The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has assured Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his teeming supporters of accommodation and a level playing field.
This follows the governor’s defection to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
On behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, wished Governor Obaseki success in the forthcoming primaries of the party.
“We welcome you to the PDP Governors’ Forum under the leadership of His Excellency, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR and all other PDP Governors in the Forum,” said a statement by the forum’s director-general, C. Maduabum.
It added, “Your entry into the PDP family is a homecoming to a democratic platform that accommodates all Nigerians desirous of good governance, accountability, and deepening of democratic tenets.
“The PDP governors welcome you to use the PDP as a vehicle to enthrone rapid economic, social, and infrastructural development of Edo State.”
According to the statement, the Forum extends the solidarity and support of the governors to Governor Obaseki and his supporters as he participates in the primary election.
The party has fixed Thursday next week for the exercise to pick its flagbearer for the September poll.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expanded the membership of its National Caretaker Committee from seven to 13 members.
The expansion was contained in the party’s resolution after the repeat national convention held on Wednesday at the PDP State Secretariat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, south-south Nigeria.
The Convention was presided over by the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, with all delegates in attendance.
The delegates include PDP Governors, National Assembly members, the Board of Trustee members as well as other members of the party nationwide and invited guests.
According to the resolution signed by a member of the Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the PDP has postponed the election of officers into various national offices of the party.
They also extended the tenure of the Caretaker Committee till another national convention, which is to be convened within the next 12 months.
The PDP also affirmed that all members of the Caretaker Committee would not contest or aspire for any national office in its next national convention.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s Governors Forum on Tuesday said “it is certain that the hope of the common people in Nigeria is secured under the umbrella of the party”, wooing Nigerians to vote for the party in the general elections.
In a speech at the meeting of the governors in Lagos State, Nigerian’s commercial city in the south-west region on Tuesday, the chairman of the Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, expressed optimism that the key to continued greatness in Nigeria was with the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan.
He listed sectors that the PDP had made remarkable accomplishments in to include agriculture and aviation among others.
The Governors’ Forum meeting was held to interact with Nigerians and has the theme: “Sustenance Of Democratic Values And National Development”.
Transformation Not Change
The Govenrnors said forucs was to show the party’s commitment to moving the nation forward and not backward, focused on
“The reason the theme is very apt is because eternal vigilance is the price for liberty. Therefore, we must fight to keep what our fellow brothers depict to us with their blood,” Governor Akpabio said.
“The PDP is the only mass movement in Nigeria and has assigned itself the role of not only protecting democracy but also fighting to sustain democratic values and ensuring development of our nation.
“It is the only party that is not owned by any individual. It is the only party that is not built around a cult assignment. Therefore the PDP abhors corruption in all ramification.
“The PDP has done a lot in the fighting of corruption since the inception of democracy to date.
“There are untouchable people in the All progressives Congress while the PDP is the party of the people, for the people and by the people of Nigeria.
“We have come to tell Nigerians to vote wisely, vote for today, vote for tomorrow and vote for the truth. Vote to sustain our democratic values. Vote to ensure our national development continues and to ensure our national dream is not aborted,” he said.
Governor Akpabio said that the Economic Financial Crimes Commission was an initiative of the PDP aimed at fighting corruption in Nigeria.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) is talking change. Talk is cheap but what we need in Nigeria is transformation not change.
The APC have not shown whether they want change for the good or for worse. Any change that is not planned will lead to destruction,” Governor Akpabio said, alleging that the APC wants to change Nigeria from being a party to an individual’s private estate.
On the insurgency in the nation’s north-east, the chairman of the Governors Forum said that states that the PDP had not had the opportunity of governing were those witnessing insurgency.
“Borno State is suffering from both poverty and insurgency and the APC governing the state must have contributed immensely to the insurgency that the president is battling with.
“If the APC governors have built schools and provided education like the president is doing now then the security challenges could have arisen.
“It is abundantly clear that the opposition is soft in the fight against the Boko Haram even though they have paradoxically made elimination of the Boko Haram terrorists in their campaign.”
Use Of Card Readers
Last week, the PDP kicked against the use of card readers in Nigeria’s general elections, saying the technology could disenfranchise some Nigerians.
On the issue of the card reader technology, Governor Akpabio further said that the Independent National Electoral Commission was ill-prepared for the election.
“For example, at the time the election was postponed due to security reasons over 23 million registered voters were yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.
“According to the chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, the postponement was a blessing in disguise.
“We don’t want any Nigerian to be disenfranchised due to ineffectiveness of card reader whether due to failure to charge the device or any vice that could lead to disenfranchising people,” he said.
On behalf of the Governors the Akwa Ibom State Governor stressed that further shift in the election date was not welcomed.
Governors of Plateau, Adamawa, Ondo, Ekiti also spoke at the meeting, seeking support for the ruling party.
