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Osun PDP accuses Aregbesola of fixing N35bn bailout fund

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Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday, accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of allegedly fixing in the bank for another two  months, the N35 billion bailout  fund released to the state by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) two weeks ago.

The target, according to the party, was to make  huge gain from the interest  rate that the money would yield during the two months period the money would be lodged into the bank account.

In a statement endorsed by the PDP’s Director of Media and Strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the party said “we have been authoritatively informed that the package that is generally referred to as bailout, meant to pay backlog of workers’ salaries, was given to Osun State two weeks ago.

The statement read in part: “Only paper work was completed last week, but since the arrival of the money, exactly 14 days ago, Mr Aregbesola, in his usual ‘I don’t care nature’, instead of commencing payment of workers’ dues, lodged the N35 billion given to the state into an account.

However, the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy to Aregbesola, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, in a statement, described the PDP’s claim as mere fabrication of lies to whip up sentiments against the governor, saying that “to those who are used to PDP’s notorious capacity for falsehood, this should not be surprising, as this is what defines the party head to toe.”

According to the statement, “it is very apparent that the only motive behind this ill-conceived statement is to again ignite hatred against the government, capitalising  on the ongoing staff verification exercise.

“PDP has, however, failed to scrutinise its own conspiratorial statement further, otherwise, it would have reasoned that right-thinking individuals would demand for proofs of any lodgement that shows any ulterior motive as being alleged.

“Besides, the verification exercise which the party claims is the subterfuge for this alleged lodgement in a fixed deposit account for personal gains is being handled with active involvement of civil servants.
“Does the PDP expect the workers themselves to delay the verification for its imagined interests on the funds to materialise?”

But the PDP hinted that the bank that agreed to give Mr Aregbesola the biggest interest, running into several millions of naira was given the money to fix, stressing that “the governor is buying time, for over two weeks now, he had been hiding behind staff screening to fish out ghost workers and the exercise is designed to last for another eight weeks.

“We are only concerned that the already pauperised Osun workers are being further subjected to harrowing experience by the governor and we only hope that Mr Aregbesola will allow reason to prevail,” the party added.

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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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