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PDP Crisis: Party Leadership, Wike In standoff — Source

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The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may not abate soon as indications emerged yesterday that the leadership of the party appears to be dilly-dallying with the request made by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, a situation that has led to a standoff between opposing camps in the party.

This came as PDP supporters from Delta State, under the aegis of Delta State Mandate Group, yesterday, drummed support for the Senator Iyiochia Ayu-led PDP National Working Committee, NWC.

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Multiple sources, who spoke with Vanguard in confidence, hinted that the dilly-dallying by the PDP leadership could be attributed to Wike’s recent outbursts.

Governor Wike had on Monday stated that he remained fully in charge of his state, warning that nobody can hold meetings against him in Abuja and be successful.

The governor also vowed that anybody who despised the political capability of the state would be visited with the same treatment.

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Wike, however, chided perceived misguided Rivers politicians for twisting his assertions on Monday that the state is fully in his grips.

Party dilly-dallying with gov’s request

But in a chat with Vanguard, multiple sources said the decision by PDP leaders not to meet the demands of the governor might be responsible for his (Wike’s) invitation of All Progressives Congress, APC, governors and leaders into Rivers State.

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Another source familiar with the workings of the party, warned that failure by the PDP leaders to meet Wike’s demands, might affect the fortunes of the party in 2023.

The source said: “The party is dilly-dallying over Wike’s request. He has given them his conditions to support Atiku. Before the reconciliation, some leaders of the party said Wike should be ignored and since he is sensing that the PDP wants to ignore him, he is also showing them that he is important by allowing the All Progressives Congress, APC, to make inroads into his territory.

READ ALSO: PDP Crisis: Atiku, Wike Agree On 14-member Panel

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“The party is now in a panic mode and expressing worry that if they ignore Wike, it will be to their detriment and may affect the fortunes of the party. That is why they want to make peace with him.

“Wike is also angry that the Atiku camp has shut him and his group out of the scheme of things because they have shared some of the positions among themselves.

“One of the conditions he gave is that Ayu must resign and that Atiku should prevail on him (Ayu) to step down but when they approached Ayu, he refused to resign and asked the Atiku camp to protect him.

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“Ayu is insisting that if he must resign, other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, must resign and a restructuring of the party positions must take place.

“That calls for a new convention entirely but Ayu said there is no time for that and there is no way they can call for a new convention. He has vowed not to resign until after the election.

“The problem now is the party cannot deliver that message to Wike now because the meeting that was to be held to deliberate on Wike’s conditions was cancelled.

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NWC members backing Ayu for survival

“Most of the NWC members decided to back the national chairman because it will also affect them and if they don’t meet his condition, Wike will not work with them.

“If Wike does not work with them, he will remain in PDP but work against the party and this will be too dangerous for the party.

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“That is the true state of things now and there is crisis within the party. Unfortunately, Atiku’s camp will not remove Ayu because of their interest.”

Delta PDP backs Ayu, demand tough stance for anti-party activities

Meanwhile, PDP supporters, who stormed the party’s national secretariat in their numbers, yesterday, while expressing support for Ayu, also demanded punitive measures against another group which earlier demanded for Ayu’s ouster.

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Spokesman of the group, Andaye Dagidi, said the mandate, in conjunction with over 15 other pro-PDP groups in Delta State, dissociated themselves from the activities of a group of persons claiming to be members of Concerned Deltans for Good Governance who were behind calls for Ayu’s sack.

A group of concerned Deltans had demanded Ayu’s sack over the decision of the NWC to deny David Edevie recognition as the party’s governorship candidate for Delta State.

READ ALSO: Atiku, Wike Meet As PDP Begins Reconciliation

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Dagidi said: “Rising from a well-attended PDP stakeholders and support groups’ meeting in Delta State, the Mandate Group, MG, in conjunction with over 15 PDP support groups in the state at Ughelli on the 4th of August, 2022, critically appraised the case and effects of the ill-motivated and ill-conceived kangaroo shadow dissident group who wrongfully demanded the removal of the Sen Iyiochia Ayo-led National Working Committee of the PDP if they fail to comply with a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered in July 2022 by forwarding the name of David Edevbie to INEC.

“We, hereby, declare a vote of confidence on the national chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyiochia Ayu, and the National Working Committee, NWC, for, among other reasons, providing sound, impartial leadership to the party by conducting a peaceful, hitch-free PDP primaries at all levels across the country, especially that of Delta State gubernatorial primaries at Stephen Keshi Stadium.”

While declaring unflinching support for Ayu, NWC and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, the group called for disciplinary action against those involved in anti-party activities.

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We’ll respond accordingly — PDP spokesman

In its response, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, who stood in for the national chairman, while addressing the protesters, said: “I have listened to you and I can see that Delta is united for PDP and that is very important for us, because we understand that the rescue mission led by our chairman and that this is coming from the heart of PDP, Delta State.

“Since 1999, Delta State has been solidly PDP and we believe that from this presentation that Delta State is solidly PDP.

