10 Months Not Enough For APC To Clear PDP’s Mess Of 16 Years – Gov Abubakar

The Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar has told Nigerians to reduce their high expectations of the All Progressives Congress’ led administration, stressing that there is no magician in the party.

He opined that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had used 16 years to create the mess the APC is trying to clean up.

Abubakar, in an interview with The Punch in Abuja, explained that it would be wrong to pass judgment on the APC-led government which has spent less than 10 months in power.

He said, “It is unfair for the APC government to be judged. People have forgotten that the PDP held sway for 16 years. Therefore, people should not expect magic from the APC. We are committed. You can see from the time we took over that even oil, which price has been dwindling, has started to rise due to the efforts of Mr. President.

“So, people should not be impatient. People should give us at least 16 years and see if we would not remove the rot that the PDP had caused. It is unfair for Nigerians to judge us in eight or nine months. I am assuring Nigerians that the APC government at the centre is on course and all the APC governments in the states will deliver Insha Allah.”

The governor further disclosed that he was forced to investigate the immediate past administration in his state in order to recover public property looted by those who betrayed public trust.

He revealed that the investigations so far carried out by a high-powered committee he set up, has recovered looted public property, and also uncover 19,000 ghost workers.

He pointed out that the people of the state deserved to know how their affairs were being managed.

He added, “We are probing the last administration and a lot of revelations have so far been made. Right now, I have a high-powered committee that is investigating all contracts from 2007 to 2015.

“This is after I set up a public property recovery committee under (the chairmanship of) a retired Air Commodore that has succeeded in recovering a lot of property that were earlier carted away.”

He said the ghost workers were discovered after his administration insisted on the use of the Bank Verification Numbers to authenticate those on its payroll.

Abubakar maintained that he had stopped the use of cash to pay salaries.

He said that as from February, all public servants at the state and local government levels should receive their salaries through allocated banks.

He pointed out that his administration would use the findings of its investigating committee as a basis to call in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute the indicted persons and recover the public property in the hands of some individuals.

PDP Group Asks Court To Sack Sheriff And Stop Convention

An aggrieved group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Restart PDP Group, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order to compel Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the national Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to vacate office by the end of March.

The group is also seeking an order of the court to compel the party’s leadership not to hold the forthcoming national convention until the membership register of the party is computerised as stipulated in section 8(11) of its constitution.
In a suit filed by Mr. Emmanuel Nwosu Nwosu and Mr. Eze Chuks Silas on behalf of the Restart PDP Group on March 8, the group demanded that Sheriff and all other national officers of the PDP whose tenure of office will expire in March 2016 should be barred from unlawfully extending their tenure of office beyond the expiry date as provided in the party’s constitution.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) and all other major organs of the party had approved the continued stay in office by the Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC) till May to conduct national convention fixed for May 21, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
But the PDP Restart Group has insisted that the March 31, 2016 exit date for all members of the NWC is sacrosanct and must be obeyed.
The suit, number Cv/1174/16, filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja had Emmanuel Nwosu and Mr. Eze Chuks Silas, as the plaintiff while PDP, Sheriff and the NWC are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

In the copy of the summons made available to journalists, the plaintiffs asked for an order “restraining the PDP, Sheriff and all other national officers of the party whose tenure of office shall expire in March 31, 2016 from further extending their stay in office.
The group further asked for a declaration of the court that Sheriff “having emerged to complete the unexpired constitutionally stipulated four-years term of the last former national chairman of be party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, should vacate office at the at expiry date on March 31, 2016.

It held that any extension of Sheriff’s tenure would contravene the provisions of sections 2; and 47(1) and (6) of the constitution of the party.”
The group specifically asked the court to restrain “the 1st defendant and all its organs from conducting party congress and 2016 national convention or other further national conventions pending the computerisation of the party membership register as stipulated in section 8(11) of the party’s constitution.”
The spokesman of the Restart PDP Group, Chief Jackson Ude, said the suit became necessary to ensure that the PDP allow the constitution of the party prevail instead of “back-door agreement by few selfish individuals in the party.”

