Buhari’s Spokespersons Are ‘His Greatest Undoing’ – PDP Governors

PDP governors attend a meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on June 14, 2021.

 

State Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday said the current crop of presidential spokespersons “do not represent or position” the President in a proper manner.

The Governors Forum, in a statement signed by its Director-General, Hon. C.I.D. Maduabum, was responding to a statement issued by presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu.

Mr Shehu had been responding to a communique put out by the PDP Governor’s Forum on Monday.

According to the Thursday statement, Mr Shehu’s response had been “poorly worded” and was “pedestrian.”

The PDP Governors lambasted Mr Shehu’s views on revenue remittance by the NNPC and the state of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market.

They also tackled him on his position on the ongoing Twitter ban in Nigeria, the administration of mining across the country and the role of local governments in national development.

“There is no doubt that President Buhari’s spokespersons are his greatest undoing as a President,” the PDP Governors said. “They do not represent or position him well.

“The PDP Governors’ Forum Communique in Uyo was patriotic, well thought out and offered solutions to the myriad of problems facing the nation. Mr President and the APC led Federal Government should listen.”

 

Read the PDP Governors’ statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT

PRESIDENTIAL RESPONSE TO PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE IS A DISGRACE

Our attention has been drawn to a poorly worded and pedestrian statement issued by Alhaji Garba Shehu on behalf of Mr President in response to the patriotic and weighty issues of state raised by the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) in their Communique after meeting.

2. The statement betrays the abysmal ignorance, lack of appreciation of the issues raised in the PDP Communique.
It is unbelievable that such low quality response could come from Nigeria’s seat of power.

3. He celebrates the non remittance of funds by NNPC to the Federation Account because they should not “break the bank” for PDP Governors. What a pity!

The duty and responsibility of NNPC to pay revenues into the Federation Account is not a matter of discretion by NNPC. It is an imposition of law.

4 The constitutional provisions on Public Revenue is clear. Section 162. (1) of the Constitution says: “The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of Government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

S.162(1), defines Revenue thus: “For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, “revenue” means any income or return accruing to or derived by the Government of the Federation from any source and includes –
(a) any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law;
(b) any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation;
(c) any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in any company or statutory body.”

It is a demonstration of impunity and gross abuse of law for NNPC to continue to disregard the unmistakable mandatory constitutional provisions above. It is even more shocking for the PRESIDENCY as an institution to embody the desecration of our Constitution in such a flippant, brazen and unserious manner as portrayed by the presidential spokesman.

5. NNPC and other Revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government have mandatory obligations to pay into the Federation Account all its revenue after deducting legitimate cost of operations. Fuel subsidy or other profligate expenditures are not part of the cost of production. When NNPC makes its contributions to the Federation Account, the Federal Governments share in the Federation Account can be spent by it in a manner it desires. NNPC cannot spend money belonging to the other tiers of government for them.This is the way the Constitution is designed by its authors. Mr President cannot change the Constitution at his pleasure. Perhaps these matters are too complex for Garba Shehu to comprehend!

6 The States and Local Governments in Nigeria bear the brunt of education, health care, water, food production, infrastructure such as roads, and increasingly the security of lives and property among others. The States and Local Governments share of the Federation Account does not belong to Governors. Certainly not to PDP Governors. The case made by the PDP Governors Communique concerns all the States and Local Governments in Nigeria, not only PDP.

7. Garba Shehu celebrates the fact that Naira is now over N500 to a Dollar in the parallel market. If his statement represents the thinking of the APC Federal Government, then we are in more trouble than we think. The implication of the fall of the Naira for cost of goods and services, including the price of food and basic needs of Nigerians is becoming unbearable for the average Nigerian. It has made even the recent minimum wage increases almost useless. But of course, those ensconced in the Presidential villa do not feel it.

8. On the issue of Mining, it is once again a demonstration of abysmal ignorance not to know at the presidential level that mining is on the Exclusive Legislative List of the Federal Government. The PDP Governors were merely asking for better coordination with State Governments who administer the land under the Land Use Act.

9. Perhaps the most insensitive is on the issue of Twitter suspension. How can a presidential spokesman be so tone deaf. He is unable to see the grave assault of Freedom of speech embodied therein. He doesn’t see the need to motivate our youths. He trivialises serious matters of state. It is very unfortunate.

