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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

Davido Slams Cousin Dele Adeleke For Writing About His Mother’s Death

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David Adeleke, better known as Davido, a multi-award-winning Nigerian singer, has slammed his cousin, Dele Adeleke, for his bid for governor of Osun State.

This time, the musician chastised the politician for mentioning his (Davido’s) mother’s death in a story about his political ambitions.

Davido mentioned in a series of tweets on Wednesday that his cousin hired individuals to write about him (Davido), but he didn’t seem to mind.

However, the singer noted that his mother raised his cousin, yet the latter wrote about his death.

“Because of your ambition, you have your people write about me (which I don’t care about) but to include the death of my mother in an article; the same woman that raised you. Ok Dele, God will reward you,” Davido tweeted.

The Aye crooner noted that Dele Adeleke also stoop so low to mention the name of another family member, whom Davido simply described as ‘Aunty Vero.’

He said, “The truth hurt you that much you had to go that low to mention your Aunty Vero that cared for you. Well, I don open my crase for the year (sic). Stay tuned.”

Davido had on Tuesday called out Dele Adeleke for eyeing the governorship seat of Osun State, a position which his uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke, was also interested in.

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The Untold Story Of Osun’s APC Crisis’ Degeneration

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According to investigations, the crisis engulfing the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of Osun might not have developed to this point if the current administration in the state had not abandoned fairness, unity, and a common purpose.

Due to the controversies surrounding Governor Oyetola’s emergence and subsequent assumption of office, every attempt was made to bring members of the APC political family in Osun together.

Rather than rebuilding and revitalizing the party for the consolidation of progressive legacies in the state, the Governor and his allies initiated an unprecedented campaign of segregation and exclusivity against members of the party that brought him to power in 2018.

A source who is close to the two camps told journalists that party members who wanted to ensure that the crisis did not degenerate, at its earlier stage, formed The Osun Progressives (TOP), a caucus of the party in a bid to right the wrongs of the factional party chairman, Gboyega Famodun and by extension, the Governor’s camp.

A top party chieftain in the state who prayed not to be named because of the height of the crisis said Governor Oyetola’s strong position not to associate with anyone who believed in his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration was the first in the series of strokes he used to further divide the party.

The party leader explained further: “Since the creation of Osun on the 27th of August, 1991, Osun has been democratically governed with Osun West Senatorial District taking the first shot but ruling for just less than 24 months; Osun East Senatorial District ruling for eight years; Osun Central Senatorial District where Governor Oyetola hails from would have ruled for 15 and half years by the end of his tenure. With three Governors: Chief Bisi Akande, four years; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, seven and half years; and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola who would have spent four years at the end of his first term by 2022 being from the same Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency as Oyinlola.

“In 2018, the agitation for the Osun West Senatorial District to produce the next Governor was fierce and huge. It was so fierce that all party leaders, starting from the elders, Agba Osun caucus of APC, majority of the State Executive Council, and virtually all organs of the party were hell-bent on “WEST LOKAN AGENDA.

“In spite of this clamour, the then Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, was produced as the APC candidate for the State Gubernatorial Election.

“That decision alone fragmented the party such that a section of the party decamped to the ADP, costing APC at least 49,000 votes in the 2018 election. Eventually, the election was declared Inconclusive and a Rerun was ordered, with Alhaji Oyetola eventually winning with a slim margin.

“Although, many factors were responsible for the declaration of the election being Inconclusive, among which was the decamping of the aggrieved section of APC members to the ADP – costing APC over 49,000 votes, the unpopularity of the APC candidate as well as the general clamour for OSUN WEST DISTRICT to field the next Governor were the driving factors for APC’s unusually slim victory in the 2018 guber elections”.

Speaking further, and digging deeper into the unpopularity of the candidate, the source posited, “If we compare the results of Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola in his home local governments and that of his closest rival, the PDP candidate in his home local governments, we will discover the huge difference of 21,525 votes in favour of the PDP candidate. This is significant, considering the fact that, PDP could only lead APC after the first ballot by only 353 votes.

“Instead of considering the above factors as the main factors responsible for the declaration of the election Inconclusive, Governor Oyetola, from the inception of his administration embarked on a campaign of calumny and politics of division within the party. Under the Oyetola administration, whoever is perceived to be associated with or harbour any interest in the legacy of immediate past administration or commitment to his predecessor is alienated from the party and government regardless of their contribution to the success of the party.”

