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Opposition Parties Loss, PDP Gains In Enugu

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The stronghold of credible political opposition in Enugu State has continued to collapse as a good number of the leadership of other political parties have abandoned their parties to join the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The latest of this political re-alignment took place at the weekend when the former governorship candidate for Action Congress (AC) in the April 2007 gubernatorial election, Chief Duben Onyia abandoned the party and returned to PDP.

The ceremony marking Chief Onyia’s return to PDP which took place at Government Field, Udi Local Government Area of the state , witnessed an unprecedented crowd of political heavy weights in both the PDP, AC and ANPP in the state who came to join the PDP.

They included, among others, Chief Anike Nwoga of ANPP, Ozo Ramsey Onyia and Barr. Ray Nnaji of a PDP faction opposed to the governor, and a crowd of their supporters and political associates.

Addressing the people of Udi during the occasion, the state governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, advised all those who are still sitting on the fence to take decision urgently and join the winning and ruling party – the PDP.

Governor Chime described the return of Chief Duben Onyia to the PDP as a welcome development, adding “I am happy that after three years we are in power our brother who left us due to one reason or the other has found time to join us again.”

The Governor made it clear that PDP in Enugu State is one family and not for one person or a section alone but for all the stakeholders and all those who registered with it.

According to him, “with the new spirit of PDP, we will continue to be open and adopt politics of collaboration and consultation to carry everybody along.”

He said that PDP in the state will continue to uphold the party’s manifesto and told those who joined or returned to the party at the ceremony to see themselves as full-fledged members of the party, adding that all their rights and privileges would be accorded them.

On the selection of candidates for the party in the 2011 elections, Governor Chime said that when the time comes, the people and stakeholders will be consulted and superior argument will prevail in selecting the candidates.

He made it clear that candidates will be selected based on the collective interest of the people and those who have the interest of the people at heart.

In his speech while welcoming Chief Onyia and his supporters to the party, the state Chairman of PDP, Chief Vita Abba described the return of the former AC governorship candidate to the PDP as a big catch.

Chief Abba, used the occasion to assure the people of Enugu State that PDP as a party controlling the government of Enugu State and Nigeria would continue to serve them better by meeting up with their wishes and aspirations.

He, therefore, told Chief Onyia to see himself as an integral part of the party and presented him with the party membership card and constitution.

Speaking, Chief Onyia described the event as a day made by God and said, “I am not decamping to PDP but I am coming back to the house I helped to build some years ago as a foundation member.”

Chief Onyia explained that his return to the PDP was without conditions but to be part of the success story of the administration of Governor Chime in the state.

According to him, “the style of leadership of Governor Chime in Enugu State is what we want and what the people expected. I have not come to cause trouble or struggle for power but to support the Governor and his good works in the state.”

Barrister Ray Nnaji, Chief Anike Nwoga and Ozo Ramsey Onyia in their separate speeches spoke very well about the Governor, adding that they are at the ceremony in good faith.

The Chairman of Udi Local Government Area, Mr. Bona Ude and the PDP Chairman for the Council Area, Mr. Donald Ikeweta, described the event as sign of more good things to come and the understanding among the people of the area.

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I’m Not Against Araraume’s Appointment – OBJ

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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned attempts by those he called “political busybodies” to drag him into issues bothering on the appointment of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
The former president who spoke through his lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, said stories on some social media platforms accusing him of being responsible for the “immediate suspension” of the inauguration of the new NNPC board of directors inauguration were false.
Some social media platforms had claimed that Obasanjo influenced the suspension of the board’s inauguration because he wanted Araraume to step down as chairman of the board.
But this was despite an explanation by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, that the inauguration would be held at a later date.
Reacting however, Oba-sanjo’s lawyer, Abayomi, in the statement, said the former president was preoccupied with efforts to better the lots of Nigerians locally, internationally and economically and as such had no time for frivolities.
Abayomi said whatever misunderstanding between Araraume and Obasanjo had in the past was over and that both had been in touch with each other and would continue to do so in the interest of the country.

Describing Araraume as an astute businessman and leader who would certainly handle the NNPC well, the statement warned against attempts by certain individuals to drag Obasanjo into the conflict in Imo State politics.