10. He repeats his assault on the sensibility of Nigerians in the way he addresses the Herder – Farmers conflict. Calling the legitimate request for ramping up ranching as a denial of the right of Nigerians to live and work anywhere in Nigeria, is perhaps the most illogical of the entire response.

11. On Local Government, the President has not initiated a single legislation or amendment of the Constitution to make it a real third tier of Government, if the APC government so desires. He only flexes muscles with State Governments by issuing unconstitutional Orders through Federal Government Agencies.

13. There is no doubt that President Buhari’s spokespersons are his greatest undoing as a President. They do not represent or position him well.

14. The PDP Governors’ Forum Communique in Uyo was patriotic, well thought out and offered solutions to the miriad of problems facing the nation. Mr President and the APC led Federal Government should listen.

Hon C.I.D. Maduabum, LL.M,
Director General
PDP Governors’ Forum

Unchecked Borrowing May Force Nigeria Into Avoidable Bankruptcy – PDP Governors

PDP governors attend a meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on June 14, 2021.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday raised an alarm over the rate at which the All Progressives Congress (APC) is borrowing money to fund projects in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

“Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 trillion is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP.

“We should not saddle incoming generations with an undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part.

The governors decried that the debt profile of Nigeria with over 80 per cent of normal appropriation spent on debt servicing was rising and becoming uncontrollable.

They stated that all the gains of the PDP government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo when the nation exited its foreign debt obligations had been destroyed.

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The governors accused the present administration of borrowing for frivolous items, stressing that such an action was scandalous.

They faulted the operational system and methods of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which they claimed was functioning as an independent government-within-a-government.

“A situation where CBN creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any form of controls or supervision is patently subversive of our constitutional order.

“It has become not just a leviathan, but also a Father Christmas of sorts, dabbling into every sphere and scope of governmental activity, not just as a lender of last resort, but as a full executing agency of government,” the communique read.

It added, “The meeting observed that the CBN has become such an octopus that it threatens state governments publicly, without decorum, about sanctions on any attempt to question its Modus Operandi. The CBN should take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of the naira.”

A file photo of a house destroyed and burnt during an attack by gunmen.

 

Tackling Insecurity

The governors also called for the decentralisation of the operations of the security apparatus of the state, even within the existing legal framework.

They explained that the move became necessary in the face of the disturbing spate of insecurity in the land, to ensure the input of local operators in state and local governments in policing and security.

The governors decried that President Muhammadu Buhari seemed not to be aware that the coercive instruments of state security were firmly within his hands and not the governors, considering his recent media interview on the subject.

They reminded the President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over the security organisations, even though the states have a role to play.

The leaders believe cooperation and synergy between states and the Federal Government in security operations were critical in securing the nation and its people.

They stated that despite being on the Exclusive List, the states spend huge sums of money to support the police and other security agencies to carry out their duties.

The governors called on the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Electoral Act and Constitution amendments to ensure restructuring and decentralisation of governmental powers and functions.

Read the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

The PDP Governors’ Forum held a meeting on 14th June 2021 at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where it once again reviewed the state of the nation.

The meeting deliberated in particular on the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country, and worsening social and political tensions and issued the following communique:

The Forum examined the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and expressed alarm at the OPAQUE manner it carries out its operations. It decried the recent NNPC’s decision not to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, thereby starving the States and Local Governments and indeed Nigerians of funds needed for employment, development and general well-being.

The meeting emphasised that under the Constitution, the NNPC is duty-bound to make proceeds of sale or business of Petroleum available to the Federation Account which belongs to the three tiers of government, excluding reasonable and verified and verifiable cost of operations.

The Federal government through NNPC is a manager of our oil wealth merely as A TRUSTEE for all Nigerians. The meeting frowned at a situation where the NNPC decides in a totally discretionary and often whimsical manner, how much to spend, how to spend it, and how much to remit to the Federation Account, contrary to the letters and even the spirit of the 1999 Constitution.

The meeting called on other agencies of Government such as Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services, Customs and Excise, and similar organisations that are statutorily required to make contributions into the Federation Account, to do more. The federating states should, going forward, now have a say in the determination of operating costs to ensure transparency and accountability.

The meeting called for urgent steps to reverse these ugly trends in our practice of democracy, constitutionalism, and federalism.

The PDP Governors also expressed deep concerns about the operational system and methods of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It viewed with regret that the CBN is operating as an independent government within a government, which is a pervasion of the autonomy of the bank.

