The leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated the new National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr John Oyegun, National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Mohammed and other newly elected officers for their emergence at their party’s National Convention”.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday also told the new leadership to “ensure an issue based opposition that will purposefully and constructively engage and challenge the PDP with decency and maturity as prescribed by democratic tenets and principles”.
He further stated that Nigerians deserved a vibrant and patriotic opposition driven only by the national interest.
The PDP also urged the new APC leadership to “put the unity and welfare of Nigerians ahead of other considerations and jettison all divisive tendencies including unguarded statements that overheat the polity and pitch Nigerians against one another.
The ruling party, however, asserted its pre-eminent position and widest acceptance among Nigerians across board, insisting that “the new leadership of the APC posed no threat at all.
The ruling party said it remained the only party that had continued to be committed to the national interest, as well as providing level playing ground for all Nigerians to achieve their aspirations irrespective of religious, ethnic and gender considerations.
In his acceptance speech as the chairman of the APC, Mr Oyegun called for members unity, stressing the need for party members to work hand in hand to accomplish the task ahead.
He pledged that in 2015, the APC would provide Nigerians with a visionary, dedicated and people-oriented leadership that would liberate the nation from PDP’s rule of poverty and oppression.
“Under the stewardship of the APC, Nigeria will progress and Nigerians will thrive. This is our sacred pledge to Nigerians tonight,” he said, while addressing the crowd at the Eagle Square in Abuja on Friday.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed as false alarm, the statement by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that federal lawmakers were being induced with millions of dollars to defect to the PDP.
“Whilst we ordinarily should not dignify this sinking party, notorious for lies, deceit and propaganda with a reply, we are compelled to do so because their action is a direct attack on the basic fabric of our democracy”, the PDP said in a statement by the national secretary of the party, Mr Olisah Metuh.
“All well-meaning Nigerians are indeed worried by the statements and actions of the APC which are clearly aimed at destroying our democracy and plunging the nation into chaos. In alleging that lawmakers were being financially induced, the APC seeks to cast doubt in the minds of Nigerians regarding the integrity of duly elected persons, politicians and the entire democratic institution”, the statement read.
The statement further noted that “though this is a preposterous and cheap thesis by the APC to excuse and explain away the collapsing fickle fraud upon which its membership is built, it is nonetheless a vicious attack on the citadel of democracy and we call on the leadership and members of the National Assembly not to view the allegation as mere political statement. We urge the National Assembly to insist that the APC withdraws the allegation and apologize to the legislature and the entire nation.
“The truth is that the APC has reached its peak. Diminishing returns has set in and the party can only go down further. It is a clear sign that it has exhausted all its strategies and now seeks to cover its premature boast of majority in the National Assembly.
“The APC celebrated too early. They have played all their cards and displayed all their tactics well ahead of the contest. Theirs is a case of engaging in a marathon race as a sprint; a football team celebrating its mere appearance in the pitch far before the beginning of a match. Now, they are weary and tired while the contest is yet to begin.
“At a point, in the mind of some sections of the public, the PDP got to its lowest level, but we remained focused. Despite the defections of lawmakers from our fold, the PDP never assaulted their integrity.
“There is no doubting the fact that the PDP under its new National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu is reaching out to all its members including those that defected in a reconciliation drive that is already yielding dividends”.
The ruling party noted that it is “not surprised about the flurry of defections and return to our fold. The PDP remains the only national party while the APC is quasi-national. The PDP is owned equally by all its members irrespective of race and religion, the APC is owned by a tiny clique of civilian and civil-clothed dictators whose major agenda is to capture power for selfish ends and turn Nigeria to either old Sudan or Somalia.
“The PDP is the only political party with a consistent structure, vision and achievements in the transformation of Nigeria since 1998, the APC are a cacophonous amalgam of tribal and religious irredentists with no known vision or achievements in its earlier metamorphosis.
We are expecting more defections to the PDP. We have consistently told Nigerians that the PDP would emerge from its challenges a stronger party and this is what we are witnessing”, the statement added.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mister Ghali Na’Abba has challenged those claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement to restrict himself to a single term to come out with proofs to back up their claims.
