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PDP Crisis: Sacking NWC Portends Danger For Party, Secondus Warns

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The National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, counselled party organs to resist the temptation to do away with the current leadership of the party, noting that doing so portends ills for the party.
Secondus has had a week to forget, following persistent calls for his removal from several quarters, including some members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Addressing members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party at the Wadata Plaza national secretariat of the PDP, yesterday, Secondus acknowledged that those picking holes with his management style were entitled to do so but pleaded that misunderstandings should be resolved internally.
While reminding leaders of the party that his leadership has less than four months to go, the PDP boss called on all organs of the party to come together in the interest of the party.
He said, “Anything contrary to the smooth running of our party towards the remaining three months will not be good enough for our party. Any dislocation will cost an infraction that will result to several unknown issues that we may not be able to come out of.”
According to him, the past three years and eight months he has been in the saddle have been very peaceful, adding that the issues now rocking the party are not new.
In a veiled dig at his detractors, Secondus pointed out that forms for the various leadership positions will soon be on sale, saying, “After the main state congresses, both the public and our party are looking forward to a smooth and peaceful convention, which is coming up in December. We believe the preparation is being done in the office of the National Organizing Secretary. Soon, the schedule of events, the timetable and other things shall be presented before the Caucus, BoT, NEC and all organs of our party for action leading to the convention.”
He lauded incumbent NWC, saying for the first time, leadership was provided without rancour until recently, even as he informed the party leaders that the seven national officers who earlier in the week tendered their resignations, have been attended to.
The PDP boss further called on leaders of the party to forge a united and formidable force to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election cycle.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, has called on the leaders of the party to be guided by the crises, which led to the ouster of past chairmen, with a view to drawing sufficient lessons.
In his submission at the meeting, Walid bemoaned the current crisis, regretting that while Nigerians were earnestly looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from the stranglehold of the ruling APC, the party itself was engulfed in needless squabbles.
He called on members to unite ahead of the 2023 elections, saying, “in order to achieve complete success, we must do away with any personal interest and unnecessary in-house fighting aiming at killing the objectives set by the party.”
This is even as he urged the party to take a firm stand on discipline.
“Please, let us examine why many past national chairmen did not complete their tenure successfully- Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Alhaji Ahmed Mua’zu, Alhaji Modu Sheriff, and now the deputy national chairman, threatening to resign,” he added, assuring that the party will come out of the current crisis stronger.
Others who attended the meeting include, immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Tanimu Turaki, ex-Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, amongst others.
However, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, assured Nigerians that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) would deploy its internal conflict resolution mechanism to resolve whatever disagreements there was at the national leadership level of the party.
He assured that the issue would be surmounted in no time, saying that the PDP remains the only hope for Nigerians.
The governor spoke when he received in audience a former All Progressives Congress (APC), senatorial candidate in the state, Chief Mimi Adzape-Orubibi and the chairman of the party in her area as well as the party’s executives who will formally decamp to the PDP on Saturday.
The governor said, “I want to assure Nigerians that despite the leadership challenge we have we are till together and we will resolve it soon. We may recall that even the tongue and the teeth sometimes fight but they settle.
“And so PDP is going to deploy its internal conflict resolution mechanism and we shall rise up from there because Nigerians are fed up. They are tired of being taken from the top to the button since 2015. Have you not heard what Mr President said that he was going to take Nigeria from top to bottom and he has actually done that.
“How much was the Dollar in 2015 when President Buhari took over from Goodluck Jonathan? N180. Today we are battling with over N500. Can you imagine! On security, we were battling with only Boko Haram then, but today, we have Fulani bandits, we Fulani herdsmen, we have Fulani mercenaries, we have Fulani kidnappers, we have Fulani armed robbers, we have Fulani thieves, we have Fulani AK-47. And then they will deceive us that they are tackling them.
“So, we want a leadership that will take us from bottom to top.
“I commend my sister for taking a bold step like I did in 2017. Though as a member of the ruling party, when I saw the injustice being perpetrated on our people and the inequality and the unfairness, I decided to jump ship and joined the PDP where I contested and won.
“And since I left the APC I have not regretted. APC is a party of injustice; it is a party that does not believe in the rule of law. It is a party that does not believe in democracy, equity, fairness and justice. It is a party that believes that no other Nigerian, except the Fulanis should be equal.
“We can see what they are doing already, it is a party that wants to make everybody slave but for some of us, we say no, we cannot be slaves to others.
“We believe in democracy, we believe in one Nigeria. And we believe that everyone should have freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of association. Let there be equity, fairness and justice. That is what we stand for, yesterday, today and forever. We stand for equity, fairness and justice in this country for all Nigerians.
“We oppose those who think that they can impose their culture on us. Nigeria is a country of over 250 nationalities, we respect every nationality, whether you are Fulani, you are Tiv, Yoruba, Idoma, Igala, Hausa or you are Igbo or South-South, we respect you.
“For us in Benue, that’s what we respect. We oppose any culture that wants to dominate us and take over our land and give it to their people. We say no to that, we will always stand to defend our people.
“In Benue State we are committed to this and I am working closely with the people that elected me as governor of Benue State. And I stand in solidarity with them and I stand with utmost commitment to my people because democracy is about the locality.
“All politics is local. So, we remain grateful and committed to our locality, our locality first before outside. And so, we are going to resist any attempt to impose a different culture on us and we are not going to impose our culture on other people.
“So, I commend Mimi and all of you who are here to pay solidarity with her and to assure you that I will visit your local government on Saturday to witness the formal decamping of our illustrious daughter.”
Similarly, the former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, assured Nigerians that all efforts would be put in place to strengthen PDP NWC within 72hours.
The PDP national leader, explained that PDP was very important to Nigerians; hence the need to resolve internal crisis.
Saraki’s assurance was after the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), had met over the crisis in the party.
During the meeting, it was agreed that the members of the constituted committee are to meet within the next 48 to 72hours to decide PDP’s direction.
But Saraki, in a series of tweets wrote, “Earlier today, the PDP Board of Trustees resolved to set up a committee that will look into the issues that are affecting the party.
“This committee, which includes governors, members of the BoT, members of the national assembly, members of the National Working Committee (NWC), former governors, and former ministers of the party, is expected to meet within the next 48 to 72hours to determine the direction of the party.
“Nigerians should be rest assured that as a party, we fully understand the importance of our platform to Nigerians. This is why we will continue to do everything that we can to strengthen our party in the best interest of all Nigerians.”

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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