As Wike, Makinde, Ikpeazu, Ortom shun campaign inauguration: Udom says PDP is a solid rock no wind can move, NEC raises alarm 




 

Governors and other party stakeholders in the camp of Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike shunned the official inauguration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and National Campaign Management Committee (NCMC).

At the event where the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar offered the olive branch to the aggrieved parties, Akwa Ibom state Governor Udom Emmanuel, who chairs the PDP PCC described the PDP as a solid rock which no wind can move.

Those who stayed away from International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, venue of the inauguration, Wednesday, include Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and  Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Wike.

Others are former governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, former governor of Plateau state, Jonah David Jang, former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, former PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Olabode George and former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Professor Gerry Gana among others.

 Last week, after an early hour meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, the  Wike-led group pulled out of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku’s campaign council.

They vowed not to play any role in Atiku’s campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections, insisting that the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, must resign to create way for a southerner as his replacement for them to rescind their decision.

Their grouse is that it’s morally wrong and unfair for the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman to have come from the same northern region.

Though Senator Jibrin Walid resigned as the PDP BoT chair with former Senate President Adolphus Wabara taking over, the group still insisted on Ayu’s sack.

 Atiku

However, in his remarks at the inauguration of the campaign team and public presentation of his books, the PDP presidential candidate, former Vice President  Abubakar again extended an olive branch to all aggrieved members of the party.

Atiku stressed the need for all party leaders and members to work together in unity to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.

The former Vice President said the task ahead was beyond merely coming together to inaugurate a Presidential Campaign Council, noting “our task today is to come together to rescue and rebuild our beloved country, Nigeria.”

In a veiled appeal to Wike and others, Atiku said:”But, to rescue and rebuild our country, we must first take over the mantle of leadership from the party that has driven us into this mess.  To do this, we must all be united in purpose and come together to fight and win all the elections slated for next year.

“Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP.  And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rescue, rebuild and reposition our beloved country.”

He claimed that under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government, Nigeria had witnessed a frightening descent into anarchy, adding “our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust, to mention a few.”

Atiku also said “the current government has failed at the very essence of what makes a government: the security of lives and property of its citizens.  Our security challenges are legion, and I do not need to bore you by rehashing them here.

“Our economy is in shambles, growth has stagnated, and our people are facing massive existential challenges daily.  Hunger is the norm today in our country.”

He assured that when elected, he would restore Nigeria’s unity through equity, social justice, mutual collaboration, and consensus among the diverse people.

Atiku pledged to “build a strong and effective democratic government where the safety and security of our people and their property is our primary and singularly most important responsibility.

“To establish a strong, resilient, inclusive and prosperous economy that generates opportunity, jobs and wealth while lifting the poor out of poverty.

“To encourage the adoption of a true federal system that provides where all the federating units are equal, and has a fair and representative federal government that secures our borders, defends our people and ensures national unity, whilst allowing the federating units to develop and grow in line priorities which they have set on their own.”

 Udom on PDP

Earlier in his remarks, Chairman PDP PCC, Governor Emmanuel, charged Atiku and other members of the party not to mind the doomsayers.

The governor assured that the campaign council would carry and publicise the message on how to rescue and restore the hope of Nigerians. 

 “I want to say here, don’t mind the doomsayers, I read everywhere all those doomsayers saying PDP here, PDP there, but I want to assure you that PDP is a solid Rock and we know that no matter the wind it will not move the Rock.

“So, irrespective of the wind that you see around the rock, it will not move the rock. The rock remains as solid as ever. Please don’t mind the doomsayers. We want to assure you that we are campaigning to win. Nothing is acceptable to PDP outside victory,” he said.

 Tambuwal

Also in his remarks, Director General PDP NCMC and Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal expressed confidence that victory was assured for the party’s presidential candidate.

Tambuwal also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

He assured that they were going to hit the ground running and work collectively as a family to ensure the party’s victory during the next year’s general election.

 Ayu

Also in a message, Senator Ayu who was represented by the PDP National Vice Chairman North, Ambassador Umar Ilya Damagun, said the inauguration marked the beginning of the opposition party’s mission to rescue the country from the APC-led federal government.

“While we are making every effort to unify all aggrieved individuals or groups arising from the primaries, we know that PDP is more focused than now. Ladies and gentleman, we have a duty to rescue this country from the clutches of those that want to destroy it. You will also recall that this country has witnessed a negative change since the PDP left government in 2015,” he stated.