“If the PDP constitution says Bamanga Tukur and Adamu Mu’azu’s tenures which Ali Modu Sheriff is concluding expires March 28, so be it. Let him and members of the NWC leave so the Party can cleanse itself and begin on a new slate
“We must go back to the rule of law and the constitution. The impunity within the party is because few individual decided on their own to jettison the constitution for their own selfish interest. All well-meaning members of the PDP must insist on the constitution,” Ude said.

PDP Names Kema Chikwe, Eight Others Founding Mothers

The Peoples Democratic Party has named a former Minister of Aviation, Dr. Kema Chikwe as one of the nine founding mothers of the party.

The listing of the women was the first time the party would be having founding mothers since it was formed in 1998.

Apart from Chikwe, others named include Amb. Esther Audu, Amb. Justina Eze, Mrs Josephine Anenih and Prof. Stella Efta-Atoe.

The rest are Patience Agodo, Sen. Stella Omu, Hajia Inna Chiroma and Hajia Musa Kida.

The memo to name them as the Founding Mothers was sent to the party’s Board of Trustees and its National Executive Committee by the Acting Chairman of the BoT, Sen. Walid Jibrin.

The memo, raised by Jibrin to both BoT and the NEC of the PDP on the matter said, “The following nine women are upgraded to the status of Founding Mothers based in their involvement with the party since inception in 1998/1999.”

This and others as approved by the Board and the NEC on Monday, were part of the recommendations of the Prof. Jerry Gana committee aimed at strengthening the BoT.

Shelle, Olorunoje Continue Fight For Lagos PDP Leadership

The two factions laying claim to the leadership of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday accused each other of running an illegal executive committee.

This was even as the chairmen of both factions described themselves as the authentic leaders of the PDP in the state.

A faction of the Lagos State PDP, led by Capt Tunji Shelle, alleged that the opposing camp headed by Kamal Olorunoje, had surrendered the leadership of the PDP to it during a meeting at the party’s headquarters on Friday.

The spokesperson for the Shelle-led faction, Mr. Gani Taofik, said in a text message sent to our correspondent that Olorunoje’s group surrendered to the leadership of Shelle as the party’s chairman, thus bringing to an end the crisis that erupted in the state chapter of the PDP shortly after the 2015 general elections.

The text message read, “In what appears to be a U-turn of stance, some persons, including the state secretary, the vice chairman (Lagos West); the treasurer, six local government areas chairmen and two ex-officio members made a surprise appearance at the state executives meeting now in session at the state secretariat of the party.

“It is expected that more of the chairman’s antagonists will join the session before it ends.”

But Olorunoje countered Taofik even before the meeting ended. He described Taofik’s message as false meant to deceive the public.

Olorunoje said the surprise appearance of some of his loyalists at a meeting called by Shelle’s personal assistant was meant to explain the constitutional procedure on how a meeting of the party should be called.

He said, “The message sent by the Lagos State PDP Publicity Secretary that members of the executives surrendered to Capt. Tunji Shelle is absolutely false. Surprise appearance was made by some of our members to explain the constitutional procedures to the meeting called today at the party secretariat by Shelle through his personal assistant that it is only the state secretary who can call meetings.

“The majority still believes and stands by our allegations against Capt. Shelle, which were not fabricated but known proven facts. So we still consider Tunji Shelle suspended by the majority and still waiting for the National Executive Committee’s ratification.”

The Punch

Osun PDP Factions Battle For Party Control

As the crisis in the political camp of the opposition in the State of Osun heightens, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is preparing the stage for a battle of wits as Soji Adagunodo and members of his caucus are poised on contesting the chairmanship of the party.

Prior to the decision to go to the field to contest for the post, Senator Iyiola Omisore had attempted to impose one of his followers on the party to prepare ground for his 2018 ambition, but a new forum within the party decided to counter the move, believing the party needed fresh ideas.

At a meeting held in Ikire in Irewole Local Government Council Area of the state, it was gathered that the stakeholders at the gathering could not reach a compromise, as the former senator and defeated governorship candidate of the party was told to hands off the chairmanship of the party and allow every aspirant equal access to the post.

Report gathered revealed that a young man from Adagunodo’d camp pointed at Omisore and accused him of impropriety in the ways the affairs of the party was handled when he was contesting for the governorship seat of the state, especially, the manner with which fund was handled.