A situation where CBN creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any form of controls or supervision is patently subversive of our constitutional order. It has become not just a LEVIATHAN, but also a Father Christmas of sorts, dabbling into every sphere and scope of governmental activity, not just as a lender of last resort, but as a full executing agency of government.

The meeting observed that the CBN has become such an octopus that it threatens state governments publicly, without decorum, about sanctions on any attempt to question its MODUS OPERANDI. The CBN should take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of the Naira.

The PDP Governors frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80% of normal Appropriation spent on debt servicing. All the gains of the PDP Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations have been destroyed. Borrowing for frivolous items such as funding the Nigerian Television Authority is scandalous.

Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 Trillion Naira is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP. We should not saddle incoming generations with the undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy.

The Forum reiterated its call, which seems to have fallen on deaf ears, for the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to URGENTLY SEND the revised Revenue Allocation Formular to Mr President for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment, such that more resources are made available to States and Local Governments where ordinary Nigerians reside.

It called on the Chairman and Members of the Commission to RESIGN or be relieved of their duties if they cannot discharge this sacred constitutional duty entrusted by the Nigerian people to it. The present constitutional amendment process should make the Commission more independent and accountable to all stakeholders.

The meeting expressed support for the implementation of judicial and legislative autonomy in the Federation and States, in conformity with the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The meeting called for more involvement of States in mining and geophysical activities within their States. This is necessary not just to curtail harm to the environment but to further diversify the Nigerian economy and complement Oil as a foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

The PDP Governors further reviewed the emerging threats to our democracy, constitutionalism, and rule of law and cautioned the Federal Government to exercise power with restraint. The need for law and order is paramount to secure our nation but mindless killings of innocent civilians should be avoided and is hereby condemned.

It is in the same vein that the meeting reiterated its earlier revulsion at any attack on security personnel and their property anywhere in the country as a criminal and egregious act for which perpetrators should be brought to book.

The meeting examined the suspension of TWITTER from operating in Nigeria and condemned the personalised reasons given for the action. The mere ego of Mr President is not enough for such a drastic action that deprives millions of Nigerians of such an affordable means of expression and communication. We hope that this is not a harbinger or early warning signs of descent into dictatorship.

The meeting noted that social media regulation can only be done within the existing laws on the subject and should not be used as an attempt to punish or gag Nigerians from enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Nigerian youths do not have adequate access to employment and a lot of Nigerians rely on TWITTER for their livelihood, businesses, and self-employment. This will further worsen Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate which is the highest in the world, improve Nigeria’s ranking as the country with second-highest poverty rate in the entire world, all of which happened under APC’s unfortunate stewardship.

The meeting consequently requested Mr President to review the suspension of TWITTER operations in Nigeria in the national interest.

The meeting further called on the APC-led Federal government to think outside the box and find solutions to the challenges facing electricity supply in Nigeria as the current system is certainly not delivering the power needed for Nigeria’s rapid industrialisation.

On the recurring question of insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria, the PDP Governors reiterated the need to decentralise the operations of the security apparatus of state even within the existing legal framework, to ensure the input of local operators in State and Local Governments in policing and security.

It lamented the fact that Mr President seems not to be aware that the coercive instruments of State security are firmly within his hands and not the Governors, considering his recent media interview on the subject. The meeting reminded Mr. President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over security organisations, even though the States have a role to play.

Cooperation and synergy between States and the Federal Government in security operations are critical in securing Nigeria. In any case, even though, Police are on the Exclusive List, the States, as a practical matter spend huge sums of money to support the security agencies to carry out their duties.

The need for an appropriate legal framework to involve the States in policing has become even more urgent by the day. To this end, we reiterate our call for the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Electoral Act and Constitution amendments to ensure restructuring and decentralisation of governmental powers and functions.

The meeting extolled the virtues and achievements of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, our Chief Host. They noted that he has brought prudence, innovation, and competence in the management of state resources, with major landmark projects and interventions, and thanked him for being a wonderful host.

In attendance are:

Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR    – Sokoto State – Chairman

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu                                       – Abia State – Vice-Chairman

Gov. Udom Emmanuel                                   – Akwa Ibom State – Member

Gov. Sen. Douye Diri                                       – Bayelsa State – Member

Gov. Samuel Ortom                                         – Benue State – Member

Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa                                  – Delta State – Member

Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi                                   – Enugu State – Member

Gov. Nyesom Wike, CON                               – Rivers State – Member

Gov. Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde       – Oyo State – Member

Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri                         – Adamawa State – Member

Gov. Godwin Obaseki                                     – Edo State – Member

Gov. Bala Mohammed                                   – Bauchi State – Member

Gov. Arc Darius Ishaku                                 – Taraba State – Member

Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd                            – Zamfara State – Deputy Governor

PDP Governors Hold Strategic Meeting In Uyo

PDP governors in a group picture before the meeting in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state capital.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday held a closed-door meeting in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State.

