Raging fire in PDP: Wike’s camp gives new condition for peace - AfrobadooTV
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Raging fire in PDP: Wike’s camp gives new condition for peace



This piece looks at the crisis threatening PDP’s chances of making a comeback at the federal level after eight years in opposition.

Despite denials and mixed signals from some of its leading figures, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is apparently in crisis. The party has not known peace since it was swept out of power by the All Progressives Congress (APC). How did the party get to this sorry state? The party’s current crisis, which is a fall out of the outcome of the June 30, 2022 presidential primary, is a culmination of a series of events which followed the loss of power in 2015. Following the loss, several party leaders, some of whom connived with the then opposition APC to end PDP’s 16 years of dominance, ditched the ‘umbrella’ to seek their political fortunes elsewhere.

Read Also: Atiku, Wike groups meet in Port Hacourt, agree to unify party

One man, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, stood out among the few party leaders who remained to salvage what was left of the PDP.

Working along with others, Wike’s intervention in party affairs was not without controversy. In pursuit of an agenda for total dominance, the rivers governor, along with his ally, former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, pushed for a leadership change and foisted former Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman.

Sheriff’s tenure inflicted on the PDP a leadership tussle never before seen in the party’s close to two decades of existence. It was brought to its knees such that it took the intervention of the Supreme Court to restore normalcy with the interim leadership of Sen. Ahmed Makarfi.

Not done, Wike engineered the emergence of Uche Secondus as National Chairman but they soon parted ways when Wike wanted Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the party’s candidate for the 2019 presidential election. The battle was so fierce that Wike threatened dire consequences if the PDP shifted the primary from Port Harcourt as earlier agreed. He had his wish but his candidate lost to former VP Atiku Abubakar.

At the height of the dispute, the Rivers governor owned up to having a hand in the travails of his one-time political ally (Secondus). In response to a question on whether he had a hand in the move to oust Secondus, Wike answered in the affirmative. A series of litigations followed and Secondus was edged out.

Enter Senator Iyiochia Ayu. Party stakeholders came together and arrived at a consensus to elect the former Senate President as replacement for Secondus.

It became the responsibility of the Ayu-led National Working Committee to prepare the ground for congresses at various levels as well as the primary to elect the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. This time, Wike indicated interest in running for the PDP ticket.

When the primary was eventually held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, on Saturday, May 28, Atiku emerged victorious after polling 371 votes to beat Wike who came second with 237 votes; Dr Bukola Saraki, a former Senate President, got 70 votes; Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, 20 votes; his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Udom Emmanuel, 38 votes; Mr Pius Anyim, a former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, 14 votes, and Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, boardroom titan, one vote.

A last-minute decision by Tambuwal to throw his weight behind Atiku during the primary dealt a mortal blow on Wike’s chances. While the Rivers governor was still licking his wound, another shocker awaited him. His supporters had expected that he would be picked as presidential running mate but this was also not to be.

Atiku, who, perhaps, learnt a lesson from his 2019 experience, consulted critical organs of the party, including the PDP Governors’ Forum, Board of Trustees, and National Working Committee with each expressing different views.

He subsequently set up a committee to recommend a list of candidates from which he was to pick one. Three persons: Wike, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Udom Emmanuel were recommended.

Atiku settled for Okowa, but this, obviously, didn’t go down well with Wike and those sympathetic to his cause.

Some of his colleagues in this category include Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpazu (Abia) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo) among others. It was learnt that the Wike camp is demanding among other things that the party’s National Chairman, Ayu, should step aside first, for his alleged partiality during the primary. Second, that his continued stay in office was a breach of the PDP’s zoning principle.

As things stand, the party’s presidential candidate, the National Chairman and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees are all from northern Nigeria. PDP stakeholders are still trying to broker peace.

A top ranking member of the party, who pleaded anonymity for fear of jeopardizing ongoing peace talks, said, “Truth be told, Wike is not contesting for any office at the moment, he literally has nothing to lose.

“The Atiku camp has angered the Wike camp with the conduct and utterances of some of its members.

“Matters were made matters worse by Atiku’s people who went behind to broker meetings between Atiku and some of Wike’s people in a bid to isolate him. “I’m aware that some strategists are working hard to isolate Wike in order to deal directly with those in his camp who have something at stake.

“Several of the governors will be seeking a second term in office come 2023, some will be heading for the Senate, and hence those in this category will see reason to abandon a course of action which could jeopardize their chances.”

Party watchers agree that the current travails of the party PDP are deep-rooted and virtually everybody in the party’s top echelon has played one role or another in making it fester.

A senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Jos, Joseph Anuga, explained that power abhors a vacuum as such, when the party’s founding fathers jumped ship and others stepped in to fill the gap, it would be inconceivable to expect such persons not to seek to promote their own interests.