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“To that extent, we have taken note of what you have said, your concerns and consistent with the position of this NWC, we shall look at it and respond accordingly.

“I must thank you for the confidence you have expressed, the support for Dr Iyorchia Ayu-led NWC, consistent with his mission to continue to be fair to all members of the party and all the decisions have been in accordance with the constitution.

“We are a law-abiding party. We respect court order and we act on them and we want to reiterate that this party will remain so, running according to its constitution.

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“However, the issue should be what do Nigerian people need? We want to be able to reject the APC, the sadness they have brought to this country.

“The only way we can do that is to be united and you have demonstrated that, that we are united, from the heart of the PDP which is Delta State. We urge you to continue to be united so that next year, we can celebrate the victory of PDP.”

Politicians twisted ‘I’m fully in charge of Rivers votes’ declaration — Wike

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Meanwhile, Governor Wike, yesterday, accused perceived misguided Rivers politicians of twisting his assertion, on Monday, that the state is fully in his grips.

He, however, boasted that his widely acknowledged outstanding stewardship in office is a reflection of his personal capacity and passion to deliver enduring development to Rivers State people and nothing to do with the PDP.

Wike, who said this during the commissioning of the dualised Ogbunuabali-Eastern By-Pass Road project in Port Harcourt, said: “Take me away today from PDP to another party, I will still perform. So, it is not because I’m in PDP that I’m performing.

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“Leadership is not about party; leadership is about individual. Party is only a vehicle to actualise your ambition, to be able to tell your people I have this capacity, I have this quality to render services to you.

READ ALSO: Presidency: Time To Tell Nigerians Truth, Wike On PDP Over Atiku, Okowa

“It is because I have that passion for my people, have the commitment to serve my people. Take me to YPP, allow me become whatever I will become there, I will perform. Take me to any party, I will perform. So, it is not party that makes you to perform.”

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Chiding perceived misguided Rivers politicians for twisting his assertion, the governor said: “Because some people went to school late, they don’t understand when somebody says I am in charge of this state.

“I never said I am in charge of votes in this state, but I know I can talk to my people and my people will listen to me. Some people say I have only one vote, I agree. I can’t vote two times. I will only vote once but because of the services I have rendered to the people of this state, the state will listen to me.”

VANGUARD

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APC Plots To Shortchange Christians, Ex-SGF Lawal Alleges

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Christian politicians in Northern Nigeria would remain steadfast in their stand for justice, equity and fair play in the 2023 political dispensation in the overall interest of the nation, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has said.

According to him, any nation or political dispensation built on injustice would crumble because justice and equity settle all other disputes.

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Lawal in a statement he sent to The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday titled, “Why we are doing what we are doing”, was pleading with Nigerians to understand the position of the Northern Christian politicians on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.

He said neither the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, nor his running mate, Kashim Shettima and the political party has ever seen anything wrong in their choice of same faith ticket for 2023 to make peace or assuage the feelings of Northern Christian politicians.

READ ALSO: Muslim-Muslim Ticket Suicide Mission, Says APC Christian Group

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The statement reads, “Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon (Yakubu) Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC.

“I now want to respond to this. We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because, in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such.

“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.

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“There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.

“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.

“It seems that Bola/Shettima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is a division within the Christendom on this matter.

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“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

READ ALSO: APC Group Protests Muslim-Muslim Ticket, Seeks Shettima’s Replacement

“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people while also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.

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“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.

“Everyone, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “Christian” organizations that churn out falsehoods to the public.

“It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.

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“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government.

“The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.

“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.

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“The other key positions, the Senate President, Speaker, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President, have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions, respectively.

“Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Representatives member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies.

“In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.

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“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra?

“If Kashim Shettima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government?

“Let us make no mistake; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.

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READ ALSO: Don’t Vote Muslim-Muslim Ticket, Northern APC Christians Tell Nigerians 

“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.

“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind.

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“So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north.”

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LP Rejects Defecting YPP Chairman Over Corruption Allegations

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The Labour Party in Nasarawa State has refused to accept the suspended State Chairman of the Young Progressives Party, Bishop Namo, into its fold over corruption allegations.

It was gathered that Namo was suspended by the National leadership of the YPP for allegedly taking a bribe from a desperate politician to illegally substitute the name of one John Mark, who was the party’s candidate for the Akwanga/Nasarawa Eggon/Wamba Federal Constituency, in the 2023 general election.

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The move by the national leadership of the YPP could be the reason Namo declared his support for the Labour Party on September 21, 2022, and claimed that he had been received into its fold.

But the Nasarawa State chairman of Labour party, Alexander Emmanuel, during a press conference in Lafia on Sunday, said Namo will not be accepted into the party until he is declared innocent of the allegations leveled against him in the YPP.

READ ALSO: Why INEC Omitted Our Lagos Candidates’ Names –LP

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He said, “Labour party is a peaceful-loving political party. Our members here in Nasarawa state are known as peaceful people because we do not like trouble.

“We heard that Bishop Namo was suspended by the YPP over some corruption allegations. We do not know if they are true or false at the moment, but we will only accept him into the Labour party when we are sure that he is innocent of the allegations.