Those in attendance at the meeting include the host Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, and Samuel Ortom of Benue.

Others are, Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta; Ahmadu Umaru Fintirin of Adamawa; Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Governors Bala Mohammed of Bauchi; Seyi Makinda of Oyo and Zamfara State Governor who is being represented his Deputy, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau.

The Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal had made a pledge to provide the needed platform for the party to return to power at the federal level in 2023.

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Tambuwal said this on Sunday at a state banquet, organised by the Akwa lbom State government, ahead of the forum meeting in Uyo.

He promised that the PDP governors would not disappoint Nigerians looking up to them to actualise their yearnings for the party to return to power in 2023.

At the end of the meeting, the chairman of the forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal summarised the decisions of the governors in a fourteen-point communique.

 

 

Find below the full communique issued by the governors…

 

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON 14TH JUNE 2021, AT UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE.

The PDP Governors’ Forum held a meeting on 14th June, 2021 at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where it once again reviewed the state of the nation. The meeting deliberated in particular on the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country, and worsening social and political tensions and issued the following Communique.

1. The Forum examined the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and expressed alarm at the OPAQUE manner it carries out its operations. It decried the recent NNPCs decision not to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, thereby starving the States and Local Governments and indeed Nigerians of funds needed for employment, development and general wellbeing. The meeting emphasised that under the Constitution, the NNPC is duty bound to make proceeds of sale or business of Petroleum available to the Federation Account which belongs to the three tiers of government, excluding reasonable and verified and verifiable cost of operations. The Federal government through NNPC is a manager of our oil wealth merely as A TRUSTEE for all Nigerians. The meeting frowned at a situation where the NNPC decides in a totally discretionary and often whimsical manner, how much to spend, how to spend it and how much to remit to the Federation Account, contrary to the letters and even the spirit of the 1999 Constitution.

2. The meeting called on other agencies of Government such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services, Customs and Excise, and similar organisations that are statutorily required to make contributions into the Federation Account, to do more. The federating States should going forward now have a say in the determination of operating costs to ensure transparency and accountability.

The meeting called for urgent steps to reverse these ugly trends in our practice of democracy, constitutionalism, and Federalism.

3. The PDP Governors also expressed deep concerns on the operational system and methods of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It viewed with regrets that the CBN is operating as an independent government within a Government, which is a pervasion of the autonomy of the Bank. A situation where CBN creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any form of controls or supervision is patently subversive of our constitutional order. It has become not just a LEVIATHAN, but also a father Christmas of sorts, dabbling into every sphere and scope of governmental activity, not just as a lender of last resort, but as a full executing agency of government. The meeting observed that the CBN has become such an octopus that it threatens State governments publicly, without decorum, about sanctions on any attempt to question its MODUS OPERANDI. The CBN should take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of the Naira.

4. The PDP Governors frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80% of normal Appropriation spent on debt servicing. All the gains of the PDP Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations has been destroyed. Borrowing for frivolous items such as funding the Nigerian Television Authority is scandalous. Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 Trillion Naira is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP. We should not saddle incoming generations with undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked, will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy.

5. The Forum reiterated its call, which seem to have fallen on deaf ears, for the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to URGENTLY SEND the revised Revenue Allocation Formular to Mr President for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment, such that more resources are made available to States and Local Governments where ordinary Nigerians reside. It called on the Chairman and Members of the Commission to RESIGN or be relieved of their duties, if they cannot discharge this sacred constitutional duty entrusted by the Nigerian people to it. The present constitutional amendment process should make the Commission more independent and accountable to all stakeholders.

6. The meeting expressed support for the implementation of judicial and legislative autonomy in the Federation and States, in conformity with the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

7. The meeting called for more involvement of States in mining and geophysical activities within their States. This is necessary not just to curtail harm to the environment but to further diversify the Nigerian economy and complement Oil as a foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

8. The PDP Governors further reviewed the emerging threats to our democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law and cautioned the Federal Government to exercise power with restraint. The need for law and order is paramount to secure our nation but mindless killings of innocent civilians should be avoided and is hereby condemned. It is in the same vein that the meeting reiterated its earlier revulsion at any attack on security personnel and their property anywhere in the country as a criminal and egregious act for which perpetrators should be brought to book.