Speaking on Channels Television programme, ‘’View From The Top’’, Mr Na’Abba said that although it is important for people to honour agreements they entered into, he was not privy to any document suggesting that there is any agreement.
He said: “Anybody has the right to contest to be the President of Nigeria, wherever he comes from, but when there is an agreement, that agreement must be upheld, no matter the pain. If we don’t learn to honour our agreements, then we are not men of honour.
“In this case, none of us have been briefed after the primary elections of 2011 by anybody about the process these governors followed in giving their votes or asking their delegates to elect Goodluck Jonathan to be the party’s presidential flag bearer.”
Na’Abba was among many top politicians that left the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in a highly publicized defection to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in 2005. He said that unlike the current wave of defections, his was not an easy decision, leaving the PDP back then.
He explained that the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his bid to elongate his tenure in office, “embarked on what they called re-registration exercise in the party”, with the aim of “having total control of the party.”
He further alleged that those of them who were seen not to be in support of the president’s plan “were marked out for total elimination from the party.” So, means had to be devised for them to either leave the party or be dismissed. He said that they were denied the opportunity to be re-registered as members of the party.
Hence, they opted out of the party and fought the scheme. He noted that they did not leave the party just because they wanted to.
He, however, regretted that his expectation that whatever party he joined after PDP would be a truly democratic party with internal democracy was not what he found, so he decided to return to his party, the PDP, in 2007, just after the presidential election.
Speaking from experience as a one-time defector, Na’Abba noted that the possibility of recent PDP defectors returning to the party would depend on their objectives, as there were people in politics for the purpose of acquiring power, while there are also developmental politicians.
“Once power seeking politicians find what they need, they may not come back, because for them all the platforms are the same. There are no differences in ideology; which is why many politicians contesting for positions cannot provide their party manifestos,” he explained.
Mr Na’Abba also commended the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, saying despite the circumstances that he has found himself, he is doing his best.
“The current House of Representatives cannot be compared to that of 1999 to 2003. Because that time, members came almost on their own, so they didn’t need anybody to direct them, and this was why the House was quite independent.
“After 2003, when the potential for the House to do a lot of things was realised by the executive arm, it was silently decided that that degree of independence should never be allowed within the legislature. So the next occupants of the House and the Senate were mostly handpicked by the party or the President.”
He also shared his views on the National Conference and other matters of national importance.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the All Progressives Congress’ ‘block the budget‘ directive to its members in Nigeria’s National Assembly will not work, as there are some responsible and reasonable lawmakers of the opposition party that will not uphold the directive.
Expressing the ruling party’s confidence that the directive will not be applied, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, described the directive as cruel and wicked, saying that a party that claims to mean well for Nigeria should not issue such a statement.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had issued a directive to its members in the National Assembly, asking them to block proceedings on the budget and the ratification of the list of Service Chiefs sent to the Legislature by the Executive.
Mr Metuh, on Monday, called on the APC to be as open and as transparent as the PDP and accept that it had made a mistake by issuing the directive, an act he said was against democracy and Nigerians.
“When we make mistake, we come on national television, we face Nigerians and say we have made mistakes. But here, APC has committed a big blunder, an act against democracy in this country and yet they are trying to justify it. That is sad.
“What I expected Lia Mohammed- APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary – and the APC to be telling Nigerians is that; we made a mistake. What they have done is a simple thing of attempting to divide the child, insisting that the child should be divided.
“We have a democracy in Nigeria and it is the longest time we have had democracy. And what do you tell people? You attempt to stop that democracy because you believe that you are scoring a political point that will definitely boomerang,” he said on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.
Consider Economic Principles Not Sentiments
The PDP member pointed out that in developed democracy, the issue of the passage of the budget or delay of the budget was discussed by considering economic principles and not sentiments.
“The focus should be on; what do we adopt, how do we put more money and what is the economic principle that we should adopt in defending the budget or in attempting to pass the budget.
“But here, you are bringing something that is definitely unconnected with issues at stake and you are telling your members to block the passage of the budget. Well, it will not work. Thank God that the APC is really exposing themselves to Nigerians for what they are,” Mr Metuh stressed.
