Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that nobody can break the ranks of the five governors (G5) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have continued to insist that Dr. Iyorchia Ayu resigns his position as the national chairman of the party.
Wike noted that because the G5 had remained dogged on their demand, people had made several efforts to break their ranks but cannot succeed.
The Rivers State governor spoke at the new Banquet Hall of Benue State Government House, Makurdi, during a dinner organised in honour of the G5 by Governor Samuel Ortom, last Sunday’s night.
Wike asserted that those efforts were failing because the five governors were bonded to save Nigeria.
“And if you look at us here, the way we are, people have tried to see how they can break us, but they cannot. We are bonded to save Nigeria.
“That is why when you see all of us, we are impenetrable. Nobody can divide us. They have tried everything in this world to divide us, but no way.
“The way we operate; I will talk, we have people who don’t talk. You may be underrating them. By the time they will shock you, you will think it is Wike, it is not Wike you are seeing.”
It was an evening of display of the rich culture of the Benue people in which Ortom proclaimed, bestowing Honorary Citizen’s Status on Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Seyi Makinde of Oyo; and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Wike said Nigerians were expecting the PDP to rescue the country, but it appeared that the leadership of the party was not showing serious commitment to that course.
He stated that inclusivity remains a precursor for peace and unity, because it would allow everybody to have equal sense of stake both in the party and to work together for the desired electoral victory.
“Agreement is agreement. Respect agreement, so that there will be peace, there will be unity. What we are asking for is inclusivity; include everybody.
“We are not talking about presidential candidate. We have finished that one. We have a presidential candidate, we have a vice presidential candidate.
“But that one that will go to the other people, give them so that everybody will move forward. That is what we are saying, nothing more.”
Concerning the 25 buses donated to Benue State PDP for their campaigns, Wike corrected and gave clearer perspective to it.
Wike explained that the buses were part of the bulk of vehicles his team acquired for his presidential campaigns, if he had won the primary.
But since that ambition did not materialise, Wike said, the team decided that the vehicles should be shared among those who supported the course.
The buses, he noted, would help in easing their efforts as they re-enact the winning position of the party.
“So, Ortom saying I gave you people vehicles, it is not correct. They are the vehicles that our team bought that time because of the (presidential primary) election, we would have won it, but to God be the glory.”
Wike said they were in Benue State to show solidarity to Ortom, who he described as a good man.
The Rivers State governor thanked the government and people of Benue for bestowing on them the honorary citizen’s status of the state.
Wike said the G5 constitutes a people who have show leadership in their various states, and on issues of national concern, taken the risk to speak the truth, maintained integrity, and were consistent.
“I thank all of you for this honour you’ve done to all of us, the integrity governors. The governors who can come up, and tell you black is black, yes is yes. We don’t bend; we say it as it is.
“Leadership is taking risk. Leadership is about integrity, and discipline.”
He further added, “Governor Ortom, what we have come here to do today is to give you solidarity for tomorrow’s (Monday) campaign, to tell the people of Benue, we are with Ortom.”
In his speech, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, acknowledged that as an Eagle of Tiv land, Wike was the first to stand by them, spoke truth to power, and gave support when the Fulani bandits killed Benue people.
“Many have wondered why I have chosen to swim with Governor Wike. Many have wondered why I have chosen to work with him in darkness and in the midst of storms and threats, and also trial and brimstone.
“This is a man who stood with us during our trying times and came out, did not fear about threats of the Federal Government or federal might, but came out and said: look, if you kill Ortom, you have killed Nigeria.
“They call it farmers/herders fight. We say it’s all lies; Fulani is coming to invade us. Wike came out, brought stakeholders from Rivers State, and they came here. Wike offered us solidarity, and in faith with Benue people and gave his commitment.”
Ortom revealed that the monetary support Wike gave was a demonstration of his love for Benue people.
“As if that was going to be the end, he (Wike) committed money, then, it was N250million. I remember High Level Main Market got burnt, Governor Wike heard about it, we did not make any demand, Wike came and donated N200million.
“I remember when Katsina-Ala Market got burnt; Governor Wike came and donated another N200million. Subsequently, the money he has committed is over N700million for our IDPs. Is he not a friend enough that we should work with?
“We have never had it so good. He was the same person who was able to convince our colleague and brother from Akwa Ibom State, who also donated N200million. Then, the governor of Taraba State donated N100million to our IDPs.”
Ortom also clarified that the Rivers State governor was not against Ayu as a person, but added that he was standing for what was true, fair, and just in the PDP.
“I was the chairman of the zoning committee. The National Working Committee (NEC) did not make me chairman, it was the group of those who were nominated that made me chairman.
“It was agreed in that meeting that since people have bought forms, let us allow everybody to contest, but that once a presidential candidate comes from the North, the chairman will go to the South. That was the arrangement.
“I want you to know that Governor Wike is not against Benue State. He is not against the national chairman being from here (Benue) because he is a title holder from Benue State.
“He (Wike) is not against it, but he is just standing for the truth. Agreement is agreement, and it is important we keep to the agreement. If you don’t keep to agreement, then, you are creating problems.”
Ortom explained that the G5 had all agreed to work together for the good of Nigeria, and to deliver it from the basement bad leadership had plunged it.
“They (G5) have stood with us. They have supported us. They are here tonight. Tomorrow, we are launching our campaign. That shows love.
“I want to thank them for standing for justice. I want to thank them for standing for equity. I want to thank them for standing for fairness. That is all that we need!
“We are where we are today because we have refused to respect the rule of law and respect justice, equity and fineness for all.
“As a mark of honour tonight for our very distinguished personalities, by the powers conferred on me as the Governor of Benue State, I have given these four governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Honorary Citizens of Benue State.”
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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