9. The meeting examined the suspension of TWITTER from operating in Nigeria, and condemned the personalised reasons given for the action. The mere ego of Mr President is not enough for such a drastic action that deprives millions of Nigerians from such an affordable means of expression and communication. We hope that this is not a harbinger or early warning signs of descent into dictatorship.

10. The meeting noted that social media regulation can only be done within the existing laws on the subject and should not be used as an attempt to punish or gag Nigerians from enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights. Nigerian youths do not have adequate access to employment and a lot of Nigerians rely on TWITTER for their livehood, businesses and self-employment. This will further worsen Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate which is the highest in the world, improve Nigerias ranking as the country with second highest poverty rate in the entire world, all of which happened under APC’s unfortunate stewardship.

The meeting consequently requested Mr President to review the suspension of TWITTER operations in Nigeria in the national interest.

11. The meeting further called on the APC led Federal government to think outside the box and find solutions to the challenges facing electricity supply in Nigeria as the current system is certainly not delivering power needed for Nigeria’s rapid industrialisation.

12. On the recurring question of insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria, the PDP Governors reiterated the need to decentralise the operations of the security apparatus of state even within the existing legal framework, to ensure the input of local operators in State and Local Governments in policing and security.

13. It lamented the fact that Mr President seem not to be aware that the coercive instruments of State security is firmly within his hands and not the Governors, considering his recent media interview on the subject. The meeting reminded Mr. President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over security organisations, even though the States have a role to play. Cooperation and synergy between States and the Federal Government in security operations is critical in securing Nigeria. In any case, even though, Police is on the Exclusive List, the States, as a practical matter spend huge sums of money to support the security agencies to carry out their duties. The need for an appropriate legal framework to involve the States in policing has become even more urgent by the day. To this end we reiterate our call for the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Electoral Act and Constitution amendments to ensure restructuring and decentralisation of governmental powers and functions.

14. The meeting extolled the virtues and achievements of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, our Chief Host. They noted that he has brought prudence, innovation and competence in the management of state resources, with major landmark projects and interventions, and thanked him for being a wonderful host.

In attendance are:
Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR – Sokoto State – Chairman
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu -Abia State – Vice Chairman
Gov. Udom Emmanuel – Akwa Ibom State – Member
Gov. Sen. Douye Diri – Bayelsa State – Member
Gov. Samuel Ortom -Benue State -Member
Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa – Delta State – Member
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – Enugu State – Member
Gov. Nyesom Wike, CON – Rivers State – Member
Gov. Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde – Oyo State – Member
Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri -Adamawa State -Member
Gov. Godwin Obaseki – Edo State -Member
Gov. Bala Mohammed -Bauchi State – Member
Gov. Arc Darius Ishaku -Taraba State -Member
Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd -Zamfara State -Deputy Governor

 

June 12: PDP Condemns Clampdown On Peaceful Protesters

Security agents during the 2021 June 12 protest in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the clampdown on peaceful protesters on Democracy Day.

The party in a statement signed on Saturday by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said “the brutal clampdown on Nigerian citizens is sacrilegious”

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns, in the strongest term ever, the violent clampdown by agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigerians who are peacefully protesting on Democracy Day.

“It is awkward that the APC and President Buhari, who were allowed their freedom when they protested in 2014, would turn around to subject Nigerians to actions of inhumanity including the use of firearms against the people, as being witnessed today,” the statement read in part.

READ ALSO: Security Operatives Foil Fresh Kidnap Attempt On Another Kaduna School

The party claimed that President Buhari, in his Democracy Day address, failed to rein in his security operatives despite the cautions by the PDP.

“This places the culpability for whatever befalls Nigerians, in the face of the violent attacks by security agencies, on the APC as well as Mr. President’s desk.”

The PDP said it is not surprised that in the 20 minutes speech, Mr. President never made any commitment towards upholding the democratic tenets of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and right to peaceful protest, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and our statutes, from which he, as APC candidate, drew huge benefit in 2014.

The party stressed that it is cataloging all the infringements which the APC and President Buhari are imposing on Nigerians and urged all global democratic institutions to take note of the infringements and clampdown on democracy in Nigeria by the APC.