He also accused the APC of trying to truncate democracy after the election, saying there is no way the party can win the election. “They are trying to insight Nigerians to turn out and cause unrest and mayhem after the election,” he claimed.
Mr Metuh also said that the PDP was not worried about the APC members effecting the statement in the National Assembly.
“We are more worried that they are attempting to cause disaffection among Nigerians. They are attempting to make sure that things do not work in an election year.”
On whether the number of the APC members in the National Assembly, which had gown due to defections of PDP members to the APC, will have any influence on the directive, Mr Metuh insisted that the true nature of things would unfold in the coming weeks.
He said that the fact that the PDP had been able to resolve its leadership challenges was beginning to restore member’s confidence.
Several rallies organised by the Save Rivers Movement in Rivers State have been disrupted by the police and hoodlums on different occasions and the APC had cited the development as one of the reasons for the directive.
But Mr Metuh said that the crisis in Rivers state was political, peculiar to the state and caused by agitations over the leadership of the state.
He also said that the police had tried to maintain peace, law and order in the state.
“I know that there is a lot of noise in Rivers State and I don’t think there is any violence in Rivers, or mayhem or death of individuals to necessitate the blunder by the APC,” Metuh stated.
He insisted that the state government was dramatizing the issues and accused the Save Rivers Movement of not sending a request for security to the Police.
“They should always ask for police protection in a peaceful manner and engage the police in maintaining law and order when they are holding rallies. If they act normally they will have the protection that they need,” he emphasised.
The PDP spokesman debunked claims that the presidency does not care about the crisis in Rivers State, saying “there is no way the presidency will not care about what is happening in Rivers State because we are seeing a governor of a state that is engaging in unlawful act and issuing all kinds of statement that could threaten the nation’s democracy”.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the Anambra governorship election, Mr. Tony Nwoye, has insisted on his plan to boycott the supplementary election scheduled for November 30.
Insisting on shunning the election, the Campaign Organisation of Mr. Nwoye, denounced the announcement made by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, insisting that the Mr Nwoye will take part in the supplementary election scheduled for November 30.
Mr. Metuh had said that the Peoples Democratic Candidate, would take part in the election.
It is the second time since the November 16 election that the state chapter of the party is in disagreement with the leadership of the party over the election that Nwoye, the candidate of the All Progressives Alliance, Chris Ngige and Ifeanyi Uba of the Labour Party have rejected the results released so far by the electoral commission.
The three candidates have called for a total cancelation of the election and insisted that a fresh election should be conducted.
In a press conference, the Director of Protocol of Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Mr. Ken Arinze, made it clear that the pronouncement of Mr. Metu was a personal thought and never represented the wishes of the candidate and of the party.
He said that the candidate would not participate in the supplementary election on the basis that the candidate’s name was not on the voters register.
“Being part of the supplementary poll is giving credibility to the election that lacked merit,” Mr. Arinze stressed.
Similarly, the Director General of Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Victor Ezenwa, reminded Metu of the premise of his office as the party’s National Publicity Secretary and not Tony Nwoye’s.
Mr. Ezenwa urged Metu to refrain from imposing his mind on the party or the party’s candidate.
The Director, Strategy Planning of the Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Jude Onyeka, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Olise Metuh’s criticisms against All Progressives Congress’ call for an outright cancellation of the controversial Anambra governorship election.
On Saturday, Mr Metuh had praised INEC for proper conduct of the Anambra election and criticised the leadership of the APC for demanding a cancellation of the election.
However, a member of Tony Nwoye’s (PDP’s candidate) campaign team, Onyeka, described the electoral process as a charade and supported the call for cancellation which seemed to fuel rumours that there is no alignment between the PDP at the national level and the state level, in Anambra.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Onyeka assured the public that the PDP was in one accord as the party chairman, Bamaga Tukur, who gave them a mandate to contest in the election, also gave all the support needed.
He commented on Metuh’s statement and said “Chief Olisa Metuh is only an individual, as far as I’m concerned,” adding that he only expressed his own opinion.
He added that Metuh, who is based in Abuja and did not participate in the election, was not the right person to adjudge the election as ‘free and fair.’
“This election, as far as we are concerned, is a mere charade.”