The young man was said to have told the senator and other chieftains of the party at the gathering that it was time to allow fresh ideas to thrive in the party and sell it to the state electorate ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial election.

It was gathered that the meeting was dismissed without a concrete decision, hence, the platform was set for campaign among the teeming party loyalists.

As at last week, the Adagunodo group had started moving around to keep its members alerted and seek the support of party caucuses towards winning and becoming the party’s number one man in the state.

According to findings, the group enjoyed the slight support of a member of the House of Representatives in the state, whose end game was to seek the ticket of the party in future elections in the state.

Checks further revealed that the other camps have started strategizing for ways to tackle Adagunodo group and their sponsors and it was believed that the group was made up of young members of the party, whose sole slogan is to allow the party have a fresh breadth.

It was also learnt that the Adagunodo group is working towards bringing the Gani-Olaoluwa group into its core operation against the supporters of Omisore, as a means of strengthening their grip on the party members ahead of the polls.

However, some loyalists of the outgoing chairman were said not to be favourably disposed to the idea of joining the new group, saying most of the caucus members are new hands, who might not enjoy the support of the party’s founding fathers in the state.

Rivers APC Raises Alarm Over Killings Of Its Members

Barely 48 hours after a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State, Franklin Obi, was killed alongside his wife and son, the party has again raised the alarm over the death of two of its members.

The party, in a statement issued yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Finebone, said two of its members were killed, one each in Buguma and Opobo.

The statement said: “Today Monday, March 7 in Buguma Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, PDP thugs working for the illegal Asari-Toru CTC, Sobomabo Jackrich, went on rampage and in the process killed and burnt, Mr. Ofinjite Amachree, an APC chieftain in Asari-Toru LGA. He was attacked by known PDP thugs, beaten to coma before setting him ablaze.

“The APC wishes to also announce that same today, an APC member by name Tubotamuno Wariso was also attacked and beaten to death at Opobo Town, Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area by known PDP/Icelander cult boys.”

The party alleged that the killings were part of the scare tactics of the PDP ahead of the re-run elections in the state.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Felix Obuah, has condemned the spate of killings in the state, especially in his home local government area, ONELGA.

He said he was “shocked and saddened by the reckless killings in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State” which continued over the weekend.

Speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, Obuah described the resurgence of killings among his kinsmen as abominable and sheer madness.

He wondered why all the entreaties by the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to all the warring youths in Omoku during his visit to the area a few weeks ago could be so flagrantly violated as though they gain anything from killing one another.

Describing the weekend onslaught as one too many, he urged the police to beef up security around the area and all parts of the state and further urged them to fish out perpetrators of the heinous acts and bring them to book.

While sympathising with victims of the attack, Obuah advised the police to step up their intelligence gathering in order to prevent further attacks and killings of Rivers people.

“My heart goes out to those that lost their lives and loved ones in this tragic event,” Obuah said.

Obuah further urged politicians to join hands with Wike to keep the State peaceful and secure from the hands of criminals, rather than trading blames and politicking with insecurity of any kind in the state.

He regretted that rather than join in the fight against criminality and insecurity in the state, some politicians, particularly, chieftains of the APC had used it to play politics.

Obuah reiterated his crusade for a free and peaceful State devoid of crimes, stressing that he cannot be part of anything that would take someone’s life.

He promised that the PDP would continue to preach against violence and criminality in the State, and would not support evil in whatever guise.

He recalled that a number of people lost their lives during the weekend attack including one Isaac Ikechukwu Chinedu, PDP Chairman in Obite; Chinedu Saidey, Ward 9 PDP Assistant Secretary from Oboburu Community; Franklyn Nkukuru Obi, APC Ward 4 chairman, his wife and son.

PDP Set National Convention For May 21

The National Executive Committee, NEC of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday resolved to bring the term of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led executive of the party to an end on May 21.

The party’s NEC at the end of its 69th regular meeting also took umbrage at what it described as the large-scale human rights abuses in the country and resolved to stand with all those the party claimed are being oppressed in the country.

