*All incumbent NWC members lose seat Decision subject to NEC approval
*Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal’s presidential bids intact as ticket is thrown open
Apparently yielding to pressure and paying attention to the mood of the nation, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National zoning committee, yesterday, made a u-turn on the zoning of offices of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and moved the chairmanship seat to the northern region.
From the outcome of the committee meeting, it has also been decided that all the current NWC members of the party would lose their seats in view of the decision, even though the resolutions are still subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
A major twist to this development, however, is that it has not affected the presidential aspirations of northerners in the party like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, as the ticket, by implications, has not be thrown open.
The committee had last Thursday zoned the office of the National Chairman to South, where 32 members spoke in favour of retaining the national chairman to the south, while 25 members spoke in favour of the national chairman to the north.
The meeting adjourned till Thursday this week, where the issue was revisited.
First, at a Wednesday meeting, the PDP governors voted 8 to 4 members to zone the office of the National Chairman to the north.
At the meeting, which took place at the Akwa Ibom Governor’s lodge, Abuja, three northern governors — Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Adamu Fintiri (Adamawa) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba) — voted for the chairmanship to be zoned to the south.
But Governor Samuel Ortom (Benue), voted for the chairmanship to be in the north. Tambuwal, who is the chairman of the PDP governors forum, did not vote, because he presided over the meeting.
Other PDP governors, who voted in favour of northern chairmanship were Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Douye Diri (Bayelsa).
The meeting immediately resolved to pass the resolution of the governors to the zoning committee of the national convention.
Reaffirming the decision of the PDP governors, the 48-man national zoning committee headed by the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, announced the swapping of the offices in the north to the south and offices in the south to the north.
Reading the communique of the meeting, Ugwuanyi said, “At the end of the deliberations of the PDP National Zoning Committee, it was resolved as follows:
“The National Zoning Committee of the PDP was given the mandate to zone National offices to be contested by all PDP Members of the Party at the PDP National Convention of the Party scheduled for October 30/31 2021 by the National Executive Committee of the Party.
“That the mandate of the Committee does not include zoning of the offices of the President, Vice President and other Executive and Legislative offices of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And the decision of the Committee to zone the party offices does not in any way affect the executive and legislative offices in Nigeria.
“That zoning of offices on PDP has traditionally been between the North and South of Nigeria.
“The decision of the PDP Zoning Committee is in line with the Constitution of the party on zoning and rotation of party and national offices in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
“Consequently, the current offices being held by officers in the Southern zones of the country, namely, South West, South East and South South zones, should swap places with the offices currently in the northern zones of Nigeria, namely, North West, North East and North Central zones.
“We want to thank the party, especially the National Executive Committee that set up this Committee on September 9, 2021 for finding us worthy to serve the party in the capacity as zoning committee members.
“We shall pass on our recommendations to the National Executive Committee of the Party through the National Working Committee of the party.”
Ugwuanyi signed the communique as chairman, while Ortom signed as Deputy Chairman. The deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed, signed as secretary of the committee.
In the same manner, office of the national treasurer of PDP has been taken to the north as well as that of the National Youth Leader.
Also, by implications, the office of the National Publicity Secretary, would be in the south, while the office of national organising secretary held by Col Austin Akobundu would be taken north. The office of the national secretary held by Senator Umaru Tsuari has been sent to the south, while the national woman leader was zoned to the south. The next national legal adviser is going to be northerner.
The zoning as announced was a clean sweep of all incumbent members of the PDP NWC.
Another implication of the zoning is that the presidential ambitions of Abubakar Saraki, Tambuwal, the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed might not have been affected, because according to an insider, what happened at the zoning committee was an indication that the presidential ticket of the party might be thrown open.
The source, therefore, said all the northern presidential hopefuls were free to contest at the presidential convention.
He said the zoning committee discussed the report of the Mohammed committee, which threw the presidential ticket open, but decided to play it down till further notice, when it would be appropriate to discuss it.
Chuks Okocha, Thisday Live
Anambra Guber: IPOB declares sit-at-home on election day
Anambra state governorship election may suffer serious setback as the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared total lockdown in all states in south East from November 5 to November 10, to compel the federal government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has fixed the Anambra gubernatorial election for November 6, 2021.
But in a statement issued by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said, “Following the adjournment of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to 10th of November 2021, by the Federal High Court Abuja, it demanded all lovers of Biafra and Biafrans to sit at home from 5 to 10 November to ensure that their leader is released.
“We the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafra land from 5th of November to 10th of November except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God, Chukwu Okike Abiama, if the Nigeria Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 2021” he stated.
