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PDP Splits As Two Chairmen Emerge, Wike, Secondus Divide NWC

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Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was on Tuesday factionalized with the emergence of two acting national chairmen.

The two Deputy National Chairmen of the party, Yemi Akinwonmi (South) and Senator Suleiman Nazif (North), in separate announcements on Tuesday, claimed to be the party’s acting National Chairman.

It was gathered that while Akinwonmi was loyal to the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, Nazif had the support of the suspended National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.

A Rivers State High Court presided over by Justice O. Gbasam of the Degema Judicial Division vacation court, sitting in Port Harcourt, had on Monday granted an order restraining Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the party.

This was sequel to the consideration of an ex parte application in suit No: PHC/2183/CS/2021 filed by Ibeabuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umezirike Onucha against Uche Secondus (1st defendant) and the PDP (2nd defendant).

On Tuesday, Akinwonmi issued a statement declaring himself as the acting national chairman in the absence of Secondus, citing Section 45 (2) of the PDP Constitution.

His statement read in part, “Our attention was drawn yesterday evening (Monday) to a court order, which purports to restrain our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, from summoning and presiding over the meetings of the organs of the party.

“Section 45(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party empowers me to summon and preside over party meetings in the absence of the national chairman.

“In the foregoing circumstances, as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, after consultation and in the exercise of the aforesaid powers, I hereby deem it fit and proper to postpone the National Working Committee meeting earlier scheduled for today (Tuesday) until further notice to allow for broader consultation in the overall interest of our party.”

A few hours after the statement, members of the party’s NWC under the leadership of Nazif stormed the PDP national secretariat in company with armed policemen and went straight into the NWC conference room for a meeting that started around 2 pm.

Soon after the meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, Nazif addressed the media.

He said, “Members of the NWC will recall that this morning, we were in possession of a valid court order from a high court in Degema, Rivers State, issuing an order removing Secondus as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as the national chairman of our great party.

“A court has also ordered that from August 23, 2021, Prince Uche Secondus should stop parading himself as the national chairman. The NWC hereby complies fully with the court order.

“Consequently, the NWC hereby calls for an emergency NEC meeting on Friday, August 27, 2021, at 10 am prompt to deliberate on matters affecting the party. You are all aware that the PDP is a law-abiding party, the party that follows due process. So, we have received this order and this is it.

“And in line with the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party, and I quote Section 35, 3 a-d, ‘Functions of a deputy national chairman: there shall be two deputy national chairman, one shall come from the northern part, while the other from the southern part of the country. The deputy national chairmen shall perform the following functions: 1) assist the national chairman in the discharge of his duty. 2) Perform such other functions as may be assigned to them.

“3) In a result of resignation, removal, death, incapacitation or absence of the national chairman, a deputy national chairman from the region part of the country where the national chairman originates from shall assume office as the national chairman in acting capacity without prejudice to Section 47 (6) of the Party Constitution. 4) In the absence of the national chairman and the deputy national chairman from the region or part of the country where the national chairman originates from, the other deputy national chairman shall act as the national chairman without prejudice to Section 47 (6) of this Constitution.

“On this note, distinguished NWC members, I hereby take full charge of the Peoples Democratic Party as chairman in an acting capacity.”

While explaining his reason for taking over, Nazif said, “We have waited this morning for the deputy national chairman (South), who has been incapacitated and who has not been attending the NWC meetings in the last nine months. As you know, in the absence of the deputy chairman (South), I take full charge; so, I am hereby calling for an emergency NEC meeting for August 27, 2021, by 10 am prompt to deliberate on the new development.

“And I believe all the leaders of this party, the owners of this party, will be in attendance and that our governors and former presiding officers will be part of the NEC meeting to deliberate on all pending issues.”

In response to a question as to whether there was now a division among members of the NWC, he said, “Let me make this very clear that this meeting was called for 2 pm and like I said, the deputy national chairman, South, has been incapacitated and did not attend any meeting in the last nine to 10 months as far as the NWC is concerned.

“He has not been in communication with any member of the NWC for the last 10 months. This party must continue its process.

“And if I am not available, someone else will take over. If the national chairman is not available, someone will take over; if the deputy national chairman, South, is not available, the deputy chairman, North, will take charge.

“This is the resolution that was passed by the expanded caucus. And this was the resolution passed by the NWC at our last meeting and we all agreed that there would be a meeting today, a meeting that was supposed to be presided over by the national chairman; unfortunately, the court order came from a competent court and stopped the chairman from acting as the chairman of the party.”

Those who attended the meeting presided over by Nazif included the PDP National Secretary, Senator Ibrahim Tsauri; National Auditor, Adamu Mustapha; National Vice Chairman, South-South, Dan Orbih; his South-East counterpart, Ali Odefa; National Vice-Chairman, South-West, Toafeek Arapaja; and National Youth Leader, Sunday Ude-Okoye.

BIG STORY

My Administration Has Brought Visible Developments To The State, Lagosians Will Re-Elect Me In 2023 – Sanwo-Olu

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said he is confident that the electorates in the state will re-elect him to steer the affairs of the state for another four years given his record of achievements.

He spoke during a chat on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics program.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, alongside 14 others, will be jostling for the governorship seat in 2023.

He said his administration had brought in development that can be seen and felt by the state’s residents.

