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2023: Don’t attack one another, Ayu warns PDP presidential aspirants

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Iyorcha Ayu e1646721151851

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) has called on all the party’s presidential aspirants not to attack one another in the course of seeking its ticket.

The Party’s National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, made the call when the NWC gave audience to one of the presidential aspirants, Gov. Nyesom Wike, in Abuja Tuesday.

Ayu said by attacking one another, the aspirants would not only undermine the party, but arm the opposition party to attack it when its candidate eventually emerged.

“If you emerge as the candidate of the party, you need every other aspirant and every member of the party to canvass for you in many parts of the country.

“You alone cannot win elections, you need every member of the party to work for the party,” Ayu said.

The PDP National Chair urged all aspirants of the party at all levels to campaign on issues including security, economy and others.

“Make sure that we stick together because it is only a united PDP that will go into this election and win the election.

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that we are going to win the next presidential election.”

Ayu advised the aspirants to support the party in addressing challenges facing it at all levels, saying the ultimate goal was not to win party tickets but win elections.

He promised that the NWC would provide a level playing ground for all aspirants, assuring that there would not be foul play or manipulation in conducting the party’s primaries.

Ayu said that no member of PDP NWC would sabotage any of the aspirants.

“Let assure you, this NWC will try to uphold the tradition of the PDP, that tradition since 1999 is running very credible, transparent conventions starting from Jos to the last one that produced this National Working Committee.

“I want to assure you, that there will be no foul play, no manipulation, we will certainly do better than what you did in October last year.”

Ayu said that at this stage, members of the NWC would be neutral until a candidate emerged, when all of them would support and canvass support of all Nigerians for him or her.

He appreciated the support of Wike to the party’s drive to win elections, urging him not to relent.

Ayu assured him that the party leaders would be firm behind him if he emerged as PDP candidate.

Speaking earlier, Wike said that he was not at the party secretariat to negotiate for vice presidential slot, but to woo the NWC members on his presidential ambition.

“I did not buy form to contest for Senate. It is only one form that I bought. That is for the office of president.

“I am not going to say if I don’t win I will go for the Senate. The only thing I want is to be president.”

The Rivers State governor urged the party leaders to shun sentiments, but produce a candidate that could win the votes of Nigerians.

“You do not need to look at what the elites are saying. What people are talking about is Wike.

“Why are they talking about Wike? Because in this country, everybody has seen what I have done in Rivers State.”

Wike described 2023 as the only opportunity for the party to reclaim power, which could only be achieved by presenting a candidate with capacity such as him.

The governor, who expressed optimism of wining PDP ticket, said that Nigeria needed a courageous, fearless and capable leader.

He said that if given the opportunity, he would work in synergy with the leadership of the party in the implementation of his policies.

Speaking on the party’s presidential aspirants canvasing consensus candidate, Wike said that he did not believe in consensus, but transparent primaries.

“I want to appeal that we should not make any mistake where people will say our election is not transparent,” Wike said.

He said that he was mentally, physically and emotionally prepared to lead Nigeria, urging the NWC members to support him.

In his opening remark, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State said that the journey to presidency in 2023 was not as usual, as it now required PDP to field a competent and courageous person.

Ikpeazu said that Nigeria could not afford to gamble in 2023, and the only way PDP could regain power was to present a presidential candidate with capability, competence and acceptability, which people could vouch as loyal to the party.

“I see this possibility in one of the PDP governors, which is in Nyesom, who is firm, straight forward, outspoken, fearless, respect for rule of law and yet carries everyone along, and performing wonders in Rivers State.

“Who says this cannot be replicated in Nigeria?” he said.

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Thugs disrupt factional SDP meeting in Kwara State

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Political thugs on Wednesday disrupted a news conference of a faction of the Social Democratic Party in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The thugs invaded Labour House, beside Kwara State High Court complex, where members were addressing newsmen.

The thugs, numbering about 20, forced their way into the Labour House owned by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress and descended heavily on the conveners of the meeting.

A factional Chairman of the SDP in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, James Olajide, was assaulted, leaving him with torn cloth and dragged on the bare floor by the thugs.

The invading thugs accused the local government chairman of taking money from the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to foment trouble in the SDP.

“Baba Ifelodun, you took money from AA to disrupt our party,” one of the thugs said.

The thugs also beat and drove away an elderly man, who was walking with the aid of a walking stick.

NAN reports that the Publicity Secretary of a faction of the SDP, Kareem Akanbi, had on Tuesday announced the suspension of eight members from the party.

The conveners of the Wednesday meeting were some of the people that were suspended for alleged anti-party activities.

Before the disruption of the news conference, the factional Chairman of the SDP (original), Ibrahim Yahaya, had alleged plans by some former members of the All Progressives Congress to hijack it from the pioneer executive of the party.

Yahaya said: “It is no longer news that a faction of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State (APC Loyal) formally applied to join our party, the SDP, vide a letter to SDP National Secretariat dated March 9, 2022, by a reply letter dated 11th March 2022.

“The National Secretariat of SDP acknowledged the APC Loyal letter and their intention to join the SDP in Kwara State with a promise to work on a harmonisation arrangement on how their interests will be accommodated.

“The original SDP members in Kwara under my leadership were waiting for further directives from National Secretariat.

“But we were shocked to hear about a purported State congress of Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022, which was stage-managed by the Kwara APC Loyal group in collaboration with some officials of SDP National Secretariat.

“The sole aim of the kangaroo state congress election of SDP on April 26, 2022, was to hijack the party from the original members of the party who had worked tirelessly to bring the party to its enviable position in Kwara.

“The said congress was held in contravention to the SDP constitution. Also, the original members of Kwara SDP were denied participation in the said congress contrary to the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

“I wish to inform this august gathering that we have protested the said purported state congress of Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022, at the Kwara APC Loyal Secretariat to the National Secretariat of the party.

“Also, we have instructed our team of lawyers, who have since swung into action to challenge in court the legality of the purported state congress of the Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022.”

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APC primaries: I have reserved hotels with food for over 7,000 delegates — Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo e1498108723771

The Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Campaign Organisation on Wednesday said that it would provide hotel accommodation for more than 7,000 All Progressives Congress delegates across the country during the party’s presidential primary election.

Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Office of the Vice-President, disclosed this.

Ojudu announced this to delegates in Minna, while wooing them to vote for Osinbajo during the party’s primaries.

He said: “Before you leave Minna to the national delegates conference, your hotel accommodations and other things will be provided for you to enable you to feel at home through out the delegates conference.

“We have provided hotel accommodations for the more than 7,000 APC delegates to the presidential primary election.

“We don’t want a situation where more than one person will stay in a room.

“We want all of you to feel comfortable during the primary election.”

Ojudu said that there would be vehicles to convey the delegates to and fro the venue from their hotels and also a desk officer in each hotel to attend to the needs of the delegates.

“At the hotel, food will be provided and there will be a desk officer to attend to all your needs,” he said.

Ojudu said that the campaign organisation would do everything possible to reward the delegates if Osinbajo is elected as the party’s candidate and by the grace of God emerges the president in the 2023 general election.

He said: “In the past our delegates have not been rewarded.

“Rather other people who did not contribute were rewarded with appointments and jobs.

“If Osinbajo is elected as promised, we are going to reward all of you with jobs and appointments.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while Ojudu was briefing the delegates and newsmen, Osinbajo was having a closed door meeting with the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.

NAN also reports that after the meeting with Bello, Osinbajo met the delegates in a closed door before leaving Minna.

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