“On September 21, so many people called me on phone and said they read on social media that Namo has joined the Labour Party and I told them that the information was not true because none of LP’s electoral ward or local government chairmen across the state has intimated me about such development. So, the general public should disregard that information because it is not correct.”

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READ ALSO: APC Irresponsible, Doesn’t Deserve Re-election, Says Peter Obi’s LP

On the 2023 general election, the LP State Chairman said the party was prepared to take-over power both at the federal and state levels, adding that citizens of the country were tired of bad governance, and are ready to vote out corrupt politicians with their permanent voter cards.

It is a known fact that Nigerians are tired of bad governance in the country, and we are all going to use our PVC’s to vote out bad and corrupt political leaders in 2023. So, I am optimistic that candidates of the Labour party will emerge victorious in the coming elections,” the LP Chairman added.

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APC Irresponsible, Doesn’t Deserve Re-election, Says Peter Obi’s LP

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The Labour Party has discribed the re-election bid of the ruling All Progressives Congress as an attempt to further plunge Nigeria into the abyss of economic disaster.

It said Nigerians who have been on the receiving end of this corruption-ridden administration which has visited nothing but misery on the Nigerian populace, can ill afford to queue behind the APC that has failed on all indices of governance.

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National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Comrade Arabambi Abayomi, said this in Abuja, on Sunday.

He said it remains an undisputed fact that in the first four months of 2022 by the Buhari administration’s revelation through the Budget and Planning Ministry, the cost of debt servicing by “the same stealing Govt has surpassed its revenue in the 4 months under review.”

Abayomi further said, “Remarkably, the clueless and confused APC Govt spent a total of N4.2 trillion between January and April 2022 from the earmarked N17.32trillion for the whole year.

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“In these same four months, a sum of N285bn was earned as oil revenue, this represents a shortfall of 60.9% of the prorated figure of N730.12bn, this is even in spite of the marked rally in crude oil prices in these four months when the Government unabashedly retarded APC Govt casually mentioned that oil production declined to let the oil revenue fall short of the projection.

READ ALSO: Why INEC Omitted Our Lagos Candidates’ Names –LP

“It sounds very irritating, painful and annoying to keep hearing this dying and failed APC Govt repeatedly claiming that the untenable, questionable & unverifiable oil subsidy deductions were responsible with the twin criminal excuse of the inability to increase oil production was responsible for the failure at meeting the projected target of revenue growth in the 4 months.

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“The dishonest and lying APC probably forgot that in 2021 it spent N4.22 trillion on debt servicing which was an increase of 29.3% over the sum of N3.27 trillion spent for the same purpose in 2020 while the revenue only increased by a marginal 9.3 % to N4.39 trillion revenue and in the last 16months APC led Buhari Administration has spent a whooping sum of N6.16trillion. “

He further noted that the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs Patience Oniha confirmed that Nigeria’s total public debt stock representing domestic and external debt stock profile as of March 2022, stood at N41. 60 trillion and N42.84TRN ($103.31billion as of June 30, 2022. “

This, he said, if divided by 200 million Nigerians including 50 million yet unborn totalling 250m population explicitly confirmed that every Nigerian as of June 30th 2022, is indebted to the tune of N170,000 naira each.

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READ ALSO: 2023: Peter Obi Supporters March In Abuja

Abayomi noted that it is worth putting on record that though its Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi has for a long at many forums held that the Govt’s borrowing must be at a statutory 5% of the previous year’s revenue but “the highly clueless and grossly incompetent APC confused and rudderless Government at every juncture ignored this wise counsel.“

The LP spokesperson enjoined Nigerians to demand the immediate resignation of the APC from the seat of Government now that it is not in doubt that it has finally ruined a substantial part of the future of Nigeria with its avoidable act of running the Country into insolvency.

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He further said, “The growing cluelessness of the APC in its incompetent management of the Country’s economy is easily observed from the silly and unending oil subsidy deductions choreographed calculated scam

“One can simply ask how much it cost Dangote to establish the about to begin operation oil refinery was built at a cost of $15bn.

“The Pacific refinery in Ecuador cost $12bn with a capacity to refine 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).”

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“AL ZOUR REFINERY in Kwait was built at a cost of $16bn with a production capacity of 615 ,000 barrels per day.

“ Compare the foregoing against Nigeria with two / three refineries and a refining average capacity of 1.2 million of crude oil per day, how comfortable are you fellow Citizens?

“Presently, these same thieves in Governance, APC are yet proposing #6.7 trillion to fund the carefully hidden agenda called a subsidy.

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“In exchange the $6.7 trillion is equivalent to $15.6 bn This is against the 2023 Budget. However, what will blow your mind is that the Government is planning to yet borrow #11 trillion to support the 2023 Budget expenses.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Identifies Areas Nigeria Must Tackle For Greater Economy

“LP has chosen to advise APC to immediately withdraw all it’s Candidates from the 2023 elections and safe itself the embarrassment of repeated public lies and falsehood that has become its main character in Government.“

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