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Mass Defection Will Rock PDP, APC Soon, Wike Predicts

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says mass defection will rock both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) between now and December, as politicians realign ahead of the 2023 general election.
The governor said although defection is an inherent part of the democratic process, those who defected from the PDP lack integrity and character.
He stated this at the inauguration of reconstructed William Jumbo, Ernest Ikoli, Eleme, Akassa, Abana, and Mbiama streets in Old Government Residential Area of Port Harcourt, last Wednesday night.
“People are defecting; more will defect. Defection is part of our electoral process. As you are defecting, people are coming in. There are those who are angry there (in APC), they’ll come (to PDP). You that is angry here (in PDP), you will go. That is the game.”
The governor stressed that insinuation that some governors and others who have defected from PDP to APC were being intimidated, is not tenable.
He maintained that those who have decided to jump ship lack conscience, character and integrity.
“If it is by provocation, if it is by intimidation, if it is by coercion, then Rivers State won’t have been in PDP. Because, if there is one state that has been intimidated, if there is one state that has been punished by the ruling party, it is Rivers State. Yet, nobody can push us, nobody can intimidate us to leave the hope and the future of this country, and that is the PDP.”
He remarked that those claim PDP has been unfair to them should also realise that the party had at different times wronged Rivers State, which accounts for its highest votes since 1999.
But despite this, the state has remained steadfast and committed to the ideals of the PDP.
“PDP has done a lot of wrong things to the Rivers State, but I cannot say we will leave PDP. We will be there and fight the war. The interest of Rivers State will be fought inside PDP, we will not leave anywhere.
“Even if the whole states abandon PDP, Rivers State will not abandon PDP because we are people of integrity, we are people of character. Anybody who does not have integrity, who does not have character, cannot say he is from Rivers State.”
The governor observed that it is worrisome that some prominent members of the PDP who are aspiring to be presidential and vice presidential candidates, have remained mute instead of speaking out against the maladministration that has characterised the APC-led Federal Government.
Wike dismissed President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion that the reason why Zamfara State Governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle defected to the APC was because of the good things happening in the party.
According to him, “APC has wrecked Nigeria and those defecting from PDP are leaving a party that offers hope to one that offers Nigerians none”.
The Rivers State governor also accused some state and National Assembly lawmakers of plotting against him and conspiring with extraneous forces to undermine the state.
Wike revealed that he is aware of their various clandestine meetings in Abuja, and warned of dire consequences if they don’t desist from their nefarious scheme.
The governor said one essence of bringing prominent personalities to flag-off and inaugurate projects in the state, particularly at night is to prove to the world that, indeed, Port Harcourt is safe.
He said though some members of the opposition, including his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi have being living in denial of the infrastructural transformation taking place in Rivers State, Mbiama Street where he (Amaechi) resides in Port Harcourt is among the streets just inaugurated.
In his remarks, the past President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Onueze Chukwujinka Joe Okocha, SAN, who inaugurated the reconstructed streets in Old GRA, Port Harcourt, applauded the governor for the great work his administration is doing in Rivers State.
Okocha urged Wike not to be distracted by the antics of the opposition.
The state Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi explained “the reconstructed streets have a combined length of 3.5km, an average road width of 7.3m with 5.4km of surface drains and a subsurface storm drain 615m long buried about 2.8m below the surface of William Jumbo Street.
“They all have street lights and are properly marked for good traffic management and control.
“This project is much more than an improvement in the character of the road and its design speeds but also a major improvement in the character of the neighbourhood impacting considerably on the value of real estate and security in the area.
“Most importantly, these roads have been built to the highest standards suited to our peculiar terrain which guarantee a life span in excess of 50 years, freeing up funds for other needs in the future.”

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N’Delta Leaders Insist On Resource Control, Self-Determination