Onyeka also denied claims by the APC that the PDP sold Nwoye’s supporters to APGA.
“Our candidate, Tony Nwoye and all his supporters went into that election because we know that if the election was conducted on a free and fair basis our candidate will emerge the governor elect of Anambra state. So there’s no how we would have sold our mandate to APGA.”
The Tony Nwoye team had successfully campaigned in all 177 communities in the state with 2 weeks. “We wouldn’t have taken such pains if we were thinking of selling our mandate to APGA.”
He stated that anything short of an outright cancellation of the election would not be free and fair.
The Interim secretary of the Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Sidi Godwin, has disagreed with the suspension of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, describing it as an act of “desperation in the highest quarters,” referring to the Bamanga Tukur leadership.
Godwin described the announcement by the Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, making known the suspension of Oyinlola and three other members of the National Executive Committee, for breach of sections 58(1), (b), (g), H and I of the party’s constitution, as an abnormality.
“The action by the Bamanga-Tukur led PDP is unconstitutional and an abuse of democracy,” he said.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday, Mr Godwin said that due process was not followed and such actions deepened the rift among members.
While making the suspension announcement, Metuh read a section of the party’s constitution seen as the code of conduct for members:
“Anyone who does or says anything likely to bring the PDP into disrepute, hatred or contempt has committed a disciplinary offence.
Anyone who engages in disorderly conduct at meetings or rallies, at any party function, including walking out at conventions, is engaging in disorderly conduct.”
However, Godwin insisted that the suspension was “based on what they (Bamanga caucus) have agreed on their own to do to oppress other members of the party.”
Making reference to the court ruling reinstating Oyinlola as National Secretary, Godwin said “the will of the so called caucus members cannot override the will of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These are some of the things the new PDP plans to kick against.”
New PDP Governors Are ‘Messiah Governors’
While speaking on Sunrise Daily, Godwin stressed that the members of the PDP who have made known their dissatisfaction with the current leadership are still members of the party but were tagged ‘New PDP’ by those who interpreted their actions as ‘defection.’
“Sometimes they call them ‘Rebel Governor’s forgetting the fact that these governors are ‘Messiah Governors’ to save Nigeria.”
In a move that clearly marks the end of reconciliation talks between the two disputing factions of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Bamanga Tukur leadership has termed members of the Baraje faction as imposters.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, said this while reacting to the Federal High Court ruling which dismissed the suit filed by the Kawu Baraje-led faction of the People’s Democratic Party and declared that there is only one recognised PDP led by Mr Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman.
The National Publicity Secretary also warned that it will no longer tolerate meetings or utterances by unauthorized persons or groups.
It will be recalled that the creation of the Baraje faction of the PDP started when five of the governors – Abdufatah Ahmed of Kwara, Muazu Aliyu of Niger, Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto States –walked out of the PDP special convention in Abuja, with a claim that a lot is not done right under the Tukur leadership.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the Governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as a member of the party over the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
The NWC also referred the suspension of Mr Amaechi to the party’s disciplinary committee for appropriate action.
The party’s NWC at an emergency meeting on Monday, agreed to suspend the Rivers state Governor following a petition submitted by the PDP Rivers State Executive Committee.
The party made this known in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.
According to the statement, the party “considered the petition submitted by the PDP Rivers State Executive Committee against His Excellency Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Governor of Rivers State for violating Articles 58 1 (b), (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP Constitution.”
“The National Working Committee after preliminary hearing, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 59 (3), 59 (5) and 29 (2.b) hereby suspends the Executive Governor of River State, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a member of the PDP and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the Party.”
“This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels within the party” the statement concluded.
The state chapter of PDP in Rivers state has been embroiled in a prolonged crisis that has had 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Speaker, suspended by the newly installed executives of the party in the state.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier sacked executive members of the party in the state that were loyal to Mr Amaechi and replaced them with the Felix Obuah led faction.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accepted defeat and congratulated the Governor-elect in the Ondo State gubernatorial election, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
The PDP also commended the people of Ondo State for what it termed “their emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism which it stressed were the hallmark of the campaign of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in the just concluded gubernatorial election.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary on Sunday, Olisa Metuh, however hailed its candidate, Olusola Oke for his courage, determination and doggedness, adding, ‘’though the PDP was not declared the winner of the election, the Party was happy with the performance of its candidate “who obviously joined the race late.”
