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PDP crisis: G5 govs weigh fresh options

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The five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party governors on Sunday met with other party heavyweights where they discussed fresh options as the hopes of reconciling with the camp of the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seems to be fading.

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This is happening as the camps of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, expressed willingness to seek the support of the governors to actualise their aspirations.

However, speaking after their closed-door meeting in Lagos, the governors said the window of reconciliation with Atiku was still open.

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At the meeting were governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former governors Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Donald Duke (Cross River), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), and Jonah Jang (Plateau).

Also present were a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; Deputy National Chairman, South of the PDP, Taofeek Arapaja; Senator Nasif Suleiman; Senator Sandy Onor and Senator Sam Ohabunwa.

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The meeting was held days after the governors unveiled the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara.

They had earlier held meetings in Enugu, Benue and outside the country.

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The governors are at loggerheads with Atiku over the refusal of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.

Speaking at the meeting, Makinde said though he and his colleagues were the face of their struggle, it had the backing of the leaders and elders of the party who were present.

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He stated, “We are here this morning to hold a meeting of the Integrity Group within our party, the PDP. We have been of the G5 – that is, the five PDP governors. The G5 is all about the Integrity Group.

“You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle, both the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces. We are in the South-West to review the situation within our party, to review where we are and to also look at what is going to happen in the coming elections.’’

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Shortly after the closed-door meeting, Jang reiterated that they were still maintaining the stand they took at their last meeting in Port Harcourt.

“After a careful review of developments in our party, we have decided to stand on the decisions we took in our Port Harcourt meeting. And we hereby reiterate that the window for reconciliation in our great party, PDP, remains open,” he said.

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The governors then proceeded to George’s house in Ikoyi where Wike addressed the party faithful with promises of support for the candidates in the coming election.

Our correspondent gathered that the Integrity Group would soon take a decision on the presidential candidate they intended to support if the expected truce with Atiku fails. Already, sources at the meeting said the group had reached a point where a major decision would be taken

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Tinubu, Obi camps

Meanwhile, the Chief Spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, has said hat Tinubu is focused on consolidating his stronghold but will not mind exploiting the festering crisis in the PDP.

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This is even as Emeka Obasi, the media aide to the LP candidate says there is a chance that his principal could work with the PDP Integrity Group.

Keyamo and Obasi spoke in separate interviews with The PUNCH.

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Keyamo said, “I don’t know of any talks between APC and the G-5. At least, not to my knowledge. However, despite their quarrel with the PDP, as of today, they are still members of the party.

“Let me repeat it for the umpteenth time. For us, we are proceeding from the position of calculating our strength, without thinking of the quarrel or weakness of the PDP. We are not depending on it

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“If after calculating our strength and the implosion continues in the PDP by the end of the day, we can then consider it as an added advantage, but not a factor to tilt the scale to our victory.

It may make victory easier if they come through the door we have opened for them. Anything can happen. But we are not looking out for that possibility. We are just saying in politics, anything can happen.”

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In the same vein, Obasi told The PUNCH that there is a chance Obi may be willing to work with the PDP governors if it will benefit the Nigerian people.

He noted, “There is nothing stopping that. It is a possibility. They can work together only if they are willing to work for the Nigerian people. But if it is not for the benefit of the Nigerian people, you will see him not aligning with it.

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“It is still three months to the election for anybody who wants to support him to do so. It is a democratic process. Nothing stops somebody from jumping camps any time anywhere. So they are free.

“There are things we don’t force. If somebody will support you, he is going to support you wholeheartedly. These are not anyhow politicians.
They are governors who have their say, they are not people you force to support you. That is something that ought to be done wholeheartedly in line with their conscience.’’

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“If you know my principal, he is somebody who likes to be open. He won’t promise you skyscrapers when he already knows what he can offer. For him, he can only offer what is good for the Nigerian people.

“Whoever wants to join him based on that principle is free. But to go and start doing political lobbying for somebody to him is a promise he can’t fulfil. It is not his style,” he maintained.

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APC Lists Condition For Tinubu To Participate In A Debate With Peter Obi

Riders
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By Gloria Ikibah

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that its Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party, cannot engage in a debate.

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After Obi must have presented his platform and demonstrated his political prowess as a former governor of Anambra state, the APC stated that it would prefer to send one of Tinubu’s media aides to engage in a debate with him.

Spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, stated this even as he accused Obi of withholding his manifesto from Nigerians before the general elections of 2023.

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He said the LP presidential flagbearer must meet certain requirements before Keyamo will allow him to debate with the former governor of Lagos state. One of the requirements listed by the APC was that Obi identify his political mentor from the time he was governor until the present.