He said, “People join political parties as a vehicle to actualize their personal or group interests. Governor Wike stepped in when others ran, you can’t blame him for seeking to benefit from the investment of his time, energy and resources in the party.”

An Abuja-based public affairs commentator, Mr. Adakole Moses, on his part, said the party will be shooting itself in the foot if it does not find a decent way to handle Wike’s concerns.

He said, “Since the PDP, like most of our political parties do not have a structured functional system of financing its operations, a man who helped sustain the party throughout its most challenging period will definitely have this sense of entitlement for whatever it is worth, the party and its candidate must find a way to reassure him and his supporters that their concerns are not being ignored.

“There is also a big challenge which both the PDP and any other party which intends to form government in 2023 cannot ignore-the South East. It is double jeopardy because; this is one part of the country which has consistently voted for the party since 1999.

“Most south-easterners feel alienated because they feel, and rightly so, that their close to two decades of support for the PDP brand should count for something.

“Votes from the region may not be much when compared to the North-West for example, but the eventual winner must get at least 25 percent of votes cast in each state to be returned.”

The Atiku camp has remained upbeat about prospects of an early resolution of the impasse following a face-to-face meeting between him and Wike penultimate week. Media Adviser to the former VP, Mazi Paul Ibe, told Sunday Vanguard, “We are in the final stages of talks, we are confident that most, if not all of the outstanding issues, will be thrashed out in no distant future. The PDP is one big family.”

A source in Wike’s camp said, “We are not averse to a quick resolution of all the issues, but we require significant guarantees to restore our confidence in the process.”

While a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, has led the move to oust Ayu in order to pave way for genuine reconciliation, the party leadership described his calls a personal opinion which was not reflective of the majority opinion of party members.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said, “Every member has a right to express a personal opinion, it is their right.

“This does not however represent the majority opinion of our members.

“Our party organs have met severally and have expressed confidence in the leadership of the Iyochia Ayu-led National Working Committee.”

He explained that calls for Ayu’s removal on account of zoning were uncalled for at this time because there is precedent.

The spokesman noted that when President Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner, emerged as PDP candidate in 2007, Senator Ahmadu Ali, also a northerner, was National Chairman until Yar’Adua won the election before another Convention was held and a successor emerged.

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, speaking in a similar vein at a party event in Abuja, on Friday, said those making such calls did not wish either the PDP or Nigeria well.

He said, “Those calling for the dissolution of the NWC do not mean well for the PDP and Nigeria. What we should be taking about now is how to unite the party towards achieving the rescue mission. We are proud of our party leadership and we are with them.”

Vanguard News


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I’ve forgiven Tinubu —Bode George



A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, yesterday, said he has forgiven President-elect Bola Tinubu.

George, who analyzed the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, declared that he failed to live up to expectations.

The PDP leader, in a chat with journalists at his Ikoyi office, added that the Buhari administration did not impact the lives of Nigerians positively, saying he failed to provide security which was his core responsibility.

His words: “My personal assessment is that he failed, not completely in every sector, but if you do an examination and say you must have a minimum of 33 per cent, then you can go to the next class, but they did not attain that 33 per cent. I can give them maybe about five per cent, even the five per cent requires a lot of retrospection. The most important thing you must guarantee to your people, as a government, is security of lives and property, who is safe now?

“So it is very very disheartening and heartbreaking that he failed in his number one job, which is to guarantee security of lives and property. You know when he was coming in, oga (Buhari) was telling us, I would fight corruption, I will secure the lives and properties of the people, I will do this, I will do that, all kinds of promises.

“So let’s put those promises now into his departure, because that’s what will be written on the pages of history. Whatever a leader does during his time, it is on the pages of history.”

Asked whether he would work with Tinubu if called upon, George said: “There is nothing personal, this country trained me and I have to give back.”

On his reluctance to endorse Tinubu, he said: “I have forgiven him, but you cannot forget.”

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Tinubu makes first appointments



In line with tradition, President-elect Bola Tinubu is expected to make his first appointments after being sworn in as President tomorrow by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

There are at least three appointments that ordinarily should be made by the new President to keep the wheel of government moving pending when other appointments that must have the seal of the National Assembly will follow.

The three appointments are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Staff and presidential spokesperson.
There has been a jostle for appointments, including ministerial, under the Tinubu administration since the president-elect emerged after the February 25 presidential election.

Names have been mentioned as those being considered by Tinubu including those of very close associates but Sunday Vanguard was made to understand by sources close to the president-elect at the weekend that nothing was certain on appointments under the incoming administration including those that announced must, as a matter of tradition and necessity, be made tomorrow or Tuesday.

The president-elect, it was learnt from multiple sources close to him, yesterday, has kept allies and close associates, among others, guessing over those that will form his cabinet.

