The Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb Desmond Akawor, has congratulated the PDP candidate for the Rivers State gubernatorial race, Amaopusenibo Siminialayi Fubara, for successfully receiving the certificate of return from the national leadership of the party in Abuja, last Tuesday.
Akawor led other party leaders to the PDP Wadata House National Secretariat in Abuja where Fubara was presented his certificate of return amid pomp and pageantry.
Speaking of the epoch making event during a reception in honour of the candidate at the party’s State Secretariat in Port Harcourt, Akawor expressed satisfaction with the choice of the Rivers people and their show of support towards Fubara.
Akawor noted that the primary focus of the party now was to retain the winning streak the party has sustained in the state since 1999, which Fubara was set to do.
He added that the party had no rival in the state, adding that the election would be a walk over for the party whose leader, Chief Nyesom Wike, has worked assiduously in the last seven years, through strategic projects’ delivery with meagre resources, to change the landscape of the state, stating that the projects of the governor would be the selling point in the campaign of the party to win and consolidate on.
While putting the records straight regarding the story making the rounds that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made an attempt to arrest the Gubernatorial candidate of the PDP on arrival from Abuja at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Akawor stated that workers of the airport stationed at the tarmac were the ones who restricted Rivers youths from accessing the private plane of the candidate and his entourage, after a long wait due to harsh weather conditions.
Akawor stated that the videos making the rounds have buttressed his point, adding that the men at the airport on reflective jackets did not carry the EFCC logo or crest.
He clarified that PDP members did not at any point attack or assault EFCC operatives.
It was learnt that the EFCC operatives were reportedly beaten as they made to arrest the PDP flag bearer who had gone to Abuja to receive his certificate of return.
It is, however, unclear if the anti-graft agency officials suffered serious injuries.
Akawor said that while the purported incidentwas regrettable, it raised a high sense of excitement and apprehension among party members and leaders.
The state PDP chairman made it clear that there was no corruption case against Fubara as the courts have handled the purported case and delivered judgement on the matter, years ago.
He appealed to operatives of the EFCC to leave officials of the Rivers State Government alone, insisting that the commission has no powers to arrest and prosecute the state government officials.
Akawor advised the leadership and operatives of the EFCC to look elsewhere for corrupt officials in government, saying that many reported cases of corrupt Federal Government officials and appointees were being ignored by the anti-graft agency.
Responding during the reception, Rivers State PDP Governorship Candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, thanked the PDP for believing in him and his ability to continue and consolidate on the giant strides of the leader of the party in the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, noting that his desire was to unite the party, because only a united party can win elections.
He expressed gratitude to the elders, leaders and party faithful for their relentless support and for the hands of fellowship extended to him by other aspirants, which has boosted his confidence that the PDP was an indivisible party, with a common goal to better the lives of Rivers people after winning elections.
Reacting to the alleged attack, the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said its operatives were rudely intercepted from arresting the Rivers State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election.
The anti-graft agency alleged that thugs who breached the security of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State, last Tuesday night, blocked the operatives from carrying out their lawful duty.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Wilson Uwajeren said, “The armed thugs assaulted operatives of the commission who demonstrated commendable restraint under extreme provocation. The commission condemns the blatant attempt to obstruct justice, warning that its civility should not be taken for granted”.
N1.8bn Discovery: Recall Buratai For Investigation, PDP Tasks Buhari
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to recall the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), to face investigations over an alleged connection with the N1.8billion recovered in a property in Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) recently recovered N1.8billion worth of property owned by a military contractor in Abuja.
The opposition party, in a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, yesterday, demanded the recall and investigation of Buratai.
PDP said its demand was predicated on the alleged missing $1billion meant to purchase arms to fight terrorism.
It added that corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens, and loss of many of our gallant fighters.
The statement partly read, “It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8billion in various currencies, expensive cars, and jewellery secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.
“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicise the matter and sweep it under the carpet.
“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general election.”
According to the PDP, the APC test runs their 2023 rigging plot in the Ekiti State governorship election with massive use of money to prosecute a vote-buying scheme.
