The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) o Sunday held an emergency meeting at the country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, it wades into the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
At the meeting, both the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, and former governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, were ordered out of the venue by the party leadership.
At the meeting which looked into the recommendations of the National Peace Committee for the state, the acting Chairman of the party’s BoT, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, called on all feuding members and stakeholders of the party in the state to close ranks, while also upturning the decision of the state chapter of the party to expel some prominent members from the party.
President Jonathan was said to been scandalised by the action of the party at the state level, adding that the party cannot afford a major crisis less than five months to the governorship election.
At the meeting which was held at the Jonathan country home amid tight security, some uninvited prominent persons, including those who had already defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), were walked out of the venue.
It was gathered that attendance was based strictly on membership of the board and on invitation.
Those in attendance at the meeting included the BoT acting Chairman, Bello; the Secetary of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibril; the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu; Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh and Senator Stella Omu.
While some loyalists of the expelled party leaders, including the embattled Chairman of the PDP in the state, Col. Sam Inokoba, claimed that the Chairman of the state reconciliation committee and first governor of the state, Alameiyeiseigha and other party members were barred from attending the meeting due to non-membership of the party BoT.
However, Inokoba and Senator Emmanuel Paulker were allowed into the meeting.
The state Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Godspower Keku, in a statement issued yesterday, confirmed the reconciliation of the party’s leadership by the BoT and that the decision to rescind the suspensions and expulsions, was taken on the request of Dickson, who is the leader of the party in the state.
He said the decision was taken in the best interest of the party, especially with a crucial election around the corner.
Keku, however, pointed out that the lifting of the suspensions was still subject to the ratification of the State Working Committee, which is expected to deliberate on it soon.
“The party welcomed the pardoned members and enjoin the party at all levels to involve them in all activities of the party, giving them second chance to prove their loyalty. All members of the party are enjoined to re-double their efforts towards ensuring victory for the party in the forthcoming governorship poll.”
The state PDP statement read: “The meeting, which was convened at the instance of President Jonathan also resolved to rescind the suspensions and expulsions placed on some members of the party, who have, despite the internal squabbles within its rank and file, remained in the PDP, unlike those, who defected to the opposition.”
The state PDP Secretary, Keku, explained that the decision was taken in the best interest of the party, especially with a crucial election around the corner.
He commended them for keeping faith with the PDP, despite the pressures to defect, like a number of others, who could not resist the temptation, despite having reaped bountifully from the PDP, since 1999.
Some of those affected by the decision included Senators Paulker and Nimi Barigha Amange, Ayakeme Whiskey, Mrs. Marie Ebikake, Hon. Waripamowei Dudafa, Ebikitin Diongoli and Mrs. Remi Kuku, among others.
Wike meets PDP senators, Orubebe
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the Senate in Rumuepirikom, his country home in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The PDP delegation was led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda.
Also a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe met with Wike
Orubebe recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.
In attendance at the meeting were the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi; Shuaibu Lau, Danjuma La’ah and Barry Mpigi.
A Government House source said the senators arrived at the governor’s residence some minutes past 3pm and immediately went into a closed door with their host.
The outcomes of the separate meetings were not made public.
ADC presidential candidate denies tax fraud allegations in US
The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has denied allegations of tax fraud in the United States.
Kachikwu said this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Allegations of tax evasion, fraud against me untrue, politically motivated’.
The presidential candidate said the allegations were propagated by his political opponents who were unhappy with his victory at the ADC Presidential primary.
The Roots TV boss, therefore, asked supporters to ignore online reports that the US government had indicted him for tax evasion running into millions of dollars.
The statement read in part, “A few days ago, my campaign team received information that one of the aspirants who lost out in the just concluded ADC presidential primaries was planning a series of smear campaigns against me.
“I was therefore not surprised when I saw this story. Contrary to the information being peddled, I was assessed an additional $9m several years ago by the US Inland Revenue Service.
“This amount was reduced to $2m and when the IRS sued to collect the amount, my lawyers didn’t contest it and instead waited for a default judgement in order to go to the next stage which is making an offer in compromise to reduce the amount to be paid. This is a standard legal practice in tax matters.”
Kachikwu also denied allegations that he delivered a bribe to convicted US Congressman, William Jefferson.
The ADC candidate said rather, he was the one who reported the former Congressman to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The statement further read, “(The report) claimed I had delivered a $100,000 cash bribe to curry the favour of the former US Congressman. This is another lie as multiple evidence abounds online clearly showing I was the victim who reported the US congressman to the EFCC and the FBI for defrauding my company.
“I have now instructed my lawyers to sue all digital media organisations who participated in the dissemination of this falsehood.”
The Roots TV boss said he was sure of victory in next year’s Presidential election.
Kachikwu, who is a younger brother to a former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, surprisingly defeated a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, to win the ADC’s Presidential ticket.
Kwankwaso’s party gains one, Labour Party another as senators defect from APC, PDP
Two Senators on Wednesday announced their defection from their former political parties to another party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The Senators are: Francis Ezenwa Onyewusi representing Imo East Senatorial district and Haliru Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district.
Their defection was made known by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan during a plenary on Wednesday.
While Senator Francis Onyewusi who is a first-timer to the Senate was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to Labour Party (LP), his counterpart in Bauchi was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before he defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The defected Senators cited injustice and inequity in their former political parties that made them fail the primary elections.
On Tuesday, three All Progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to other political parties.
Ahmad Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north; Lawal Yahaya Gumau, senator representing Bauchi north, and Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, all defected to other parties.
Kaita, who represents President Muhammadu Buhari’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside Alimikhena.Advertisement
Gumau defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), a party led by Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state.
The defectors have cited “marginalisation” and unfair treatment by their former parties as the reason for joining new parties.
Most of them were seeking reelection, but lost their tickets in their former parties.
The number of APC senators now stands at 66.
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