“I managed the emergency of the city. Today alone, there are emergencies that have been reported today alone. I’ve recruited over 650 fire service men. I’ve bought 64 brand new trucks that you will come, I will invite you for commissioning.

“I spent over a billion to take off the refuse in Lagos. We’re creating a sanitary landfill site. That’s what we’re doing. We’re building 1618 kilometres of rigid pavement road that runs to tens of billions. We’re building the biggest market in the country because that’s what we’re doing.”

When he was asked if he saw one of his challengers, Olajide Adediran of the PDP, and his deputy, Funke Akindele, a filmmaker, as a threat, Sanwo-Olu said he is the most preferred candidate because he is more experienced.

“So you know, like I said if you have an emergency, who would you call? What are your chances? Do you call the man that has the experience that has gone through the trenches before that has lived with it that understands what the issues are,” he said.

“That appreciate what challenge you have even at 3 a.m. or will you leave your chance to someone that doesn’t know where the dial is or that doesn’t even know what the issues of governance are? This is Lagos.

“This is an informed audience. This is not a tea party. We’re talking about real governance. We’re talking about the lives of 20-plus million Nigerians.

Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos cannot be left in the hands of someone who “cannot run a business that has 100 people.”

The Governor noted that traffic robberies and accidents have significantly reduced following the directive on motorcycle (okada) transportation.

Okada riders were banned by the governor from plying in six local government areas in the state – Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa and nine local government councils areas.

It is not the first time the government would impose the measure.

In January 2020, the government banned the operation of motorcyclists in 15 local councils across the state.

The governor said that since he gave the directive to restrict the motorcyclists in certain areas of the state, residents have written to him commending the development.

“We’ve also seen a significant drop in accidents. You know, we don’t see people being lame, you know, cutting off limbs in our hospitals again, because these were reckless driving that usually terminate people’s life, unexpectedly,” he said.

“We’ve seen tremendous improvement in that statistics to support. In terms of death drop in the last two months. At the peak of it, we saw about 550 Okada-related accidents at the peak of it in January for over a month.

“Now, it’s coming down to less than 100 direct Okada accidents that we’ve seen, from our hospitals.”

On Amotekun, Sanwo-Olu said there is no need to replicate the Western Nigeria Security Network called in Lagos.

He said the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corp is a replica of the security outfit which “works closely” with the Nigerian Police Force.

“We have the Lagos State Neighbourhood Watch, which are almost 7,000 men that have been trained, that have been energized and are working day to day in the state,” he said.

“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”

Since its establishment in 2020, the security outfit has been operational in five states in the South-west except for Lagos.

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BIG STORY

Buhari’s Nephew In House Of Reps, Dumps APC, Reason Undisclosed

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A member of the house of representatives, Fatuhu Muhammed, has resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Muhammed, who is President Buhari’s nephew, represents Daura/Sandamu/Mai’adua federal constituency in Katsina state in the lower legislative chamber.

In a letter dated July 13 and addressed to the ward chairman of Sarkin Yara A ward in Daura, Mohammed said his resignation from the party takes immediate effect.

The lawmaker did not give any reason for leaving the party.

“This is to notify you that I have resigned my membership from the All Progressives Congress (APC) with immediate effect commencing from Wednesday the 13th day of July 2022,” the lawmaker said.

“Attached herewith is my Party Membership Registration slip with slip No.KT/DRA/10/00002, while I thank you and the Party for the opportunity given to me to serve the interest of the people of the Daura/Sandamu/Mai’Adua federal constituency while working with the party, accept my best wishes please.”

The letter was copied to the chairman of the APC in Katsina.

Muhammed had, in May, lost his bid to seek re-election into the house of representatives on the APC platform.

Meanwhile, in April, Ahmed Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north, resigned his membership of the ruling party.

The senator, who represents the president’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita is not a bandwagon politician,” Abdulkadir Lawal, Kaita’s aide, had said in a statement.

“His exemplary and robust representation in the Nigerian Senate is to the admiration of all, and with significant, visible impacts in the areas of infrastructural and human capital development across the three Senatorial zones of the state. There is room to do more.

“The fresh page from the decision to join the PDP represents the ideals of representativeness in the mandate, goodwill and an even more determined desire and opportunity to provide succor, comfort and the much-needed dividends of democracy to the people.”

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BIG STORY

Osun Poll: My Mandate Can’t Be Stolen Again, My Victory Will Be Defended, Retained – Adeleke

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The Governor-Elect of Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke has vowed to defend and retain his electoral victory before the election petition tribunal, declaring that his emergence as Governor-elect is entrenched in total compliance with the law and will of the people.

In a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, the Governor-Elect declared that the July 16th election was one of the most transparent election in recent Nigerian history, assuring that people’s mandate freely given against overwhelming odds will be defended and validated.

According to the statement, Senator Adeleke said PDP legal team is taking appropriate action on the filing, calling on his supporters at home and abroad to remain calm as “this divine victory cannot be stolen through the backdoor…”

“I urge the good people of Osun state who voted massively to reject bad governance to remain calm. We are doing the needful to defend their mandate. We will do all within our powers to ensure judicial validation of our victory as this is an election globally certified as a great advancement in electoral transparency and integrity.

“We also want to reaffirm our faith in the judiciary as a bastion of hope and justice. We have unshakeable trust in God that this election petition shall end in another landmark victory for us and the resilient people of Osun state”, the statement concluded.

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