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I Have No Link With APC – Fayose

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Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has described as “campaigns of calumny” by some aspirants, linking him with the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, as “dead on arrival,” pointing out that it will not guarantee anyone the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.
The former governor who reiterated his endorsement of the immediate past PDP chairman in the State, Otunba Bisi Kolawole, declared that he owed no one no apology as he was convinced that he (Bisi Kolawole) has what it takes to win the election and govern Ekiti better.
In a statement on Friday, by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said those moving from house to house in Abuja, calling him names would by now be celebrating him and calling him “Saint Fayose” if they were the ones he was supporting.
The statement issued on Friday, read; “Linking me with APC and Tinubu in the desperation of some aspirants to clinch our party ticket, is dead on arrival.
“In and out of office, Nigerians can attest to my commitment to the PDP and opposition to the APC government in defence of the ordinary Nigerians.”
“We have seen sitting governors defecting to APC, but in and out of office, I remained steadfast with the PDP even in the face of undeserved harassments.
“When did visits and interactions of our political leaders across party lines become evidence of anti-party?
“As for the race for the PDP governorship ticket, I want to make it expressly clear once again that I have no apologies for supporting Bisi Kolawole.

“Those going from house to house in Abuja, looking for shortcuts to the governorship ticket should rather go back to Ekiti and seek the support of the delegates who will decide the fate of our party’s aspirants.
“To our party stakeholders, whenever they come to you in Abuja with tales by moonlight about Fayose, let them be reminded that I am not an aspirant, but cannot be wished away. They should rather go back home and seek the necessary support as all politics is local. No shortcut!
“Eni ifa o to si lo npe ni haram (It is those who did not get the endorsement that are calling it haram).
“If they were the ones I endorsed, I will be ‘Saint Fayose.’
“I want to make it expressly clear once again that I stand with Otunba Bisi Kolawole, without apologies because he has what it takes to govern Ekiti and with the support of God and Ekiti people, he will surely win.”

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Accountability’ll Be PDP’s Watchword – Ayu

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The National Chairman-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu, has said the party under his leadership would remain accountable.
He also expressed preparedness to review the reports of various committees set up by the outgoing Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and ensure that their recommendations were implemented.
Ayu said this while presenting the communique of the two- day national retreat held for newly elected NWC members and other party stakeholders, in Abuja, on Thursday.
In response to a question on the concerns raised by a former National Chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilezie Nwodo, about the lack of transparency in the management of party funds by successive administrations, Ayu promised to be different.
Nwodo, who left office in 2011, had in a paper titled ‘Political Party Funding,’ which he presented during the retreat, said, “…today, we seem to have lost it. I handed over eleven billion in fixed deposits and eight hundred million in the current account when I left as National Chairman after seven months.
“I don’t see what was done with that money. Millions were raised to finish our National Headquarters; we don’t seem to have a trace of where all that money went. Our headquarters is yet to be completed. Today we don’t even have a party account.
“We have to get back to strict monitoring of our party accounts. Our internal audit department needs to be strengthened and supported by the party leadership.
“Very strict sanctions must be imposed on mismanagement of party funds; I suggest that we include inviting EFCC to probe erring officers and members and prosecution of those found culpable. This is the only way to create deterrent”.
Responding to a question on the subject, Ayu said, “by the time we come to office, accountability will remain our watchword and I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“The outgoing NWC has set up different committees to look into different areas, we shall take up all the reports, review them, look at the facts and then attend to each issue according to the facts available to us.
“I want to assure you that we shall try to clean our house no matter who is going to be affected, we shall try to clean our house following due process and that due process also includes exhausting all internal conflict resolving mechanisms before we bring in any external intervention when we cannot resolve the issue”.
Earlier, while reading the communique, Ayu observed among other things that, “the terrible security situation in the country threatens Nigeria’s corporate existence, the collapse of national security has made Nigeria to begin sharing sovereignty with terrorist gangs and rogue elements.
“The lack of vision, capacity, ability and competence on the part of the ruling APC has driven Nigeria towards a failed state. Through incessant borrowings, the Muhammadu Buhari regime has returned Nigeria to the status of ‘a beggar and debtor-nation.”
In order to regain public confidence, the communique recommended that, “the incoming Ayu-led NWC of the PDP should hold periodic retreats and round-table dialogues to clarify its position on issues affecting the country, the NWC should commence sustained dialogue with the Nigerian Electorate before the next round of elections.

 

“The PDP should engage different segments of the voting population, especially to encourage youths and women demographics in the rescue.

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