‘’How better do Nigerians say no to the drumbeats of tribalism and political narrowness than what the people of Ondo have just done with their votes? It is a quantum forward leap for those who understand the dangers of undue manipulation of national diversity for narrow political whims and a huge set back, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.
‘’While we commend, Chief Olusola Oke, his running mate, members and supporters of our party, we wish to also congratulate Olusegun Mimiko on his victory. In spite, another lesson is here for the nation, especially the opposition political parties to draw from the commitment of our great Party to the full entrenchment of the legacy of free, fair and credible polls.
“Ostensible is the manifest unwavering devotion of President Goodluck Jonathan to the cause of democracy. He led the campaign of our Party to Ondo and promised free and fair election. Free and fair election he has once more delivered.”
The party hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the polls, the PDP however urged ‘’them to learn from any observed loopholes so as to continue improving in future elections.’
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that it will reclaim the states it lost in previous polls in the 2015 general elections.
According to the Chairman of the party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, the PDP National Working Committee had started making electoral reforms to achieve the aim.
Tukur spoke when PDP members from the South-West, led by Chief Oyewole Fasawe, visited him in his Abuja residence on Tuesday evening.
He told the delegation that the party would not field any “discredited candidate” in any of the elections.
He said with the supremacy status being enjoyed by the PDP, the sky would be its limit for it in executing its progressive agenda.
Tukur said, “Some people are accusing us of not doing anything. But you and I know that we need not rush in embarking on actions aimed at making our great party regain its groove in political engineering and operations.
“We are, at the moment, in consultation with PDP elders, youths, women and every relevant group on how best to take off so that we begin to regain lost grounds, henceforth. By 2015, we wish to regain all the states we lost before.
“I am saying that we have started reconstructing our beautiful umbrella and in the process, we will pluck all loopholes, we will extend the shelter; we will strengthen the structure and make it more attractive to everybody.
“At the end of it all, PDP will rise up powerfully and prove its strength as the only national party in Nigeria through subsequent elections that will be devoid of rigging.”
Tukur added that the expected openness would also make those who have defected to other political parties to have a rethink on whether they would like to return or not.
Already, he said, the party was planning to hold a summit which would be attended by its founding fathers and governors.
The summit, according to him, will enable the party to discuss modalities for its reform and how to consolidate on its electoral fortunes before 2015.
Apart from Fasawe, among those at the meeting were Prof. Ishola Odelola, Chief Remilekun Iyiola and Chief Ademola Adepegba.
Meanwhile, the PDP has insisted that there was no formal invitation sent to the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by the Democratic Party of the United States to attend its recent national convention.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday asked the ACN to apologise to Nigerians for allegedly deceiving them with the claim.
“PDP advises the ACN to apologise to Nigerians for embarrassing the nation and for bridging our proud people to ridicule before a foreign political party,” the PDP said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday readmitted former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose into the party.
The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, who disclosed this in a press release sent to Channels Television, said the decision to readmit Mr Fayose was taken at the party’s National Working Committee’s (NWC) 315th regular meeting held on Wednesday 12th September 2012.
“The NWC ratified the readmission of His Excellency, Dr. Peter Ayo Fayose into the Party with effect from 14th September 2011. The NWC also approved a waiver for Dr. Fayose in line with the provision of Article 8(a) and Article 17.2 (g) of the PDP Constitution with effect from 14th September 2011.
“By this action, Dr. Fayose is cleared to enjoy all rights and privileges of a member of the PDP without let or hindrance,” the statement reads.
Mr Fayose is alleged to be interested in contesting the Ekiti State governorship election in 2014.
Mr Metuh further said that the NWC approved “the Constitution of a National Campaign Committee for the forthcoming Gubernatorial Election in Ondo State.”
According to him, “the 32 member Committee of eminent Nigerians has the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, GCON as Chairman while the National Legal Adviser, Barrister Victor Kwon is the Secretary.”
Mr Metuh said the committee will be inaugurated by the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur in due course.