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You Don’t Own PDP, Coalition Blasts Ayu Over Gboko Comments

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Benue Coalition for Democracy (BCD), has replied the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu, over his alleged unsavoury comments in Gboko, last Friday, saying “you don’t own PDP.
Ayu, who addressed his people in Gboko at the weekend, was quoted to have bragged that he has the power to stop any candidate in the PDP, particularly in the state, from contesting the 2023 election under his party platform.
The national chairman, who was reacting to calls by some state governors, including Governor Samuel Ortom, and his Rivers State counterpart, Chief Nyesom Wike, for him to fulfill his promise to resign if the party produces a northern presidential candidate, had stated that they have no powers to remove him from office.
He went ahead to say that “I have the powers to say you and you will not go anywhere because I will insist that I must sign before you go anywhere.”
Reacting to Ayu’s outburst, the coalition, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Aloysius Gbakaan, expressed disappointment at his comments, reminding him that he doesn’t own the party.
The group said, “Yesterday in Gboko, he sounded like a despot who owns PDP, boasting that he could stop anyone from contesting elections. But under the PDP Constitution, the national chairman does not have such absolute powers. Ayu should remember Prince Uche Secondus. Where is Secondus today?”
They likened him to a military dictator who has absolute power under his control, saying “But we are not surprised. Ayu is a Machiavellian. He belongs to the ilk of those who are sly, deceptive, distrusting, and manipulative”.
The further alleged that, “He is known for destroying those who help him to ascend to positions of authority. For him, allowing the people who pushed him to climb the ladder to remain relevant will be detrimental to his sustained stay at the top.”
The group, who also berated the PDP national chairman for keeping mute over killings in Benue, especially in Gbeji and the flood disaster in the state, regretted that as one of the biggest beneficiaries of key positions at the federal level from Benue State, Ayu has never returned the love and blessings he receives from the state.
“Parts of Benue State have come under renewed attacks by Fulani herdsmen in recent weeks. Gbeji in Ukum Local Government Area recorded one of the heaviest casualties in the last two weeks with 36 corpses recovered and more people still missing while others are in the hospitals.
“Benue is one of the states facing the biggest floods with thousands of people rendered homeless by the surging water.
“As a man who is from Benue State and as the national chairman of a political party which is seeking to take over the reins of power at the centre, many Nigerians expected Ayu to visit Gbeji and sympathise with families of those killed in the attack while condemning the dastardly act.
“He was also expected to visit the areas most affected by flooding and offer some words of consolation.
“It would not have been too much to send relief materials to the victims. In fact, a man who is not self-centred would have invited his presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to accompany him to visit Gbeji and the flood hit areas.
“Ayu did none of these things and instead mounted the political podium in Gboko to attack Governor Samuel Ortom and other PDP stakeholders in Benue State who have called his bluff”.
They said, “Ayu and Atiku must stop living in denial, thinking that only people of a certain tribe, religion or region would decide their fate come 2023 as they need the support of all Nigerians.”
The BCD called for an immediate apology from Ayu for playing politics when his people are being killed insisting that, “He and Atiku have spat on the graves of scores of Benue people hacked-down by satanic herders who are on the prowl to actualize the Fulani agenda.
“We want Nigerians who are desirous of enjoying peace after the tenure of the largely incompetent President Muhammadu Buhari to beware of Iyorchia Ayu and Atiku Abubakar’s utterances now that they are not near the seat of power. They have no sympathy or good feelings for the people. Atiku will be worse than Buhari.”
The coalition further stated that Benue voters find the insult from Ayu and Atiku unacceptable and will show their anger during the next year’s election.

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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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