Sunday Vanguard was reliably informed that Tinubu has refused to disclose the list of potential appointees at any level be it personal aides, Presidential Villa officials and ministers.

This, it was understood, is a source of intense anxiety among those lobbying to be appointed to the next government.

Meanwhile, there were insinuations that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Mr James Faleke, a federal lawmaker from Lagos, are likely to play some roles in the Tinubu cabinet.


It has been reported that el-Rufai alongside two other outgoing governors – Aminu Masari of Katsina State and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State – are in the race for the SGF office.

Former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State is also, according to reports, in the jostle for ministerial appointment. He is said to be highly favoured for the External Affairs portfolio.

Traditionally, top members of the ruling party who lost governorship election in their states are usually compensated with ministerial appointments and this may also play out in the unfolding Tinubu government.

Multiple sources, however, said Gbajabimila was facing huge opposition to the possibility of emerging as Chief of Staff to the President.

There has been no word on who will emerge as a presidential spokesperson but there are high-profile professionals around the president-elect who fit the bill.

Some of them served in the Tinubu Presidential Campaign and they include Mr Bayo Onanuga and Mr Dele Alake.

Tinubu keeping list secret – Source

A source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that all the names being peddled for appointments in the Tinubu administration remained in the realm of speculation.

The source said: “President Tinubu is likely to make his first appointments on Monday or Tuesday because he wants to hit the ground running.

“But all the conjectures about who is in and who is out in the cabinet and other appointments are in the realm of speculations.
”Everyone has continued to speculate but from what I know, the list is with the president-elect. “He is keeping it close to his chest. All those who go to him, he promises them but he won’t say anything.

“You know that Tinubu is also a politician but no one knows those on the list. Even the speculation about Femi Gbajabiamila being considered as Chief of Staff is dicey and not something anyone can confirm and, as you know, Gbajabiamila is going with him all over the place. I’m not sure if Gbajabiamila will get the Chief of Staff slot.

“We have also heard the names of Mr Babatunde Fashola who is speculated as being considered as the Attorney-General of the Federation as well as Mr James Faleke and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who may be among those to be appointed”.


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Foreign guests, other dignitaries arrive Abuja for Tinubu’s inauguration



AHEAD of the inauguration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who takes over as Nigeria’s President on Monday, foreign guests and other dignitaries have started arriving at the Federal Capital Territory for the ceremony.

Officials at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confirmed on Saturday that the authority received a memo from the Federal Government on the expected arrival of presidents and other VIPs, who had started arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.


It was also gathered that though foreign nationals had started arriving at Abuja since Monday, the number of visitors coming through the international and presidential wings of the airport increased significantly on Saturday.

A senior Canadian official told Sunday PUNCH that the country’s (Canada) delegation would enter Abuja Saturday night.

It was gathered that the Canadian Government would be represented by the Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen.

Though the time of arrival of the United Kingdom delegation could not be ascertained, our correspondent learnt that the delegation might come in on Sunday. The UK delegation will be headed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for the inauguration.

The delegation includes Minister of State for Development and Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Andrew Mitchell; the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria and Special Envoy on Girls’ Education, Helen Grant, and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Richard Montgomery.

From the United States, those on the delegation include; Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy Abuja, David Greene; United States Representative, California, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, US Department of Commerce; Marisa Lago; Commander of US Africa Command, General Michael Langley, and Director, US Trade and Development Agency, Enoh Ebong.

Others are Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, Mary Phee; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council, Judd Devermont, and Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Africa, US Agency for International Development, Monde Muyangwa.

Speaking on the arrival of VIPs for the inauguration of Nigeria’s 16th President, FAAN’s Head of Corporate Affairs, NAIA, Oluwakayode Adeyeoluwa, told one of our correspondents that a memo was sent to the authority about the high influx of VIPs into Abuja beginning from Saturday.

Adeyeoluwa said, “Of course, we should expect that. Dignitaries and possibly Presidents have started coming, because by the memo that came to my table, it shows that they’ve started arriving.

“They started coming into the country since last week, but it peaked today (Saturday) based on the influx at the international and Presidential wings of the Abuja airport.”

When asked if he had an idea on the Presidents that had already arrived, Adeyeoluwa replied, “No, I didn’t follow-up with that, because those categories of dignitaries will come through the Presidential wing of the airport, and that is not under our jurisdiction.”


India sends delegation

In a related development, the Indian government has sent its Defence Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to attend the inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect.

The Indian Embassy in Nigeria disclosed in a statement on Saturday that Singh will arrive in Abuja on Sunday for the occasion.

“Mr. Singh is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs of India,” the statement partly read.


Heavy security at Eagle Square

Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Police, the Armed Forces, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps, among others, have taken over Eagle Square, venue of the inauguration.

Military personnel, police officers and other security agents deployed for the match past parade continued their dress rehearsals at the venue.

