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Lagos PDP Lawmakers seek probe into N1bn campaign funds

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Lawmakers and candidates who contested the Lagos State House of Assembly elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) want the leadership of the party to probe the alleged mismanagement of N1 billion campaign funds meant for the 40 constituencies in the state.

The national leadership of the party was said to have released N25 million to each of the 40 legislative constituencies to execute the April 11 house of Assembly elections in the state.

The funds were managed by former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Musiliu Obanikoro and former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Olabode George.

The candidates alleged that the funds were not released to them to pursue their campaigns for the elections.

Hakeem Bello,, the Minority Leader of Lagos State House of Assembly confirmed that all the candidates that contested the state legislative elections on the PDP platform had petitioned the party national secretariat. to probe how the funds were spent.

According to him, “despite the billions of naira disbursed by the PDP national secretariat to all the state chapters and campaign committees, we did not receive a dime to run for the state assembly election.”

Bello explained that it was after the election we heard that funds were made available to candidates of PDP running for the states House of Assembly election. But up till now, we are still begging if we can get our money back.”

He acknowledged that the forum of candidates that contested the state legislative election “had written series of petitions to both the PDP national secretariat and also to the state chairman. But up till now, we are yet to hear anything from them.

“I can tell you that we have not received a dime for the last campaign. We heard money was budgeted for it. They should come out and tell us what actually happened to the funds that were supposed to be given to the candidates who contested for the Lagos State House of Assembly seats.

“We have written to the party secretariat and they are working on it to see how they can get the funds back from those that embezzled it. We have done our investigation and gotten to the root of where the money got stocked because when we wrote to the national chairman we were referred back to the state chairman to collect our money,” the minority leader said.

But the minority leader ruled out insinuations in some quarters that the PDP lawmakers in the state planned to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that there was no such plan by any lawmaker.

He also said the PDP lawmakers were not marginalised in the state assembly, adding that all the lawmakers across political leanings “are one big family. We are in the assembly to represent our people and go about the business of law making.”

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POLITICS

PDP Crisis: Dele Momodu warns Wike to apply brakes before it’s too late

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Former presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu has urged Governor Nyesom Wike of River State to thread softly before it becomes too late. 

The remark is coming amid internal wrangling between the Rivers governor and the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Abubakar Atiku. 

“Many politicians survive only on power. My Brother, I love you. But someone must be able to tell you the truth. No General fights on too many fronts. Please, apply the brakes, before it is too late,” he said. 

Momodu made the plea in a statement titled, “My Kobo Advice to Governor Nyesom Wike,” which he issued via his verified Instagram handle on Thursday.

He said, “My dear Brother, good evening. I have watched you in recent months with trepidation. I’m scared about your inability to comprehend the country called Nigeria. You must have underrated how the owners of Nigeria operate. 

“I studied the biography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I was an insider in the June 12 1993 crisis, and a veritable witness to the tribulations of my great mentor, Chief Moshood Abiola. Closer home, you must have seen how your predecessor, Dr. Peter Odili, was stopped in his tracks in 2007.

“You’re certainly one of Nigeria’s best performing Governors, if not the best. Personally, I’m very proud of your uncommon achievements. I know you are very angry. It is your right to be. But I’m begging you in the name of God not to take decisions based on anger… Nigeria has been very kind to you. 

“Rivers State has been extremely generous to you. GOD has blessed you beyond imagination. You have such a beautiful family. Your people love you stupendously for services delivered to them. PDP has been your solid platform. 

“You should never destroy a bridge after crossing the river. Even if you no longer need the bridge, what of your friends and family? I pray you kill this excessive and perpetual ANGER. It is getting out of hand. Most people around you will keep quiet for fear of losing patronage,” he said. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Catholics want Lalong suspended

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Some members of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria have called for the suspension of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State from the church over his reference to the pope while defending his acceptance to serve as the Director General (DG) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.

Lalong, on Wednesday, told correspondents at the presidential villa, Abuja, that as a Catholic and papal knight, the pope had not told him that it was wrong for him to lead the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign team.

Following the comment, aggrieved Catholic faithful criticised the governor for bringing the church into disrepute and dragging the Holy Father into the murky politics of Nigeria.

But Lalong said his reference to Pope Francis on his appointment was out of reverence and not disregard for the Holy Father, Catholic Church or Christianity.

He said it was unfortunate that part of the interview had been excised and used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.

The President of the Concerned Catholics in Nigeria (CCN), Dr Ben Amodu, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said Lalong must tender an apology for maligning the name of the pope and the entire church.

He also said the leadership of the Catholic community in Nigeria must ensure that the governor was made to atone for his blasphemous statement about the pope and the Catholic Church in public.

Amodu said, “The fact that Governor Simon Bako Lalong, a practicing Catholic who supposedly knows that the Catholic Church is not involved in partisan politics, but still went ahead to insinuate that the pope is in support of his decision smacks a mockery of the revered Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world.

“The Concerned Catholics in Nigeria condemn such despicable conduct as it is not reflective of the stance of the pope and the Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world concerning the political permutations in Nigeria.” 

‘My reference to pope mark of reverence’

Governor Lalong, in a statement yesterday by his media aide, said it was unfortunate that part of his remarks had been used by politicians for propaganda and misinformation about his personality, faith and political persuasion.

He said, “My reference to the Holy Father, the Pope, was to emphasise that as a Christian born and raised in the Catholic faith, accepting the assignment given to me by my party, the APC, of which I am a founding member, does not in any way remove my faith in Jesus Christ or my commitment to the church in Nigeria and universally.

“Those who know me can attest to my respect for the church, Christianity and spiritual fathers of all denominations. They know my modest contribution to the growth of the church in Plateau State, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large and can testify to it.”

The governor further said he had high regard for Christians and church authority and would continue to work hard in promoting the interests of Christians and adherents of other religions based on love, justice, equity and fairness.w

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PDP primary: Gov Wike drags Atiku, Tambuwa to court, demands removal from INEC list

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sued the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the party and the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal over the conduct of party’s primary held May 29, 2022.

During the primary election held in Abuja, the Sokoto Governor, while addressing delegates, asked them to vote for him but later declared that he stepped down for the former Vice President, Atiku.

The election had Atiku poll 371 votes as winner, while Wike and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes, respectively.

Wike and his loyalists have been in a face-off with Atiku’s camp since the conclusion of the PDP’s primary election.

Following the prolonged crisis rocking the party, Wike and a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon have now dragged Atiku, Tambuwal and the PDP to court in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022.

In the originating summons, the PDP is listed as the first respondent, while the Independent National Electoral Commission is the 2nd respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents, respectively.

Among other issues listed, Wike and Ekamon asked the court to order the INEC to reject or remove Atiku from “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election.”

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