Blame Wike for destroying zoning – Atiku *How Rivers gov hounded Obi out of PDP
Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, absolved himself of blame for the manner the party’s zoning arrangement for the country collapsed, but instead, blamed it on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, whose vaulting ambition ensured that the ticket was thrown open.
The former VP, also narrated how the governor’s machination led to the frustration of Peter Obi, out to the party, when he used his influence on the party machinery to seize the structure and install his stooges in various states, including Anambra, where Obi was supposed to be the leader, thus, making it impossible for the now Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate to realise his quest of running under the PDP.
Atiku, stressed how his stance on the zoning arrangement, which the party enshrined in its constitution, maintained that zoning, regarding to the 2023 election, was that only two zones – North East and South East, must be considered, with a proviso that if the party decided on the latter, he would not contest.
However, blaming Wike for upsetting the apple-cart and truncating the process, because of his vaulting ambition, he said it was the governor that threw his weight around and worked on the committee raised by the party to decide on the zoning formula to throw the race open which had dire consequences on the party.
The position of the former Vice President, was conveyed on Wednesday, via Danial Bwala, spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PDP-PCC), while appearing on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television, in a bid to put the records of events straight.
Emphasising the role of Wike, in Obi’s hurried exit from PDP, the former VP, said: “Before now, when the party was planning for the primaries, there was this internal advocacy for power to shift to the South and people felt it should shift to the South East. That argument started growing. It started evaporating at the point where Atiku said if the party was inclined to zoning, his position was that it should be zoned to the South East or North East, because these were the two political parties that had not benefitted and that if it was zoned to the South East, he would not contest.
“Meanwhile, Wike who had interest in running for the President, started by ensuring that he removed Secondus before that time and then, during this advocacy and conversation, he ensured that the committees that were formed to deliberate on the party leadership as well as the structure of the presidential ticket, came out with a finding that would support his ambition. They came out with the finding that the chairmanship of the party should go to the North, because he was thinking that if the chairman went to the North, it was natural that the candidate would go to the South.
“When it came to the presidential, he ensured that the committee left the ticket open, because of the growing conversation that it should go to the South East when the decision is taken that it should go to the South. So, when Peter Obi saw that it was thrown open, he knew that he couldn’t challenge the gladiators in the party, and so he left. When you go deeper, you could see that in Anambra, Peter ought to have been the leader of the party. All you needed is to google and you’ll see how Peter Obi was frustrated by the command and control of Wike.”
BREAKING: Tribunal to Atiku: Our court, not a stadium for entertainment! Nails live broadcast
Justice Haruna Tsammani, on Monday killed the attempt by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic (PDP) and Peter Obi, his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, both presidential candidates, respectively in the February 25 election to get Nigerians watch the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, currently sitting in Abuja, live.
The court court, ruling on the plea that originated from the former Vice President, who had argued that it would give integrity to the process and was later joined by Obi, in a unanimous ruling, held that the application was without merit, adding that televising court proceedings is not provided for in any extant law in the country.
Tsammani, Chairman of the five-man panel of Court of Appeal Justices, sitting as PEPT, who read the lead ruling, while adopting the arguments of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, his All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which declared him winner of the election and which also railed against the move, agreed that it would not make the outcome of their decisions any cleaner.
To him, the court sitting in public did not mean that it should sit in a stadium or in marketplace and that there was no way televising the proceedings could advance the interest of fair hearing for parties or advance the interest of the petitioners in relation to issues raised in their petition, adding that granting the request by Atiku and the PDP could trivialise the serious business of the court.
BREAKING: Kalu’s Senate presidency quest runs into trouble, suffers APC hammer
Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip of the Senate, may be kissing his quest to lead the National Assembly in Nigeria by becoming 10th session Senate President goodbye, if the attempt to strip him of his All Progressives Congress (APC) identity succeeds.
Kalu, seen as one of the front runners for the nation’s number three citizen, was among the party stalwarts suspended by the ruling party on Thursday, alongside Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State.
Alongside former Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo; Director General Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu and former Commissioner in Enugu state, Joe Mammel, the APC bigwigs, who had earlier been slammed with their fate shortly after the 2023 general elections, had their suspension sustained by the party’s South East caucus.
The ratification of the suspension of the chieftains from Enugu and Abia States, who were initially slammed for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities, according to the APC Zonal Secretariat came after South East Executive Meeting on April 16, 2023.
Ijeomah Arodiogbu, National Vice Chairman (South East), who gave the reason for the action, as the need to enforce discipline in the party, in order to strengthen APC in the zone, listed other names to include: SA to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Flavour Eze, former chairman of the party in the state, Ben Nwoye; former deputy state chairman, A. C. Udeh; Obodoeze Ocho; Chukwudi Igwe; Kingsley Uduji; former Military Governor of the state, Joe Orji; Maduka Arum (A.K.A Mama) and Chidera Obed.
Others suspended alongside Kalu in Abia, included Sam Nkeire, Uche Sampson Ogah, former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, amongst others.
Ezeanyawu Michael, spokesman of the party in Enugu State, while stating that it was the right thing to do, said: “I want to further use this opportunity to call on the APC leadership, at both the state and national levels, not to relent in its efforts to rid the party of saboteurs.”
Senate Presidency race: Akpabio visits Buhari, says my track record speaks for me
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday emerged from a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock villa in Abuja, with a definite message to Nigerians – I will introduce something new, if elected as the new Senate President.
Akpabio, who left as the Minority Leader after losing his return bid in 2019 to take up appointment as Minister of Niger Delta, flaunted his credentials as governor, where he claimed to have made significant contributions to infrastructure, stating that he would be an “uncommon transformer” as the head of the nation’s legislature.
He told State House Correspondents after the meeting: “It is well known that Akpabio is a results-driven individual. You will remember that when I was a governor, I made significant contributions to infrastructure, education, social issues, and human empowerment.
“I intend to bring a lot of reforms into the senate, in the ways and manners we do business, to assist the next administration to succeed. We will be very thorough in doing everything; we’ll bring about loyalty to the constitution.
“The restiveness that we are seeing across the nation, we’ll do our best to make good laws and to assist the administration to bring about policies that will empower the youths of the country. I made that promise even on the convention day that being a man who used to turn boys into men and who still does, that I will like to work with the incoming president, who has also shown that example in Lagos state as a governor and thereafter as a leader of the APC in Nigeria.
“So, the youths are in for a very good time, in terms of empowerment, there will be no time for slacking and we’ll restrict a lot of them from being lured into criminality, into brigandage and all that.”