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Ohanaeze says no going back on Igbo president, rejects PDP no-zoning formula

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  • Zoning will not favour PDP in 2023, says Bauchi gov
  • It’s fair for South to produce next president – Masari

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has rejected the Bala Mohammed-led committee report of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which recommended that the 2023 presidential ticket of the party should be thrown open to all sections of the country.

Governor Mohammed had said zoning the presidential ticket of the party might cause some regions to feel excluded during the 2023 general election.

He spoke during a Channels TV programme on Thursday, stressing that the party would provide a level-playing field for all candidates, and encourage a merit-based process.

“In 2015, we lost because we were so over-confident and there was too much internal wrangling. We lost in the north, even in the states where we had comparative advantage, because of the wrangling that particularly came out of our lack of internal democracy.

“And that is why today, we are saying that we have seen some zones that have not had a shot at the presidency for a long time — the South-East and the North-East. But we’re not yet going to say that the choice of the presidential flag bearer should be left exclusively to those zones. We’ll give a level-playing field because good things are from every part of the country, and we have good hands.

“We are just saying that if we zone completely to those places, there may be some feelings of exclusion. There will be some feelings of even shortchanging Nigerians in terms of presenting the best. The merit-based leadership recruitment that we want to do, is even at the same time, looking at history.”

But Ohanaeze said that the Mohammed-led committee report was capable of impugning the unity of the country and asked for the withdrawal of the report that it described as unconscionable.

The Igbo parent body noted that it was committed to Nigeria producing a President of Igbo extraction in 2023, adding that it would willingly identify with any group that is ready for the bargain.

In a statement, National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia said, “Ohanaeze views the report by the Bala Mohammed led committee as most despicable, un-reflective and unconscionable. It is very worrisome that some highly placed Nigerians who have benefited so much from the unity of the country would be inclined to decisions and actions that will further inflame the passions of the patient but aggrieved part of the country.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians agreed on the rotation of the presidency between the North and the South; in which case it is the turn of the South after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. For clarity purposes, both the South West and the South-South had both taken their turns in the persons of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan respectively. It is rather very unpatriotic and a trifle on the sensibilities of the Igbo for the committee to even suggest the rotation of the presidency to the North East in the first instance and open to every part of Nigeria as a major slight.

“It is disturbing that all the indignities, perceived and real, that the South-East suffers in the current dispensation are the outcome of the Igbo support to the PDP since 1999. It is on record that in 1999, the Igbo were in hock with the PDP through which Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the President of Nigeria; same in 2003 and the subsequent elections in Nigeria.

“On the other hand, the Igbo had invested much political capital in the PDP only to be betrayed by its apparent lack of principles. The leadership of the PDP is advised to retract the comment made by Alh Bala Mohammed and countermand the content of the obnoxious committee report in the interest of the party.

“Let it be known that Ndigbo does not wax so eloquent on political parties. The Igbo is bound to advertise the party that caters to the interest of our people. It is instructive that Senator Ali Ndume, a chieftain of the All Peoples Congress (APC) is among the prominent Northerners that canvass for zoning the Nigerian presidency to the South East for the 2023 presidential election. Other prominent APC chieftains are highly committed to the realisation of this project and we will be very delighted to work with them in the overall interest of Ndigbo.

Also speaking on the issue, Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, says it will be in the interest of fairness for a candidate from the southern region to emerge president in the 2023 general election.

Masari stated this during an interview on Channels Television, which was aired on Thursday.

With barely two years to the 2023 elections, there have been speculations on which zone will get the presidential ticket of the two major political parties — All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking on what he thinks would happen after the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, the Katsina governor said the APC has a “bright future” in the country when compared to other parties.

 “With regards to zoning, fair is fair. If you ask me, I would, as a person — Aminu — think we should move the presidency to the southern part of the country,” he said.

When asked which part of the south he prefers, he said “south is south”.

Masari also claimed that no political party has impacted the lives of “ordinary Nigerians” positively through social intervention programmes as the APC has done.

Politics

APC postpones presidential campaign to adjust team list

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has postponed the commencement of its campaign scheduled for Wednesday September 28.

In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the Director-General Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, announced the postponement, saying the decision was to create room for inclusion of more party chieftains into the council.

The statement is titled, “Adjustment of timetable of activities earmarked to commence campaign by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.

Part of the statement read, “Recall that we had earlier earmarked a peace walk and prayers for Wednesday, September 28, 2022, to officially kick-off our campaigns for the 2023 presidential elections.

“We had also announced that the members of the Campaign Council report at the Campaign Headquarters on that day to collect their letters of appointments.

“However, due to the expansion of the list to accommodate more stakeholders and interests within the APC family, we have decided to adjust the time-table of these activities in order to ensure everyone is on board before activities officially commence.

“Consequently, the activities earlier announced for the 28th of September will no longer hold

“As the ruling and most attractive party in Nigeria, we understand the sacrifices and understanding of our teeming members who are more than willing to volunteer themselves for this great task ahead. It also shows the enormous love that the party members have for our candidates.

“A new date and time-table of events will be announced soon.”

Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Bayo Onanuga, had in a statement on Monday said the council would commence official campaign on Wednesday with a prayer session and peace walk in Abuja, in line with the 2023 timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Orton dumps Wike, backs Ayu as PDP chairman

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has beaten a retreat in calling for the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ortom had earlier sided with Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies in insisting that the PDP should replace Ayu with someone from the South-West since Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate comes from the North like Ayu.

Since the emergence of Atiku as the standard-bearer of the party in May, the Wike group has insisted that Ayu must resign as a condition for supporting the PDP presidential candidate.

But Ortom in a statement issued by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press secretary, said he had confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general election.

The governor was reacting to the allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.

He said he worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected “as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds”.

The statement read in part, “The governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office.

“Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the northern caucus of the party and got elected as the national chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.

“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?

“This amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, which has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom, who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.

“Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is fact, because he has done more for Jemgbagh, both in terms of appointments and projects executed as well as patronage in the area, than even one of the Jemgbagh sons, who was governor. Besides, Governor Ortom has consistently worked for the unity of Benue State and will never stand in the way of any of her citizens, either here in the state or in the diaspora.

“For those, who claimed to be leaders of this Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, we urge them to be truly developmental in their drive to build cohesion among the people and attract real development to their area rather than engaging in mischief or blackmail.”

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Atiku Snubs Wike, Gives Fresh Appointment To Saraki, Anyim, Shekarau, Secondus, Others

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Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has approved the appointment of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and others as Special Advisers.

Naija News reports that this was made known in a statement on Monday by Atiku Abubakar’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe.

According to the statement, Atiku also appointed former presidential aspirant, Anyim Pius Anyim.

Ibrahim Shekarau who recently joined the PDP from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was also appointed as an Adviser.

The statement reads, “Ahead of the commencement of the 2023 election campaign on Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has made key appointments of Special Advisers aimed at strengthening his presidential campaign team.

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“The appointees are former Senate Presidents, Dr. Bukola Saraki as Special Envoy to the presidential candidate and Senator Pius Anyim, as Special Adviser.

“Also appointed as Special Advisers to the candidate are former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Ehigie Uzamere.

“Former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus was also appointed as Technical Adviser to the presidential candidate.

“The appointments are to take immediate effect.”

Atiku Abubakar charged the appointees to use their vast political experiences in ensuring that the PDP presidential campaign records resounding success in the 2023 election.

Naija News reports that there is no place for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State among the new appointees.

Wike and Atiku have been at loggerheads over the refusal of the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.

Wike and his loyalists had last week Wednesday pulled out of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation.

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