Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has vowed to sustain the fight for a return to healthy party structure that would allow for an even representation of the interest of the North and South in the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor said the current leadership structure where the North holds the presidential ticket as well as the national chairman positions is against the constitution of PDP and a gross injustice to the South.
Wike made the observation at the inauguration of the Ahoada Campus of the Rivers State University and flag-off of staff quarters, which was performed by Oyo State Governor, Engr Oluwaseyi Makinde, yesterday.
He noted that the current hierarchy of the PDP does not give room for the interest of the South, particularly when decisions are to be taken.
According to him, the resignation of the BoT chairman is a distraction because the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had told him that the national chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu must relinquish his position.
“Ayu said if the presidential candidate comes from the north, that he will resign after the convention of our party, and that the chairman of our party will come from the South. When the North Central leaders met in the house of Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, he said so there. When he met the caucus of the Senate, he told them that.
“Now, when we finished our convention on Sunday, the candidate of the party came to see me in my house in Abuja on Monday around 10:30am. The candidate told me I want us to work together, and then he said, look Ayu must go. I said why? He said because when a candidate comes from the North, the chairman will come from the South.”
Wike challenged the presidential candidate of PDP to deny the comment and be ready to hear many other things that had transpired between them relating to the current crisis.
“And I’m saying implement what you told me. What offence have I committed? It is nothing to do with Wike. It has to do with integrity. This is what he told me. I challenge the presidential candidate to deny this. If he denies it, I will go further to say so many things to Nigerians because enough is enough. We can’t continue this way.”
He described the resignation of the BoT chairman as a charade and vowed to continue the fight for the right thing to be done in the PDP.
“One ex-general went to see the BoT chairman and the candidate (Atiku) too went to see him to resign, that we’ll give you advisory position. The BoT position is already advisory. What advisory position are you going to give him? That is to insult us. And all of us are here. Our people are there not knowing what is happening. You think it’s Wike. It is you. It is your children. How can we be here the chairman and presidential candidate will meet, they will take a decision, nobody represents us. Just wait, pray let them win then you will see.”
The governor accused some vested interest in the PDP of being arrogant because they are being backed by someone in the presidency.
He, however, warned those haughty individuals to also bear in mind that an APC presidential aspirant the person they are relying on, failed to clinch his party’s ticket.
“Why are they being so arrogant? I can tell you they are arrogant because they believe somebody in the presidency is backing them. But what they don’t understand is that the same person in the presidency backed somebody as APC presidential aspirant and the person failed. I will tell Nigerians at the appropriate time who the person is in the presidency that is backing them.”
Wike said it is erroneous to think that he was bent on destroying the party when he was actually advocating for justice and equity.
“Some of you don’t know what’s happening in the country. You’re being deceived, they’ll tell you, this Wike is causing problem, Wike is not causing problem. Wike is bringing peace to this country. Wike is advocating for justice, Wike is advocating for equity, Wike is advocating for development.
“We have finished the presidential primaries. It is over. So, when people said you want to destroy the party, because you didn’t win primary, I think they’re sick. They have some mental problems.”
The Rivers State governor also took a swipe against the former governor of Niger State, Alhaji Aliyu Babangida, who is accusing him of destroying the party.
“Nigerians may forget, but such an empty barrel; one man they call Aliyu Babangida, he came out on national television to say somebody is destroying the party because he didn’t win the presidential primary. That’s an insult.
“This is the same man who came out on television and said that they, governors from the North, agreed to fail President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 because they felt it was the turn for the North. The same man said they agreed to make sure PDP lost the election because they felt it was their own turn to produce the president.
‘That’s a lie, he said that I’m trying to destroy the party because I didn’t win the primary. For Christ’s sake, in a contest there must be a winner, there must be a loser. I have no regrets.
“We contested the election very well and we are not ashamed. If Aliyu knew he was important and strong he would have picked form, let us deal with him.”
Performing the inauguration of the Ahoada Campus of Rivers State University and flag-off of staff quarters, Oyo State Governor, Engr Oluwaseyi Makinde, noted the untiring efforts of Wike to deliver quality projects round the calendar.
Such leadership, Makinde noted, has changed the fortune of Rivers State, and urged the people to continue to support him.