The party in furtherance of that goal called for the immediate release of the four PDP members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly who the party alleged are unjustly being held by security agencies of the Federal Government.

The communiqué of the meeting issued by Senator Sheriff and party secretary, Prof Adewale Olapido read in part:

1. NEC approved the time-table for the party’s Congresses and National Convention. Congresses commence on Saturday, April 23, 2016 and culminate in the National Convention on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

2. NEC approved the party’s Guidelines for Congresses and the National Convention. National Convention holds in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

3. NEC after exhaustive deliberations approved the extension of the tenure of office of all organs of the party at all levels until the conduct of Congresses and National Convention. This is however with the exception of Edo and Ondo States.

4. NEC approved the setting up of four special committees in preparation for the National Convention. They are National Convention Committee,
Reconciliation Committee, Zoning Committee and Finance Committee.

B. Erosion of Fundamental Human Rights and Harassment of Opposition In Nigeria.

1. NEC considered the erosion of fundamental human rights and constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty of Nigeria, especially key
leaders of the PDP by the APC-led Federal Government and resolved as follows:

1. Condemned the incessant harassment, maltreatment and unlawful incarceration of PDP leaders at various levels by Government controlled
law enforcement and prosecution agencies.

2. Condemned the Friday, March 4, 2016 invasion and raiding of Ekiti State House of Assembly and subsequent arrest and continued detention of
four PDP members of the House by the Directorate of State Services (DSS) on trumped-up charges.

3. Demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the four PDP members of the Ekiti House of Assembly by the DSS.

4. Resolved to stand in solidarity with all Nigerians whose fundamental rights as citizens are being infringed upon by the Federal Government.

5. Called on the international community and all civil rights organizations world-wide to take note of the denial of fundamental human
rights, abuse of liberties and freedom of individuals; and the rapid descent of Nigeria into totalitarianism.

6. NEC also condoled with the families of its 18 members who were brutally murdered in Ogoni land in Rivers state as well as with the
Federal Government and the Government of Kogi State over the unfortunate death of the late Minister of state for Labour, Barr. James Ocholi, and
resolved to send a high-powered delegation to condole with his family.

7. NEC in session also congratulated all its members who won in their rerun elections, including former Senate President, Senator David Mark.

Hundreds Of PDP Members Defect To APC In Ondo

Over 500 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo East Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The defectors, who were led by Folajimi Adefemisoye, said they parted ways with the present administration because of its deceitful nature.

The new members are supporters of the APC leader in Ondo East/West Federal Constituency, Bola Ilori.

Ilori, who was the former Special Adviser to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Environmental and Sanitation Matters, said the APC is receiving new members daily.

The lawmaker described the party as an amalgamation of many parties, adding that there should be no founder or joiner.

His words: “We are attracting more people into the party daily. We are kick starting the process that would lead us into winning the seat of government next February.

Ilori urged residents to work together to facilitate the removal of the “visionless government” in the sunshine state.

He also urged all governorship aspirants to unite and ensure a peaceful primary.

The APC Chairman in Ondo East, Temitope Akintunde, thanked Ilori for his financial and moral support to the party.

He described him as a good leader with pragmatic approach to political issues.

At the event were two governorship aspirants Jamiu Ekungba and Olusola Oke, APC chieftains including the Ondo Central Senatorial Chairman, Prince Gboyega Adedipe, who received the new members on behalf of the state chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, Chief and Mrs Wale Omojuwa, Mrs Bukola Tenabe, Mrs Kehinde Adeniran and others.

PDP Wins As Ohuabunwa Edges Orji Kalu To Return To Senate

SENATOR Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP has been declared winner of the Abia North Senatorial re-run held last Saturday. He polled 26,009 votes to beat his closest rival, former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu the PPA candidate who polled 25, 814 votes.

The returning officer for the election, Dr. Nduka Nwankwo-Ojike, had earlier declared the election inconclusive on the ground that the margin of lead of 195 votes is far lower than the number of 62,000 registered voters.

He also cited report of ballot box and voting materials snatching, failure of card reader and absence of result sheet in some of the polling units for declaring the election inconclusive.

However, he later returned to Ohafia, some hours later, perhaps after consultations at INEC State headquarters, Umuahia, to declare Mao Ohuabunwa of PDP winner of the election.

