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PDP Crisis: To Hell With Atiku, Ortom Fumes

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The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called the bluff of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, saying, “to hell with Atiku”.
The governor made the statement when he hosted his colleagues from Rivers, Oyo, Abia and Enugu States to a dinner party held at the Government House, Makurdi.
The four governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, had arrived in Makurdi on Sunday for the official flag-off of the PDP governorship and parliamentary campaign scheduled for Monday.
Ortom said he would not support Atiku’s presidential bid to continue the killing of Benue people.
The governor lamented the killing of 18 persons in his council area last Friday where a young man in his 20s had his eyes removed to send a message to him.
He said, “To hell with Atiku and anyone supporting him. They should go and tell him. You want me to be slave for a Fulani. It’s better I die. Anybody supporting Atiku is an enemy of Benue.
“My people are being killed and you want me to be quiet.
“My tenure ends in May and you can do whatever you want if you think you have the powers. I have written my will. When I gave it to my wife, she cried all night. If I die at 62, many of my mates have gone long time ago and If I die today, I’m a fulfilled person but let it be recorded that I died resisting the invasion and killing of my people.
“I will never support a Fulani man to become president. If there is another person who is ready to work with me and ensure the security of my people, I will work with him,” Ortom said.
The governor appreciated God for journey mercies granted to his colleagues from their various destinations to Benue State and described them as true friends of Benue people.
He said Wike held a title as the Eagle of Tiv land, noting that when he, Ortom, was attacked, Wike was the first person who roared, saying that kill Ortom and you have killed the whole Nigeria.
“He did not keep quiet when Benue was under siege, he visited with stakeholders from Rivers State and committed N250 million and subsequently he has committed over N700 million to Benue IDPs.”
Ortom condemned some Benue sons, particularly those at the National Assembly, who, according to him, are keeping mute over the killings going on in the state, saying, “From tomorrow, I’m turning my venom on the National Assembly members from the state who are romancing with Buhari to kill the Benue people.”
He stated that as the state launches the campaign, it is his belief that the PDP will win the 2023 elections.
“As we trust in him, 2023, if the elections will hold, we are good to go and by the grace of God we will win. Benue is PDP and PDP is Benue State,” he said.
He warned those who may have planned to come to Benue to rig elections to shelve such plans because, “If you come here to rig any election, we are not going to accept it.”
Speaking on behalf of the G-5 governors, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said they were out to save the country from the present condition of total collapse.
“The G-5 are the integrity governors and anyone can challenge us. We have come to give Governor Samuel Ortom solidarity support for the flag-off of campaigns in Benue and to tell Benue people that we are with Governor Ortom. Like us or hate us, we are with Ortom. You cannot break us. We are bonded together.
“Leadership is risk-taking. Whether you like him or not, Ortom has shown leadership,” and he called on the people to support him all the way.
He further reiterated his call on the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to respect agreements that he would resign if the presidential candidate of the party came from the north.
When contacted, spokesman for the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, promised to get back to our correspondent as soon as possible.
“I will react soon. I am quite busy now but I will definitely get back to you on that,” he pledged.

 

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Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC

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The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.

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Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman

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The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as  Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared  for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”

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There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri

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Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.

 

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