‘Our Electoral Successes Are Based On Public Trust’, APC Tells PDP

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says its track record in implementing projects and programmes that meet the needs of Nigerians is what has attracted more members and supporters from all over the country into the party.

National Secretary Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, said this in a statement on Wednesday.

He also rejected allegations of the party’s plans to rig in 2023 by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus.

According to him, the strong internal democracy, transparency and fairness in the conduct of its affairs, which are demonstrably lacking in the PDP, are additional reasons that make the APC a better option for Nigerians, including serving state governors, National and State Assembly members who are abandoning the PDP and joining the APC.

Read Also: Senate President Confirms Defection Of Three PDP Senators To APC

“We want to remind Nigerians that while many APC members were victims of rigging when the PDP was in power, the APC has no record of rigging elections,” he said.

“The Muhammadu Buhari-led administation has introduced electoral reforms aimed at ensuring that all loopholes that open the electoral process to possible abuse in future elections are sealed and eliminated.

“With more than 40 million registered members, the APC has a solid foundation to successfully contest and win elections against other parties without tampering with the verdict of the citizens as was the case when PDP misruled the country for 16 years”.

Akpanudoedehe stressed that the PDP is doomed to fail in any future elections because it is rudderless, leaderless and devoid of anything coherent and organisational, thus making it moribund, irrelevant and too feeble to be an effective opposition.

“The only thing that held the PDP together in the 16 years was access to national resources of which it has been deprived of feasting on by the electorates whose trust it lost during two general elections.

“Nigerian electorates know that the APC is a party of people with integrity, who are trustworthy and fully prepared to implement policies that will address their interests and enhance their general wellbeing”.

PDP Leaders Storm NASS To Protest Onochie’s Nomination As INEC Commissioner

Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe and National Leader of the PDP Uche Secondus during the protest at NASS gate.

 

Leaders of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly in protest.

The leaders are demanding the immediate reversal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Lauretta Onochie is currently the media aide to President Buhari on Social Media.

Led by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, the PDP described the appointment as a travesty on democracy.

READ ALSO: Senate President Confirms Defection Of Three PDP Senators To APC

Secondus said Onochie being a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot be appointed into a position that requires a high level of neutrality.

He urged the National Assembly leadership to impress on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw her nomination.

The party also raised concern over the recent defection of some members of the PDP to APC and blamed it on the approach used by APC in luring the defectors.

The party further accused the current administration of impoverishing Nigeria and subjecting the citizens to untold hardship.

Some PDP lawmakers including the Senate Minority leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe were among those who joined in the protest.

President Buhari earlier in October wrote to the Senate to confirm the appointment of one of his media aides, Lauretta Onochie, and three others as Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Others are Professor Mohammed Sani (Katsina); Professor Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa).

The leaders also submitted a letter stating fully their demands and rejection of the nomination of Onochie. The statement was signed by the National Secretary of the party, Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri.

 

See the letter below…

The Chairman,
Senate Committee on INEC,
National Assembly Complex,
Three Arms Zone,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

REJECTION OF THE NOMINATION OF LAURETTA ONOCHIE
AS INEC COMMISSIONER

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has learnt of the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a Commissioner in INEC by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The nomination which was read on the floor of the Senate and forwarded to your committee for screening has created a lot of misgivings in the court of public opinion and judgement.

Our Party considers it as important to bring to the attention of your committee the fact that our duty is to let you know that the National Assembly must endeavour to do things right and in accordance with the dictates of the laws of the country.

The Nigeria Constitution 1999 as amended clearly prohibits people like Mrs. Onochie, who is very partisan, in fact, a card-carrying member of a political party to be appointed into INEC as an electoral umpire. Section 156(i)(a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the Constitution have outrightly disqualified her.

We are, therefore, writing to ask the Chairman to save the Senate President, the Senate itself and Mr. President from being ridiculed.

We call on your committee to reject the nomination of Onochie because she cannot be neutral or independent as she is factually known to be an unrepentant card-carrying member of the APC with an uncountable number of proofs.

Her confirmation will be a wholesome abuse of democratic tenets and dragging the reputation of the President and the Senate in the political mud.

Please, don’t make an avoidable legislative and political mistake for the country.

Kindly, accept the assurances of our highest consideration and esteem regard.

Sen. Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, CON
National Secretary

Two PDP Federal Lawmakers Defect To APC

FILE: Some members of the House of Representatives during plenary on April 28, 2020. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

Terry Ikumi and Emperor Simon in Abuja

Two members of the House of Representatives have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Lehor Idagbo and Michael Etaba are both from Cross River State.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila announced their defection on the floor of the green chamber on Tuesday.