During an interactive session with journalists on Monday night ahead of a scheduled meeting slated to hold on Tuesday, Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said the postponement of the election has helped to reduce the tension in the country, especially following the victory recorded by the military in the northeast.
Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Akpabio, had explained that the forum’s meeting was not convened due to panic or pressure from any quarters.
Governors in attendance include Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Jonah Jang of Plateau, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state.
Others are, Governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe, Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna and Bala Ngilari of Adamawa State.
The President of Nigeria and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has met with state Governors elected on the platform of the PDP to strategise on how to win in the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
The meeting, which was held on Monday behind closed doors, started at about 5:30pm local time at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the chairman of the PDP Governors forum, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said it had become imperative for the party to let Nigerians know that so many sectors had been opened up under the President Jonathan’s administration far more than any previous administration.
He said the states under the PDP could not be compared to states under opposition, adding that his party must find a way to sell its achievements to the electorates.
Governor Akpabio then urged Nigerians to shun ethnic and tribalistic issues, stressing the need for them to focus on returning the President to power.
The meeting had in attendance most of the PDP Governors, led by Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.
After about two hours into the meeting, they were also joined by the PDP governorship candidates in all the 36 states.
President Jonathan had earlier in the day met with all the candidates of the PDP from the state House of Assembly, governorship and national Assembly election.
Senate President, David Mark, has warned that the PDP would resist any attempt by any political party or candidates to rig in the upcoming elections.
Addressing Peoples Democratic Party governors and politicians from the north central, Senator Mark said President Jonathan was committed to organizing free, fair and credible elections.
The PDP governors from the north central states, federal lawmakers and gubernatorial candidates had arrived at the official residence of the Senate President to develop strategies on how to win the elections in their states in the upcoming polls.
Senator David Mark, while expressing optimism that the PDP would win the gubernatorial election in the north central states, noted that the party was also committed to ensuring that the 2015 election is violence free.
He then issued a warning to anyone with the intention to rig in the polls, asking political parties to ensure that the elections were conducted peacefully.
“We will not rig but we will not allow anybody to rig us out also. So if anyone is planning rigging, they should think twice (because) its not what we want.
“Most importantly, we don’t want violence before, during and after the election. We are all committed to this… PDP want a free, fair, transparent election,” he said.
President Goodluck Jonathan, General Muhammadu Buhari and the presidential candidates and leaders of other political parties signed a peace accord on Wednesday, January 14, to stem intensifying tension and concerns of violence ahead of the February elections.
It is expected that asides signing the peace pact, the politicians would check their various supporters to ensure they do not breach this pact and cause violence during and after the elections.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members in the House of Representatives are asking the Chairman of the PDP to honour the party’s agreement of granting automatic party tickets to lawmakers to contest in the 2015 elections.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, gave this reminder while welcoming the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, PDP Governors Forum, led by its chairman, Godswill Akpabio and members of its National Working Committee, to a meeting with the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives.
The majority leader also added that the lawmakers would want their welfare taken care of and the opportunity to also nominate members of committees from their constituencies.
The meeting is still ongoing behind closed doors in the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Former Information Minister, Jerry Gana has said that there are no plans by the governors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to remove the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, as speculated in some quarters.
Mr Gana, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, who gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists, described the governors as “loyal and disciplined party men” who would never contemplate such action.
He said, “I would like to say very clearly that the governors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party are law abiding governors; very disciplined party men who respect the various organs of the party.
“So, I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing like that has come before the BOT.
“We, as a party, we believe in resolving conflicts, in resolving matters within the family and therefore we want to assure the nation that there is absolutely nothing in terms of the governors of the party going beyond the institutions of the party and position of the party to remove the National Chairman, nothing to that effect at all.”
Mr Gana said that the PDP was doing all it could to address its internal crises including the party’s problems in Adamawa state.
According to him, already the party’s BOT has resolved to constitute a team of party elders to find a lasting solution to the problem.
“I would like to also assure you that the problem in Adamawa State has received tremendous attention at the meeting and we have resolved to raise a team of elders together with Mr President, the Vice President, the Senate President and the Speaker to do our very best to find a lasting solution to the problem in Adamawa State.”
It seems to be a week for stock taking for President Goodluck Jonathan as he meets Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governors at the presidential villa today.
The president who met with northern governors on Thursday entered into another closed door meeting with the PDP governors this evening alongside Vice President Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.
The meeting opened at six o’clock and lasted for only fifteen minutes and thereafter no official statement was issued at the end of the meeting as it was however said to be connected with the fortune of the party.
Earlier, the PDP National Chairman; Alhaji Bamanaga Tukur had spoken to journalists in Abuja that PDP is not done yet with providing leadership at the national level and everything is being done to return the party back to its days of glory that is bringing reformation to the leading political party.
Seven governors were in attendance, they include those of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Taraba, Ebonyi, Bauchi, and Kogi states while the governors of Bayelsa, Katsina, Jigawa, Gombe, Adamawa, Plateau and Kano states were represented by their deputies.