The Commissioner of Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmon, who described governor Wike as an icon of education, said the decentralisation of the RSU will boost socio-economic activities in the communities where the new campuses are located.
On his part, the Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the staff quarters will have a total of 12 flats; six units of three bedroom and 6 units of two bedroom of two blocks of one storey building.
The Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof Nlerum Okogbule, said the university management and students will remain eternally grateful to Wike.
However, young members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, stormed the National Secretariat of the party to demand the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Most of the protesters carried placards with inscriptions reading, “Ayu Must Go”, “Ayu must step down”, “We need justice, and fairness for all”, “we don’t want Northern PDP, we don’t want southern PDP”, “we have to be united, not divided” and “we don’t want to lose any election in 2023″.
Earlier on Wednesday, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), passed a vote of confidence in the National Chairman of the party, Senator IyorchiaAyu.
Wike had faulted the emergence of Atiku as the presidential flag bearer, Iyorchia Ayu, chairman of the party, and Sen. Walid Jibrin, chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), all from the northern part of the country.
Addressing the issue, yesterday, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibrin tendered his resignation letter, paving way for a former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, (South-East) to become the new BoT chairman.
Delivering his acceptance speech, Minority Leader House of Representatives, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, appealed to all members of the party to learn to forgive one another no matter what transpired in the past.
Elumelu said, “The devil knows we have won the 2023 election in the spiritual realm that is why the devil is trying to divide us.”
Finally, the council passed a vote of confidence in Ayu.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that the problem bedevilling the party was not fundamental.
Atiku stated this at the party’s 97th National Executive Committee.
Addressing the party’s stakeholders, Atiku said that their disagreement was not deeply rooted.
According to him: “I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for the roles you played in the last primaries. Yes, we have disagreements but they are not fundamental disagreements.
“I promise you we are determined to resolve them internally. I plead with us all to resolve our disagreements using our rules and regulations.
“Do you see how senators are now taking over our party? (laughter).
“The (acting) chairman of our BoT is a former Senate President; the former BoT chairman was a senator.”
A total of 397 members of the NEC, including past national chairmen of the party, the immediate past Vice President of the country, Namadi Sambo, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, among others, were accredited for the meeting.
All the 397 members of the NEC present at the meeting voted in support of Ayu to continue as the chairman of the party.
The acting Board of Trustees Chairman and a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, had put it to a voice vote after the House Minority Leader, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, moved a motion for members of the committee to continue to have him as the chairman of the party.
The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum Chairman, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, has also resigned from his chairmanship position.
Tambuwal, who is also the Sokoto State governor, announced his resignation at ongoing Board of Trustees meeting in Abuja.
In a related development, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has emerged as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum. Makinde became the new chairman following the resignation of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, at the ongoing PDP National Executive Council Board meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
A Communique issued at the end of the 97th National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held, yesterday, at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, and signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, reads: “The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party at its 97th meeting extensively deliberated on issues of urgent national importance as well as the preparation of our Party for the 2023 general elections and resolved as follows:
“NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu for effectively managing the affairs of the Party and restated its confidence in the NWC to lead the PDP to victory in the 2023 general elections.
“NEC received and accepted the resignation of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibrin and accepted the nomination of Sen. Adolphus Wabara, the Secretary of the BoT, as Acting Chairman of the BoT.
“NEC thanked Sen. Jibrin for his loyalty and commitment towards the unity, stability and success of the Party at all times and urged him not to relent in his service to the Party and the Nation at large.
“NEC congratulated the Party as well as the Osun State Governor-Elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke for our victory in the July 16, 2022 Osun Governorship election
“NEC commended the NWC, the Board of Trustees, PDP Governors’ Forum, National Assembly Caucus, Zonal and State Caucuses, other leaders, critical stakeholders and all organs of the Party for the successful conduct of the 2022 National Convention as well as all primaries for the election of our candidates for the 2023 General Elections.
“NEC unanimously ratified the list of candidates of the PDP as submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the NWC.
“NEC congratulated H.E Atiku Abubakar and H.E Ifeanyi Okowa on their emergence as Presidential and the Vice Presidential Candidates of the PDP for the 2023 Presidential election, respectively.
