leadership and work together to achieve the arty’s goals,” it stated.
Those who signed the purported suspension letter are not even known to Labour party .

When contacted, the Labour Party, (LP) Chairman, Com Ogar Osim described his suspension as laughable adding that those who signed his purported suspension letter were unknown to the Party and were mere impostors.

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His words: “Those persons who signed the purported suspension letter are impostors and I will describe them as stranger elements, becuase their names are not in any of our registers, from ward level to chapter and state , we don’t know them.

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“Even if there was anything like a disciplinary committee as they claimed, thier letter should have been signed by the legal adviser.

“As a matter of fact, we are taking them to court , even if such committee exists, they can only make recommendations , they don’t have powers to suspend,” Ogar said.

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Edo APC Gives Vanguard 24hrs Ultimatum To Retract Alleged Libelous Publication, Threatens Law Suit

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The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given Vanguard newspaper 24 hours ultimatum to retract a publication which the party described as “libelous and defamatory.”

This is contained in a letter addressed to Vanguard newspaper Editor by the party’s lawyer, Martin Omo-lghekpe, a copy of which was made available to INFO DAILY on Tuesday.

Vanguard newspaper was said to have carried an advertorial today July 23, 24, wherein faces of some APC chieftains in the state were published and labelled: Edo Airport Violence: Faces of Suspected Culprits.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Reps Increase 2024 Budget To N35.055 Trillion, Amend Finance Bill

In the letter titled: ‘LIBEL AND DEFAMATION AGAINST THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESss (APC) EDO STATE CHAPTER WITH RESPECT TO THE NAMED PERSONS, WHOSE PHOTOGRAPHS APPEARED IN PAGE 15 OF THE VANGUARD’, the APC lawyer said it was meant to malign the party and the persons whose photographs wete published by the paper.

The party said Vanguard’s failure to publish a retraction and apology within the said 24 hours would lead to the party instituting “criminal and civil action” against the paper over what the paper referred to as “defamatory and libelous” publication.

The letter reads in part: “It is our brief that you termed the photographs of the aforesaid gentlemen as “Edo
State Airport Violence faces of suspected culprits”

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“We take serious reservations to your audacious, malicious, libelous and defamatory publication which has no legal foundation, as the said publication is orchestrated to
malign the image of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Edo State Chapter, in the eyes of the general public as our Client had written a comprehensive petition to the office of the Knspector General of Police, in respect of the incident at the Benin Airport on the 18 of July, 2024, which said petition is subject to police
investigation.

“We are of the firm view that a newspaper of your standing, ought to maintain the highest ethical standard put in place by the regulatory agencies.

“Flowing from the above, our Client hereby demand as follows:
a) The immediate retraction of the aforesaid malicious, libelous and
defamatory publication within 24 hours of the receipt of this letter.
b) A letter of apology to our Client within a full cover space of your
newspaper. TAKE NOTICE; that failure to abide by the penultimate paragraphs, will leave us with no option than to institute both criminal and civil action against Vanguard.”

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JUST IN: Imo Senator, Onyewuchi Dumps Labour Party, Joins APC

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The senator representing Imo East Senatorial District, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, has dumped the Labour Party (LP) and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Onyewuchi also declared his support for President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

His letter of defection was read on the floor of the red chambers by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday, July 23.

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Recall in 2022, Senator Onyewuchi left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the Labour Party (LP).

READ ALSO: JUST IN: ADC Reps Member Defects To APC

Onyewuchi was also a former member of the House of Representatives – Owerri-Municipal/Owerri-North/West-Federal Constituency

The letter partly reads: “This decision is due to the intractable division and crisis in the labour party that sponsored my election into the senate.

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“We give our unflinching support to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and of course, support his administration aimed at achieving sustainable development for our country.”

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