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Amaechi’s Ally Defects To PDP Amid Wike’s Alliance With APC Chieftains

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Chris Finebone

Chris Finebone, a long-standing ally of former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Finebone, who was the publicity secretary of the APC for years, confirmed his defection to Daily Trust in the early hours of Friday.

However, he did not give any reason for his defection. On his verified Twitter account, Finebone said,”Similanayi Fubara , PDP governorship candidate is my brother; know it and know peace!”

Shortly after he defected to PDP, Finebone visited Governor Nyesom Wike’s Ada George road residence in Port Harcourt in company of the former State Chairman of APC, Dr Davis Ikanya, and the PDP governorship candidate.

The development comes amid the alliance between Governor Nyesom Wike and chieftains of the APC.

Baring last-minute change of plans, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the APC-controlled House of Representatives, would commission some projects in Rivers today.

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Earlier in the week, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Senator Aliyu Wamakko, both strong APC members commissioned projects executed by Wike.

During the commissioning, Wike, who is having a running battle with the PDP, under whose platform he was twice elected governor, fired indirect shots at his party.

“If you say Rivers State does not matter, Rivers State will tell you that you don’t also matter at the appropriate time. If you don’t like us, we will not like you. If you like us, we will like you. Nobody will use our votes for nothing. Our votes will matter and Rivers State must benefit from anybody that we are going to support,” he had said on Monday.

During Wamakko’s visit, the Rivers governor had said effective leadership was not about political party, stressing that he would still perform well outside the PDP.

Coincidentally, Wike and Amaechi came second in the presidential primaries of their respective parties.

While former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar clinched the PDP ticket, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu emerged the flagbearer of the APC.

Wike had indicated interest in the PDP Vice-Presidential slot, but Atiku settled for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

This had thrown the opposition party into another round of crisis, with PDP leaders making efforts to reconcile the duo.

Last week, Atiku and Wike sat together at the residence of Jerry Gana, a former Minister and key PDP member, but the reconciliation talk is yet to yield the desired results.

It is unclear if Finebone’s latest political move has the blessing of Amaechi, the APC leader in Rivers.

In an interview with a national paper, a loyalist of Amaechi had said the alliance of Wike and APC Chieftains could make the former minister return to the PDP.

Amaechi is among the G-7 politicians that staged a walkout of the PDP Convention in 2013, a move that political pundits said contributed to the party’s loss of its 16-year dominance at the centre.

Atiku had led the move at the time and the G-7 politicians teamed up with the APC to wrest power from the PDP.

Wike, who once served as Amaechi’s Chief of Staff, succeeded Amaechi as governor in 2015, but they have maintained their rivalry even before the emergence of the incumbent Rivers governor.

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PDP Board of Trustees begins crucial meeting with Wike in Rivers

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A delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) board of trustees (BoT) has commenced a closed-door meeting with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike,

The meeting holding at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, is coming after While led some four PDP governors in a crucial meeting in Enugu, where they rolled out conditions for the group to work for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party.

Adolphus Wabara, PDP BoT acting chairman, is said to have led the delegation to the Tuesday’s meeting in Port Harcourt.

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2023: Ohanaeze insists on Igbo president

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, said it has not backtracked on its insistence that the next president of the country should come from the South East geopolitical zone.

The group said its position on the matter remains sacrosanct and should be respected by Nigerians.

Chairman of Ohaneze in Ebonyi State, Peter Mbam, who stated this during a press conference in Abakaliki, urged other geopolitical zones to support the South East in 2023, insisting it was the turn of the zone.

Mbam said  Ohanaeze was utterly disappointed with the way and manner the major political parties like the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) dribbled the South East during their  presidential primaries.

He also blamed some Igbo political leaders, especially party delegates that sold their votes for money and voted against candidates from the zone.

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He, however, expressed optimism that despite what transpired during the PDP and APC conventions, the agitation for president of South East extraction in 2023 remains on course and will be actualised.

He said: “Presently, Ohanaeze does not give momentum to leaving Nigeria. However, we stand with all agitations against marginalization of Ndigbo in Nigeria.

“We believe in Nigeria, where all people and groups are treated with justice, equity and fair play. And in our doing this, Ohanaeze’s approach is diplomacy and dialogue, not violence or banditry. Ohanaeze, therefore, strongly supports the next president in 2023 should come from the South East, as a matter of fairness and urges other components of the country to agree.” 

On Ebonyi State governorship tussle, Mbam said Ohanaeze would support Governor David Umahi to ensure peaceful transition anchored on equity, justice and fairness.

He praised Governor Umahi’s efforts in transforming the state through delivery of quality and durable infrastructure and human capital development to the people.

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Lagos Deputy Governor warns LP supporters against cheap tactics

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The Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, has warned political loyalists and supporters of the Labour Party to desist from cheap tactics that would not yield any political gains.

Hamzat gave the warning in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Tunde Alao, on Sunday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that an online picture of an individual, captioned: “The Lagos State Deputy Governor’s son Femi Hamzat, joins the obidient rally in support of Peter Obi,” had gone viral on the social media on Saturday after the #Obidient Rally in Lagos.

According to the statement: “For the avoidance of doubt, the gentleman in the displayed photograph is neither the deputy governor’s son nor his relative.

“The viral message is another mischievous, false and malicious attempt to cause friction between the deputy governor and his admirers and loyalists across the nation.

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“Dr Hamzat has a reputation of commitment and loyalty to the Sanwo-Olu led administration and the All Progressives Congress.

“His support is for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima. Our party and all our supporters are working hard to ensure that our candidates get the votes of Nigerians and ours is not about bogus statistics and lies.”

The statement added that any attempt to denigrate the Deputy Governor’s character by spewing falsehood about his family would remain a vain and futile attempt until eternity.

It advised the supporters of the Labour Party to get serious with their campaigns and desist from cheap tactics that would not yield any political gains.

“We hope that Nigerians will detect these tendencies to deceive and see it for what it is. It is too late in the day to keep lying to Nigerians. It won’t work.” the statement added.

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