Zoning Comment: Buhari Was Not Referring To Tinubu – Garba Shehu

 

The Presidency has distanced President Muhammadu Buhari from what it terms a ‘malicious campaign’ aiming to drive a wedge between him and a staunch ally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement on Friday, the president’s special adviser on media, Garba Shehu, said those attempting to estrange the two leaders are doing so with reference to a statement President Buhari made in a recent interview.

According to Mr. Shehu, the president stated in the interview that nobody but the APC would determine the zoning and selection of where the next President will come from.

The president’s special aide said the twisting of his principal’s statement is nothing short of a mischievous attempt to drag the Buhari into controversies.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo, Ooni, Other Leaders Meet In Abuja

Shehu urged citizens and especially the members of the All Progressives Congress, APC not to fall for the scheme.

Buttressing his point further, the special adviser said the mention Buhari made of Lagos was not a reference to the respected party leader, Senator Bola Tinubu as the “opposition party’s predatory designs” would put it in order to damage the excellent relationship between the two of them.

He maintained that President Buhari, the Asiwaju, and the rapidly growing members of the party want a dynastic succession of elected leaders, adding that the APC should not be distracted from its progress as a democratic party.

“The Ruling party, the APC, unlike others before it is a popular political party owned by its entire membership, hence Mr. President was making the point during the 45-minutes interview that neither he nor anyone in the leadership could impose their wishes on the party.

“This is a basic consensus that binds the entire party leadership.

“The party leaders remain firmly committed to the principles that succession must be through the democratic norms and processes,” the president’s special adviser assured.

 

Twitter Ban: PDP Asks US, UK, Others To Impose Visa Ban On Buhari, Malami, Lai

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday asked the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and other members of the International Communities to impose a visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet.

The opposition party said this should be done immediately, describing suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria as ‘stifling free speech in Nigeria.’

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.

“The party also urges the world bodies to also sanction the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as certain leaders of the APC for their individual ignoble roles in the ban imposed on Twitter in addition to associated harassments and threats to Nigerians.

READ ALSO: All Existing, Duly Issued Tinted Permits Remain Valid – IGP

“The PDP urges the countries to bar President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, Abubakar Malami, and their family members from entering their territories for any private purposes whatsoever,” the statement read in part.

The PDP said its demand is based on the violation of UN international Charter on Human Rights by President Buhari by banning the use of Twitter in Nigeria.

The PDP insists that banning Twitter in Nigeria is a clear violation of Article 19 of the UN Charter as well as section 39 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guaranteed freedom of expression to all Nigerians.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Article 19 of the UN Charter on Human Rights provides that Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“In the same vein, section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference,” PDP added.

The party holds that the trio of President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, and Abubakar Malami and their agents cannot continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and rights extended by virtue of their offices in Nigeria, while at the same time flouting the UN Charter.

Buhari Is Pushing Nigerians To The Wall, PDP Rejects Suspension Of Twitter By FG

A collage of President Buhari and the emblem of thE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vehemently rejected what it has termed the unwarranted suspension of the social media platform, Twitter, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.

According to the opposition party, the Federal Government’s proposed suspension of Twitter is draconian action and a slide towards a fascist regime in the country.

The party in a communique on Friday asserted that the suspension of Twitter is a vexatious, condemnable, and barbaric move to muzzle Nigerians, particularly the youths, ostensibly to prevent them from holding the overtly corrupt, vindictive, and divisive Buhari administration accountable for its atrocities, including human right violations, patronizing of terrorists and outright suppressive acts against innocent Nigerians.

“Our party is appalled that the Federal Government could exhibit such primitive intolerance and power intoxication because the social media giant demonstrated international best practices in not allowing the Buhari presidency to use Twitter as a platform to propagate and spread the Buhari administration’s hatred towards Nigerians.

READ ALSO: FG Says It Has Indefinitely Suspended Twitter Operations In Nigeria

“The PDP insists that rather than being a platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, as claimed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigerians, particularly the youths, have been using the social media platform, largely, for activities that promote unity, as well as social, economic and commercial interaction in our country.

“Our party notes that Mr. Lai Mohammed, in his statement, failed to cite an example of where Nigerians used Twitter as a platform to promote acts that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as he claimed.

“Of course, the failure to give any such instance, confirms that the Federal Government is only out to victimize Nigerians,” the opposition party stated.

PDP said the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration are only afraid of Nigerians on Twitter because of “their evil machinations for which they dread the Nigerian youths”.