Their defection comes weeks after the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade defected from the PDP to the APC.

Meanwhile, the senator representing Zamfara Central, Hassan Gusau, has resigned from the PDP.

It is not yet clear whether he is defecting to the APC.

His resignation was announced on Tuesday on the floor of the red chamber by Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

According to Gusau, his resignation followed undemocratic tendencies in the PDP.

Senator Gusau’s resignation comes barely 48 hours after Zamfara state Governor, Bello Matawalle declared his intention to defect from Nigeria’s major opposition party, PDP.

PDP Factions Hold Governorship Primaries In Anambra

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

Joy Odinye, Awka

Two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday conducted primaries for the upcoming governorship election in Anambra state.

The INEC-recognised Chris Ubah faction conducted its primary at Paul University primary school, while the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led faction conducted theirs at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, also in Awka.

Some 665 delegates participated in the Chris Ubah faction primary, and while all the aspirants were included on the ballot paper, the majority were not present as they align with the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led faction.

Announcing the result after the voting exercise, the Chairman of the electoral committee, Captain Obidi Ebede, declared Senator Ugochukwu Ubah winner, having scored 275 votes.

He was also presented with the Certificate of Return.

The parallel primary election at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, was still ongoing as of the time of filing this story.

APC National Youth Vanguard Raises Alarm Over Impersonation Of Her Leadership

 

The National Leadership of the APC National Youth Vanguard has raised an alarm over the impersonation of the group and her leadership by one Mr. Haruna Alfa and others.

The APC support group in a press release signed by Comr. Bashir Mohammed Bello, National Coordinator, and Comr. Kingsley Omadoye, South-South Coordinator says “We have observed with rapt attention that one Mr. Haruna Alfa and others are impersonating us and we have written the National Leadership of our great Party on June 15th, 2021 with an acknowledgment copy dated June 17th, 2021”.

While speaking on the leadership of the group from 2013 till date, Comr. Bello affirmed that “Comr Jibrilla Madu Gadzama was the National coordinator from 2013 until he left the party before the 2019 election. His resignation created a vacuum which thereafter got occupied by me who was then National Secretary, according to our constitution. Mr. Haruna Alfa has never been a member of the APC National youth vanguard, we are therefore shocked that he is conducting himself as the National Coordinator of the Vanguard”.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Embark On Medical Trip To London

According to one of the documents displayed by the leadership of the group during the press briefing, the APC National Youth Vanguard has duly registered as a support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC on January 29th, 2013 under the leadership of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as then National Chairman and H.E Mal. Mala Buni was then National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress respectively.

Part of the press statement reads; “our attention was also drawn to an event scheduled to hold on Saturday 26th June 2021 where Mr. Haruna Alfa and his cohorts would be giving awards to unsuspecting members of our great party: we are therefore using this means once again, to notify the public particularly the National leadership and members of our great party to stop any kind of dealing with Mr. Haruna Alfa and his group who are pretending to be us as they are unknown and not authorized by the Constitution of the APC National Youth Vanguard to act for or on behalf of our group”.

The group also said they have mandated their legal team to do the needful to ensure that the group is protected from being use by fraudulent elements to dupe uninformed members of the public.

Kaduna Politics: INEC Declares PDP Winner Of Sabon Gari Constituency By-election

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has declared Usman Baba of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) as the winner of yesterday’s by-election for Sabon Gari Constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Announcing the election result in Zaria, the returning officer, Dr. Mohammed Musa, says the PDP candidate polled a total of 9,113 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Musa of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who polled 7,404 votes to come second.

READ ALSO: SERAP Sues FG, Lai Mohammed Over Repressive Directive Asking Broadcasters To Stop Using Twitter

Other candidates who participated in the election include Anas Abdullahi of the ADC who 62 votes; Chindo Ibrahim of ADP, 61 votes while Musa Halilu of PRP secured 305 votes.

The Sabon Gari constituency seat, initially occupied by the former Speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly, was declared vacant in April after the lawmakers found him wanting of absconding from all legislative activities for more than one year without any reason.

In declaring the seat vacant, the Assembly members based their action on Section 109(1)(f) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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.

READ ALSO: JAMB Asks Applicants To Complete UTME Registration By Tuesday

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.

READ ALSO: Stop Destroying Your Communities, Wike Tells Ogbakiri People

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.