A former Minister of Aviation and Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic says he will not attend the party’s National Convention after fake results were printed for Idemili North LGA’s delegate elections.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Chidoka said he had petitioned the party to correct the anomaly to no avail.
He however said he will not sue the party.
“For the first time in many years, I will not be attending the PDP Convention,” Chidoka said. “I will watch from my house though I am a member of the Electoral Sub-Committee for the Convention.
“On May 10th a National Delegate Congress Committee chaired by Prof Kingsley Chimsorom Chilaka of Nnamdi Azikiwe University went to Anambra to conduct the congress and did not conduct any congress in Idemili North LGA where I had bought the form to contest as a National Delegate.
“Strangely the committee submitted a report and fake result for Idemili North LGA with the name of someone that did not purchase the form for the congress. It is time we look into the role of Academics in the corruption in our electoral process. I will follow up on that soon.
“INEC’s report clearly stated that they did not observe any election in Idemili North LGA as they were at the venue till 7 pm. I submitted a petition to the Party with a certified copy of the INEC report. I requested the Party to reschedule and conduct the congress in line with the party rules and Electoral Act.
“I waited till yesterday Friday 27th May for the Party NWC to sit on the petition to no avail instead the Party went ahead and published the name from the fake result as National Delegate.
“As a loyal Party member and a dedicated and prominent voice of the Party since the Party went into opposition, I have elected to stay away from the convention and will not pursue a legal redress against the party that I have given so much at grave personal risk and cost.
All appears set for the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Convention at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, where the party is expected to elect its presidential candidate.
On Friday the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) extended the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries for the 2023 general elections by six days, prompting the ruling All Progressives Congress to postpone its own primaries, earlier scheduled for Sunday, to June 6.
However, despite INEC’s shifting stance (which the PDP has criticised) and the APC postponement, it appears the PDP convention will go on as planned.
On Friday, the Chairman of the PDP’s National Convention Organizing Committee (NCOC), Senator David Mark, said virtually all its delegates have arrived Abuja and that the party was ready for the exercise.
Russia’s army confirmed Saturday it had seized the strategic town of Lyman in eastern Ukraine, on the road to two key cities still under Kyiv’s control.
“Following the joint actions of the units of the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian armed forces, the town of Krasny Liman has been entirely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists,” the defence ministry said in a statement, confirming an announcement a day earlier by pro-Moscow separatists.
A civil society election observation organization, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for extending the deadline for the conduct of primary elections and submission of the list of nominated candidates for the 2023 general elections, from 4th to 9th of June 2022.
TMG’s Chairman, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in a statement on Friday, lamented the extension noting that the group received the news with great worries and concerns.
He said that at a time when Nigerians are beginning to have confidence in the electoral umpire some powerful forces are trying to undermine and pressurise it to doing their biddings.
Rafsanjani said: “A lot of political parties have made efforts in conducting their primaries and if the ruling party is still uncertain about the day to conduct its presidential primary elections that shouldn’t be the basis for the extension.”
The Group also condemned the vote-buying incidents in the ongoing political party primaries across the country, stating that “any financial inducements on delegates were tantamount to the mortgaging of the country’s future.”
Mr Rafsanjani said: “We are appalled by the incidents of vote-buying and sundry financial inducements on the delegates in the ongoing political party primaries across the country.
“Delegates should note that they don’t have to go to the extent of mortgaging Nigeria’s future on the altar of ephemeral financial gratifications. They should think of Nigeria first before any other considerations.
“Our observers reported that aspirants’ agents were largely involved in coordinating vote-buying for various persons seeking political offices, which is unfortunate.
“It should be noted that the influence of money in an election has far-reaching implications in Nigerian politics because any politician that spends to be voted for will surely work towards recouping the money at the end of the day, and it is still the voters that will be at the receiving end.”
Mr Rafsanjani, lamented the incident that has led to an alarming increase in the rate of foreign exchange, saying that the Nigerian Naira has now reached an all-time high of N610 to a dollar.
“As the country is witnessing various economic challenges it is worrisome to see that the amount of money that is exchanging hands in this period has led to the sky-rocketing of the Naira, it is at its all-time high of N610 to a dollar in the country,” he stressed.
The TMG boss noted that the group will continue to monitor the electoral processes with a view to ascertaining the level of transparency and fairness in the process and report the same to Nigerians in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
The group, however, commended INEC and security agencies for ensuring the smooth conduct of the party primaries across the country.
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Convention Organizing Committee (NCOC), Senator David Mark has assured that arrangements have been made for a hitch free exercise on Saturday.
Addressing members of the committee of the Convention in Abuja ahead of the programme, Senator Mark assured that the exercise will be smooth and transparent.
He told members of the committee to brace up to the challenges to ensure a credible exercise, saying “you must be absolutely transparent.
“If you have any interest or bias for any of the aspirants, you can excuse yourself from this assignment,” Mark said, as quoted in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Paul Mumeh.
Senator Mark maintained that the stage is set for a hitch-free programme as all logistics, materials and security have been sorted out.
He added: “We are prepared for the exercise, virtually all our delegates have arrived Abuja.”
He said the PDP has a track record of conducting peaceful congresses and conventions over the years assuring that the outcome of this convention will make the party stronger.
According to Mark, “the PDP has an array of eminently qualified persons to rule Nigeria. We carried out due diligence during our screening. I am confident that who ever emerges from the convention will reflect the wishes of our party.”
Senator Mark and his committee members also inspected the facilities at the Velodrome, Moshood Abiola stadium, Abuja, venue of the convention.
The PDP is expected to elect its presidential flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election on Saturday.
“Since I resigned from the PDP because of issues that are at variance with my persona and principles, I have consulted widely with various parties and personalities to ensure we do not complicate the route to our desired destination.
“For me, the process of achieving our goal is as fundamental as what one will do thereafter.
“Therefore, I have chosen a route that I consider to be in line with our aspirations and my mantra of taking the country from consumption to production; and that is the Labour Party which is synonymous with the people, workers, development, production, securing and uniting Nigerians as one family.
“I invite all Nigerians to join me in taking back our country.
Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday said the Supreme Court judgment dismissing his appeal to stop his probe over an alleged N96 billion fraud has vindicated him.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had earlier described the judgment as a vindication of his administration’s decision to probe Mr Amaechi.
“Nigeria’s apex court today ruled on the Appeal filed by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi against the Rivers State Government on the Justice Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry,” a statement released by Amaechi’s media office said.
“The Supreme Court in dismissing the Appeal however pronounced that the function of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was mere investigative, that nobody, neither Amaechi nor anyone else, was on trial before the panel.
“The Supreme Court ruling clearly vindicates the former Governor of Rivers State. The apex court was categorical and clear that Amaechi was not on trial. The implication of this is that any indictment from the Commission is null and void and cannot stand.
“With this judgment, Amaechi has been vindicated and cleared him of all purported or alleged indictment by the Governor Wike’s Commission. It has been further settled that the decisions/recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and subsequent White Paper issued by the State Government is not a conviction or indictment and cannot stand.
“From the onset, it was obvious to any discerning mind that the Commission was set up to embarrass, denigrate and humiliate Amaechi. The apex court judgment today, further buttressed this stance. A Commission purportedly set up to investigate past financial transactions was actually a Commission to personally witch-hunt Amaechi.”