“NEC also congratulated all the Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly Candidates of the PDP for their emergence as flagbearers of our Party at various levels.
“NEC commended all leaders, members, critical stakeholders and supporters of our Party across the country for their continued steadfastness in the PDP’s mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the nightmarish misrule of the failed APC.
“State of The Nation: NEC strongly decried the worsening state of the nation’s economy with attendant excruciating hardship occasioned by the corruption, insensitivity, incompetence and harsh economic policies of the inhumane and vicious APC.
“NEC is also appalled by the worsening insecurity in the country occasioned by the obvious complicity of the APC administration which continues to condone and enable acts of terrorism in various parts of the country.
“NEC lamented the failure of the APC government to address the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). NEC lamented that the APC is relishing the agony, pain and suffering of parents and students in Nigerian public universities due to the prolonged strike action.
“NEC condemned the constant display of arrogance by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in handling the issue of ASUU strike and called for a more constructive engagement by stakeholders to resolve the matter.
“NEC also condemned in the strongest terms the appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari of card-carrying members of the APC as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
“This unpatriotic act is a brazen plot by the APC to manipulate and rig the 2023 general elections against the Will of Nigerians. The PDP demands that President Buhari immediately withdraws the APC members nominated as RECs, failure of which has the capacity to trigger serious political crisis that can threaten the 2023 general elections and derail our democratic process
“Campaign Structure: NEC approved a unified campaign Structures across the country for the PDP for the 2023 general elections which will focus more on the grass root.
“NEC approved the proposed Structure and Organogram of the National Campaign Council as well as the National Campaign Management Council for the 2023 general elections.
”NEC also approved the Structures for Campaign Councils at the States, Local Government, Ward and Unit levels.
“NEC unanimously empowered the NWC to modify and adjust the structures of the Campaign Councils as and when the need arises.
“NEC received and approved the proposed structure for Zonal Reconciliation Committees to be set up to ensure that our Party presents a common front ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“NEC also received and approved the composition of the Manifesto Review Committee to review the Manifesto of the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“NEC charged Nigerians to remain united in rallying towards the success of the PDP at the 2023 general elections and start the onerous task of rescuing and rebuilding our nation.”
Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023
Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”
Take 2023 Elections Seriously, Wike Tasks Rivers People
The Rivers State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to take the upcoming 2023 General Election seriously by securing their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and using it wisely and prayerfully.
Wike stated this during the Inter-Denominational Church Service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said he believes God would use the 2023 elections to grant the pleas of Nigerians for a rebirth of a new nation.
“Nigeria must rise again, it must fulfil its divine purpose for which God has put it together, Nigeria has a prophetic agenda, whether the devil likes it or not. We must have the confidence that our votes will count and that we will use our votes to bring in the leaders after the heart of God”, the governor said.
Wike said under his watch, the state government has been resolute and consistent in providing the dividends of democracy to the people living and doing business in the state.
“We have seen it, in the massive improvement in security.We have seen it in social and physical infrastructure.What will you say, when public tertiary institutions have been on strike for the past seven months, and some of the students are being killed, some are roaming about, some are going into crime, while others are abusing drugs and going mental, but in Rivers State, all the state institutions are functioning none-stop, and salaries are paid as at when due and lecturers are teaching the way they should”, Wike further stressed.
The state chief executive expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country and for keeping the nation as one in spite of all the security and economic challenges, adding that “God in His infinite mercy has kept us together as a people, what seems impossible with men, is possible with God”.
In his sermon drawn from Matthew Chapter 7: 7-12, Bishop Diocese of Niger Delta North,St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, said “if Nigeria must go forward, we must obey the golden rule”.
He said,”We must not give up on Nigeria; no matter the challenges, God would make the nation great again, but it behooves on us to pray and do the right things at all times”.
A schedule of activities released by the state government shows that on Friday, September 30, 2022, a Jumma’at Prayer would be held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, 36 Bonny Street, Port Harcourt Township, at 1:00pm.
According to the programme, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Nwaeke, the grand finale would hold on Saturday, October 1, 2022, with a parade ceremony/march-past at Sharks Football Stadium, Port Harcourt by 10:00am.
The statement said that the state Governor, Chief NyesomWike, would preside over the activities at the grand finale on Saturday.