During a tour of the city centre by one of our correspondents, it was observed that major roads leading to the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory were partially cordoned off by security operatives.

The Central Business District began to look like a ghost town due to the presence of heavy security operatives. Several helicopters were also seen hovering over the city for aerial surveillance on Friday and Saturday.

Similarly, vehicles belonging to the Presidential Guards Brigade and the Nigeria Police Force were seen moving around the city centre, blaring sirens.

Sunday PUNCH also observed that Eagle Square had been deserted by traders, as the usual business activities on the premises had disappeared.

The surroundings of the federal secretariat were also quiet, as civil servants were asked to stay off work from Friday until Tuesday.

Security at five-star hotels

At the Fraser Suites Hotel, one our correspondents observed the presence of four armed police officers stationed at the entrance and an NSCDC squad car in the parking lot and a couple of military officers in the hotel lobby on Saturday.

Hotel security officers conducted car bomb checks upon entry and also directed guests to go through the metal detectors, as well as put their luggage through the detectors.

Some foreign nationals, believed to be delegates of European and Asian countries were spotted moving in and out of major Abuja hotels. The front desk officer confirmed that the hotel was fully booked and would only be available after the inauguration.

At the Transcorp Hilton, several vehicles both of the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC were stationed at the junction of Aguiyi Ironsi Street where the hotel is located.

Four officers of both security agencies manned the street and took turns in patrol. While two armed officers were spotted at the exit and entry points of the hotel.

A hotel employee confirmed that the hotel was fully booked, adding that some of the clients included top officials of the Nigerian government as well as foreign dignitaries.

“Yes, we have quite a number of VIP guests, including delegates of foreign governments, but that is the most I can say,” the employee, who pleaded anonymity, stated.

Meanwhile, the police deployed personnel to be on guard for the protection of Aso Rock Presidential Villa and provide security around the Eagle Square.

The personnel are to man all borders, seaports and airports for the purpose of achieving a hitch-free ceremony on Monday.

Sunday PUNCH reports that the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, earlier disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Personnel for the inauguration were drawn from Special Forces namely, the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Anti-Bomb Squad, FIB-Intelligence Response Team, and the Special Tactical Squad, among others.

Also deployed by the police were helicopters and drones for aerial surveillance in Abuja and its environs, as well as water cannons and armoured personnel carriers.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, said police officers and other security operatives were currently located along routes to-and-from the inauguration ground.

However, bands of merrymakers have also besieged the nation’s capital to add colour and melody to the inauguration.

The video of a band entertaining people at the Abuja airport on Saturday was shared on social media.

The drummers were seen at the airport welcoming guests with songs and dances as they disembarked from their aircraft.


Fight corruption, unite Nigerians, Buhari, ex-Kenyan president tell Tinubu

In another development, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday tasked the President-elect to work towards uniting Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and political affiliation.

Both leaders gave the charge during the Inauguration Lecture at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

This was contained in the statement issued on Saturday by Tinubu’s media officer, Tunde Rahman.

In his keynote address, Kenyatta pleaded with the incoming president to unite the country irrespective of ethnic, political and religious cleavages that might exist.

“The contest is now over and the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria now begins. Upon assuming the office of President, you will be wise to transcend from tactical politics of an election and assume your role as Nigeria’s vision bearer,” Kenyatta said.

The President also re-echoed Kenyatta’s appeal, stressing that the inauguration lecture highlighted the imperatives of democratic governance, nation-building and various challenges confronting the socio-political fabrics of Nigeria.

He spoke extensively on the significance of democracy in driving Nigeria’s sustainable development.

Tinubu, who was represented by Shettima, used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to stand together with the incoming administration to birth a better country.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has told the President-elect not to occupy his mind with the thought of winning the next election, but on how to develop the country and the next generation.

The Sultan spoke at an event where the former Kenyan President delivered an inaugural lecture titled, ‘Deepening Democracy for Integration and Development’.


Atiku, Obi shun inauguration

In another development, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is not expected at the inauguration.

This was disclosed to Sunday PUNCH by the Media Adviser to the former Vice President, Mr Paul Ibe.

Giving reasons why his principal will be absent from the event, Ibe denied knowledge of Atiku’s invitation to the event.

The former Vice President, he said, would be in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on Monday for the commencement ceremony of the American University of Nigeria, a school he founded in 2003.

In the same vein, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has turned down the prospect of attending the May 29 inauguration of Tinubu.

Obi, who spoke through his media aide, Emeka Obasi, told one of our correspondents that it would be absurd for him to be seen attending the inauguration of the same person he believed didn’t win the 2023 presidential election.

The development is coming in the wake of Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed’s, visit to Kaduna on Saturday for the fathia (wedding ceremony) of his deputy campaign director, Alhaji Augie Mohammed’s daughter.


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