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More Trouble For Atiku As 6 Govs. Move Against Him, Tinubu’s Men Woo Aggrieved PDP Leaders

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The brewing crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), took a new dimension last month following the announcement of Ifeanyi Okowa as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party.

It was gathered that the widening gulf has now pitted six PDP governors, predominantly from the South, against Atiku’s presidential bid.

Words on the street (not confirmed) have some of the governors such as Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Ishaku Darius of Taraba and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, on the list of governors unwilling to support Atiku’s bid.

Confirming the bad blood in the rank and file of the party, Ortom had, during the week, said he might not work for the actualization of Atiku’s presidential bid.

He said: “All that was needed even before the pronouncement, after we did our recommendation, Wike would have been reached out to, he is a human being.

“This is a man who has built the party today in PDP. He has fought all night and all day to see that this party remains together. So, he would have been reached out to, to say that this is the decision we are taking and this is the reason we are making this decision, and I think he would have understood.”

It was also gathered that trouble started when Ayu was elected national chairman of the PDP as against the party leaders’ agreement to zone the chairmanship of the North, while the South, like the All Progressives Congress (APC), would produce the presidential candidate.

Report has it that as soon as Ayu assumed office, he jettisoned the arrangement he inherited and started working for the emergence of Atiku, who is seen as his close political ally, to emerge as the candidate. A source (under anonymity), said despite attempts by governors and other leaders of the party to prevail on Ayu to respect the agreement that he inherited, the former Senate President remained adamant.

“When it was obvious that Ayu wasn’t ready to listen and zone the presidential ticket to the South, governors and other leaders decided to leave the contest open. But they agreed to support a Southern aspirant, but people like Okowa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, and other people, especially from the South-South, started working to ensure that a Northern candidate emerged,” he narrated.

Revealing further, the source said when Wike lost the primary election to Atiku, party leaders agreed that it would be best to pick him as the running mate of Atiku. He revealed the aforementioned governors met with Atiku and other leaders to pick Wike as a popular choice but were ignored by Ayu and Atiku, who are believed to be micro-managed by some powerful Northern leaders. Unable to have their way, he said the six governors decided not to play an active role during his presidential campaign of Atiku. He said though they may not defect to the APC, they’re likely to sabotage the chances of the PDP from within.

“The governors can’t and won’t defect. They understand that clearly. If they defect now, their candidates can’t win elections. Some of them are gunning for a second term. But they’ll sabotage Atiku the same way PDP governors sabotaged President Goodluck Johnathan in 2015.

“If you recall, many governors of the PDP, especially from the North, worked for the emergence of Buhari. They didn’t leave the PDP, but they sabotaged it from within. That’s what may play out in the case of Atiku.

“There is a consensus from Southern leaders that power should return to the region. And many PDP governors are close friends of the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They will work for him. If that happens, hold Atiku and Ayu responsible,” the angry source further revealed.

It was also gathered that Tinubu’s men have started reaching out to the aggrieved governors and other key Southern leaders of the PDP. It was learned that Tinubu’s current vacation in Europe is part of the arrangement to meet with some of the governors who are also out of the country for the summer holiday.

Currently, Wike and Ikpeazu are in Turkey on their annual vacation. Besides Tinubu who is in Europe, other key PDP and APC leaders, are reportedly out of the country too for some clandestine meetings, ahead of the kick-off of the campaigns in September. Despite the festering crisis, Atiku has assured us that he will reconcile the various factions and address the concerns raised. In a Facebook post, he wrote: “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.

“Every governor, legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, 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.”

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ASUU Replies Adamu On Students’ Compensation Comment

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday said it “had no words” for the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

It was earlier reported that the minister of Education during the 47th Session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja said ASUU should compensate students for the period wasted.

Adamu had also said the government would not pay the university workers for the time lost.

Speaking with our correspondent, ASUU National President, Prof. Osodeke simply said, “We have no words for him”.

ASUU had embarked on strike on Monday, February 14, 2022, following what the union tagged as the failure of the government to meet some of the lingering demands of the union.

The union is seeking the release of revitalization funds for universities, deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of university lecturers; release of earned allowances among others.

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Strike: ASUU Must Compensate Students For Wasting Their Time – FG

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Adamu Adamu, Nigeria’s minister of education, has said it is the responsibility of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to compensate students for the time wasted during the six-month strike, and not the Federal Government.

Adamu who spoke on Thursday, also said the government will not concede to the union’s demand to pay lecturers their emoluments for the six months of no academic activities.

The minister suggested that the affected students should “take ASUU to court” to claim damages incurred over the strike period.

The Education minister said this at the 47th Session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the federal government bears no liability to compensate millions of students grounded for six months over lost time.

He also said if the students are determined to get compensated, they should take ASUU to court.

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BREAKING: Lagos Govt. Extends Okada Ban To Mushin, Oshodi, 7 Other LGAs

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The Lagos State Government has extended the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada to four more Local Govt Areas and five Local Council Development Areas.

As gathered, the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed full enforcement from September 1, 2022.

The additional councils where the total Okada ban is pronounced include Kosofe Local Government, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Shomolu Local Government, and Mushin Local Government.

Others are Ikosi-Isherri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

Sanwo-Olu had in May banned the operation of commercial motorcycles on highways and six local governments and nine LCDAs. The governor announced that the ban is “indefinite and total”.

The six local governments listed by the governor are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa. The ban followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of commercial motorcycles.

Sanwo-Olu said the Government decided in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of Okada in the listed areas. He told the police to enforce the order without compromise.

He said, “After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.

“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total.”

Following reactions that greeted the ban’s announcement, the governor on May 24 insisted that the state government would go ahead with its proposed ban on motorcycles, adding that security services and government are on the same page with respect to the banning of motorcycles in the selected areas of the state.

He also assured that the security architecture of the state would not be compromised in any way so that Lagos residents will continue to live their lives and do their business without any fear or favour.

He said, “The security meeting gives us an opportunity for us to review the recent pronouncement on the future banning of Okada (motorcycles) in some selected local governments and LCDAs.

“We are able to put strategies in place. All of us were able to identify a lot of other things we need to do to embark on advocacy and ensure that we communicate effectively and efficiently to citizens. And that is why you see us giving out handbills in all of the major languages that we have in the country.

“There is a radio jingle being sent out to also communicate to people. I am also aware that there is a plan for advocacy on television stations as well.

“It is a people-driven initiative that we all agreed to live and to comport ourselves in a similar manner. And we know what has been the effect of this. So, I am happy that all of us, the security operatives and government are on the same page with this and we will also be going ahead with our plans.”

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