Buhari Launches INFF In New York
President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to the achievement of inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development.
The President spoke while delivering his keynote address at strategic High Level Event held on the sidelines of the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York to launch Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development.
The President noted that Nigeria adopted the INFF as a tool to improve the financing of SDGs without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; and the United Nation Development Programme for working together to develop Nigeria’s INFF in a process which started in 2020.
“Today’s event marks the end of a long process which began in 2020, when the Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework were inaugurated.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and our National Development aspirations,” the President said.
He further noted that as part of its commitment to sustainable and inclusive development, his administration aligned its 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP); the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP); the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS); and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (NDP) with the SDGs.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
“The INFF is backed by Nigeria’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. As Nigeria champions the INFF process, we hope to promote the strategic alignment of financial policies with sustainable development and provide the enabling conditions for domestic and international, public, and private financial actors to best respond to our national needs.
“I urge all Nigerians, the international community, and our development partners to recognize the importance of this integrated approach to financing development, as you continue to count on my leadership in its immediate implementation,” the President said.
Speaking earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs,Princess AdejokeOrelope-Adefulire, described the launch of the INFF report as a significant milestone in the commitment and efforts to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.
She noted that the INFF is in line with Nigeria’s strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs working at the National and Sub-national levels.
“At the National level, we work closely with the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate the SDGs into their sectorial policies and plans. At the Sub-national level, we are working closely with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to mainstream the SDGs into their medium and long-term development policies and plans”.
She noted that her office, with the support of UNDP, has supported 16 states to develop SDG-Based Development Plans as part of Nigeria’s Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the agenda.
The INFF report, she added, was also another feat recorded by the country in the bid to institutionalize the SDGs, noting Nigeria was the first country in the Global South to have successfully completed a country-led Independent Evaluation of SDG-3 on ‘quality health and well-being for all’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all’.
The two reports, she said, were officially launched on the 25th of August, 2022.
The presidential adviser noted that on the 21st of December, 2021, Nigeria became the first African country to successfully realigned its National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs, hence the country will be now be able to track progress on the 230 Key Performance Indicators of the agenda on annual basis through the National Bureau of Statistics.
Orelope-Adefulire further noted that in 2019, Nigeria successfully domesticated the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation Model (iSDG Model) as a home-grown analytical tool for evidence-based SDGs policymaking and planning with the report launched on the margins of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by the President.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Report we are about to launch today is a product of series of efforts led by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Nigeria is now among the INFF Pilot Countries that have made significant progress by completing the design process. Indeed, this is an expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
She expressed appreciation and profound gratitude to the President for accepting to launch the report as well as all the Institutional Members of the National Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s INFF for the commitment demonstrated during the design phase.
“We look forward to similar commitment during the implementation phase,” Orelope –Adefulire said while affirming the commitment of her office to continue to drive the process of achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.
“I would like to conclude by re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the successful implementation of the SDGs. We look forward to working more closely with you all in this ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, so that no ‘One is left behind’.”
In his remark, Head/Sustainable Development, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the UN, Axel Maisonneuve, said EU had also support the mobilisation of capital for an inclusive and sustainable transition, which is at the heart of an INFF, in several ways.
“For instance, we know that whilst public finance of course has a key role to play, it will not be sufficient to bridge the SDG financing gap, and private finance needs to be mobilised as well.
“In the EU, we believe in fact that sustainable finance is critical to enable private financial flows being channelled towards sustainable investments.
“The EU’s Green Deal and the Global Gateway strategies are some of the key examples of the EU efforts in this direction. Indeed, sustainable finance is part and parcel of an INFF,’’ he said.
According to him, private finance is very much part of Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework.
Maisonneuve said the INFF was designed to help the Nigerian government explore innovative financing options linking government with private sector and development partners to increase public revenue and private investments.
“Let me take this opportunity to praise Nigeria for the efforts undertaken toward the achievement of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs and for the key milestone that you have achieved.
“In September 2019, 16 countries committed to pioneer the development and implementation of INFFs, and Nigeria was among them.
“Now, Nigeria has successfully designed its INFF Strategy, and is offering a leading example for INFF progress toward a more systematic, holistic approach to achieve sustainable development objectives,’’ he said.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, and development partners.
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