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PDP Screens Aspirants As Atiku Gets Campaign Outfit

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced its screening for candidates contesting various positions across the country ahead of the 2011 general elections.

The screening which started on Tuesday  was done in the zones and the 36 states, including the Federal  Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. This will enable the party to choose those qualified and capable to go for the party primaries slated next January in the states.

At the south-south zonal secretariat, in Port Harcourt, governors, Senate and the House of Representatives aspirants from Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Cross River and Edo States were still being screened while state Assembly aspirants were screened at their various state party secretariats.

The on-going screening in Rivers State, both at the south-south zonal PDP secretariat and the state party secretariat has been peaceful and orderly.

Majority of the aspirants have been screened although the screening committee of National Executive Council of the Party have refused to make statements concerning the exercise.

The publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Mr. Celestine Ebemeri confirmed that the exercise has been peaceful since it started and commended aspirants for their conduct so far.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had in November fixed January 15 for the end of party primaries while December 1, gave room for political parties to commence public campaigns.

The timetable which was released by the commission and signed by the chairman, Prof. Attaihiru Jega also fixed April 2011 for the Senate and House of Representatives Election while the Presidential election comes up on the 9th of April. The Governors and State House of Assemblies will have the elections on the 16th of April.

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has restructured his campaign organization in the South/South geo-political zone with  Prof Sam Oyovbaire, as the new zonal Coordinator.   The reorganisation came two weeks after the South South cordinator and  Commisioner of Special Duties, Davies Ikanya Ibiam and Commissioner for Urban and Rural Development in Rivers State Bar.Gna Osima resigned their positions in the campaign structure.   Oyovbaire an indigene of Delta State was before the emergence of Atiku as northern consensus candidate the Director of Policy & Strategy of the IBB Campaign Organization.   Chief Eze Chukuwuemeka Eze, the South-South Publicity Secretary of Atiku Campaign Organisation said in a statement to our Political Correspondent in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that Oyovbaire accepted the appointment.   The Tide recalled that Dr Davies Ibiam-Ikanya and Mr Osima Gina both Commissioners in Rivers State were last month announced as South/South and Rivers State campaign coordinators for Atiku but the two later resigned two days accepting the offer.     Three deputy zonal coordinators also named are Prince Tonye Princewill (Rivers and Bayelsa States), Chief Fred Sowho (Edo and Delta States) and Dr. Essien Ibok for Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers States.   A cleric Bishop Boma Lawson was appointed as South-South Zonal Secretary while Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is the Zonal Publicity Secretary.   Eze in the statement said that Dr Edith Wele former Women Leader of Rivers State Action Congress of Nigeria was appointed the State Coordinator for Rivers State with Messrs Onengiye Mbrelolomari as Rivers State Organising Secretary.   He noted that members of IBB, Guasu, Saraki teams were fused into five committees to assist the campaign organization in the onerous task of mobilizing support for Atiku.   The publicity secretary disclosed that both the south/south and Rivers campaign organizations have been inaugurated to achieve its goals in 2011 election.

King Banigo

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Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy

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The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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…Vows To Take Over Anambra

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.

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