Two prominent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains from the South East geo-political zones, Chief Emeka Charles Kalu, and Hon. Dennis Adikwuru, on Saturday disagreed over the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to throw open its presidential ticket instead of zoning it to the South in general or South East in particular.
The National Coordinator, Peoples Democratic Party Coalition (PDPCO), Chief Emeka Kalu, who hails from the Abia State and Hon. Dennis Adikwuru, a PDP Leader in Aboh Mbaise area of Imo State, have been very strong strategists in the party over the years.
In separate interviews with journalists over the weekend, Chief Kalu, one-time governorship candidate in Abia State, said that the PDP NEC’s action amounted to the scuttling of equity and ethnic inclusiveness, while Adikwuru, maintained that the decision was to broaden the scope of the aspiration to the presidency and to fully activate the fundamental right of individuals to seek the highest position in the land.
According to Kalu, the PDP NEC’s decision to toe the line of the recommendation of its Presidential Zoning Committee had brought a heavy downpour on the Southerners, especially the people of South Eastern Region, even as he called on the party’s stakeholders from the South to unite and unselfishly create a platform of solidarity to pick one consensus candidate from the aspirants from the region.
He said: “As the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party on unanimous decision threw open the party’s presidential ticket where every NWC certified aspirant across the six geo-political zones are qualified to contest, it brought a heavy downpour on the Southerners, especially the people of South Eastern region.
“One would begin to imagine what must have guided the recently constituted Presidential Zoning Committee under the sportsmanship and chairmanship of Gov Samuel Ortom, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Barrister. Aliyu Gausau, who functioned in chairmanship, vice and Secretary ship capacities a few months ago to help our great party achieve a milestone of success.
“Today, we had it on trending news that PDP has officially jettisoned zoning by creating a window where every screened and certified aspirant despite where he or she comes from is qualified to run for the party’s primaries.
“In line with the tenet of equity and frankness, PDP was supposed to have ceded her presidential ticket to South East where all contests from the said ethnic zones would be courageously testing his or her popularity in the our present day democratic settings.
“This is because the South East has been deep-rootedly marginalised, dating back from the time of Abraham and Metusellah.”
Kalu maintained that the PDP Coalition “vigorously” believed in the unity, togetherness and indivisibility of its members’ common bond as the largest party in Africa, and had politically matured beyond fluttering manipulations and gross political intimidation, knowing full well that it had been the party growing the nation’s transformation glory before it lost power to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: “APC schemed, hatched and corruptly won election and took over power in 2015 of which the aftermath of her misrule has landed Nigeria into the dens of excruciating economic hardship.
“Here we are talking about a government of national unity while the monster pillar of ethnic bigotry and nepotism has not been crushed.”
Kalu asked: “How would Nigeria achieve a landmark success in nation building in the face of our defenseless children who are still languishing in the hands of their abductors without any formidable steps by the APC-led Federal Government towards securing their freedom?
“The cropping challenges likely to erupt and confront our great party in the face of throwing presidential ticket open, is that agitation, clamour and drives for Biafra State creation would unstoppably continue to increase on a higher degree of seriousness and determination.
“I am not affirming or portraying that if a South Easterner is not elected the next president of Nigeria that heavens will let loose, but painstakingly and deftly analysing the monumental risks of fragility likely to erupt when we have not been able to tackle the present crises plaguing the country.
“It is a pity that PDP having seen the militating bad eggs confronting Nigeria’s economic growth and national unity, still accepted the misguided inputs of some greed -trapped party stakeholders to have endorsed the presidential open ticket contest.
“We must strive to call a spade what it originally means if we actually want the desired change in our heart to manifest.
“Change is all about next level improvement in our expectations. Something that takes away twines of unbelief in man by manuring man’s consciousness towards result-oriented plans.
“In conclusion, Igbos are being cheated and swindled when it comes to power sharing and equal distributions of the scarce resources. Without any iota of doubts, PDP stands a better chance of winning the presidential election as she in turn works to uproot the jeopardising factors from its usual habitual undertakings that brings unnecessary rancour, rifts and differences among the concerned.”
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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