IPOB said its leader Nnamdi Kanu must be released unconditionally on or before November 4, 2021 “because he has not committed any offense known to any law.
According to the group, “failure to release Nnamdi KANU on or before November 4, 2021 there will be one week Sit-At-Home beginning on November 5, 2021 till November 10.”
Daily Trust reports that Kanu was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja on treasonable felony and terrorism charges.
The fresh seven-count charges against Kanu followed his arrest and extradition from Kenya after he jumped bail.
Kanu, however, pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
2023 presidency: Tinubu support group launched in Abuja
A support group for the 2023 presidential campaign of Bola Tinubu has inaugurated states’ steering committee in Abuja.
It also unveiled the “Asiwaju legacies” at the national secretariat of the TSG in Maitama, Abuja.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari when the latter’s tenure expires in 2023.
The Abuja event is coming two weeks after the APC national leader spent over three months in London, where he was said to have undergone surgery.
All groups supporting Tinubu in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were present with a large crowd at the launch.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon James Abiodun Faleke, who delivered a keynote address, said the APC must prepare grounds for an orderly transition of power to another APC government in 2023 by fielding Tinubu as a presidential candidate.
He said, “Our party and government must snap victory from the jaws of these challenges. It is not the time to experiment with inexperienced experts. It is not the season for those who can talk but have no history of walking their talk.
“To secure the votes of the majority in 2023, we must present a candidate that knows where the shoe pinches the average Nigerian, not just because he has been but because, as the governor of the most difficult, most complex state in Nigeria, he put smiles on the faces of the poor by convincing the rich to join the government to chase poverty from the streets.”
Faleke also said, “That man is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos, Lagos State. Our party is therefore lucky that it does not need to go on a wild goose chase for the man to fly our party’s flag in these challenging times; a time when the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must go to the person who can continue to end banditry, to crush kidnappers and engage separatists so that our people can live in peace and prosperity.
“We have discovered a man who is ready to sacrifice all he has for his fatherland. It is now clear that the meeting of minds between him and President Buhari is grounded in their circumstances.
“Just like President Buhari left power in august 1985 but continued to mark the higher standards of the progressive military in government, the image and relevance of our man of the moment soared in public consciousness despite his unofficial status.”
16 APC Governors backing Tinubu for 2023 presidency – Adeyeye
Former Minister of Works and National Chairman, South West Agenda for Tinubu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, has said 16 governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress are solidly supporting the presidential aspiration of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Adeyeye disclosed this when he inaugurated the parallel APC ward and local executives in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The former Senate spokesman, who spoke on Thursday, said the Governors have a keen interest in the actualisation of Tinubu’s presidential bid.
He explained they were queuing behind the APC stalwart because of his administrative acumen, mental capacity, rare leadership quality and unequalled political structures which cut across the six geo-political zones.
The former Minister noted that the Office ofthe President was too important to be given to a political Lilliputian without structure, adding that Tinubu is perfectly suitable for the plum position by all standards
He said: “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be the next President of this country and one of us will become the Governor in Ekiti State.
“I am happy that the new executives have passion for this group and this will lead to action and eventually victory for all of us.
“APC leaders and members across board are using their personal money to fund SWAGA. Members are not after money.
“Let me tell you this: 16 governors are now backing Tinubu for president and they are no longer afraid after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State openly supported us when we did the flag off in Lagos.”
Speaking on the parallel executives, the APC chieftain said its congresses were authentic, describing the Paul Omotoso-led executives elected by a group loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Saturday as mere impostors.
He said: “Those that were inaugurated today are the authentic APC executives in Ekiti.
“The party at the national level brought out a guideline that people should come out and queue to vote for the ward and local government congresses but their people didn’t come out.
“They were inside a room concocting names under the guise of consensus.
“But SWAGA members filed out.
“We have the video clip that we will present.
“What they did on Saturday, October 16 was a nullity and a complete waste of time.
“We knew what we did for Fayemi to win in 2018.
“He couldn’t have won on his own because he has no popularity.
“I know that they can’t buy you with money, you are for SWAGA.
“This government has finished, don’t let them deceive you with positions.
“Only the Fayemi’s Tokantokan group is enjoying the dividends of what we did, others are sidelined.
“It is now shop alone, die alone.
“Even many of those with appointments are aggrieved.
“Many will shock them during the governorship primary.
“We are now using direct primary.
“They can no longer sleep because the party now wants direct primary, owing to the fact that they are not popular.”
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