In his reaction, the PPA agent, Chief Madukwe Ukaegbu, expressed shock that the re-run “declared inconclusive by 7am has been reversed by12.00pm”, lamenting that “Abia has turned to a place where elections are rigged and manipulated against the wishes of the people”.

But the PDP agent, Udo Uduma, dismissed the position of PPA, saying that there was no provision for inconclusiveness in a re-run election. He explained that whatever the margin of lead was enough to declare the winner.

Meanwhile, in Aba North State constituency, Dr. Blessing Nwagba was declared winner.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated Senator Mao Ohuabunwa on his victory in the Abia North Senatorial

PDP Members Float New “Mega” Party

A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday set up a new political party in Abuja.

The party, which has yet to be registered, is known as the Peoples Mega Party.

The faction is led by Mr. Perry Opara, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Political Adviser Ahmed Gulak.

Gukak recently declared himself as the national chairman of the PDP.

However, many members of the party rejected his leadership.

The new party is believed to have been formed by persons working for aggrieved members of the PDP.

At the National Executive Council/national retreat held by the promoters of the new party, its Acting National Chairman, Opara told the delegates that the party’s mission was to provide a focused and patriotic body.

He said the crisis over the resignation of the former National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu also led to the setting up of the new party.

Opara flayed the national leadership of the party for its refusal to allow someone from the North-East replace Mu’azu after the former governor of Bauchi State resigned after the 2015 general elections.

He said, “We tried to examine why the party lost, how to rebrand it and all that but unfortunately, all efforts were rebuffed.

“We went through the country to see who would represent us. We went to Alex Ekwueme and Sen. Ken Nnamani to lead us.

“At a stage, Ekwueme led a delegation to the national headquarters of the party to allow the North-East have a new chairman.

“For four hours, we couldn’t get any word from the NWC as words of commitment. We all left in anger and in dejection.”

He said unlike what happened in England where the leaders of a particular political party resigned after losing election, leaders of the PDP decided to entrench themselves after leading the party to defeat.

“That is impunity. Some said they were going to make the party strong and make it a strong opposition party, “ he added.

He said the rift between the members of the PDP was the reason why the majority of the people in the new party left the former ruling party.

Opara said, “The major people in the party are former members of the PDP who are disenchanted with the high-level corruption, impunity and high-handedness in the PDP.”

Opara said members of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, were desirous of joining the new party.

However, Opara declined to mention names of the PDP and APC members behind the party, saying no one among them had given permission to make it open.

“Na Gbese I Carry For Head”- Agbaje Speaks On How Elections Left Him Indebted

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, says the last general election turned him into a debtor.

Agbaje, who addressed party members at the PDP’s secretariat in Lagos on Tuesday, insisted that he won the governorship election.

The programme was organised ahead of the party’s forthcoming congresses and national convention.

The PDP governorship candidate, who spoke in pidgin English, however, said that despite the loss of the party in the last general elections, members of the party should shun bitterness and work to rebuild the party.

He said, “Some members were annoyed because the monies meant for the elections were not given to them to prosecute the last polls. I am angry too because the PDP won the last election in the state but was denied victory. I finish election, na gbese, I carry for head.”

In his remarks, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George, attributed the defeat of the party in the last general elections to a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

The PDP chieftain, who lamented that indiscipline had been a major problem of the party, said the party would not tolerate factions under any guise because they were dividing the party.

George said, “Our victory was scuttled by evil characters who preferred the narrow position of the ministerial office than the collective esteem and honour of winning the governorship election in Lagos State.

“We were defeated by the agent provocateurs within our ranks. We were defeated by political renegades who merely invested in their own greedy and selfish interests.

“This cannot continue. Nobody is above the constitution of the party. We must either strictly adhere to the normative pattern of the party rules or we ship out. There will be no exemptions.

“The party is supreme. Enough of all these so-called groupings. Groupings do not build a healthy and strong national party. It is parochial and destructive.”

A former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, urged members of the party to go back to their various wards to start rebuilding the party.

He said the forthcoming congresses would promote legitimacy, adding that imposition of candidates would not be tolerated.