While arguing that freedom of speech is firmly guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution, the PDP asked the Buhari administration to be ready to face Nigerians over what the party termed “its misrule”.

“In the case of any infringement, our nation has adequate extant laws to deal with such and not this move to gag the people.

“The PDP, therefore, charges President Buhari to end this assault against Nigerians by immediately and unconditionally rescinding its decision to ban Twitter, as such amounts to pushing our citizens to the wall.

“After all, it was the same Twitter that provided President Buhari and the APC the platform to campaign in 2015 and 2019.

“It is also on record that President Buhari would not be the first President in the world whose tweet would be deleted.

“When it happened to former US President Donald Trump, he was not known to have deployed any act coercion against Twitter,” PDP noted.

The party invited President Buhari to halt what it calls an ‘international shame’ by rescinding the decision.

PDP, APC Trade Words Over Insecurity In Imo

 

A war-of-words has ensued in Imo State regarding the security situation which has continued to be a thing of great concern for the Imo people and Nigeria as a whole. 

Reacting to what it termed a continually degenerating situation, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday asked Governor Hope Uzodinma to resign.

The opposition party urged the governor to throw in the towel, arguing that he (Uzodinma) has failed to secure the lives and property of the Imo people.

At a conference in Owerri, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Charles Ugwu, said the call has become necessary because of an evident lack of the capacity of the ruling party to guarantee the safety and security of lives and property in Imo.

READ ALSO: Gulak’s Death: A Clear Case Of Political Assassination – Gov Uzodinma

According to Ugwu, emerging developments suggest that the governor has no answer to the spate of killings in the state.

The PDP urged the Federal Government to set up a high-powered panel to investigate the actual cause behind the gruesome murder of former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, which occurred in the state on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Imo State Government through the commissioner of information Declan Emelumba said the statement credited to the PDP over the present state of insecurity in Imo is a clear case of self-indictment of the party as the real perpetrators of the chaos.

Emelumba called on security agencies not to wait for any further evidence in arresting and prosecuting the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party in the state for fueling unrest.

He asserted that the PDP in several fora has made it clear that they will make the state ungovernable for Governor Uzodinma, adding that the recent happenings in the state are a clear manifestation of PDP’s plans which was escalated by the gruesome murder of Mr Gulak.

Obaseki’s Victory At Supreme Court Is Triumph Of Edo People’s Will – PDP

File photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday lauded the judgement of the Supreme Court on the case involving Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, describing the verdict as a triumph of the people’s will.

The apex court had on Friday dismissed the certificate forgery suit filed against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for lacking in merit and awarded a punitive fine of N100 million against the APC and its co-appellant.

Reacting to the verdict via a statement, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan hailed the decision of the Supreme Court.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Dismisses APC Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

“The PDP asserts that the verdict of the apex court in throwing out the petition of All Progressives Congress (APC), is a resounding reinforcement of the popularity of the PDP and Governor Obaseki in Edo state, as firmly established in the election,” the statement partly read.

“The party urged Governor Obaseki to continue in his commitment towards the development of the state and the wellbeing of his people in line with the manifesto and ideology of the PDP; the very reason he was overwhelmingly re-elected as governor of the state.

“The PDP is proud of Governor Obaseki for the empowerment of the people as well as massive infrastructural development of Edo state in critical areas of healthcare, education, agriculture and food production, oil and gas, industrialization among others.

“The party also commended the judiciary for its courage in upholding justice and the will of the people in the Edo governorship election.”

Supreme Court Dismisses APC Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

A photo combination of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and a court gavel.

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) forgery suit against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

The court dismissed the suit for lack of merit.

It was filed against Governor Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The apex court’s judgement comes two days after the Court of Appeal in Benin upheld the victory of Governor Obaseki of Edo at the 2020 governorship election.

READ ALSO: INEC Chairman Holds Emergency Meeting With Security Agencies

The judgement was delivered barely two months after the Elections Petitions Tribunal struck out the petition by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky.

ADP had challenged the outcome of the September 19, 2020, governorship election, which returned Mr Obaseki of the PDP as governor of Edo.

In its ruling, the appellate court held that Obaseki did not forge his certificates with which he contested the 2020 governorship election.

The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal filed by the ADP and its candidate.

Progressives Governors Commend Ayade For PDP Exit

Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on May 20, 2021.

 

The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) representing governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade for joining their fold.

Ayade dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling APC, which came as a shock to his colleagues in the opposition party.