He declared that the APC would send one of its spokespersons to engage in an open discussion with Obi if the prerequisites were met.

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“They have no manifesto, so what are we debating?” Keyamo questioned. Which records are we comparing? He declared that Nigerians should rely on his own judgement rather than any document.

“So, who will Asiwaju be debating with next?” Are they making fun of this campaign?

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“Before Obi and Asiwaju can debate side by side, they should each release a manifesto for public review. Then, Obi should compare his tangible achievements as the governor of Anambra State to Asiwaju’s tangible achievements as the governor of Lagos State. Then, he should list the people he has mentored in politics while serving as governor and who are still working with him today. Lastly, he should list any political parties he has founded or worked with to found that he is still a member of today.

“Then he should list his democratic credentials, that is, what he did to help usher in democracy after the military took over, and what he has since done, better than Asiwaju, to maintain our democracy.

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“After all of this, we will send one of our spokespersons to engage him in discussion,” he said.

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2023: We’ll decide presidential candidate Rivers will follow soon- Wike

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By Francesca Iwambe

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has told residents to wait for his decision on the presidential candidate to vote for in 2023.

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Wike said they should, however, vote massively for the candidates of the PDP in other positions such as governorship, National Assembly and House of Assembly.

Speaking on Tuesday while inaugurating the Rukpoku-Izo-Ogbodo-Igwuruta link road constructed by his administration, the Governor said they were still talking on the issue of the 2023 presidential election and whom they would support for the poll.

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Wike said: “We have started doing Eneka internal roads phases one and two, Eneka to Igbo Etche, we are doing the SAARs Road going straight to Rikpogbodu. Remember from Eledo down to Rikpogbodu and Obirikwere road, I was the one who did it. I have now done Rumuakwu to Eneka road; Rumuakwu to Igwuruta link road.

“So, you are the ones owing us now. You did first for us and we retaliated by doing for you. Now we have come to ask you again to come and do for us. If you do for us, it means we will come and do for you again.

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“You will vote for our governor, our Senatorial Candidates, House of Rep’ candidates and Assembly candidates. Then the other one I will come and tell you where you will vote. Don’t worry calm down, these ones I have mentioned now make sure you come and vote for them. Very soon, we will meet in our houses and take a decision where we are going to. We are still talking”.

Towards the end of his speech, the Governor stressed he was concerned only about Rivers PDP and its candidates saying “it is carry go” for the candidates from the State.

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He said: “I have seen the picture of how here was. If you are doing business here or live here go and put the picture in front of your house. As you wake up, you see the state of the road before and now.

“It will make you to say this is the government we believe in and this is the party at the state level, listen to what I said ‘party at the state level we believe in’. At the state level this party is doing well and you must continue with us. I am speaking on a national TV. I want anybody anywhere to hear me. They won’t do me anything and they don’t have the capacity to try me”.

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He added: “These other people know there is no way they can win Rivers State. They are only making noise to go collect money from people so that at the end of the day they will say they were rigged out.

“Who and who are following you? Which local government will you win and who are those there that will make you to win elections. There are opinion leaders that are influencers of people. You must vote for a party that has brought dividends of democracy.

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“All about governance is the happiness of the people. Some people say they were governors for eight years, they didn’t do anything. So we have done our part”.

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Peter Obi: If you truly love Igbo drop your presidential ambition-Anambra youths

Peter Obi
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A coalition of youths in Anambra State has asked the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, to bury his ambition, if he truly loves Igbo.

They said his entry into the race would spoil the chances of Ndigbo becoming the president after 2023 without proper alliance with other ethnic groups.

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Briefing reporters yesterday in Awka, Anambra State, the National Leader of the coalition, Dr. Chinedu Ekwealor, said Obi’s entry into the presidential race was to give an advantage to one of the leading parties, All Progressives Congress (APC), to win the election.

The group said: “Our brother, Peter Obi, does not have this alliance and knows very well that an irate social media mob does not, and cannot, make him president.

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“Obi’s presidential run is sabotage to Ndigbo. What he has only succeeded in doing is increasing APC’s chances of winning the election by depleting the votes of the Southeast for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The implication is that the South Easterners will have to stay out of power for a minimum of another 16 years.

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“This is because after Tinubu (if he wins), power will return to the North for another eight years, leaving Ndigbo out for another 16 solid years.

 

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“If Obi truly loves Ndigbo, he should step down forthwith and strategise with other well-meaning Igbo elite in charting a way forward for the Igbo nation.

“We repeat, the presidency is not won on the premise of wishful thinking and hullabaloo of an untamed mob, who probably do not even understand the need for a pathway for the Igbo nation, pushing for a new narrative for the Igbo nation.”

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