The opposition party insisted that the reports of alleged massive looting under Buhari’s watch further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.
“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80billion by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at the very high level of the APC administration,” it added.
The PDP maintained that Buratai should return to the country and be made to face investigation.
According to the party, this is important because any allegation bordering on the looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence.
PDP requested that Buratai be thoroughly investigated and if found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law.
King Jaja, Alapu-In-Council Receive Rivers PDP Guber Candidate In Opobo …Say Fubara’s Emergence Represents Riverine Communities’ Yearnings
The Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, alongside the Alapu-In-Council, last Saturday, received the Rivers State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general election, Sir Siminialayi Fubara in Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
While receiving the candidate, King Jaja said Fubara’s emergence represents the long yearnings of the riverine communities to produce the governor of the state since creation, and prayed that God perfects his victory at the elections.
The Amanyanabo noted that the kingdom would not take the opportunity of his emergence for granted as he expressed the undying gratitude of his kingdom to Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who supported the emergence of their son as the candidate of the ruling party.
He urged his people to leave no stone unturned in supporting Fubara to victory in 2023.
Speaking earlier, the PDP flag bearer, Sir Siminialayi Fubara,had told the Amanyanabo and the Council of Chiefs that his visit was to intimate them of his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2023 elections, and to seek their blessings as their son.
He said he considered it proper to do this before party campaigns commence, especially in seeking their prayers and blessings.
Fubara noted that his victory at the primary was not by his effort but grace of God at work, and enjoined the kingdom to join him in applauding Governor Nyesom Wike for supporting his emergence.
He further commended the governor for his developmental strides in Opobo and across the state.
The standard bearer visited the Amanyanabo and Alapu-In-Council along with party stalwarts and elders of Opobo/Nkoro extraction.
Insecurity: Northern Group Backs Matawalle On Self-Defence Order
A northern group, Arewa Development Forum for Peace and Justice (ADFPJ), has said the directive by the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, that residents in the state should bear arms to defend themselves was in order.
This, the group, while rising from an emergency meeting held in Kaduna, yesterday, said was because the people of the North-West part of the country had suffered so much from banditry activities over the years.
They, therefore, noted that any lawful measure taken by the state to stop the rampaging terrorists that had consistently invaded the state, was in order.
Consequently, a statement released by the Executive Chairman of the group, Alhaji Zubairu Mustafa, also urged governors from the North-West to emulate the Zamfara State’s helmsman by issuing similar directives to their citizens.
The North-West comprises Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The group also knocked the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other elites for hastily rebuking and condemning the governor’s order, adding that they were just being economical with the truth over the spate of insecurity in Zamfara State and other parts of the country.
According to them, the insecurity has festered across the country because there was no serious strategy in place by security agencies to end the challenge.
They added that with Matawalle’s order, the insecurity in his state would cease because if citizens were armed, bandits or terrorists or other criminal elements, would rethink before striking.
The statement read in part, “The Northern Elements Group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has risen from an urgent meeting of general concern in Kaduna with the resolution to support the idea of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawall, on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
“The group pleads with the state governors in the North-West region to set up machinery and measures for the Joint Task Force of able youths as community-based vigilante volunteers in order to complement the efforts of security operatives in the fight against criminal activities in the region like that of the Community Protection Guard (CPG) launched in Zamfara on Saturday.
“The group faulted negative reactions over the suggestion of Zamfara State Governor and bemoans at hurried comments of discouragement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other elites who are economical with the truth of happening on the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks of the communities in North-West region and environs by suspected bandits.
“From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura to Maru to Shinkafi, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood-thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud.
“In this case, Governor Matawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it hurts, hence, our call on all meaning Nigerians to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion.
“Therefore, we are supporting any leader that seems to have agreed and made a clear and acceptable decision within the ambit of law to bring lasting peace and security to the lives and properties of citizens.
“Nothing is more important than a leader in playing his role of saving lives and properties of his people than attending funerals or making a sympathy visit and lamentations after attacks.
“Proactive measures that include supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities’ rights of self-defence, are more important and best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in dire situations like now.”
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