Other governors who attended were Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state; PDP Vice Presidential candidate and Delta state Governor Ifeayin Okowa, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state; Edo state Governor Godwin Obaseki and Governor Ahmadu Fintri  of Adamawa state. 

Also in attendance were former Vice President Arc Nanamdi Sambo, former Presidents of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Anyim Pius Anyim, former Speaker House of Representatives Gali Umar Na’aba, House Minority Leader Ndidi Elumelu, and former national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus among others.

‘Alarm’ to derail campaign  

Meanwhile, a member of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC), Chief Chinemerem Madu, has raised the alarm over alleged plot to scuttle the campaign of the party’s presidential candidate.

Addressing newsmen at the venue of the inauguration of the presidential campaign council of the party, Wednesday, the NEC member fingered a National Vice Chairman of the party as the brain behind the plot.

He said the alleged National Vice Chairman confessed to have been heavily bankrolled and approaching and offering NEC members sums ranging from N25 million to N28 million each to address a damaging press conference with fabrications aimed at derailing the party’s presidential campaign.

He said: “Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are alerted of furtive moves by a compromised National Vice Chairman and a couple of members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to derail our Presidential Campaign and scuttle the deserving victory of our Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar at the 2023 general elections.

 “This National Vice Chairman and his cohorts who confessed to have been heavily bankrolled are approaching and offering members of NEC sums ranging from N25 million to N28 million each to address a damaging press conference with fabrications aimed at derailing the Presidential Campaign.

“The said National Vice Chairman had approached me personally as a member of NEC to inform me of plots to orchestrate a heavily funded Press Conference to be addressed by select NEC members seemingly calling for the resignation of the National Chairman, Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, but actually targeted at frustrating the Atiku Abubakar Presidential bid.

“He pointedly confessed to me that the demands and agitation of his group has not been against the Party Chairman, as the public have been made to believe, but against Atiku Abubakar. 

 “He also vowed that nothing will assuage the group which is now bent at derailing the PDP Presidential Campaign.”

On when the plot would likely be hatched, the NEC member disclosed that it would be carried out soon after the inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and official commencement of campaigns.

“Central to this plot is the timing of the damaging press conference, which has been scheduled to hold soon after the inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and official commencement of campaigns with a view to unsettle the PDP Presidential Campaign and scuttle Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential bid.

“Part of the scheme is to use the press conference to throw up heavily concocted script which will contain unprintable damaging claims, assertions and allusions that will trigger confusion within the Party and sidetrack the Presidential Campaign.

“The said National Vice Chairman informed me of how huge sums have been paid to certain media houses and social media influencers to isolate and escalate the damaging content of the press content and throw up negative narratives to frustrate the campaign.

“As a loyal and very dedicated party man, I am obliged to alert PDP leaders, members, supporters and the general public and expose this furtive scheme against Atiku Abubakar, which is completely against the national interest,” he said.

 God, Nigerians, S/east’s stepping stones to presidency, Igbo group tells  Atiku

A pan-Igbo socio-political pressure group-the South East Revival Group (SERG)-Wednesday told former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, that only God and Nigerian electorate can guarantee the stepping stones for people of the South-east to the presidency.



Atiku had in a media report said he would actualise Igbo presidency if elected in 2023.
But in a statement by its President and National Coordinator, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the SERG said  “the pledge made by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar during the PDP South East Zonal Stakeholders’ Meeting in Enugu on Tuesday was a mere political statement.



“Nigerian electorates and the youths of the country have made their choice of a Presidential candidate and have been speaking loud and clear at every given opportunity.


“Power belongs to God and he gives it to whomsoever He chooses through the electorates.



“The South East was rejected by the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), even when equity, justice and truth about Nigerian leadership since independence favoured the South East.


“In several statements, the South East Revival Group had appealed to all registered political parties in the country to zone their respective presidential ticket to the South East but most of the political parties failed to go by the popular wish of the Nigerian people.

“Credible leaders like Alhaji Balarabe Musa made the same call to the political parties before his death, insisting that for the sake of equity and a sense of belonging, the South East should be given the chance to produce the next President of Nigeria in 2023.

“Today, God has given Nigerians the most credible and better equipped leader who has pledged to move the country from consumption to production and the people have accepted him across religious, tribal and class divides.

“Therefore, Atiku Abubakar’s offer of himself as the stepping stone to Igbo Presidency stands rejected as the Nigerian electorates have, before his offer, formed the pillars through which a President of Nigeria of South East extraction can emerge in 2023,” the statement said.

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