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Some leaders of the Niger Delta have demanded granting of self-determination to their region to take total control of its resources and end years of alleged exploitation, deprivation and slavery of their people in the Nigerian state.
The leaders, who lamented that the people of the Niger Delta had been talking and agitating for resource control and restructuring of the country through conferences but to no avail, said the time had come for them to take their destiny in their hands.
In a keynote address at a conference by the Niger Delta Alternative Convergence (NDAC) to endorse the eight-point demand in the “Niger Delta Manifesto for Socio-Ecological Justice” in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, former Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Prof. G. G. Darah, said: “From the challenges we are facing in the Niger Delta region, we seem to assume that the Federal Government is on our side whereas the Federal Government is the number one enemy of the Niger Delta.
“Today, people are anxious to be the president of Nigeria because there is the Niger Delta oil for them to squander. What this means is that the political system is all organised for taking control of the oil money, to share it among the friends of the president. All the parties are organised gangs to loot and plunder the Niger Delta resources.
“That is the country we are in. Therefore, we must assume that whatever government that comes to office in 2023 will not be different from the past ones since 1960. Nigeria has been designed to steal our resources and share. They gather monthly in Abuja to share the money. All our presidents, now and past, occupied office for the purpose of plundering our resources, otherwise our own son would have done something. Jonathan, when he was president, had no capacity to touch any bad section of the constitution against the Niger Delta”.
According to Darah, “Nigeria exists today because of Niger Delta oil and Nigeria is the only country in the world that has colonised its people.
“Now, we are pleading that the Federal Government should implement the manifesto. We have to do it by ourselves because if you look at history, it is not today that our people have been fighting against injustice. Jonathan called for a national conference and all the issues raised could not be implemented. So, what we are doing now is the authentication of the national conference for Nigerian people.
“The structure of Nigeria is against us and to build a new Nigeria will take time. We need a Niger Delta that will be in charge of its own resources and aim to be a country of its own, a sovereign country. Some ethnic groups in the Niger Delta are bigger than some European countries and our ancestors in their grave will not forgive us that we succumbed cheaply. We are well populated”.
Prof. Lucky Akaruese of the Ishekiri nationality aligned with the position of Darah, noting that many countries of the world like East Timo and Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, Denmark and Norway, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union that split into many countries are products of negotiations, so the Niger Delta and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
A prominent traditional ruler from Rivers State backed the demand for a sovereign state.
“I agree with Prof. Darah that we should clamour for Niger Delta Republic, and the manifesto we are signing today, we should speak with one voice. We have been talking and now it is only action that will bring result. There is nothing the Niger Delta has gotten without struggle.
“The manifesto will remain a document if we do not put it to action. The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) presented a 16-point agenda but only two were implemented. So, we need to take a deliberate action on some of the issues we raise here.”
The convener of NDAC and Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Comrade Nnimmo Bassey, said: “The convergence also aims to produce an inclusive Niger Delta Manifesto for Socio-Ecological Justice highlighting needed alternatives for transformation and social mobilisations for resource justice. It is hoped that NDAC will provoke a platform for convergence of communities in the region to galvanise action for needed changes for re-source access, including through demands for legislative changes, debates on the Petroleum Industry Bill and for critical attainment of re-source democracy – defined as the right of a people to live in harmony with nature and to retain a right to use, or not use, the gifts of nature.”
He stated that 64 years of oil extraction had brought untold misery and cut life abysmally low in the region.
“Things cannot continue this way. We have demands and resolves in the proposed Niger Delta Manifesto shared to delegates. Let’s all rise to be counted, demand that politicians declare their environmental plans before they gain our votes. Let us demand real climate action, including a halt to gas flaring and a restoration of our ecosystems. Let us demand action to stall the washing away of our communities. After 64 years of a nightmare, it is time to wake up, it is time to demand socio-ecological justice. We are not calling for charity, we are calling for justice”.
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, and the National Chairman of PANDEF, Senator Ibok Essien, clamoured for restructuring and total control of resources.
They pleaded with the people of the region to get their PVCs to vote people that will carry out restructuring of the country.

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Nwuke Dismisses Wike’s Alleged Plan To Dump PDP

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke, last Friday, dismissed the speculations that Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, would soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party.
There have been insinuations that Wike might join either the Labour Party or the New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP) ahead of the 2023 general election.
This is coming after the governor met with the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi; and the presidential candidate of NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Port Harcourt, last week.
While speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt,Nwuke said Wike has no plans to dump the PDP for any other party.
He further stated that the Rivers State governor would not defect considering the large followership he has built across the country.
Nwuke said, ”It just tells you who Governor Wike is. This is the first time he is playing national politics. But you can see that Wike has entered the minds of a lot of Nigerians. They are taking him seriously. Even the performance at the convention where the North rallied behind the scene to stop him, did not end in disgrace.
“So, if you look at the outcome of the convention, you will know that Governor Wike controls a sizable number of PDP members. A huge segment of the party is behind him. When you look at the gap between him and Atiku Abubakar and the gap between him and the rest, that should tell you something that the one we have been talking about has become notable when it comes to Nigeria’s politics.
“Frankly, he has followership in the North-Central; followership in the South-West; followership in the South-South and followership in the South-East. So, I am not surprised that a lot of people are coming to Port Harcourt, and saying, ‘Governor, why not come fully into the campaigns?’ They need him in the PDP house, and I am glad that Governor Wike has said ‘I am not going anywhere’.”

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2023: Guber Candidate Faults INEC On APC, LP Placeholders 

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in Delta State, Engr Igbini Emmanuel, has said it is not out of place for presidential flagbearers to choose placeholders, especially as it conforms to the new Electoral Act that has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that some presidential flagbearers picked vice Presidential candidates as placeholders, prompting reactions from cross sections of Nigerians.
Odefe said INEC erred by discrediting the candidates that picked placeholders in the build up to the general election in 2023.
He said, “As a political activist and a former three-time governorship candidate, I am compelled to react to the recent claim by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through its National Commissioner, Barr. Festus Okoye, that there exists no place in Nigerian Constitution and Legal Framework for what is now described as “placeholders” in Nigeria’s electoral process specifically as it concerns submission, change or substitution of names of candidates for general elections by registered political parties.
“This claim by INEC is a fundamental falsehood deliberately made by it to mislead Nigerian voters and to cast aspersion on some political parties like APC and Labour Party which publicly disclosed that the names they submitted to INEC as their Vice Presidential Candidates were meant only to beat the June 17, 2022 date set by INEC but which they may change or substitute within the window provided by the sections 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2021, as amended to do so.
“Contrary to INEC’s claim, I wish to state unequivocally that actions taken by APC and LP are constitutional and in line with sections 29, 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2021, as amended. The use of the word, “Placeholder” is merely misinterpreted by INEC. “Placeholder” simply means that it is not substantive but temporarily standing in for something or someone else. The word is used in solving Algebraic Expression and Equations in Mathematics.
“Let me also inform Nigerians that this idea of changing or substituting candidates for general elections have been in our electoral laws of 2006, 2010 and now 2021, as amended.
“Furthermore, it is imperative for me to inform Nigerians that changing or substituting candidates for elections is not limited to only Vice Presidential Candidates as we now seem to focus on. In fact, all names so far submitted by Political Parties to INEC as Presidential, Vice Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly Candidates are all “Placeholders” and can be changed or substituted before the 90 days to date of election, after which, no change or substitution is allowed except in case of death of a candidate.
“In conclusion, APC and LP have not acted against the Constitution and Electoral Act of Nigeria”.

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