The Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Hon. Chukwuemeka Aaron, has again warned those trying to create confusion in the party to desist or face unpleasant action.
According to a press statement made available to newsmen by Paul Deeyah, media aide to the PDP state chairman, Hon. Aaron gave the advice on Monday during a meeting with Local Government Council Chairmen, Local Government Party Chairmen and State Executive Council members of the party at the state PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt, in order not to exacerbate the political atmosphere in the state.
The Acting PDP State Chairman urged them to maintain neutrality in the quest to finding amicable resolution of the impasse between the FCT Minister and the Governor.
He regretted that some people were trying to bring ethnicity and tribal sentiments into the imbroglio and maintained that it was a family matter.
He also expressed regret that some people were taking sides with either the Governor or the Minster, noting that such moves were not in the interest of unity of the party in the state.
He urged Council Chairmen, Local Government party Chairmen and state party excos to articulate ways of bringing peace to the party and not to balkanize it.
“For those of you that want to do eye service to balkanize the party, I will not allow it. This party will not scatter during my own time”, he warned.
Hon Aaron also cautioned against formation of support groups, saying those doing so want to distract the Governor from implementing his development plans for the state.
The State Acting PDP Chairman also advised Local Government Council Chairmen to warn their media aides, especially those on social media to stop posting all sorts of damaging materials against the FCT Minister and the Governor, stressing that their actions were escalating the situation.
He said: “Our supporters who come from the various LGAs are not helping matters. The kind of thing I see in the social media is something else. Some of these are social media people which you employed and are paying them. I cannot condone that under my leadership because they want to balkanize this party and I will not allow this to happen. So, please, warn them to stop”.
Hon. Aaron also formally inform them that he had taken over the affairs of the party following the resignation of the former State Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, solicited their support.
“I supported Ambassador Desmond Akawor. I supported the Exco. Now that I am here, I also need your support to enable this party forge ahead “, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, the South South Zonal Treasurer of PDP, Mrs Evelyn Nweke, expressed sadness that members of the party in the state could no longer walk with their shoulders high due to the happenings in the party and enjoined party stalwarts to preach peace and unity of the party.
On his part, the Secretary of the party, Dr Benibo George, who called for absolute submission to party supremacy, said this would engender respect, love and unity in the party.
“The moment we are cohesive, we are together, nobody can bring us down. PDP will remain indivisible”, he said.
Dr George while calling for vigilance from all party members, directed LGA Party Chairmen to obtain clearance from the party leadership at the state level before carrying out any party activity, and thanked them for turning up for the meeting.
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon. Allwell Ihunda, who spoke on behalf of the council chairmen, thanked Governor Siminialayi Fubara for making the state peaceful.
He congratulated Hon. Aaron on his appointment and pledged the support and loyalty of his colleagues to the acting state party chairman and members of the state executive council.
Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC
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.
Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman
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.”
There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri
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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