Another albatross, the APC chieftain remarked hanging on the neck of Oyetola and his IleriOluwa camp, was the reversal of the major policies of the Aregbesola administration spitefully. They noted that since the start of his administration, the Governor had publicly shown his disdain for the Minister which Ogbeni was aware of but kept mum in the spirit of party cohesion and political maturity.

“For example, when the Muslim Community in Osun was planning to honour Ogbeni with the title of WAZIRI’L MUMINEEN of the State of Osun, the Governor and his team bluntly showed disdain for the event. Despite the fact that Governor Oyetola was the one that picked the date for the programme, he directed that major functionaries of his government should not attend the programme, while also travelling out of the country himself. The only Local Government Chairman who took an active role in the programme, Hon Akeem Olaoye, then Chairman of Osogbo South LCDA was suspended from office for six months. Till today, the unbridled castigation of APC Party stalwarts by members of Oyetola’s administration is the order the day.”

He said while all these were going on, some concerned members of the party approached the Governor to have a rethink about his actions and inactions against APC stalwarts including the former Governor, but the Governor did not yield.

The APC leader noted, “The issues were brought to the attention of Baba Bisi Akande, the former Governor of Osun, for resolutions, though this effort did not produce a decisive resolution. Thereafter, in December 2020, Asiwaju intervened at a meeting held at the Ila Orangun residence of Baba Bisi Akande, with Baba Akande, Governor Oyetola and Ogbeni in attendance where resolutions were agreed. However, the resolutions taken at that meeting were jettisoned and the leaders have not since then raised a finger.

“When there was no solution in sight, genuine party leaders who love the party and majority of people who suffered before we could restore the progressive party back to power in Osun 12 years ago, came together to form The Osun Progressives (TOP), in order to reorganize the party for future elections.

“Immediately The Osun Progressives (TOP) was formed, the Government started castigating leaders of the group and its members. Though this attack has continued unabated, however on a daily basis, members of TOP have kept increasing.

“Immediately the timetable for Ward Congress was released by the National Secretariat of the APC, the leadership of TOP announced to the whole world that they were ready for the Congress but the Governor’s group said they were not ready for a Congress rather they settled for Consensus. While TOP went for real Congress, the Governor’s group went for a dubious ‘CONSENSUS’.

“The Governor used his position as a member of the Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC with the support of Senator Iyiola Omisore, to influence the Chairman of the Osun Convention Planning Committee, Hon. Elegbeleye to declare the Governor’s group consensus list as duly elected ward Executives; TOP then petitioned the National Secretariat in the form of an Appeal and eventually the Appeal Committee came, they were equally compromised by the Governor, using his influence as a member of CECPC. But one significant thing about the Appeal was during its sitting, known thugs from the Governor’s group came to disrupt the proceedings.

“However, seven leaders of TOP were arraigned before the Magistrate Court instead of arresting and prosecuting thugs. The case was eventually dismissed.

As the crisis continued, especially in relation to the party Congress, numerous party leaders have intervened without any clear resolution in sight.

“On January 8, 2022, the APC National Reconciliation Committee arrives Osun, met with Governor Oyetola’s APC factions, who urged the National Reconciliation Committee to disregard the petitions forwarded to it by TOP.”

While expressing optimism for an end in sight to the crisis, the party chieftain called for a genuine, equitable and fair reconciliation as the chieftain posited, “if with a united party in 2018, the current Governor barely won the election, how will the party perform with a divided house as we approach the coming Guber election”.

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BIG STORY

2023 Presidency: I Won’t Reject Calls To Contest —– Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, says he will not reject calls to contest for the Presidency in 2023.

The former Lagos State governor stated this after a closed-door meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja.

While refusing to officially declare his ambition, the 69-year-old politician said political consultations were ongoing.

“I am not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly and tell Nigerians.

“But the President is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges he might face today. So, don’t muddle the political waters. Consult, make our program known to the people later. And the intention is clear. So you can keep guessing,” Tinubu added.

Endorsing Tinubu for 2023, the leader of the Northern Alliance Committee, Lawal Munir, said the meeting resolved to work for the actualization of the ambition of the APC National Leader to the next level.

Munir, who said they had a fruitful meeting with Tinubu, disclosed that the committee resolved to support him come 2023 due to his superlative qualities.

He added, “The meeting ended very well. We are working for him. We are working for him because we know he will win the election when the time comes.”

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