Former President Goodluck Jonathan and some top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a last minute effort to salvage the party in the state have pleaded with members of the party planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday to have a rethink.
The APC in a mega rally scheduled for the Samson Siasia Sports Complex and which would have in attendance Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, National chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun,Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi, Chief Timipre Sylva and governors elected on the platform is expected to receive founding members of the PDP in the state into its fold.
The list of the defectors which include PDP big wigs like, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, former deputy governor Werinipre Seibarugu, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Senator Clever Ikisikpo, Hon Nadu Karibo, Hon Warman Ogoriba, Hon Gini Angaye, former speaker Nestor Binabo, Senator John Brambiafa, Hon Stella Dorgu, former lawmakers, and former commissioners in the PDP government in the state had rattled Jonathan and the leadership of the party.
Jonathan who is said to be worried about the crisis rocking the party in the state which has forced some founding members to leave the party decided to personally intervene to stop the defection which is considered a huge loss to the party in the state.
He was said to have placed calls to some of the defectors especially his political associates to see whether he could convince them not to go ahead with their planned defection but many of them told him that they have made up their minds to join the APC.
The PDP Unity group made up of political associates of Jonathan and his wife, Patience also pleaded with their members not to defect to the APC.
The Coordinator of the group, Mrs. Maria Ebikake in a press conference begged them not to abandon the party which they all contributed to build.
Ebikake who frowned at some PDP members hurling hate speeches at the defectors said they should desist from such act as it would not augur well for the party.
“We are not oblivious of the most recent defections from our great party in Bayelsa State to the opposition party, APC. We cannot also pretend to be unperturbed by the planned cross-carpeting of more of our esteemed members today.
“There is no doubt that some of these defectors are men and women of high political substance and pedigree that have contributed immensely to our past achievements. The PDP Unity group appreciates that things had not been properly done in the immediate past within the PDP.
“We recognise these seeming imperfections as reason for the decision of some of our valued members to think of shifting camp to the APC. We therefore most sincerely appeal to those who have left to return home and those about to do so to remain because truly Bayelsa is the home of PDP”
Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.
Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.
The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis
“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”
Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.
However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.
The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.
Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra
Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.
Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.
Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.
The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.
DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.
“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.
National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari
The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.
Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.
A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”
Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”
It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.
The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.
The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.
While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.
The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”
Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.
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