He contested under the PDP platform in 2015 and won. The Cross River governor also actualised his second term ambition under the opposition party in 2019.

Reacting via a statement issued on Friday, the PGF Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said Ayade’s decision to join the APC is a testament of “our party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians consistent with the vision of the founding fathers to ensure that the APC is a platform to unite all Nigerians.”

He described the ruling party as one “that is open, transparent and will continue to guarantee fair contestation in politics, in line with the overarching commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and all our founding leaders.”

“Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee has worked hard to restore the political credentials of the APC as a strong institution for Nigeria’s democratic development. We will continue to support the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee in all its current initiatives to rebuild our great party.

“With the coming of Mr. Ayade, the capacity of our party to mobilise all patriots and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join the APC is stronger.”

See the full statement issued by the Progressives Governors on the defection of Governor Ben Ayade to the ruling APC below:

The Progressive Reinforcement Continues

Welcoming Mr. Ben Ayade to the APC

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) welcome His Excellency, Mr. Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State to the All Progressives Congress (APC). We join all leaders and members to welcome this illustrious Nigerian into our great party. The decision of Mr. Ayade to join the APC is a testament of our party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians consistent with the vision of the founding fathers to ensure that the APC is a platform to unite all Nigerians. The coming of Mr. Ayade into the APC further reinforces the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels.

We congratulate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose sterling qualities and fair mindedness endear patriotic Nigerians to the party. Mr. President’s credentials as a fair leader who is impartial will continue to promote our party and serve as a major source of electoral advantage. As Progressive Governors, we will remain steadfast in supporting the efforts and initiatives of Mr. President to build our party, APC, as a strong and democratic political party in the country.

Also, we salute our members of the APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the leadership of HE Mai Mala Buni for this milestone achievement of once again getting another experienced leader in the person of His Excellency Ben Ayade to join the APC. We welcome Mr. Ben Ayade for taking the courageous decision of leaving the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to join our party, the All Progressives Congress. The movement of our compatriot to the APC is indicative of his principles, commitment and conviction to the development of Nigeria.

Given all his achievements in Cross River State, Mr. Ayade is only coming home where he belongs. APC is indeed the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations. Together with Mr. Ayade and all our leaders in the APC, our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened and reinforced.

Our party, APC, is open, transparent and will continue to guarantee fair contestation in politics, in line with the overarching commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and all our founding leaders. Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee has worked hard to restore the political credentials of the APC as a strong institution for Nigeria’s democratic development. We will continue to support the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee in all its current initiatives to rebuild our great party. With the coming of Mr. Ayade, the capacity of our party to mobilise all patriots and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join the APC is stronger.

APC belongs to all Nigerians. Everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria.

The Progressive Reinforcement of our party continues. We look forward to receiving more patriots and progressive minded Nigerians into the APC!

 

Signed

 

HE Abubakar Atiku Bagudu

Chairman

For and on Behalf of Progressive Governors

 

May 21, 2021

More PDP Governors Are Joining APC, Says Ayade

Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on May 20, 2021.

 

More governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will leave the opposition party for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Ben Ayade said on Thursday.

The governor who recently announced his defection from the PDP to the APC gave the hint when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Just watch out, you will see; you will just realise that I know what I am saying,” he stated when he was asked to disclose some of his colleagues mulling their defection.

Governor Ayade added, “I am happy to announce to you that very soon, more governors are joining (the APC), because what we want to achieve is a country where we all can sit with the President and agree on our succession process, we don’t have to fight.”

He denied the claim that he moved to the ruling party after he suffered a huge loss at the recent PDP congress held in his state.

Rather, the governor stressed that he was in control and had a firm grip on the PDP until he announced his exit from the ruling party.

 

Noting that his defection has led to the reception of thousands of new members by the APC, he acknowledged the important roles the PDP played in his political career.

Governor Ayade noted that the PDP stood by him and gave him the opportunities to become a senator and a two-term governor.

“I will never at any time put down the PDP; I have integrity, I have honour. My politics has ethics, but I chose to join APC to support the President to reduce the tension in this country,” he said.

The governor added, “I have just joined the party today and my experience so far, I feel so happy to have been in this APC today. As to whether there were issues in PDP, no; the party stood by me all the way.

“All the chairmen of the local governments, almost all the House of Assembly members, most of the National Assembly members, my entire commissioners and cabinet today; that is the amount of the political structure … in Cross River State, once the governor moves, everybody moves.”